Private William Montgomery


The background of this North Irish Horseman is not certain, other than that he was from Belfast. He was most probably one of the following, both of whom served in the North Irish Horse.

William Montgomery born on 17 March 1892 at 14 Kilwood Street, Belfast, the third or fourth of nine children of labourer (formerly farmer and later a foreman at the Belfast Tramway Depot) James Alexander Montgomery and his wife Sarah (née Murray). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 8 Salisbury Avenue, Belfast, with his parents and five surviving siblings, and working as a tram conductor.

William Montgomery, one of at least two children of Robert and Margaret Montgomery. In 1912 he was living at 3 Fernbank Villas, Henderson Avenue, Belfast, his father working as a storeman. He later lived at 15 Sinclair Street.

Montgomery enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 10 May 1915 (No.1522 – later Corps of Hussars No.71418). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France sometime between 1916 and 1918, possibly with E Squadron on 11 January 1916.

In May 1916 E Squadron came together with A and D 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.

Montgomery remained with the regiment throughout the war. He was wounded in August or early September 1918 during the Advance to Victory offensive.

On 13 February 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.


Two brothers of the William Montgomery of Kilwood Street also served in the war – Stephen in the Royal Irish Rifles, and James Alexander in the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

The brother of the William Montgomery of Fernbank Villas, Robert, served in the war in the Machine Gun Corps attached to the Royal Irish Rifles (No.19499). He was killed in action on the Somme on 1 July 1916.