Private George Reid


The early background of this North Irish Horseman is not known at present, other than that he was born in Belfast between 1879 and 1883. Around 1909 he married Sarah McKinley, the couple having five children over the next seven years. George worked as a coachman and a carter. At the time of the 1911 Census he was living with his wife and first child at 40.1 Sussex Street, Belfast. They later lived at 39 Louisa Street, 106 Nelson Street and 55 Everton Street.

Reid enlisted in the Royal Irish Regiment on 1 September 1914 (No.3510), serving with that regiment in the Egyptian Theatre from 26 October 1915. He was probably wounded or fell ill, for it seems he returned home at some point. Between 3 and 11 November 1917 he was transferred to the North Irish Horse (regimental number between 2677 and 2679 – Corps of Hussars No.71959).

In January 1918 Reid embarked for Egypt with a draft of North Irish Horsemen from the regimental reserve depot at Antrim. There he was attached to the 1/1st Staffordshire Yeomanry (Queen's Own Royal Regiment), serving with that regiment in the Palestine campaign.

While there Reid contracted malaria. He was discharged from the army on 9 July 1919, being 'no longer physically fit for war service' (paragraph 392 (xvi), King's Regulations). He was granted a pension due to the illness, which was assessed as causing a 30 per cent disability in May 1920. This had improved to 1-5 per cent by October 1921.

After the war Reid returned to 55 Everton Street, living there until his death in the Musgrave Park Hospital on 5 January 1957.