Private Matthew Joseph Mallon


Matthew Joseph Mallon was born on 4 July 1894 at Drumard Jones, Richhill, County Armagh, the fourth of five children of labourer Thomas Mallon and his wife Annie (née Clarke). His father died when he was just one year old. By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Richhill with his mother and four siblings and working as a cabinet maker.

Mallon enlisted in the North Irish Horse (as Joseph Mallin) between 3 and 5 September 1914 (No.1119). On 1 May 1915 he embarked for France with D Squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 51st Division.

In May and June 1916 D, A and E Squadrons of the North Irish Horse combined to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, and C and F Squadrons joined the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, each serving as corps cavalry units.

The Portadown News of 19 May 1917 reported that:

Trooper Joseph Mallin, N.I.H., has returned to the front after spending a few days' leave. He is a brother of Mrs. A. Magee, Hanover Street, Portadown.

In September 1917 the 2nd NIH Regiment was disbanded and its men, together with some surplus to the needs of the 1st NIH Regiment, were transferred to the infantry. Like most, Mallon joined the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – on 20 September. He was issued regimental number 41341.

No information has been located about Mallon's service with the 9th (NIH) Battalion through 1918. On 11 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

After the war Mallon returned to Richhill and resumed work as a cabinet maker. On 5 March 1920 he married Sarah Parks at the Church of Ireland Parish Church, Richhill.