Private Thomas O'Rourke


Thomas O'Rourke was born on 18 June 1898 in Dalziel, Lanarkshire, Scotland, one of at least three children of James O'Rourke and his wife Ann (née Tierney).

O'Rourke registered for military service (deemed to have enlisted) on 18 June 1916, his eigteenth birthday. Called up at Hamilton on 10 September 1917, he gave his address as 15 Belhaven Blags, Craigneuk, Wishaw, Lanarkshire, and his occupation as hammerman. He was initially posted to Woolwich to work at his trade, but was returned soon after as 'unsuitable for posting to any technical corps'.

On 24 September 1917 he was posted to the North Irish Horse at Antrim, where he was issued regimental number 2691 (later Corps of Hussars No.71993).

O'Rourke embarked for France on 23 November 1918 (twelve days after the war had ended) with a reinforcement draft for the North Irish Horse Cyclist Regiment, joining it in the field on 10 December. On 21 April 1919 he transferred to the Army Cyclist Corps (No.23905) and was posted to IV Corps Cyclist Regiment, part of the Army of Occupation based in Rolsdorf, Germany.

O'Rourke was disciplined three times while at Rolsdorf: on 7 May 1919 for being absent from roll call and the company office (7 days' confined to barracks); on 14 July absent from sick parade (3 days' confined to barracks); and on 11 September absent from fatigue (7 days' confined to barracks). On 12 October 1919 at Codford while awaiting demobilisation, he received 2 days' confined to barracks for being absent off muster roll.

He was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 12 November 1919.

After the war O'Rourke lived in Manchester, marrying Mabel Hulse in Barton-upon-Irwell in 1923. At the time of the 1939 Register they were living at 32 King's Lane, Stretford, Thomas working as a cable layer. He died in Salford, Lancashire, on 16 December 1957.