Weir, Henry Leebody

Weir, Henry Leebody (Harry)

Second Lieutenant

12th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles           

Died of disease on Monday 28 October 1918 (aged 30)


Cologne Southern Cemetery, Germany (Grave VII. C. 27)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Bangor and District War Memorial

Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque

Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum

Wesley Centenary Methodist Church Bangor

Bangor Grammar School

Bangor Rugby Club


Harry Leebody Weir was born on 8 April 1888 in Lower Sydenham, Belfast and he was a son of William Doherty Weir and Jane (Jeannie) Weir (nee Maze) who were married on 6 April 1885 in Upper Falls Methodist Church, Belfast.  William Doherty Weir was a son of Henry Weir, a carpenter.  Jane Maze, a minor, was a daughter of James Maze, a farmer.

The Weir family lived in Pickie Rock House, 71 Seacliff Road, Bangor.  In other records their address is Bella Vista, Bangor and in others 11 Gray’s Hill, Bangor.

William Weir worked as a litho-artist and he and Jeannie had at least five children:

Annie (born 28 May 1886 at 17 My Lady’s Road, Belfast)

Henry Leebody (Harry, born 8 April 1888 in Lower Sydenham, Belfast)

Catherine (Katie,  born around 1891/1892 in Glasgow)

William Doherty (born around 1894/1895 in Nottinghamshire)

Alfred Russell Wallace (born 16 December 1900 in Mossvale, Seacliffe Road, Bangor)

Harry Weir attended Bangor Grammar School and, prior to the outbreak of the Great War, he worked as a hardware clerk for Messrs Riddel’s Ltd in Donegall Place, Belfast.  He played rugby for Bangor, and at junior inter-provincial level.  He was an amateur boxer and won competitions both before and after he joined the army.  Aged 26 years and 5 months Harry enlisted at Clandeboye Camp, Bangor on 14 September 1914 and he served briefly in ‘A’ Company 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (No. 19312).  On 22 December 1914 he was transferred to the 36th (Ulster) Divisional Train (Army Service Corps) (No. T/4/041167).  He was promoted Corporal on 1 March 1915 and discharged to a commission with the 18th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles on 31 July 1917 at Woolwich Dockyard.  It was noted that he was 5 feet 9½ inches tall with a dark complexion, brown eyes, and black hair.   He went to France with the 12th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles and was taken prisoner of war on 21 March 1918 during the German Spring Offensive.  He was held in Cologne and died of pneumonia following influenza in a hospital there on 28 October 1918.  Relatives did not hear of Harry’s death until December 1918 when Lieutenant W.H.K. Gibson, who was present at his funeral, returned home from Germany.  Harry’s brother William also served during the Great War and he was discharged on medical grounds from the Black Watch.  Certain of Second Lieutenant Harry Weir’s effects were returned by the German government through diplomatic channels – plate, two spoons, knife, five keys, comb, regimental badge, note book, and various letters

Second Lieutenant Harry Leebody Weir was buried in Cologne Southern Cemetery, Germany and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:


Second Lieutenant Harry Leebody Weir is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial; in the Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum (Page 57); on the Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque; in Wesley Centenary Methodist Church Bangor; in Bangor Grammar School and in Bangor Rugby Club.