Farrier Quartermaster Sergeant Hugh Copeland Nixon



Hugh Copeland Nixon was born on 2 June 1878 at Drumaghlis, Downpatrick, County Down, the fourth of five children of blacksmith James Nixon and his wife Mary (nee Copeland). Various records describe him as a merchant, horse dealer and horse trainer. On 1 July 1902 he married Lizzie Miller of Creevyargon at the Second Saintfield Presbyterian Church, County Down. The couple had two children over the next three years, though one died when just two years old. By the time of the 1911 Census Hugh, Lizzie and their son Hugh Robert were living at 68 Bridge Street, Downpatrick.

Nixon enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 2 March 1909 (No.298 – later Corps of Hussars No.71016), understating his age by six years. On 1 May 1915 he embarked for France with D Squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 51st Division. In May 1916 D Squadron came together with A and E 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.

At some point during the war, probably while serving in France and Belgium prior to March 1918, Nixon suffered a fractured leg. After it had healed sufficiently he returned to duty at the regiment's reserve depot at Antrim.

Following the death of his wife Lizzie, on 18 July 1918 Nixon married widow Sarah Ann Shepherd (nee Soar) at Kilmore, County Down.

On 24 February 1919 he was discharged, being 'surplus to military requirements, having suffered impairment since entry into the service' (paragraph 392 xvi(a), King's Regulations). He was granted a pension due to the ongoing impact of his injury, and myalgia, which had been aggravated by his military service.

After the war Nixon lived at Fountain Street Antrim.


The image above shows Nixon in late November 1914. The full picture can be seen here.