Diamond War Memorial Project

Private William McAllister

10th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Regimental Number 19780
Born: ---- Died: 1916-07-01 Aged: -- Enlisted: Donegal, County Donegal.

Interred in Mill Road Cemetery, Thiepval, Somme, France. Name recorded on Christ Church (Church of Ireland), Londonderry, World War 1 Memorial. Name also commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial.

Son of Rebecca (born 1860/61, died on May 15, 1924, and was interred in Enagh Burying Ground) and Thomas (born Moville, County Donegal, circa 1845/46, worked as a carter around 1901, died at the City and County Borough Infirmary, Londonderry, on February 24, 1909, and was interred at Enagh Burying Ground) McAllister, and brother of James (born 1894/95) McAllister, Alma Place / 13, Henry Street, Londonderry. Also brother of Andrew (born 1884/85, and working as an apprentice carpenter around 1901); Rebecca (born 1886/87, and working in a shirt factory around 1901); David (born 1888/89); Thomas (born 1890/91); and John (born 1892/93).

William McAllister's mother received a letter, dated July 26, 1916, from the Reverend J. G. Paton, chaplain, conveying to her the news that her son was believed killed. 'He was with a Lewis gun team in the great advance,' wrote Mr Paton, 'and they got to the third German line. All the members of that team have been reported missing after doing splendid work, and it is the general opinion that they have been killed. He did nobly, and has all too probably given his life for his country. I can tell you nothing further just now. We all send you our sympathy, and pray that God will comfort you and help you to take your hard part as bravely as your brave son has done his.'

At time of death Private William McAllister had three brothers with the colours ? David in the 6th Dragoons (almost certainly the same Private D. McAllister, Royal Irish Fusiliers, and brother of deceased, who was wounded on March 24, 1918); Andrew in the Royal Engineers; and John in the Royal Marine Engineers.

James and John McAllister, 13, Henry Street, signed the Ulster Solemn League and Covenant (September 1912) pledging resistance to Home Rule for Ireland. Thomas McAllister, same address, worked as a carter in J. R. Montgomery's in the early 1920s, and in the same period belonged to the Derry branch of the Ulster Unionist Labour Association. James McAllister, same address, was sworn into the Ulster Special Constabulary on January 10, 1921, and was given the number 528.