Private John Reid



John Reid was born on 13 April 1892 at Serse, Mullaglass, County Armagh, the first of eight children of farmer Isaac Reid and his wife Sarah Jane (née Clegg). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Serse with his parents and his six surviving siblings.

Reid enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 12 or 13 May 1915 (No.1541 – later Corps of Hussars No.71430). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France on 11 January 1916 with E Squadron. In May 1916 E Squadron came together with A and D Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps until February-March 1918, when the regiment was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit. It then served as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

Reid was wounded in late September or early October 1918 during the Advance to Victory offensive, probably on 3 October, when E Squadron was camped east of Epehy, near the German defences on the St Quentin Canal. The squadron war diary recorded:

[1-2 October] Attached 100th Inf Brdge 33rd Division. Sent out a patrol under 2/Lt Downey to reconnoitre Canal de St Quentin ... preparatory to small raiding operations on following night which however never took place.

[3 October] 15 ORs Gassed by gas shelling. Sqdn moved forward to Battn H.Q. owing to report that enemy were retiring. This did not prove to be the case, so Sqdn moved back to previous location and were engaged in afternoon on salvage work.

On 25 February 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.


The above image, from the Belfast Weekly Telegraph of 26 February 1916, can be seen in its full context here.