Private Hugh Louis McKell


Hugh Louis McKell was born on 1 March 1896 at 61 Beechfield Street, Belfast, the seventh of eight children of ship-plater John McKell and his wife Ellen (née Neill). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 167 Bloomfield Avenue, Belfast, with his parents and four of his five surviving siblings, and working as an apprentice in the linen business.

McKell enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 11 January 1915 (No.1397 – later Corps of Hussars No.71370). On 17 November 1915 he embarked for France with F Squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 33rd Division.

In June 1916 F Squadron combined with C Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded and its men transferred to the infantry. At some point prior to this, however, McKell had left F Squadron, probably returning to the UK either sick or injured, and then returning to duty at the regiment's Antrim reserve depot.

Whether he saw any further service overseas is not known.

On 1 March 1919 McKell was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.