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Missing great grandfather in 1901 census

Hi hoping one of you lovely people will be able to assist me. I am looking for my great grandfather Michael Coyne born abt 1883 Galway Ireland.

I know his where abouts in 1911 he was in Ireland age 27 with his wife Florence and son John Coyne. Although i do not believe he was in Ireland at the time of the 1901 census. Stories i've been told is Micheal ran away from Ireland possibly around the age of 15 and joined the army in Scotland. Apparently he lied about his age. He is believed to have been serving in the highland Light infer tree in scotland for around 15 years.

His wife Florence was born in Bideford Devon so he may have also been in that area before returning back to Ireland.

Any help would be much appreciated.

The Highland Light Infantry took part in the Boer War 1899-1902. Your ggrandfather could have been in South Africa at the time of the 1901 census.
Google Highland Light Infantry.