Private David Armstrong


David Armstrong was born on 29 April 1883 at Corryglass, Florencecourt, County Fermanagh, the fifth of six children of herd and farm labourer Simon Armstrong and his wife Mary Jane (née Townley). His father died when he was just three years old, his mother re-marrying soon after. At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Lanmore, Cuilcagh, County Fermanagh, and working as a labourer for farmer John Wilson.

Armstrong enlisted in the 1st Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, on 21 September 1899, seeing service in South Africa during the Boer War. On 13 October 1914 he enlisted at Enniskillen in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron (No. UD/27). He understated his age by three years.

On 22 September 1915 he returned home from Borden Camp in England to marryMary Jane McFarland of the Workhouse, Enniskillen, in that town's Church of Ireland Parish Church. The couple had two children over the next two years.

On 6 October 1915 Armstrong embarked for France with his squadron, which was then serving as divisional cavalry to the 36th (Ulster) Division. On 28 October however he fell ill with a 'stricture'. Evacuated to the UK five days later, he was treated at the Sussex County Hospital before returning to the squadron reserve at Enniskillen.

On 3 June 1916 he was awarded three days' confined to barracks for 'ill-treating a horse'; and on 27 October 14 days' confined to barracks for 'drunkenness and destruction of government property'.

Armstrong was transferred to the Labour Corps on 27 July 1917 (No.336856) and posted to No.668 Home Service Labour Company, based in Enniskillen. On 12 August 1918 he was transferred to the 29th (City of London) Battalion, London Regiment (No.783572). On 20 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.


This page last updated 26 January 2023.