Poppy In memoriam Poppy

Rifleman (Cyril) Aubrey Morrison




Cyril Aubrey Morrison was born on 6 June 1897 at 26 Woodvale Avenue, Belfast, son of commercial traveller William Todd Morrison and his wife Madeline Maggie Todd (nee McCready). He was grandson of linen manufacturer James Morrison of Keady, Armagh.

His older brother Gerald died of tuberculosis when Cyril was aged five, and his only other sibling, James, had died seven years before Cyril was born.

By 1911 the family was living at Atlantic House, 101 Limestone Road, Belfast. Soon after, Morrison was employed as an apprentice electrical engineer at the shipbuilder Workman Clark.

Morrison enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Belfast on 24 August 1914 (No.1028), though aged just 17. He embarked for France on 4 May 1915, probably as part of D Squadron.

In 1916 he was seriously injured by a kick from a horse and was evacuated home for treatment. After he recovered he rejoined the North Irish Horse at Antrim.

In November 1916, together with around 100 other North Irish Horsemen, Morrison volunteered to transfer to the Royal Irish Rifles (No.40933). They embarked for France on 7 December, where they joined the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, on the Somme front.

In early 1917 Morrison was wounded, possibly during the attack in the sector in front of Bouchavesnes from 4 to 8 March, during which the 1st Battalion took significant casualties. However he recovered soon after and rejoined his battalion.

On 16 August 1917 Morrison's battalion took part in the Battle of Langemarck, part of Third Ypres. The battalion war diary for the day listed 27 other ranks killed, 7 wounded and missing, 170 wounded, and 63 missing.

Rifleman Morrison was among the missing. His death was later officially accepted.

As he has no known grave, Private Morrison is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, West-Vlanderen, Belgium, Panel 139.



Morrison's medals and death plaque are shown below.  The medals read '1028 PTE. A. MORRISON. N.IR.H.'



Bronze Plaque erected in St James's Church of Ireland, Antrim Road, Belfast, from Belfast Telegraph, 12 May 1920


Images of memorials kindly provided by Steve Rogers, Project Co-ordinator of the The War Graves Photographic Project, www.twgpp.org. Image of Morrison from the Belfast Evening Telegraph, 3 May 1917, and image from St James's, kindly provided by Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster. Images of medals and plaque from my own collection.