Private Charles McElhinney


Charles McElhinney was born on 4 September 1887 at Drumerdagh, Manorcunningham, County Donegal, the seventh of  nine children of agricultural labourer Charles McElhinney and his wife Martha (nee Wilson). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living with his widowed mother and three brothers at Rossbracken, County Donegal, and working as a farm labourer.

On 14 May 1914 he married blacksmith's daughter Mary McNair at the First Presbyterian Church, Letterkenny.

McElhinney enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 8 December 1909 and 14 January 1910 (No.436). He embarked for France with A Squadron on 17 August 1914, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

While in France, however, he fell ill, and was evacuated to the UK. He was diagnosed as suffering from myalgia, contracted as a result of his military service, and was discharged on 24 November 1914 under Special Reserve Regulation 154(ii).

McElhinney was awarded a pension from the date of his discharge in recognition of the level of disability caused by the illness.


McElhinney's brother William also served in the war, as a private in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.