Private Herbert Mackerell


This North Irish Horseman was probably the Herbert Mackerell born on 1 June 1900 at Carricknakielt, Maghera, County Londonderry, the sixth of seven children of railway labourer Thomas Mackerell and his wife Mary Jane (née Ferrier). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Carricknakielt with his parents and three of his four surviving siblings.

Mackerell enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 2 and 15 September 1916 (No.2266 – later Corps of Hussars No.71729). He must have overstated his age, as he was only sixteen years old at the time. He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France in 1917 or early 1918. There he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment. This regiment served as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps from its establishment in May 1916 until February-March 1918, when it was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit.

This meant a 25 per cent reduction in the regiment's numbers, and it is possible that this was the time that Mackerell was posted to the 3rd (King's Own) Hussars. He remained with that regiment until the end of the war, and through 1919.

By 1961 he was living at the Station House, Larne, where he worked as station master for the railways. He died on 23 July that year in the Smiley Hospital, Larne.


Belfast Telegraph, 24 July 1951


Mcakerell's Victory Medal, sold on an internet auction site.


This page last updated 20 February 2023.