Private William John Allison


William John Allison was born on 21 October 1888 at Slaght, Ballymena, County Antrim, the first of at least four children of labourer Thomas Allison and his wife Agnes (nee Dunseath). Soon after, the family moved to Dumbarton, Scotland, where Thomas worked in an iron foundry. William, however, was sent by his parents to Ballymena in the following years, where he grew up at Slaght with his grandmother Margaret Dunseath. By the time of the 1911 Census he was working there as a horse trainer.

Allison enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 28 January 1916 (No.2093). Later that year, on 26 August, he married Mary Ann Griffin at West Church, Ballymena.

At the end of December 1916 Allison was one of forty North Irish Horsemen who volunteered to transfer to the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. The transfer took place on 9 January 1917, the same day they embarked for France, where they were posted to the 10th Battalion, joining it at Ploegsteert Wood on the Ypres front. Allison was issued regimental number 40636.

Allison was wounded in 1917 during Third Ypres, possibly on 16 August at the Battle of Langemarck. He returned to the UK on 12 December, presumably his wound having not healed sufficiently to permit a return to the front.

In June 1918 he was transferred to the Royal Defence Corps (No.77767), but was discharged on 13 September, being no longer physically fit for war service (paragraph 392 xvi, King's Regulations), due to chronic synovitis of his left knee.

After his discharge Allison returned to Ballymena. By 1947 he was living at 2 Toome Road and working as a painter. He died at Waveney Hospital on 19 October that year and was buried in the Ballymena New Cemetery.