Lance Corporal William John McCluskie


William John McCluskie (or McCluskey) was born on 22 February 1896 at 1 Wigton Street, Belfast, the first of two children of labourer (later weigh-master) William John McCluskie and his wife Maggie (née Leckey). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living in Hillman Street, Belfast, with his parents and a half-brother, and working as an apprentice in the boot trade.

McCluskie enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 25 May 1915 (No.1619). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France on 11 January 1916 with E Squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 34th Division.

In May 1916 E Squadron came together with A and D Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps.

On 18 July 1917 McCluskie was one of fourteen men of the regiment who were transferred to the Military Mounted Police (No. P/12045). On 23 December 1917, however, he returned to the UK, probably having fallen ill. The following year, on 3 June, he was discharged as a result of his illness, which was described as 'melancholia' attributed to his military service.

McCluskie was awarded a pension, his level of disability assessed at 20 per cent in April 1920. Soon after the war he was living at his family home, 41 Glantane Street, Belfast. He later lived at 14 Cromwell Road, where he died on 27 January 1965. He was buried in the Belfast City Cemetery – Glenalina Extension.