Steele-Nicholson, Alfred Francis James

Steele-Nicholson, Alfred Francis James (Alfred)


5th & 1st Battalions, Royal Irish Rifles

Killed in action on Thursday 16 August 1917 (aged 31)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium (Panel 138 to 140 & 162 to 162 A & 163 A)

Bangor and District War Memorial

Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque

Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum

Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Comgall’s)

Bangor Grammar School

Brother of Lieutenant William Herbert Hamilton Steele-Nicholson


Alfred Francis James Steele-Nicholson was born on 5 November 1885 in Ballow House, Bangor and he was a son of James and Maria Steele-Nicholson (nee Macartney, sometimes McCartney) who were married on 30 October 1870 in Culdaff Parish Church of Ireland Church, Culdaff, Co Donegal.

The Steele-Nicholson family lived in Falmore House, Co Donegal and in Ballow (sometimes Balloo) House, Bangor.

James Steele-Nicholson described himself as a ‘gentleman’ and he and Maria had at least twelve children:

George Percy (born 15 February 1872 in Falmore House, Co Donegal)

Caroline Edith (born 17 August 1873 in Ballyholme, Bangor)

William Herbert Hamilton (born 27 November 1875 in Falmore House, Co Donegal)

Maria Kathleen Isabel (born 6 March 1877 in Ballow House, Bangor)

Robert Charles Henry (born 1 October 1878 in Ballow House, Bangor)

Arthur John Macartney (born 18 December 1880 in Ballow House, Bangor)

Corrianna Georgina (born 18 March 1882 in Ballow House, Bangor)

Margaret Ethel Louise (born 13 January 1884 in Ballow House, Bangor)

Alfred Francis James (born 5 November 1885 in Ballow House, Bangor)

Mary Elizabeth Maud Grace (born 6 April 1887 in Ballow House, Bangor)

Florence Emily (born 13 November 1888 in Ballow House, Bangor)

Eveline Dorothy (born 5 January 1891 in Ballow House, Bangor)

At least five of the children were baptised in Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Comgall’s).

James Steele-Nicholson died on 4 May 1899 in Ballow House (aged 80).  Maria Steele-Nicholson died on 1 October 1926.

The Steele-Nicholson family gained military distinction through Brigadier-General John Nicholson who was on active service between 1839 and 1857 in the Anglo-Afghan and Anglo-Sikh wars and the Indian Mutiny.

Alfred Francis James Steele-Nicholson and William Herbert Hamilton Steele-Nicholson were grandsons of George Augustus Chichester Macartney of Holywood House, Co Down and their great-uncles, John and Arthur Macartney, were killed in action at the Khyber Pass during the Second Afghan War.

Alfred Francis James Steele-Nicholson attended Bangor Grammar School.  He moved to the United States of America and returned in early 1915 to run a timber and creosoting business.  On obtaining his commission on 15 June 1915 he was appointed to the 5th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles and on 6 June 1916 he joined the 1st Battalion.  He was appointed acting Captain on 12 August 1917.

Captain Alfred Steele-Nicholson was 31 when he was killed in action at Ypres on 16 August 1917 and this was officially confirmed some months later, after he had initially been posted as wounded and missing in action.  Captain Alfred Steele-Nicholson has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belgium; on Bangor and District War Memorial; in the Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum (Page 22) and on the Memorial Plaques in RBL Bangor Branch, Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Comgall’s) and Bangor Grammar School.