Private John Rainey


The background of this North Irish Horseman is not known at present. One record states that he was from 'Newtown'. Although the 1911 Census shows a John Rainey, aged 24, living at Tullyvallan, Newtownhamilton, County Armagh, one of seven children of farmer William Rainey and his wife Sarah (née Warmington), there is not enough evidence to conclude that he was the same man.

Rainey enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 1 and 26 February 1913 (No.801). He embarked for France with C Squadron on 20 August 1914, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

In June 1916 C Squadron combined with F Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded and its men transferred to the infantry. Like most, Rainey was posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – on 20 September, joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. He was issued regimental number 41278 and posted to C Company. He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

Rainey was one of the many posted as missing following the 9th (NIH) Battalion's fighting withdrawal from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918 during the German spring offensive. It was later learned that he had been wounded. No further information has been located about his service through that year.