No. 18/1106, 11th & 12th Battalions, Royal Irish Rifles
Died of disease on Sunday 5 June 1921 (aged 26)
Ballyhalbert (St. Andrew’s) Church of Ireland Churchyard, Ballyeasborough, Co Down
Kircubbin Parish Church of Ireland Church (Holy Trinity)
In some records his surname is spelt Milliken.
John Milligan was born on 18 December 1894 in the townland of Ballygraffan, Kircubbin and he was a son of Margaret (Maggie) Milligan.
Maggie Milligan was a daughter of James and Margaret Milligan (nee Dogherty) who were married on 5 October 1869 in Newtownards Registrar’s Office. James Milligan worked as a farm labourer and he and Margaret had ten children.
John Milligan was four when his mother Maggie and Edward Moreland were married on 6 March 1899 in Ballyhalbert Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Andrew’s) at Ballyeasborough. Edward Moreland from Glastry was a son of Isaac Moreland and he worked as a labourer. He and Maggie had at least one child:
Nancy (Nanie, born around 1899/1900 in Scotland)
After leaving school John Milligan worked as a farm labourer for Thomas Warnock of Ballygraffan, Kircubbin. He earned twenty shillings per week.
John Milligan enlisted in Kircubbin on 23 November 1915 aged 20 years 11 months and he joined the 18th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles. From 7 June 1916 he served in France with the 11th Battalion in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division. Rifleman John Milligan was treated for gas poisoning after an attack on 13 August 1917. He was transferred to the 12th Battalion on 29 November 1917, then to the 3rd Battalion and then back to the 12th Battalion. He was discharged from the Army on 13 March 1919 and on 26 August 1920 he was awarded a disability pension. His level of disability was recorded as ‘100%’ and it was attributed to the effects of gas poisoning.
Ex-Rifleman John Milligan died of pulmonary tuberculosis at Ballygraffin on 5 June 1921 and his mother, Margaret Moreland, was with him when he died.
Ex-Rifleman John Milligan was buried in the graveyard beside Ballyhalbert Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Andrew’s) at Ballyeasborough.
John’s mother Margaret and his sister Nannie Moreland placed a death notice in the Newtownards Chronicle and it contained the verse:
There is a link death cannot sever;
Love and remembrance last forever.
The following year they placed an In Memoriam notice which contained the verse:
Oh, what could equal joy divine,
Or what can sweeter be,
Than knowing that his soul is safe
For all eternity.
Ex-Rifleman John Milligan is commemorated in Kircubbin Parish Church of Ireland Church (Holy Trinity).