Private Peter McGinn


Peter McGinn was born on 22 April 1873 at Donaghanie, Omagh, County Tyrone, the second of two or three children of cattle dealer James McGinn and his wife Alice (nee McCristal). His father died when he was young, and in 1884 his mother married Andrew McCollum, labourer of nearby Beragh.

McGinn enlisted in the 4th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, at Omagh on 27 January 1890 (No.837 – later No.4160). At the time he was aged 17 and working as a labourer at Seskinore, County Tyrone. He served with the regiment for fourteen years until discharged on the expiration of his term of engagement on 26 December 1904.

By 1911 McGinn was living at Beragh Town and working as a servant for grocer Isaac Kidd.

McGinn enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Omagh on 17 January 1911 (No.568) – one of the very few Roman Catholics in the regiment at that time. He embarked for France with C Squadron on 20 August 1914, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

When McGinn's period of service expired he chose to leave the army. He was discharged at Antrim as 'time expired' on 16 January 1916, his record of service marked as "very good".

McGinn re-enlisted at Belfast on 4 September 1916, this time with the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons (No25677), understating his age by eight years. At the time he was living at 12 Stanton Street, Belfast, and working as a groom. He was posted to the 2nd Reserve Regiment of Cavalry (which became the 4th Reserve Regiment in February 1917).

On 16 June 1917 McGinn was discharged as being no longer physically fit for military service (paragraph 392 xvi of King's Regulations).