Private Alexander (Sandy) McLaughlin


This North Irish Horseman was probably the Alexander McLaughlin was born on 1 June 1884 at Edin, Ballymoney, County Antrim, one of eleven children of Elizabeth McLaughlin. By 1901 the family had moved to Strand Road, Coleraine, later records showing Elizabeth as the wife of labourer John McLaughlin.

McLaughlin enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 4 and 10 June 1915 (No.1671 – later Corps of Hussars No.71494). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France sometime between 1916 and 1918, possibly with E Squadron on 11 January 1916.

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 until February-March 1918, when the regiment was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit. It then served as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

McLaughlin remained with the regiment throughout the war. The Ballymoney Free Press of 20 December 1917 reported that he was home (at Strand Road) on leave. On 2 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.