Private Bernard Rocks


Bernard Rocks was born on 14 May 1896 in North Street, Lurgan, County Armagh, the second of fourteen children of tailor Michael Rocks and his wife Mary (née Seely). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living in Edward Street, Lurgan, with his parents and seven of his eight surviving siblings (two more would be born over the next few years), and working as a bar assistant on the premises of spirit merchant John Fleming.

Rocks enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Belfast on 29 March 1917 (No.2570). He was described as having a sallow complexion, dark hair and brown eyes, and gave his occupation as a labourer.

He would have trained at the regiment's reserve base at Antrim. On 26 August 1917, however, he deserted. What followed is not known, but by the end of the year he was serving in the Corps of Hussars (No.35109). Posted to the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry (Sherwood Rangers), Rocks served in Egypt and Palestine, where he later served in the 1st County of London (Middlesex Hussars) Yeomanry. He returned home for demobilisation and discharge in late 1919 or in 1920.

Rocks subsequently lived at 55 Edward Street, Lurgan. He was granted a pension, his level of disability assessed at 30 per cent in August 1920 (reduced to 6-14% by June 1921).

At the time of the 1939 Register he was living at 34 Cameron Street, Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire, with his brother Kevin, and working as a plater's helper.


This page last updated 10 January 2024.