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Those Who Served


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L/Cpl. Michael "Spud" McGeeney MM..     British Army Royal Dublin Fusiliers   from Hartlepool

Michael McGeeney was severly wounded 3 times during the time he served in France. He was awarded the MM for galantry, apparently it would of been the Victoria Cross ... but he was Irish. He was given leave to return to Hartlepool, where they had a brass band waiting for him.

His nick name was Spud McGeeney and he was known as the Mushroom King, as he knew where to find them. He was also in the Royal Navy at some point on HMS Dido.

Graham Milburn

Pte. John McGhee .     British Army 1st Battalion Royal Scots   from Edinburgh

(d.22nd Apr 1915)

John McGhee lost his life with the 1st Battalion Royal Scots fighting at Sanctuary Wood, Zillebeke. He was aged 26, the son of John and Margaret Wilson McGhee of 85 Westport, Edinburgh. John is remembered in Ypres at the Menin Gate.

Vin Mullen

Pte. John McGonigal .     British Army 2nd Btn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers   from Bootle, Liverpool

(d.3rd Oct 1918)

John McGonigal was my Great Grandfather's eldest brother. He was born in Liverpool in 1889 and died in October 1918 as a POW in Szczypiorno Prisoners of War Cemetery. He has a headstone in Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery (Poland) and his name is also commemorated on the Bootle Civic Monument and Our Lady of Immaculate Conception RC Church in Everton.

Prior to WW1 John worked on Liverpool docks as a labourer together with his father (also John). He was married to Alice at the time of his death and lived at 4, Daley Place, Orrell, Bootle. I would be interested to hear from anyone who had relations at Szczypiorno Prisoners of War Cemetery during WW1.

Richard McGonigal

Pte. H. McGow .     British Army 1st Battalion Royal Scots (d.1st June 1915)

H. McGow is buried in Edinburgh Rosebank Cemetery.

Vin Mullen

Lt. David Stuart McGregor VC..     British Army 6th Btn. Royal Scots (Lothian Regiment) (d.22nd Oct 1918)

Lieutenant David McGregor served with the 6th Battalion, Royal Scots Regiment during WW1. When attached to the 29th Battalion, Machine Gun Corps he was killed in action on the 22nd October 1918, aged 23 and is buried in the Stasegem Communal Cemetery in Belgium. He was the son of David and Annie McGregor, of Ferragon, Craigs Rd., Corstorphine, Edinburgh.

An extract from The London Gazette, dated 13th December, 1918, records the following:-

For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty near Hoogmolen on 22nd of October, 1918, when in command of a section of machine guns attached to the right flank platoon of the assaulting battalion. Immediately the troops advanced they were subjected to intense enfilade machine-gun fire from Hill 66 on the right flank. Lt. McGregor fearlessly went forward and located the enemy guns, and realised that it was impossible to get his guns carried forward either by pack or by hand without great delay, as the ground was absolutely bare and fire swept. Ordering his men to follow by a more covered route, he mounted the limber and galloped forward under intense fire for about 600 yards to cover. The driver, horses and limber were all hit, but Lt. McGregor succeeded in getting the guns into action, effectively engaging the enemy, subduing their fire, and enabling the advance to be resumed. With the utmost gallantry he continued to expose himself in order to direct and control the fire of his guns, until, about an hour later, he was killed. His great gallantry and supreme devotion to duty were the admiration of all ranks.

S Flynn

Pte. E. G. McGregor .     British Army 6th Btn. Wiltshire Regiment (d.7th Jun 1917)

Pte. Peter Archibald McGregor .     British Army 1st Battalion Seaforth Highlanders   from Greenock

(d.31st Jan 1915)

Peter McGregor is my great Grandfather. Peter is buried at Le Touret Military Cemetery, Richebourg-L'Avoue, France. I hope to travel there soon to lay flowers and to remember the sacrifice he and many others made so that we may live our lives in peace.

Archibald McGregor

Gnr. John McGrogan .     British Army 124 Battery Royal Field Artillery   from Belfast

(d.26th Aug 1914)

My Gt Uncle, John McGrogan was born in Belfast in 1896 and as a youth was wayward and spent some time in the notorious Artane Boys Home outside Dublin. When he left the boys home at 16 he joined the Army underage rather than return home to Belfast. He first enlisted in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in 1912 and later joined the Royal Field Artillery as a Gunner in 1913.

