Over the seven years we published a Clan Newsletter the article which got most response, all I think appreciative, was The Clan in The Military. I have already referred to the Military Service of a number of Clan members in blogs on 27th March, 23rd June, 17th July, 8th September, 30th November, 12th December last year and 12th of January this year. These blogs cover 10 McIlhagga men: James Spence, Robert W., John (AKA McFarlane), Lindsay, John Hutchinson, Archibald Duncan, George, Joseph McCulloch, James and William Neil Duncan. But there were others and today I'll mention three.
First, there was Robert, known as Ross, McIlhagga, born about 1933 who died 3rd October 2001 in British Columbia, Canada. His passing is recorded in The Legion Magazine, Gibson's Branch. Ross served as a Private, Service No. M1435135. After the Second World War he was posted to The Army Reserve. He was 68 years old when he died. At present I do not know to which Clan Family Tree he belongs.
Medal Cards were created for every man and woman who served in the Forces and I have one for James McIlhagga whom we have met as part of the 'Ballycloughan Family'. He was a Private in the First World War, in the Seaforth Highlanders (Reg.No. S/28088) and in the Royal Highlanders (Reg.No. S/30566), over the period 1914-1920. He was born on 13th May 1898 in Greenock to James and Johanna (nee McCulloch) McIlhagga. In 1922 aged 24 he emigrated to the USA on the Ship Columbia arriving at Ellis Island, New York. In 1924, in Buffalo, New York, he married Jean Blue Crawford and two years later had a son James. In 1930 they were living in Triangle Street as a family with two of Jean's brothers as lodgers, Alexander and Archibald. James was naturalized as a US Citizen on 2nd December 1937. By then he and Jean had had their second son, William Archibald. James died in Buffalo, Erie, New York, on 5th January 1970.
Another James was James J. McIlhagga born in Belfast in 1917 and who died during World War Two on 9th February 1943, aged only 26. He was a Gunner in the Royal Artillery (Reg.No 7018808) and the Army Roll of Honour says he served 'At Sea'. He was in fact with the 4th Maritime Regiment and he is commemorated in Devon, England, on the Plymouth Naval Memorial. This is on The Hoe, overlooking Plymouth Sound. It is illustrated above, together with Panel 84, Col.3. I was able to make a donation to the organisation which kindly provides these photographs. This James was probably one of the five children of Samuel McIlhagga, born about 1872 in Belfast.