Morrow, William James

Morrow, William James (Billy)

Galley Boy

MV D L Harper, Merchant Navy

Lost at sea on Monday 19 April 1943 (aged 15)

No known grave


Creelman family grave headstone in Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor


William James (Billy) Morrow’s family placed a Lost at Sea notice in the 1 May 1943 edition of the County Down Spectator.  Billy was described as a son of the late Elizabeth Morrow and William James Morrow of 34 North Street, Newtownards and he was remembered by Charlotte and Elizabeth Creelman, also his brother and sister-in-law George and Nancy Morrow, of 8 Donard Avenue, Bangor.

Charlotte Creelman (nee Campbell) was a daughter of James Campbell who farmed in the townland of Ballymacruise, Carrowdore and on 26 October 1893 she and Daniel Creelman were married in First Newtownards Presbyterian Church.  Daniel’s father Andrew lived in Ballymacruise and he was a linen weaver.  Daniel and Charlotte Creelman had one child, a daughter named Elizabeth Sloane Creelman who was born on 23 April 1894 and baptised on 25 June 1894 in Ballyfrenis Presbyterian Church.  In both the 1901 and 1911 census returns the Creelman family is recorded as living in the townland of Corporation, Bangor.  In the 1911 census Lizzie Beattie (aged 9) is recorded as a boarder living with the Creelmans.

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beattie and William James Morrow were married on 6 October 1921 in Ballygrainey Presbyterian Church.  William James Morrow (aged 20) was a bachelor and a labourer and his father, James Henry Morrow, was a tradesman.  Elizabeth Beattie (aged 19) was a spinster, and her father was named as Daniel Creelman who was a labourer.

William James and Elizabeth Morrow had two children:

George Campbell Morrow (born 21 December 1921, baptised 17 March 1922 in First Bangor Presbyterian Church)

William James Morrow (born around 1927/28)

George Campbell Morrow (a fitter aged 19) and Agnes Miller (Nancy) McCallum (aged 19, daughter of William McCallum, a welder) were married on 6 September 1941 in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church.

William James Morrow Junior went to sea and during the Second World War he served as a Galley Boy aboard the petrol tanker MV D L Harper.  The MV D L Harper was built in 1933 by the Deutsche Werft Company in Hamburg, Germany and she was owned by several different oil companies before she was scrapped in 1960 at La Spezia in Italy.  Between 1939 and 1950 she was operated by the Anglo-American Oil Company Ltd., London.  (During the Second World War the Deutsche Werft Company built U-boats for the Kriegsmarine).

In the Register of Deceased Seamen, it is recorded that Galley Boy William James Morrow of 8 Donard Avenue, Bangor serving aboard MV D L Harper fell overboard and drowned off the American coast near Boston.  He was seen by the ship’s cook and by a gunner shortly before he fell but there was no evidence as to how he came to fall overboard.

There were two Roll of Honour notices in the 22 April 1944 edition of the County Down Spectator, one from his granny and mammy at 8 Donard Avenue, Bangor and one from his brother and sister-in-law George and Nancy Morrow at the same address.  There was a text:

God knows best;

He makes no mistakes.

Galley Boy William James Morrow was 15 when he died, and he is commemorated on the Creelman family grave headstone in Bangor Cemetery:

Erected by Daniel Creelman in memory of

Elizabeth Morrow who died 14th Feb 1928 aged 26 yrs

Also the above Daniel Creelman who died 20th Feb 1931 aged 76 yrs

His wife Charlotte died 1st May 1944 aged 82 yrs

William James son of Elizabeth Morrow

Lost at sea 19th April 1943 aged 15 yrs

Elizabeth Creelman daughter of Daniel and Charlotte died 6th Nov 1980