Private John Mills


John Mills was born of 27 March 1888 at Ballymacanallen, County Down, the first of eight children of carter, labourer and millworker John Mills and his wife Esther (née Gibson). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at nearby Gilford with his parents and six surviving siblings, and working as a general labourer.

Mills enlisted in the North Irish Horse at some point following the declaration of war in August 1914 (regimental number unknown).

At the end of December 1916 he was one of forty North Irish Horsemen who volunteered to transfer to the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. The formal transfer took place on 9 January 1917, and on the same day they embarked for France, where they were posted to the 10th Battalion, joining it at Ploegsteert Wood on the Ypres front on 16 January. Mills was issued regimental number 40654.

The War Office Daily Casualty List of 7 May 1918 reported that he had been wounded. This probably occurred in March 1918 during the retreat from St Quentin at the beginning of the German spring offensive.

Whether Mills saw any further active service during the war is not known at present.

After he was discharged at the end of the war, Mills returned to Gilford. On 26 December 1920 he married Margaret Calvin at the Church of Ireland Parish Church at Ballymore, County Armagh.