THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: The News Letter records the deaths of notable citizens in obituaries

From the News Letter, June 21, 1916

Monday, 21st June 2021, 9:05 am
A busy street scene in Lurgan, Co Armagh, with a pub, an hotel, pedestrians, police and a well loaded horse and cart on display. The photographer was taken by Fergus O'Connor and it is part of the National Library of Ireland Fergus O’Connor Collection. NLI Ref: OCO 158. Picture:  National Library of Ireland
A busy street scene in Lurgan, Co Armagh, with a pub, an hotel, pedestrians, police and a well loaded horse and cart on display. The photographer was taken by Fergus O'Connor and it is part of the National Library of Ireland Fergus O’Connor Collection. NLI Ref: OCO 158. Picture: National Library of Ireland

On this day in 1916 the News Letter carried a number of obituaries, they included a grocer from Lurgan, a veteran of the Crimean War and old town commissioner for Banbridge.

Firstly, the death of Mr John Fleming, JP, of Lurgan was reported. The obituary read: “Amid many evidences of regret the funeral took place yesterday afternoon of Mr John Fleming, JP, Brooklyn House, Lurgan. Mr Fleming, who had reached the advanced age of 85 years, engaged for the greater part his life in the grocery and licensed business in the premises known the International Hotel, until he retired some years ago. So long ago as 1863 Mr. Fleming was elected one of Lurgan’s town commissioners and in that capacity served ed several terms of office. In the year 1897 he was appointed ex-officio member of the Lurgan Board of Guardians, and from thence onward held a seat on that body until 1912, when he did not seek re-election. Mr Fleming was appointed Justice of the Peace for County Armagh in 1898.”

The News Letter then reported the death of Captain Henry Needham Knox, RN, it detailed: “The death has occurred at Bournemouth of Captain Henry Needham Knox, RN, member of well-known Ulster family. Deceased, who was 85 years age, was the eldest surviving son the late Honourable John Henry Knox, MP, and grandson of the first Earl Ranfurly. His mother, who died in 1899, was daughter the first Earl of Kilmorey. The late Captain Knox served in the Baltic during the Crimean war. He was the first Nautical Assessor the Board of Trade appointed under the Plimsoll Shipping Act, and acted in that capacity for many years; he also served as Nautical Assessor to the Court Appeal. He married, in 1859, Alexandrina (who died in 1875), daughter of M Jean J Lavit.

The last obituary listed in the News Letter that day was for Mr James McIlroy, JP, of Banbridge.

The obituary read: “The death look place yesterday, after a short illness, of Mr James Mcllroy, JP, Banbnridge. He was in attendance his place business this morning when he complained of feeling unwell, and medical assistance was requisitioned, but subsequently he passed away. The announcement his death came as a painful shock to his fellow townsmen and the general public, whom he was held in the utmost esteem and regard for his many estimable qualities. The late Mr McIlroy, who carried a most successful and extensive business as a merchant in Rathtriland Street, was member the old Town Commissioner, and subsequently the council for upwards 40 years past, and was chairman the latter body for many years. He was one of the principal promoters of the Portadown and Banbridge joint water scheme, and was a member of most of the public boards in the district. About eight years ago he was appointed the Lord Chancellor to the commission of the peace for the County of Down. In politics the late Mr McIlroy was a staunch Unionist, and was member of the West Down Unionist Association and also of the Ulster Unionist Council. He was District Master of the Orange Society of Banbridge District. In religion he was devoted adherent of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, and regular worshipper in the congregation at Loughbrickland. His wife predeceased him over year ago and he is survived by his two brothers, Messrs Samuel and John McIlroy. At the meeting of the and Banbridge Joint Water Board, held yesterday, a vote of condolence was passed with the relatives of the deceased.”