Private John Young


John Young was born on 9 November 1898 in Clonleigh, Strabane, County Donegal, the fourth of twelve children of labourer (later coachman) William Young and his wife Ellen (née Johnston). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Cavanacor, Clonleigh North, with his parents and nine siblings.

Young enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Strabane on 10 April 1916, joining the regiment at Antrim the following day (No.2146). He gave his age as 19 (his true age was 17) and his occupation as engine fireman.

On 8 June 1916 Young was involved in an accident, causing him severe synovitis. According to testimony at a subsequent inquiry:

... we were trotting along the road when we received the order to "walk". Pvt Young was riding by my side and his horse being hard to stop went up alongside Pvt Magill's horse which kicked and caught Pvt Young on the knee. He appeared to be considerably hurt and had to be sent home.

The inquiry found he was not to blame. Young was hospitalised in Belfast and Omagh, returing to duty on 15 July. On 28 September 1916 he was awarded 7 days' comfined to camp and lost 3 days' pay for being absent off pass for three days.

Young transferred to the Railway Operating Division of the Royal Engineers on 13 January 1917 (No.219081 – later No. WR/282657), with the rank of sapper. He embarked for France on 6 February, remaining in France until the end of the war. On 1 June 1918 he qualified as Fireman, Superior. On 18 July 1919 he lost 2 days' pay for being absent off leave.

Young was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 25 October 1919.

After the war Young lived at 5 Moat Street, Londonderry, and was employed as a fireman. He emigrated to the United States in December 1926 with his brother William. He died in Queens, New York, on 25 March 1957.


At least two of Young's brothers, Robert and Samuel, also served in the war, in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Both were wounded.