Private William A. Nelson


The background of this North Irish Horseman is not known at present.

William A. Nelson enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 22 March and 3 April 1916 (No.2136). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France in late 1916 or the first half of 1917, where he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st or 2nd North Irish Horse Regiments.

In August-September 1917 the 2nd NIH Regiment was disbanded and its men, together with some surplus to the needs of the 1st NIH Regiment, were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Nelson, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. Nelson was issued regimental number 41258 and posted to C Company.

He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

Nelson was one of the many posted as missing following the 9th (NIH) Battalion's fighting withdrawal from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918 during the German spring offensive. Nothing more has been discovered about his service during the remainder of 1918.

Between March and June 1919 Nelson transferred to the Royal Irish Regiment (No.41347). He was posted to the 5th (Service) Battalion, serving in the Army of Occupation on the Rhine. On 23 October 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.