Private James McVicker


The background of this North Irish Horseman is not known at present, other than that he was from Belfast.

James McVicker enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 26 or 27 January 1915 (No.1426). 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 the majority, McVicker was transferred to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – but later than most, between 24 October and 26 November 1917. He may have been ill at the time the main transfer took place. He was issued regimental number 41637.

He may have seen action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917 and during the retreat from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918.

At some point during 1918 McVicker was posted to the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers. He was reported as missing during the Advance to Victory offensive from August to November 1918. This may indicate that he had been made a prisoner of war.

Following his return to the UK after the Armistice, on 27 March 1919 McVicker was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.