Lance Corporal James Lockhart Russell



James Lockhart Russell was born on 5 August 1891 in King Street, Ballymena, County Antrim, the first of three children of hackler (flax dresser) George Russell and his wife Lizzie (née Lockhart). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Patrick Place, Ballymena, with his parents and brothers and working as a general clerk in a solicitor's office.

Russell enlisted in the North Irish Horse around May 1916 (regimental number unknown). While in training at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp, he was allowed leave to marry Sarah Jane Smyth at the First Presbyterian Church, Broughshane, Antrim, on 22 September 1916.

At the end of December that year, Russell was one of forty North Irish Horsemen who volunteered to transfer to the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. The formal transfer took place on 9 January 1917, and on the same day they embarked for France, where they were posted to the 10th Battalion, joining it at Ploegsteert Wood on the Ypres front on 16 January. Russell was issued regimental number 40663.

On 24 August 1917 the Ballymena Observer reported that:

Mr. George Russell, senr., Patrick Place, Ballymena, has received a letter from his son, Lance-Corporal James L. Russell, Royal Irish Rifles, stating that on the 17th inst., he was thrown off a fully-loaded lumber waggon, one of the wheels of which passed over his both legs, which were badly bruised. He is at present in the 5th Southern General Hospital, Portsmouth. His wife resides at 79, Paisley Street, Glasgow, and his brother, Rfm. Samuel E. Russell, R.I.R., was twice wounded in July last, and is at present in an auxiliary hospital in Perth, Scotland.

Russell's subsequent experiences in the war are not known at present. Following his discharge he returned to Ballymena, where he qualified as a solicitor. He died in a motor accident on 1 April 1941.


Larne Times, 5 April 1941


Russell's brother Samuel Ernest Russell also served in the war, in the North Irish Horse and Royal Irish Rifles.


Image of Russell from the Larne Times, 5 April 1941.