Private Thomas Pollock


Thomas Pollock was born on 10 December 1893 at Cronstown, Newtownards, County Down, the eighth of thirteen children of labourer James Pollock and his wife Ellen (née Beattie). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at nearby Ballygrainey on the farm of John Kennedy, where he worked as a labourer.

Pollock enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 8 and 19 October 1915 (No.1743). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France in 1916 or the first half of 1917, where he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st or 2nd North Irish Horse Regiments.

In August-September 1917 the 2nd NIH Regiment was disbanded and its men, together with some surplus to the needs of the 1st NIH Regiment, were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Pollock, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. Pollock was issued regimental number 41277 and posted to C Company.

He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

Pollock was one of the many posted as missing following the 9th (NIH) Battalion's fighting withdrawal from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918 during the German spring offensive. It was later learned that he had been captured on 26 March. He remained a prisoner until the end of the war, held at camps in Stendal and Diedenhofen.

Following his repatriation Pollock lived with his widowed mother and four siblings at Herdstown, Donaghadee. Soon after, however, he emigrated to Canada, where he found work at the Premier Gold Mining Company in British Columbia. He died on 29 September 1932 near Angle Station No.1 in Tongass National Forest at Hyder, Alaska, when he fell from a tram bucket when four towers of the Premier mine line collapsed. He was buried in Barney's Gulch Cemetery, Stewart, British Columbia.


At least one of Pollock's brothers, James, also served in the war, with the Royal Irish Rifles and Royal Irish Fusiliers, having enlisted at the beginning of the war and served in France from December 1915. Twice wounded, James's mother was once incorrectly informed that he had been killed in action. He died of influenza in France on 7 December 1918.