Corporal James Ingram Leyburn



James Ingram Leyburn was born on 15 December 1895 at Raws, Keady, County Armagh, the eighth of twelve children of farmer James Leyburn and his wife Martha (nee Wilson). By 1911 he was living at Raws with his parents and five siblings and working on the family farm.

Leyburn enlisted in the North Irish Horse between late 1914 and 1916 (regimental number unknown at present).

After training at the regiment's reserve depot at Antrim, in November 1916 Leyburn was among 100 North Irish Horsemen who volunteered to transfer to the Royal Irish Rifles. The formal transfer took place on 7 December (Leyburn was issued regimental number 40890), and on the same day they embarked for France, where they joined the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, on the Somme front.

Leyburn was wounded during the German spring offensive of March 1918. According to a report in the Belfast Evening Telegraph:

Corporal James (Ingie) Leyburn, __ Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, formerly of the North Irish Horse, wounded at the opening of the German offensive on the 21st of March last, and now a patient in Mote Hospital, Maidstone. While having his wound attended to at the clearing station young Leyburn by volunteering to submit himself to the operation known as the transfusion of blood was the means of saving the life of an Australian sergeant whose leg had been carried away by a bursting shell. The operation proved successful, and, after a quart of blood had been taken from Corporal Leyburn and transferred, the overseas soldier, who had been at the point of death, rallied and is now recovering. Corporal Leyburn is the son of Mr. James Leyburn, of Raws, Keady, County Armagh, whose other son, Corporal John Leyburn, North Irish Horse, and formerly of the R.I.C., was wounded a few months ago. The third son, Constable George Leyburn, R.I.C., is stationed at Smithfield, Belfast.

Whether he saw any further active service is unknown at present.

After the war, on 1 May 1920, Leyburn embarked at Liverpool for New York. He died in Brevard, Florida, on 19 January 1986.


Image from the Belfast Evening Telegraph, from the second quarter of 1918, kindly provided by Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster (