Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
ff
10608   Private John McGuigan
Save as PDF
Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 31/05/2020
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 2nd Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers (British Army)
Died: 07/11/1917 (Killed in Action)
Age: 29
Summary      
John McGuigan was the son of George and Ellen McGuigan. John was born about 1888 in Blackwatertown, County Armagh. By 1911, it seems both his parents had died. John McGuigan was living in Dungannon when he enlisted in Armagh. Private John McGuigan was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the (Princess Victoria's) Royal Irish Fusiliers when he was killed in action in Egypt on 7th November 1917. He was 29 years old. Private John McGuigan was one of three brothers who served. Henry McGuigan was serving with the Royal Irish Fusiliers when he died in France in May 1917.
Further Information
John McGuigan was the son of George and Ellen McGuigan. John was born about 1888 in Blackwatertown, County Armagh.
The 1901 census lists John as age 13 living with the family at house 5 in Donnydeade, Bernagh, Tyrone. He was still at school. His father, George, was a Linen Factory Fireman. Celia McGuigan, the eldest child had been born in America.
Family: George McGuigan, Ellen McGuigan, Celia McGuigan (born about 1876), Molly McGuigan (born about 1885), John McGuigan (born about 1888), Harry (Henry) McGuigan (born about 1890), Maggie McGuigan (born about 1892), Peter McGuigan (born about 1894).
The 1911 census does not list John as living with the family at house 6 in Donnydeade, Bernagh, Tyrone. It seems both his parents had died by 1911. John's eldest sister is now head of the family.
John McGuigan was a member of the Moy Hibernian Band and of the Moy Company Irish National Volunteers.
John McGuigan was living in Dungannon when he enlisted in Armagh.
Medal card
1915
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 26th May 1915:
The relatives of Private Henry McGuigan, 1st Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers have been notified at Dungannon that he has been wounded by shrapnel in the heavy fighting at Hill 60, and is at present in hospital in Liverpool. Another brother, Private John McGuigan, 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers, has returned to France after leave through frostbite. A third brother, Private Peter McGuigan, who enlisted since the war broke out, is stationed at Buttevant, and belongs to the 9th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers. They have a brother who resides at 1 Bread Street, Belfast.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 5th June 1915: Three McGuigans at the Front
The relatives of Private Henry McGuigan, Redford, Dungannon, 1st Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers have been notified that he has been wounded by shrapnel in the heavy fighting at Hill 60, and is at present in hospital in Liverpool. Another brother, Private John McGuigan, 2nd Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers, has returned to France after leave through frostbite. A third brother, Private Peter McGuigan, who enlisted since the war broke out, is stationed at Buttevant, and belongs to the 9th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers.
1916
Private McGuigan had been through most of the fighting in France, and by 1916 was with the Salonika Force.
From the Tyrone Courier dated 25 May 1916: Peter McGuigan (brother of Private John McGuigan)
Intimation has been received that Private Peter McGuigan, Dublin Fusiliers, was wounded in action on 27th April in the first hand to hand encounter the Irish Division (16th) has had with the Germans, in which they succeeded in driving them out of a part of the British trenches, which they had temporarily taken. Private McGuigan is one of three brothers at the front. Harry was wounded at Hill 60 in April 1915, and has been twice slightly wounded since. John has been through most of the fighting in France, and is at present with the Salonika Force. Both belong to the Irish Fusiliers. Their home is at Donnydeade, Dungannon.
1917
Private John McGuigan was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the (Princess Victoria's) Royal Irish Fusiliers when he was killed in action in Egypt on 7th November 1917. He was 29 years old.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 21st November 1917:
Private John McGuigan, Royal Irish Fusiliers, Donnydeade, Dungannon, killed in action in Egypt on the 7th November. Private McGuigan had been in the firing line for the past three years. His brother, Corporal Harry McGuigan, died in hospital in France on the 1st June 1917, while another brother, Peter McGuigan, is serving with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers. The deceased is a brother of Mr Thomas McGuigan, 1 Bread Street, Belfast.
From the Tyrone Courier and News dated Thursday 22 November 1917:
Mr F McGuigan, Doneydade, Dungannon, received intimation on Tuesday that his brother, Private John McGuigan, Royal Irish Fusiliers, had been killed in action on 7th November 1917 while serving with the Egyptian Forces. The deceased soldier had been on service for the past three years in France and Salonika. He is one of three brothers who volunteered at the commencement of the war. One of them, Corporal Harry McGuigan, of the same regiment, died in hospital on 1st June 1917 and had previously been wounded three times inside one year. Another brother, Peter, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, had been wounded and gassed. All three brothers were members of the Moy Hibernian Band and of the Moy Company Irish National Volunteers, Harry having been drill instructor of the company.
Private McGuigan is buried in Gaza War Cemetery.
Private John McGuigan was one of three brothers who served.
Private Peter McGuigan served with the Dublin Fusiliers, became a prisoner of war and survived the war.
From the Tyrone Courier and Dungannon News dated Thursday 2 May 1918:
Private Peter McGuigan, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, who is reported a prisoner of war belongs to Doneydade, Dungannon, and was previously wounded. His brother John of the Royal Irish Fusiliers, was killed in Palestine and his brother Henry of the same regiment died of wounds. All three were members of the Moy Company, Irish National Volunteers and of the Moy Hibernian Flute Band.
Private Henry McGuigan (5695) was serving with the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers when he died in France on 31st May 1917. He was 27 years old.
Last Will and Testament of John McGuigan:
In the event of my death, I give the whole of my property and effects to brother Tommy McGuigan, 1 Bread Street, off Derby Street, Belfast. J McGuigan, 10608 Private 2nd Royal Irish Fusiliers. 6th July 1916.
The reverse page of his Will notes he was trained in the use of the 'small box respirator'
Read more
Relevant Dungannon Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Donnydeade, Bernagh Killyman Census listing in Donnydeade, Bernagh 54.479863 -6.734376
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists McGuigan family Lists John as age 13 living with the family at house 5 in Donnydeade, Bernagh, Tyrone
2 1911 Census lists McGuigan family Does not list John as living with the family at house 6 in Donnydeade, Bernagh, Tyrone
3 Ireland Memorial Record Lists John McGuigan, born Armagh
4 National Archives of Ireland Last Will and Testament of John McGuigan
5 National Archives UK Medal Card can be purchased here
6 Private Henry McGuigan Brother of Private John McGuigan
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2020