McWhinney, Hamilton (No. 12576)

McWhinney, Hamilton

Private

No. 12576, 6th Battalion, Princess Victoria’s (Royal Irish Fusiliers)

Killed in action on Sunday 15 August 1915 (aged 28)

No known grave

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey (Panel 178 to 180)

Newtownards and District War Memorial

Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s)

Brother of Private William John McWhinney (No. 7544)

BIOGRAPHY

In some records his surname is spelt Mawhinney.

Hamilton McWhinney was born on 4 July 1887 in Mill Street, Newtownards and he was a son of Margaret (Maggie) McWhinney who lived in Mill Street.  In some records his father’s name is recorded as Andrew Arnold.

Maggie McWhinney worked as charwoman and she had at least four children:

William John (born 5 December 1883 in Mill Street, Newtownards)

Hamilton (born 4 July 1887 in Mill Street, Newtownards)

Samuel (born 11 June 1891 in Mill Street, Newtownards)

Jane (born 19 January 1900 in Mill Street, Newtownards)

All three McWhinney brothers were on active service during the Great War.

Prior to the outbreak of the Great War Hamilton McWhinney worked as a general labourer and on 18 July 1906 he and Martha Reid Conway were married in Newtownards Registrar’s Office.  They had at least five children:

Maggie (born 3 July 1906 in Mill Street, Newtownards two weeks before her parents were married)

Mary Jane Conway (born 23 February 1908 in Mill Street, Newtownards)

David Conway (born 20 January 1912 in Mark Street, Newtownards)

William John (born 28 April 1914 in Mill Street, Newtownards)

Hamilton (born 15 May 1915 in Mill Street, Newtownards)

Hamilton McWhinney enlisted in Newtownards, he served with the 6th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers in 31st Brigade of the 10th (Irish) Division and he was killed in action at Kirich Tepe in the Dardanelles on 15 August 1915.  Private Hamilton McWhinney (No. 12576) has no known grave.

The report of his death in the 18 September 1915 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle pointed up another tragic aspect.  Just four days before Hamilton McWhinney was killed in action his wife Martha was buried in Movilla Cemetery.  She was 29 when she died of consumption on 10 August 1915 and the newspaper report pointed out that Hamilton’s death had ‘left four motherless children, the youngest a baby’.  The report went on ‘The Rector of the Parish is acting as guardian for these orphans meanwhile, and will be glad to receive articles of clothing, of which they are in need’.  Later, Alexander Conway was appointed as the children’s guardian.

Private Hamilton McWhinney (No. 12576) is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey; on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s).