Sergeant James Ferris


Ferris at Cople, near Bedford, early 1915 (see here for full picture).


James Ferris was born on 11 June 1891 at Main Street, Larne, County Antrim, the second of five children of carpenter (later building contractor) James Ferris and his wife Agnes (nee McIlwaine). By 1911 he was living with his parents and three brothers at 44 Glenarm Road, Larne, and working as an architect.

Ferris enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 31 August 1914 (No.1052), quickly rising to the rank of sergeant. On 1 May 1915 he embarked for France with D Squadron.

On 25 October 1916 Ferris transferred to the Royal Flying Corps with the rank of air mechanic 2nd class (No.50939).

On 25 April 1917 he was admitted to No.8 General Hospital at Rouen suffering from septic tonsilitis. The following June he was evacuated to the UK, where he was treated at the University War Hospital, Southampton.

Ferris remained in the UK for the rest of the war, spending time at various air gunnery, observation and flying schools. He was promoted to air mechanic 1st class on 1 November 1917, acting corporal (unpaid) on 1 February 1918, acting corporal (mechanic) on 1 July 1918 and sergeant (whilst on instruction on aviation) on 2 November that year.

He was transferred to the RAF's G Reserve on 4 March 1919.

Ferris enlisted as a private in the Second World War. He died on 9 April 1943 following a motor vehicle accident (see article below).


Larne Times, 15 April 1943


Ferris's older brother Andrew served as an officer in the war in the Royal Irish Rifles, Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force. In World War 2 he served as a squadron leader in the Royal Air Force (see article below).


Larne Times, 16 September 1954