Private Edmund Sproule Magee


Edmund Sproule Magee was born on 5 February 1886 at Main Street, Strabane, County Tyrone, the last of three children of merchant John Magee and his wife Margaret (née Sweeney). Educated at Campbell College in Belfast, by the time of the 1911 Census he was living at "Irene", Osborne Park, with his widowed mother and his sister, and working as a warehouseman.

Magee enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 5 October 1914 (No.1265). On 2 June 1915 he embarked for France with a reinforcement draft for A and C Squadrons – Magee was posted to the latter.

On 21 October 1915 C Squadron's war diary reported:

In course of the period in which party was in Sanctuary Wood, wire was put in front of the following trenches: Nottingham Road, Robb Street, Dawson Street, End of B.3, Boden Street, Junction (Rdr?) Sap, B.4.R, B.3.S, B.2.S, A.12.R, Warington Avenue. Working party getting relieved paraded at 5.30 P.M and returned to billets at 8.45 P.M. 2 Casualties

It is likely that Magee was one of the two casualties. Soon after, the Northern Whig reported:

Trooper Sproule Magee, North Irish Horse, brother of Mr. John H. Magee, solicitor, Donegal, has been wounded in action in France. Prior to volunteering he held an important position in the establishment of his uncle, Mr. George Magee, Royal Avenue, Belfast.

On 29 January 1916 the paper reported that:

Trooper E. Sproule Magee, North Irish Horse, who was badly wounded in the trenches last November [sic], is recovering in the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow. He was visited during the week by a Belfast gentleman, who found him doing well. Magee, who behaved with great gallantry in France, was very badly wounded.

Magee had been wounded in the right ilium - the large bone forming part of the hip. He was discharged due to his wounds on 8 January 1917 (paragraph 392 xvi, King's Regulations). He was awarded a pension – as late as 1923 his level of disability was rated at 60 per cent.

After his discharge Magee lived in Belfast and worked as a draper. By 1964 he was living at 18 Ormiston Crescent. He died on 19 August that year at the Musgrave Park Hospital.