Private Samuel Maconaghie


This North Irish Horseman was probably the Samuel McConaghy born at Bratwell, Coleraine, County Londonderry, the last of thirteen children of shoemaker John McConaghy and his wife Nancy (née McLaughlin). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living in Bridge Street, Coleraine, where he worked as an apprentice to draper Samuel Torrens Alexander.

Maconaghie enlisted in the Norh Irish Horse between 4 and 10 June 1915 (No.1670 – later Corps of Hussars No.71493). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France sometime between 1916 and 1918, probably 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. It then served as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

Maconaghie was wounded in late September or early October 1918 during the Advance to Victory offensive, probably on 3 October, when E Squadron was camped east of Epehy, near the German defences on the St Quentin Canal. The squadron war diary recorded:

[1-2 October] Attached 100th Inf Brdge 33rd Division. Sent out a patrol under 2/Lt Downey to reconnoitre Canal de St Quentin ... preparatory to small raiding operations on following night which however never took place.

[3 October] 15 ORs Gassed by gas shelling. Sqdn moved forward to Battn H.Q. owing to report that enemy were retiring. This did not prove to be the case, so Sqdn moved back to previous location and were engaged in afternoon on salvage work.

On 4 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.