McVea, Robert (No. 249)

McVea, Robert


No. 249, 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action in France on Sunday 24 March 1918 (aged 19)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Pozieres Memorial, France (Panel 74 to 76)

Family grave headstone in Cloughey Presbyterian Churchyard


His surname is spelt McVea on the family grave headstone in Cloughey Presbyterian Churchyard and in the CWGC Debt of Honour; McVeigh in Church records and McVeagh in both the 1901 and 1911 census.

Robert McVea was born on 14 August 1898 in Portavogie and he was a son of David and Sarah McVea (nee Palmer) who were married on 23 June 1888 in Glastry Presbyterian Church, Ballyhalbert.  David McVea from Portavogie was a son of John McVea, a fisherman.  Sarah Palmer from Portavogie was a daughter of James Palmer, a farmer.

David McVea was a fisherman and he and Sarah had ten children:

David John (born 5 May 1889 in Portavogie; died of tuberculosis 26 March 1899)

Eliza Ann Palmer (born 16 December 1890 in Portavogie)

Henry Harris (born 3 June 1892 in Portavogie)

Thomas James (born 8 April 1893 in Portvogie)

Margaret Ellen (Maggie, born 17 August 1895 in Ballywalter)

Unnamed female (born 5 June 1897 in Portavogie; died of debility 13 June 1897)

Robert (born 14 August 1898 in Ballyeasborough)

David John (born 31 December 1900 in Ballyeasborough; named after his brother who died)

Agnes Palmer (born 23 October 1905 in Ballyeasborough)

Adam (born 27 June 1909 in Portavogie)

Some of the children were baptised in Cloughey Presbyterian Church.

Their mother, Sarah McVea, died of tuberculosis on 27 November 1911 (aged 43).

Their father, David McVea, died on 17 December 1920 (aged 62)

Robert McVea enlisted in Newtownards and he served with the 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Rifles.

Rifleman Robert McVea (No. 249) was killed in action on 24 March 1918 when the Battalion came under violent attack by the enemy in ‘over-whelming numbers’.  Many men were killed that day. Rifleman Robert McVea (No. 249) was 19 when he died, and he has no known grave.

Rifleman Robert McVea (No. 249) is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial in France and on the family grave headstone in Cloughey Presbyterian Churchyard (where his date of death is incorrectly inscribed as 24 March 1917).