Lance Corporal John Hodges


John Hodges was born (as Alexander Hodges) on 24 July 1885 at Glassaneeran, Ballymoney, County Antrim, the first of three children of farmer John Hodges and his wife Sarah (née Steel). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at nearby Carrowcroey, Drumtullagh, with his widowed mother and one brother and working on the family farm.

Hodges enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 2 and 7 April 1915 (No.1472 – later Corps of Hussars No.71393). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France in 1916, probably with E Squadron on 11 January that year.

On 7 September 1916 the Ballymoney Free Press reported that:

Sergeant John R. Owens, Royal Irish Rifles, arrived home on Wednesday last. He contracted rheumatic fever in the trenches, from which he has recovered. ... In France he met Troopers Thomas Porter, Hugh Lusk, Michael Olpherts, Samuel McAllister, Thomas F. Owens, and Corporal Hodges, of the North Irish Horse.

In May 1916 E Squadron came together with A and D Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps until February-March 1918, when the regiment was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

Hodges remained with the regiment throughout the war. On 14 March 1918 the Ballymoney Free Press reported that he had been home on leave from France. On 25 February 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

After the war Hodges returned to farming at Kittal, Carrowcroey. On 25 April 1919 he married teacher Alice Mary Lyle McCurdy in the Mosside Presbyterian Church. He died in the Robinson Memorial Hospital, Ballymoney, on 5 October 1961 and was buried in the Mosside Presbyterian Churchyard.