Sergeant James Joseph McCaw – Service Number 7699

Joseph was born 19 February 1874 in Glasgow, Scotland. He seems to have been a ‘career soldier’, initially enlisting with the Corps of Hussars (for 12 years) in 1898 in Warrington, England, under an alias of William Gooden. His trade at that time was recorded as Cabinet Maker. He fought in the 2nd Boer War (1899 – 1902). He returned from South Africa, having transferred to the Army Reserve, to live at 25 Venice Street, in Belfast. On 18 January 1905 he married Mary Canning of Halcombe Street (Woodstock Road) at Ballymacarrett Presbyterian Church, Belfast. They had 2 daughters – Mary (born/died March 1906) and Evelyn (born 20 March 1908). Evelyn was baptised by Rev. David Stewart, at Cregagh, in April 1908. By 1911, Joseph had joined the North Staffordshire Regiment. When war broke out he was transferred for service in the Western Front. Joseph was Killed in Action on 12 March 1915, aged 41, near Armentieres, France. His name is among those on the Ploegsteert war memorial to the missing, in Belgium. A War Gratuity of £8 was paid to Joseph’s widow as a result of his death. Joseph’s widow and daughter remained members of Cregagh – they lived at 48 Tildarg Street. Evelyn was married to a local Machinist on 27 January 1942 at Cregagh Presbyterian Church, by Rev. D. Stewart.

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