Orr, James (No. 286496)

Orr, James

Leading Seaman

No. 286496, HMS Vivid II, Royal Fleet Reserve, Royal Navy

Died of disease on Sunday 17 July 1921 (aged 42)


Whitechurch Cemetery, Ballywalter (TBC)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

United Kingdom Book of Remembrance

Family grave headstone in Whitechurch Cemetery (TBC)


Leading Seaman James Orr (No. 286496) is commemorated in the United Kingdom Book of Remembrance.

This Book of Remembrance commemorates United Kingdom casualties of the two World Wars who were not formerly recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The men and women remembered in it are presently commemorated solely by their database and register entry.

James Orr was born on 27 December 1878 in Ballywalter and he was a son of John and Agnes (Nannie) Orr (nee O’Neill) who were married on 12 August 1878 in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s).  John Orr, an agricultural labourer from Ballywalter, was a son of William John Orr, a labourer.  Agnes O’Neill from Comber Street, Newtownards was a daughter of James O’Neill, a labourer.

John Orr worked as a farm labourer and he and Agnes had at least eight children:

James (born 27 December 1878 in Ballywalter)

Mary Eliza (born 11 April 1884 in Ballywalter; married Robert Harper 21 September 1906 in Second Ballywalter Presbyterian Church; died 7 July 1910 aged 26)

William John (born 21 July 1886 in Ballywalter)

Sarah (born 4 November 1888 in Ballywalter)

Agnes (born 3 December 1891 in Ballywalter)

Jane Ellen (born 27 April 1894 in Ballywalter)

Louisa (born 19 March 1897 in Ballywalter)

Bertha Patterson Gibson (born 23 February 1905 in Ballywalter)

Their paternal grandmother, Ann Orr, died on 13 April 1884 (aged 61).  Their paternal grandfather, William John Orr, died of senile decay on 14 October 1916 (aged 95).  Their father, John Orr, died of septic meningitis in the Workhouse Infirmary, Newtownards on 7 November 1916 (aged 56).  Their mother, Agnes Orr, died on 27 November 1942 (aged 85).

In civilian life James Orr worked as a labourer and he was 18 when he enlisted on 18 November 1897 in Devonport.  He joined the Royal Navy as a Stoker Second Class for a period of 12 years continuous service (CS), and it was noted that he was 5 feet 8½ inches tall with dark brown hair, hazel eyes, and a fresh complexion.  His Service Number was 286496 and when his 12-year period of continuous service ended on 18 November 1909 his rank was Leading Stoker.  On 20 November 1909 he joined the Royal Fleet Reserve (B2999) and was recalled to service at the start of the Great War.

James Orr and Margaret (Maggie) Jane Thompson were married on 14 January 1910 in Glastry Presbyterian Church.  Margaret Jane Thompson from Ballyhalbert was a daughter of Charles Thompson, a fisherman.  They lived in Ballyhalbert and at 10 Vicarage Street, Belfast.

James and Margaret Jane Orr (nee Thompson) had at least two children:

Mary Jane (born 23 May 1912 in Ballyhalbert)

James (born 1 December 1918 in Ballywalter; died of debility 10 February 1919 in Ballywalter)

Leading Seaman James Orr (No. 286496) was discharged on 22 May 1918 because of an ‘Aneurism thoracic aorta’ and it was noted that it had been ‘aggravated by service’.

James Orr, an Army Pensioner from 10 Vicarage Street, Belfast died of aortic regurgitation and cardiac failure on 17 July 1921 in the Ulster Volunteer Hospital, Botanic Avenue, Belfast.