No. 6321, 16th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Thursday 29 June 1916 (aged 18)
No known grave
Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 15 A and 15 B)
Comber and District War Memorial
Andrew’s Mill Memorial Plaque
Killinchy Parish Church of Ireland Church
Killinchy Presbyterian Church
James Morrison was born on 26 October 1897 in the townland of Lisbane, Comber and he was the youngest son of George and Eliza Jane Morrison (nee Donnan) who were married on 18 April 1881 in First Killyleagh Presbyterian Church. George Morrison from Ballyminstra was a son of Robert Morrison, a labourer. Eliza Jane Donnan, a minor from Ballyminstra, was a daughter of Thomas Donnan, a farmer.
The Morrison family lived in the townland of Lisbane.
George Morrison was a farmer and shoemaker and he and Eliza Jane had at least eleven children including:
Mary Anna Charlotte (born 25 April 1882 in Ballyminstra)
Ellen (born 8 April 1884 in Ballyminstra)
Robert George (born 6 February 1886 in Ballyminstra)
Martha (born 12 May 1888 in Ballyminstra)
Eliza Jane (born 21 February 1890 in Ballyminstra)
Sarah Donnan (born 16 July 1893 in Lisbane)
William Thomas (born 19 April 1895 in Lisbane)
James (born 26 October 1897 in Lisbane)
Catherine (born 13 March 1900 in Lisbane)
Agnes (born 3 April 1904 in Lisbane)
Prior to enlisting, James Morrison worked as a clerk in the flax spinning mill of Messrs Andrews & Company in Comber and he was a member of the Comber Company of the North Down Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). He joined the Young Citizen Volunteers at Randalstown in May 1915 and then transferred to the 16th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (Pioneers). He went to France with the first draft of the 36th (Ulster) Division in 1915 and he was 18 when he was killed in action on 29 June 1916. Captain W.R. Whyte wrote to James’s father to express his condolences and, in the letter, he described the circumstances of James’s death: ‘He was in the trenches with the rest of the company working when a shell exploded near him and killed him instantly’.
Rifleman James Morrison (No. 6321) has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France; on Comber and District War Memorial; on the Andrew’s Mill Memorial Plaque and in both Killinchy Parish Church of Ireland Church and Killinchy Presbyterian Church.