Major George Eric Mackay


George Eric Mackay was born on 6 September 1872 in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, son of woollen cloth manufacturer Alexander Mackay and his wife Lucy. He was educated at Eton and Cambridge.

He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry on 4 April 1894, and promoted to lieutenant on 7 December 1898, captain on 17 August 1901, and major on 3 May 1906. On 26 September 1908 he resigned his commission.

On the outbreak of war he rejoined the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, being re-appointed as a major on 7 September 1914 and appointed second-in-command of the 2/1st Regiment. He commanded the 3/1 Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry from May 1915 to February 1917.

Mackay embarked for France on 18 December 1916, but returned to England two weeks later.

From February to October 1917 he was officer-in-charge of Military Labour at Salisbury Plain, and on 15 October 1917 was seconded as officer commanding the 619 Home Service Employment Company at Winchester.

Mackay was demobilised on 16 December 1919. In 1921 he was appointed to the reconstructed Territorial Army Reserve, General List, Yeomanry, with the rank of major. He retired in September 1922 on reaching the age limit of 50.

He died on 2 September 1945 at Kington Langley, Chippenham, Wiltshire.


Mackay's connection to the North Irish Horse is unclear.  The only reference to his association with the regiment is in a publication, List of Etonians Who Fought in the Great War, 1914-1919, which notes that he was 'att. N. Irish Horse'. However no other record confirms this. It is possible that during his short period in France (18 December 1916 to 2 January 1917) he was attached to D Squadron, 1/1 Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry, which was then part of the 2nd South Irish Horse Regiment.