Private James Lynn



James Lynn was born on 12 January 1876 at Cloghogue, Drummaul, County Antrim, a son of Ellen Lynn. On 4 December 1897 he married Annie Whyte at the Second Presbyterian Church, Randalstown. At the time he was working as a horsebreaker. The couple had four children over the next six years. By 1911 Lynn was working as a groom for draper Samuel McManus at Dungannon, County Tyrone. His family was living at Riverside Street in Antrim.

Lynn enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim on 1 January 1915 (No.1371). He understated his age by two years, but it was probably his experience in horse management that helped the recruiters overlook his age. On 9 February he was awarded ten days' Field Punishment No.2 for drunkenness and absence.

Lynn embarked for France with F Squadron on 17 November 1915. In June 1916 F Squadron joined with C Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until September 1917, when the regiment was dismounted and most of the men transferred to the infantry.

Lynn, however, was found physically unfit for infantry service. On 10 October he was transferred to the Labour Corps (No.380385) and posted to the 47th Labour Company. Soon after, he fell ill with influenza and rheumatism. On 8 November he was evacuated to the UK, where he was found to be suffering from myalgia, aggravated by active service. On 26 February 1918 he was discharged as being no longer physically fit for war service (paragraph 392 xvi(a) King's Regulations). His character was recorded as 'good'.



Private Lynn with his family at Randalstown in 1916. Standing are his children (l-r) Maria, Robert and Annie, with his wife Annie seated.


Image kindly provided by Len Kinley from his 'Down Memory Lane' site