Private George Kelly


George Kelly was born on 15 October 1892 at 51 Ribble Street, Belfast, the fifth of seven children of Scottish-born parents, James Kelly, a blacksmith (later foreman-smith), and his wife Margaret (née Liddle). The family had moved from Scotland to Belfast around 1890. By the time of the 1911 Census George was living in Clonlee Drive, Belfast, with his parents and three of his siblings, and working as an apprentice plater.

Kelly enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 8 or 9 September 1914 (No.1180). 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 Corps.

In February 1917 Kelly was transferred to the Army Ordnance Corps (No.027149), presumably to make better use of his trade skills. He remained with that regiment until the end of the war. On 17 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

After the war Kelly returned to Clonlee Drive and resumed work as a plater. On 5 September 1921 he married Minnie Robinson Harrison at the Belmont Presbyterian Church. By 1925 they were living at 68 Belmont Avenue, Belfast. On 24 April that year Kelly died of pulmonary tuberculosis. He was buried in the Dundonald Cemetery.


At least two, possibly three, of Kelly's brothers also served in the war, including John Liddle Kelly, in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons.