Jump to content
Free downloads from TNA ×
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

CSM ROBERT H Wallace Royal Irish Rifles 5619


Recommended Posts

Hi Everyone, just really a update on Robert my Gt grandfather from the past 18 months.

I have managed to trace one of Roberts sisters gt grand niece alive in Canada. She was also researching about Robert, but came up with the same problem I had Robert having his parents stated as being wrong in some of the journals I have now found out his real parents names and also his siblings and where they all lived 

i now have some new lines of enquiry as to which unit Robert was at the battle of Langemark and whether someone has the war diaries I could read for the year 1917 or the dates 16/08/1917 to the 18/08/1917 when Robert died for th royal Irish rifles,

 I have  been told Robert  would have been in the 108th.


many thanks Gary,





Link to comment
Share on other sites


Here is the RIR 2nd Battalion's war diary on Ancestry, confirming that the battalion (107th Brigade, 36th Division) "proceeded to the 108th Infantry Brigade sector..." on the 16th August 1917. The front line was heavily shelled on the 18th.

If you don't have a subscription with Ancestry it does offer free trials or you can gain free access at some local libraries. The diary is also available here at the National Archives, downloadable for a small fee.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

Can't remember if I posted this before


Wallace 5619 CSM Robert H. Born in Ballymena, Co. Antrim, 1883, the son of Robert and Mary Wallace née Boyd. Enlisted at Glasgow. Served as 5619 with 2nd RIR in the South African War and ended with the rank of Sgt. QSA Medal with clasps for Cape Colony, Orange Free State and Transvaal; KSA Medal with clasps 1901 and 1902. Posted to 4th RIR and lived at John Street, Newtownards, Co. Down. Lived in Dublin. His first wife, Elizabeth, died 12.3.1916 in Dublin. Did not join the BEF before 1916. C Coy, 2nd RIR. DOW 18.8.1917, age 34. Widow at Lancastrian Street, Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim. The Weekly Irish Times, 8.9.1917, showed his photo and stated that his relatives were at 8 South King Street, Dublin. Calais Southern Cemetery, H.3.4.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is the war diary extract for 2nd RIR. More detailed accounts are in my The 2nd Royal Irish Rifles in the Great War (Four Courts, Dublin, 2005).

It seems to me that he died from wounds received on 10 August 1917.


10.8.1917   Battalion was formed up in position of assembly by 3.5 a.m.  Small posts were left in the front line and withdrawn ½ hour before Zero.  At Zero the Battalion advanced to the attack.  Two strong points (concrete dugouts at WESTHOEK) were quickly rushed by special parties detailed by "C" Coy and the enemy holding them, taken completely unawares, offered little resistance.  The waves pushed forward to JABBER SUPPORT.  Most of the enemy who were holding this line made no attempt to fight and fled at the sight of our men.  The enemy rushing blindly back in their fright, they were caught in our barrage and annihilated.  An enemy M.G. which had just come into action on the left at J.7.g.60.60 was successfully dealt with by "B" Coy.  2/Lt. T. McAlindon leading a determined rush put the team of the gun to flight.  The advance continued with the waves keeping close to the barrage and the fight chiefly consisted of mopping up enemy concrete dugouts of which there were many, but in no case did the enemy shew any real fight.  His morale had been shaken by the effect of our weighty barrage and before he had time to collect himself our waves were upon him.  After the main objective had been taken (BLACK LINE) at about 5.20 a.m. consolidation was proceeded with vigour.  A line of posts was established from J.8.a.95.87 following 40m contour line to gun pit at J.8.a.92.25 immediately behind our protective barrage to cover consolidation of Black Line.  Connection was established at once with 13th Cheshire Regt. and 9th L.N. Lancs on our right and left respectively.  About 10 a.m. enemy was seen coming over ANZAC RIDGE and down forward slope towards HANNEBEEK VALLEY first in sections and later bodies presumably with the intention of massing for a counter attack.  A message was sent back to this effect.  This concentration continued throughout the day.  About 3.30 p.m. a feeble effort was made by the enemy to come forward, but broke down under M.G. and rifle fire with the help of artillery support which came later.  About 7.30 p.m. a more determined effort was made under cover of a smoke barrage and heavy bombardment of front line and WESTHOEK RIDGE.  The S.O.S. Signal was sent up.  Our artillery did not reply.  Shortly after one of our aeroplanes appeared and dropped the S.O.S. Signal thereupon our artillery immediately opened a heavy barrage which completely broke up the attack, and almost wiped out the enemy whose remnants could be seen running in all directions.  Many casualties were also inflicted by M.G. and rifle fire.  About 4.15 a.m. on the 11th the enemy pushed forward strong patrols only two of which reached our line.  One consisting of about 12 O.R.s got to within bombing distance and commenced to bomb our line but it was quickly annihilated by bombs and afterwards the bayonet.  The other consisting of 1 officer and 19 O.R.s on being fired at retired to a dugout.  A patrol was sent out and they surrendered without shewing fight.  The Battalion was relieved from the line captured on the night of 11th - 12th by 8th Border Regt.  Relief was completed at 4.15 a.m.  Battalion moved after relief to YPRES and later to HALIFAX CAMP at H.14.c.3.5.

Strength of Battalion going into line on 5th inst.: 15 Officers and 479 O.R.s.

Total casualties from 5th – 11th inst.: 8 Officers, 30 O.R.s KIA, 295 WIA, 17 missing.

Details of Officer casualties:

Lieut. A.B. Ross, R.A.M.C., KIA 5/8/17. 

Lieut. E. Brown KIA 7/8/17.

2/Lt. P.J. McKee, 3/R.I.R., KIA 10/8/17.

Lieut. S.V. Morgan, R.I.R., KIA 10/8/17.

Capt. R.T. Jeffares, 4/R.I.R., WIA 10/8/17.

2/Lt. R.S. Walsh, 5/R.M.F., WIA 10/8/17.

2/Lt. P.D. Alexander, R.I.R., WIA 10/8/17.

2/Lt. R. Carruthers, 3/R.I.R., WIA 10/8/17.

2/Lt. B.J. Murphy, 5/R.M.F., WIA 10/8/17.

Strength of Battalion coming out of the line: 10 Officers and 148 O.R.s.

Prisoners captured: 4 Officers (including 1 M.O.) and 150 O.R.s 90th R.I.R.

Arms captured: One 77 mm Gun, 5 M.G.s.

13.8.1917                Battalion in huts, HALIFAX CAMP.

14.8.1917                Battalion moved by march route to STEENVOORDE.

15.8.1917                Battalion in billets.

16.8.1917                Battalion in billets.

17.8.1917                Battalion moved by march route to EECKE.  21 O.R. draft joined.

18.8.1917                Training and in billets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...