Queen’s South Africa, 3 bars, Cape Colony, Orange Free State, Transvaal, King’s South Africa, 2 bars, 5551 Pte A. McGuire, Northumberland Fusiliers.
Albert McGuire, M.M., was a soldier since the age of 14, the son of the 4th Herts Bandmaster of many years, he followed his older Brother into service, and with him into the Northumberland Fusiliers, where he fought in the Boer War for the entire war, during which time he was twice wounded, once severely in an attack on the Town of Lichtenburg which he was defending on 3rd March 1901, and again being slightly wounded on 25th February 1902 in the Yzerpsruit/Elandslaagte Convoy attack near Klerksdorp.
Following this he and his brother emigrated to Canada, and both of them signed up the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the First World War, however during the war he lost his brother, when he died as wounds serving as a Bandsman with the 60th Canadian Infantry during 1917. Albert served with distinction, being promoted to Sergeant and awarded the Military Medal for Bravery, during his service he was wounded twice, receiving a gunshot to the face, some shrapnel and later surviving being gassed.
Albert returned home alive after the war, but was struggling with the loss of his brother, he spent his time at a Returned Soldier’s Relief Camp in Saskatoon, but fell ill during 1933 and died alone and penniless in a local hospital in Moose Jaw.
Albert Owen McGuire, was born in St Johns, Hertford, Hertfordshire during 1880.
The son of Thomas and Janes, South Villas, Rye Road, Hoddesdon, Herts.
His father, Thomas, born during 1836, was a Musician and Bandmaster of the Herts Militia and 4th Herts Regiment for many years.
He was only a 14 year and 8 months old teenager when he attested for service with his local Regiment, the Bedfordshire Regiment on 20th November 1894, having been a member of the 4th Bedforshire Regiment of Militia.
He served 4 years underage with the 4th Bedfords until he became 18 and transferred to the Northumberland Fusiliers: “Transferred to 1 Battn Northumberland Fusrs to serve with elder brother.” on 1st October 1898.”
His brother Thomas McGuire was also a member of the 4th Beds and Herts and had joined the Northumberland Fusiliers, bringing his younger brother with him, Thomas was about 2 years his senior.
He served for a year with the 2nd Battalion, before being posted to 1st Battalion to be sent for service in the Boer War, arriving in South Africa on 21st December 1899.
He spent the next 3 years in South Africa until 21st January 1903 where he would be unfortunate to receive 2 wounds in action.
The first was on 3rd March 1901, during the Defence of Lichtenburg, the town was an important Stronghold for the British, as a supply depot with a British Garrison of over 600 men of Infantry, Artillery and Yeomanry.
On this day the town was attacked in a 3 pronged assault on the town by an estimated force of 300 Boers.
From the west was Commandant Vermaas, who assailed the fortified British redoubt in the market square, while the second and third attacks came from the East and West, directed against the British pickets on the edge of the town.
After 24 hours of determined resistance, the Boers were forced to withdraw, General de la Rey came to assistance of Vermaas.
In total the British Defenders lost 21 men as killed and died of wounds, with another 24 being wounded, including McGuire.
Following the war, he and his Brother took their discharge and chose to move to Canada, to work as Farmers.
The Hertford Mercury records the fate of his older Brother, Thomas.
Hertford Mercury and Reformer, 9th June 1917:
“McGuire – In proud and loving memory of Bandsman Thomas McGuire, 60th Canadian Infantry, eldest son of the late Thomas McGuire, for many years Bandmaster of the 4th Beds Regiment, who died of wounds received in action on June, 7th, 1916, aged 37 years. ‘He has done his duty’, From his loving brothers and sisters.”
The Star-Phoenix, newspaper of Saksatoon, Saskatchewan, records his sad death on 18th February 1933:
“VETERAN OF 2 WARS PASSES ON, ALBERT MCGUIRE AWARDED SIX MEDALS, DIES PENNILESS IN MOOSE JAW HOSPITAL
Moose Jaw, Feb 17, Albert Mcguire, aged 52, hero of 2 wars and holder of six medals, died penniless in a local hospital, late Thursday evening.
Burial will be made in the soldiers’ plot in the Moose Jaw Cemetery Monday, after funeral rites have been said at St Joseph Roman Catholic Church. Military honors will be accorded to him.
For some time Albert McGuire was a member of the returned soldiers’ relief camp in the city. A short time ago he was taken to hospital, where he died late Thursday Night.
For his services, in the Boer War he was awarded the Queens General Service Medal and King’s Medal and for his services in the Great War, he received the Military Medal, Mons Star (actually a 1915), the General Service Medal and Victory medal. He was discharged from the late war with the rank of Sergeant.