Private Frederick McClure


Frederick McClure was born around 1896 at Tawley, Ballyshannon, County Leitrim, one of eight children of farmer David McClure and his wife Maria (née Peacock). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Tawley with his parents, five siblings and an uncle, and working on the family farm.

McClure enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Ballyshannon on 12 February 1914 (No.899 – later Corps of Hussars No.71151). He embarked for France with C Squadron on 20 August 1914, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

In June 1916 C Squadron combined with F Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded and its men transferred to the infantry. McClure was one of 70 men of the regiment given the job of conducting its horses to Egypt. They embarked from Marseilles on board HMT Bohemian on 25 August. After a month at Alexandria they returned to France, via Italy. On 5 October 1917 they arrived at the 36th (Ulster) Division Infantry Base Depot at Harfleur for infantry training.

McClure found the long marches difficult, however, due to an injury in November 1914 when a horse fell on his foot. A medical board classified him as 'PB' (permanent base) and on 29 October 1917 he was posted to a working party of the Graves Registration section of the Labour Corps. He remained in this role until the end of the war – on 2 July 1918 he was formally transferred to the Labour Corps (No.60337).

On 14 March 1919 McClure was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve. He applied for a disability pension, but this was rejected.

After the war McClure returned to farming at Tawley. On 15 February 1922 he married Emily Anne Hamilton at the Kiltyclogher Church of Ireland Church, County Leitrim.