Private John Alexander McLean


John Alexander McLean was born on 19 May 1893 at 3 Pacific Avenue, Belfast, the first of four children of National School teacher Arthur McLean and his wife Eleanor (née Branagh). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 397 Oldpark Road, Belfast, with his parents and his two surviving siblings, and working as a clerk in a distillery, probably that of Dunville & Co.

McLean enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 15 and 16 November 1915 (No.1887 – later Corps of Hussars No.71618). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France sometime between 1916 and 1918, where he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment. This regiment served as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps from its establishment in May 1916 until February-March 1918, when it was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

McLean remained with the regiment throughout the war. On 18 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve. His name was included on a Roll of Honour to the employees of Dunville & Co unveiled at the company's Arthur Street offices in 1921.