Private Neil McMillan


The background of this North Irish Horseman is not known for certain, but he may have been the Neil McMillan born in Govan, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, the second or third child of shipyard worker Charles McMillan and his wife Agnes Jane. Near the turn of the century the family moved to Belfast. At the time of the 1901 Census Neil was living with his parents and nine siblings at 166 Spamount Street, and working as a rivetter. On 18 January 1902 he enlisted in the 175th Company, Imperial Yeomanry, at Londonderry (No.43171), serving in South Africa from 11 May 1902 to 7 January 1903. He was discharged at Aldershot on 20 January 1903, his military conduct recorded as 'good'.

McMillan enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 1 October 1914 (No.1246 – later Corps of Hussars No.71301). On 1 May 1915 he embarked for France with D Squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 51st Division.

In May 1916 D Squadron came together with A and E Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps until February-March 1918, when the regiment was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

McMillan remained with the regiment throughout the war, though how much time he spent in France and Belgium and how much at the Antrim reserve camp is not known at present. On 14 December 1918 he was discharged, being 'surplus to military requirements, not having suffered impairment since entry into the service' (paragraph 392(xxv)(a), King's Regulations).