When war was declared in Aug 1914 he left Dundalk with 124 Bty and took part in the Battle of Mons and the retreat that followed. As part of the rearguard that followed the retreat his unit took part in the Battle of LeCateau on the 26th of Aug,. During the battle his battery was facing the opposite way to the advancing enemy and for some time they had taken shelter in front of their gun shield from machine gun fire, eventually they managed to turn the guns and fire over the heads of 122 Battery that was directly in front of them. This action went on for some time until two guns were put out of action by direct hits and their ammunition wagon was blown up. They were too far in front to receive a signal to retire, they could not save the guns but they sabotaged them by breaking the breach and sights. Gunner John McGrogan was killed during this action.

At Christmas 1914 his mother had written to the Ministry asking for word of her son as she had not heard from him since he left, She was to hear the bad news from his friend who had been wounded and was back in Belfast on New Years Eve.

Michael P Doyle

Pte. Hugh McGrorty .     Australian Imperial Force 3rd Coy Australian Machine Gun Corps   from Australia

(d.6th May 1917)

Hugh McGrorty died age 27. He was born in Jarrow and was the son of Hugh McGrorty and late Margaret McGrorty (nee Watchman) of Jarrow. He was the husband of Ruby M. McGrorty (nee Kemp).

Hugh is remembered on the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial.

Vin Mullen

Driver Peter McGuiggan .     British Army C Btty, 78 Bde. Royal Field Artillery   from Gateshead

(d.19th Apr. 1917)

TWO GEORDIES AND A WELSHMAN. Lying in the military cemetery at Tilloy-Les-Mofflaines are three headstones of soldiers of "C" Battery of the 78th Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery, all members of the same gun team, who were killed outright on the night of the 19th April 1917. In the middle is Driver Peter McGuiggan, aged 26 and on either side of him are Gunner James E. Martin, aged 34 and Gunner Albert Seymour Lloyd MM, aged 23 The War Diary of the 78th Brigade records that the Brigade was positioned at Monchy in foul weather and under constant barrage. All three were killed instantly when their gun recieved a direct hit from enemy shelling during the night of the 19th April 1917. Driver Peter McGuiggan had been a miner in Gateshead. In fact a putter and was therefore accoustomed to working with horses. In the RFA he became a driver (of horses) and would have ridden one of the pair of horses making up the six horse team that carried the guns into action. He was married and had two small boys. Gunner James E. Martin came from Chester-le-stret in County Durham and I unfortunately know little of his pre-war life or occupation. Gunner Albert Seymour Lloyd was prior to the war an apprentice in Pembroke Dockyard. His father was an Alderman of that town. The lie togethe these three comrades, two geordies and a welsheman.

John McGuiggan

Spr. Joseph Tasman McGuinness .     Australian Imperial Force. 1st Australian Tunneling Company

john roberts

Pte. McGuire .     British Army

Pte Mcguire is commemorated at Jarrow. Three most likely possibilities are as follows:

  • Michael McGuire, Private 1742, 1st/5th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers. Died 4th June 1916. La Laiterie Cemetery. Son of Ralph and the late Mary McGuire 3 Portugal Place Wallsend.
  • John George McGuire, Private 6075, 1/5th Btn. Northumberland Fusiliers. Died 1st October 1916. Warlencourt Cemetery. Son of Charles and Ellen McGuire of 8 Lucy Street, Stanley.
  • Michael McGuire, Private 12372, 8th Btn. Northumberland Fusiliers. Died 21st september 1915. Helles Point Memorial. Son of William Joseph and Ellen McGuire of 62 Middle Street, North Shields.

Vin Mullen

Pte. John McGuire .     British Army 1st Battalion Royal Scots (d.30th Apr 1915)

John McGuire of the 1st Battalion was wounded in fighting at Sanctuary Wood, Zillebeke, Belgium. He died of wounds in hospital and is buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery.

Vin Mullen

Pte. Edward "Ned" McGuirk .     British Army 2nd Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers   from Blackrock, Co.Dublin

(d.21st Apr 1915)

My great granduncle, Edward McGuirk was killed in action in April 1915 whilst serving with 2nd Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers. He was born in Blackrock on the 8th of April 1889 to Edward McGuirk and Mary Anne Davis. I don't know much about him except that he worked as a gardener in Frescati House. I'm a bit confused as to what his date of death is. On some records it says he died on April 12th 1915 and on others it says April 21st 1915. I have a copy of his baptism cert from St.John the Baptist Church, Blackrock dated 21st April 1915 which I presume the family got on hearing of his death which would make April 12th the more likely date unless it's just pure coincidence.

