Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
Date Information
09/12/2018 The popularity which young McClean’s bright disposition won for him in civil life was sustained in the army, where he was well liked by his officers and comrades. He came off a fighting stock, his two brothers, as stated, being in the army, an uncle is an army captain, and Sergeant Somers, V.C., who is a native of Belturbet, is a cousin. During his illness, Mr Richardson (with whom and Mrs Richardson, the deceased had a comfortable home) and other friends visited him, and in the early stages of his illness he was very much interested in the happenings in and around Cookstown. The funeral took place to Belfast City Cemetery on Wednesday afternoon. An escort of the Royal Irish Fusiliers, in charge of an officer, being in attendance, accompanied by a band. The funeral service was conducted by Rev M Archdale, Chaplain to the Forces, and at the conclusion the firing party fired three volleys, and the buglers sounded the Last Post. The chief mourners were two uncles of the deceased – Messrs William J Donaldson and Thomas A Donaldson, Belturbet. Much sympathy is felt with the deceased’s sister, who resides at Belturbet.
09/12/2018 James’ father died in 1907. James McClean senior was a builder and contactor. James would have been eleven years old.
09/12/2018 James’ mother, Isabella McLean, died in 1902 when James was six years old.
09/12/2018 The 1901 census lists James Andrew as age 5, living with the family at house 3 in Kilconny, Belturbet, County Cavan. His father was a builder.
09/12/2018 Family: James McLean, Isabella McLean, John McLean (born about 1895), James Andrew McLean (born about 1896), Albert William McLean (born about 1898), Kathleen McLean (born about 1899).
09/12/2018 From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 11th September 1915:
09/12/2018 James McClean was the second son of James and Isabella McClean.
09/12/2018 James McClean joined the Cookstown section of the Ulster Volunteers shortly after its formation, and despite his youth and poor eyesight he proved to be very capable and greatly admired by both the officers and men for his pluck and adaptability.
09/12/2018 Members of Cookstown Company of the U.V.F. and others who knew him, will learn with regret of the death of Jim McClean, which occurred on Monday morning at Purdysburn Hospital, Belfast. The deceased, who was only nineteen years of age, served his apprenticeship to the drapery business with Mr A W Richardson, Cookstown, and was very popular with his employer, and was a general favourite. He was a native of Belturbet, County Cavan, and an orphan. His father, the late James McClean, builder and contractor, Belturbet, died eight years ago and his mother had died five years previously. The family consisted of three boys and a girl, and all three boys joined the army, one of them being at present a prisoner of war in Germany and the other is on active service in France. Jim joined the U.V.F. shortly after its organisation, and despite his youth and a defect in his eyesight, he proved a very capable member, and was admired by both officers and men for his pluck and adaptability. Shortly after the outbreak of war he volunteered for the army, but was rejected on account of his defective vision. He however persisted in his visits to recruiting sergeants and examining doctors, until he was finally accepted in October, when he joined the 9th Inniskillings. He was stationed with his battalion in Finner, and subsequently at Randalstown. At the latter place he contracted scarlatina in the spring, but made a good recovery, and after his discharge from hospital at Antrim, he spent a few days leave in Cookstown with Mr Richardson, his former employer. Shortly after returning to Randalstown he again took ill, and from June until he passed away, he was under treatment in the Military Hospital, Donegal Road, Belfast, and latterly in Purdysburn.
09/12/2018 From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 11th September 1915: Private Jim McClean
09/12/2018 McCLEAN - 6th September, at Purdysburn Hospital, Belfast. Private James McClean (17814), 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, formerly of Mr A W Richardson’s, Cookstown, second son of the late James McClean, builder and contractor, Belturbet. Interred in Belfast City Cemetery on Wednesday.
09/12/2018 James McClean was born in Belturbet, County Cavan about 1896. He was the second of four children.
09/12/2018 The 1911 census lists James as age 15 year old apprentice, living with the Richardsons at house 12 in Molesworth Street, Cookstown.
09/12/2018 Shortly after the outbreak of war he volunteered for the army, but was rejected on account of his defective eyesight.
09/12/2018 He persisted however with every visit to recruiting stations until recruiting sergeants and examining doctors finally accepted him as fit for service and he was posted to the 9th Inniskilling Fusiliers in October 1914.
09/12/2018 Private James McClean was initially stationed at Finner Camp, County Donegal
09/12/2018 In the spring of 1915, At Shane’s Park Camp at Randalstown, he contracted Scarlet Fever. He made a good recovery.
09/12/2018 Upon his discharge from Antrim Hospital he returned to Cookstown and spent a few days with his old employer Mr Richardson, who thought highly of the young boy.
09/12/2018 Shortly after returning to Randalstown Camp he took ill again, and from June 1915 until he passed away he was under constant care and treatment at the Military Hospital, Donegal Road, Belfast and later at Purdysburn Hospital, also in Belfast.
09/12/2018 Private James McClean was serving with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he died of illness in Belfast on Monday 6th September 1915.
09/12/2018 James had two brothers already serving in the army at the time of his death. One was a prisoner of war in Germany.
09/12/2018 James’ cousin was Sergeant James Somers who received a Victoria Cross at Gallipoli in August 1915.
09/12/2018 Private James McClean’s funeral took place on Wednesday 8th September with full military honours. The funeral was accompanied by a band. The service was conducted by the Rev. M. Archdale, Chaplain to the Forces. A firing party fired three volleys and a bugler sounded the ‘Last Post’.
09/12/2018 James McClean’s grave was sadly lost and he is now commemorated on the Screen Wall at Belfast City Cemetery.
09/12/2018 As an orphan, James came to live with in Cookstown with Mr A W Richardson, where he served his apprenticeship in the drapery business.
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