Private Michael Callaghan


Michael Callaghan (or O'Callaghan) was born on 18 May 1899 at Ferrybank, Waterford, the first of four children of labourer (coal porter) Martin Callaghan and his wife Elizabeth (née Murphy). His father drowned in the River Suir at Granagh Castle when Michael was just ten years old. At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 18 Fountain Street, Waterford, with his mother, siblings and an uncle.

Callaghan enlisted in the 5th Lancers at Waterford on 12 March 1917 (No.24410). He was described as being 5' 2" tall, with a fresh complexion, brown hair and brown eyes. He gave his occupation as a groom and his address as 31 Peter Street, Waterford.

Initially posted to a Reserve Cavalry regiment, on 3 July 1917 he was transferred to the North Irish Horse (No.2602 – later Corps of Hussars No.71902).

Callaghan trained at the regiment's reserve base at Antrim. He was awarded 8 days' loss of pay for being absent from 19 to 26 January 1918. He was reported to have deserted from Antrim on 6 May 1918, and was not apprehended.

It appears that later that year he served in the Royal Naval Reserve (Trawler Section). On 28 October 1919 he enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps (No.14286). Although described as a 'smart, active man suitable for the Corps selected', his desertion from the North Irish Horse was soon discovered, and on 15 November 1919 he was discharged, being 'not likely to become an efficient soldier, recruit passed by Medical Officer, but rejected by a Recruiting Officer stationed away from the headquarters of the recruiting area, or by Approving Officer' (paragraph 392(iii)(b), King's Regulations).


This page last updated 21 February 2024.