Corporal John English


This North Irish Horseman was, on the balance of probabilities, the John English born on 22 January 1896 at Craigs, Ballymena, County Antrim, the second of five children of coachman (later chauffer) William John English and his wife Agnes (née Whiteside). By the time of the 1911 Census the family had moved to Belfast, living at 39 Jameson Street. John worked as a machine boy.

English enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 1 September 1914 (No.1071 – later Corps of Hussars No.71223). On 1 May 1915 he embarked for France with D Squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 51st Division.

In May 1916 D Squadron came together 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 the regiment was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

English was serving with the North Irish Horse cyclist battalion when he was wounded during the latter part of the Advance to Victory offensive from August to November 1918. The wound was not severe, and on 3 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.



St Jude's Parish Church, Belfast


My thanks to Bracken Anderson for providing the images.