Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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13544   Private Irwin McDowell
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 02/09/2021
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 9th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 27/06/1895
Died: 01/07/1916 (Killed in Action)
Age: 21
Summary      
Irwin McDowell was the son of James and Eliza McDowell. He was born on 27th June 1895 in Clogher. He was one of nine known children. His father is a whitesmith. By 1911, Irwin was working as a general labourer. He was still living with the family in Clogher Tenements. He enlisted in his home town of Clogher. Private Irvine McDowell was serving with the 9th Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed at the Battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916. He was one of four brothers who served.
Further Information
Irwin McDowell was the son of James and Eliza McDowell. James McDowell and Eliza Boyd were married on 21st August 1887 in the district of Dungannon.
The spelling of Irwin varies throughout. At times he is referred to as Irvine. Clogher War Memorial refers to him as Irwin.
Irwin McDowell was born on 27th June 1895 in Clogher. He was one of nine known children. They may have been thirteen.
Clogher Main Street
The 1901 census records 'Irvan' as 5 years old. The family are living in Clogher Tenements. His father is a whitesmith. A whitesmith is a person who works with "white" or light-coloured metals such as tin and pewter. Unlike blacksmiths who work mostly with hot metal, whitesmiths do the majority of their work on cold metal, although they might use a hearth to heat and help shape their raw materials.
Known family: James McDowell, Eliza McDowell, John McDowell (born about 1887), Unnamed daughter (born 18th February 1889, died 18th February 1889), Minnie McDowell (born 2nd January 1890), William McDowell (born 2nd September 1891), Matthew McDowell (born 25th July 1893), Irwin McDowell (born 27th June 1895), Robert McDowell (born 25th June 1897, died 17th July 1902, age 5), Samuel McDowell (born 6th July 1900), Edward McDowell (born 26th September 1902).
The 1911 census shows Irwin to be 16 years old. He was working as a general labourer. He was still living with the family in Clogher Tenements.
1914
He enlisted in his home town of Clogher, using the name Irvine.
Irwin initially trained at Finner Camp in Donegal with the Tyrone Volunteers.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 20th November 1914: Tyrone family's fine record
Mr James MacDowell, of Clogher, County Tyrone, who had a military career himself, has four sons serving with the colours. James, the eldest, went out to the front with the 2nd Battalion Inniskilling Fusiliers at the beginning of the campaign, and is now unfortunately lying seriously wounded in Manchester hospital. William is with the 3rd Battalion of the same regiment at Derry, while Matthew and Irwin, the younger two, are with the Tyrone Volunteers at Finner.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 3rd December 1914:
Private James MacDowell, of the 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, the eldest of four brothers serving with the colours, has returned to his father's home at Clogher from a Manchester hospital, having been wounded in the back and knee in the battle of Armentieres.
1916
From the Tyrone Constitution dated 14th January 1916: (James McDowell brother of Irwin)
Private James McDowell has arrived home from the Dardanelles, where he contracted enteric fever and pneumonia, and is now recovering from the effects. Private Wilie McDowell (brother) is wounded, and in hospital in Cairo.
From the Tyrone Constitution dated 26th May 1916: Injured List (Matthew McDowell brother of Irwin)
13883 Private McDowell, M, No 3 Company (Father: Mr James McDowell, Clogher, Tyrone)
Private Irvine McDowell was serving with the 9th Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme on Saturday 1st July 1916. He was 21.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 14th July 1916:
McDonnell, Private, I, killed, Clogher
Irwin was one of four brothers who served, all with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. His three brothers survived the war.
Memorials
Private McDowell has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France. The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916.
Private Irwin McDowell is commemorated locally on Clogher War Memorial and on the WWI tablet in St Macartan's Cathedral in Clogher
The CWGC record Private Irvine McDowell as the son of James and Eliza McDowell of Station Road, Clogher, County Tyrone.
Read more
Relevant Dungannon Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Clogher Tenements Clogher Census listing in Clogher Tenements 54.417057 -7.160518
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists McDowell family Lists "Irvan" as age 5 living with the family at house 15 in Clogher Tenements, Clogher
2 1911 Census lists McDowell family Lists "Irwin" as age 16 living with the family at house 3 in Clogher Tenements, Clogher
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2021