Private John Nocher


John Nocher was born on 3 May 1892 at 19 Meadow Street, Ligoniel, Belfast, the fourth of seven children of labourer (later reeling master, then storekeeper) Thomas Nocher and his wife Ellen (née Sinclair). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 51 Ligoniel Road, Shankill, with his parents, four surviving siblings, a brother-in-law and a nephew, and working as a pawnbroker.

Nocher enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 8 November 1915 (No.1810). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve depot before embarking for France in 1916 or early 1917. There he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st or 2nd North Irish Horse Regiments.

On 9 July 1917 Nocher was one of around thirty North Irish Horsemen who, being no longer physically fit for front-line service due to injury, age or illness, were transferred to the Labour Corps and posted to No.664 Home Service Labour Company. It appears, based on the records of some of these men, that they continued to serve at the North Irish Horse reserve depot at Antrim. Nocher was issued regimental number 333715. He remained with the Labour Corps until the end of the war.

After the war Nocher returned to Belfast and his work as a pawnbroker. On 30 April 1923 he married Elizabeth Smyth. By 1961 he was living at 652 Crumlin Road, Belfast. He died on 24 June that year at the Royal Victoria Hospital.