Private Thomas McAteer


Thomas McAteer was born on 1 April 1895 at Cabragh, Kirkinriola, near Ballymena, County Antrim, the second of three children of farmer (later general labourer) John McAteer and his wife Lizzie (née Murphy). (His father also had a child by a previous marriage.) By the time of the 1911 Census he was living a 3 Duke Street, Ballymena, with his parents and siblings, and working as an apprentice in the hardware trade.

McAteer enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 18 or 19 November 1915 (No.1919). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve depot before embarking for France in 1916 or early 1917. There he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st or 2nd North Irish Horse Regiments.

On 9 July 1917 McAteer was one of around thirty North Irish Horsemen who, being no longer physically fit for front-line service due to injury, age or illness, were transferred to the Labour Corps and posted to No.664 Home Service Labour Company. McAteer was issued regimental number 333723. It appears, based on the records of some of these men, that they continued to serve at the North Irish Horse reserve depot at Antrim. He remained with the Labour Corps until the end of the war.

On 11 March 1919 McAteer was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve. He was granted a pension due to a fractured leg, which was probably the reason for his transfer to the Labour Corps. In November 1919 his level of disability was assessed at 30 per cent.

Soon after the war McAteer was living at 24 Springwell Street, Ballymena.


Postcard sent to McAteer in camp at Antrim, images sourced from an online auction site.