Private George Long


George Long (initially named David) was born on 2 March 1897 at Ferguson's Street, Londonderry, the first of four children of general labourer Alexander Long and his wife Margaret (née Griffin). He also had two half-brothers by his father's previous marriage. By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 14 Alma Place, Londonderry, with his parents, siblings and a half-brother, and working as a messenger.

Long enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 9 September 1914 (No.1193). On 2 June 1915 he embarked for France with a reinforcement draft for A, C and D Squadrons – he was probably posted to C Squadron.

In May and June 1916 C Squadron combined with F Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, and A, D and E Squadrons combined to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, each serving as corps cavalry units. In September 1917 the 2nd NIH Regiment was disbanded and its men, together with some surplus to the needs of the 1st NIH Regiment, were transferred to the infantry. Like most, Long joined the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – on 20 September. He was issued regimental number 41555.

Long probably saw action with the battalion during the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

Around this time Long fell ill. Evacuated to the UK, on 17 June 1918 he was discharged, being 'no longer physically fit for war service' (paragraph 392 (xvi), King's Regulations). He was granted a pension due to 'neurasthenia', which was attributed to his military service. As late at November 1923 his level of disability was assessed at 30 per cent.

After his discharge from the army Long returned home to Alma Place and found work as a steward. On 10 June 1920 he married Violet Jefferson at the Church of Ireland Cathedral in Londonderry.


At least one of Long's siblings, Thomas, also served in the war, in the 5th Lancers.