Private James Moneypenny


James Moneypenny was born on 19 February 1895 at Charlemont, County Armagh, the last of four children of labourer and lighterman John Moneypenny and his wife Elizabeth (née Hood). His father died just nine months later. At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 75 Hopeton Street, Belfast, with his mother, three siblings, a half-sister and a cousin, and working as a book warehouseman.

Moneypenny enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim on 8 October 1915 (No.1741). He was described as being 5' 7½" tall with a sallow complexion, brown hair and brown eyes, and a scar over his right tibia. He gave his occupation as an electrician.

He would have trained at the regiment's reserve base at Antrim. On 3 March 1916, however, he deserted. What followed is not known, but he must have been discharged, for by September 1917 he was living at 34 Mount Street, Belfast, and working as an electrician. On 22 September he married hemstitcher Annie Savage in St Peter's Roman Catholic Church, Belfast. (On the marriage certificate he recorded his late father's occupation as 'sea captain'.) The couple had already had a child (though stillborn) two years earlier. Their second child, James, was born at Birkenhead, Cheshire, in February 1922.

In January 1923 James and his two brothers emigrated to the United States, settling in New York. His wife and child joined them later that year. Annie, however, died in childbirth the following year. Their son, James, served in Europe during World War 2 in the Canadian Army, seeing action as a parachutist in Germany from March 1945.


This page last updated 15 January 2024.