Thompson, William John
No. 18829, ‘B’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Saturday 1 July 1916 (aged 28)
No known grave
Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 15 A and 15 B)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
First Newtownards Presbyterian Church
William John Thompson was born on 15 February 1888 in Ballycullen, Newtownards and he was a son of William John and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Thompson (nee Baillie) who were married on 7 May 1885 in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church. William John Thompson from Ballycullen was a son of Hugh Thompson, a labourer. Lizzie Baillie, a mill worker from Ballycullen, was a daughter of David Baillie, a labourer.
The Thompson family lived in the townland of Ballycullen, Newtownards.
William John Thompson Senior worked as bleach-field linen labourer and he and Elizabeth had at least seven children:
Mary Jane (born 15 November 1885 in Scrabo)
William John (born 15 February 1888 in Ballycullen)
Walter (born 5 June 1890 in Ballycullen)
Norman (born 13 March 1892 in Ballycullen)
Andrew Mawhinney (born 24 December 1893 in Ballycullen)
Elizabeth (Lizzie, born 21 December 1896 in Ballycullen)
Annie (born 25 June 1899 in Ballycullen)
The children were baptised in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church.
William John Thompson Senior was working as a bread server when he died of pneumonia on 15 February 1905 (aged 41) and the family moved from Ballycullen to John Street and later to 161 Mill Street, Newtownards.
Prior to the outbreak of the Great War William John Thompson worked as a hemstitch mechanic in a factory and he was a member of ‘B’ Company of the Newtownards contingent of the Ulster Volunteer Force.
He enlisted in Newtownards, served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division and was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
Initially he was reported as missing in action and in June 1917 it was officially confirmed that he must be presumed to have been killed in action.
His family placed a For King and Country notice in the 23 June 1917 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle.
Corporal William John Thompson (No. 18829) was 28 when he died, he has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France; on Newtownards and District War Memorial and in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church.