Monthly Archives: December 2014

My Family at War – Part 4: Robert Thompson

18/1141 Lance Corporal Robert Thompson

Robbie Thompson

Robbie Thompson

My great-uncle Robbie was the eldest of the twelve children of Henry and Margaret Thompson, and the only one old enough to serve during the First World War.[1] He was born at Hyde Park, Mallusk in County Antrim on 25 December 1898 and enlisted, considerably underage, on 1 December 1915, a little less than a month short of his 17th birthday. Continue reading

My Family at War – Part 3: Thomas Bunting

17/673 Lance Corporal Thomas George Bunting

Private Thomas Bunting

Private Thomas Bunting

Thomas George Bunting was the nephew of William Neill and Hammie Neill. Their sister, Annie, married Matthew Bunting on 11 July 1895 at Magheralin Parish Church and the couple had three children—Miriam, born on 31 October 1895, Thomas George born on 25 February 1897, and Alfred born on 19 June 1903. Annie, Matthew and the two boys lived in a small, three-roomed house in Ballymacateer and Miriam lived with her grandparents nearby. It is not known where Thomas worked before the war but it was probably in the mill with his parents and uncles.

Thomas Bunting enlisted into The Royal Irish Rifles on, or about, 17 May 1915, aged 18, and joined the 17th (Reserve) Battalion at Newcastle, County Down, where he was allocated the number 17/673. Continue reading