Lance Corporal Edward James Dean



Edward James Dean (or Deane) was born on 2 June 1889 at Bushmills, County Antrim, the second of fourteen children of carpenter (later cabinet-maker) James Dean and his wife Margaret (nee Gray). By 1911 he was living at Drumshanbo, County Leitrim, and working as a drapery shop assistant for merchant Robert Lynn.

Dean enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 4 or 5 January 1915 (No.1379 – later Corps of Hussars 71363). Soon after, however, it appears that he was attached to the 1/1st Nottinghamshire Yeomanry (Sherwood Rangers), embarking for Egypt on 27 April 1915. There the regiment was dismounted. Through the war they saw service at Gallipoli (Suvla Bay), Salonika and Egypt.

Whether Dean remained with this regiment for the duration of the war is not known at present. It is possible that he returned to the North Irish Horse at some point, later embarking for Egypt with a draft of men from the NIH regimental reserve depot at Antrim, where he would have been attached to the 1/1st Nottinghamshire Yeomanry (Sherwood Rangers), serving with that regiment in the Palestine campaign.

On 3 May 1919 the sporting newspaper Ireland's Saturday Night carried a letter as follows:

Sir – Would any kind reader oblige a few North of Ireland boys with a couple of mouth organs to pass away the weary evenings with a bit of enjoyment, as we cannot get them where we are now in Servia. We are constant readers of the dear old Pink. Wishing the Blues and Glens every success – Yours sincerely, R. Morton (Larne), J. Finlay (Belfast), E. Deane (Belfast), W. Johnston (Portadown), H. Cupples (Ballymena), P. McCloskey (Belfast), W. Archibald (Donegal), North Irish Horse (attached 4th Troop, A Squadron, Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry), B.E.F.

Dean was transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 16 July 1919.


Five of Lance Corporal Dean's brothers served in the war. The caption to the photographs below, from the Larne Times of November 1916, reads:

The six soldier sons of Mr. James Deane, formerly of Bushmills, and now of Duncairn Gardens, Belfast. From left the names are. – Sergt James, R.I.R., wounded; Corpl. Malcolm, R.I.R.; Rifleman Matthew, R.I.R.; Corporal Edward, North Irish Horse; Private Allan, Royal Marine Light Infantry; and Petty-Officer Samuel, Royal Naval Air Service.


The article below, from the Northern Whig of 27 October 1917, gives further details about the wartime experiences of the brothers.




First newspaper image kindly provided by Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster (