Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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   2nd Lieutenant William James Morrison Andrews
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 17/08/2018
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Corps (British Air Force)
Died: 04/06/1917 (Died by accident)
Age: 26
Summary      
William James Morrison Andrews was the eldest son of Alexander and Violet Andrews. He was born at Dungannon about 1891. They lived at Chapel Road, Dungannon. His father, Alex was a tea merchant. James attended the Royal School Dungannon between 1903 and 1908. He studied engineering in London and by December 1916, James had joined the Royal Flying Corps. In May 1917 he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant and began training as a pilot. 2nd Lieutenant William James Morrison Andrews was with the Royal Flying Corps when he was killed in a flying accident on Salisbury Plain on 4th June 1917. He was 26 years old.
2nd Lieutenant William James Morrison Andrews
Further Information
William James Morrison Andrews was the eldest son of Alexander and Violet Andrews. He was born at Dungannon about 1891.
The 1901 census lists Jim as age 10 living at house 1 in Chapel Road, Dungannon. His father, Alex Andrews, was a tea merchant. He was the eldest of four children.
Family : Alexander Andrews, Violet Andrews, William James Morrison Andrews (born about 1891), Annie May Andrews (born about 1892), Arthur Alexander Andrews (born about 1894), Fred Stanley Andrews (born about 1895).
James attended the Royal School Dungannon between 1903 and 1908, which was only yards away. All three brothers attended the school. James played rugby for the school.
In 1908 he went to London to study engineering at the City and Guilds Technical College.
The 1911 census does not list William James as living with the family at house 1 in Chapel Road, Dungannon.
By 1911, James was living in Chippenham, Wiltshire. He was now studying engineering with the Royal Signal Engineers.
1914
At the outbreak of war in 1914, James was, according to a newspaper report, in business in London.
1915
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 29th May 1915: (brother of William Andrews)
Mr Arthur Andrews, who was home for the weekend, is the second son of Mr Alexander Andrews, Stuart Place, Dungannon. Educated at Dungannon Royal School, he obtained an appointment in the Belfast Bank after public competition. He served in the company’s offices in Portaferry and Coleraine and also in Bangor. He has answered his country’s call on Easter Tuesday and joined the Cadet Corps of the 17th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, and is at present stationed at Newcastle, County Down.
1916
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 13th July 1916: Wounded Dungannon Soldiers (brother of William Andrews)
Second Lieutenant Arthur Andrews, Royal Irish Fusiliers (Armagh Volunteers), who, as already reported, was wounded on the 1st July, has now written to his father, Mr Alexander Andrews, Stuart Place, Dungannon, stating that he sustained a compound fracture of the thigh, but is progressing favourably.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 13 July 1916: Arthur Andrews (brother of James Andrews)
Second Lieutenant Arthur Andrews, Irish Fusiliers, wounded in the thigh, is the second son of Mr Alexander Andrews, Stuart Place, Dungannon, and received his commission on 23rd August 1915. Previous to this, he was in the employment of the Belfast Banking Company in Coleraine and Belfast. He was educated at the Royal School Dungannon.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 15th July 1916: (brother of William Andrews)
Newspaper report
Second Lieutenant Arthur Andrews, Royal Irish Fusiliers, has been wounded in the thigh. He is the second son of Mr Alexander Andrews, Stuart Place, Dungannon, and received his commission on 23rd August 1915. Previous to this he was in the employment of the Belfast Banking Company in Coleraine and Belfast. He was educated at the Royal School Dungannon.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 20 July 1916: Arthur Andrews (brother of James Andrews)
Second Lieutenant Arthur Andrews, Irish Fusiliers, who as already reported, was wounded on 1st July, has written to his father Mr Alexander Andrews, Stuart Place, Dungannon, stating that he sustained a compound fracture of the thigh, but is progressing favourably.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 22nd July 1916: (brother of William Andrews)
Second Lieutenant Andrews, Royal Irish Fusiliers, who, as already noted, has been wounded in action, has written to his father, Mr Alexander Andrews, Stuart Place, Dungannon, intimating that he sustained a compound fracture of the thigh, caused by a bullet wound.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 23rd December 1916: (brother of William Andrews)
Second Lieutenant Arthur Andrews, Royal Irish Fusiliers, returned home to Dungannon on Tuesday suffering from wounds received in the famous advance on 1st July. He is the second son of Mr Alexander Andrews, Stuart Place, Dungannon, and received his commission on 23rd August 1915, having prior to volunteering been in the employment of the Belfast Banking Company in Coleraine and Belfast. He has sustained a compound fracture of the thigh, and the sciatic nerve had also been injured causing severe pain.
By December 1916, James had joined the Royal Flying Corps.
1917
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 20th January 1917: (brother of William Andrews)
Second Lieutenant Fred Stanley Andrews, who has been granted a commission in the Royal Inniskilling fusiliers, is the third son of Mr Alexander Andrews, Stuart Place, Dungannon, senior circuit steward of Dungannon Methodist Circuit. Second Lieutenant Arthur Andrews was a candidate for the pharmaceutical profession, but volunteered for active service a considerable time ago and attended the Officer Training Corps at Fermoy. Mr Andrews’ eldest son, Mr James Andrews, and his second son, Second Lieutenant Arthur A Andrews, Royal Irish Fusiliers, was severely wounded on 1st July during the advance at the Somme.
In May 1917 he was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant and began training as a pilot.
