Lance Corporal Joseph Victor Ronaldson




Joseph Victor Ronaldson was born on 28 November 1897 at Cootehill, County Cavan, the first of six children of merchant Joseph Ronaldson and his wife Edith Victoria (formerly Mauleverer, nee Hunt). His mother had at least two children by a previous marriage. By the time of the 1911 Census he was living with his parents and four siblings at Market Street, Cootehill.

Ronaldson enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim on 25 November 1915 (No.1976 – later Corps of Hussars No.71652), overstating his age by a year. He embarked for France on 25 August 1916, where, a month later, he was posted to D Squadron of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, then based at Pas.

On 5/6 September 1917 at Ypres, a working party from the regiment was hit by an enemy gas barrage. Ten of the men became casualties, including Private Ronaldson. He was evacuated to England, where he was admitted to the 5th Northern General Hospital at Leicester, remaining there until 10 October.

Ronaldson rejoined the regiment at the Antrim base depot on 27 March 1918. However due to the ongoing impact of the gas poisoning, he was found to be no longer fit for frontline service. On 2 May 1918 he was transferred to the Military Foot Police (No. P/15220) and was promoted to lance corporal.

Ronaldson remained with the military police until the end of the war. On 22 September 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve. He was later awarded a pension, his disability assessed at 20 per cent.

After the war Ronaldson worked as a commercial traveller, initially living at Cabra House, Cootehill, before moving to Dublin. On 26 July 1926 he married Lily Begley at the Roman Catholic Church of St Mary, Haddington Road, Dublin.

Ronaldson died at his residence, 70 Westbrook Road, Dundrum, Dublin, on 19 February 1966. He was buried in the Dean's Grange Cemetery.


Images of Ronaldson in the Military Police kindly provided by his son, David Ronaldson. Note the wound stripe and three overseas service chevrons in the first picture.