Lieutenant Thomas Ross Lockart Taylor Orr


Thomas Ross Lockart Taylor Orr was born on 11 July 1890 at Chronstown, Newtownards, County Down, the third of six children of farmer Henry Crawford Orr and his wife Mary (nee Milliken). His mother died when he was just ten years old. Educated at the Belfast Mercantile College, by 1911 he was living at Cronstown with his father and three siblings and working on the family farm.

Orr enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Newtownards on 4 June 1915, reporting for duty at the regimental reserve at Antrim three days later (No.1668). He was promoted to acting lance corporal on 22 July, lance corporal on 20 August, corporal on 23 September, lance sergeant on 26 October and sergeant on 18 November 1915.

Orr embarked for France on 29 June 1916, where he was posted to A Squadron, remaining with that unit until 8 February 1917 when he was posted to E Squadron.

On 14 January 1917 Orr applied for a commission in the cavalry. Supporting the application, his commanding officer Lord Cole wrote:

This N.C.O. has a good knowledge of horse mastership, is well educated and likely to make an efficient Cavalry officer.

Orr left the regiment for home on 24 March and after a period of leave, on 21 May 1917 reported for duty at the No.1 Cavalry Cadet School at Netheravon. He was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant on 25 August 1917 and posted to the 2nd Reserve Regiment of Cavalry.

Later that year or in early 1918 Orr was attached to the 7th (Queen's Own) Hussars, joining that unit in the Mesopotamian Theatre. In August 1918 he was given a special appointment, remaining in that post until the following year. On 25 February 1919 he was promoted to lieutenant.

Later that year, Orr contracted enteric fever (typhoid). He embarked from Basrah for treatment in England on 5 May 1919, where he was admitted to the 3rd London Hospital. On 26 September 1919 a medical board found him permanently unfit for any further military service, and on 4 November 1919 he relinquished his commission on account of ill-health contracted in the service.