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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Major Thomas Melville Whitson McGown MID RAOD/AOD


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I was wondering if any members might be able to help me with a little information about Major Thomas Melville Whitson McGown (or Pat McGown as he was known) who served with the RAOD/AOD/RAOC during the Great War.

I have found various bits on the internet etc and it seems he was born in Belfast on 22nd February 1876, attended

Merchiston Castle School, and went to Clare College Cambridge in 1894. While at Cambridge he was the captain

on the College XV, and was also a blue in 1896. Pat then went on to play for Ireland in 1899 when they won the Triple Crown,

and the British Lions when they toured Australia in 1899.

He seems to have joined the army and his MIC states he arrived in France on the 9th June 1916, however he must have

moved to Salonika as his MID was in Lt Gen Milnes despatch from Salonika for the period 21st September 1917 to 28th February 1918. The following movements in the army (from LG)

Temp Lt Army Ordnance Department dated 29th November 1915 (LG 14/12/1915)

MID Temp Lt (A/Capt) Army Ordnance Department, Lt Gen G F Milnes despatch from Salonika for 21/09/1917 to 28/02/1918 (LG 11/06/1918)

DAQMG Temp Lt (actg Capt) T M W McGown, AOD, and to be temp Maj. whilst so empld. 20 May 1918 (LG 09/09/1918)

DAQMG Capt G S W Rusbridge W Rid R, and to be temp. Maj. whilst so empld., vice temp. Lt. T. M. W. McGown, RAOC, who relinquishes the temp. rank of Maj. 23rd Jan. 1919 (LG 05/04/1919)

The Undermentioned reliquish their commns. on completion of service:

Temp Lts., and are granted the rank of Maj.:-

T M W McGown 16th Feb. 1919


I was wondering if any of the members might have come across McGown in their research, or if there is a history of the

AOD/RAOD/RAOC in which he might be mentioned. It would seem his younger brother Jackson McGown also served with

the same unit, and was awarded the MC.

I was also wondering if anybody might be able to tell me what his job/role would have been. As DAQMG I am guessing he would have been dealing with ammunition supplies to the front, however I am not sure.

Any help or information would be great,


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Mainly just rugby stuff I'm afraid. Born 22 February 1876. Also attended Coleraine Academical Institution before Merchiston. Played for NIFC in Belfast. Forward in 2 games for Ireland in 1899 and 1 in 1901. Played in 19 of the 21 games on the Lions tour, including all 4 Tests against Australia (Lions won series 3-1). Died 15 July 1956 at High Wycombe.

Gareth ("Dolphin") will probably have more.


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Thanks for that. Hopefully he will see this otherwise I might send him a PM.

I am trying to obtain a copy of a team photo with him on. There seems to be

a nice example on the British Lions web site, but it is not copied at high enough

resolution to be able to make McGown out. I should imagine there is also a photo

of the Ireland triple crown squad showing him in 1899.


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There's a small photo of the 1899 Irish XV v Scotland in: Edmund Van Esbeck, (1999), Irish Rugby 1874-1999: A History, (Gill & Macmillan, Dublin).


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