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Remembered Today:

Private David Gowans, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers


kenmorrison
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I'm trying to find out about this Kirkcudbrightshire man's life in Ireland when he enlisted in Fermanagh as 

Private (24727) in the 11th Battalion (Donegal and Fermanagh), Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.

He was born in 1887 at the Round House, Dalbeattie. Son of James and Barbara (Barr) Gowans of Dalbeattie and the husband of Agnes (Gibson) Gowans who he married at Douglas Hall, Colvend, Kirkcudbrightshire on 7 September 1911.

In 1911 he was working as a draper in Glasgow but what happened to him after that is a mystery until his death on 1 July 1916 at the Somme. The family business as drapers and clothiers was well known in the area and the father's death in February 1916 was reported in local newspapers but I cannot find any mention of David.

Anyone know of him?

Ken 

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Looking at similar RIF service numbers in the Silver War Badge records it looks like he enlisted in July 1915:

 

24719   10.07.15

24745   15.07.15

 

The Register of Soldiers' Effects shows a war gratuity of £3 10s which also indicates enlistment in July 1915.

 

His Medal Index Card shows him entering France on 5th October 1915, which is only three months after enlistment. This may indicate that he had served previously as a Territorial or that reinforcements were urgently needed.. Perhaps a forum expert may be able to throw some light on this.

 

Mike

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22 hours ago, Langdon said:

Looking at similar RIF service numbers in the Silver War Badge records it looks like he enlisted in July 1915:

 

24719   10.07.15

24745   15.07.15

 

The Register of Soldiers' Effects shows a war gratuity of £3 10s which also indicates enlistment in July 1915.

 

His Medal Index Card shows him entering France on 5th October 1915, which is only three months after enlistment. This may indicate that he had served previously as a Territorial or that reinforcements were urgently needed.. Perhaps a forum expert may be able to throw some light on this.

 

Mike

 

The basic training for an infantryman was twelve weeks.  

 

The 9th, 10th and 11th Bn Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers were brigaded in the 36th (Ulster) Division. The Battalions were formed from members of the Ulster Volunteer Force in September 1914.   There were no TF units in Ireland.  The 11th Bn Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers was formed from members of the Donegal and Fermanagh Volunteers. This recruitment notice is from Belfast, but there were no doubt similar posters elsewhere.

 

The Division left Ulster in July 1915 and was quartered just down the road from here at Seaford, where they were inspected by Kitchener on 27 July and subject to intensive training before going to France in October 1915.  Before going to Seaford the Brigade was at Finner Camp, County Donegal. 

   

The Volunteers were usually recruited locally and there was apparently no shortage of recruits.   Therein is the mystery was he in Glasgow when war was declared? or did he go to Ulster to volunteer?

 

SDGW may provide a clue as it shows 24726 Mcdougal was from Clydebank and enlisted at Finner Camp.  24722 Robert Brown, also from Glasgow is shown as enlisting at Finner Camp whereas 24723 Joseph Brown,  (Glasgow) is shown as enlisting at Glasgow.  The Browns joined the 9th Bn.

Your man as you say is shown as enlisting at Fermanagh. So we have four men from Glasgow in the 2472* number series.  I can't find any Glasgow men in the number series either side.  It therefore seems likely they were recruited in Glasgow and joined the RIF at Finner Camp and posted to Battalions on arrival. Might be worth seeing if there is some connection to these men.  The Browns also died on the 1st July 1916

 

Ken (the other one)

Edited by kenf48
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There was a large Ulster Volunteer Force Brigade in Glasgow in 1914 ,one of the men who set it up was Robert  A Campbell an Ulsterman who's family had moved from Ulster to Maryhill in Glasgow. Robert was killed in action ,cant remember if it was with the Fusiliers but it was not the R I R. If you can find his number it might give a clue.He came from Kells area and was a Lance Corporal.

 

                                                                                                                     Mary.

Edited by mysie
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Mary and Ken - thank you so much for your information.

 

Mary  - I think your man was Robert Alexander Campbell and he was also an 11th RIF man!

He's listed on the Glasgow Roll of Honour at 14 Campbell Street, Maryhiil.

CWGC has Robert Alexander Campbell Private 18961, 11th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Killed on 1 July 1916 and SDGW has born Connor, Co. Antrim, resident Glasgow.

 

Ken - that is really useful research.

I had until now assumed that my man David Gowans was living in Ireland. He is not on the Glasgow Roll of Honour and I cannot find him mentioned in any Glasgow or Dumfries & Galloway newspapers but your material and Mary's information is making me rethink that assumption.

I'll let you know if I can find him in Glasgow.

 

Ken 

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Ken not sure if you have seen the post on here 22 July, Glasgow UVF AND THE 11TH Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, only 2 posts but maybe the original poster might be able to help.

 

                                                                                                                                  Mary.

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From The Scotsman 15 August 1914 

 

Glasgow Ulster Volunteers.jpg

 

and the 17 August 1914

 

 

Glasgow Volunteers copy.jpg

 

As with recruitment generally the recruitment of the UVF Volunteers into Kitchener's Army gathered pace in September 1914.  It would be interesting to know if the 'Glasgow Battalion' men went to Ireland as a body,and when or whether your man and his comrades were to bring the Battalions up to strength before deployment.

 

Ken

 

 

Ken (the other one)

Edited by kenf48
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Your man is listed as 'missing' in the Scotsman Casualty lists for the 16 August (there are a similar number of RIF shown as 'killed on the same date).  Nearly all are from Glasgow I regret to say my Scottish geography is a bit ropey outside the Cairngorms so don't know where Kijrcudrightshire is!

Missing.jpg

 

Ken(the other one)

 

Plenty of scope for looking at service records in these lists to see if they shed any light.

Edited by kenf48
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Cheers Ken - we are on the South Coast (the other one!)

South of Newcastle and east of Belfast - and about half way between!

 

I'll work thro your list (and thanks for including a Morrison)

MORRISON, ARCHIBALD Age 19

Private 23209 11th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
Date of Death: 01/07/1916
Additional Information: Son of John and Mary Morrison, of 19 Carbeth St., Possilpark, Glasgow.
 
Ken

 

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4 hours ago, kenf48 said:

From The Scotsman 15 August 1914 

 

Glasgow Ulster Volunteers.jpg

 

and the 17 August 1914

 

 

Glasgow Volunteers copy.jpg

 

As with recruitment generally the recruitment of the UVF Volunteers into Kitchener's Army gathered pace in September 1914.  It would be interesting to know if the 'Glasgow Battalion' men went to Ireland as a body,and when or whether your man and his comrades were to bring the Battalions up to strength before deployment.

 

Ken

 

 

Ken (the other one)

Yes Ken they went to Belfast and trained there ,before heading over to England . If you wish to read all about them, try web page, Scottish UVF & Home rule crisis.

Edited by mysie
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Sorry Ken misunderstood my husband the article is on the Facebook page 36th Ulster Division For God and Ulster.

                                                                                                 Mary.

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No worries, couldn't find it but it seems Gowans was not numbered to the RIF until July 1915, when the Brigade was at Finner Camp. 

 

While looking for you reference came across this history of the Ulster Covenant and Scotland which although it ends in 1914 provides a good background 

https://www.communities-ni.gov.uk/sites/default/files/publications/dcal/ulster-covenant-and-scotland.PDF

 

Ken

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