Private William Carson


William Carson was born around 1877, the second or third of six children of weaver (later shoemaker) James Carson and his wife Mary Jane (née Hare). On 1 October 1906 he married Susan Fletcher in the Church of Ireland's Trinity Church in Belfast. At the time he was living at 18 Foreman Street and working as a labourer. At the time of the 1911 Census he was living in Foreman Street with his widowed mother, three of his four surviving siblings, a nephew and a niece, and working as a carter. Soon after, he was living with his wife at 32 Benwell Street.

At some point, probably in the 1890s, Carson had enlisted in the Royal Irish Rifles and was posted to the 1st Battalion. He was discharged on the termination of his period of service (usually 12 years).

On 10 October 1914 Carson enlisted at Enniskillen in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron (No.UD/21). While in training at Enniskillen he was frequently disciplined for breaches of discipline: on 28 November 1914, for reporting sick without cause, 7 days' confined to barracks; on 1 January 1915, for being absent without leave, to forfeit 2 days' pay; on 4 February, for being absent from 25 January to 3 February, to forfeit 9 days' pay, 9 days' detention and 14 days' confined to barracks; and on 3 March, for breaking out of barracks whilst a defaulter, being absent from 20 February until apprehended by the civil power at Belfast on the night of 28 February dressed in plain clothes, and loss of kit, awarded 28 days' detention, to forfeit 9 days' pay and to pay for the lost kit.

He was hospitalised from 5 to 15 April with a sprained thumb.

On 7 April 1915 Carson was discharged for misconduct (paragraph 392 (xi), King's Regulations). "Conduct indifferent. Has been guilty of frequent acts of absence, but is hardworking."

Following his discharge Carson returned to 32 Benwell Street and worked as a labourer. By 1940 he was living at 38 Howe Street. He died on 1 February that year in the Belfast City Hospital and was buried in the City Cemetery, Glenalina Extension.


This page last updated 16 January 2023.