Unmarked grave of Larne’s ‘forgotten’ Great War solider located

Alan Rice leaving a poppy cross on the unmarked grave.
Alan Rice leaving a poppy cross on the unmarked grave.

The unmarked grave of a seemingly forgotten soldier of the Great War has been located in Larne New Cemetery.

Alan Rice, chairman of Larne & District Great War Society, has been trying to locate the grave for some time and his persistence finally paid off when he and society secretary Paul Duffin recently visited the cemetery and, thanks to the help Mid & East Antrim Borough Council’s Kirk Letson, were able to locate the grave.

The society stated Charles Mayberry, a member of the UVF Larne Battalion A2 Company (Larne), was one of those who answered Edward Carson’s call in September 1914 and enlisted in the 12th Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles.

However, he was discharged as medically unfit while undergoing training at Seaford on the south coast of England and returned home to work at the British Aluminium Company at Larne Harbour. On the afternoon of Monday, September 11, 1916, having worked an eight hour shift, he was walking home along Curran Road when he collapsed. Despite the attentions of Drs Rutherford and Wilson, he was pronounced dead at the scene aged only 19 years.

Two days later, he was buried with full military honours, a detachment of the Royal Irish Regiment providing the firing party.

Charles, who had lived with an uncle at 32 Cason Street at the time of enlistment and at 29, St John’s Place at the time of his death, left behind his mother, Annie Greenlees of Lowtown, Kilwaughter.

The details are going to be submitted to ‘In From The Cold’, an organisation which prepares cases for overlooked service personnel and submits details to the relevant authorities, with a view to possible recognition by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Larne & District Great War Society would be grateful if anyone was able to provide a picture of Rifleman Mayberry or, for that matter, any other servicemen or women of the Great War and can be contacted through Alan Rice on 028 28260184 or Paul Duffin on 07715 164938.