Private John Shields


John Shields was born (as William Sheals, also known as John William) on 13 July 1871 at Corraneary, Knockbride, County Cavan, the second of ten children of labourer (later sexton) Patrick Shields and his wife Amelia (née Dermott). By 1898 he was living at 132 Bishop Street, Glasgow, and working as a labourer for the 'cleansing department'. On 15 December that year he married Sarah Bickerstaff in the United Presbyterian Church, St Vincent Crescent. The couple returned to Ireland soon after, living in Belfast, where John worked as a general labourer. At the time of the 1911 Census they were living In Dufferin Street with their two daughters and Sarah's mother. They later moved to 17 Chamberlain Street.

Shields enlisted in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron at Belfast on 9 November 1914 (No. UD/116), reporting for duty at Enniskillen two days later. He gave his age as 38, five years under his true age.

On 12 December 1914, however, he was discharged, having been found medically unfit for military service (paragraph 392 (iii)(c), King's Regulations). His military character was recorded as 'good'.


This page last updated 21 March 2023.