Private Samuel Ritchie



Samuel Ritchie was born on 6 December 1890 at Annaghmartin, Rosslea, County Fermanagh, the fourth of six children of farmer William Ritchie and his wife Clara Jane (née Pritchard). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Annaghmartin with his parents and siblings, and working as a labourer.

Ritchie enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 28 June and 29 July 1912 (No.719 – later Corps of Hussars No.71083). He embarked for France with A Squadron on 17 August 1914, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

A Squadron served as escort and bodyguard to the BEF's commander-in-chief at St Omer from October 1914 until January 1916, when it was posted as divisional cavalry to the 55th Division. In May 1916 the squadron came together with D and E 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.

Ritchie remained with the regiment for much (if not all) of the war, although how much time he spent in Frnace and Belgium, and how much in Ireland, is not known at present. One record suggests he may have served for a period with the Gloucestershire Hussars, elements of which served in Egypt and Ireland during the war.

On 17 February 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

On 26 January 1917 Ritchie had married Nellie (Ellen Jane) Fox in the Drew Memorial (St Philip's) Church of Ireland Church, Belfast. The couple later lived in Clones, County Monaghan, where their children William John and Samuel were born in 1920 and 1922. They were later allocated a soldier's cottage in Brookeborough, County Fermanagh.

He died on 21 November 1970 and is buried in the Clogh Church of Ireland Churchyard, Rosslea.



Ritchie's name is included on the Roll of Honour in the Clogh Church (below).



Gravestone image sourced from the Find a Grave website. Images of Ritchie and the Clogh Church's Roll of Honour kindly provided by Charlotte Murtagh.


This page last updated 11 March 2024.