No. 16934, ‘A’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Saturday 1 July 1916 (aged 25)
No known grave
Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 15 A and 15 B)
Donaghadee and District War Memorial
Shore Street Presbyterian Church Donaghadee
William Patton was born on 30 September 1890 in the townland of Herdstown, Donaghadee and he was a son of William John and Martha Patton (nee Conway) who were married on 9 June 1884 in St Anne’s Church of Ireland Church Belfast and who lived in the townland of Ballyfotherly, Donaghadee. Martha Conway from Nelson Street, Belfast was a daughter of William Conway, a labourer.
William John Patton worked as an agricultural labourer and he and Martha had at least nine children including:
Hugh (born 4 November 1884)
Jane (born 6 November 1886)
John (born 7 December 1888)
William (born 30 September 1890 in Herdstown, Donaghadee)
Robert (born 4 October 1892)
Mary (born 4 March 1895)
Isabella (born 22 November 1898)
Hugh, Jane, William, Robert, Mary and Isabella were baptised in Shore Street Presbyterian Church Donaghadee:
William Patton was 16 when his mother, Martha, died of tuberculosis on 2 January 1907 (aged 44).
Prior to the outbreak of the Great War William Patton worked as an agricultural labourer. He enlisted in Donaghadee, served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division and was 25 when he was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
William Patton had been a member of No Surrender Loyal Orange Lodge (LOL) No. 241 in Donaghadee and the officers and members placed a For King and Country notice in the 16 June 1917 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle. They expressed ‘their deep regret at the loss of their highly respected brethren’. The notice commemorated the deaths of Robert McGaffin (spelt Gaffin), Ballyhay; William Patton, Ballyfotherly and Samuel Strain, Donaghadee. It was signed by William Robert McCauley and Robert John Rea.
Rifleman William Patton (No. 16934) has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France; on Donaghadee and District War Memorial and in Shore Street Presbyterian Church Donaghadee.