Lance Corporal Thomas Mooney



Thomas Mooney was born on 5 June 1895 at Fort Town, Ballymoney, County Antrim, the fifth of six children of shoemaker Robert White Mooney and his wife Jane McLaughlin. His mother died before his second birthday. By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Fort Town with his father, a sister and a nephew, and working as a shoemaker.

Mooney enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 3 April 1916 (No.2142). While in training at Antrim he gave evidence at an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding an injury to another man, Private John Young:

At Antrim June 8th 1916 I was on parade with my squadron and we were trotting along the road when we received the order to "Walk". Private Young was riding by my side and his horse being hard to stop went up along side Private Magill's horse which kicked and caught Private Young on his knee. He appeared to be considerably hurt and had to be sent home.

In November 1916 Mooney was one of around 100 North Irish Horsemen who volunteered to transfer to the Royal Irish Rifles. The formal transfer took place on 7 December (Mooney was issued regimental number 40901), and on that day the men embarked for France. There they were posted to the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, joining it on the Somme front on 12 December.

In the first months of 1917 Mooney was severely wounded in the back during a mortar attack. According to a report in the Northern Whig of 14 May:

Mrs Dickie, Macfin, Ballymoney, has received official intimation that her brother Private Thomas Mooney, Royal Irish Rifles, has been wounded in the back. Private Mooney is a native of Balnamore, Ballymoney.

Evacuated to England, Mooney gradually recovered, but not sufficiently to be fit for front-line duty. In January 1918 he was transferred to the Army Ordnance Corps (No.038389). He served with that regiment until the end of the war, and then with the British Forces of the Rhine (Army of Occupation) in Cologne. He was discharged on 26 May 1920 and granted a pension due to his wounds.

After his discharge Mooney worked as a shoemaker, living at 104 Henderson Street, Kenning Park, Glasgow. On 18 May 1921 he married Elizabeth Jamieson at Dervock Presbyterian Church, County Antrim. He died at his home, 55 Eastermeade Gardens, Ballymoney, on 10 September 1967.



Images and some of the information above sourced from Guardianwitness site - no longer available.