Private William Anderson McAllister



William Anderson McAllister was born on 8 June 1899 at 41 Moscow Street, Belfast, the last of seven children of carpenter Robert McAllister and his wife Agnes (née Hassan). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 61 Berlin Street, Shankill, Belfast, with his parents and five of his siblings.

McAllister enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim on 19 October 1915 (No.1751). He gave his age as 19 (he was just 16) and his occupation as carpenter. He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp but his true age was soon discovered, and on 11 March 1916 he was discharged, 'having made a mis-statement as to age on enlistment, soldier under 17 years of age at date of application for discharge' (paragraph 392(vi)(a), King's Regulations). His military character was recorded as 'good'.

After the war McAllister worked as a joiner. He married Elizabeth Bunting in Belfast on 17 July 1922. The couple and their daughter Kathleen emigrated to the United States in September 1924, living at Philadelphia, where their son Robert was born. Elizabeth died there in June 1927, William and his children later returning to Belfast.

McAllister died at his residence, 4 Rathdrum Street, Lisburn Road, on 19 October 1958 and was buried in the City Cemetery, Glenalina Extension.


Two of McAllister's brothers also served in the war. George Anderson McAllister served in the 14th and 16th Battalions, Royal Irish Rifles from October 1914. He was wounded on the Somme on 1 July 1916 and made a prisoner of war on 24 March 1918. Alexander McAllister, serving in the 1st Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was wounded in 1915. He died at Sialkot, India, on 12 July 1920.

Note: while the Presbyterian Church of Ireland Roll of Honour correctly records the regiment in which George served, it shows Alexander serving in the North Irish Horse, and William in the 14th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles. While these last two are possible, the lack of any corroborative evidence suggests that these were clerical errors.

Image sourced from Public Member Trees - contributor 'brendamca19'.