Royal Irish Rifles
Died of disease on Tuesday 1 August 1922 (aged 40)
Killysuggan Graveyard, Belfast Road, Newtownards, Co Down
Newtownards and District War Memorial
The name William McMullan is listed on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in the booklet produced for the Unveiling and Dedication Ceremony held on Saturday 26 May 1934 he is described as a Rifleman in the Royal Irish Rifles. The organising committee of the day decided to include the names of ex-servicemen who died up to that date from what they considered to be war related causes, whether as a result of wounds or disease.
In some records his surname is spelt McMullan, in others McMullen, in others Mullan and in others Mullen.
William McMullan was born on 17 February 1882 in Newtownards and he was a son of John and Grace McMullan (nee Busby, sometimes Busbey, sometimes Busley) who were married on 10 August 1865 in Newtownards Registrar’s Office.
John McMullan worked as a labourer and he and Grace had at least eleven children:
William (born 23 August 1866 in Mill Street, Newtownards; died) Mullen
John (born 20 August 1867 in Mill Street, Newtownards; died) McMullen
James (born 1 May 1869 in Mill Street, Newtownards) McMullan
Hugh (born 18 May 1871 in Mill Street, Newtownards) Mullen
Joseph (born 13 January 1873 in Mill Street, Newtownards) McMullen
William (born 2 January 1875 in Mill Street, Newtownards; died) Mullen
Jane (born 5 April 1877 in Ann Street, Newtownards) Mullen
John (twin, born 12 January 1879 in Newtownards Workhouse) Mullen
Robert (twin, born 12 January 1879 in Newtownards Workhouse) Mullen
William (born 17 February 1882 in Newtownards Workhouse) Mullen
Patrick (born 2 March 1884 in Mill Street, Newtownards) Mullen
William McMullan worked as a labourer and he and Isabella (Bella) Murray Gray were married on 14 February 1903 in Newtownards Roman Catholic Church. William McMullan (aged 19), a labourer from Newtownards, was a son of John McMullan, a labourer. Bella Gray (aged 18), a smoother from Newtownards, was a daughter of William Gray, a sailor.
William and Bella McMullan (nee Gray) had at least six children:
William (born 29 May 1905 in Newtownards Workhouse; the family lived in Frederick Street, Newtownards and his father was a bugler in the militia)
James (born 29 November 1906 in Newtownards Workhouse; the family lived in Mill Street, Newtownards and his father was a labourer)
Grace (born 15 January 1909 in East Street, Newtownards)
Isabella (born 23 May 1911 in Windmill Row, Newtownards)
Edward (born 15 July 1913 in East Street, Newtownards)
Patrick (born 7 October 1916 in East Street, Newtownards and named after his uncle who was killed in April 1916; his father was a discharged soldier)
They lived in Windmill Row, Newtownards and William who was born on 29 May 1905 ran a ‘rag and bone’ business. This William and his wife Kathleen had eleven children and, when William and Kathleen died, they were buried in Killysuggan Graveyard. William and Kathleen McMullan’s grave, which has a headstone, is diagonally to the right in front of ex-Rifleman William McMullan’s grave which has a small plaque with the words:
During the First World War Rifleman William McMullan served with the Royal Irish Rifles and he was wounded at Neuve Chapelle. Found to be no longer fit for active service, William McMullan was discharged from the Army and he was 40 when he died of gastritis and tetany on 1 August 1922 at his home in East Street, Newtownards. His wife Bella was with him when he died.
Family members recalled that, after William died, Bella McMullan had a donkey and cart and she sold needles and buttons in Newtownards, Comber and Bangor.