Thomas Henry Irwin was the son of George and Eliza Irwin. Thomas was born on 25th April 1889 in Clogher, County Tyrone. The 1901 census lists the family living in Nurchossy Irish, an area midway between Fivemiletown and Clogher. Thomas Irwin arrived in New York as a 20 year old farmer from Fivemiletown in May 1909. His destination is given as Ida, Iowa. Thomas worked as a farmer there until he was drafted. Thomas Irwin arrived in France in May 1918 as part of the 58th Battalion of the US Army. Thomas apparently was one of those early casualties among those men detailed to the French lines. Thomas Irwin was killed in action on 15th July 1918 near Chateau Thierry, France.
Thomas Henry Irwin was the son of George and Eliza Irwin. George Irwin and Elizabeth Bryson were married on 28th May 1878 in the district of Fermanagh.
Thomas Irwin was born on 25th April 1889 in Clogher, County Tyrone. He was one of at least thirteen children, all born in the Fivemiletown and Clogher area.
Known family: George Irwin, Eliza Irwin, Jane Anne Irwin (born 15th March 1879), William Irwin (born 28th December 1882), Robert Irwin (born 30th March 1881), Samuel Irwin (born 11th February 1885), Joseph Irwin (born 3rd February 1887), Thomas Irwin (born 25th April 1889), Matthew Irwin (born 17th April 1891), George Irwin (born 11th May 1893), Eliza Irwin (born 8th September 1894), Sarah Irwin (born 13th May 1896), Andrew Irwin (born 28th May 1898), Alexander Irwin (born 12th May 1900).
The 1901 census lists Thomas as age 11 living with the family at house 7 in Nurchossy Irish, Ballagh, Tyrone. This is an area midway between Fivemiletown and Clogher. The family were farmers.
Thomas Irwin arrived in New York as a 20 year old farmer from Fivemiletown on 14th May 1909. His father George is listed as being from Ralesey, Fivemiletown. His destination is given as Ida, Iowa.
The 1911 census shows the family to be living in Relessy, Fivemiletown, Tyrone. Thomas is not present. They were still a farming family.
Thomas Irwin was living in Silver Creek Township, Ida County, Iowa. Reports suggest he was drafted on 22 September 1918, which is clearly incorrect.
His training took him from Camp Dodge then to Camp Pike and Camp Green.
Thomas Irwin arrived in France 1st May 1918 as part of Company E of 58th Battalion of the US Army.
There is a study of the 58th Infantry Regiment during the period July 15 to July 26, 1918, when it was attached to the French 164th Infantry Division.
On July 10th, the regiment was assigned a sector in the zone of the VII French Army Corps. This defensive position was organized, and the Regiment was ready to occupy it in case the Germans broke through. Each night one platoon was sent from the front line companies to occupy the trenches for a 24-hour tour. On July 15th, the Regiment moved to Rademont (due west of Chateau Thierry), from whence large details were sent into the French lines to get ďa view of real warfare."
July 17: During the past several days successive details had been sent to the trenches to serve with the French. The Regiment suffered casualties. Thomas apparently was one of those early 58th Regiment casualties among those men detailed to the French lines.
Private Thomas Irwin was killed in action on 15th July 1918 near Chateau Thierry, France.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 30th August 1918:
Private Thomas H Irwin, died of wounds, resided at Relessy, Fivemiletown
After the war, the U.S. Government gave next of kin (NOK) the one-time option of having their loved ones remain in military cemeteries in Europe or having them returned at government expense to the United States for burial in a military, family, or public cemetery. These repatriations began in 1921 and were several thousand in number. Since Thomas was single, his next of kin in Ireland must have chosen to have him brought back to Fivemiletown.
Private Thomas Irwin was re-interred in Fivemiletown Church of Ireland Cemetery on 3rd December 1921.
Private Thomas Irwin is commemorated locally on the WWI Roll of Honour in St Johns Church, Fivemiletown and also on Timpany L.O.L. No 889 WWI Roll of Honour.
Private Thomas Irwin is also commemorated locally on Fivemiletown War Memorial.
Private Thomas Irwin is listed on page 67 of the Fivemiletown book, from which most of these details come from. Many thanks to Mark Byers for the information, in which he confirms that Private Thomas Irwin is buried in Fivemiletown Church of Ireland Cemetery.