Marjorie Wilson Anderson

WARNING: This article on Senior Commander Marjorie Wilson Anderson deals with the issue of suicide. Miss Anderson died in Ballymena, Co. Antrim in 1943.

Senior Commander Marjorie Wilson Anderson (192396) served in the Women's Transport Service during World War Two. She was a member of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry and Senior Commander of an Auxiliary Territorial Service Camp in Ballymena, Co. Antrim.

Marjorie was the elder daughter of Samuel Wilson Anderson, Chairman of the Braidwater Spinning Co. Ltd., and Edith Maude Monroe Anderson MBE JP of Coleraine, Co. Londonderry. Marjorie resided at Bailee House, Ballymena, Co. Antrim. She was well-known in the area and was Assistant Commissioner of the local Girl Guides.

Miss Anderson died at Waveney Hospital, Ballymena, Co. Antrim at 1930hrs on 15th November 1943 aged 41 years old. Dr. John Armstrong treated her as she was admitted in a state of collapse.

On the evening of 14th November, Marjorie Anderson spent the evening socialising with Junior Commander Evelyn Knox Hird. Junior Commander Hird stated that she knew nothing to cause Miss Anderson any worry. The two had attended a course in England returning on the Sunday evening.

The two ladies went to bed around 2330hrs, Hird thought she heard Miss Anderson stumble on the stairs and noted she had dropped her cigarette case. Miss Hird brought the case to Anderson’s room. As Hird was falling asleep, she heard another noise, but assuming it to be the cat knocking something over, she did not investigate.

ATS Private Betty Russell went to Miss Anderson’s room at 0800hrs on Monday 15th November and knocked on the door. Subaltern FG Mayne and Junior Commander Ann Caroline D Hind found Senior Commander Anderson lying in bed, dressed in pyjamas.

Assuming Miss Anderson to have taken ill, Private Russell telephoned Captain Eileen Gibson, Officer in Command of the ATS Reception Station. She was based at the nearby Adair Arms Hotel.

Mid-Antrim Coroner Mr. George B Carruth confirmed cause of death to be suicide. Authorities, medical staff, and the coroner expressed their sympathies to the family who were well-known and liked in the Ballymena area.

Marjorie Wilson Anderson’s grave is in Section A, Square 10, Grave 26 of Ballymena New Cemetery, Ballymena, Co. Antrim. Her headstone bears the inscription:

In ever-loving memory.

Her name is also on the Second World War Memorial in First Ballymena Presbyterian Church.