Shoeing Smith Robert Magee



Robert Magee was born on 5 March 1887 at 13 Edith Street, Belfast, the fourth of eleven children of labourer (later linen factory engine driver) John Magee and his wife Elizabeth (née Wilson). At the time of the 1901 Census he was living at 36 Constance Street, Belfast, with his parents and nine of his siblings, and working as a finisher in a linen factory.

On 9 May 1907 at Belfast he enlisted in the Hussars of the Line (No.541) and was posted to the 4th (Queen's Own) Hussars. He was described as being 5' 8" tall, and gave his occupation as a labourer. At the time of the 1911 Census he was serving with the regiment at the cavalry base at Colchester.

Magee embarked for France with his regiment on 15 August 1914. No further details of his service have been discovered until 2 July 1917, when he was transferred to the North Irish Horse. (He was issued regimental number between 2510 and 2600.) It is probable that this took place in Ireland, rather than on overseas service, as a number of men from the cavalry reserve at the Curragh were transferred to the North Irish Horse at Antrim on this date.

Magee was posted as having deserted from Antrim on 15 July 1918. After the war his medals were forfeited and he was formally discharged under paragraph 370xi(a) of King's Regulations (1928).

In the early 1920s he emigrated to the United States. He died at Camp Hill, Pensylvania, on 7 June 1981 and was buried in the West Laurel Hill Cemetery.


Magee's six brothers all served during the war: Edward, George and Joseph Magee in the Royal Irish Rifles; John Magee in the Royal Navy, James Magee in the Royal Garrison Artillery and 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron, and William Magee in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. John was wounded when HMS Raglan was sunk in the Eastern Mediterranean on 20 January 1918. Joseph was killed in action on the Somme on 1 July 1916.



Image, from the Belfast Telegraph of 16 January 1915, sourced from Public Member Trees – contributor Joy Smith.


This page last updated 27 January 2024.