Private John Alexander Warwick


John Alexander Warwick was born on 31 December 1886 at Moyletrakill, Desertoghill, County Londonderry, the fourth of five children of farmer John Warwick and his wife Ann Jane (née McFetridge). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at nearby Droghed, Aghadowey, with his widowed mother and his siblings, and working as a draper's assistant.

Warwick enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Coleraine on 17 November 1915 (No.1947). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve depot before embarking for France on 3 August 1916. There he was posted to B or C Squadron of the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment.

From 5 April to 16 June 1917 he was attached to 3rd Army Headquarters.

In August-September 1917 the 2nd NIH Regiment was disbanded and its men were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Warwick, 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. Warwick was issued regimental number 41397 and posted to A Company.

He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

On 28 December 1917 Warwick was one of twenty-four former men of the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment who transferred from the 9th (NIH) Battalion to the Tank Corps (No.304879). While training at the Tank Corps Depot at Bovington near Wareham, Dorset, he was posted to the newly-formed 15th (Heavy) Battalion.

On 8 July 1918 he returned to France with the 15th Battalion, operating mostly Mark V* tanks. The battalion saw a great deal of action during the Advance to Victory offensive, including at Amiens (8-9 August), Albert (21 August), Second Bapaume (30-31 August), and Canal du Nord (27 September).

Warwick returned to the UK on 26 January 1919. He was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 24 February 1919.

By 1968 Warwick was living at 14 Old Coach Road, Portstewart, having retired from work as a merchant. He died there on 20 December that year.