Lance Sergeant Albert Rowe



Albert Rowe was born on 23 December 1897 at 49 Jerusalem Street, Belfast, the fourth of seven children of English-born naval pensioner (formerly coastguard) Thomas Rowe and his wife Emily (née McAdam). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living with his parents and siblings at 16 Collingwood Avenue, Belfast. He later worked in the service of North Irish Horse officer Holt Waring at his Waringstown estate.

Rowe enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 24 August 1914 (No.1029) and was appointed Waring's batman. On 1 May 1915 he embarked for France with D Squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 51st Division. It is probable that he moved to C Squadron later that month, when Waring took command of that unit.

C Squadron served as divisional cavalry to the 3rd Division until May 1916 when it was moved to the 49th Division, then the 36th (Ulster) Division. On 21 June that year, however, the squadron joined with F Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps.

On 4 August 1916 Major Waring was attached to the 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles. It is probable that Rowe moved at the same time. On 10 October he was formally transferred to the Royal Irish Rifles and posted to the 13th Battalion. He was issued regimental number 43200.

In November 1917 the 11th and 13th Battalions, Royal Irish Rifles, were amalgamated to form the 11/13th Battalion. In February the following year the new battalion was disbanded and Waring was posted to the 12th Battalion. It is probable that Rowe remained with him throughout this period.

Waring was killed in the fighting near Kemmel Hill on the Ypres front on 15 April 1918. Nothing more is known of Rowe's service for the remainder of the war, other than that he remained with the Royal Irish Rifles.

On 14 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve. In late August that year, however, he joined the Military Foot Police (No. P/18299), serving in Belfast until discharged a year or two later.

On 15 December 1919 Rowe married Mabel Callan McCluskey at St Mary Magdalene Church in Belfast. He died in the City Hospital on 16 December 1953, leaving his wife, a son (Bertie) and daughter (Adie) in Belfast, and two daughters (Cora and Isobel) in Canada.

The Belfast Telegraph reported:

Many friends at Belvoir Park Golf Club and the Masonic Hall, Mountpottinger, will miss Mr. Albert Rowe, whose funeral took place at Newtownbreda Cemetery to-day. He died suddenly yesterday aged 56. A Lurgan man, Mr. Rowe became widely known during his 16 years stewardship at Belvoir for his quiet efficiency and ready smile. When he left in September last year, [he] had built up a record of hospitality and service second to none in Northern Ireland golf clubs. For health reasons he resigned his post to take up a similar appointment at the Masonic Hall Mountpottinger. He served in the 1914-18 war with the North Irish Horse.

The Northern Whig and Belfast Post reported:

Representatives of the North Irish Horse and the Royal Ulster Rifles, in which regiments he had served in the First World War, attended the funeral yesterday of Mr. Albert Rowe, who had been steward at Belvoir Golf Club [and] ... Mount Masonic Hall. Members of the club and the Masonic Order also followed the cortege to Newtownbreda Cemetery.


My thanks to Elizabeth Boudreau, Rowe's grand-daughter, for providing the image and some of the above information.