Lance Corporal William Montgomery


The background of this North Irish Horseman is not certain. 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 1 November 1915 (No.1769). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France on 18 May 1916, where he was posted to one of the five North Irish Horse squadrons then in France.

In May and June 1916 C Squadron combined with F Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, and A, D and E Squadrons combined to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, each serving as corps cavalry units. In August-September 1917 the 2nd NIH Regiment was disbanded and most of the men were transferred to the infantry. Montgomery, however, was one of fourteen of the regiment who just prior to that (in mid-July) were transferred to the Military Mounted Police (No. P/12048). He remained with the military police until the end of the war.


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.