Rifleman William James Proudfoot (D/25113) served in 7th Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles during the Second World War. Born on 28th February 1884, he was the son of William Proudfoot and Bridget Mary Proudfoot (née Sheeky) of 67 Victoria Street, Govan, Lanarkshire, Scotland.
In 1892 or 1893, the family moved to Belfast. On 23rd December 1905, William married Martha Boyd at St. Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast. The couple had 8 children, some of whom died in infancy. The Proudfoot family were no strangers to tragedy.
Newtownards Road Snipers
On 17th December 1921, William Senior and William Junior received injuries when disturbances broke out on the Newtownards Road. The father took a gunshot to the abdomen while his son sustained leg wounds. They received £100 and £300 compensation in July 1922.
In August 1923, Proudfoot and his son William again made the news headlines. The elder Proudfoot was the skipper of a boat ‘Moonshine’ which ran into difficulties in Musgrave Channel. A flat bottomed boat carried passengers from the larger vessel that had returned from a cruise to Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim. A broken oar was the cause of a tragic end to the day, that resulted in the deaths of 3 people from the Park Avenue area of East Belfast.
William died at City Hospital, Belfast on 3rd July 1947 aged 63 years old. At the time, he lived with his wife at 33 Frome Street, Belfast. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission database gives his middle name as John.
William James Proudfoot’s grave is in Section F5, Grave 216 of Dundonald Cemetery, Dundonald, Co. Down. His headstone bears the inscription:
Ever remembered by the family circle.