Private David William Kirkpatrick


David William Kirkpatrick was born on 12 September 1889 at 6 Arthur Street, Newry, County Down, the first of three children of RIC constable David Kirkpatrick and his wife Jane (née Henderson). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Aughnafosker, Moira, County Down, with his widowed father and sisters, and working as a farm servant.

Kirkpatrick enlisted in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron on 23 November 1914 (No. UD/188). 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 until August-September 1917 when the regiment was disbanded and most of its men were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Kirkpatrick was one of 70 men given the job of conducting the regiment's horses to Egypt, to be handed over for use by mounted units there. They embarked from Marseilles on board HMT Bohemian on 25 August. After a month at Alexandria they returned to France, via Italy. On 5 October 1917 they arrived at the 36th (Ulster) Division Infantry Base Depot at Harfleur for infantry training, and after just a few days were posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – which had been renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt on 12 October. Kirkpatrick was issued regimental number 41605.

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.

Kirkpatrick was wounded during the Advance to Victory offensive from August to November 1918, probably on 4 September 1918 during the fighting near Wulverghem.

On 24 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

On 28 October 1919 he re-enlisted at Belfast, in the Royal Irish Regiment (Regimental number 32847 – later Army number 7110270). He was discharged on 13 July 1922.

He was awarded a pension due to an 'injury to cervical vertebrae" and bronchitis both attributed to his army service. In December his level of disability was assessed at 20 per cent. At the time he was living at his father's residence at 27 Bristol Street, Belfast.


This page last updated 20 June 2023.