Mawhinney, John (No. 13053095)

Mawhinney, John (Jack)

Lance Corporal

No. 13053095, Royal Irish Fusiliers

Died of wounds on Thursday 2 December 1943 (aged 25)

Buried:

Moro River Canadian War Cemetery, Italy (Grave XII. D. 2)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Greyabbey and District War Memorial which is located on the outside wall of Greyabbey Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Saviour’s)

BIOGRAPHY

In some records his surname is spelt McWhinney.

John (Jack) Mawhinney was born on 12 March 1918 in Church Street, Greyabbey and he was baptised on 24 March 1918 in Greyabbey Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church.  He was the only son of John and Margaret Mawhinney (nee Pritchard).  John Mawhinney was the gravedigger in Greyabbey Old Cemetery and he and Margaret Pritchard were married on 8 September 1916 in Newtownards Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church.  John McWhinney, a stable groom from Greyabbey, was a son of John McWhinney, a postman.  Margaret Pritchard from Greyabbey was a daughter of David Pritchard, a labourer.

John and Margaret Mawhinney (nee Pritchard) had two children:

Maude (born 18 November 1916 in Greyabbey)

John (born 12 March 1918 in Greyabbey)

John (Jack) Mawhinney was educated in Greyabbey Public Elementary School and he was a farm worker before he enlisted.  During the Second World War he served with the Royal Irish Fusiliers and in December 1943 he was reported as having been wounded and taken prisoner.  In a letter to Jack’s father, Jack’s Commanding Officer described what had happened:  ‘A couple of companies were several miles forward of our own troops doing an important job of work when your son’s platoon was cut off by the enemy.  Your son was wounded in the left arm and had also what is thought to have been a slight stomach wound.  He was taken into a house and left with some civilians, but, before the situation clarified and we were able to get him back, he was carried off by the Germans.  I do hope you will have news of him soon, and we too would like to hear he is safe and sound.  In the short time he was with us he proved himself thoroughly reliable and an excellent leader.  The courage and steadfastness of such men is fast winning the war for us, and all being well you should soon have him home again safe and sound’.

But unfortunately, that did not happen.  Lance Corporal John (Jack) Mawhinney (No. 13053095) died of his wounds and was buried in Moro River Canadian War Cemetery, Italy.  There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:

HE DIED THAT WE MIGHT LIVE

Lance Corporal John (Jack) Mawhinney (No. 13053095) is commemorated on Greyabbey and District War Memorial which is located on the outside wall of Greyabbey Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Saviour’s).  He was awarded the 1939/45 Star, the Italy Star, the War Medal, and the Defence Medal.