Second Lieutenant David Kernohan

 

David Kernohan was born on 18 August 1895 at Brocklamont, Ballymena, County Antrim, the first of ten children of farmer William Kernohan and his wife Margaret (nee Henderson). Educated at the Ballymena Model School, by 1911 he was living with his parents and six siblings at Springmount, Muckleramer, County Antrim.

Kernohan enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim on 23 September 1915 (No.1730 – later Corps of Hussars No.71526). On 16 May 1916 at Antrim he was admonished for refusing to obey an order and being absent from morning stables. The following day he embarked for France, where he was posted to E Squadron.

On 22 May 1917 he was promoted to lance corporal, and on 10 July, to corporal. He attended a course of instruction at the Small Arms School, Le Toquet, from 30 September to 15 October.

In February 1918 the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, including E Squadron, was ordered to dismount and convert to a cyclist regiment. This meant a large reduction in its numbers, achieved in part by sending likely candidates for officer cadet training. Kernohan was one of these, applying for a commission in the infantry, with a preference for the Royal Irish Rifles, on 26 February.

He left France for the UK on 19 March, and after a period of leave, on 10 May reported for duty at the No.7 Officer Cadet Battalion, Fermoy. Four days later he married Maria Faulkner at Drummaul, County Antrim.

After a period of training he was assessed as having 'very fair' education, military knowledge and power of command and leadership. "Knows his work and improving all round. ... Must maintain improvement & do well." On 30 October 1918 he was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant and posted to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles.

Kernohan was demobilised on 18 April 1919 and relinquished his commission on 1 April 1920.

Soon after the war he emigrated to New Zealand. He died on 5 July 1983 in Palmerston North, Manawatu-Wanganui, and was buried in the Kelvin Grove Cemetery.