No. 29545, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers transferred to
No. 3447, 8th Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment
Killed in action on Monday 12 August 1918 (aged 39)
Le Grand Hasard Military Cemetery, France (Plot 2. Row D. Grave 3)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s)
John Pollock’s mother, Mary Craford (sometimes Crawford), was unmarried when John was born on 1 February 1880 in Wallace’s Street, Newtownards. When his birth was registered two days later, no forename was registered. After Mary married David Pollock, John used the surname Pollock. Mary Craford and David Pollock were married on 3 January 1882 in Newtownards Registrar’s Office. David Pollock from Church Street, Newtownards was an Army Pensioner (he had been a Private in the Lincolnshire Regiment) and he was a son of Hugh Pollock, a teacher. Mary Crawford from Church Street, Newtownards was a daughter of James Crawford, a labourer.
John and Mary Pollock lived in Robert Street, Newtownards and they had at least one child:
James (known as Edward in the 1901 census; born 6 February 1883 in Mill Street, Newtownards)
John Pollock was 19 when his mother, Mary Pollock, died of acute myelitis in Down Asylum on 15 March 1899 (aged 50).
Prior to the outbreak of the Great War John Pollock worked as a general labourer in the linen spinning mills of Messrs George Walker & Company Ltd., Newtownards. He and Mary Jane Johnston were married on 12 October 1901 in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s). John Pollock from 1 Millmount Terrace, Newtownards was a son of David Pollock, a labourer. Mary Jane Johnston from Newtownards was a daughter of Moses Johnston, a labourer.
John and Mary Jane Pollock (nee Johnston) had five children:
Edward Joseph (born 3 January 1903 in Ann Street, Newtownards; died of pertussis 30 January 1903)
Margaret (Maggie, born 11 April 1905 in Mark Street, Newtownards; died of gastro enteritis 5 November 1907 aged 2)
John (born 2 May 1908 in West Street, Newtownards)
Moses (born 15 March 1910 in West Street, Newtownards)
Edward (born 5 June 1911 in Front Shuttlefield, Newtownards; died of bronchitis 7 March 1914)
The Pollock family lived in Ann Street, Mark Street, West Street and Front Shuttlefield, Newtownards.
Mary Jane Pollock died of heart disease on 17 June 1914 (aged 33) and she was buried in Movilla New Cemetery, Newtownards.
John Pollock served with Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (No. 29545) and then with the 8th Battalion Royal Irish Regiment (No. 3447). He was wounded twice in France and he was 39 when he was killed in action on 12 August 1918 – leaving two orphaned children, John (aged 10) and Moses (aged 8).
Lieutenant O. Patterson wrote to the bereaved family to express sympathy on behalf of the officers, NCOs and men in Private John Pollock’s company. He wrote, ‘I regret to inform you that your father was killed in action by shell fire’.
Private John Pollock was buried on 13 August and Lieutenant Patterson continued, ‘Your father was a good soldier and popular among his comrades.’
Private John Pollock’s sons, John (aged 10), and Moses, (aged 8), who were then living at 13 Ann Street in Newtownards placed a For King and Country notice in the 7 September 1918 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle. It contained the verse:
Dearest children, I have left you
To the care of God above;
Do not let my absence grieve you,
For my sake each other love.
There was another notice in the same newspaper and it was placed by his aunt and uncle Ellen and William John Dorrian who lived at 4 Talbot Street, Newtownards. It contained the verse:
Upright and just in all his ways,
Honest and faithful till the end of his days.
Forgotten to the world by some he may be,
But dear to my memory he ever will be.
Ellen Crawford and William John Dorrian were married on 5 March 1881 in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s). Ellen Crawford (aged 20) from Ballyalton, Newtownards was a daughter of James Crawford, a labourer. William John Dorrian, a labourer from East Street, Newtownards was a son of William John Dorrian, a quarry labourer. William John and Ellen Dorrian (nee Crawford) had thirteen children and during the Great War, as well as losing her nephew, John Pollock, Ellen Dorrian lost:
- Her son James Dorrian (No. 16420)
- Her son-in-law Robert McCartney (No. 13/343)
- Her son-in-law Edward McAvoy (No. 18125)
- Edward McAvoy’s brother John McAvoy (No. 18183)
Private John Pollock is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s).