Private James Alexander Laughlin



James Alexander Laughlin was born on 14 April 1898 at 2 Violet Street, Belfast, the second child of mechanic James Alexander Laughlin and his wife Elizabeth (nee Bingham). His grandfather, also named James Alexander, was a mechanic in the flax making industry and later a Woodvale Ward councillor.

By the time the war began Laughlin was working at the Combe Barbour Falls Foundry.

He enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 29 September and 5 October 1915 (No.1735 – later Corps of Hussars No.71529). In 1916 or 1917 he embarked for France, where he was posted to A Squadron of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment.

Laughlin was wounded on 23 March 1918 east of Morlancourt as the regiment retired in the face of the German spring offensive. He was later awarded a Military Medal for the role he played that day, specifically "a gallant act in the face of the enemy under heavy fire".

He was transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 2 March 1919.


Image from the Belfast Evening Telegraph kindly provided by Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster (  See also London Gazette 12 June 1918 and Belfast Telegraph 9 May 1918.