Private William James Neely


The background of this North Irish Horseman is not certain, but he was probably the same man as shown in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland's Roll of Honour as a trooper in the North Irish Horse from Largy, Limavady. Based on that, the following biography follows.

William James Neely was born on 8 January 1897 at Largy, Limavady, County Londonderry, the first of two children of farmer Joseph Neely and his wife Margaret (née McFarland). His father died of pneumonia when he was just five years old. At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Largy with his mother and sister.

Neely enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 6 and 16 August 1917 (regimental number between 2649 and 2651 – later Corps of Hussars No.71938). He trained at the regimental reserve camp at Antrim until discharged in 1919. Whether or not he saw overseas service is unclear.

In July 1927 he applied for his war service medals. His address at the time was Dunmore House, Coleraine.