Private Robert Hugh McLaughlin


This North Irish Horseman was probably the Robert Hugh McLaughlin born on 11 August 1893 at Carrowlelis (Carnlelis), Ballycastle, County Antrim, the last of eight children of farmer William John McLaughlin and his wife Mary Jane (née George). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Carnlelis with his parents and five of his siblings, and working as a carpenter's apprentice.

McLaughlin enlisted in the North Irish Horse at some point following the declaration of war in August 1914 (regimental number unknown). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp until November 1916, when he and around 100 other North Irish Horsemen volunteered to transfer to the Royal Irish Rifles. The formal transfer took place on 7 December (McLaughlin was issued regimental number 40896), and on that day the men embarked for France. There they were posted to the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, joining it on the Somme front on 12 December.

Nothing more has been discovered about McLaughlin's service during the war.