Wallace Family

Biography/History

Descendents of Colonel Robert Hugh Wallace (1860-1929), solicitor, Downpatrick, Co. Down. Son of the late William Nevin Wallace D.L. of Myra Castle, Co. Down, Robert Wallace was born in December 1860 and educated at Harrow and Oxford where he graduated in law in 1883. He was called to the Bar in 1886 and on the death of his father became head of the firm of Messrs. Hugh Wallace and Co., Solicitors, Belfast and Downpatrick. Wallace enjoyed a notable military career serving with distinction as Lieutenant Colonel of the 5th Battalion Royal Irish Rangers in the South African War, 1899-1902, during which he was awarded the C.B., the Queen's Medal and was mentioned in Dispatches. From 1912 to 1914 he was Commander of the North Belfast Regiment of the Ulster Volunteer Force. In 1914, he was recalled to the Colours and raised and trained the 17th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles. He then took over command of the 19th Battalion until he retired due to poor health in January 1918. He also played an active and energetic role in politics standing unsuccessfully as Unionist candidate at a Parliamentary by-election in East Down in February 1902. Other activities and interests included the Orange Order and church administration in Downpatrick. As regards the former, he was County Grand Master of Belfast between 1903 and 1921 and Grand President of the Grand Orange Council of the world from 1909 to 1912. In church matters, he was Secretary and Treasurer to Down Cathedral Board and a member of the Down and Connor Diocesan Council for a number of years. He died 23 December 1929.