Private John McCartney



John McCartney was born on 23 October 1894 at Cromkill, near Ballymena, County Antrim, the third of eight children of millworker John McCartney and his wife Annie (née Kirkwood). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living in Gilmore Street, Ballymena, with his mother and siblings, and was employed as a linen worker. The family later moved to nearby Moat Road.

McCartney enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 16 and 18 November 1915 (No.1905 – later Corps of Hussars No.71629). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France sometime between 1916 and 1918, where he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment. This regiment served as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps from its establishment in May 1916 until February-March 1918, when it was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

McCartney remained with the regiment throughout the war. The Ballymena Observer of 23 November 1917 reported that he was home on leave. On 18 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.


McCartney's brother William also served during the war, as a sergeant in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


McCartney (right) with his brother William, his mother Annie, and his sisters


Images sourced from Public Member Trees - contributor Barry Mulholland.