Shoeing Smith John Livingstone


The background of this North Irish Horseman is not clear, other than that he was from Ballydugan, County Down (near Portadown). Four men of that name lived at Ballydugan, according to the 1901 and 1911 Censuses, but only two were in the age group for military service, and one of the others would probably also have been considered to old to serve. The one remaining was the John Livingstone (or Levingston) born on 14 May 1898 at Ballydugan, the ninth of ten children of farmer and linen weaver William John Livingstone and his wife Mary (née Pollock). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Ballydugan with his parents and six of his seven surviving siblings.

Livingstone enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 4 and 10 June 1915 (No.1678 – No.71497). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France sometime between 1916 and 1918, possibly with E Squadron on 11 January 1916.

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.

Livingstone remained with the regiment until the end of the war. He was wounded (gassed) during the latter part of the Advance to Victory offensive from August to November 1918.

On 19 April 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve. He was granted a pension due to an injury to his left knee and the gassing, his level of disability assessed at 14 per cent in May 1921.