Private William Orr


William Orr was born on 19 February 1895 at Gransha, Islandmagee, County Antrim, the first of six children of farmer Robert James Orr and his wife Martha Jane Elizabeth (née Douglas). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 35 Ravenscroft Avenue, Belfast, with his aunt and her husband, and working as an apprentice mill mechanic.

Orr enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 6 October 1914 (No.1274). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France with a reinforcement draft for A and C Squadrons on 28 April 1915.

Later that year, or in early 1916, however, Orr fell ill. He was evacuated to the UK for treatment, where his aliment was diagnosed as 'VDH' – valvular disease of the heart. On 25 September 1916 he was discharged, being 'no longer physically fit for war service' (paragraph 392 (xvi), King's Regulations), and was granted a pension. By January 1921 his level of disability had improved to 6-14 per cent.