Sergeant Thomas Mathers


Thomas Mathers was born on 16 October 1894 at Derrymacfall, Drumcree, County Armagh, the last of nine children of farmer Thomas Mathers and his wife Mary Ann (née Robb). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Derrymacfall with his parents and two of his three surviving siblings.

Mathers enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 14 and 29 May 1914 (No.946). He married Emma Kinney of Jervis Street, Portadown, at St Anne's Church of Ireland Parish Church, Belfast, on 22 October that year, just eleven weeks the outbreak of war.

On 17 November 1915 Mathers embarked for France with F Squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 33rd Division.

In June 1916 F Squadron combined with C Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded and its men transferred to the infantry. Like most, Mathers was posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – on 20 September, joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. He was issued regimental number 41479.

No information has been located about Mathers' service with the 9th (NIH) Battalion through the remainder of the war. On 21 February 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.