Private David Moore Cooke Law



David Moore Cooke Law was born on 10 September 1894 at 99 Bright Street, Belfast, the last of five children of grocer Thomas Law and his wife Agnes (nee McKeag). His father died just a month later. By the time of the 1911 Census he was living with his mother and one surviving sibling at 285 Newtownards Road, Belfast, and working as a linen factory commercial clerk.

Law enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim on 1 November 1915 (No.1771). On 18 May 1916 he embarked for France, where, after two months, he was posted to A Squadron at Pas on the Somme front.

A Squadron was then part of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps. In September 1917 the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment was disbanded and most of its men, together with some surplus to the needs of the 1st NIH Regiment, were transferred to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion. Like most of the men, Law was transferred on 20 September. He was issued a new regimental number – 41420. For some reason, however, he did not join the battalion until 9 December, when he was posted to B Company. He may have seen action at the Battle of Cambrai during the following week, and during the withdrawal from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918.

Law was severely wounded in the right arm and chest on 12 April 1918 during the fighting between Wulverghem and Kemmel on the Ypres front. The Battalion diary for the day reads:

2am. Moved to near Wulverghem. Headquarters at N Midland Farm. Enemy attacked, pressing back our line. Counter attack completely restored position. Casualties heavy, including Medical Officer, Lieutenants Hamilton, Hardy and Miller killed. Captain Dean, Lieutenants Turner and Orr wounded.

Law was evacuated to England six days later, where he was treated at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley, and later at Dublin Castle Hospital and the UVF Hospital in Belfast. He recovered from his wounds and on 24 March 1919 was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

After the war Law returned to work as a clerk. On 27 July 1921 he married Mary Sturdy at Knock Methodist Church in Belfast.


Image from the Belfast Evening Telegraph, kindly provided by Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster (