Private William James Bones


William James Bones was born on 15 November 1891 in Bridewell Street, Ballymena, the first of three children of labourer William John Bones and his wife Elizabeth (formerly Fleck, née Martin). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Patrick's Place, Ballymena, with his mother, siblings and a half-sister, and working in the hardware trade.

Bones enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 29 and 31 August 1916 (No.2255 – later Corps of Hussars No.71723). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve depot before embarking for France sometime between 1916 and 1918, possibly with E Squadron on 11 January 1916.

In May 1916 E Squadron came together with D and A Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps until February-March 1918, when the regiment was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit. This meant a 25 per cent reduction in the regiment's numbers, and it is likely that this was the time that Bones was transferred to the 19th (Queen Alexandra's Own Royal) Hussars.

On 2 February 1919 Bones was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.