Private William John Patterson


William John Patterson was born on 31 October 1874 at Carrickgallogly, Whitecross, County Armagh, the first of five children of labourer (later farmer) John Patterson and his wife Jemima (née Morrow). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at nearby Drumnahoney with his parents and two siblings and working on the family farm.

Patterson enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Newry on 22 December 1913 (No.883) – he gave his age as 24 rather than his real age of 39. It is probable that he was related to North Irish Horsemen Hugh Patterson of Drumnahoney, who enlisted on the same day, and Robert James Patterson of Lurgana, who had enlisted four months earlier.

Mobilised on the declaration of war, Patterson was assessed as physically unfit for military service, due to "general debility and cardiac asthma", and on 11 August 1914 was discharged (paragraph 281(xi) of Mobilisation Regulations). His military character was recorded as 'very good'.