Lieutenant Walter Tennyson McCurry - died 14/3/1915

Royal Army Medical Corps

Walter was the elder son of Joseph and Jessie Graham McCurry of Belfast Bank House, Shankill Road, Belfast. After Inst, he studied at Queen's University, Belfast, where he was a member of the Officer Training Corps, and secretary of the Belfast Medical Student Association. He got his primary fellowship at the Royal College of Surgeons in 1912 and was sent to France during the early stages of the war.

He took part in the retreat from Mons in 1914,  and at the beginning of 1915, refused a post in a base hospital, considering it to be the duty of the younger men to go to the trenches. He was attached to the 1st Norfolk Regiment.

He was killed in action, aged 22, near Ypres, while attached to the 1st Norfolk Regiment.  On that day, the battalion were in trenches south-east of Ypres, when they were heavily shelled. Walter was killed while attending to the wounded in a dressing station. 

QCB, the Queen's University student magazine reported "those of us who knew Walter feel sure that the manner of his death was such as he himself would have chosen, for he gave up his life while helping his countrymen and serving his Empire." 

After his death, the School News June 1915 edition contained two items relating to Walter, a tribute and a poem in his honour:

"It seems so short a time since he was with us at school, and the memory of his fine character, with its bright frankness and candour, was still so fresh, that the pathos of his early death affected in a peculiar way all who had known him at Inst.

Passing from school to university, and finding his real work in medicine, he rapidly distinguished himself in a study for which he seemed to discover his special vocation. He had just finished his course when war broke out; immediately he offered his services, and at once was sent to the front. Through all that terrible autumn and pitiless winter, he worked at exhausting pressure with his fellow officers of the RAMC, struggling to deal with the never-ending procession of the wounded and doing good at every step. Then his own moment came, and took him as he might have wished to be taken, when he was actually tending a wounded man.

We think of him as one whom the beauty of his character and young life might seem almost to have marked him out as the costly sacrifice which patriotism demands."

To W T McC

Brave Youth, with sunshine in your smiling eyes, you gave your life to save another's woe.

Whether to God or man the greater prize, the world can never know.

Willing to serve, you heard the nation call and in the field you eased the battle's pain:

Willing to die, if need be, you gave all, and have not given in vain.


Walter is buried in the Ramparts Cemetery, Lille Gate, Ypres (ref. D 27), Flanders, Belgium.

Lance Corporal John Beck McDowell - died 13/3/1916

20th Royal Fusiliers - service number PS/5261

John was the son of John and Ada McDowell of 10 Malone Park, Belfast

He was killed in action aged 21, on 13th March 1916.  The war diary for this date indicates that the battalion were at Le Quesney.

He is buried in Cambrin Churchyard Extension (ref. L1 10E), Pas de Calais, France.

Rifleman George McFarland - died 14/1/1915

2nd Royal Irish Rifles - service number 7518

George, husband of Agnes McFarland, 7 Rosebery Street, Connswater, Belfast was born in Ballymena and enlisted in Ballykinler.

He was killed in action, on 14th January 1915, aged 28. The battalion were occupying trenches at Kemmel on this day.

George is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial (panel 40), Flanders, Belgium.

Second Lieutenant Robert William McIntyre MBE - died 25/7/1918

11th East Yorkshire Regiment

Robert was born on 16th January 1896, in Holywood, County Down, the son of John and Jeanie Isabel MacIntyre of Whittinghame Villas, 7 Knock Road, Belfast.

After Inst, he was working as a linen merchant, until he enlisted with the 20th Royal Fusiliers on 17th September 1914. He served overseas from November 1915 until July 1916, when he suffered gun shot wounds to the face, back and right arm, and also fractured his right shoulder blade. He was commissioned into the East Yorkshire Regiment (the Hull Tradesmen Battalion) on 27th March 1917.

Robert was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) in the King's Birthday Honours List for 1918 "in recognition of an act of gallantry not in the presence of the enemy".

He was killed in action on 25th July 1918, aged 23. He was hit by machine gun fire during an attack on "Tool" and "Infantry" trenches, south east of Monchy Le Preux, during the third Battle of the Scarpe.

He is buried in Le Grand Hasard Military Cemetery, Morbecque (ref 2 B 12), Nord, France.