Poole, William Haire (William)
No. 18634, ‘B’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Saturday 1 July 1916 (aged 20)
No known grave
Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 15 A and 15 B)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
In some records his surname is spelt Pool.
William Haire Poole was born on 28 November 1895 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards and he was the youngest son of James and Sarah Jane Poole (nee Orme, sometimes Orum) who were married on 16 March 1878 in St John’s Church of Ireland Church, Laganbank, Belfast.
The Poole family lived in Newtownards, in North Street, in Georges Street, in Court Street and at 110 Greenwell Street.
James Poole worked as a labourer and he and Sarah had at least nine children:
Isabella (born 4 April 1878 in North Street, Newtownards)
Robert James (born 10 May 1880 in Georges Street, Newtownards)
Sarah Jane (born 25 July 1882 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards)
Hugh Larmour (born 18 June 1884 in Court Street, Newtownards)
Samuel Orme (born 22 April 1887 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards)
John O’Haire (born 20 October 1891 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards)
William Haire (born 28 November 1895 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards)
Eliza Orme (born 23 January 1899 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards)
Minnie Stratton (born 17 December 1901 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards)
At least seven of the children were baptised in Greenwell Street Presbyterian Church Newtownards.
Their father, James Poole died of tuberculosis on 18 March 1906 (aged 45) and their mother, Sarah Jane Poole, died of tuberculosis on 29 October 1916 (aged 56).
Prior to the outbreak of the Great War William Haire Poole worked as a cutter in a factory. He was a member of ‘A’ Company in the Ulster Volunteer Force in Newtownards.
William Haire Poole enlisted in Newtownards, he served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division and he was 20 when he was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Initially he was posted as missing in action and in June 1917 it was officially confirmed that he must be presumed to have been killed.
William Poole’s sorrowing sisters and brothers placed a For King and Country notice in the 23 June 1917 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle and they asked for the American papers to copy it. It contained the verse:
One by one their seats have emptied,
One by one they went away;
How the circle has been broken,
Will it be complete one day?
Rifleman William Poole has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France and on Newtownards and District War Memorial.