Farrier Quartermaster Sergeant James Mooney



James Mooney was born about 1859 in Moira, Co. Down. He enlisted in the 5th Royal Irish Lancers on 10 June 1978, soon after transferring to the 17th Lancers and serving in the Zulu War. He was discharged at the expiration of his period of service in 1890. Mooney later served in the Boer War with the 74th (Dublin) Company, Imperial Yeomanry (No.35491).

He enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 25 January 1911 (No.565), aged 51, but declaring his age as just 29 years. It is hard to believe that the regimental recruiters did not know the truth. According to North Irish Horseman Charles Trimble, while he and an officer were checking the enlistment paperwork in 1915, Mooney happened to enter the room:

"What is that first medal ribbon you are wearing?" Mooney was asked, and he replied – "The Zulu War, Major." "But here is your attestation form and it states that your age is 34. That war was fought before you were born," Mooney was told.

Mooney was promoted to farrier sergeant on 4 March 1911 and farrier quartermaster sergeant on 17 February 1912. On 2 February 1915 he was demoted to the rank of corporal, shoeing smith, following a field general court martial, but reinstated three months later.

Mooney did not see overseas service during the war, and was discharged as no longer physically fit for service on 13 March 1918.



More images of Mooney can be found here and here.


Images from the Ballymena Weekly Telegraph of 1928 kindly provided by Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster (www.greatwarbelfastclippings.com).