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Thomas McCann was born about 1875 near Aughnacloy. He was educated at Armagh and Maynooth Colleges. Thomas McCann was ordained a priest in 1899. He served as a chaplain to the army during the Boer War. He was curate in the parish of Kildress and Ardboe. About 1912 Rev Thomas McCann was moved to Camlough in County Armagh. In November 1914 Rev Thomas McCann, B.D. was appointed Catholic chaplain to the troops at the Front on the nomination of his Eminence, Cardinal Logue.