Sergeant Samuel Robert Magovern



Samuel Robert Magovern was born on 23 May 1892 at Garrymore, County Cavan, the second of six children of farmer John Magovern and his wife Mary Anne (née Bennett) of Duffcastle, near Ballyjamesduff. By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Duffcastle with his parents and and four siblings and working on the family farm.

Magovern enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Cavan on 13 March 1913 (No.819 – later Corps of Hussars No.71115). He embarked for France with C Squadron on 20 August 1914, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

In June 1916 C Squadron combined with F Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps. Magovern was promoted to lance corporal on 19 October 1914, corporal on 4 March 1916, lance sergeant on 23 November 1916 and sergeant on 20 January 1917.

In February 1917 Magovern was hospitalised with influenza. He became seriously ill, and it was discovered that he had contracted typhoid. He remained in hospital in France until 23 April 1917, when he was evacuated to England and admitted to the Huddersfield War Hospital. Soon after he was sent to Dundalk to recuperate. In September 1917, however, he fell ill again. A medical board held at Belfast on 26 January 1918 reported:

Man says he was invalided home from France with Typhoid in April 1917 having been in hospital in France w[ith] P.U.O. from Feb. 1917. In Sept. he contracted Bronchitis (says sputum was not then examined). Says he has been losing w[eigh]t coughing & sweating at night ever since Sept. ... on Jan. 19 1918 sputum was found to contain T.B."

The board concluded that his level of disability was 60 per cent, and that the tuberculosis was attributable to his military service. It recommended discharge from the army and treatment in a sanatorium.

Magovern was discharged on 19 February 1918, being "no longer physically fit for war service" (paragraph 392 xvi, King's Regulations). His conduct was recorded as "Very good" He was "Honest, sober, hardworking and reliable."

Soon after, Magovern emigrated to Australia, where he lived until his death in Brisbane on 3 May 1972.



Memorial image kindly provided by Cecil Magovern. Image of Magovern, from the Belfast Weekly Telegraph of 16 December 1916, can be seen in its full context here.