Ned is not on any of the memorials (something which I'm going to change)or listed in any cemetery records so I don't know if they ever recovered him or if he's one of the thousands of unknown soldiers buried in the cemeteries.

His older brother, Michael, was also a soldier in WW1 and survived but I'm not sure what regiment he was in. I heard that more of the McGuirk brothers went to war but I haven't confirmed it yet.

Louise Maher

Pte. Bernard McGurk .     British Army 125th Coy. Machine Gun Corps   from Jarrow

(d.6th Sep 1917)

Bernard McGurk, Private 68572, served with 125th Company, Machine Gun Corps and died on the 6th September 1917. He is remembered at St. Paul's Church and is buried at Aeroplane Cemetery. His medal card shows the award of the War and Victory Medals.

Bernard was born in Jarrow 1893, son of the late Patrick and Maria McGurk nee Timney of 45 Caledonian Road, Jarrow. In the 1911 census the family is living at that address with Maria(52) widow who had been married for 25 years, had 9 childen of whom 7 survived. Four are still single and living at home. Bernard(20) a shipbuilding clerk, Joseph(16) a boilermaker in shipping, Florence is 15, at home and Edmund(10) is at school. Maria's sister Eliza (56) is recorded as a visitor.

Vin Mullen

Pte. James McGurk .     British Army 1st Btn. Royal Scots (d.25th Feb 1915)

James McGurk, Private 3802, died of wounds and is buried in Dickebusch Old Cemetery in Belgium.

Vin Mullen

Pte. John McGurk .     British Army 2nd Btn. Northumberland Fusiliers (d.8th May 1915)

Vin Mullen

Gnr. John Thomas S. McHale .     British Army 48th Bde. Royal Field Artillery   from Jarrow

(d.7th July 1918)

John McHale served in D Battery, 48th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery and died on the 7th July 1918. He is remembered at St. Paul's Church and is buried in Villers Station Cemetery, Villers-au-Bois. His medal card shows the award of the War and Victory Medals.

John was born in Sunderland in 1894, son of John and the late Florence McHale nee Littlefair of 60 McIntyre Street, Jarrow. In the 1911 census the family is living at that address with John(42) a widower, working as a barman in a public house. 5 children were born but only 3 survived and are living here. John(16) is a butchers assistant, Florence(14) is a domestic servant and Margaret(12) is still at school.

Vin Mullen

Pte. John McIlhone .     British Army Royal Scots Fusiliers   from Edinburgh

My Great Grandfather, John McIlhone, served in the Boer War and upon declaration of war with Germany in August 1914 joined the Royal Scots Fusiliers. He was stationed at Fort Matilda in Gourock prior to embarking for France.

He fought at the first major battle at Mons. He was then badly wounded at Neuve Chappelle on 17th of March 1915 spending 6 weeks at a Base Hopsital near Rouen. After this he was transfered to the Machine Gun Corps. He was wounded again in early 1916. In 1917 he received a 10 day pass home to Edinburgh and in March 1918 a 14 day pass. Upon returning to France in March 1918 he was wounded for the fourth time and duly hopsitalised. He survived the War and returned to Edinburgh.

John McIlhone

Samuel McIlroy .     British Army 14th Btn. att 109th Light Trench Mortar Bty Royal Irish Rifles (d.1st Jul 1916)

Lt. Ronald Alison McInnis .     Australian Imperial Force 26th Infantry Battalion   from Australia

Ronald Alison McInnis was born near Mackay, Queensland, on 20th November 1890. Educated at Maryborough Grammar School, he trained for several years as an apprentice surveyor in Mackay and also qualified as a computing draughtsman. On 8th October 1912, McInnis was registered as an authorised surveyor. The 24-year-old enlisted with the Australian Imperial Force on 21st May 1915 and left Brisbane with the 26th Infantry Battalion aboard HMAT Ascanius on 24th May 1915.

McInnis was deployed to Gallipoli in September that year and spent the next two months rotating in and out of the trenches before being tasked with surveying the extensive tunnel system at Quinn's Post. Gallipoli was evacuated before he could finish his plan for the tunnel system, and during December 1915 he was transferred to the 8th Field Company of the Royal Australian Engineers. McInnis finished his plan for Quinn's Post early the following year and in June was sent to the Western Front. In September he was made an officer and on the same day as his promotion was transferred to the 53rd Infantry Battalion. From then on McInnis served at the front line with the battalion, his duties including trench construction and repair, and acting as a liaison officer to other battalions. His diary entries describe in great detail the battles in which he participated. One such entry depicts McInnis' brush with death in October 1916 while at the front. He was about to take a rest when a salvo of shells landed nearby. As McInnis looked to see where they had landed he noticed the wall of the trench he was in falling towards him. At first he struggled to free himself from the soft earth, but as it settled and compressed he realised it was slowly crushing him. Fortunately, members of his unit saw what had happened and managed to dig him out. In 1917 he attended several training courses, received a promotion to lieutenant, and participated in the battle at Passchendaele. McInnis' last major action on the front would be at the pivotal battle of St. Quentin Canal in September 1918.

