Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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   Quartermaster George Herbert McAllan
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 20/08/2021
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: South African Medical Corps (South African Army)
Date Of Birth: 02/02/1879
Died: 14/12/1918 (Died of Wounds)
Age: 40
Summary      
George Herbert McAllan was the son of Alexander and Marion McAllan. George was born in Belfast on 2nd February 1879. George attended the Collegiate School, Monaghan and then the Royal School Dungannon. George McAllan played rugby for both schools and then for Dungannon. In February 1901 he moved to South Africa. In 1903 he married a Catherine Hogate of South Africa. During the Great War he volunteered for active service and in February 1915 he was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant with the Royal Flying Corps, and was later promoted to Lieutenant. He died in December 1918 from the effects of injuries received whilst in the Royal Air Force.
Quartermaster George Herbert McAllan
Further Information
George Herbert McAllan was the eldest son of Alexander and Marion McAllan (nee Ayre). Both were Scottish so it is presumed they were married in Scotland.
George McAllan was born in Belfast on 2nd February 1879. He was second of sic children, five surviving.
Known family: Alexander McAllan, Marion McAllan, Laura McAllan (born 7th January 1877, Belfast), George Herbert McAllan (born 2nd February 1878, Belfast), Ethel Alice McAllan (born 10th April 1880, Belfast), Albert Ernest McAllan (born about 1887, Monaghan).
George attended the Collegiate School, Monaghan and then the Royal School Dungannon from 1893 to 1896.
George's father Alexander was the manager of the Provincial Bank of Ireland in Monaghan.
George McAllan played rugby for both schools and then for Dungannon.
In 1896 he played for Ireland v Scotland and then against Wales.
After leaving school, George taught at Cavan Royal School for one year.
In 1898 George McAllan moved to London where he worked for the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank.
He played in the London Irish pre-season warm-up match at Alexander Palace in 1899. The Ireland International seems to have been forgotten by the Rugby Unions' lists of players who died in World War 1, which considering that he was the first schoolboy to play for the Irish national team, is surprising.
In February 1901 he moved to Johannesburg, South Africa were he joined Ordnance Department of the South African Constabulary and was shortly after arriving injured in the Boer War.
In 1903 he married a Catherine Hogate of South Africa.
During the Great War he volunteered for active service and in February 1915 he was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant with the Royal Flying Corps, and was later promoted to Lieutenant.
He was stationed with the Royal Air Force in England in 1915 and then served in German East Africa.
George was involved in an air crash and was badly injured.
As a result of those injuries, he was transferred to South African Medical Corps as Lieutenant and Quartermaster.
Quartermaster George Herbert McAllan was serving with the South African Medical Corps when he died on 4th December 1918 of wounds received in the air accident.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 13th December 1918: Death of an International Rugby Player
Lieutenant and Quartermaster George Herbert McAllan, South African Forces, died on 4th December at Roberts Height, Pretoria. He was the eldest son of the late Mr Alexander McAllan, of the Monaghan branch of the Provincial Bank of Ireland, and of Mrs McAllan, Castledawson, County Down. Lieutenant McAllan was educated Collegiate School Monaghan, and Royal School Dungannon, and afterwards entered the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank in London. He left to join the forces for the South African campaign, and afterwards settled in Johannesburg. In 1915 he joined the South African Flying Corps, with which he came to England in 1916, but was ordered back to the campaign in German East and West Africa, having only had a flying visit to his home on sick leave. Lieutenant McAllan was a noted rugby football player, having played full back for Ireland in 1896 while still a schoolboy at Dungannon.
Quartermaster George Herbert McAllan was buried in the Thaba Tshwane (previously Voortrekkerhoogte, originally Roberts Heights) cemetery in Gauteng, South Africa.
Many thanks to Paul Kerr and the Royal School Dungannon for his research and all the information and photos provided. Private Charles Frederick Marshall is listed on page 41 of the Royal School Dungannon WWI book
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References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists McAllan family Does not list George as living with the family at house 1 in Killyconigan, Monaghan
2 1911 census lists McAllan family Does not list George as living with the family at house 12 in North Road, Monaghan Urban, Monaghan
3 eGGSA library Photo of Lieutenant G H McAllan's headstone
4 Forum discussion (GWF) Information on rugby player George Herbert McAllan
5 London Irish Rugby Club Information on rugby player George Herbert McAllan inc. photo
6 South African War Graves Photo of Lieutenant G H McAllan's headstone
7 War Graves Photographic Project Photo of Lieutenant G H McAllan's headstone can be purchased here
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2021