Lance Corporal John Wilson


John Wilson was born around 1875 in County Down, one of at least two children of John and Mary Wilson. On 23 September 1907 he married English-born Ellen Howard at Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church, Bangor, County Down. The couple had eight children over the next decade, before Ellen's death in Southport in November 1917.

By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 39 Gray's Hill, Bangor, with his wife and three children and working as a grocer.

Wilson enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 28 and 31 May 1915 (No.1641). On 23 February 1916 he embarked for France, where he was posted to one of the five North Irish Horse squadrons.

Wilson remained with the North Irish Horse through 1916 and 1917, though how much time he spent in France and Belgium and how much at the Antrim depot or at home on leave is not known at present.

In November 1917 Wilson was transferred to the Military Mounted Police (No. P/13423) with the rank of lance corporal. He served in this role for the remainder of the war, probably in France and Belgium.

Wilson was discharged on 22 April 1919. He was granted a pension as he was suffering from influenza and bronchitis. He lived in Belfast at 51 Windsor Road, but it appears that his illness persisted and he was admitted to the Hilden Hospital at Lisburn. He died there, of diabetes, on 23 February 1921.