Private William Patterson


The background and post-war life of this North Irish Horseman are not known for certain, but it seems probable that he was the William Patterson born on 29 January 1893 in Scotch Quarter, Carrickfergus, County Antrim, the second of four children of carding master William Patterson and his wife Margaret (née McDermott). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 21 Agnes Street, Carrickfergus, with his parents, siblings and a cousin, and working as an assistant reeling master.

Patterson enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 27 September 1915 (No.1732 – later Corps of Hussars No.71527). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France sometime between 1916 and 1918, where he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment. This regiment served as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps from its establishment in May 1916 until February-March 1918, when it was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

Patterson remained with the regiment throughout the war. On 18 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

On 28 September 1921 he married Emily Thompson Taylor in the Antrim Road Baptist Church, Belfast. William emigrated to Canada in May 1926, his wife and children joining him at Winnipeg soon after. The following year, however, Emily was brutally murdered. She was the last victim of serial killer Earle Nelson, dubbed 'The Gorilla', who was later convicted and hanged for the crime. (See article below.)


Lurgan Mail, 18 June 1927


This page last updated 28 December 2023.