McDowell, Robert John (No. 154577)

McDowell, Robert John (Robert)

Lance Corporal

No. 154577, 1st Battalion, Canadian Pioneers

Killed in action on Friday 23 June 1916 (aged 25)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium (Panel 32)

Canadian Virtual War Memorial (CVWM)

Canadian First World War Book of Remembrance

Ballygowan Presbyterian Church


Robert John McDowell was born on 8 May 1891 in the townland of Ballyrush and he was a son of Samuel and Jane McDowell (nee Bowman) who were married on 26 May 1882 in Ballygowan Presbyterian Church.  Samuel McDowell from Ballynagarrick was a son of Henry McDowell, a labourer.  Jane Bowman from Ballyrush was a daughter of James Bowman, a labourer.

The McDowell family lived in the townland of Ballyrush, Moneyreagh and then in Belfast Row, Ballygowan

Samuel McDowell worked as a quarryman and he and Jane had seven children:

Mary Elizabeth (born 3 November 1882 in Ballyrush)

James Bowman (born 25 June 1884 in Ballyrush)

Eliza Jane (Lizzie, born 22 March 1886 in Ballyrush)

Margaret Ann (born 26 December 1887 in Ballyrush)

Henry (born 11 January 1889 in Ballyrush)

Robert John (born 8 May 1891 in Ballyrush)

Samuel (born 23 April 1894 in Ballynichol)

Robert John McDowell worked as a conductor on the Belfast trams before he moved to Canada around 1913.  There he worked as a motorman before he enlisted in Vancouver on 12 October 1915.  In his attestation papers it was noted that he was 5 feet 8½ inches tall with a fresh complexion, blue eyes and fair hair.  He arrived in England on 30 November 1915 for training and went to France in March 1916.

Lance Corporal Robert McDowell (No.154577) served with the 1st Battalion, Canadian Pioneers and he was 26 when he was killed in action at 12.15 am on 23 June 1916.

Lance Corporal Robert McDowell (No.154577) has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium and in Ballygowan Presbyterian Church.