Poppy In memoriam Poppy

Private John Morrison



John Morrison was born on 21 March 1888 at Kingsfort, near Ballymote, County Sligo, the third of nine children of farmer (later civil bill officer) William Morrison and his wife Rebecca Frances (née Morrison). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Elm Park, Limerick, and working as butler to Lord Clarina.

Morrison enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim on 1 June 1915 (No.1649). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp until the end of December 1916, when he and 39 other North Irish Horsemen volunteered to transfer to the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. The formal transfer took place on 9 January 1917, and on the same day they embarked for France, where they were posted to the 10th Battalion, joining it at Ploegsteert Wood on the Ypres front on 16 January. Morrison was issued regimental number 40657.

During 1917 the 10th Battalion saw a great deal of action, including at Messines (7 June), Langemarck (16 August) and Cambrai (November and December). On 21 January 1918 it was disbanded, many of the men, including Morrison, being posted to the newly-formed 21st Entrenching Battalion.

Morrison was wounded between 21 and 28 March 1918 during the retreat from St Quentin at the beginning of the German spring offensive. One record states he was wounded in both knees, another states that it was in both arms. He was admitted to No.5 General Hospital at Rouen and a week later, on 4 April, was evacuated to the UK.

By 1 October 1918 Morrison was fit for home service and was posted to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. A week later he was disciplined with two days' confinement to barracks for being absent from parade. On 26 October he was transferred to the Labour Corps (No.669811) and posted to the Western Command at Oswestry.

Morrison was discharged, being no longer physically fit for military service due to his wounds, on 7 December 1918 (paragraph 392(xvi), King's Regulations), his military character recorded as 'very good'. He was granted a pension, his level of disability being assessed at 30 per cent.

After his discharge Morrison returned to his home at Ballymote. By 1920, however, he was living at Durrow, Queen's County, and working as a waiter. He died (due to chronic nephritis) at the Aut Even Hospital, Kilkenny, on 29 March 1920, aged 32. Because he was receiving a pension at the time of his death, and his illness was attributed to his military service, Morrison was recorded by the Imperial War Graves Commission as a casualty of the war. He was buried in the Kilkenny (St Mary) Church of Ireland Churchyard, located north of the north-east door.


Image kindly provided by Steve Rogers, Project Co-ordinator of the The War Graves Photographic Project, www.twgpp.org.