Alexander Irvine (1863 - 1941):
Irvine was born, the ninth of twelve children, in Scott's Entry in the town of Antrim. As a young man he worked as a newsboy, a miner and a soldier before emigrating to the United States in 1888, where he acquired an education. He graduated from Yale University as a minister of religion and preached for some years in the Church of the Ascension, Fifth Avenue, New York.
During the First World War Irvine served as a morale officer on the western front, reputedly at the request of Lloyd George himself. Irvine's publications include The Souls Of Poor Folk (1921) and The Man From World's End (1926), as well as the celebrated My Lady Of The Chimney Corner (1913), a tribute to his mother, Anna Irvine nee Gilmour.
In 1910 he published an account of his early life From the bottom up, in which he recalled that "The world in which I found myself was world of hungry people. My earliest sufferings were the sufferings of hunger - physical hunger. It was not an unusual sight to see the children of our neighbourhood scratching the offal in the gutterways for scraps of meat, vegetables, and refuse. Many times I did so myself."
Alexander Irvine is buried in Antrim Church of Ireland graveyard.
© 2019 Ulster History Circle