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Templecorran Graveyard

General information


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The Templecorran Graveyard has many graves of local and wider interest contained within. These range from United Irishmen of 1798 to an Orange Order grave carved with Orange lilies and other devices including a dove, swords, and three-runged ladder. There are also gravestones with Masonic emblems. The graveyard is generally well maintained and although some stones have suffered the ravages of time, most are clearly legible and visible. The ruins of the Templecorran Church are a central point to the graveyard, and the older graves are generally found alongside or to the east of the ruin, as well as inside. Provision of a graveyard trail and marker board for visitors has been a useful addition to the graveyard, and provides general details on the history of the area as well as the individuals whose graves are marked.

 

The area itself is a highly historic one and this is reflected, not surprisingly, in the graveyard, where many of those who have played a part in that history are interred. The site is highlighted from the main coast road between Carrickfergus and Larne by a brown tourist marker for Templecorran graveyard.

 

The graveyard attached to St John’s Church is small but contains a number of interesting graves, including that of one of the first Members of Parliament for Northern Ireland when the Belfast government was established in 1921, Robert J. McKeown, who was from Whitehead. His grave is dominated by a modern Celtic cross and sites to the east side of the site, behind the church. Rev. James Hamilton Bennett, who was a prominent rector of the Parish of Templecorran and Islandmagee, also has a memorial stone in this graveyard, where he was interred in 1915 after long service. There is also a coastguard’s grave, and those of a number of servicemen. One of the most poignant stones in the small churchyard is that commemorating four-year-old Eliza Gilmore, who died in 1858, and whose gravestone was erected through the donations of local children at Bellahill School, of which she was a pupil.

 

Inside St. John’s Church there is a fine memorial to John William Leopold McClintock, second son of Vice Admiral Sir Leopold McClintock, whose efforts resulted in the discovery of the fate of the Franklin Expedition in the 19th century. John William Leopold McClintock, who died in 1929, served continuously at sea during the First World War and was President of the Royal Naval College at Greenwich at the time of his death. The family have a channel in the Arctic named in honour of Vice Admiral McClintock and have lived at Redhall House, former home of successively the Edmonstone, Ker, McAuley and Porritt families, since the early 1920s.

 

Within the village there is a series of commemorative plaques and memorials which draw attention to the historical significance of the area. On the amenity green there is a plaque in honour of James Orr, Bard of Ballycarry, detailing his life and times, while nearby is a plaque commemorating Rev. Edward Brice of Stirlingshire, first Presbyterian minister in Ireland, which was unveiled in 1993 by one of his successors in Drymen, Rev. John Hay, and placed by the local Community Association. The group was also responsible for a large bas relief bronze monument in honour of General Sir James Steele on the green. The large plaque details his service career and the offices which he held and was unveiled by the GOC for Northern Ireland, General Sir Roger Wheeler, in the 1990s. At the Ballycarry Primary School wall there is a plaque commemorating American GI troops who were stationed at the adjacent Redhall army camp during the Second World War; the camp was also host to English and Belgian troops at different points of the war.

 

The local community group currently plans a war memorial to mark those who gave their lives in two world wars. It is intended to locate this memorial on the village amenity green, beside the General Steele memorial. The men who will be commemorated in this monument include: David Barry, Canadian Mounted Rifles, Harry Creighton, Merchant Navy, Norman Alexander Gillespie, Canadian Highlanders, William James Kirkcaldy, Royal Army Medical Corps, Richard McMaw, Royal Navy, William Robinson, army (all WWI), and William Thomas Clark Adair, Merchant Navy, Jock Craig, army, Samuel C. Delaney, Royal Artillery, William James Delaney, New Zealand Expeditionary Force, Thomas Gettingby, Merchant Navy, John Gracey, Merchant Navy, Edward Heggan, Merchant Navy, John Kane, Merchant Navy, Herbert Alexander McNinch, Merchant Navy, Wing Commander McMullan, Royal Air Force, Captain John Teare, Merchant Navy, and William, Sarah, Lily, Sadie, Rita, Martin and May Hutchinson (all WWII).

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