Private John Henderson


John Henderson was born on 6 August 1887 at Cornamuckla, Brookeboro, County Fermanagh, the last of eight children of labourer and farmer Thomas Henderson and his wife Elizabeth (nee Short). His two brothers died of tuberculosis – Thomas Francis on 1 February 1912 and James on 7 August 1914.

Henderson had enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Fivemiletown on 6 November 1908 (No.233). He embarked for France with A Squadron on 17 August 1914, seeing action in the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

On 5 November 1914 at St Omer he was charged with creating a disturbance in the barrack room at 10 pm, an offence which earned him 7 days Field Punishment No.2 and the loss of 7 days pay.

Henderson chose to leave the army and return home when his period of engagement ended on 5 November 1915. His record of service was marked as 'very good'.

On 22 September 1916 he wrote seeking a Silver War Badge, the issue of which had only just been announced:

Kindly pardon the liberty I take by writing you. But having seen enclosed I feel entitled to one of the Silver Badges which I would so much like to have as a souvenier [sic] of this sad war. I have served 7 years and 76 days in the North Irish Horse, 1 year and 76 days in France from the out break of War. But to my regret when my time had expired had to cease serving owing to the death of my only Brother and no help at Home but a disabled Father 73 years of age.
I am yrs Respectfully
John Henderson

Henderson’s request was refused, as eligibility for the badge was restricted to men discharged due to wounds, illness or injury.