Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
Date Information
01/05/2020 02098
21/07/2017 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.
21/07/2017 His father, James Ekin, had worked for many years in the Belfast Bank in Cookstown and Dungannon before emigrating to Australia.
21/07/2017 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).
21/07/2017 By 1910 the family had returned from Australia and were living in London.
21/07/2017 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.
21/07/2017 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.
21/07/2017 Second Lieutenant James Ekin had been reported missing on 1st July 1916 and his body was found later.
21/07/2017 James’ brother, Leslie Montrose Ekin was also serving with the 8th Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment and was also killed that day.
21/07/2017 James Ekin was the son of James and Josephine Ekin. James was born in 1897 in Burwood, Sydney, Australia.
21/07/2017 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.
21/07/2017 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.
21/07/2017 Private James Ekin served with the Rifle Brigade for a time, Service No. 2/2845.
21/07/2017 From the Mid Ulster Mail dated Saturday 23rd September 1916: Second Lieutenant Leslie Montrose Ekin, M.C.
21/07/2017 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.’
21/07/2017 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.
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