Private John Joseph Doak


John Joseph Doak was born on 10 October 1894 at 152 Cosgrave Street, Belfast, the first of three children of the sexton of St Enoch's Presbyterian Church, Alexander Doak, and his wife Mary Anne (née McCleery).

Doak 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 (Doak was issued regimental number 40868), 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.

Doak was wounded during Third Ypres (Passchendaele), probably between 31 July and 16 August. Following his recovery he was posted to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles. Whether he saw any further overseas service is not known at present.

After his discharge Doak returned to Belfast where he worked as a clerk. On 5 July 1920 he married Robina Cullen at St Enoch's Church. On 6 July 1923 he emigrated to the United States. He lived at Schenectady, New York, with his wife and children until his death on 19 August 1929.