Shoeing Smith John Meenagh


John Meenagh was born on 5 June 1886 at Cavanacaw, Pomeroy, County Tyrone, the third of thirteen children of labourer (earlier painter, later farmer) Thomas Meenagh and his wife Elenor (née Montgomery). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Drumgold, Moy, County Tyrone, with his parents and eight of his eleven surviving siblings, and working as a blacksmith. He later lived at Milltown, near his birthplace.

Meenagh enlisted in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron between 31 October and 9 November 1914 (No.UD/110 – later Corps of Dragoons No.21244).

The Strabane Weekly News of 14 November reported that:

A further detachment of recruits from Dungannon U.V.F. left Dungannon to join the Inniskilling Dragoons – namely, Messrs. William McKeown, Harry Hamilton, Fred Noble, and John Meenagh (Miltown). Altogether 225 members of the Dungannon U.V.F. Battalion have now volunteered for active service, as compared with only 19 Nationalists from the same district.

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 squadron was brought together with B and C Squadrons of the North Irish Horse to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps. In September 1917 the regiment was disbanded and its men were transferred to the infantry. By that time, however, Meenagh was no longer with the regiment. At some point he had either returned to the UK, possibly due to illness or injury, or been posted to another regiment – records show that he served with the 2nd Dragoons (Royal Scots Greys).

On 13 March 1919 Meenagh was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

He married Sarah Burns in the First Dungannon Presbyterian Church, County Tyrone on 22 April that year.


This page last updated 11 March 2023.