No. 3/7400, 3rd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
Died of disease on Saturday 15 June 1918 (aged 33 – death cert.)
Died of disease on Monday 17 June 1918 (aged 32 – CWGC)
Belfast (Milltown) Roman Catholic Cemetery (Grave B. GB. 74)
Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour
Half-Brother of Private Walter Mulholland (No. 3176)
Private James Mulholland (No. 3/7400) joined the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers on 14 November 1902 in Belfast, and in his attestation papers it was noted that he was born in Newtownards. It was recorded that he worked as a farm labourer, and that he was 5 feet 5½ inches tall. He was posted to Omagh, then Londonderry, then South Africa, then Cairo in 1903, then home until 1914, then France with the Expeditionary Force from 12 September 1914 until 10 July 1915, and then discharged home.
In his service papers his parents were named as Robert and Elizabeth Mulholland of 109 Saunders Street, Belfast; Elizabeth Mulholland was, in fact, his stepmother.
His wife was named as Sarah Mulholland (nee Armour) and it was recorded that he and Sarah had been married on 8 December 1908 in Great Victoria Street Presbyterian Church, Belfast.
Their children were named as Jemima (born in Belfast on 29 December 1910); Elizabeth Sophia (born in Belfast on 22 February 1913) and Sarah Ann (born in Belfast on 20 August 1914). It was recorded that all three children were baptised in St Matthew’s Roman Catholic Church, Belfast.
Civil Marriage Registration records confirm that James Mulholland and Sarah Armour were married on 8 December 1908 in Great Victoria Street Presbyterian Church, Belfast. James Mulholland, a labourer from Belfast, was a son of Robert Mulholland, a labourer. Sarah Armour from Belfast was a daughter of James Armour, a labourer. Sarah Armour was born on 28 September 1884 in South Street, Newtownards and she was a daughter of James and Mary Jane Armour (nee Drennan) who were married on 14 July 1866 in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church.
In the 1911 census returns it is recorded that James and Sarah Mulholland were living at 64 Chadolly Street, Belfast with their daughter Jemima, and that James had been born in Newtownards. James was recorded as being Church of England, Sarah as being Roman Catholic, and Jemima as being Church of England.
Civil Birth Registration records for the children of James and Sarah Mulholland (nee Armour) are as follows:
Sarah (born prematurely 25 February 1909 at 10 Newcastle Street, Belfast; died of debility the same day, aged 5 hours)
Jemima Napier (born 29 December 1910 at 64 Chadolly Street, Belfast)
Sarah Anne (born 27 August 1914 at 28 Chemical Street, Belfast; 20 August 1914 in service papers)
In Civil Birth Registration records, two female children were registered as the children of James and Sarah Mulholland (nee Glenhomes, or Glenholmes):
Isabella (born 22 February 1913 at 64 Chadolly Street, Belfast). This date of birth is the same date as that recorded for Elizabeth Sophia Mulholland in her father’s service papers.
Elizabeth (born 9 August 1916 at 40 Chemical Street, Belfast). Their mother, Sarah Mulholland, registered both their births by making her mark. The surname Glenholmes has not been found in any other records relating to this family.
There is some ambiguity about when James Mulholland was born, and about his forename and the forenames of his parents. In his 1911 census return his age is recorded as 24, therefore he would have been born around 1876/1877. This is not substantiated by two other records: In his November 1902 attestation papers his age is recorded as 18 years 3 months; from this he would have been born in August 1884. On his death certificate in June 1918 his age is recorded as 33, therefore he was born around 1884/1885).
Based on Civil Birth Registration records, the ‘best fit’ date of birth for Private James Mulholland (No. 3/7400) is 1 August 1885, so he was in fact 17 years 3 months old when he enlisted in 1902. Two forenames were registered in civil records: Robert James – he later dropped his first forename, Robert.
Robert James Mulholland was born on 1 August 1885 in Darrah’s Lane, Newtownards and he was a son of Robert and Isabella (Bella) Mulholland (nee McKinley) who had at least four children:
Robert James (born 1 August 1885 in Darrah’s Lane, Newtownards)
William (born 20 January 1888 in Ford Street, Newtownards)
John (born 31 December 1890 in Mark Street, Newtownards; died of bronchitis 18 February 1891)
Mary Jane (born 15 October 1892 in Newtownards workhouse infirmary; died of infantile debility 30 October 1892)
Isabella Mulholland died on 16 October 1892 (aged 27) in Newtownards workhouse infirmary as the result of debility and exhaustion following childbirth.
Robert Mulholland and Elizabeth Quigley (sometimes Twigley) were married on 19 March 1893 in Newtownards Roman Catholic Church. Robert Mulholland, a widowed labourer from Newtownards, was a son of John Mulholland, a deceased labourer. Elizabeth Quigley, a domestic servant from Newtownards, was a daughter of Patrick Quigley, a labourer. Thus, Elizabeth Mulholland was James Mulholland’s stepmother and not his mother as recorded in his service papers.
In 1901 Robert and Elizabeth Mulholland (nee Quigley) were living in Methuen Street, Belfast. They had at least five children:
Walter (born 11 July 1894 in Newtownards Workhouse)
John (born 13 August 1897 in Tullynagardy, Newtownards)
Alexander (born 15 January 1900 at 36 Bright Street, Belfast)
Jane (born 26 August 1902 at 109 Saunders Street, Belfast; died there of whooping cough 9 October 1902)
Joseph Patrick (born 19 July 1904 at 109 Saunders Street, Belfast)
Private James Mulholland (No. 3/7400) was discharged from the Army as unfit for war service and awarded a Silver War Badge.
Described as an Army Pensioner, Private James Mulholland (No. 3/7400) died in the workhouse infirmary at 51 Lisburn Street, Belfast on 15 June 1918 (aged 33) as the result of influenza and lobar pneumonia aggravated by active service. In CWGC records his date of death is recorded as 17 June 1918 and his age as 32. The age difference is consistent with his stated age at attestation; the date difference may or may not be attributable to when the Army received notification about his death.
Private James Mulholland (No. 3/7400) was buried in Belfast (Milltown) Roman Catholic Cemetery and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
BY HIS LOVING WIFE
Private James Mulholland (No. 3/7400) is commemorated in the Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour (Page 490).