Corporal John Charles Caulfield


John Charles Caulfield was born on 8 July 1890 at Broughshane, Ballymena, County Antrim, the last of five or six children of retired Royal Irish Constabulary sergeant John Caulfield and his wife Ann (O'Neill). He initially trained as a carpenter, but on 15 October 1908 joined the Royal Irish Constabulary (No.64383), stationed over the next seven years in Donegal and at Glenravel Street Barracks in Belfast.

Caulfield enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 5 February 1916 (No.2103). Two months later he married book-keeper Elizabeth Wylie at St Patrick's Church of Ireland Church at Ballymena. Their first child, Mary Elizabeth, was born later that year.

Caulfield embarked for France in late 1916 or the first half of 1917, serving with one of the squadrons of the 1st or 2nd North Irish Horse Regiments until September 1917, when the 2nd Regiment was disbanded and most of the men, together with some surplus to the needs of the 1st Regiment, were transferred to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion. Caulfield, like most, was transferred on 20 September. He was issued a new regimental number – 41193.

His subsequent experiences during the war are not known at present, though he probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

Following his demobilisation or discharge at the end of the war, on 2 October 1919 Caulfield was readmitted to the Royal Irish Constabulary and stationed in Belfast. He remained with the RIC until the force was disbanded in 1922.

His stated intention at the time was to emigrate to Australia, but by the end of the 1920s he was in Northern Ireland serving with the Royal Ulster Constabulary.

Caulfield lived for many years in Broughshane. He died at Waveney Hospital, Ballymena, on 24 December 1965, and was buried in the First Broughshane Burying-Ground.


Report of the wedding of Caulfield's daughter, Belfast News-Letter, 28 September 1943