Private John McAnuff


This North Irish Horseman was almost certainly the John McAnuff born on 13 June 1891 at Rathfriland, County Down, the third of eleven children of labourer (later car driver) Joseph McAnuff and his wife Mary Ann (née Hamilton). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living in Newry Street, Rathfriland, with his parents and six siblings and working as an apprentice grocer.

McAnuff enlisted in the Norh Irish Horse on 10 December 1915 (regimental number unknown), just two days after his brother Robert McAnuff. They trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp until November 1916, when they and around 100 other North Irish Horsemen volunteered to transfer to the Royal Irish Rifles. The formal transfer took place on 7 December (John McAnuff was issued regimental number 40892), and on that day the men embarked for France. There they were posted to the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, joining it on the Somme front on 12 December.

At some point during 1917 or early 1918 McAnuff suffered a fractured ankle. The injury was severe enough to end his active service, and on 15 May 1918 he was discharged as 'surplus to military requirements, having suffered impairment since entry into the service' (paragraph 392 xvi(a), King's Regulations).