Private James Rainey


The background of this North Irish Horseman is not known at present. One record gives him the alternative names of Rainey, Raynor and Rayner.

James Rainey enlisted in the Machine Gun Corps in early July 1915 (No.6089). He joined the North Irish Horse between 12 and 18 April 1917 (No.2421 – later Corps of Hussars No.71815), but is not known if this was a re-enlistment following discharge from the Machine Gun Corps, or a transfer.

He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France in 1917 or 1918. There he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment. This regiment served as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps from its establishment in May 1916 until February-March 1918, when it was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit. This may have been the time that Rainey was attached to the 20th Hussars.

He remained with that regiment until the end of the war, and was still serving in early 1920.

After the war Rainey lived for a time at 14 Fox Street, Belfast. This was the address of a woman named Sarah Rainey, who may have been his mother or sister.