Corporal John Leyburn



John Leyburn was born on 4 June 1893 at Raws, Keady, County Armagh, the seventh 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. He joined the Royal Irish Constabulary on 18 January 1915 (No.68432) and was posted to Longford six months later.

Leyburn enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 9 January 1916 (No.2076, later Corps of Hussars No.71688). He embarked for France between 1916 and 1918, where he was posted to one of the three squadrons of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment.

In October 1917 Leyburn was reported as having been wounded - this probably occurred in July or August 1917.

During 1918 Leyburn applied for a commission. On 8 July he reported for duty at the reception battalion for candidates for commissions at Ripon, and three months later was taken on the strength of an officer cadet battalion. Due to the cessation of hostilities in November 1918, his officer cadet training was not completed.

Leyburn was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 2 June 1919. The following day he was readmitted to the Royal Irish Constabulary, serving at Down until April 1922. He was discharged the following month when the force was disbanded.


Leyburn's younger brother James Ingram Leyburn also served in the war, in the North Irish Horse and Royal Irish Rifles.


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