Private John Magennis


John Magennis was born in Shankill, Belfast, around 1872, one of at least three children of Hugh Magennis and his wife Sarah. He worked as a painter and served in the Antrim Artillery until 14 November 1892, when he enlisted in the 5th Lancers at Londonderry (No.4129).

Magennis served with the Lancers in India from 1894 to 1898, followed by two tours in South Africa, from March 1898 to June 1900, then March 1901 to June 1902. During this time he was regularly disciplined for various offences – ten times between 1893 to 1901. On 14 March 1903 he transferred to the Army Reserve. He was discharged at the end of twelve years' service on 13 November 1904.

Magennis married Sarah McClougherty in Belfast on 2 April 1903.

On 25 August 1914 he enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Belfast (No.1039). He gave his age as 34, his occupation as painter, and his address as 55 Beresford Street, Belfast.

Soon after, however, Magennis fell ill. On 2 February 1915 he was discharged, being 'no longer physically fit for war service' (paragraph 392 (xvi), King's Regulations).