After the Armistice McInnis went to London, and on 23d March 1919 he left for Australia. He later married and went on to have an extensive career in town planning. Ronald McInnis died at Hobart, Tasmania on 8th May 1982.

s flynn

Pte. John McIntosh .     British Army 1st Btn. Seaforth Highlanders   from Jarrow

(d.24th Nov 1916)

John McIntosh served in the 1st Battalion, the Seaforth Highlanders and died on the 24th November 1916. He is remembered at Monkton Memorial and is buried in Amara War Cemetery in Mesopotamia (Iraq). His medal card records the award of the War and Victory Medals.

John was born in Hebburn 1889 son of John and Annie Grant McIntosh nee McGregor of Hebburn. He was married to Elizabeth Minnie McIntosh nee Waister of High House Cottage, Monkton, Jarrow. In the 1911 census the family is living at 30 Cuthbert Street, Hebburn with John(46) a ships plater and his wife of 21 years Ann(39)having nine children all singe and at this address. John(21) general labourer at chemical plant, Simon(18)ships platers helper, William(16) ships platers apprentice, Elizabeth(13), Barbara(11), Angus(8) and Hector(5) at school. Alexander is 2 and Ann is 3 months old.

Vin Mullen

Lsg.Sea. Leonard Victor McIntosh .     Royal Navy SS Baron Ailsa   from Jarrow

(d.9th May 1918)

Leonard Victor McIntosh served on board the SS Baron Ailsa and died age 20 on the 9th May 1918 when the vessel was sunk.

Leonard was born in Pelaw and lived in Jarrow. He was the son of Robert and Hannah Elizabeth McIntosh nee Forster of 6 Connaught Terrace, Jarrow. In the 1911 census the family is living at 12 Pearson Place, Jarrow with Robert(35) a marine engine fitter and his wife of 14 years Hannah Elizabeth(43) having had 8 children and 7 survived all of whom are at or below school age. Leonard Victor 13, Grace 11, Richard 9, Robert 7, Doris Ellen 5, Sidney 3 and George who is 7 months old.

Vin Mullen

Rfn. Robert McIntosh MM..     British Army 7th Bn Kings Royal Rifle Corps   from Atherstone, Warwickshire.

Charles and Robert McIntosh

My grandfather was Robbie McIntosh, a signaller in the 7th Battalion of the Kings Royal Rifle Corps. He joined up on the 1st Sep 1914 (under age) in Crystal Palace and survived until the end of the war. He won a Military Medal for gallantry on 2nd June 1917 which was awarded by Captain M.J. St. Aubyn. We believe the medal was given when he volunteered to keep the communication lines open and crawled for many days in the mud of No Man's Land. He ran out of food and was disorientated from the shelling. He was lucky to survive. I am in possession of his papers and the award notification.

Robert McIntosh also had an older brother, Charles (Chas), who served in India (North West Frontier Expedition Medal) and France (the Retreat from Mons on the 15th July 1914, with Kitchener's Army). He became a Sgt Major, also won the Military Medal, and was apparently Mentioned in Despatches.

I also have a copy of a sad poem, "Egypt Lost", that has both my grandfather's name and that of Rifleman J.C. Lapworth, 8th Battalion written on the paper. My grandfather did not write the poem and we concluded that Rfn. Lapworth wrote it, but are not certain.

Tell me not in mournful numbers

Egypt’s but an empty dream

And the Staff that often blunders

Is the washout that they seem.

Mugs we are, as Mugs returning

To the trenches as before

With out hearts in anger burning

We, the Scapegoats of the Corp.

From the trenches, East of Ypres

We returned and blessed the day

And we mocked the Hunnish Snipers

As we West-ward wound our way

Off we went our hearts all joyous

Going to a brighter land

Where we hoped they’d soon employ us

Digging trenches in the sand.

Gladly did we send our spare kit

To the Quartermasters store

Full of Souvenirs we packed it

For we hoped we’d see no more

You; You land of Mud and Water

And it made the fellows smile

For they thought that Pharaoh’s daughter

Called them to the Sunny Nile.

But the shining vision vanished

When the order came to stay

And our fondest hopes were banished

That we’d ever get away.

Mugs we are, as Mugs returning

To the trenches as before

Doomed to rot in mud and water

Till the Hun has Lost the War.

Egypt Lost Poem

Rfn. Robert McIntosh Transfer to Reserve

Pamela Brunswick

McIntyre .     Army 7th Btn. Durham Light Infantry

Sgt. Alex McIntyre .     British Army 1st Btn Irish Guards   from Londonderry, Co. Derry

(d.5th Aug 1917)

S. Flynn

Colour Sjt. Alexander McNeil McIntyre .     British Army 1/4th Btn. Royal Scots Fusiliers   from Loudoun Kirk, Galston, Scotland

I recently had a trip to the battlefields of WWI in Northern France (Vimy, Ypres etc) and went there completely oblivious to the fact that I was walking in my Great Great Uncle's footsteps. It was only in April 2011 that I was told of the medals which my grandmother has from him. She has two of the three that he should have, The British Victory medal, War medal and the 1914/15 Star, the latter I don't know what happened to. My Grandmother had been told that he had died in the war but I was sceptical as I could find no record of his death. In July 2011 I had another shot and found that he had survived. It wasn't until late August/early September when I found out that he had emmigrated to the USA to start a family.

David Nisbet

Pte. James McIntyre .     British Army 1st Btn. East Yorkshire Regiment (d.28th Oct 1914)

James McIntyre served in the 1st Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment and died on the 28th October 1914. He is remembered at St. Paul's Church and on the Ploegsteert Memorial. Panel 4, His medal card records the award of the 1914 Star, War and Victory Medals.

James was born in Jarrow 1883. From 1891, 1901 and 1911 census he seems to be living with relatives by name Raven (grandfather 1891) Navin (uncle 1901) and in 1911 at Birkenhead as a lodger. But cannot trace parents.

Vin Mullen

2nd Lt. John McIntyre MM & Bar..     British Army 6th Btn. East Yorkshire Regiment

John McIntyre was born in Choppington Northumberland in 1894. He joined the East Yorkshire Battalion in 1914 aged 20 as a private. He landed in Suvla Bay on 8th August 1915 and spent 4 months surviving the cold, lack of food and the Turkish guns until he left on 19th December for Mudros.

In January 1916 he was made sergeant and by February his unit was defending the Suez Canal. The Middle of May they embarked from Egypt to Marseilles via Malta. They arrived at St. Pol on 13th July 1916. In the following year and three months John was awarded the Military Medal and Bar and moved through some of the more famous battle grounds as listed in his war diary. On 13th December 1917 John McIntyre returned to England.and was noted as a candidate for admission to Officer Cadet in the Royal Air Force. He had two letters from King George inviting him to become an officer of the Royal Air Force in September 1918.

In 1919 he relinquished his Royal Air Force Commission. At some stage during his war service he had broken his ankle and never had it set so he suffered from this injury later in life. He had shrapnel wounds on his face but like many men never talked fully about what happened.

We heard about the Turkish throwing bombs which they threw back if they had time. We saw that he was not afraid of rats and that he could kill them with his bare hands. He never bragged about his medals so we didn't know how he won them and he is mentioned in the regimental diary and the date but not what he had done to deserve them. I expect he thought people would not believe what or where he had been because his regiment had been to a lot of fighting arenas. The final thing I have learnt from the study is that John's elder brother James was in the same regiment as him and he was killed on the 11th August 1917 so he probably didn't want to talk about any of it in case it upset his parents.

John's only son Hoodless Robinson McIntyre, a Lieutenant in the 6th Battalion Gordon Highlanders, was killed on 26th September 1944 in the mountains of the Gallic Line and is buried in the War Cemetery in Fienza, Italy. John died in 1979 in Bradford.

Nora Clyde

Pte. Sinclair McIntyre .     British Army 9th Battalion Gordon Highlanders   from Portsoy, Banffshire

(d.29th June 1917)

Sinclair McIntyre was a first cousin of my great-grandmother. He was one of 9 children of John McIntyre and Eliza Ann Macdonald. I have a photo of the children, but do not know which one is which. He served with the 2/6th & 9th Battalions of the Gordon Highlanders and was killed on the 29th June 1917.

I am writing a book on my Hamilton and McWilliam ancestors. His father's branch remained in Scotland, but all the other siblings emigrated to Canada in the 1850s.

Nancy Conn

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