Robert McDowell MC
2nd Lieutenant North Staffordshire Regiment 7th Battalion
Robert was born in 1894 in Belfast of parents Robert and Martha McDowell. In 1911 the family lived on the Woodstock Road, Belfast. On joining the army Robert lived with an aunt at 17 Jocelyn Avenue, Belfast. The family comprised of 3 children namely William James (an apprentice in a tea business), Robert (an apprentice in a boot business) and Thomas (a clerk).
Robert attended the 19th BB and the Bible Class, later to become secretary of the Junior Department of the Sunday school. He played cricket and tennis for the BB / congregation.
It is not known when Robert enlisted and received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the North Staffordshire Regiment. Je embarked for Mesopotamia on 7 May 1916, arriving in Basrah on 4 July 1916. On 11 January 1917, along with Captain Robinson, he assume command of “C” Company. On 25 January 1917 his battalion attacked the Turkish line on the West bank of the Hai. There was heavy fighting and loss of life, indeed Robert was wounded. For his actions he was awarded the Military Cross (See below for further details).
Returning to action in February he was killed in action shortly after crossing the Tigris about Kut.
Robert’s name is included on the Presbyterian Roll of Honour.