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Remembered Today:

Dr John Dillon (J.D) M(a)cCormack


Ronan McGreevy

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Hi Folks,


Do any of you have any information about the wartime service of Dr. J.D MacCormack (or McCormack)?

He went on to become a top class Irish golfer after the war. Here's an obituary published in The Irish Times after his death.

There have been three sagas in golfing history of amazing recoveries from apparently hopeless physical handicaps and subsequent championship triumphs - by Ben Hogan, Jimmy Walker and Dr. J.D. MacCormack, who died last Saturday at the age of 82. Hogan, left for dead on the road after a motor smash in 1949, and sustaining multiple injuries, fought his way back to health to win three American Opens, two of them after the accident, as well as many other tournaments. His courage was brought home to millions by the film of his life, "Follow the Sun".

Walker, the Scottish amateur chosen for the Walker Cup team in 1959, also was involved in a car smash which cost him his kneecap and made it improbable that he would ever walk properly again, much less play any game. He, too, gritted his teeth and positively forced himself to recover. Within a year he was back on the course and not only regained his Walker Cup place in 1961 but won the Scottish championship that year for the one and only time.

In some respects, however, MacCormack's experiences, although the least publicised, were the most remarkable of the three. During the first war, when serving in the R.A.M.C. he was not only severely wounded but badly shell-shocked as well. Brought to hospital in 1916, his prospects of living were regarded as slight. Live he did but he was paralysed from the waist down and in that condition he remained for almost six years.

His desire to come back to the game he loved burned with an intensity as fierce as that in the minds of Hogan and Walker many years later, and in 1922 he went to a physician in London who had outstanding successes with similar cases. Slowly, painfully but progressively J.D. MacCormack learned to walk again but the hopes of actually playing golf seemed as remote as ever - yet within eight months of his return to Dublin, J.D. won his first championship, the Irish Close, in June of 1923 - an achievement as near miraculous as anything in the history of sport.

Wearing a steel corset lined with rubber to support muscles weakened by years of non-use, he set about regaining the power and rhythm of his swing with fanatical determination. He overcame intense pain and fatigue in the process but his spirit never wavered and never was a triumph more complete than when he beat Louis Werner, nine years his junior, in the 36 holes final at Milltown. After all that, the record of his major achievements makes fantastic reading - Irish Close Championship - 1923, 24, 25; Tailteann National and International champion - 1924; Irish Amateur Open championship - runner-up 1924; Amateur Championship - quarter-finalist 1924, semi-finalist 1931; leading amateur, Open Championship of Ireland 1932; Internationals - 1924, 27, 28, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37; Captain of Irish international team - 1934, 35, 36, 37. The term miracle is not an overstatement about this particular golfing career.


Note: The MacCormack Cup for which we play was won by J.D. MacCormack for the best gross score at an outing of the Department of Local Government & Public Health in 1926 and was presented to the Golfing Society by his widow following his death. It was first played for in 1974.

 

 

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Limerick Chronicle, June, 1916.

Captain J D McCormack, R.A.M.C, awarded the Military Cross, is third son of Dr McCormack, L.G.B Inspector. Two other brothers serving with the colours have been wounded.

 

Westmeath Independent, June, 1916.

Captain J D McCormack.

Captain J D McCormack, R.A.M.C., has been awarded the Military Cross. He is the third son of Dr McCormack, Medical Inspector, Local Government Board, late of Athlone, Two of his brothers serving with the colours have been wounded.


Westmeath Independent, June, 1916.

Military Cross.

For Captain John Dillon McCormack, R.A.M.C.

His many friends will learn with pleasure the news that Captain John Dillon McCormack, R.A.M.C., formerly of Athlone, has been awarded the Military Cross for distinguished services. Captain McCormack was well and popularly known in Athlone, and the distinction now conferred on him was earned on active service. He was seriously wounded but made rapid progress towards recovery. Captain McCormack has two other brothers serving with the colours.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

For Museumtom (13/03/2019)


Hello,

I'm french writer, I just finished to write a book a french woman that Captain John Dillon Mac Cormack married with in Paris in 1916.

It's a kind of emergency for me because the publisher will print the book soon and I just discovered this wedding, yesterday...

Looking on Internet, I read your answer and it's seems to me that you have informations about this captain.

My questions are :

- When he came back in Ireland, he used to live in Athlone ?

- Is his french wife came with him ?

- Did the have childrens ?

- When Captain died ?

- When his wife died ?

I'm sure the town hall of Athlone can have informations but I don't have any contact.

Thank you very much if you can help me.

 

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He remarried in Ireland in 1933

marriage.jpg.bf1ac3e1d81c812bca124952c07ebc27.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

Rock

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

Perhaps you could give us a little of the background as to why you are interested in this marriage

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He married Eugenie Marie Guillon  [edit]actually Guillou[/edit] in Paris on 21 Sep 1916

 

Interestingly she was born 1861, so thirty years younger than him.

 

I assume she was "famous" to the extent that the poster above was writing a book about her

Edited by corisande
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She was actually baptised " Lucie  Marie Eugenie Guillon"    [edit]actually Guillou[/edit] born 13 Sep 1861

 

She married as "Eugenie Marie Guillon"   [edit]actually Guillou[/edit]  but gave the same DOB

 

[edit I mistranscribed her name  [/edit]

Edited by corisande
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His medical record shows him admitted to Milbank Hospital with GSW on 19 Dec 1916 and discharged to Bathurst House Hospital on 27 Jan 1917

 

That was only 3 months after his marriage.

 

The OP says he was incapacitated for 6 years

 

I cannot find what happened to his wife

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There seems to be a lot of journalistic interest in MacCormack. So I add his marriage in Paris to the thread. His BC is on Irish GRO online and hers on Mormon site online

 

There must be a back story to this. He was 25 , she was 55. Given that the poster in post 5 was writing a book about his wife, there must have been something to write about. Then getting to the last minute without finding her marriage to MacCormack

 

 

marriage.jpg.8b6ba9957fd6a02de6c391463c5d51e9.jpg

 

marriage2.jpg.15f4e85d9c9b2fd819b9585849b5e68d.jpg

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Corisande

               Many thanks for all you help and time I see you research R.D.F. as with me.If I am of help to you let me know.I will let you have a copy of the article on MacCormack

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1 hour ago, Rock said:

I will let you have a copy of the article on MacCormack

 

Thanks, I would like to see it.

 

I think there is much more to write about MacCormack than we know at the moment :-)

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  • 2 weeks later...

The French wife's name was Guillou (not Guillon). She has a very interesting article in Wikipedia (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugénie_Guillou). It raises a few questions about her relationship with J. D. McCormack (and about his private life).

I could sum it up for you if necessary.

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I have just read that article.

Good heavens! (as it were).

:o

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1 hour ago, Korrigan said:

The French wife's name was Guillou (not Guillon). She has a very interesting article in Wikipedia (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugénie_Guillou). It raises a few questions about her relationship with J. D. McCormack (and about his private life).

I could sum it up for you if necessary.

 

Thanks for the offer, I think its probably best for interested people to read the French wiki article referred to above, :whistle: . As SeaJane aptly says "Good Heavens"

 

It certainly raises questions about MacCormack on many levels

 

One wonders too as to whether she died, they were divorced, or that he went back to Ireland after the war and resumed his life without her

 

I don't think that the OP, an Irish journalist, found this stuff to include in his article in The Irish Times. He probably should have hung around on the forum a bit longer to get the story

 

 

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3 minutes ago, IPT said:

 

You could be 'The Librarian'

Ook!

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