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Private Michael Dominick McVeigh



Michael Dominick McVeigh was born on 2 October 1889 in Butcher Street, Londonderry, the sixth of eight children of draper Thomas McVeigh and his wife Annie (nee McCafferty). By 1911 he was living at Butcher Street with his widowed mother and three of his brothers, and working as a dental assistant.

McVeigh enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Londonderry between 18 and 20 August 1914 (No.1013). He embarked for France with D Squadron on 1 May the following year.

In May 1916 D Squadron joined with A and E Squadrons of the North Irish Horse to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX and then V Corps. In September 1917 the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment was dismounted and most of its men, together with some surplus men from the 1st Regiment, were trained as infantrymen and transferred to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion. McVeigh, like most of the men, was formally transferred on 20 September. He was issued regimental number 41456, joining the battalion in the field at Ruyaulcourt at the beginning of October.

McVeigh probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917, and possibly also during the German offensives in March and April 1918.

From August to November 1918 the 9th (NIH) Battalion saw much fighting in Belgium during the Advance to Victory offensive. On 25 October the battalion was near Ansegham – the last day's fighting it would see during the war. The war diary for that day reads:

    Weather fine but dull towards midday. Battalion in support to 12th Royal Irish Rifles in attack on line J.36.c.0.4 – J.36.a.3.2 through G. in BERGSTRAAT – through N. in ANSEGHAM to Northern boundary at J.24.c.0.0. Heavy Machine Gun opposition was encountered and an advance of about 1,000 yards was made. Strength of Battn. going into action 12 officers and 276 O.R's. Casualties Lieut. F.W. Vint and 2 Lieut. J. Darling, M.C. wounded, 7 O.R's killed and 37 O.R's wounded.

Private McVeigh was one of the men killed that day. Following the war his body was recovered from its burial site west of Heirweg (map ref. 29.J.15.a.3.9) and reburied in the Harlebeke New British Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, grave VI.B.12. His gravestone inscription reads:




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