Poppy In memoriam Poppy

Private John McVea


McVea 1


John McVea was born on 2 November 1894 at 18 Ponsonby Avenue, Belfast, the third of four children of commercial traveller (drapery) James McVea and his wife Mary Jane (nee Kinnaird). By 1911 he was living with his family in Cedar Avenue, Belfast, and working as a drapery apprentice.

McVea enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim on 25 May 1916 (No.1617 – later Corps of Hussars No.71473). He embarked for France between 1916 and 1918, most likely in January 1916 with E Squadron.

In May 1916 E Squadron joined with D and A Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps until February 1918, when the regiment was dismounted and re-formed as V Corps' cyclist regiment.

McVea saw action with the regiment during the Advance to Victory offensive from 21 August 1918. He was killed in action on 26 August as the 38th (Welsh) Division, supported by E Squadron, captured Bazentin-le-Grand and advanced on Longueval.

McVea’s body was either buried then lost, or never found. As he has no known grave, he is commemorated on the Vis-en-Artois Memorial, Pas de Calais, France, Panel 3.


McVea's brother Victor Alexander also served during the war, as a lieutenant in the Royal Irish Rifles.


McVea 2


Image kindly provided by Simon Godly. See his First World War website at www.webmatters.net.