Private John Richard Shanks


John Richard Shanks was born on 5 August 1892 at Kilpike, Banbridge, County Down, the second of three children of weaver (later mill gatekeeper) Richard Shanks and his wife Eliza Jane (née Doak). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living in Cambrai Street, Belfast, with his parents and a sister, and working as a clerk in a mill.

Shanks enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 4 and 10 June 1915 (No.1685 – later Corps of Hussars No.71499). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France sometime between 1916 and 1918, possibly with E Squadron on 11 January 1916.

In May 1916 E Squadron came together with A and D Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps until February-March 1918, when the regiment was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

Shanks remained with the regiment throughout the war. He was wounded in August or early September 1918 during the Advance to Victory offensive.

On 1 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.