Corporal William Mitchison


William Mitchison (with his twin brother James) was born on 10 June 1888 at Clonard, Rathdown, County Dublin, one of six children of English-born gardener (later steward) William John Mitchison and his Scottish-born wife Christina (née Waldie). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Brenanstown, Ballybrack, County Dublin, where he worked as a foreman gardener.

Mitchison enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 7 August 1915 (No.1715 – later Corps of Hussars No.71517). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France sometime between 1916 and 1918, possibly with E Squadron on 11 January 1916.

In May 1916 E Squadron came together with A and D Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps until February-March 1918, when the regiment was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit. It then served as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

Mitchison remained with the regiment throughout the war. On 4 March 1919 he was discharged as 'surplus to military requirements, having suffered impairment since entry into the service' (paragraph 392 xvi(a), King's Regulations). (Note: another record stated that he was discharged under Paragraph 392 xxv – 'his services being no longer required'.) He was granted a pension due to rheumatism and debility, his level of disability assessed at 30 per cent in August 1920.

After the war Mitchison lived with his family at Mullaboden, Ballymore Eustace, County Kildare (on the estate of Sir Bryan Mahon), working as a gardener. He married Susan Matthews in the Sandford Church of Ireland Parish Church, County Dublin, on 30 June 1919. At some point he lived at Ashbrooke House, Brookeborough, County Fermanagh. Mitchison's father, mother and sister were present on the Mullaboden Estate when the main residence was burnt to the ground by armed arsonists in February 1923.

By 1953 Mitchison was living at Pakenham House, Coole, County Westmeath, where he worked as a gardener. He died there on 28 February that year.