Rice, William

Rice, William

Gunner

No. 195981 ‘A’ Battery 190th Brigade Royal Field Artillery

Died of wounds on Wednesday 26 September 1917 (aged 29)

Buried:

Larch Wood (Railway Cutting) Cemetery, Belgium (Special Memorial A. 6)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Annals of Cloughey Presbyterian Church

Family grave headstone in Kirkistown Cemetery, Cloughey, Co Down

BIOGRAPHY

It is recorded in the annals of Cloughey Presbyterian Church that William Rice, who was a member of the congregation and the husband of Margaret Rice (nee McNamara), was killed in action in 1917.

The old Presbyterian Church in Cloughey was built in 1842 on a plot of ground between the road and the sea which had been donated by John Echlin of Echlinville and the Rev. I.R. Echlin.  Before that, services were held in Kirkistown Castle.

The new Presbyterian Church in Cloughey is located at 69B Main Road BT22 1HY and there are no war memorials in either the old or the new churches.

William Rice was born on 12 November 1887 in Derriaghy, Co Antrim, and he was a son of William John Rice (a carter) and Margaret Rice (nee Steel).

At the beginning of April 1911, William Rice (aged 23) was working as a postman in Portaferry.  He was living at 37 Market Square, Portaferry where he boarded with Robert and Minnie Lemon.  Robert Lemon worked as a master carpenter.

William Rice and Margaret (Maggie) McNamara (aged 20) were married on 14 April 1911 in Cloughey Presbyterian Church.  William Rice from Portaferry was a son of William Rice, a carter.  Maggie McNamara from Cloughey was a daughter of William John McNamara, a tailor.

The Rice family lived in High Street, Portaferry and later their address was the Post Office, Cloughey.

William and Margaret Rice (nee McNamara) had two children:

Marjorie Jeanetta (born 17 February 1912 in High Street, Portaferry; died 15 March 1997)

William John (born 13 December 1913 in Cloughey; after leaving school he worked as a seaman and was drowned at sea on 13 November 1964)

During the Second World War William Rice served with the Royal Field Artillery.

In the Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1919 database it is recorded that Gunner William Rice (No. 195981) enlisted in Manchester.

Gunner William Rice (No. 195981) died of wounds on 29 September 1917 and was buried in Larch Wood (Railway Cutting) Cemetery, Belgium.  There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:

THEIR GLORY SHALL NOT

 BE BLOTTED OUT

In the Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects, it is recorded that it was Gunner William Rice’s widow Maggie who received the outstanding payments that were due to him.

Margaret (Maggie) Rice (nee McNamara) died on 27 May 1971.