In memoriam

Private George Christopher Reid



George Christopher Reid was born on 31 August 1885 at Farnconnell, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, the fourth of ten children of farmer William Reid and his wife Elizabeth (née Elliott). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Farnconnell and working as a farmer.

On 22 September 1914 Reid enlisted at Enniskillen in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (No.14116). Late the following month or in early November, however, he transferred to the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron (No.UD/97).

On 6 October 1915 he embarked for France with his squadron, which was then serving as divisional cavalry to the 36th (Ulster) Division. According to the squadron war diary of 26 January 1916:

2/Lieuts Matthews & McWilliam, Sergt Quinn & Lce Sergt Reid proceeded to the Div. School of Instruction at Le Meillard.

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 Reid, 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. Reid was issued regimental number 41529.

Reid and two others were killed in the evening of 26 October 1917 when an enemy trench mortar scored a direct hit on their Lewis gun post on Yorkshire Bank. The battalion diary for the day reported:

Quiet during day. At night enemy again occupied Wigan Copse and was definitely driven out again at 9pm. Our fighting patrol suffered two casualties – one man killed and one slightly injured. At 10pm enemy obtained a direct hit on our right Lewis Gun post on Yorkshire Bank with a heavy trench mortar, killing three men.

According to a report in the Fermanagh Times of 8 November:

Another gallant young Fermanaghman has made the supreme sacrifice on the battlefield for his King and Country in the person of Sergeant George C. Reid, ... who died on Thursday, 27th October from wounds received the previous day. Captain A. Hulse, writing to his family at Boho conveying the sad intelligence, states that Sergeant Reid received his wounds while on duty and died a very short time after being wounded his end being peaceful. Captain Hulse added:--

"He served under me during the whole of his time in France and I had a very high opinion of his soldierly qualities and courage. We shall all miss him as an old friend and I can never forget him for he once (during the battle of the Somme) rescued me from a dug-out which had been blown in by a shell. He gave up his life for his country's sake, and will receive his reward. He is buried in an English cemetery behind our line."

Reid was buried in the Neuville-Bourjonval British Cemetery, grave E.18. The gravestone inscription reads:

26TH OCTOBER 1917 AGE 32


Three of Reid's brothers also served during the war. Loftus Henry Reid and William Carleton Reid with the Canadian forces, and Thomas Robert Reid with the Australians. Thomas, a sergeant in the 2nd Field Artillery Brigade, died of disease (diabetes) in the Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield Park, and was buried in the Boho Church of Ireland Cemetery, County Fermanagh.


Fermanagh Times, 17 October 1918


Thomas Robert Reid, Boho Churchyard


First image Copyright © Phillip Tardif with all rights reserved as set out in this Use of Material policy. Third image sourced from the Find a Grave website.


This page last updated 19 March 2023.