Five sons in the army, one wins Military Medal

John Crowe

My maternal grandfather John Crowe was born on this day, 29 Jan, in 1889 at Clones, Monaghan, he was the third son to Montgomery Crowe and Ellen Stringer who had been married in Clones on the 24 Jun 1884. Montgomery and Ellen had 13 children in total.

His father, brothers and himself seemed to have often been in trouble, on 15 Jan 1915 he was convicted of assaulting a constable in the execution of his duties on 24 Dec 1914. And earlier on 1 Dec 1906 he was charged with “did unlawfully make use of abusive and profane language towards Hugh Fitzgerald, the Secretary of the Clones Celtic Football Club, calculated to cause a breach of the peace”, but the charge was withdrawn when he expressed sorrow for using abusive and profane language. Both of these items appear in the Irish Petty Session records. There are more for his father and brothers.

But later, in the Belfast Newsletter for 11 Jun 1915 is the following:

Five Sons in the Army

The record in Clones district for the number from one family serving in Lord Kitchener’s army is held by Mr. and Mrs. Montgomery Crowe, Whitehall Street, Clones, who have five sons with the colours. The father himself was a soldier in his time, and wished to rejoin, but failed to persuade the military authorities to allow him to do so. There are several parents in Clones district who have three sons serving their King and county.

In the Northern Whig of 18 Sep 1916, John is reported as wounded. We later read in the Northern Whig for 2 Aug 1917 (The Battle of Messines was on 7 Jun 1917):

The Military Medal

Private John Crowe, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, son of Mr. Montgomery Crowe, Clones, has been awarded the Military Medal for gallant conduct on the field during the fighting of the 7th June last. He is one of four brothers with the colours, and his father is an old army man.

Northern Whig 02 August 1917

See London Gazette Issue 30287 14 Sep 1917 Page 9606 – J Crowe, Private, 20175

So John seems to have changed. On 2 Dec 1919 when he was a labourer, he married my maternal grandmother Catherine Rose Pendrey in Clones. They later moved to Belfast where they had six children, 2 boys who died young and 4 girls.

By 1940 they were living in Pembroke Dock, Wales where my mother and father were married. The photo of John Crowe included in this post is from their wedding photo.

John’s brother Montgomery Crowe Jr. had died of tuberculosis in 1918 – he had contracted it during the war. John unfortunately also died of tuberculosis on 31 May 1943 at the young age of 54. He was buried on 3 Jun 1943 at St John in Pembroke Dock.

St Johns Pembroke Dock

St John, Pembroke Dock

See John Crowe on Lives of the First World War

Belfast Telegraph 20 September 1917

Belfast Telegraph 20 September 1917

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