Ref ID: 6377


Roll of Individuals Entitled to the Decoration.


Roll of Individuals Entitled to the Decoration granted under Army Order 20 of 1919, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Life Story

Name: Robert George Quinn.

Service Number: 3308.

Rank: Private.

Battalion: 2nd Battalion.

Regiment: Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

Born: 29th July 1996, Belfast.

Died: 1st April 1917.

Address: 15 North Boundary Street, Belfast


Robert George Quinn, son of Robert and Ruth Quinn, lived with his Aunt Eliza Jane Mateer at 15 North Boundary Street, Shankill Road, Belfast


The 1901 Ireland Census has Robert living at 123 Upper Malvern Street, Shankill Road, Belfast with his mother, father, occupation, Carter Labourer, three brothers, James, 7 years, William John, 6 years, Thomas Henry, 2 years, sister Mary, under 1 year, aunt Eliza Jane Mateer, uncle James Mateer


The 1911 Ireland Census has Roberts family living at 2 Penrith Street, Shankill Road, Belfast. His father Robert now living with his sister, Roberts aunt Eliza Jane and uncle James Mateer, with further children, Richard 8 years (a twin), Esther, 6 years, and Eliza Jane 4 years.

Roberts parents had at least ten children, including twins, one of which David, died at 4 months old, and a sister Alice, who died just days short of her second birthday on the 27th June 1908. Roberts mother herself then sadly died on the 5th November 1909 due to maternity complications


Robert joined the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

He was posted as part of the British Expeditionary Force to France on the 14th April 1915.

Robert was a Private in 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was Killed In Action in France on the 1st April 1917 aged 20 years


A local newspaper states.

Mrs E J M'Ateer, 15 North Boundary Street, Belfast, has been officially notified that her nephew, Private Robert G Quinn, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed in action on 2nd April. He is the third brother to fall in the present was, the other being Private William John Quinn, who died of wounds on the 4th November, 1914, and Private James A Quinn, who was killed at Gallipoli on the 2nd May 1915. All three men were in the Inniskillings, and were brought up by their aunt, Mrs M'Ateer, their mother being dead


Local Information


S.A.S.H has proudly taken part in many projects within the Greater Shankill Community during the Great War Years Centenary Period. One project seen our group offer help around naming those from within the community that had died. Their information was then placed upon Poppy Memorial Boards, which were then placed within the community


One of our members was also asked if they wished to highlight anything in particular instantly chose the Quinn Brothers. Below is the write-up that was placed upon the board and reads as follows



Eliza Jane Mateer may not have been the mother of these four young lads, however she took them, her four nephews, William, James, Robert Thomas, into her North Boundary Street home after the death of their mother Ruth, treated them as if they were her own, all the while doing so to help her Brother Robert, during what was obviously very hard times.

Many families sadly lost loved ones during the Great War, however Eliza Jane lost four young men in their prime. Each year, 1914, 1915, 1917 1918, brought what must have been an unbearable pain to her home.

We have all suffered the loss of someone within our lives, we all know the pain that comes along with that loss, so that is why we should Recognise Remember young men like the Quinn Brothers.

Some families lost sons, husbands, brothers even sisters during the Great War, some even lost the next generation, or family blood line, so that is why we can never forget the Bravery Sacrifice of them all.

Thousands of Brave Shankill men marched down our road off to war, over 1500 of them never returned, with over 150 losing their lives on the 1st of July alone. The loss of the 4 Quinn lads, each a member of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers at one time, is a story of great sadness. These young men, watched as each brother died, one after another, until there was no brothers left.

The famous saying, All Gave Some Some Gave All, seems ever so touching at the thought of this family, The Quinn Brothers.

We should also take a minute to remember Roberts father Robert in this case. Here we have a man who has suffered the loss of at least two young children, his wife Ruth and then his four adults son, 7 people in total within the space of 10 years, something that must have surely been a heart breaking and traumatic period of his life. Robert died on the 14 February 1949 aged 70 years


Roberts Soldiers Effects were left to his aunt Eliza J Mateer.

His signed Wills state, In the event of my death I give the whole of my property and effects and my money to Mrs Eliza Jane Mateer 15 North Boundary Street, off Shankill Road, Belfast.

A Pension Application Form shows his aunt Eliza Jane as claimant for him and his three brothers.

Dependant Pension Application Forms also show his aunt Eliza Jane as claimant for him and his three brothers


See brother also: 10502 Private William John Quinn 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

See brother also: 10064 Private James Adam Quinn 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

See brother also: 18549 Private Thomas Henry Quinn 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Regiment


James received the British War Medal, Victory Medal and 1914-1915 Star


He is Remembered at Savy British Cemetery, France.

To Remember Is To Honour



Shankill Roll of Honour




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