Rowan, William George (William)
No. 18663, ‘C’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, transferred to
No. 44457, 1st Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
Killed in action on Sunday 20 October 1918 (aged 32)
Harlebeke New British Cemetery, Belgium (Grave VIII. C. 9)
William George Rowan was born on 16 January 1886 in the townland of Corballyquill, Co Cavan and he was a son of James and Mary Anne Rowan (nee Livingston).
James Rowan worked as a labourer and he and Mary Anne had at least eight children:
Rebecca Jane (born 4 March 1883 in Cabragh, Co Cavan)
John James (born 19 October 1884 in Cabragh, Co Cavan)
William George (born 16 January 1886 in Corballyquill, Co Cavan)
Elizabeth (born 1 May 1887 in Corballyquill, Co Cavan)
Mabel Annie (born 13 February 1889 in Drumloughan, Co Cavan; married Thomas McFadden 27 October 1915 in Ashfield Parish Church of Ireland Church)
Charles Henry (born 2 October 1890 in Drumloughan, Co Cavan)
Margaret Anne (born 12 May 1892 in Drumloughan, Co Cavan)
Henry Alfred (born 16 September 1894 in Drumloughan, Co Cavan)
William George Rowan moved to Bangor where he worked as a gardener. He lived at 107 Abbey Street, Bangor and on 11 March 1912 he and Elizabeth Harvey were married in Trinity Presbyterian Church Bangor. At the time, William was working in Castlewellan. Elizabeth Harvey from Bangor was a daughter of Hugh Harvey, a gardener.
Elizabeth’s sister, Sarah Harvey, and Hugh Dunnan were married on 2 January 1918 in Trinity Presbyterian Church Bangor. Hugh Dunnan, a soldier on active service, was a son of Robert Dunnan, a sailor. Hugh Dunnan enlisted on 17 September 1914 and served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (No. 16440). Hugh was demobilised and transferred to the Army Reserve (Class ‘Z’) on 19 February 1919.
William George and Elizabeth Rowan (nee Harvey) lived in Castlewellan and at 28 Broadway, Bangor and they had three children:
James Harvey (born 11 September 1912 in Castlewellan; killed in the Second World War in Egypt 4 April 1941)
William George (born 21 December 1913 in Castlewellan)
Sarah Elizabeth (Sally, born 29 December 1918, registered in Downpatrick)
William George Rowan enlisted in Downpatrick, he served with the Royal Irish Rifles (No. 18663) and later with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (No. 44457).
Lance Corporal William George Rowan (No. 44457) was 32 when he was killed in action on 20 October 1918 and he was buried in Harlebeke New British Cemetery, Belgium. There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
HE DIED THAT WE MIGHT LIVE
Lance Corporal William George Rowan’s widow Elizabeth lived at 1 Broadway, Bangor.