Private Samuel Henry Mehaffey


Samuel Henry (Harry) Mehaffey was born on 23 August 1897 in Waveney Crescent, Ballymena, County Antrim, the seventh or eighth of eight children of solicitor's clerk (later petty sessions clerk) William Mehaffey and his wife Rose (née Flanagan). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 6 Flexton Terrace, Ballymena, with his parents and four of his six surviving siblings.

Mehaffey enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 10 October and 1 November 1916. (Records give his regimental number as 3289 but this is probably an error. Based on his later Corps of Hussars number – 71744 – his actual number was probably either 2298 or 2299.)

He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France in 1917 or 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.

Mehaffey was wounded in September or October 1918 during the Advance to Victory offensive. On 3 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

In January 1925 Mehaffey was elected as a clerk of the Ballymena Petty Sessions.


Two of Mehaffey's brothers also served in the war: Norman Caruth Mehaffey in the Royal Engineers; and William Herbert Mehaffey in the Canadian Expeditionary Force.