Lance Corporal William McNeilly


This North Irish Horseman was probably the William McNeilly born on 16 April 1893 at Tullymore, Bryansford, County Down, the sixth of eleven children of agricultural labourer John McNeilly and his wife Jane (née Halliday). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Tullymore with his parents and seven of his nine surviving siblings, and working as an agricultural labourer.

McNeilly enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 2 and 15 September 1916 (No.2263 – later Corps of Hussars No.71727). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France in 1917 or 1918. There 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.

McNeilly remained with the regiment throughout the war. On 6 November 1918 he was hospitalised in France, suffering from myalgia. After spending time at a convalescent depot, on 10 December that he was discharged to the Base Depot at Rouen.

On 3 March 1919 McNeilly was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.