Private John James Thompson



John James Thompson was born on 8 December 1892 at Ballyheige, Ardfert, Tralee, County Kerry, the last of three children of RIC sergeant James Thompson and his wife Phebe (née Jermyn). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living with his parents and older sister at Derrygeeraghan, Milltown, County Cavan, where the family had settled after his father's retirement.

Thompson enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 4 and 29 January 1917 (No.2355). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France in the first half of 1917, where he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st or 2nd North Irish Horse Regiments.

In August-September 1917 the 2nd NIH Regiment was disbanded and its men, together with some surplus to the needs of the 1st NIH Regiment, were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Thompson, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. Thompson was issued regimental number 41369.

He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917, and perhaps also during the retreat from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918.

Thompson was wounded in the left hand soon after, probably in the fighting around Wulverghem and Mount Kemmel on the Ypres front in April 1918. It is unlikely that he saw any further front-line service during the war. On 19 January 1919 he was discharged (or demobilised). He was awarded a pension due to his wound, his level of disability assessed at 20 per cent.

Soon after the war Thompson was living at Maze, Hillsborough, County Down, and working as a primary school teacher. On 7 April that year he married Margaret Jane Browne in St Paul's Church of Ireland Parish Church, Gilford. By 1950 he was living at 12 Ulsterville Drive, Belfast, having retired from teaching. He died at home on 2 March that year.


Image sourced from Public Member Trees - contributor ''davisqmv'.