Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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13206   Private Edward McGeown
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 01/05/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 1st Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 15/10/1895
Died: 28/04/1915 (Killed in Action)
Age: 19
Summary      
Edward McGeown was born in Cookstown and was the son of James and Mary Jane McGeown of Killymoon Street, Cookstown. In 1913 Edward joined the 4th Hussars. but after one year of service he was considered unfit for cavalry work through illness. He re-enlisted with the Inniskillings in Cookstown at the outbreak of war and was sent to the Gallipoli Peninsula. Edward was killed in action during the first Battle of Krithia.
Further Information
Edward McGeown was the son of James and Mary Jane McGeown (nee Lindsay). Edward was born in Derryloran, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone on 15th October 1895.
The 1901 census lists lists Edward as 5 years old, living with the family at house 4 in Killymoon Street, Cookstown. James McGeown was a barber and Mary Jane McGeown was a linen weaver. Mary Jane’s mother, Jane Lindsay, lived with the family.
Edward McGeown went to Friends School Lisburn
The 1911 census lists Edward as 15 years old. He was still living with the family in Killymoon Street. Edward had left school and was working as a labourer in a timber yard.
Family: James McGeown, Mary Jane McGeown, Robert McGeown (born 9th November 1891), Margaret McGeown (born about 1892), Edward McGeown (born 15th October 1895), Kenneth McGeown (born 11th June 1897), David McGeown (born 1st September 1899).
In 1913 Edward enlisted with the 4th Hussars.
After one year of service he underwent surgery for appendicitis. He was subsequently considered unfit for cavalry work and, refusing to transfer to a foot regiment, he was discharged.
Medal card
Edward McGeown re-enlisted with the Inniskillings in Cookstown at the outbreak of war and was sent to the Gallipoli Peninsula.
Just before Edward was killed, his parents received a letter from him in which he said:
“We have not done any fighting yet, but by all appearances it won’t be very long now. We are all ready to face the music and the men are all in the best of health.”
Private Edward McGeown was serving with the 1st Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers when he was killed in action during the first Battle of Krithia on 28th April 1915, just a few days after landing on the Peninsula. He was 20 years old.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 29th May 1915: Private Edward McGeown
Mr James McGeown, Killymoon Street, Cookstown, has received intimation from the War Office that his son, Private Edward McGeown, 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, has been killed in action at the Dardanelles. A little over two years ago the deceased enlisted in the 4th Hussars, but after a year’s service, he was operated on for appendicitis, and being considered unfit for a cavalry unit, and refusing to transfer to a foot regiment, he was discharged. At the outbreak of the war however, he re-enlisted in the Inniskillings, and only a few weeks ago went out with a draft from Londonderry. His parents received a letter from him about ten days ago, a cheerful, encouraging and loving letter, in which he said:- ‘We have not done any fighting yet, but by all appearances it won’t be very long now. We are all ready to face the music and the men are all in the best of health.’
Private McGeown, who was only twenty years old, was very popular in Cookstown and well-known as a footballer, being a member of Blackburn Football Club. He was of a cheerful disposition, and filled with the spirit of loyalty and patriotism for the Empire. Much sympathy is felt for his parents and other relatives in their bereavement. An older brother, who was in a Derbyshire Regiment, and who went through the Boer war unscathed, died later at Singapore as a result of sunstroke.
Private McGeown has no known grave and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial at Gallipoli in Turkey.
Edward McGeown insciption
This inscription photo was taken by the Friends of the Somme Mid Ulster Branch on a visit to Gallipoli in September 2014.
Edward is also commemorated in St Colemans Church of Ireland, Dunmurry.
Private McGeown had an older brother who had served in a Derbyshire Regiment and had gone through the Boer War without a scratch, and who was to die later in Singapore as a result of sunstroke.
Edward McGeown is commemorated on Cookstown Cenotaph and St. Luran’s Church of Ireland Roll of Honour, Derryloran, Cookstown.
The CWGC record Private Edward McGeown as the son of James and Mary Jane McGeown of 27 Milfort Avenue, Dunmurry, County Antrim.
Read more
Relevant Cookstown Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Killymoon Street Cookstown South Census listing in Killymoon Street 54.634723 -6.743336
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists McGeown family 1901 census lists Edward as 5 years old at 4 Killymoon St
2 1911 Census lists McGeown family 1911 census lists Edward as 15 years old at 82 Killymoon St
3 Lisburn in the Great War Lists Private Edward McGeown
4 National Archives UK Medal card can be purchased here
Cookstown District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2010-2021