William Mc Bride

Co. Armagh

Early Life 

William Mc Bride was born in Lislea, Armagh in1895 to Joseph and Lina McBride. He was raised in Roan Cottage pictured below. William and his family attended the Temple Presbyterian Church. He went to Crosskeys National School where Miss Adamson was Principal. Before joining the Army, he served his time in the shoe trade, firstly as an apprentice in Aitkens, Cootehill. He then went to Irvinestown for a short time before moving to Allinghams, North Street, Belfast.


He enlisted in the army nine months before his death. One of four children, William's family all went separate ways, one went to Canada. Lina, one of his sisters sang in the choir at the Temple Church where his service in the 1914-18 War is commemorated on the War Memorial. 

Military Life 

He joined the army in June 1915 He served with the 9th Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers which was formed in Omagh in September 1914 and was known as 'the Tyrones'. 

On the day Willie McBride was killed, fighting conditions in the trenches were even more devastating and bleak than usual.

 Furious German shelling came on a continuous basis and sick men tried to hold onto their positions. It simply was hell on earth. The end was inevitable for most, including Willie McBride. Looking out over the beautiful flatlands near Authuille today it's hard to imagine that these green expanses were turned into such bloody killing fields for the likes of the youngster from Armagh. 

His Death

Certificate of William McBride's death.

At the time of his death he was acting as Orderly for 2nd Lieutenant Kelly who was wounded shortly after William was killed. The funeral was attended by the Chaplain and an Officer from his Company was present on behalf of Lieutenant Kelly who was in hospital. Mrs Lina McBride was initially notified by Lieutenant Colonel Ricardo the Commanding Officer of the 9th Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers that William had been killed in the trenches by shell fire. She subsequently received this letter from his Platoon Commander, Lieutenant Kelly. John A Kelly, 2nd Lieut. 9th Royal Inniskilling Fus.

Dear Mrs McBride,

I wrote to you on the 24th telling you of your son’s health, but I am sorry to say that owning to some mistake your address in our books was Roan Lodge, Lislea, Omagh. Your nephew, who is in the 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers, came over a few nights ago and I was able to get your correct address. Since, writing to you, I was given the enclosed photograph by an engineer officer. It was found near your son’s body, and was thought to belong to an officer of the Royal Engineers who was killed by the same shell as your son. I recognise it as being very like your son, and probably was his. I need not tell you how much we all miss your son, and I am pleased to be able to tell you that I had recommended him to my company commander for bravery in carrying a message under very heavy shell fire on the night of the 10th of March. You may rest assured that he died in a manner which will always to be an example to his comrades – doing their duty. Yours sincerely, John A Kelly, 2nd Lieut.9th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

The Green Fields Of France

No Man's Land" (also known as "The Green Fields of France" or "Willie McBride") is a song written in 1976 

It was written by a Scottish-born folk singer-songwriter Eric Bogle. 

 It reflects on the grave of young Willie Mc Bride who died in World War 1.      


My name is Grainne McGrath, I am 17 years old and a student at St Catherine's College. 

One student will each represent a soldier from their own county. I am representing my County, Armagh, in this once in a lifetime opportunity. My soldier is William McBride and I will also have the privilege of visiting his grave in France. 

First Meeting 


Our first meeting as a whole group was in March of this year, in Collin's Barracks. We discussed each of our soldiers within our provinces, explaining to each other the background information   and what we have learned. 

Throughout the trip we will visit the graves of many of the fallen soldiers, the trenches and war zones the fought in and also we will visit the European Parliament in Brussels.