No. 18/1613, 12th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Thursday 21 March 1918 (aged 19)
No known grave
Pozieres Memorial, France (Panel 74 to 76)
Bangor and District War Memorial
Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque
Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum
Conlig Presbyterian Church
Family grave headstone in Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor
In some records his surname is spelt Walsh and in others Welch.
Hugh Welsh was born on 20 November 1898 in Conlig and he was a son of William James and Catherine Welsh (nee Sloan) who were married on 11 July 1888 in Ballyblack Presbyterian Church. William James Welsh, a labourer from Whitespots, Newtownards was a son of James Welsh, a labourer. Catherine Sloan from Conlig was a daughter of Anthony Sloan, a weaver. Their witnesses included James and Sarah Sloan.
After they were married, William James and Catherine Welsh lived for a time in the United States of America and, when they returned, they lived in Bangor Bog and then in Conlig.
William James Welsh worked as a caretaker, Catherine Welsh worked as an embroiderer and they had five children:
Sarah Jane (born 8 June 1892 in Battle Creek, Michigan, USA)
William Anthony (Bill, born 7 March 1894 in Battle Creek, Michigan, USA; died 17 November 1979)
Margaret Elizabeth (Maggie Lizzie, born 6 December 1895 in Battle Creek, Michigan, USA; died 15 December 1988)
Catherine (born 6 September 1897 in Conlig)
Hugh (born 20 November 1898 in Conlig)
Bill Welsh was caretaker of the Conlig reservoirs and he lived with Maggie in the Water Service cottage (since demolished) beside Conlig Presbyterian Church.
Hugh Welsh enlisted in Newtownards, served with the 12th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division and he was 19 when he was killed in action on 21 March 1918 at the start of the German Spring Offensive. Rifleman Hugh Welsh (No. 18/1613) has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Pozieres Memorial in France; on Bangor and District War Memorial; in the Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum (Page 62); on the Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque; in Conlig Presbyterian Church and on the family grave headstone in Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor.
Rifleman Hugh Welsh’s mother Catherine died on 26 December 1925 (aged 64) and his father William James died on 21 January 1948 (aged 86).
Rifleman Hugh Welsh (No. 18/1613) was a first cousin of Rifleman William Andrew Sloan (No. 6791); Hugh Welsh’s mother Catherine and William Andrew Sloan’s father Anthony were sister and brother.