Private William Caughey


William Caughey was born on 6 August 1884 at Loughgall, County Armagh, the sixth of seven children of farm labourer (later gardener) William Caughey and his wife Margaret (née Hall). The family later moved to Belfast, and by the time of the 1911 Census was living at 19 Skegoniel Avenue, William working as a clerk in the shipyards. He also played for the Linfield Football Club.

Caughey enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 8 and 10 August 1914 (No.972). Just days later, on 20 August, he embarked for France with C Squadron, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

On 24 July 1915 the Ballymena Weekly Telegraph reported that:

Trooper William Caughey, who has been serving in France with the North Irish Horse since August last, has just paid a flying visit to his parents at 2 Fortwilliam View Terrace, Skegoniel Avenue, having been allowed four days' leave. It will be of special interest to footballers to read that Trooper Caughey, who was a member of Linfield F.C., is serving under Sergeant Jack Wright, the Cliftonville half. Trooper Caughey carries back with him an interesting little souvenir of his home visit from his friends in Belfast.

In June 1916 C Squadron combined with F Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded and its men transferred to the infantry. Like most, Caughey was posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – on 20 September, joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. He was issued regimental number 41273. It is likely that he saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

Caughey remained with the 9th Battalion through 1918. He was wounded In September or early October that year during the Advance to Victory offensive.

After the war Caughey returned to work as a clerk in Belfast. On 14 September 1921 he married Charlotte Evaline Lynn at the Duncairn Gardens Methodist Church.