Major Andrew Francis Grattan served in both the British Army and Royal Air Force during his military career. Born on 28th July 1875 in Rathdowney, Co. Laois, Ireland, he enlisted aged 18 years old.
In 1893, Grattan joined the 1st Leinster Regiment, signing up at Birr, Co. Offaly, Ireland. Over the following 18 years, he served across the world. The 1911 British Census listed Grattan as a Sergeant living in Married Quarters of Ganby Barracks, Devonport, Co. Devon.
After discharge from the army in 1911, Grattan moved to Canada. There, he joined the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force in December 1915. He received a promotion to Regimental Sergeant Major before an accidental leg break. This injury forced a second military discharge for the Irish man.
In July 1918, aged 43 years old, Andrew Grattan joined the Royal Air Force with service number 276443. In his role as an assistant armourer, he was once again promoted to Sergeant. After 201 days of service by February 1919, his old leg injury meant he was not fit for service and a third discharge occurred.
Grattan Family in Bangor
While serving in the forces, he married Matilda Lillian Grattan. The couple had daughters Kathleen Grattan, Hilda Grattan, Shelagh Grattan, and Angeline Grattan. They also had sons, Robert Andrew Grattan and George Francis Grattan.
Major Andrew Grattan’s wife and two of his daughters died during the Luftwaffe raid on Belfast on 16th April 1941. A wayward bomb hit the family home at 40 Ashley Gardens, Bangor, Co. Down. Grattan attended the funeral along with two surviving daughters.
Grattan died later the same year on 23rd December 1941. Andrew Francis Grattan’s grave is in an unmarked plot of Bangor New Cemetery, Bangor, Co. Down.