Private Archibald Lee


Archibald (Archie) Lee was born on 11 February 1889 at Lisnaskea, County Fermanagh, the third of eight children of labourer Francis Lee and his wife Margaret Jane (née Carrothers). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 10 Main Street, Lisnaskea, with his recently widowed mother, his five surviving siblings, his uncle and the uncle's wife. Before the war he served in the UVF's Enniskillen Horse.

Lee enlisted in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron between 19 and 26 October 1914 (No. UD/61). 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 Lee, 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. Lee was issued regimental number 41552 and was posted to D Company.

He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

Lee was captured on 27 March 1918 at Erches, near Roye, at the end of the 9th (NIH) Battalion's fighting withdrawal from St Quentin during the German spring offensive, when much of the battalion was overwhelmed by the fast-moving German advance. He remained a prisoner until the end of the war, held at camps in Stendal and Wittenberg in Germany. He was repatriated in early January 1919.

On 18 April 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

By 1937 Lee was living at Drumhaw, Lisnaskea, and working as a creamery engine driver. On 4 August that year he married farmer's daughter Elizabeth Fiddis in the Trory Church of Ireland Church, Enniskillen. He died at Drumhaw on 21 February 1942.


At least one of Lee's brothers also served in the war. Francis Robert Lee was killed in action on 21 October 1914 while serving in the 2nd Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


Larne Times and Weekly Telegraph, 28 November 1914


This page last updated 10 February 2023.