Larne Grammar School Remembers

In line with commemorations across the country the annual Remembrance Assemblies have taken place in school.

Many past pupils and teachers of Larne Grammar School have given their lives to ensure that we enjoy the freedoms that we take for granted today. It is these people that we think of in particular in our own remembrance service. You can see their names of these people on the war memorial beside the school office.

Approximately 135,000 Irishmen fought in the 1st World War and men from the predominantly Protestant/Unionist 36th Ulster Division’s contribution fought with men from the mainly Catholic/Nationalist 10th and 16th Irish Divisions. An estimated 35,000 Irish born soldiers were killed before the Armistice was signed in 1918.  

On July 1st 1916 nine thousand men from the Ulster Division went into general action for the first time, at Thiepval on the Somme. Two days later, fewer than two thousand five hundred answered the roll call. Among those who did not answer were Captain John Griffiths, a former teacher in the school, and Lt William McCluggage a former pupil.

Lt McCluggage, from Ballyboley, had been taught science by Captain Griffiths at Larne Grammar School. He then went on to study Civil Engineering at the Queen's University of Belfast. The two men were reunited in the Larne 1st XV where they played together in the Towns Cup winning side of 1913-1914. Both men were to lose their life on the first day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

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Lt McCluggage (left of centre) with Captain Griffiths (right of centre).

More than 6 million men served in the British Armed Forces in the Great War, and nearly one million of these lost their lives. Set beside these numbers, the contribution by the old boys of Larne Grammar School was tiny. However, when one considers that the total population of the school had scarcely reached sixty at its greatest, the old boys’ payment in pain and blood was enormous.Twenty year old James Walker was killed in action on 29th January 1917. An old boy of the school he was born in Ballymacarrett but moved to Larne and was a member of Gardenmore Presbyterian Church. Before enlisting he helped his father in his business as Auctioneer and Valuer and previously with Atkinson and Boyd Chartered Accountants in Belfast. He was on duty in the front line when a shell hit him and another soldier called Bingham.

Former pupils of Larne Grammar School continued to serve in the Second World War. Five Adam brothers, who all boarded in the school prior to the 2nd world war, served in the forces. Two were doctors in the Royal Navy. Maurice had got his MB in 1930 and joined the Royal Navy Medical Service in 1933, and George, who graduated in 1938 enlisted in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve early in 1939. Philip, was granted his BDS degree in 1941, also joined the Navy. Robin, whose MSc in 1930 was followed by post-graduate study in the USA, did his war work as Admiralty Regional Electrical Engineer for the Midland and Wales. The fifth brother, Harold, who had starred as the king in the school production of “The Poison Party” in 1936, and who had been awarded a Ministry of Education Prize in the Junior Certificate Examinations, went to Queen’s in 1939, where he joined in the activities of the Students’ Union and the Mathematical Society. In his second year at university, he joined the RAF, and in due course got his wings, became a Pilot Officer, then Flying Officer, then Flight Lieutenant. In 1944 he was recommended for mention in despatches for his work in the invasion operations. In July of that year he was killed on active service.

Below are the names of past pupils and teachers who laid down their lives in the two great wars.

1914 – 1918

PIERRE BODELLE

HERBERT T F MAGILL

HERBERT W CARSON

ALEXANDER S MITCHEL

JAMES A CARSON

T MOORE

HUGH H DUNWOODY (teacher)

ALAN J MCCLELLAND (teacher)

JOHN FOSTER

WILLIAM MCCLUGGAGE

ARTHUR A GAULT

ROBERT J PULLIN

JOHN GRIFFITHS (teacher)

JAMES WALKER

CHESTER B KIDD

 

1939 – 1945

HAROLD W ADAMS

DAVID A MCAULEY

MARTIN CRAWFORD

GEORGE A MCAULEY

NATHANIEL H CRAWFORD

EDWARD MCCLUGGAGE

JOE EVANS

THOMAS MCFAUL

DAVID LOVAT FRAZER

WILLIAM J MCKAY

FRANK GAMBLE

JOHN MCKINSTRY

JOSEPH HILDITCH

W RUSK

W ALFRED LAW

J T SMITH

HUGH G MONTGOMERY

We also remember those killed in action in the cause of peace and freedom in more recent conflicts, including two former pupils of the school – Alan Gingles and David Monteith.

On Sunday the Principal was joined by the Head Girl and Head Boy in laying a wreath at the cenotaph in the main Larne Remembrance Service.

 

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