Private James Anderson


James Anderson was born on 8 June 1894 at Drumman, Markethill, County Armagh, the third of eleven children of farmer John William Anderson and his wife Mary Jane (née Wright). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Drumman with his parents and nine of his siblings.

Anderson enlisted in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron between 23 and 25 November 1914 (No. UD/194). On 6 October 1915 he embarked for France with his squadron, which was then serving as divisional cavalry to the 36th (Ulster) Division.

In June 1916 the Inniskilling squadron joined with C and F Squadrons of the North Irish Horse to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps. In August-September 1917 the Regiment was disbanded and its men, following training at the 36th (Ulster) Division Infantry Base Depot at Harfleur, were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Anderson, 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. Anderson was issued regimental number 41519 and posted to B Company.

He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917, and perhaps also during the retreat from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918 and at Kemmel on the Ypres front that April.

In mid-1918 Anderson was wounded, possibly on 22 July when the 9th (NIH) Battalion conducted a raid on the German line at Shoddy Farm near Meulehouck on the Ypres front.

On 25 February 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve. He was later granted a part-pension due to appendicitis, which was found to have been aggravated by his military service, his level of disability assessed at 40 per cent in March 1920.

By 1921 Anderson was working as a special constable in the Royal Irish Constabulary. On 10 November that year he married Mary Jane Callaghan in St John's Church of Ireland Parish Church, Mullabrack, County Armagh.


This page last updated 4 September 2023.