Private James Lavery


James Lavery was born on 14 May 1893 at Chapel Hill, Lisburn, County Antrim, the fourth of seven children of labourer James Lavery and his wife Elizabeth (née Dowling). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 76 Longstone Street, Lisburn, with his parents and his five surviving siblings, and working as an apprentice painter for the firm Bullock & Sons.

Lavery enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim on 31 May 1915 (No.1644). He trained at the Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France on 11 January 1916 with E Squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 34th Division.

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 Corps.

On 27 June 1916 Lavery contracted a disease known as trench nephritis. Admitted to the Canadian General Hospital at Le Treport, he became seriously ill. Once his condition improved he was evacuated to England where, on 9 July, he was admitted to the 2nd Southern General Hospital at Bristol. He remained there until discharged on 4 January 1917, following a medical board recommendation that he was permanently unfit for service of any kind due to 'chronic Bright's Disease', though his general health was 'fairly satisfactory'.

Lavery was discharged on 25 January 1917, being 'no longer physically fit for war service' (paragraph 392 (xvi), King's Regulations). His military character was recorded as 'very good'.

Honest, sober, hardworking and reliable. Invalided through illness contracted on active service in France.