Private Robert O'Neill


Robert O'Neill was born on 22 November 1897 at 14 North Thomas Street, Belfast, the fourth of six children of labourer Joseph O'Neill and his wife Jane (née Stewart). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living in Sultan Street, Belfast, with his mother and his three surviving siblings.

O'Neill enlisted in the Royal Irish Fusiliers on 16 April 1915 (No.3465). Posted to the 7th (Service) Battalion, he probably embarked for France with his regiment in February 1916. At some point during 1916 or 1917 he was wounded, and on 3 January 1918 he was discharged, being no longer physically fit for war service.

In August 1918, however, O'Neill re-enlisted, this time in the North Irish Horse (Corps of Hussars No.72134). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp until 6 February 1919, when he re-enlisted in the cavalry and was posted to the 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers) (No.33476). On 1 December 1919 he was discharged, having once again been found 'no longer physically fit for war service' (paragraph 392(xvi) King's Regulations). He was awarded a pension as a result of his wounds, and his military character was recorded as 'fair'.

Following his discharge O'Neill moved to England, where he lived in Sunderland and Liverpool. Records suggest that he later returned to Ireland.


This page last updated 13 December 2022