Saturday, 25 March 2017


Pioneer, 22nd Company, Royal Engineers
Service No: 338725
Died: 08/09/1919
Age: 26

Interred in Bangor Cemetery

Robert Beattie was born in Maryport, Cumberland, in Sept 1893. He was the youngest son of John Beattie and his wife Ellen (nee Agnew).

John and Ellen where from Co. Down and moved to Cumberland shortly after their marriage in 1876. John was a labourer and was working in an ironworks in Maryport and the family lived there until the late 1890s when they moved to Bangor and were living in Castle Street in 1901 later moving to Bingham Street.

Robert started work as a greengrocer and when war broke out enlisted in the Royal Irish Rifles (SN:18179) but was transferred the the Royal Engineers with whom he went to France in October 1915.

Robert was admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital on 25th August 1919 were he died just over two weeks later on 9th September* from a haemorrhage on the brain.

* Although the headstone and CWGC recorded the date as 8th September the official death entry records the 9th.

Friday, 17 March 2017

PATCHELL, William Neville

Private, 20th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers
Service No: 5435
Died: 16/07/1916
Age: 25

Remembered on Thiepval Memorial
Remembered on family memorial Bangor Cemetery

William Neville Patchell was born in Durgarven, Co. Waterford on the 11th August 1890. He was the son of William A. Patchell, a Bank Official, and his wife Alice L. Patchell (nee Neville).

William was educated in Portora Royal School, Enniskillen, and is recorded on the schools war memorial.

By 1911 the family had moved to Belfast, the census recording that his parents and sister where living in Malone Avenue but there is no sign of William at this point (yet).

He enlisted in the 20th (University and Public Schools) Battalion, Royal Fusiliers and went to France in November 1915.

William was reported as wounded in the casualty lists published in newspaper of 10th June 1916 but this must not have been too serious as he was soon to be back at the front only to be killed on the 16th July 1916 during the Battle of the Somme.


PATCHELL, Pte. Wm. Neville, Royal Fusiliers (Public Schools Battalion), killed in action on 16th July, was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Patchell, Downshire Park, Bangor, and grandson of the late Mr. Robt. Neville, Johnston, County Kilkenny.
Belfast Newsletter, 5th August 1916

BELL, Charles

Served in Royal Engineers
Service No: 64178
Died: 4th July 1920

Interred in Bangor Cemetery

Charles Bell was born in London in 1863. A stonemason by trade he married Mary Aicken, a farmer's daughter from Bangor in 1893. According to his attestation papers the marriage took place at 42nd St. Presbyterian Church, New York – surely a story there.

The family lived in Belfast at various addresses – 1901: York Road; 1911: Broadway – and on his enlistment in 1915 were living at 345 Albertbridge Road.

Charles enlisted in the Royal Engineers (121st Field Co.) on 30th January 1915 and was sent to France in October 1915.

He did not serve long and was discharged as no longer fit for service in June 1916 – the family now living in Grays Hill in Bangor. Although the few remaning records do not enlighten as to the cause of illness, his death certificate records that he had suffered for nephritis for the previous four years indicating that this was the probable cause.

He suffered a cerebral haemorrhage and died on 4th July 1920 at the family home Prospect Park, Bangor.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

CAMPBELL, Ian Gordon

Flight Sergeant, 619 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service No: 1489683
Died: 24/03/1944

Interred in Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery
This family headstone is in Bangor Cemetery

Ian is commemorated
on the memorial in Trinity
Presbyterian Church, Bangor
John (Ian) Gordon Campbell was born in Bangor on the 7th September 1913. He was the second son of Samuel Campbell and Jane M. Campbell (nee Armstrong). His father was a draper and the family lived on Main Street in Bangor.

He attended Bangor Grammar school along with his brother William. His headmaster Mr. Maurice Wilkins in writing an obituary for Ian records that "I well remember the morning in November, 1923, when his mother brought him, a small boy of ten years, with his elder brother Billy, to join Bangor Grammar School. Billy, quickly catching sight of faces of friends he knew, pushed in through the open door, eager for new experiences, but the little fair-haired brother was shy, ran back, and would not leave his mother's side. A bargain had to be made that he should have his freedom for the day and come to-morrow. So to-morrow he came and from that day never looked back till he fell fighting in the cause of justice and the freedom of mankind. He was a bright and apt pupil, and in 1929 he passed Northern Ireland Junior Certificate with three credits. After that, to our regret, he left us."

