Private John McCall



John McCall was born on 14 March 1894 at 24 Raleigh Street, Belfast, the last of nine children of coachman William McCall and his wife Jane (née McKinnie). His family, originally from Armagh, returned there soon after he was born. At the time of the 1901 Census he was living at Killylea, Tynan, with his parents, two siblings and a cousin. By 1911 he was living at Elm Park, Ballymartin, County Armagh, at the home of Elizabeth Blacker-Douglas, for whom he worked as a pantry boy and domestic servant.

McCall enlisted in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron between 31 October and 9 November 1914 (No. UD/115). On 6 October 1915 he embarked for France with his squadron, which was then serving as divisional cavalry to the 36th (Ulster) Division.

In June 1916 the Inniskilling squadron 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. In August-September 1917 the Regiment was disbanded and its men, following training at the 36th (Ulster) Division Infantry Base Depot at Harfleur, were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including McCall, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt. McCall was issued regimental number 41165.

No information has been discovered about his service with the 9th (NIH) Battalion through the latter part of 1917 and during 1918, though he probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

On 23 March 1919 McCall was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve. He returned to Killylea where he worked as a labourer. On 23 July 1919 he married Sarah Davidson in the town's Church of Ireland Parish Church. She died, however, in February 1921.

McCall later moved to England. At the time of the 1939 Register he was living at 8 Ridley Grove, Hoylake, Cheshire, with his wife Margaret and two children, and working as a chauffer and gardener.


Images sourced from Public Member Trees - contributor 'IanJamesDavidson'.


This page last updated 21 March 2023.