Private Richard McDermott


Richard McDermott was born on 5 January 1881 at Dullerton, Strabane, County Tyrone, the last of four children of labourer and coachman Robert John McDermott and his wife Mary Ann (née McKeown).

By 1906 he was living at Tirnaskea, near Cookstown, County Tyrone, and working as a groom. On 18 April that year he married school teacher's daughter Margaret Faulkner in the Kildress Church of Ireland Parish Church, Cookstown. The couple had three children over the next six years. At the time of the 1911 Census they were living at Killashee, County Kildare, Richard working as a chauffeur, presumably for Colonel Richard St Leger Moore on his Killashee estate.

McDermott enlisted in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron between 19 February and 3 March 1915 (No. UD/215). 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 McDermott, 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. McDermott was issued regimental number 41109.

On 22 or 23 November 1917 he was wounded in the fighting for the village of Moeuvres during the Battle of Cambrai. The wound was not severe and he returned to his battalion later that year or in the first half of 1918.

On 21 June 1918 he was admitted to the 2nd General Hospital, suffering from influenza. He was released to No.4 Convalescent Depot five days later.

McDermott was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 30 March 1919.


This page last updated 23 July 2023.