Private Clarke McConnell

 

Clarke McConnell was born on 7 May 1886 at Cavanagrow, Markethill, County Antrim, the second of seven children of blacksmith Clarke McConnell and his wife Elizabeth (née Craig). His mother died when he was just fifteen. At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Crankey, Tullyhappy, County Armagh, where he worked as a farm servant for farmer and grocer John Thomas McCammon.

McConnell enlisted in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron between 19 February and 3 March 1915 (No. UD/221 – later Corps of Dragoons No.21263). On 16 April he married Margaret McCann in St John's Church of Ireland Parish Church, Kilcluney, County Armagh.

The squadron, which had been formed as divisional cavalry for the 36th (Ulster) Division, embarked for France on 6 October 1915. A party of at least thirty men of the squadron, including McConnell, embarked three days earlier, attached to 36th Division Headquarters – many if not all of them serving as batmen to senior officers.

Nothing further has been discovered about his service for the remainder of the war. On 13 February 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

McConnell died in the District Hospital, Banbridge, on 21 May 1954. He was buried in the Clare Presbyterian Churchyard, Tandragee, County Antrim.

 

One of McConnell's brothers, James, also served in the war, in the 4th Infantry Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. He was wounded in the face and suffered shell-shock in April 1916.

 

This page last updated 26 July 2023.