Private John Magowan


John Magowan was born on 3 October 1895 at Newry, the second child of shop porter James Magowan and his wife Sarah (nee Harvey). He had four siblings – William (born 1893), Mary Jane (1897), Margaret (1899) and Sarah (1902).

Magowan enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Belfast on 12 April 1918 (No.H/72066), reporting for duty at Antrim four days later. His occupation at the time was labourer, and his residence Corneyhaugh, Newry.

Soon after enlisting he complained of weakness and breathlessness. Medical tests revealed that he had a "valvular disease of the heart (mitral)". The doctors concluded it was permanent, caused him 30% incapacity, but was not a result of his military service. (Private Magowan had told the doctors that he had "previously consulted doctors who told him that his heart was affected.")

He was therefore discharged (on 21 May 1918) under paragraph 392 (xxv) of King's Regulations – "his services being no longer required". It was noted on his file that his military character was "good", and that he had been "honest and sober during his 36 days service". He received a pension, but only from 22 May to 20 August 1918, when it was confirmed that his disability pre-dated his enlistment.

John Magowan died on 30 November 1920 at the General Hospital, Newry.