Private William John Richmond



William John (Jack) Richmond was born on 17 January 1897 at Pollee, Ballymena, County Antrim, the first of two children of agricultural labourer Alexander Richmond and his wife Margaretta (nee Ferguson). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living with his parents, brother and an aunt at Rathkenny, County Antrim.

On 28 September 1914 Richmond enlisted at Belfast in the 12th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles (No.469), claiming to be a carpenter aged 19 years and 2 months.  However his real age was discovered soon after and he was discharged on 28 October (under Para 392 (vi)(b) King's Regulations).

He enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 13 and 15 November 1915 (No.1885 – later H/71616) and was later sent to France as a reinforcement for the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment.


Ballymena Observer, 19 November 1915


From May 1916 to February 1918 the 1st NIH Regiment served as corps cavalry to VII, XIX then V Corps.  In February 1918 it was converted to a cyclist regiment, serving for the remainder of the war as corps cyclists to V Corps and playing a significant role in the Advance to Victory from August 1918.

Richmond was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 2 March 1919.

After the war he returned to Ballymena, where he worked as a joiner. On 27 July 1921 he married Mildred Marion Wasson at Kellswater Presbyterian Church. Richmond later worked as a civil servant. By 1965 he was living at 6 Inverary Avenue, Belfast. He died in the Forster Green Hospital on 18 March that year.


Image from Vignacourt, late 1918 or early 1919. Private Richmond is back row, fifth from viewer's right


Image from Vignacourt, late 1918 or early 1919. Private Richmond is back row, beneath the 'X'


I am grateful to Keith Richmond for making these images available.