Lance Corporal James Thompson


James Thompson was born on 14 November 1889 at Ballyweaney, Ballymoney, County Antrim, the eighth or ninth of twelve children of farmer Joseph Thompson and his wife Margaret Jane (née Forsythe). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at nearby Corkey with his parents and six of his siblings, and working on the family farm.

Thompson enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 16 December 1915. For some reason, however, he was not able to report for duty at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp until 28 or 29 July the following year. He was then issued regimental number 2222 (later Corps of Hussars No.71680).

Following training at Antrim, Thompson embarked for France sometime between 1916 and 1918. There he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment. This regiment served as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps from its establishment in May 1916 until February-March 1918, when it was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

Thompson remained with the regiment throughout the war. According to the Presbyterian Church in Ireland's Roll of Honour, at some point he was wounded. On 6 January 1919 he was discharged as 'surplus to military requirements, not having suffered impairment since entry into the service' (paragraph 392(xxv)(a), King's Regulations).