Poppy In memoriam Poppy

Second Lieutenant Alfred McClelland

 

McClelland

 

Alfred McClelland was born on 24 October 1893 in the parish of St Ann's, Belfast, son of engineer James McClelland and his wife Charlotte Marion McClelland (nee Murdock), the fifth of their eight children, and the first son.

McClelland was educated at Skegoneil National School, Belfast, before commencing an office apprenticeship. By 1914 he was living with his family at Marsden Villas on Cavehill Road, Belfast and working as a commercial traveller.

On 7 September 1914 he enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Belfast (No.1143). A month later at Antrim he had his first brush with authority, being absent for two days, an offence which cost him two days pay. On 28 November he broke out of camp and remained absent for three days. This time he lost three days pay and was confined to barracks for five days.

On 1 May 1915 McClelland embarked for France with D Squadron of the North Irish Horse. He was promoted to lance corporal on 28 June.

On 17 May 1916 he applied for a commission in the Royal Irish Rifles. He left his squadron for England on 19 September, reporting for duty at the No.5 Officer Cadet Battalion at Trinity College, Cambridge, on 4 November.

McClelland was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant on 1 March 1917 and posted to the 5th (Extra Reserve) Battalion. Later that year he was attached to the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, joining it in the field on the Ypres front on 18 September.

Less than a month later, on 13 October, as the battalion moved forward to support dugouts at Red Lodge on the south side of Hill 63, McClelland was wounded by artillery fire, sustaining a compound fracture in his left thigh. He was evacuated to the No.2 Australian Casualty Clearing Station at Trois Arbres near Bailleul, but died that day.

He was buried at Trois Arbres Cemetery, Steenwerck, France, grave II.A.24. The gravestone inscription reads:

SECOND LIEUTENANT
ALFRED MC CLELLAND
ROYAL IRISH RIFLES
13TH OCTOBER 1917 AGE 24

DEUS EST QUI REGIT OMNIA
[THERE IS A GOD WHO RULES ALL THINGS]

 

Image Copyright © Phillip Tardif with all rights reserved as set out in this Use of Material policy.