2nd Lieutenant William James Morrison Andrews was with the Royal Flying Corps when he was killed in a flying accident on Salisbury Plain on 4th June 1917. He was 26 years old.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 6th June 1917:
Second Lieutenant James M Andrews, Royal Flying Corps, who has been killed in a flying accident on Salisbury Plain, was the son of Mr Alexander Andrews, Stuart Place, Dungannon. He was educated at Dungannon Royal School and at the outbreak of war was in business in London. Volunteering in the Royal Flying Corps, he saw considerable service in France, and lately obtained a commission. His younger brother, Second Lieutenant Arthur A Andrews, Royal Irish Fusiliers, was severely wounded on 1st July during the advance at the Somme, while his younger brother, Second Lieutenant Fred Stanley Andrews, received last year a commission in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers from the Officers’ Training Corps at Fermoy.
From the Tyrone Courier dated Thursday 7 June 1917:
We much regret having to announce that Second Lieutenant James M Andrews, Royal Flying Corps, eldest son of Mr Alex Andrews, Stuart Place, Dungannon, has been killed in a flying accident on Salisbury Plain. He was educated at Dungannon Royal School and at the outbreak of war was in business in London. Volunteering in the Royal Flying Corps, he saw considerable service in France, and lately obtained a commission. His younger brother, Sec-Lieut. Arthur A Andrews, Irish Fusiliers, was severely wounded on 1st July during the advance at the Somme, while his younger brother, Sec-Lieut. Fred Stanley Andrews, received last year a commission in the Inniskilling Fusiliers from the Officers' Training Corps at Fermoy.
W J M Andrews gravestone
2nd Lieutenant Andrews' body was returned to Dungannon on the 8th June 1917. It was met by the band of the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. He was buried at Drumcoo Cemetery in Dungannon.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 9th June 1917: Flying Officer’s Funeral
The internment took place in Dungannon yesterday of Second Lieutenant James Morrison Andrews, Royal Flying Corps, eldest son of Mr Alexander Andrews, Stuart Place, Dungannon. On Monday last during his initial solitary flight, he was accidentally killed on Salisbury Plain. The remains arrived in Dungannon yesterday morning by motor hearse (supplied by Messrs T Johnson & Sons, Bedford Street, Belfast), and were met at the town boundary by the band of the 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, under bandmaster Watson Ramsey, and firing party under the command of Lieutenant Colonel G P Stewart, Omagh, and a force of police in charge of District Inspector Barrington. The funeral service in the chu4rch was conducted by Rev William Bryans, and an address was delivered by Rev R E Sherwood, Armagh, The internment took place in the town cemetery.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 11th June 1917: Fred S Andrews (brother of William Andrews)
Second Lieutenant Fred S Andrews, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, wounded, is a son of Mr Alexander Andrews, Stuart Place, Dungannon, whose eldest son, Second Lieutenant James M Andrews, Royal Flying Corps, was accidentally killed on his initial flight in England a few days ago. Another son, Arthur A Andrews, was very severely wounded while serving with the Royal Irish Fusiliers at the beginning of the big offensive movement on the Somme last July, and he has not yet recovered from the effects of his injuries. A telegram has been received from Second Lieutenant Fred Andrews, stating that he has arrived in England.
From the Tyrone Courier dated Thursday 14 June 1917: Fred S Andrews (brother of William Andrews)
Second Lieutenant Fred S Andrews, Inniskillings, son of Mr Alex Andrews, Dungannon, and brother of the late Lieutenant Jim Andrews and Arthur A Andrews, is in hospital in Cambridge. His injuries are not of a serious nature.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 21st June 1917: The Late Lieutenant Andrews (Dungannon Council)
Mr Skeffington referred to the death in a flying accident of Second Lieutenant W J M Andrews, R.F.C., Dungannon, and proposed a resolution of sympathy with the relatives. He had died when serving in one of the most dangerous and exacting branches of the service, and the relatives had their keen sympathy at the funeral of this most gallant young man. The resolution was unanimously passed. The chairman referred to the deaths of in action of Private Milligan, a son of one of their employees, and Shoeing Smith F Carberry, a brother of one of their members, who had died upholding the honour of Dungannon abroad, and the clerk was directed to convey the Council’s sympathy to the relatives.
1918
From the Tyrone Courier and Dungannon News dated Thursday 14 March 1918: Fred Andrews (brother of James Andrews)
Second Lieutenant Fred S Andrews, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who has been wounded for the second time, is the youngest son of Mr Alex Andrews, Stuart Place, Dungannon. This officer obtained his commission on 19th December 1916 and was wounded whilst serving in France last summer. His eldest brother, Second Lieutenant James M Andrews, Royal Flying Corps, was accidentally killed whilst flying over Salisbury Plain in June 1917, and his elder brother Lieutenant Arthur A Andrews, Royal Irish Fusiliers (County Armagh Volunteers), who was severely injured in the attack before Thiepval on 1st July 1916, recently relinquished his commission owing to injuries received on active service.
The CWGC record James as the son of Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Andrews, of Woodvale, Ballymena, Co. Antrim.
He is commemorated on West Church (Presbyterian) Memorial, Ballymena as well as Dungannon War Memorial.
Many thanks to Paul Kerr and the Royal School Dungannon for the information and images provided.
Read more
Relevant Dungannon Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Chapel Road Dungannon Central Census listing in Chapel Rd, Dungannon 54.505175 -6.763912
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists Andrews family Lists William James as age 10 living at house 1 in Chapel Road, Dungannon
2 1911 Census lists Andrews family Does not list William James as living with the family at house 1 in Chapel Road, Dungannon
3 Ballymena 1914-18 Commemorated in West Presbyterian Church, Ballymena
4 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of WJM Andrews's headstone can be purchased here.
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2020