Lieutenant James Crawford Stewart



James Crawford Stewart was born on 28 October 1892 at Bond's Hill, Glendermott, County Londonderry, the second of four children of merchant Samuel Stewart and his wife Isabella (nee Crawford). His father died when he was just eight years old. Educated at Foyle College, Londonderry, by the time of the 1911 Census he was boarding at Eblana Street, Belfast, and working as a clerk for the Belfast Banking Company.

Stewart enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim on 27 April 1916 (No.2159). In November 1916 Stewart was among 100 North Irish Horsemen who volunteered to transfer to the Royal Irish Rifles. The formal transfer took place on 7 December (Stewart was issued regimental number 40921), and on the same day they embarked for France, where they joined the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, on the Somme front.

On 4 April 1917 Stewart applied for a commission in the artillery. Two weeks later he left France for officer cadet training in the UK. After a period of time at the 25th Training Reserve Brigade, on 24 August he was posted to the No.3 Royal Field Artillery Officer Cadet School at Weedon. On 4 February 1918 he was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant and posted to the Royal Field Artillery Special Reserve.

On 27 April 1918 Stewart embarked for France, where he was posted to the Royal Field Artillery's 38th Brigade, D Battery.

Stewart was demobilised on 11 July 1919. He was promoted to lieutenant on 4 August (an automatic step after 18 months as a 2nd lieutenant), and relinquished his commission on 1 April 1920.

Soon after the war Stewart emigrated to New Zealand, where he lived at Te Puke, Bay of Plenty.


Image sourced from Gavin Bamford's site honouring the officials of the Northern Bank and Belfast Bank who served during the two World Wars and in more recent conflicts.