Private William Charles Campbell


The background of this man is not clear at present, other than that he was born in Shankill, Belfast, around 1894, the son of engineer William Campbell.

William Charles Campbell enlisted in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron between 3 March and 13 April 1915 (No. UD/251). He stated that prior to enlisting he had been working as a boilermaker. On 6 October 1915 the squadron, which was then serving as divisional cavalry to the 36th (Ulster) Division, embarked for France. Campbell, however, remained at the reinforcements depot at Enniskillen.

On 13 June 1916 he married widow Margaret Watson (née Slavin) in the Enniskillen Presbyterian Church. (Her previous husband, Lance Corporal George Watson of the 2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, had died of wounds in France on 16 May 1915.) William and Margaret's first child, William John Best Campbell, was born later that year in Queen Street, Enniskillen. Another, Francis Joseph, was born in the Belfast Maternity Hospital on 14 July 1919.

In late 1916 or the first half of 1917 Campbell embarked for France, where he joined the Inniskilling Service Squadron. In June 1916 the squadron had joined C and F Squadrons of the North Irish Horse to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded and most of  its men were transferred to the infantry.

Campbell, however, was one of a number of the regiment who were instead transferred to the Military Mounted Police (No. P/12222), his transfer taking place in early August. He remained with that regiment until 1919 when, on 4 September at Belfast he re-enlisted, this time in the Machine Gun Corps (No.189504).

On 9 August 1921 he transferred to the Tank Corps (Army No.7815000). Just a month later, on 8 September, he was discharged on the termination of his period of engagement (paragraph 392 (xxi), King's Regulations). His military character was recorded as 'good'.

Following his discharge Campbell lived with his family in Belfast, before they returned to Enniskillen around 1925, where four more children were born.


I am grateful to Trevor Barker for helping identify this man and for providing some of the above information.


This page last updated 1 May 2023.