Private William Newburn


This North Irish Horseman was probably the William Newburn born on 20 September 1892 at 21 City Street, Belfast, the sixth of nine children of copper- and tin-smith (later sheet metal worker) William Newburn and his wife Maria (née McKeown). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 25 Albion Street, Belfast, with his parents and his seven surviving siblings, and working as an iron moulder.

Newburn enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 4 January 1916 (No.2060). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France on 18 November 1916. There he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st or 2nd North Irish Horse Regiments, probably B or C Squadron of the 2nd Regiment.

In August-September 1917 the 2nd NIH Regiment was disbanded and most of the men were transferred to the infantry. Newburn, however, was one of fourteen of the regiment who just prior to that (18 July) were transferred to the Military Mounted Police (No. P/12020).

On 14 September 1917, however, he returned to the UK, probably having fallen ill or having been injured or wounded. The following year, on 14 December, he was discharged, being 'surplus to military requirements, having suffered impairment since entry into the service' (Paragraph 392 xvi(a) King's Regulations).

After the war Newburn returned to Belfast and resumed work as an iron moulder. On 17 April 1922 he married Annie Florence Bowman. He died at his home, 167 McClure Street, Belfast, on 11 December 1966, and was buried in the Belfast City Cemetery.