Stewart, Albert Lewis
Distinguished Service Order
22nd Battalion Machine Gun Corps (Infantry)
Killed in action Thursday 4 October 1917 (aged 28)
Hooge Crater Cemetery, Belgium (Grave VII. E. 15)
Royal Belfast Academical Institution (RBAI)
North of Ireland Cricket Club
Windsor Presbyterian Church
Family grave headstone in Holywood Cemetery
Albert Lewis Stewart was born on 19 February 1889 at 28 University Street, Belfast and he was a son of James and Isabella Stewart (nee McDowell) who were married on 11 October 1882 in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church. James Stewart, a widower and a law clerk from Holywood was a son of Samuel Stewart, a yeoman. Isabella McDowell, a spinster from Ballykeel, was a daughter of William McDowell, a farmer.
The Stewart family lived in Belfast at 28 University Street, 43 Eglantine Avenue and 101 Wellesley Avenue.
James Stewart was a solicitor and he and Isabella had four children:
Mabel Wilson (born 13 January 1884 at 28 University Street, Belfast)
Lilian McDowell (born 4 May 1885 at 28 University Street, Belfast; died 17 September 1949)
William Charles (born 15 May 1886 at 28 University Street, Belfast; died 1 May 1966)
Albert Lewis (born 19 February 1889 at 28 University Street, Belfast)
Albert Lewis Stewart attended the Royal Belfast Academical Institution (RBAI) and he played rugby for the school. He also played rugby for the North of Ireland Football Club and was capped three times for Ireland between 1913 and 1914, once against Wales and twice against France.
Albert Lewis Stewart worked as a chartered accountant and he attended Windsor Presbyterian Church
Albert Lewis Stewart was a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force and he applied for a commission in September 1914. He was commissioned into the Royal Irish Rifles on 22 September 1914 and was assigned to the 10th Service Battalion. He underwent training at Newcastle, Co Down and on 23 November 1914 was made a temporary Lieutenant. He was posted to Ballykinlar and in May 1915 he went with the 36th Ulster Division to Seavord, Sussex. From there he went to Bramshott Camp, Hampshire. On 25 August 1915, he was promoted to the rank of temporary Major.
Major Albert Lewis Stewart served with the 22nd Battalion Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) and he was 28 when he was killed in action on 4 October 1917 during the Battle of Broodseinde (an Allied attack during the Third Battle of Ypres).
Major Albert Lewis Stewart was buried in Hooge Crater Cemetery, Belgium.
Major Albert Lewis Stewart is commemorated on the family grave headstone in Holywood Cemetery and on the memorial plaques in the Royal Belfast Academical Institution (RBAI); the North of Ireland Cricket Club (includes those members of the Club who played Rugby Football) and Windsor Presbyterian Church.
[The North of Ireland Football Club (members played Rugby Football as opposed to Soccer) was founded by members of the North of Ireland Cricket Club and the North of Ireland Cricket Club Memorial Plaque commemorates members of both Clubs. Members of the Football Club were also members of the Cricket Club but not all members of the Cricket Club were members of the Football Club.]
For action during the Battle of the Somme Major Albert Lewis Stewart was recommended for the Victoria Cross but this award was not approved. He was mentioned in despatches twice and on 1 January 1918 he was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Order for ‘distinguished service in the field’.
Major Albert Lewis Stewart’s father, James Stewart, died of cardiac failure on 25 October 1917 (aged 77) – three weeks after his son died.
Major Albert Lewis Stewart’s mother, Isabella Stewart, died on 3 July 1934 (aged 84).