McWilliams, Andrew (No. 19/26)

McWilliams, Andrew

Rifleman

No. 19/26, 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action on Sunday 24 March 1918 (aged 20)

No known grave

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Pozieres Memorial, France (Panel 74 to 76)

Donaghadee and District War Memorial

Donaghadee Parish Church of Ireland Church

Brother-in-law of Rifleman William Semple (No. 18/775)

BIOGRAPHY

Andrew McWilliams was born on 17 March 1898 in Meetinghouse Street, Donaghadee and he was a son of Benjamin (Ben) and Ellen McWilliams (nee Thompson) who were married on 30 September 1890 in Ballycopeland Presbyterian Church.  Ben McWilliams, a sailor from Donaghadee, was a son of John McWilliams, a boatman.  Ellen Thompson (aged 19) from Donaghadee was a daughter of Robert Thompson, a sailor.

The McWilliams family lived in Meetinghouse Street, Donaghadee and at 42 Manor Street, Donaghadee.

Ben McWilliams was a mariner and he and Ellen had at least nine children:

Mary (born 8 July 1891; married William Semple 25 April 1913)

John (born 19 October 1893)

Robert (born 1 January 1896, died 8 May 1901)

Andrew (born 17 March 1898 in Meetinghouse Street, Donaghadee)

Benjamin (born 26 July 1900)

Robert (born 1 July 1903)

Alfred (born 13 May 1905)

Frances Elizabeth (born 27 September 1907)

Florence (born 29 July 1911)

Andrew McWilliams was baptised in Donaghadee Parish Church of Ireland Church.

Andrew McWilliams enlisted in November 1915 in Belfast and he served with the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Rifles.  When Andrew was posted as missing in action his mother appealed for information as to her son’s fate.  Later it was officially confirmed that Rifleman Andrew McWilliams (No. 19/26) must be presumed to have been killed in action on 24 March 1918 during the retreat from St Quentin.  He was 20 when he died.

Rifleman Andrew McWilliams (No. 19/26) has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial in France; on Donaghadee and District War Memorial and in Donaghadee Parish Church of Ireland Church.