Private Joseph Lyons


Joseph Lyons was born on 14 January 1891 at Clonoony, Drummully, County Monaghan, the seventh of fourteen children of National School teacher William James Lyons and his wife Mary Frances (nee Lynott). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Clonoony with his parents and five siblings and working as a labourer.

Lyons enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Clones on 26 October 1911 (No.625). Mobilised on 6 August 1914, he was found temporarily unfit due to a knee injury. When remobilised on 30 December the injury had not mended, and four days later he faced a medical board, which reported:

Man states on 23.6.14 [during annual training] his horse kicked him and injured his R. knee. Was grooming horse at the time. Found unfit on mobilization. Admitted to hospital on 1.1.15. Joint is weak and cannot be fully extended. Loss of power, and pain on movement. ... Corpl Armstrong & Pte Holden corroborate man's statement. ... On military duty, not to blame.

On 16 January 1915 at Antrim Lyons was discharged, being no longer physically fit for war service (paragraph 392 (xvi) King's Regulations). His military character was recorded as "very good". He was granted a pension from 4 March.

A further medical board held at Belfast on 3 December 1915 rated his disability at 50 per cent, noting:

He walks with a limp & gets about by the aid of a stick. ...Will neither improve nor get worse. ... Has a farm of his own about 25 Irish acres (32 English acres) at Drummully.

Over the following years Lyons' condition gradually improved. By mid-1918 his disablement was rated at 20 per cent.

On 30 April 1918 he married Rachel Scarlett at St Mary's Church of Ireland Parish Church in Drummully.