Private Thomas Montgomery


Thomas Montgomery was born on 8 May 1896 in Engine Lane, Ballymena, County Antrim, the last of eleven children of labourer (later farmer) Alexander Montgomery and his wife Mary (née Conway). By the time of the 1911 Census he and two of his sisters were living in Clonavon Road, Ballymena, at the home of his brother Matthew, his wife Annie and their two children, and working as an apprentice printer.

Montgomery enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 16 and 18 November 1915 (No.1909 – later Corps of Hussars No.71632). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France sometime between 1916 and 1918, where he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment. This regiment served as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps from its establishment in May 1916 until February-March 1918, when it was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

Montgomery was wounded in late August or early September 1918 at the beginning of the Advance to Victory offensive. On 13 September the Ballymena Observer reported that:

Mr. Alex. Montgomery, Kinhilt Street, Ballymena, has been notified that his son, Trooper Thomas Montgomery, N.I.H., has been wounded in action, and is at present in hospital in England. Trooper Montgomery has served in France with the North Irish Horse for a considerable number of months, and prior to joining up was employed in Messrs. Wilson’s, Ballygarvey.

Montgomery's wound was not severe and by 4 October the Observer was able to report that he was home on leave.

On 3 February 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

By 1956 Montgomery was living with his wife Anne Jane (Jean) at 54 Suffolk Street Ballymena and working as a foreman dyer. He died in Waveney Hospital on 12 July that year and was buried in the Ballymena Cemetery.