Second Lieutenant Herbert Miskimmin


Herbert Miskimmin was born on 5 April 1895 in Skegoneill Avenue, Belfast, the sixth of nine children of joiner James Miskimmin and his wife Jane (nee Brown). Educated at the Belfast Mercantile College, by the time of the 1911 Census he was living with his parents and siblings at Culmore, Glenburn Park, Belfast. Soon after, he commenced a four-year apprenticeship as a draper with the firm Lindsay Bros. of Belfast.

Miskimmin enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim on 4 June 1915 (No.1664). He was promoted to corporal on 2 December 1915 and sergeant on 7 February 1916. On 28 June 1916 he embarked for France, where he was posted to D Squadron. On 1 November he was detached for work at the No.4 German Prisoner of War Camp, and six weeks later was permanently attached to No.47 Prisoner of War Company.

Miskimmin applied for a commission in the cavalry (Machine Gun Corps Branch) on 6 April 1917 (although he had no experience with machine guns). On 11 June he embarked for the UK, where he spent time at the Machine Gun Corps receiving depot at Grantham until 1 October, when he was posted to No.23 Officer Cadet Battalion at Bisley. On 27 February 1918 he was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant and posted to the Machine Gun Corps (Infantry).

On 18 August 1918 Miskimmin embarked for France, where he was posted to the 63rd Machine Gun Battalion, 63rd Royal Naval Division. On 27 September near Moeuvres he was wounded in both legs by shell fragments. He was treated at No.19 Casualty Clearing Station then the 14th General Hospital before being evacuated to England on 1 October. There he was admitted to the Fishmongers' Hospital in London.

A medical board on 26 November 1918 reported good progress: "The wounds are all healed or healing and no important structures have been damaged", but that he was not yet fit to resume duty. By 17 May 1919 Miskimmin had recovered sufficiently to be released from service. He relinquished his commission on 1 September 1921.

In 1921 Miskimmin married Gladys May Hammersley at Chorlton, Lancashire. Five years later the couple and their daughter emigrated to Canada.