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  cap badgePrivate Owen McGuinness

2nd Battalion Highland Light Infantry
Service No: B/9105

Owen McGuinness grave

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Personal details

Family Information

Son of Owen and Helen (Ellen) McGuinness of 59d Calder St, Coatbridge. From the 1881 Census - Address - Calderhead, Shotts, Lanarkshire - Owen McGuinness 37, Ellen McGuinness 30, Owen McGuinness aged 10, Patrick McGuinness aged 7, Mary McGuinness aged 5, Anne McGuinness aged 2 months. From the 1891 Census - Address - 57 Lock St, Coatbridge - Owen McGinnis aged 58, Helen McGinnis aged 46, Owen McGinnis aged 19, Patrick McGinnis aged 17, Mary McGinnis aged 15, Annie McGinnis aged 10. From the 1901 Census - Address - 192 Calder St, Coatbridge - Owen McGennis aged 68, Owen McGennis aged 29, Patrick McGennis aged 26, Mary McGennis aged 23, Annie McGennis aged 19. Owen's Pension was awarded to his father Owen on the 04/12/1916.

Born / Resided

Donagh, Co. Monaghan / 59d Calder St, Coatbridge

Died

Killed in Action on the 25/09/1915 on the opening day of the Battle of Loos

Enlisted

Hamilton 1914

Employed

Clydesdale Iron and Steel Works

Age

43

Buried / Remembered

Guards Cemetery (III. C. 1), Windy Corner, Cuinchy, France

Cemetery / Memorial Information

A little west of the crossroads known to the army as 'Windy Corner' was a house used as a battalion headquarters and dressing station. The cemetery grew up beside this house. The original cemetery is now Plots I and II and Rows A to S of Plot III. It was begun by the 2nd Division in January 1915, and used extensively by the 4th (Guards) Brigade in and after February. It was closed at the end of May 1916, when it contained 681 graves. After the Armistice it was increased when more than 2,700 graves were brought in from the neighbouring battlefields. Guards Cemetery contains 3,445 burials and commemorations of the First World War. 2,198 of the burials are unidentified but there are special memorials to 36 casualties known or believed to be buried among them. Other special memorials commemorate six casualties buried in Indian Village North Cemetery, whose graves were destroyed by shell fire, and five Indian soldiers originally buried in the Guards Cemetery but afterwards cremated in accordance with the requirements of their faith.

Additional Information

The Battalion arrived at Boulogne on the 14/08/1914 and were part of the 5th Brigade, 2nd Division. Owen arrived in France on the 31/05/1915. Owen was Killed in Action on the opening day of the Battle of Loos. He was 1 of 87 men from the Coatbridge Memorial who fell during and from injuries from the Battle of Loos. The Battle of Loos on the 25/09/1915 : 6.00am - the now tired reserve Divisions complete their assembly at Noeux-les-Mines and Beuvry. A diversionary attack north of the La Bassee canal at Givenchy was launched by elements of 2nd Division. At first, the advancing battalions moved easily past well-cut wire and into the German front trench – which they found evacuated. Approaching the second line they were assailed by machine-gun fire and forced to take cover. Shortly after, they were counter-attacked and were among the first units this day to discover that German grenades were much more effective than British ones when it came to close-quarter fighting. By 9.40am the survivors of the 2/HLI, 1/Queens and 2/Ox & Bucks were back in their original trench, having lost around 950 men in the process of achieving nothing positive. The BATTALION LOST 358 MEN, OF WHICH 8 OFFICERS. Scottish Regiments lost a huge amount of brave men at Loos. Here is a list of Infantry Battalions who lost more than 500 men at the Battle of Loos from 25/09/1915 to 16/10/1915 - 7th Cameron Highlanders 687, of which 19 Officers, 9th Black Watch 680, of which 20 Officers, 6th King’s Own Scottish Borderers 650, of which 20 Officers, 10th Highland Light Infantry 648, of which 20 Officers, 7th King’s Own Scottish Borderers 631, of which 20 Officers, 8th Devons 619, of which 19 Officers, 8th Royal West Kents 580, of which 24 Officers, 8th Buffs 558, of which 24 Officers, 12th Highland Light Infantry 553, of which 23 Officers, 8th Black Watch 511, of which 19 Officers, 5th North Staffordshire 505, of which 20 Officers, 8th Seaforth Highlanders 502, of which 23 Officers. Owen's Grave photo donated by Mick McCann at the britishwargraves.co.uk. See photos for Owen's Medal Index Card, his Newspaper clipping, his Army Register of Soldiers Effects, his Service Medal and Award Rolls x 2, his CWGC Grave Registration x 2, his Headstone Report, his name on the Ireland Casualties of WW1 (listed as John), his Pension Record, Guards Cemetery and the Highland Light Infantry Cap Badge.

Photos
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