Farrier-Sergeant James Nixon


This North Irish Horseman is probably the James Nixon born on 5 October 1880 in Sutton, near Croydon, Surrey, the first of thirteen children of carpenter William John Nixon and his wife Margaret Ann (née Bell). His Irish-born parents had only recently moved to England, but by 1889 had returned home, living at 40 Riga Street, Belfast. They later lived at 62 River Terrace, 12 Lavinia Street then, from around 1912, at 13 Curzon Street.

On the balance of probabilities James was the 'J. Nixon' of the 8th (King's Royal Irish) Hussars (No.4316) who served with that regiment in South Africa during the Boer War.

On 10 November 1905 he married Sarah McCabery at St Anne's Church of Ireland Parish Church, Belfast.

Nixon enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 8 September 1914 (No.1165 – later Corps of Hussars No.71261). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve depot before embarking for France on 17 November 1915 with F Squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 33rd Division.

In June 1916 F Squadron combined with C Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded and its men transferred to the infantry. Prior to this, however, Nixon left the 2nd Regiment, probably returning to the North Irish Horse reserve depot at Antrim, after having fallen ill or been injured.

On 1 May 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.


At least one of Nixon's brothers, Charles Nixon, served in the war, in the 10th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles. He was killed in action on the Somme on 1 July 1916.