Private Henry Alfred Clements Rowan


Henry Alfred Clements Rowan (or Rowen) was born on 16 September 1894 at Drumloughan, Cootehill, County Cavan, the last of eight children of farm labourer James Rowan and his wife Mary Anne (née Livingston). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Drumloughan with his parents and three of his surviving six siblings, and working as a pantry boy and domestic servant.

Rowan enlisted in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron between 19 February and 3 March 1915 (No. UD/222). On 6 October 1915 he embarked for France with his squadron, which was then serving as divisional cavalry to the 36th (Ulster) Division.

In June 1916 the Inniskilling squadron joined with C and F Squadrons of the North Irish Horse to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps. In September 1917 the regiment was disbanded and its men were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Rowan, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt some days later. Rowan was issued regimental number 41094.

Rowan was wounded during the Battle of Cambrai in the fighting for the village of Moeuvres on 22 and 23 November 1917. He later rejoined the battalion, but was wounded again, probably in June or July 1918 on the Ypres front.

On 29 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

By 1920 Rowan was living at 24 Imperial Street, Belfast, and working as a labourer. He married Jennie Rowan on 10 July that year in the Lisburn Road Methodist Church. From 1932 to 1960 he lived at 14 Earl Haig Park, one of the Irish Sailors' and Soldiers' Land Trust homes. He died on 8 March 1969 and was buried in the Dundonald Cemetery.


This page last updated 2 May 2023.