Private Wilson Donaghy



Wilson Donaghy was born on 8 March 1892 at 58 Upper Glenfarne Street, Belfast, son of foreman (later flax buyer) John Donaghy and his wife Annie (nee McAughrin).

By 1911 he was working as a clerk in a mill, and on the outbreak of war was working on the staff of the Belfast Evening Telegraph.

Donaghy enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 8 or 9 September 1914 (No.1181). He embarked for France with the first reinforcement draft for A and C Squadrons on 18 December that year. He was probably posted to C Squadron and soon after was assigned as orderly to General Herbert Plumer.

In the early months of 1915 a photograph of Donaghy appeared in the Belfast Evening Telegraph (picture below), over the caption:

Four Belfast chums at the front with the North Irish Horse.- Standing from the left - Trooper Wilson Donaghy, late of 'Evening Telegraph' staff, now orderly to General Plumer; Troopers Mandy Berwitz and John Nixon, orderlies to Viscount Massereene and Ferrard, and (sitting) Corporal McClements.

In September 1917 C Squadron, together with the rest of the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, was dismounted and most of its officers and men were transferred to the 9th Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers. Donaghy was among them, and was issued number 41489.

He served with the battalion until the end of the war. On 13 April 1919 he was transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.




Larne Times and Weekly Telegraph, 31 May 1924


First and second images, from the Belfast Evening Telegraph, March 1915, kindly provided by Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster (