Monday, 26 May 2014

Ligoniel Rifle Club

The Ligoniel Rifle Club won the indoor league in 1914-1915 and the photograph on the left shows some of the winning team.

The man sitting behind the winners' shield was Robert James Adgey (1872-1957), a Belfast pawn-broker and gun-dealer, who was associated with Major Fred Crawford in the arming of the Ulster Volunteer Force.

He later recorded his memoirs in the book Arming the Ulster Volunteers 1914.

Adgey owned a pawn-broker's business at Peter's Hill and at the 1911 census he lived at Ballymagarry, in the Woodvale area, with his parents and younger brother.  His father, an elderly retired farmer, was suffering from dementia or some other form of mental illness.  Previously the family had lived for some years at 36 Dover Street but they moved to Ballymagarry around 1908.

The photograph of the Ligoniel Rifle Club appears to have been taken in a garden, possibly at Ligoniel, but there is currently no other information about the rifle club, of which there were many in Ulster at that time.


  1. I think his brothers, David and Thomas, served with RIRifles in WW1 and appear as "Also Served" on the war memorial in May Street Presbyterian Church. There are also men called Adgey on the PCI Roll of Honour for the Agnes Street, Bethany (Agnes Street) and St Enoch's congregation. I have a newspaper picture of Thomas Alexander Adgey, Royal Engineers, of Agnes Street PC.

  2. When I was out at Umgall cemetery recently I came across the grave of a Robert James Adgey. The next stage is probably to look at the death notices and any obituaries for R J Adgey.

  3. R J Adgey died on 18 August 1957 and he was described as 'late of Moss House, Ballymather, Muckamore'.