Lance Corporal Hawthorn McMillan


Hawthorn McMillan was born on 29 December 1891 at 81 Solway Street, Belfast, the second of eight children of plater Andrew McMillan and his wife Isabella (née McBride). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 1 Castlereagh Road, Belfast, with his parents and four of his five surviving siblings, and working as a grocer's apprentice.

McMillan enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 8 October 1914 (No.1294). On 17 November 1915 he 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, McMillan 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 41478. He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

In April 1918 McMillan fell ill and was admitted to the 4th Stationary Hospital. He remained there under treatment for nearly two months. Whether he saw any further service with the 9th (NIH) Battalion is not known at present. On 23 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

Following his demobilisation McMillan returned to Belfast. By 1932 he was living at 21 My Lady's Road and working as a breadserver and salesman. On 18 September that year he died in the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast. He was buried in the Movilla Graveyard, Newtownards.



Image sourced from the Billion Graves website.