Private James Shannon


James Shannon was born on 16 March 1894 at Kilmakee, Templepatrick, County Antrim, the seventh of eight children of farmer James Shannon and his wife Mary Jane (née Gorman). Soon after, the family moved to Belfast, where James (senior) worked as a carter. By the time of the 1911 Census they were living at Shankill Road, Belfast, James (junior) working as a grocer's assistant.

Shannon enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 28 or 29 April 1915 (No.1500 – later Corps of Hussars No. 71407). He embarked for France between 1916 and 1918, possibly with E Squadron on 11 January 1916.

In May 1916 E Squadron came together with A and D Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps until February-March 1918, when the regiment was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

On 5 August 1916 Shannon faced a court martial at Pommera, charged with absence and breaking out of camp. He was awarded 14 days' Field Punishment No.1. On 4 July the following year he was again court martialled, this time for 'threatening a superior officer'. For this he was awarded 56 days' Field Punishment No.1.

Shannon remained with the regiment throughout the war. On 8 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

After the war Shannon returned to his home at 316 Shankill Road. On 7 February 1925 he emigrated to Canada.