Private George Reynolds


The background of this North Irish Horseman is not known for certain, other than that he lived in Londonderry and was born around 1889. It seems probable, however, that he was the George Reynolds born on 20 May 1888 at Newtownbond, Granard, County Longford, one of eight children of coachman James Reynolds and his wife Sarah (née Needham). His father died on 15 July 1907.

George Reynolds enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 20 January 1915 (No.1415). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve depot before embarking for France on 17 November 1915 with F Squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 33rd Division.

In June 1916 F Squadron combined with C Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded and its men were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Reynolds, 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. Reynolds was issued regimental number 41185.

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

Reynolds was wounded in the right hand in the first half of 1918, probably in the fighting around Wulverghem and Mount Kemmel on the Ypres front in April that year. On 9 October that year he was discharged, being 'no longer physically fit for war service' (paragraph 392 (xvi), King's Regulations). He was granted a pension, his level of disability assessed at 30 per cent in June 1920.

Soon after his discharge Reynolds was living at 12 Grafton Street, Londonderry.

If he was the same man as the George Reynolds born in County Longford, by 1923 he was living in Magazine Street, Londonderry, and working as a bread server. On 20 December that year he married widow Winifred Street (née Fleming) in the Londonderry Registrar's Office.