Private George McLorn




George McLorn was born on 16 February 1899 at Ravernet, Lisburn, County Down, the last of eight children of farmer John McLorn and his wife Sarah (nee McKibben). His father died six months before he was born. By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Ravernet with his mother and five siblings. The family later lived at Downshire Road, Cregagh, Belfast, with George being educated at the Municipal Technical Institute.

McLorn enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 8 November 1915 (No.1817). He must have overstated his age, as he was only 16 at the time. He embarked for France in 1916 or the first half of 1917, where he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st or 2nd North Irish Horse Regiments.

In September 1917 the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment was disbanded and most of its men, together with some surplus to the needs of the 1st NIH Regiment, were transferred to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion. McLorn, like most, was transferred on 20 September. He was issued a new regimental number – 41426.

He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917, and probably also the retreat from St Quentin during the German spring offensive in March 1918 and the subsequent fighting on the Ypres front the following month. He was reported as having been wounded in the War Office Daily Casualty List of 23 May 1918, though the date and circumstances are not known at present.

McLorn remained with the 9th (NIH) Battalion until the end of the war. He was wounded again, this time during the Advance to Victory offensive in September 1918.



First image sourced from The Belfast Metropolitan College. Second image, from the Belfast Evening Telegraph, last quarter of 1918, kindly provided by Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster ( Images of McLorn's medals from my collection Copyright © Phillip Tardif with all rights reserved as set out in this Use of Material policy.