Poppy In memoriam Poppy

Private John Weir

 

John Weir was born on 11 July 1890 at 71 Fortingale Street, Belfast, the third of five children of power loom tenter James Weir and his wife Margaret Anne (née Taylor). His mother died in childbirth four years later. By the time of the 1911 Census he was living in Enfield Street, Belfast, with his father, step-mother, two siblings and five half-siblings, and working as an apprentice power loom tenter.

Weir enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Belfast on 25 February 1915 (No.1454). While in training with the regiment at Antrim, however, he fell ill. Admitted to hospital in Belfast on 29 September, he was found to have contracted tuberculosis.

A medical board reported "He states that he has been coughing five months. ... Cough has been gradually getting worse". It found that, though the illness was contracted in civil life, it was "aggravated by exposure on ordinary military service." The board recommended that he be discharged, and that "Sanatorum treatment would be desirable."

Weir was discharged on 8 October 1915 as 'no longer physically fit for war service' (paragraph 392 xvi, King's Regulations). His military character was recorded as 'good'.

After his discharge Weir lived with his family at 97 Enfield Street. He died there from tuberculosis on 11 December 1918.

 

Because the cause of his death was aggravated by his service in the army, Private Weir qualified for commemoration as a casualty of the war. However this was overlooked at the time. Recently the In From the Cold Project proposed his inclusion on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission casualty database. The Commission agreed, and Private Weir is now commemorated in the UK Book of Remembrance.