Private Albert McCormack


The background of this North Irish Horseman is not certain, but it is probable that he was the Albert James McCormack born on 4 December 1894 at Johnston's Bridge, Mohill, County Leitrim, the seventh of fourteen children of RIC sergeant Thomas McCormack and his wife Margaret Anne (née Weir). In the late 1890s, following his father's retirement from the police, the family moved to Drumcree, Killucan, County Westmeath, where Thomas worked as an estate bailiff. By the time of the 1911 Census Albert was living as a student boarder at Wilson's Hospital School, Heathland, County Westmeath.

McCormack enlisted in the Royal Irish Fusiliers early in the war (records indicate this may have been in March 1915). He was issued regimental number 18292 and posted to the 6th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers. On 22 September 1915 he embarked for service with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, joining his battalion at Gallipoli.

It is probable that he returned to the UK at some point during late 1915 or the first half of 1916 (perhaps sick or wounded). Between 28 June and 19 July 1916 he transferred to the North Irish Horse (No.2210). Later that year or in the first half of 1917 he embarked for France, where he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st or 2nd North Irish Horse Regiments.

In August-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 Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including McCormack, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. McCormack was issued regimental number 41267 and posted to C Company.

He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

McCormack was one of the many posted as missing following the 9th (NIH) Battalion's fighting withdrawal from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918 during the German spring offensive. It was later learned that he had been wounded. Nothing further has been discovered about his service during the the war.

On 31 May 1919 McCormack was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

By 1924 McCormack was living at Kileedy House, Limerick, and working as a jeweller. On 2 January that year he married Emily Alice Waterstone. He died in Limerick on 17 January 1983 and was buried in St Mary's Cathedral cemetery.


At least one of McCormack's brothers, Harold Richard McCormack, also served in the war, in the North Irish Horse and Royal Irish Rifles.