Tyrrell, John Marcus (Marcus)
Flight Commander (Captain CWGC)
Royal Air Force and 3rd Reserve Battalion, Princess Victoria’s (Royal Irish Fusiliers)
Killed in action on Thursday 20 June 1918 (aged 23)
Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France (Grave VII. B. 51)
Bangor and District War Memorial
Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque
Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum
First Bangor Presbyterian Church
Royal Belfast Academical Institution (RBAI)
Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) War Memorial
Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) Book of Remembrance
Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour
North of Ireland Cricket Club Memorial Plaque (includes those members of the Club who played Rugby Football)
Family grave headstone in Belfast City Cemetery
John Marcus Tyrrell was born on 27 March 1895 at 34/36 Fairview Buildings, Crumlin Road, Belfast and he was a son of John and Jeannie Tyrrell (nee Todd) who were married on 12 February 1885 in Ballysillan Presbyterian Church. John Tyrrell was a son of John Tyrrell, a farmer. Jeannie Todd was a daughter of Samuel Todd, a grocer.
John Marcus Tyrrell was baptised in St Enoch’s Presbyterian Church Belfast.
The Tyrrell family lived at Brookville, 209 Antrim Road, Belfast and, during the summer months, at The Cairn, Ballyholme, Bangor.
John Tyrrell was a wholesale grocer and army contractor and an Alderman and Justice of the Peace. His business address was Fairview Buildings, Crumlin Road, Belfast. John and Jeannie Tyrrell had ten children:
William (born 20 November 1885 at 6 Hopewell Street, Belfast)
James Manderson (born 12 September 1887 at 6 Hopewell Street, Belfast)
Susan Maud (born 8 July 1889 at 9 Shankill Road, Belfast)
Herbert (born 28 September 1891 at 36 Crumlin Road, Belfast)
Jeannie Ethel (born 16 June 1893 at 34/36 Fairview Buildings, Crumlin Road, Belfast; died 28 May 1910 aged 16)
John Marcus (born 27 March 1895 at 34/36 Fairview Buildings, Crumlin Road, Belfast)
Elizabeth Ruth (born 28 January 1897 at 34/36 Fairview Buildings, Crumlin Road, Belfast)
Walter Alexander (born 23 August 1898 at 34/36 Fairview Buildings, Crumlin Road, Belfast)
Dorothy (born 16 August 1900 in Ruskin Villas, Bangor)
Charles Frederick Gerald (born 20 August 1902 in Ballyholme)
William Tyrrell (brother of Marcus and Walter) was a graduate of Queen’s University Belfast and in August 1914 he went to France as medical officer with a battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers. William Tyrrell was awarded the Distinguished Service Order with Bar and the Military Cross, he attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and survived the war.
Marcus Tyrrell was killed in action eleven days after his brother Walter.
John Marcus Tyrrell was educated at RBAI and Queen’s University Belfast where he studied medicine. He was a member of the Officers’ Training Corps at QUB and on 15 August 1914 he received his commission in the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers. He was wounded in action in May 1915 and spent the following winter in the trenches with the Faugh-a-Ballaghs. He was granted two months medical leave on account of ‘debility and anaemia’ and subsequently he was transferred to the Royal Air Force.
On 20 June 1918, eleven days after his brother Walter was killed, Marcus Tyrrell died while attempting to bring his aircraft back to the aerodrome after he had been shot. Marcus had attended his brother’s funeral on 11 June and in his last letter home he wrote, ‘I am coming home on leave quite soon and so am looking forward to seeing you all’. This was not to be and, after Marcus died, Mr R.M. Jones MA, Principal of RBAI paid tribute to Marcus’s intellectual ability, his athletic prowess (he played rugby for Ulster) and his fine character. He commented that Marcus Tyrrell was the 101st Old Boy from the school to have fallen in the Great War.
Captain John Marcus Tyrrell was 23 when he died and he was buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France. There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
UNTIL THE DAY BREAK AND THE SHADOWS FLEE AWAY
Captain John Marcus Tyrrell is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial; in the Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum (Page 23); on the RBL Bangor Branch Memorial Plaque; in First Bangor Presbyterian Church; in RBAI; on the QUB War Memorial; in the QUB Book of Remembrance (Page 54) and in the Belfast Book of Honour (Page 636). He is also commemorated on the family grave headstone in Belfast City Cemetery. His mother Jeannie died on 14 May 1922 (aged 59) and his father John died on 28 October 1925 (aged 61).
John Marcus Tyrrell is also commemorated on the North of Ireland Cricket Club Memorial Plaque (includes those members of the Club who played Rugby Football).
[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.]