No. 18713, ‘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
Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s)
Alexander Russell was born on 6 June 1896 in Queen Street, Newtownards and he was a son of John and Jane (Jinnie) Russell (nee Miller, sometimes Millar) who were married on 17 April 1876 in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s). John Russell from Movilla Street was a son of John Russell, a labourer. Jane Miller from Greenwell Street was a daughter of Robert Miller, a weaver.
The Russell family lived in Greenwell Street and Wallace’s Street No. 2 before moving to Upper Movilla Street, Newtownards.
John Russell worked as a woollen weaver and he and Jane had at least ten children including:
Jane (born 6 November 1877 in Movilla Street, Newtownards)
Esther (born 1 January 1883 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards)
Mary (born 25 October 1884 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards)
David (born 13 December 1886 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards)
John (born 16 December 1888 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards)
Sarah (born 31 December 1890 in Wallaces Street, Newtownards)
Alexander (born 6 June 1896 in Queen Street, Newtownards)
The children were baptised in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church. Alexander was the first of the two Russell brothers to be killed in action.
Prior to the outbreak of the Great War Alexander Russell worked in a mill. He enlisted in Newtownards and served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division. Rifleman Alexander Russell was 20 when he was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
Rifleman Alexander Russell (No. 18713) has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France.
Rifleman Alexander Russell and Corporal John Russell are both commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s).