Private Thomas McDowell


Thomas McDowell was born on 11 April 1899 at 16 Glenvale Street, Belfast, the first of seven children of county council clerk (later organising secretary of the Ulster Liberal Association) Thomas McDowell and his wife Annie (née Walker). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 28 Willowbank Street, Belfast, with his parents and siblings.

McDowell enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 23 June 1917 (No.2492). Later that year, however, he was found to be suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis. On 24 December 1917 he was discharged, being 'no longer physically fit for war service' (paragraph 392 (xvi), King's Regulations).

McDowell was awarded a pension, the illness being attributed to his military service. In December 1919 his level of disability was assessed at 80 per cent, and in June the following year at 100 per cent.