Corporal James Ramsey


James Ramsey was born on 1 April 1889 at 15 Suir Street, Belfast, the second of eight children of linen bleacher (later shipyard storekeeper) Robert Ramsey and his wife Amelia (née Stewart). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living in Oldpark Road, Belfast, with his parents and three of his four surviving siblings, and working as a general labourer. By 1914 he was living at 3 Printworks Terrace, Belfast, and working as a rivetter, later as a crane driver. On 21 January that year he married Sarah McKimm Hutchinson. The couple had two children over the next four years.

Ramsey enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 27 or 28 August 1914 (No.1046). He embarked for France on 8 May 1915, where he was posted to A, C or D Squadron.

In August 1916, no doubt due to his civilian trade, Ramsey was transferred to the Royal Engineers, Railway Operating Division (No.198251 – later No. WR/259726). He remained in that role for the duration of the war.


Ramsey's brother Thomas served in the Royal Navy from 1908 to 1920, including on the dreadnought HMS Conquerer through the war.