Coulter, Jacob Walter (No. D/J 109264)

Coulter, Jacob Walter (Jakie)


No. D/J 109264, HMS Maori, Royal Navy

Died of wounds on Thursday 2 May 1940 (aged 31)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon, England (Panel 39 Column 3)

Bangor and District War Memorial

Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Comgall’s)


In April 1911 Jacob Walter Coulter (Jakie, aged 2) was staying at 1 Clara Park, Belfast with his maternal grandfather, Jacob Keenan (born in County Roscommon) and who was then working as a shipping agent/shipbroker – a specialist broker who negotiated between would-be charterers and the owners of cargo ships and, also, between the buyers and sellers of ships.  Also living at 1 Clara Park in April 1911 were Jacob’s wife, Emily Keenan (nee Graham), and Jacob’s son, Lamont Keenan.

Jacob Walter Keenan and Emily Graham were married on 19 March 1901 in Trinity Church of Ireland Church, Belfast.  Jacob Walter Keenan, a widowed shipping agent from Belfast was a son of Jacob Keenan, a carter.  Emily Graham, a spinster from Belfast, was a daughter of William Graham, a farmer.

Jacob Walter Keenan had previously been married to Letitia Turkington and they had at least two children:

Walter Lamont (born 27 January 1889 in Front Quarter, Carrickfergus)

Ethel Letitia (Jakie’s mother, born 4 July 1890 in Front Quarter, Carrickfergus)

Their mother, Letitia Keenan died of cancer on 26 April 1899 (aged 42).

Jacob Walter (Jakie) Coulter was born on 22 September 1908 at 18 Lendrick Street, Belfast and he was a son of Samuel and Ethel Letitia Coulter (nee Keenan) who lived at 18 Lendrick Street and later at 24 Albert Street, Belfast.  Samuel Coulter worked as a labourer and he and Ethel Letitia Keenan were married on 25 August 1908 in Belfast Registrar’s Office.

Jacob Walter Coulter’s paternal grandparents were Samuel and Louisa Coulter (nee Morrison).  Samuel Coulter worked as a labourer and he and Louisa Morrison were married on 24 December 1886 in Donegall Pass Presbyterian Church, Belfast.  They lived at 13 Mayne Street, Belfast and had four children including:

Samuel (Jakie’s father, born 14 November 1887)

Robert (born 26 November 1888)

Two other children who died in infancy

Their father, Samuel Coulter, died of peritonitis at 12 Hutchinson Street, Belfast on 4 February 1900 (aged 52).

When Louisa Coulter (nee Morrison) died on 1 April 1923 (aged 72) she was living at 13 Ardoyne Village, Belfast.  Louisa Coulter was buried in Belfast City Cemetery, Glenalina Extension (Grave H. 20).

Jacob Walter Keenan of Clara Park, Neill’s Hill, Belfast died on 29 September 1917 and was buried in Dundonald Cemetery (Grave E5. 838).  His widow, Emily Keenan (nee Graham) moved to Brunswick Road in Bangor.

Jacob Walter (Jakie) Coulter’s parents, Samuel and Ethel Coulter (nee Keenan), had three other children all of whom died in infancy and were buried in the Public Ground of Belfast City Cemetery:

Ethel Louisa (born 20 October 1909; died of debility 20 November 1909 aged 4 weeks)

Unnamed male child (died 18 October 1910 aged 12 hours)

Samuel Maurice (born 25 August 1911; died of pneumonia 21 November 1911 aged 12 weeks)

Jacob Walter (Jakie) Coulter lived with his maternal step-grandmother Emily Keenan (nee Graham) in Brunswick Road, Bangor and he joined the Royal Navy around 1924.

On 5 August 1937 Jakie Coulter married Christina (Teenie) Brown in Bangor Abbey and during the Second World War Teenie lived with her parents, Robert and Christina Brown, at 10 Croft Street, Bangor.

Jakie Coulter served as a Telegraphist on board HMS Maori and he had completed 16 years of service in the Royal Navy when he died on 2 May 1940 from shrapnel wounds in the neck following a bomb explosion during a German air attack.  HMS Maori was a Tribal-class destroyer built by the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company Ltd., at Govan in Scotland.  She was commissioned in 1939 and saw service with the Home Fleet and the Mediterranean Fleet.  Following an attack by German aircraft on 12 February 1942, HMS Maori sank at her moorings in Malta Grand Harbour.  She was subsequently raised and scuttled off Malta in July 1945.

After Telegraphist Jakie Coulter (No. D/J 109264) died, his wife Teenie placed a death notice in the County Down Spectator and it contained the verse:

The Harbour lights are gleaming bright

The gales and storms are o’er

And safe at last, all danger past

At anchor by the shore

There were newspaper tributes from Teenie’s parents, Robert and Christina Brown, and, also from his brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: William and Lydia Truesdale of 37 Belfast Road, Bangor; John and Lily Conway of 63 Elmwood Avenue, Bangor and Robert Brown Junior of 10 Croft Street.

In 1941 Teenie placed an In Memoriam notice in the County Down Spectator and it contained the verse:

If I had all the world to give,

I would give it, yes, and more,

To see the face of him I loved

Come smiling through the door.

In 1942 Teenie placed an In Memoriam notice in the County Down Spectator and it contained the verse:

Afar he sleeps – the ocean’s roar

Disturbs his calm repose no more

What though no voice of home was near

To soothe with love his dying ear

The cloud is passed from that clear brow

It glows in Heaven’s own brightness now

In 1943 Teenie placed an In Memoriam notice in the County Down Spectator and it contained the verse:

Three years have passed, how long it seems,

But in my heart your face still beams,

A cheerful smile, a heart of gold,

No better husband this world could hold,

He bade no one a last farewell,

He could not say good-bye,

His soul had flown before I knew;

But memories never die.

In 1944 Teenie placed a Roll of Honour notice in the County Down Spectator and it contained the verse:

I loved him – yes!  No tongue can tell

How deep, how dearly, and how well,

Christ loved him, too, and thought it best,

To take him home with Him to rest.

In 1945 Teenie placed a Roll of Honour notice in the County Down Spectator and it contained the verse:

It is not the tears at the moment shed,

That can tell how beloved is the soul that’s fled,

Tis the tears through many a long night wept,

Through a life by their loss all shaded;

Tis the sad remembrance fondly kept,

When all other griefs have faded.

Telegraphist Jacob Walter (Jakie) Coulter (No. D/J 109264) is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial and in Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Comgall’s).