Lieutenant John Samuel Mitchell


John Samuel Mitchell was born on 27 July 1890 at High Street, Holywood, County Down, son of merchant and grocer Joseph Mitchell and his wife Jane Nevin Mitchell (nee Cleland).

He was educated at Campbell College, Belfast, and Trinity College, Dublin, quailifying as a solicitor.

Mitchell enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 10 August 1914 (No.986) and embarked for France with C Squadron just ten days later. He remained with the squadron in France and Belgium for the next two years.

On 20 June 1916 he applied for a commission in the Royal Irish Rifles. Three months later he left for home and on 6 October reported for officer training at the 18th Royal Irish Rifles Cadet Company at Clandeboye. A week later he was posted to the No.2 Officer Cadet Battalion at Pembroke College, Cambridge.

Mitchell was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant on 31 January 1917 and was posted to A Battalion of the Machine Gun Corps (Heavy Branch) – later to be re-named the Tank Corps. He joined the battalion in France the following May.

On 29 July 1917 in the lead-up to 3rd Ypres he sustained severe and multiple wounds. Ten days later he was evacuated to England, where he was sent for treatment at the 1st Western Hospital, Fazakerley, Liverpool.

Mitchell recovered slowly and was never again fit for military service.

He was promoted to lieutenant on 31 July 1918 (an automatic promotion after 18 months as a 2nd lieutenant), and on 2 September 1918 assumed duty in the Ministry for Labour. He was demobilised on 26 June 1919 and relinquished his commission (on account of ill-health caused by his wounds) on 31 July 1919. He was also granted a wound pension.

Some information on his life after the war can be found in the press clippings below.

Lieutenant Mitchell died at his home at Claragh, North Road, Belfast on 11 January 1937.


Belfast News-Letter 14 January 1937


Northern Whig, 14 January 1937