No. 17/1810, 10th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action in France on Saturday 1 July 1916 (aged 19)
No known grave
Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 15 A and 15 B)
Ballygowan Presbyterian Church
Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour
John Mills was born on 24 February 1897 in Ballygowan and he was a son of Robert John and Martha Mills (nee McVeigh, sometimes McVey) who were married on 21 December 1888 in Ballygowan Presbyterian Church. Robert John Mills from Ballygowan was a son of William Mills, a farmer. Martha McVeigh (aged 19) from Ballygowan was a daughter of John McVeigh, a clothier.
The Mills family lived in Ballygowan.
Robert John Mills was a farmer and he and Martha had at least twelve children all of whom (except Isabella) were baptised in Ballygowan Presbyterian Church:
Elizabeth (Lizzie, born 29 April 1889 in Ballygowan; died 23 February 1950)
Margaret (Maggie, born 17 March 1890 in Ballygowan)
Martha McRoberts (born 25 December 1891 in Ballygowan; married William Henry Kewley on 30 August 1919 in Dundela Presbyterian Church)
William (born 13 January 1894 in Ballygowan)
John (born 15 January 1896 in Ballygowan; died of convulsions 25 February 1896)
John (born 24 February 1897 in Ballygowan)
Thomas (born 31 July 1899 in Ballygowan)
Sarah Jane (born 22 July 1902 in Ballygowan)
Robert (Bob, born 28 April 1905 in Ballygowan)
Samuel (born 29 January 1908 in Ballygowan)
Isabella (born prematurely 20 January 1910 in Ballygowan; died 22 January 1910)
David (born 4 June 1912 in Ballygowan)
In November 1915 John Mills enlisted in Belfast. He joined the 17th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles and went to the Front with the 10th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 107th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division. Rifleman John Mills was 19 when he was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme and he has no known grave.
Rifleman John Mills is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France; in Ballygowan Presbyterian Church and in the Belfast Book of Honour (Page 471) where his home address is recorded as 91 Ardenvohr Street, Belfast. John’s father, Robert John Mills, lived there and worked as a watchman. Robert John Mills died at 91 Ardenvohr Street on 24 June 1944 (aged 75) and his son Robert was present when he died. Robert John Mills was buried in the graveyard adjoining Ballygowan Presbyterian Church, as was his daughter Lizzie who died on 23 February 1950.