Donnan, Thomas (No. 14080)

Donnan, Thomas

Private

No. 14080, Canterbury Regiment, NZEF

Killed in action on Tuesday 5 June 1917 (aged 24)

Buried:

Strand Military Cemetery, Belgium (Grave V. A. 16)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

New Zealand World War One Roll of Honour

Ashburton War Memorial in New Zealand

Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) Roll of Honour 1914 – 1919 for

Cloughey Presbyterian Church

Family grave headstone in Cloughey Presbyterian Church Graveyard

BIOGRAPHY

Thomas Donnan was born on 16 August 1892 in Cloughey and he was a son of James and Elizabeth Donnan (nee Agar) who were married on 6 February 1884 in Cloughey Presbyterian Church.  James Donnan, a fisherman from Castleboy was a son of James Donnan, a farmer.  Eliza Agar from Castleboy was a daughter of Alexander Agar.

The Donnan family lived in the townland of Ardkeen, Kircubbin.

James Donnan was a fisherman and sailor and he and Elizabeth had at least eight children:

Margaret (Maggie, born 6 November 1884 in Cloughey)

David (born 23 November 1886 in Drumardan)

Annie (born 10 December 1888 in Drumarden)

James (born 10 March 1890 in Drumarden; served in the Great War and was discharged on medical grounds)

Thomas (born 16 August 1892 in Cloughey)

William (born 16 May 1894 in Cloughey)

Alexander (born 12 July 1897 in Cloughey; lost at sea on 18 December 1919)

Samuel (born 5 January 1901 in Cloughey)

These children were all baptised in Cloughey Presbyterian Church.

Their father, James Donnan Senior, died on 18 July 1926 and their mother, Elizabeth, died on 12 May 1946.

Thomas Donnan worked as an agricultural labourer before and after he moved to New Zealand.  In March 1916 he enlisted in Ashburton, Canterbury in the South Island and in his attestation papers he cited his mother Elizabeth as his next-of-kin.  It was noted in his attestation papers that he was 6 feet tall.

Private Thomas Donnan (No. 14080) sailed from Wellington to Devonport before going to the Western Front where he served with the Canterbury Regiment of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.

Private Thomas Donnan (No. 14080) was killed in action on 5 June 1917 and he was buried in Strand Military Cemetery, Belgium.  He is commemorated in the PCI Roll of Honour for Cloughey Presbyterian Church.  He is also commemorated on the Ashburton War Memorial in New Zealand and on the family grave headstone in Cloughey Presbyterian Church Graveyard where the date of death and his age are inscribed as 7 June 1917 and 27 respectively.