James Harbinson

Sergeant Harbinson was a holder of the Military medal, Distinguished conduct medal and the Belgian Croix de Guerre. The following are entries in the London Gazette in relation to his awards.

From Supplement to the London Gazette, 29th August, 1918 Issue 30873 – (This appears to refer to the Military Medal)

19551 Sjt. J. Harbinson, R.I. Rif. (Glenavy)

From Supplement to the London Gazette, 4th September, 1919 Issue 31537 – (This appears to refer to the DCM)

19551, Serjeant James Harbinson, M.M., 12th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles (Aughnadarugh, (SIC) Glenowy, (SIC) Co. Antrim)

The townland should read Aghnadarragh.

From Supplement to the London Gazette, 2nd December, 1919.Issue 31668 – (This appears to be the citation to the DCM)

19551, Sjt. J. Harbinson, M.M., 12th Bn., R. Ir.Rif. (Glenavy, Co. Antrim)

For most conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during operations around Hierweg on 25th October, 1918. When the officers and N.C.O.’s had all become casualties, he collected and reorganised the remainder of the company under the heaviest machine-gun fire, and then led the men three successive times to the attack upon a strongly defended house, suffering heavy casualties each time. He finally captured the house with six machine guns, killing the garrison, and thus enabled the right flank of the battalion to get forward.

James Harbinson was possibly a son of Bernard Harbinson and Agnes Lockhart from Aghnadarragh. They had a son called James born on 16th June 1891. This James married Mary Beattie on 29th May 1919 at Killead. They may have resided in the Derriaghy area of Lisburn.

I have been told that James Harbinson, although linked to the 11th Bn on the war memorial, may have been drafted into the 12th Bn at some stage to back fill the losses of NCO’s sustained. Many of the Ulster battalions merged or ceased to exist due to massive losses.

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