Orr, James (No. 241920)

Orr, James

Private

No. 241920, 1st/5th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment

Died of wounds on 25 June 1917 (aged 31)

Buried:

Duisans British Cemetery, France (Grave III. L. 57)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Groomsport and District War Memorial

Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque

Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum

Groomsport Presbyterian Church

Groomsport Parish Church of Ireland Church

BIOGRAPHY

James Orr was born in Belfast, he enlisted in Birkenhead and he served with the Cheshire Regiment.  He went to the Front in December 1916.

Private James Orr (No. 241920) died of wounds on 25 June 1917 and his death was reported in the 11 August 1917 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle under the headline Groomsport Soldier Killed.

James Orr was described as a son of Mrs Elizabeth Rodgers who lived at The Hill, Groomsport and prior to the outbreak of the Great War he worked as a painter.  At the time of his death he had a brother serving in the Australian Navy.

In a letter of sympathy to James Orr’s mother, his Commanding Officer wrote ‘I always found your son a good soldier and very conscientious.  He possessed a sense of humour which was greatly appreciated by his comrades and at all times he was very cheerful’.

According to the CWGC Debt of Honour website, Private James Orr (No. 241920) was 29 when he died and he was buried in Duisans British Cemetery, France.  There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:

THE LORD GIVETH

AND THE LORD TAKETH AWAY

Private James Orr (No. 241920) is commemorated on Groomsport and District War Memorial; on the Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque; in the Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum (Page 36); in Groomsport Presbyterian Church and in Groomsport Parish Church of Ireland Church.

Civil registration records indicate that James Orr was born on 15 June 1886 at 193 North Queen Street, Belfast and he was a son of William Orr (a sailor) and Elizabeth Orr (formerly Neill).  William Orr and Elizabeth Neill (nee Boswell) were married on 23 October 1889 in St Anne’s Parish Church of Ireland Church, Belfast.  William Orr (aged 36), a bachelor and a sailor from Groomsport was a son of Hamilton Orr, a labourer.  Elizabeth Neill (aged 37), a widow and a nurse from 13 Beech Street, Belfast was a daughter of William Boswell, a boiler maker, who had died of heart disease on 11 December 1884.

Matthew Rodgers and Elizabeth Boswell were married on 1 August 1897 in Donegore Parish Church of Ireland Church, Co Antrim.  Matthew Rodgers, a widower and a shipwright from 31 Glenrosa Street, Belfast was a son of James Rodgers, a cooper.  Elizabeth Rodgers, a widow and a nurse from 91 Stratheden Street, Belfast was a daughter of William Boswell, a farmer.  Matthew Rodgers died of pneumonia on 14 October 1905 (aged 50) at 27 Fleet Street, Belfast.  Elizabeth was with him when he died.

Elizabeth Boswell had a daughter, Elizabeth Boswell, on 23 February 1872 in the townland of Niblock, Co. Antrim.