Orr, Alexander William Burrell (No. PS/5393)

Orr, Alexander William Burrell (Burrell)

Private

No. PS/5393, 20th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers

Killed in action on Monday 14 February 1916 (aged 20)

Buried:

Cambrin Churchyard Extension, France (Grave L1. 6D)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Holywood and District War Memorial

Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Philip & St James)

Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour

BIOGRAPHY

Alexander William Burrell Orr was born on 9 September 1895 in Enniskerry, County Wicklow and he was the eldest son of Cecil and Theresa Rachel Orr (nee Parr) who lived in Powerscourt, Enniskerry, Co Wicklow.  Theresa Parr was from Newtownards where her father was the manager of the Newtownards Branch of the Belfast Bank and she and Cecil Orr were married on 16 April 1890 in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s).  Cecil Orr was a civil engineer and a son of Alexander Smith Orr, a barrister.

In the 1901 census Theresa Rachel Orr was living in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow and she was a housekeeper.  She and Cecil had at least five children:

Mary (born around 1890/1891 in England)

Eleanor Catherine Cecil (born 8 September 1892 in Racefield Lodge, County Dublin)

Alexander William Burrell (born 9 September 1895 in Enniskerry, County Wicklow)

Geraldine Elizabeth McDonnell (born 28 February 1897 in Enniskerry, County Wicklow)

Theresa Maud Rachel (born 4 May 1899 in Enniskerry, County Wicklow)

Alexander William Burrell Orr was educated in Dublin.

During the First World War, Private Burrell Orr served with the 20th Battalion Royal Fusiliers and he was 20 when he was killed in action in France on 14 February 1916 (his date of death is recorded as 4 February 1916 in the CWGC Debt of Honour).  Major Hickley wrote to Burrell Orr’s mother to express his condolences and he paid tribute to Burrell’s fine qualities.  Burrell was killed by an enemy rifle grenade and two other soldiers were killed by the same grenade – Sergeant Holmes and Corporal Robert John Gray (No. PS/4916) who is commemorated in Bangor Grammar School.

At the time of Private Burrell Orr’s death, his father was living in Martello Terrace, Holywood and his mother was in Cairo staying with a married daughter.

Burrell Orr’s mother died on 28 May 1941 in Poole, Dorset.

Private Alexander William Burrell Orr is commemorated on Holywood and District War Memorial; on the Memorial Plaque in Holywood Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Philip & St James) and in the Belfast Book of Honour (Page 519).