Private James McGonigle


James McGonigle was born on 8 July 1895 at Head of Town, Strabane, County Tyrone, the first of seven children of labourer Samuel McGonigle and his wife Jane (née Jarvis). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Tironeill, Clonleigh, County Donegal, with his uncle and aunt and a sister.

McGonigle enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 13 and 15 November 1915 (No.1862 – later Corps of Hussars No.71599). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France sometime between 1916 and 1918, where he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment. This regiment served as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps from its establishment in May 1916 until February-March 1918, when it was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

McGonigle remained with the regiment throughout the war, though how much time he spent in France and Belgium and how much at the Antrim reserve camp is not known at present.

He married Cassie McNeely in the Inver Church of Ireland Parish Church, County Donegal, on 3 January 1917.

On 30 January 1919 McGonigle was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve. His claim for a pension due to pleurisy was rejected. He died at Tironeill as a result of phthisis (tuberculosis) on 1 June 1927 and was buried in the Old Clonleigh graveyard, Lifford, County Donegal.


The gravestone inscription reads:

In Loving Memory of
Our dear Mother
Matilda Jarvis
Who died 17th March 1901 aged 66 years
Also her brother
James Cummins
Died 23rd May 1907 aged 76 years
And her daughter
Annie Elizabeth
Died 16th Feb 1927 aged 70 years
Her grandson
James McGonigle
Died 1st June 1927 aged 31 years
Also his mother
Jane McGonigle
Died 2nd Jan 1960 aged 86 years
Thy will be done

Image and inscription text sourced from Donegal Genealogy Resources website.