Royal Irish Rifles
Newtownards and District War Memorial
The name James Stewart is listed on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in the booklet produced for the Unveiling and Dedication Ceremony held on Saturday 26 May 1934 he is described as a Rifleman in the Royal Irish Rifles. The organising committee of the day decided to include the names of ex-servicemen who died up to that date from what they considered to be war related causes, whether as a result of wounds or disease
Desk searches and public appeals to date have not confirmed conclusively whether the James Stewart commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial is the same person who is commemorated in Kircubbin Parish Church of Ireland Church (Holy Trinity) or if they are two different soldiers.
Rifleman James Stewart (No. 2366) who served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles was also born in Kircubbin. When he enlisted in Belfast on 2 December 1914, he was 19 years 4 months old and single, he worked as a labourer and he cited as his next-of-kin his mother Jane Armour.
Jane Stewart (sometimes Stuart) and William John Armour were married on 30 June 1906 in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s). Jane Stewart from Newtownards was a daughter of Robert Stewart, a traveller. William John Armour from 123 Mill Street, Newtownards was a son of William Armour, a labourer.
Although James Stewart was passed fit for service at attestation it was diagnosed soon thereafter that he had a congenital weakness in both arms, and he was discharged from the Army on 17 February 1915.
A link has not yet been confirmed between these service data and the soldier who is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial.