Private Thomas George Oakman


Thomas George Oakman was born on 20 November 1896 at Clontyclay, Loughgall, County Armagh, the second of four children of railway porter William Oakman and his wife Mary (née Stephenson). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living with his parents and siblings at 16 Halliday's Road, Belfast, and working as a message boy.

Oakman enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 8 September 1914 (No.1166 – later Corps of Hussars No.71262). 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.

Oakman remained with the regiment throughout the war, though how much time he spent in France and Belgium with D Squadron and how much at the Antrim depot is not known at present.

On 27 June 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.