James Alex Bell Barlowe was the son of James A Barlowe and Martha Barlowe. James was born on 25th September 1895 in the district of Cookstown, probably in the Stewartstown area. The family moved to Belfast. His father was a journalist. James was educated at R.B.A.I. James enlisted in September 1914. James went up through the ranks very quickly. By 29th November 1915 he attained the rank of Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant. All of this occurred while he was in England. James caught influenza and Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant Barlowe died of acute pulmonary tuberculosis at his home at Grangefield, Craigavad, County Down on 16th July 1919.
James Alex Bell Barlowe was the son of James A Barlowe and Martha Barlowe. James A Barlowe married Martha Bell on 17th December 1891 in the district of Cookstown.
James Barlowe was born on 25th September 1895 in the district of Cookstown, probably in the Stewartstown area. He was the eldest of five children. All the others were sisters.
The family moved to Belfast from Stewartstown sometime between 1895 and 1901.
The 1901 census lists James A as age 5, the son of a journalist, living with the family at house 107 in Cambrai Street, Shankill Ward, Belfast.
Family: James A Barlowe, Martha Barlowe, Sarah Donis Barlowe (born 22nd September 1892, Cookstown), James Alex Bell Barlowe (born 25th September 1895, Cookstown), Thurrinda Rowena W Barlowe (born 19th August 1902, Belfast), Algyura L M Barlowe (born 15th October 1903, Belfast), Edwyna N E Barlowe (born 15th October 1907, Belfast).
The 1911 census lists James Alex Bell as age 15, living with the family at house 49 in Cliftonville Road, Clifton, Belfast. James was still at school.
James Alexander Bell Barlowe was educated at Royal Belfast Academical Institution (R.B.A.I.), or ĎInstí as it is more commonly known.
Prior to enlistment James was a typist living with his parents at 49 Cliftonville Road, Belfast.
James Barlowe joined up at Belfast on the 15th September 1914 aged 19 years and one month and was posted to Finner Camp, County Donegal into the Royal Irish Rifles.
James went up through the ranks very quickly. On 23rd February 1915 he became a Lance Corporal. On 14th April 1915, he became a Corporal. On 7th July 1915, a Sergeant, and on the 29th November 1915 he attained the rank of Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant. All of this occurred while he was in England.
Postcard from August 1915 to Sgt J A B Barlowe, 17th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, Newcastle, County Down:
Read your letter and was glad to hear from you. Would have written sooner but have been on holidays this past month. Weather have been ideal now. I suppose same with you. Did you hear Jack Wright was home? He is still fit and fine. Stewart and all the other boys are in the pink. I suppose you will be home every fortnight. Jim has started business. Kind Regards, Mai
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 2nd December 1915:
Staff Sergeant J.A.B. Barlowe, Royal Irish Rifles, on transfer from the 17th Battalion, of which he was orderly room sergeant, to the 19th Battalion, has been appointed (acting) regimental quartermaster- sergeant (warrant officer, class two). He is a son of James A Barlowe, Cliftonville, and enlisted in the 14th (Y.C.V.) Battalion fourteen months ago.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 4th December 1915:
Staff Sergeant Jim A B Barlowe, Royal Irish Rifles, has been appointed (acting) Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant (Warrant Officer Class Two). He is the only son of Mr J A Barlowe, formerly of Stewartstown, where he was born twenty years ago. He was educated at Belfast Royal Academical Institution, where he excelled in French, Latin and Mathematics. He had just begun his career as a journalist when war broke out. Not choosing to wait for a commission, he enlisted as a private soldier in the Young Citizenís Volunteers. After five months service, he was transferred to the 17th Battalion as a lance corporal, attained to the highest public rank of his department in less than eight months, and is the youngest of his rank in the British Army. He is a well-known cricketer, played for the regimental team last summer and is the holder of several athletics trophies. His father served in the depot, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry and the North Irish Horse; his grandfather the late Mr James Barlowe, served for some time in his youth in the 27th Inniskillings; his great-grandfather, Sergeant Major James Barlowe, Fintona Corps of Yeomanry, was a veteran of the Irish Rebellion of 1798, and in 1797 was one of the two yeomen who made the memorable defence of Dungiven Glebe, and its valuable stores of arms and ammunition against over 300 rebels. Both the father, grandfather and great-grandfather of this Sergeant Barlowe (who died in 1831) served in the army, the last named having been a commissioned officer.
On the 15th June 1918 he embarked from Folkestone and disembarked at Boulogne the same day. He was then admitted into hospital at Etaples the same day suffering from mild influenza.
On the 22nd June 1918 he was transferred to 6 Stationary Hospital, Le Harve.
Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant James Barlowe was discharged from hospital on the 28th July 1918 fit for war service on to Base Depot, Le Harve with was serving with the 19th Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles.
On 27th February 1919 he was demobilised to his home at Craigavad, Ireland. He was suffering from tuberculosis.
Letter from James Barlowe (father), to Officer in Charge of Records (Army) dated 19th June 1919: Grangefield, Craigavad, County Down.
Sir, or your information I beg to report to you that my son, James Alexander Bell Barlowe, late 14/17230 Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant, Royal Irish Rifles, now residing at the above address, is ill and has practically been confined to bed since 4th February last, or a week after his return from France. He is in category A, but so ill that he cannot be any longer in that class. He is in full disability allowance from the Holywood Pensions Committee. Under the circumstances is he not now entitled to his discharge from the army? I an sir, your obedient servant, J A Barlowe.
Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant Barlowe died of acute pulmonary tuberculosis at his home at Grangefield, Craigavad, County Down on 16th July 1919.
Letter from James Barlowe (father), to Officer in Charge of Records (Army) dated 17th July 1919 - Grangefield, Craigavad, County Down.
Sir, I have to inform you of the death (through illness contracted whilst on active service in France) of my son, James Alexander Bell Barlowe, Royal Irish Rifles, late 14/17230 Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant, which occurred at the above address on the night of the 16th July. If you desire ant further information please communicate with me. Yours faithfully, James A Barlowe.
Letter from James Barlowe (father), to Officer in Charge of Records (Army) dated 24th September 1919 - Grangefield, Craigavad, County Down.
Sir, On the 16th July last my son, the late 14/17230 R.Q.M.S. James Alexander Bell Barlowe, Royal Irish Rifles died at the above address on 18th following was interred at Stewartstown, County Tyrone, where he was born 24 years ago this day. The cost of the funeral (by motor hearse) was £25. I understand that a recent ?? provides for a grant in aid of such funerals to the amount of ??. If this be so, to whom should I apply for the grant? I should say that my son was demobilised on 27th February last, and on his return from France, took ill on the way home and died as I have already stated. He was my only son. I remain sir, yours faithfully, J A Barlowe.
Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant James Barlowe is buried in Donaghendry Church of Ireland Churchyard, Stewartstown, and is commemorated on their Roll of Honour in the church.
Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant James Barlowe is commemorated on Stewartstown Cenotaph.
Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant James Barlowe is also commemorated on Glencraig War Memorial in County Down.
The CWGC record Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant J A B Barlowe as the only son of James A. Barlowe, of Dundiven, Craigavad, Belfast, and the late Martha Barlowe.