Lance Corporal John Arthur Geddis



John Arthur Geddis was born at 24 Oregon Street, Bootle, Lancashire, on 16 August 1896, the last of two children of Irish-born dock labourer John Thomas Geddis and his wife Charlotte (née Chambers). His mother died when he was just four years old. At some point after 1901 John was sent to live with his uncles at their farm in Mackan Glebe, Derrylester, County Fermanagh. He was living there at the time of the 1911 Census

Geddis enlisted in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron on 7 June 1915 (No.UD/264). On 6 October 1915 the squadron, which was then serving as divisional cavalry to the 36th (Ulster) Division, embarked for France. Geddis, however, remained at the reinforcements depot at Enniskillen.

In 1916 or the first half of 1917 he embarked for France, where he joined the squadron in the field.

In June 1916 the Inniskillings squadron had joined with C and F Squadrons of the North Irish Horse to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until August the following year. In September 1917 the 2nd Regiment was disbanded and most of its officers and men were transferred to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – which was renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion. Geddis, like the majority of the men, was transferred to the battalion on 20 September. He was issued a new regimental number – 41510.

On 22 or 23 November 1917 he was wounded in the left forearm in the fighting for the village of Moeuvres during the Battle of Cambrai. Evacuated to the UK for treatment, on 14 August 1918 he was discharged from the army, 'being no longer physically fit for war service' (paragraph 392(xvi), King's Regulations). He was granted a pension due to his wound, his level of disability assessed at 20 per cent in May 1920.

After the war Geddis returned to farming at Mackan. On 3 February 1932 he married farmer's daughter Cassie Anne Bracken in the Florencecourt Church of Ireland Parish Church, County Fermanagh. He died on 26 September 1977 in the Erne Hospital following injuries sustained when he was struck by a car when crossing the road near his home.


Geddis in his 'hospital blues'


I am grateful to Doreen Mullan for providing these images.


This page last updated 2 July 2023.