Private Archibald Laird



Archibald Laird was born on 31 December 1886 at Ardmore Green, Londonderry, the ninth of fourteen children of head loftsman (later bleacher's finisher) Archibald Laird and his wife Hannah (née Bell). By 1909 he was living at Cumber House, Claudy, County Londonderry, and working as a coachman. He married blacksmith's daughter Bessie Kitson on 15 April that year at the Cumber Church of Ireland Church. The couple had six children over the next ten years.

At the time of the 1911 Census, Laird was living in Claudy Town at the home of his father-in-law, with his wife and their first two children.

Laird enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 8 or 9 September 1914 (No.1173 – later Corps of Hussars No.71265). On 1 May 1915 he embarked for France with D Squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 51st Division.

In May 1916 D Squadron came together with A and E Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps until February-March 1918, when the regiment was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

Laird remained with the regiment throughout the war. He was wounded in August 1918 during the Advance to Victory offensive. The injury, however, was not severe, and on 4 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

Laird's wife Bessie died on 11 February 1929. He was remarried, to Elizabeth Irwin Cormie, on 18 December 1937.

Laird and his wife died at Drumahoe, Londonderry, on 1 November 1964, and were buried in the Altnagelvin New Cemetery.


Belfast Telegraph, 2 November 1964


Image of Laird sourced from Public Member Trees - contributor 'sanmac50'.