Private Hugh G. Cupples


Hugh G. Cupples was born on 16 August 1894 at Ballymacrea, Connor, Kells, County Antrim, the fifth of nine children of farmer John Cupples and his wife Elizabeth (née Gilliland). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Kells with his parents and his four surviving siblings. He was a talented junior footballer, playing outside right for Kellswater United in the Ballymena Junior Combination first division.

Cupples enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 29 January and 12 April 1917 (No.2377 or 2378 – later Corps of Hussars No.71785). He trained at the regimental reserve depot at Antrim through the year. Newspaper reports from April and October refer to him representing the North Irish Horse in local football matches.

In January 1918 Cupples embarked for Egypt with a draft of North Irish Horsemen from the Antrim camp. There he was attached to the 1/1st Nottinghamshire Yeomanry (Sherwood Rangers). He was still serving in late 1919.

On 3 May 1919 the sporting newspaper Ireland's Saturday Night carried a letter as follows:

Sir – Would any kind reader oblige a few North of Ireland boys with a couple of mouth organs to pass away the weary evenings with a bit of enjoyment, as we cannot get them where we are now in Servia. We are constant readers of the dear old Pink. Wishing the Blues and Glens every success – Yours sincerely, R. Morton (Larne), J. Finlay (Belfast), E. Deane (Belfast), W. Johnston (Portadown), H. Cupples (Ballymena), P. McCloskey (Belfast), W. Archibald (Donegal), North Irish Horse (attached 4th Troop, A Squadron, Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry), B.E.F.

Following his discharge Cupples moved to England. At the time of the 1939 Register he was living at 11 Bromefield Road, Harrow, and working for H.M. Customs and Excise.