Orr, John Francis (No. 18/358)

Orr, John Francis (John)

Rifleman

No. 18/358, 11th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles 

Killed in action on Saturday 1 July 1916 (aged 26)

No known grave

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 15 A and 15 B)

Bangor and District War Memorial

Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque

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

Loyal Orange Lodge (LOL) No. 677

First Bangor Presbyterian Church

Family grave headstone in Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road

BIOGRAPHY

John Francis Orr was born on 28 September 1889 in Main Street, Bangor and he was a son of John and Agnes Orr (nee Fowler) who were married on 21 September 1874 in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s).

The Orr family lived at 37 Castle Street/Castle Mount, Bangor.

John Orr Senior worked as a labourer in a brick works and he and Agnes had eleven children:

Margaret (Maggie, born 25 May 1876)

Mary Jane (born 29 April 1878)

Agnes (born 18 January 1880)

Sarah (born 2 August 1881)

William James (born 21 July 1883)

Ellen (born 3 June 1885)

Thomas Herbert (born 23 September 1887)

John Francis (born 28 September 1889 in Main Street, Bangor)

Isabella (Isa, born 1 June 1892)

Norman (born 15 September 1895)

Henry (Harry, born 22 January 1897)

The children were baptised in First Bangor Presbyterian Church.

John Francis Orr enlisted in Bangor and he served with the 11th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division.  He went to France on 8 December 1915.  Initially he was posted as missing in action after the first day of the Battle of the Somme and through the County Down Spectator his mother appealed for information from survivors of the battle.  A soldier in a French hospital wrote and told her that he had seen John with shrapnel wounds to his legs.  Later it was officially confirmed that Rifleman John Francis Orr must be presumed to have been killed in action and he has no known grave.

Rifleman John Francis Orr (No. 18/358) was 26 when he died and he is commemorated on Bangor 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 55); in LOL No. 677; in First Bangor Presbyterian Church and on the family grave headstone in Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor.

His father, John Orr Senior, died on 7 June 1925 (aged 65).

His mother, Agnes Orr, died on 26 September 1928 (aged 73).