Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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   2nd Lieutenant James Ekin
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 01/05/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 8th Battalion, York & Lancaster Regiment (British Army)
Died: 01/07/1916 (Killed in Action)
Age: 19
Summary      
James Ekin was the son of James and Josephine Ekin. James was born in 1897 in Burwood, Sydney, Australia. His father, James Ekin, had worked for many years in the Belfast Bank in Cookstown and Dungannon before emigrating to Australia. By 1910 the family had returned from Australia and were living in London. Private James Ekin served with the Rifle Brigade for a time, Service No. 2/2845. Second Lieutenant James Ekin was serving with the 8th Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment when he was killed in action on 1st July 1916. James’ brother, Leslie Montrose Ekin was also serving with the 8th Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment and was also killed that day. IT SEEMS UNLIKELY THAT ANY OF THE EKIN BROTHERS EVER LIVED IN THE COOKSTOWN AREA.
Further Information
James Ekin was the son of James and Josephine Ekin. James was born in 1897 in Burwood, Sydney, Australia.
His father, James Ekin, had worked for many years in the Belfast Bank in Cookstown and Dungannon before emigrating to Australia.
Family: James Ekin, Josephine Alice Ekin, Kathleen Ekin (born 1889, Sydney), Leslie Montrose Ekin (born 1893, Sydney), James Ekin (born 1897, Sydney), William John Ekin (born 1899, Sydney), Sydney Montrose Ekin (born 1910, London).
By 1910 the family had returned from Australia and were living in London.
The 1911 British census records that James was living with the family at 5 Redcliffe Square, South Kensington. James Ekin, 57, was a retired property owner from County Tyrone, Ireland. James’ mother, Alice, 43, was from London.
Private James Ekin served with the Rifle Brigade for a time, Service No. 2/2845.
Medal card
Second Lieutenant James Ekin was serving with the 8th Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment when he was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme on Saturday 1st July 1916.
Second Lieutenant James Ekin had been reported missing on 1st July 1916 and his body was found later.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 23rd September 1916: Second Lieutenant Leslie Montrose Ekin, M.C.
Machine Gun Officer of the York and Lancaster Regiment, killed 1st July. Lieutenant Ekin was one of three soldier sons of Mr and Mrs James Ekin, of London. His father may have been remembered as been in the Belfast Bank, both in the Cookstown and Dungannon branches, in the seventies. The deceased officer was a nephew of Messrs W and J Ekin, of Ballymoile, and of Mrs Sandford, Moneymore, and he is a cousin of Mr Hugh Thompson, C. Clr., and Mrs Ekin, Belfast Bank House, Cookstown. He was just 22 years of age. Educated at Sydney Grammar School, he came to England with his parents and had selected law as a profession. He was a member of the Middle Temple and was going to Oxford when the war broke out. He joined the Inns of Court O.T.C. immediately and got his commission in December 1914. For bravery on the field he was awarded the Military Cross, but was killed before he could receive it. His younger brother, of the same battalion, was reported missing since 1st July and has not been heard of since. Their commanding officer, writing to their father says:- ‘Your two sons led their men across No Man’s Land with the utmost gallantry and with the rest of the battalion, earned undying fame.’
James’ brother, Leslie Montrose Ekin was also serving with the 8th Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment and was also killed that day.
The local newspaper reports that they were the nephews of Messrs. W and J Ekin of Ballymoyle, Coagh, and Mrs Sanford, Moneymore, and were cousins of Mr Hugh Thompson, a Cookstown councillor.
Today the two brothers lie less than a mile apart in France. Second Lieutenant James Ekin is buried at Lonsdale Cemetery in Authuile, Albert in the Somme region of France.
Second Lieutenant James Ekin’s youngest brother, Sidney Ekin, was killed in Tunisia on 21st January 1943 whilst serving with the Second Battalion of the London Irish Rifles.
The CWGC record Second Lieutenant James Ekin as the son of James and Josephine Alice Ekin of De Walden Court, Eastbourne. He is recorded as being a native of Sydney, Australia.
IT SEEMS UNLIKELY THAT ANY OF THE EKIN BROTHERS EVER LIVED IN THE COOKSTOWN AREA.
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Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Belfast Bank, Molesworth Rd Cookstown Central Father worked in Belfast Bank, Cookstown 54.645449 -6.743601
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 2nd Lieut Leslie Montrose Ekin Brother of 2nd Lieut James Ekin
2 Australian War Memorial Listed on Australian War Memorial
3 Clapham War Memorials Details of Ekin family in 1911 census (England)
4 Daily Telegraph Listed in Daily Telegraph article
5 Epitaphs of the Great War Details of Ekin family
6 FindAGrave.com Photo of 2nd Lieutenant James Ekin's grave
7 National Archives UK Medal card can be purchased here
8 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of 2nd Lieutenant James Ekin's grave can be purchased here
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2020