Second Lieutenant Archibald McSparron



Archibald McSparron was born on 16 July 1883 at Killunaght, Feeny, County Londonderry, the sixth of seven children of farmer Andrew McSparron and his wife Mary (nee Thompson). He was educated at the Coleraine Academical Institution. In March 1902 he began work in the Northern Bank at its head office in Belfast, later transferring to Carrickfergus (1902), Ball’s Branch (1903), Head Office (1903), Grafton Street (1903) and Donegall Square (1915).

McSparron enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim on 8 November 1915 (No.1811 – later Corps of Hussars No.71572). At the time he was living at Rosmead, Cavehill Road, Belfast. He was promoted to acting lance corporal on 7 January 1916 and corporal three months later. On 3 August 1916 he embarked for France, joining B or C Squadron of the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment at Flesselles eight days later.

He remained with the regiment for a year. In August 1917 orders came that they be dismounted and transferred to infantry. McSparron applied for a commission in the infantry, and left for training in the UK on 24 September 1917. After a short period of leave, on 9 November he reported for duty at No.7 Officer Cadet Battalion at Fermoy. He was assessed as "a good type, should make a good leader", and on 1 May 1918 was appointed 2nd lieutenant and posted to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, The Prince of Wales's Leinster Regiment (Royal Canadians).

At the end of September McSparron embarked for France to join the 2nd Leinsters, but instead on 3 October he and four other officers were posted to the 12th Battalion, London Regiment. He took part in the advances over the following weeks leading up to the Armistice.

McSparron was demobilised on 14 February 1919 and relinquished his commission on 1 September 1921. He married Mabel Grace Smith at Wandsworth, Surrey, in 1919.

McSparron rejoined the Northern Bank in March 1919 at head office. Transfers followed to Grafton Street (1919), Ball’s Branch (1919), Bray (1920) and Fintona as manager in 1923. He later worked as a clerk in the Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes (NAAFI).

He died on 27 June 1967 at 12 Petersfield Road, Petersfield, Hampshire.

His name is included on the Roll of Honour of the Clontarf Cricket and Football Club (see image below).



First image, from the Belfast Bank Great War Roll of Honour pictorial record, and some of the information above, is sourced from Gavin Bamford's site honouring the officials of the Northern Bank and Belfast Bank who served during the two World Wars and in more recent conflicts Second image sourced from the Irish War Memorials site.


This page last updated 19 March 2024.