Private George Beattie


George Beattie (or Beatty) was born on 29 November 1887 at Cavan, Castlederg, County Tyrone, the fifth of nine children of farmer George Beattie and his wife Letitia (née Mitchell). His father died when he was just eleven years old. Between 1901 and 1911 he left his family and moved to Ballymena, County Antrim. At the time of the 1911 Census he was living in Church Street, Ballymena, and working as a grocer's assistant for the firm W. McClelland & Son.

Beattie enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 16 and 18 November 1915 (No.1912 – later Corps of Hussars No.71634). The Ballymena Observer reported that:

Amongst this week's local recruits are Mr. George Beatty, who has joined the North Irish Horse, and Mr. Robert Courtney, who has joined the 20th Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles, two assistants of Messrs. W. McClelland & Son, provision merchants. We understand the employers are granting half salary to these young men during the period of the war.

He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France sometime between 1916 and 1918, where he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment. This regiment served as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps from its establishment in May 1916 until February-March 1918, when it was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

Beattie remained with the regiment throughout the war. On 18 February 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

After the war he returned to Ballymena and resumed work for McClelland & Son. He died on 8 October 1943 and was buried in the Scarvaghern Burying Ground.


Ballymena Weekly Telegraph, 15 October 1943