Reid, Robert James

Reid, Robert James (Robert)

Second Lieutenant

Royal Artillery

Died of disease on Sunday 28 December 1941 (aged 40)


Newtownards (Movilla) Cemetery, Co. Down (Section 14 Grave 24)


The death of Second Lieutenant Robert James Reid B. Com, ACIS was reported in the 3 January 1942 edition of the County Down Spectator.  He was the eldest son of Thomas Alexander and Margaret (Maggie) Mawhinney Reid (nee Stirling, sometimes Sterling) of Cuan View, Ballyrogan, Newtownards.  For many years, Thomas Alexander Reid was the Principal of Ballyrogan Public Elementary School.  Thomas Alexander Reid and Margaret Stirling were married on 31 July 1900 in First Antrim Presbyterian Church.  Thomas Reid, a teacher from Donegore, was a son of James Reid, a farmer.  Maggie Stirling was a daughter of Robert Stirling, a farmer.

Thomas and Maggie Reid (nee Stirling) had at least ten children including:

Robert James (born 11 November 1901 in Donegore, Antrim)

David Cummins (born 26 April 1903 in Cadian, Benburb)

John Alfred (born 21 June 1904 in Donegore, Antrim; died of bronchitis 16 December 1904)

Thomasina Margaret (born 5 January 1906 in Donegore, Antrim)

George Arnott (born 5 September 1907 in Craigarogan, Templepatrick)

Thomas Hugh Barron (born 21 September 1908 in Eglish, Broughshane)

Louisa Elizabeth (born 11 April 1910 in Eglish, Broughshane)

Agnes Margaret (born 14 December 1913 in Ballyutoag, Belfast)

Mary Eveline (born 19 October 1915 in Ballyutoag, Belfast)

Robert Reid was educated at Royal Belfast Academical Institution (RBAI) and he obtained his Bachelor of Commerce degree from London University.  Later he became an Associate of the Chartered Institute of Secretaries.  For several years he was employed by Belfast Corporation and about a year before the outbreak of the Second World War he joined the Territorials.  He was called up for active service at the outbreak of hostilities and was with the British Expeditionary Force in France until the evacuation in 1940.  On his return to England, he was granted a commission in his own Regiment and, until he became ill, he served with the Royal Artillery in South Wales.

After several months of illness (carcinoma), and a serious operation, he died at the family residence in Newtownards (aged 40) and was interred on 30 December 1941 in the Reid family burying ground in Movilla Cemetery.  Amongst the mourners at his funeral were his brothers George and Thomas Reid; his brothers-in-law David McAlpine, Frank L. Osborne, Alexander Johnston, and Samuel McLaurin; his cousin Captain W. Shaw-Leathem RAOC; Captain G. Boyd Harris, Royal Artillery; Captain S. Currie, Royal Navy and Mr M.J. Johnston.

Second Lieutenant Robert James Reid was survived by his wife Elizabeth E. Reid and by his mother, four sisters and two brothers.

His brother David died on 21 June 1924 (aged 21); his father Thomas died on 23 July 1938 (aged 67) and his mother Margaret died on 28 August 1953 (aged 78).

At the time of writing, Second Lieutenant Robert James Reid’s name is not inscribed on the family grave headstone.