Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Rifleman Thomas McDowell

NAME; McDowell, Thomas
RANK; Rifleman
SERV. NO; 12/18276
UNIT/SERVICE; 12th Battalion
REGIMENT; Royal Irish Rifles
BORN; Carrickfergus
LIVED; 7 McKeen’s Row, Carrickfergus
ENLISTED; Carrickfergus 15th September 1914
FATE; Died of influenza, France, October 22nd 1918 aged 24
CHURCH; Congregational
REMARKS:  Thomas was born in Carrickfergus in 1894, son of James and Ellen McDowell and brother to Robert, John, Charles and George.  The entire family lived in 7 McKeen's Row and were all members of the Congregational Church on Albert Road.  Prior to enlisting Thomas worked as a black smiths helper at the works of the International Salt Company in Carrick.  He member of the Central Antrim UVF, he enlisted with 12th Battalion at Barn Mills School on 15th September 1914.

Following training at Clandeboye and England he was sent on active service to France in October 1915 and served across the Western Front with the 12th Battalion.  He was taken prisoner of war on 1st July 1916 on the first day of the Battle of the Somme and spent the next 2 and a half year in Minden POW Camp in Germany.  He died of Spanish Flu in captivity on 22nd October 1918 just week before the end of the war.  He is buried in Cologne Southern Cemetery in Germany, location V. A. 7.  

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