Private Walter Irvine McKibbin


Walter Irvine McKibbin (or McKibben) was born on 28 May 1892 at 26 Geoffrey Street, Belfast, the second of two children of power loom tenter John McKibben and his wife Hannah (nee Coulter). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living in Upper Woodburn, Carrickfergus, County Antrim, with his parents and sister and working as a clerk.

In December 1912 McKibbin and five others were convicted of "attacking the houses of 29 Catholic residents in Carrickfergus and smashing windows" during a riot on 6 July, each receiving a month's imprisonment with hard labour.

McKibben enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 27 September 1915 (No.1733 – later Corps of Hussars No.71528). He embarked for France between 1916 and 1918, where he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment.

The 1st NIH Regiment served as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps until February 1918, when it was dismounted and converted to a corps cyclist regiment.

McKibbin was wounded in the right shoulder in August or September 1918 during the Advance to Victory offensive. The Larne Times of 19 October reported:

Pte. Walter McKibbin, North Irish Horse (attached Machine Gun Corps), has been wounded in the right shoulder, and is at present at Netley Hospital. Pte. McKibbin is the son of Mrs. John McKibbin, Woodburn, Carrickfergus, and was a prominent Intermediate League footballer, assisting Woodburn F.C. Prior to enlisting, he was in the offices of Workman, Clark and Co., Belfast.

On 31 January 1919 McKibbin was discharged, being no longer physically fit for war service due to his wounds (paragraph 392 xvi, King's Regulations). He was granted a pension, his level of disability being assessed at 40 per cent in 1920.

After the war McKibben returned to Upper Woodburn, and later lived at 35 Edgcumbe Gardens and 175 Sandown Road, Belfast, working as a civil servant. On 27 August 1930 he married Minnie Fleck at the 2nd Broughshane Presbyterian Church, County Antrim.

The couple must later have moved to Canada, for McKibbin died at Sunnybrook Hospital, Bayview, Toronto, on 14 May 1960. he was buried in the Sanctuary Park Cemetery, Toronto.



Carrickfergus Loyal Orange Lodge Roll of Honour



Images 1 and 2 sourced from Carrickfergus Roll of Honour. Image 3 sourced from Billion Graves website.