Lance Corporal William John Craig

 

William John Craig was born on 11 July 1892 at Barrack Hill, Tullylish, County Down, the fifth of ten children of linen bleacher Henry Craig and his wife Eliza (nee Anderson). By 1911 he was living with his family at Barrack Hill and working as a bleacher.

Craig enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 31 August 1914 (No.1057 – later Corps of Hussars No.71215). He embarked for France on 1 May 1915 with D Squadron, which was then serving as divisional cavalry to the 51st Division. In May 1916 D Squadron joined with A and E Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX then V Corps until February-March 1918, when it was dismounted and converted to a cyclist regiment.

It appears that between 1916 and 1918 Craig returned to the UK, either wounded, ill or injured, and after recovering served at the regiment's base depot at Antrim.

At the end of June 1918 he was transferred to the Worcestershire Regiment (No.66181) – most likely the 1st Reserve (Garrison) Battalion, which was based at Dublin from that month – and was promoted to lance corporal.

Craig was transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 11 March 1919. He died at the Down Infirmary on 1 April 1926, aged 33, from tubercular disease of the spine, which he had suffered since 1918.

 

Lance Corporal Craig's brother George also served during the war, in the Royal Irish Rifles and Labour Corps. He survived, though suffering shell-shock on 14 July 1916.