Sergeant Richard Alexander Nugent


Richard Alexander Nugent was born on 16 August 1888 at Donaghaguy, near Warrenpoint, County Down, the first of ten children of farmer Robert Nugent and his wife Jane (née Kerr). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Donaghaguy with his parents and his eight surviving siblings and working on the family farm.

Nugent enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Newry on 3 September 1914 (No.1121). He gave his age as 24 years 19 days, his place of birth as Clonallon, Newry, and his occupation as farmer, and stated that he had served in the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry for two years until it was disbanded in July 1908.

Nugent was promoted to lance corporal on 17 September, corporal on 1 November and sergeant on 1 December 1914. On 1 May 1915 he embarked for France with D Squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 51st Division.

Later that year, however, Nugent fell ill and on 3 October he was evacuated to the UK for treatment. The Belfast News-Letter of 9 October reported that:

Intimation has been received from the War Office by his parents at Donaghaguy, Rostrevor, that Troop-Sergeant Dick Nugent, North Irish Horse, had been in hospital at Bethune and is transferred to Salford Hospital, Manchester. Previous to enlisting he was a member of the 2nd Battalion South Down Regiment, Ulster Volunteer Force.

A medical board held on 3 April 1916 found that he was suffering from indigestion aggravated by his military service:

Originated before enlistment. Has had indigestion symptoms for the last 3 years. The army diet caused an increase in the severity of the symptoms.

Nugent was discharged on 29 April 1916, being 'no longer physically fit for war service' (paragraph 392(xvi), King's Regulations). His military character was recorded as 'very good'.


At least two of Nugent's brothers also served during the war: Robert Nugent in the North Irish Horse; and John Nugent in the Royal Irish Rifles, Machine Gun Corps, Labour Corps and Royal Fusiliers.