Lance Corporal John Simpson


John Simpson was born on 26 October 1898 at Ballincar, County Sligo, the fourth of five children of colporteur William Simpson and his wife Sarah (née McKelvey). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living in Shore Street, Holywood, County Down, with his mother and three of his siblings.

Simpson enlisted in the North Irish Horse at some point following the declaration of war in August 1914 (regimental number unknown). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp until November 1916, when he and around 100 other North Irish Horsemen volunteered to transfer to the Royal Irish Rifles. The formal transfer took place on 7 December (Simpson was issued regimental number 40916), and on that day the men embarked for France. There they were posted to the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, joining it on the Somme front on 12 December.

Simpson was severely wounded in the left shoulder and right arm in early 1918, probably during the retreat from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March.

At some point following the war he emigrated to New Zealand. He died at Otago in 1971.