He was the son of Joseph MacBride and Phoebe MacBride. In 1911 the family are living in house 32, Knock Road, Pottinger Ward, Belfast.
On 28th September 1912, MacBride signed the Ulster Covenant at the Old Town Hall, Belfast giving his address as Beacon Field, Knock, Belfast.
Following his education at Campbell College, MacBride would have joined the Belfast Banking Company around 1913.
MacBride served with Queen's University Officer Traing Corps before joining the Royal Irish Fusiliers and attaining the rank of Lieutenant.
The Belfast News Letter of 13th Novemeber 1915 reports:
He worked in Head Office and Newtownards.