Shoeing Smith Thomas Heaslip


Thomas Heaslip was born on 26 May 1882 at Killynanum, Denn, County Cavan, one of several children of farmer Benjamin Heaslip and his wife Mary (nee Love). By 1911 he was living at Killynanum with his widowed father and two siblings and working on the family farm.

Heaslip enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 17 January 1910 (No.456 – later Corps of Hussars No. 71026). He embarked for France with A Squadron on 17 August 1914, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

Later in the war he was promoted to the rank of shoeing-smith.

In February and March 1918 the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, including A Squadron, was dismounted and converted to a cyclist regiment, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps for the remainder of the war. This meant a 25 per cent reduction in the regiment's numbers, and it is likely that this was the time that Heaslip was transferred to the 19th (Queen Alexandra's Own Royal) Hussars, where his shoeing-smith skills would have been more useful.

On 13 March 1919 Heaslip was discharged as 'surplus to military requirements, having suffered impairment since entry into the service' (paragraph 392xvi(a) King's Regulations).