Tate, John P. Kirkpatrick (No. 19952)

Tate, John P. Kirkpatrick (Jack)

Rifleman

No. 19952, ‘B’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles

Died of wounds on Monday 7 February 1916 (aged 20)

Buried:

Forceville Communal Cemetery and Extension, France (North boundary of Extension)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Newtownards and District War Memorial

Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s)

BIOGRAPHY

John P. Kirkpatrick Tate was born on 30 November 1895 in Francis Street, Newtownards and he was a son of John and Sarah Jane Tate (nee Kirkpatrick) who were married on 1 August 1884 in St Stephen’s Church of Ireland Church Belfast.  John Tate (aged 27), a leather cutter from Broughmore, Lisburn was a son of George Tate (a farmer).  Sarah Jane Kirkpatrick (aged 22), a teacher from 66 Hopeton Street, Belfast was a daughter of Arthur Kirkpatrick, a farmer.

The Tate family lived at 12 Francis Street, Newtownards and had a business in North Street.

John Tate Senior worked as a leather cutter and then as a wine and spirit merchant and he and Sarah had at least nine children including:

George (born 20 January 1886 in Broughmore, Blaris)

Janetta (born 24 September 1887 in Lissue, Blaris)

Agnes (born 25 September 1888 in Lissue, Blaris)

Unnamed female child (born prematurely 3 December 1891 in Francis Street, Newtownards; died 4 December 1891 aged 4 hours)

Gwendoline Alice May (born 13 May 1893 in Francis Street, Newtownards; died of pertussis 18 May 1894 aged one)

John P. Kirkpatrick (born 30 November 1895 in Francis Street, Newtownards)

Alfred William Kirkpatrick (born 14 April 1898 in Francis Street, Newtownards)

Olive Eileen (born 5 January 1900 in Francis Street, Newtownards)

Jack Tate was educated at Newtownards Model School and Belfast Mercantile College and prior to the outbreak of the Great War he worked as an apprentice in the wholesale department of Messrs Riddel’s Ltd in Donegall Place Belfast.  He was a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force and he enlisted in Newtownards.

Rifleman Jack Tate was one of four Ardsmen who were killed in action together on 7 February 1916.  They were all members of the 13th (Service) Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles (1st Co Down Volunteers).  The others were Rifleman James Calvert of Tullycore Killinchy, Rifleman David McConnell of 22 Wallace’s Street No. 2 Newtownards and Bandsman Charlie Newell of 54 South Street Newtownards.

The officer in charge of the platoon was Lieutenant Elliott Johnston, a son of Samuel Johnston JP, Glen Printing and Finishing Works in Newtownards.  He described the circumstances of their deaths.  During a heavy bombardment a shell from the German lines exploded in the midst of a party of men killing three and wounding three.  James Calvert, David McConnell and Charlie Newell were killed outright and Jack Tate died later from his injuries.  The four men were laid to rest together and the burial service was conducted by one of the brigade chaplains, the Rev Charles Campbell Manning, Rector of Comber.

On that occasion Lieutenant Johnston escaped injury but Lieutenant Elliott Johnston was killed in action five months later, on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

Rifleman Jack Tate (No. 19952) is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Mark’s).

On 8 February 1917 – one year and a day after Rifleman Jack Tate died of his wounds – his father John died.