Corporal William Scott



The background of this North Irish Horseman is not known at present, other than that at the time of the war, he was living at 28 City Street, Belfast (between Sandy Row and Brittanic Streets). Belfast street directories show him living there until at least 1943, but in 1951 it was occupied by Mrs Alice Scott (perhaps his widow).

Scott enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 12 May 1915 (No.1534 – later Corps of Hussars No.71426). He embarked for France between 1916 and 1918, probably with E Squadron on 11 January 1916.

In May 1916 E Squadron joined with A and D Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, the V Corps until February-March 1918, when the regiment was dismounted and converted to a cyclist regiment. They then served as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

At the beginning of October 1918, during the Advance to Victory offensive, 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.

Scott was one of the men gassed that day.

On 1 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.


Image from the Belfast Evening Telegraph, from the last quarter of 1918, kindly provided by Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster (