Meredith, James (Jim)
No. 1467261, 5 Battery, 2 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery
Killed in action on Thursday 25 September 1941 (aged 40)
Tobruk War Cemetery, Libya (Grave 6. K. 4)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
James Meredith was born on 8 May 1901 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards and he was a son of William and Bridget Meredith (nee Morrison) who were married on 7 October 1899 in Second Newtownards Presbyterian Church. William Meredith, a soldier from Newtownards, was a son of William Meredith, a dealer. Bridget Morrison from Newtownards, who was born in India, was a daughter of James Morrison, a labourer.
William Meredith served with the Royal Irish Rifles in both the South African War and the Great War. In civilian life William Meredith worked as a labourer and for a time he, Bridget, and their son William boarded with James and Margaret Gardiner in Greenwell Street, Newtownards.
William and Bridget Meredith had at least seven children:
William (born 13 January 1900 in North Street, Newtownards)
James (born 8 May 1901 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards)
Harry (born 25 December 1902 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards)
Hugh (born 3 January 1905 in Greenwell Street, Newtownards)
Rose Ann (born 2 April 1907 in Ann Street, Newtownards)
Bridget (born 8 May 1909 in Ann Street, Newtownards)
Edward (born 5 May 1911 in Ann Street, Newtownards)
The Meredith family lived at 18 Ann Street, Newtownards.
James Meredith was an active member of St. Patrick’s Amateur Dramatic Society in Newtownards, later known as Ards Players. He was also a member of St. Patrick’s Billiard Club in Newtownards.
Gunner James Meredith (No. 1467261) was the husband of Sarah Meredith (nee McKibben) of 65 Mark Street, Newtownards. They were married on 2 December 1924 in Newtownards Roman Catholic Church and they had three children – Eddie, Olive, and James (Jamesy).
During the Second World War James Meredith served with the Royal Artillery, as did his brothers William and Harry.
His brother-in-law John Cardy, husband of Bridget and father of Norma and Brendan, was also on active service.
Harry Meredith was a Prisoner-of-War in Italy and his wife Nellie and daughters Breeda, Pat and Mary lived at The Shore, Portaferry.
William Meredith was discharged from the Army when he became unfit for active service.
His brother-in-law Samuel Kerr (Sarah’s sister Lizzie’s husband) was also on active service.
James Meredith’s brother-in-law Corporal John McKibbin (his wife Sarah’s brother) was killed in action during the First World War.
Gunner James Meredith (No. 1467261) was killed in action on 25 September 1941 during the siege of Tobruk along with three other men from Newtownards – Joseph Dalzell, Samuel Graham and William John McNeilly.
Gunner James Meredith’s family placed a Killed on Active Service notice in the 18 October 1941 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle and it contained the verse:
Immaculate Heart of Mary
Your prayers on him extol;
Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
Have mercy on his soul.
When last we saw him smile
He looked so strong and brave,
We little thought how soon he’d be
Laid in a hero’s grave.
Other notices contained the texts:
A loving friend, true and kind,
Loved by those he left behind.
He played a Hero’s part in the world’s greatest story,
And the curtain fell in a blaze of glory.
Gunner James Meredith’s widow lived in Mark Street, Newtownards.
In subsequent years there were Our Heroes – In Memoriam notices which contained the following verses:
Although we’re in a far-off land,
And your grave we cannot see,
As long as life and memory last
We shall remember thee.
The place in our home is now vacant,
The voice we so loved is now still;
Oh Lord! Teach us humble submission,
To say ‘Blessed Lord, tis Thy will’.
Daddy, from your home among the angels,
Look down on us, and love us as of yore;
Be our Guardian Angel, daddy dearest,
Until we meet to part no more.
Dearest Jim, thou has left us,
And thy loss we deeply feel,
But the God who has bereft us
He can all our sorrows heal.
All we ask of those that knew him,
Say a prayer for him today.
We who loved him sadly miss him
As it dawns another year;
In the lonely hours of thinking
Thoughts of you are ever near.
For I have lost my life’s companion,
A life linked with my own,
And day by day I miss him more
As I walk through life alone.
Not a day do we forget you,
In our hearts you are ever near,
God alone knows how we miss you,
Bringing many a silent tear.
Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, intercede for him.
Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on his soul.
As in life we fondly loved him,
We’ll forget him not in death;
But before God’s Holy Altar,
Pray for his eternal rest.
In the shelter of Thy Sacred Heart,
Dear Jesus, may he rest,
We miss him much, but still we know
Thy holy will is best.
Oh, compassionate Jesus, grant him rest.
Our Lady of Sorrow, intercede for him.
Three years ago I had to part
With one I loved with all my heart;
His trials were great, his pleasures few,
God only knows what he went through.
We miss thy kind and willing hand
Thy fond and easnest care;
Our home is dark without you, Daddy,
We miss you everywhere.
A token of love and remembrance
His memory we will never forget.
Thy pleasant smile, the cheery face,
We now no more behold,
The lips that spoke so kind to us,
Are now for ever cold.
Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, have mercy on him.
On his soul sweet Jesus have mercy.
Silent thoughts, true and tender
Just to show that we remember.
A foreign grave is a painful thing,
Where loving hands no flowers can bring,
May God in His mercy tenderly care
For the soul of our loved one sleeping there.
He was a father good and kind,
No one on earth like him we’ll find,
Happy and smiling, always content,
Loved and respected wherever he went.
St. Theresa of the Child Jesus, intercede for him.
Mother of Perpetual Succour, intercede for him.
We will never forget him, we never intend
We pray for him daily until our life ends.
His presence we miss
His memory we cherish
Gunner James Meredith (No. 1467261) was 40 when he died, and he is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial.