Private Francis Cordner


This North Irish Horseman was probably the Francis Cordner born in Lanarksire, Scotland, about 1893, one of at least six children of County Down-born miner (later shipyard labourer) Francis Cordner and his wife, County Armagh-born Margaret Jane (née McKinney). It appears that the family returned to Ireland around 1900, shortly before the death of Francis (senior). Margaret re-married in October 1905. By the time of the 1911 Census Francis was living at Derryinver, County Armagh, with his mother, step-father, a sister and a step-sister, and working as a farmer.

Cordner enlisted in the North Irish Horse at some point following the declaration of war in August 1914 (regimental number unknown). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp until November 1916, when he and around 100 other North Irish Horsemen volunteered to transfer to the Royal Irish Rifles. The formal transfer took place on 7 December (Cordner was issued regimental number 40863), and on that day the men embarked for France. There they were posted to the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, joining it on the Somme front on 12 December.

No further information has been located about Cordner's service through the remainder of the war.