Sergeant John William Clancy, MM



John William Clancy was born on 18 June 1895 at Carrigans, Killea, County Donegal the fourth of eight children of RIC sergeant Patrick Clancy and his wife Anna (nee Allen). In the mid-1900s the family moved to Charlemont, County Armagh, where the now-retired Patrick became a publican. Patrick died in March 1914.

After initially working as a shop assistant, on 16 December 1913 Clancy joined the Royal Irish Constabulary (No.67631) and was posted to County Antrim. His older brother Patrick James had joined the police force almost four years earlier.

On 3 January 1916 Clancy enlisted in the North Irish Horse (regimental number 2048, 2051 or 2053 – later Corps of Hussars No.71683). The Belfast News-Letter of 4 January 1916 reported:

Constable John W. Clancy, R.I.C., who has been stationed in Ballymoney for the past ten months, has joined the North Irish Horse. He is the fourth policeman who has joined the colours in Ballymoney. His brother, Private Patrick Clancy, is with the Irish Guards in France, and before joining the army was stationed in Henry Street Barracks, Belfast.

In 1916, 1917 or early 1918 Clancy was sent to France, where he was posted to the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment.

In early 1919 he was one of a number of North Irish Horsemen awarded a Military Medal for gallantry during the Advance to Victory offensive from August to November 1918.

He was transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 25 February 1919, at the same time being reappointed to the Royal Irish Constabulary, where he was again posted to Antrim. He remained with the RIC until it was disbanded in 1922.

Clancy later emigrated to Canada, where he served in the Alberta Provincial Police Force. He died in Canada in 1968.


John's brother Patrick served in the Irish Guards during the war. He was shell-shocked in 1916 and gassed in 1918.


Image of John Clancy in the uniform of the Alberta Provincial Police, and some of the above information, kindly provided by Kevin Clancy.