Saturday, 4 March 2017

MILEY, Frederick James

Leading Aircraftman, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Service No: 1056802
Died: 26/01/1942
Age: 28

Interred in Bangor Cemetery

Frederick James Miley was born in Duke Street, Athy, on 29th August 1913. He was the son of Robert Miley, a grocer, and his wife Margaret Miley (nee Mansfield).

Fred Miley is recorded on the
Bangor Parish War Memorial
in St. Comgall's Church 
The family moved to Bangor and Fred was educated at Main Street school. Both he and his younger brother William (who also served in the RAF) attended Bangor Grammar School having both won Entrance Scholarships in 1926 – "probably the only case of two brothers winning scholarships together at the same examination" according to their headmaster Maurice Wilkins.

In a biography written by Mr. Wilkins on the death of Fred he said, "They were not boys one could forget — quiet, modest and industrious, of attractive bearing and manners, quick intelligence and brilliant promise. They excelled in all subjects — boys whom it was a real pleasure to have in a class, for the sake of the example they set of good conduct and splendid proficiency."

He enlisted in the RAF shortly after the outbreak of the war and served some time in the Middle East where he contracted an illness. He returned home where he died several weeks later.

WRIGHT, Robert

Civilian Casualty
Died: 17/04/1941
Age: 41

Interred in Bangor Cemetery

Robert lived at Hazeldene Gardens, Bangor with his wife Louisa ( give the address as 32 Avenue Baylands). On the night of 15th April 1941 the German Luftwaffe carried out the second of three air raids on Belfast. Some of the bombers missed their targets and several outlying areas where hit– one being Bangor. Robert was injured in the raid and died in Bangor Hospital two days later.

WRIGHT — April 17, 1941, at Hospital, Robert E., dearly-beloved husband of Louisa Wright, Hazeldene Gardens, Bangor. Funeral from Central Hall, Bangor, to-morrow (Sunday), 20th inst., at 4 p.m., to New Cemetery, Bangor. At Home with the Lord. Deeply regretted.
Northern Whig, 19th May 1941

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

CUMMING, Richard Percy

Private, First Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade
Service No: 14555
Died: 01/09/1917
Age: 30

Interred in Bangor Old Abbey Churchyard (In South-East part)
Recorded on family memorial in Bangor Cemetery

Richard was born in Lisburn, Co Antrim, on the 26th May 1884, the son of Alexander Cumming and Marianne Macartney.  The family moved to Bangor and lived in Ballymagee Street (later to became part of High Street) where his father Alexander was a grocer and car driver.

His occupation as recorded in the 1911 census was a draper.

He appears to have emigrated to Canada sometime after this as that is where he enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force on 24th September 1914

He contracted acute nephritis in July 1917 and was invalided to England on the 18th August. He was admitted to the Royal Herbert Hospital in Woolwich where he died on 1st September 1917.

IN his will he left property and $400 to his mother.

His brother William also served and fell on the 1st July 1916.

Postcard of Ballymagee Street, Bangor (later High Street) from

While Richard is commemorated on this family memorial in Bangor New Cemetery he is actually interred just a short distance away in the grounds of the Bangor Abbey. A little investigation would need to be done to but my suspicion would be that the headstone was erected when the father died and the mother took the opportunity to put both the sons names on it.

CUMMING, William Herbert

Company Sergeant Major, 13th Batt., Royal Irish Rifles
Service No: 17518
Died: 01/07/1916
Age: 31

Recorded on Thiepval Memorial
Recorded on family memorial in Bangor Cemetery

Herbert was born in Lisburn, Co Antrim, on the 25th May 1883, the eldest son of Alexander Cumming and Marianne Macartney.  The family moved to Bangor and lived in Ballymagee Street (later to became part of High Street) where his father Alexander was a grocer and car driver.  Herbert worked as a plumber.

Postcard of Ballymagee Street, Bangor (later High Street) from

His brother Richard also served and died the following year. Although Richard is recorded on the family memorial alongside Herbert he is actually interred in Bangor Abbey.