Lance Corporal Gerald Sloan


Gerald Sloan was born on 14 June 1884 at Kilkeel, County Down, the last of six children of baker William Sloan and his wife Mary Anne (née Chambers). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living in Greencastle Street, Kilkeel, with his widowed mother and a sister, and working as a baker.

Sloan enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Belfast on 8 October 1914 (No.1291). The Northern Whig of 12 October reported that:

Three members of the Kilkeel Mounted Company of the Ulster Volunteers, named Samuel Gordon, Gerald Sloan, and Samuel McMurray, have passed the required examination, and have left for Shane's Castle, County Antrim, to join the Irish Horse. There are now about thirty members of the Kilkeel Ulster Force in Lord Kitchener's Army.

On 5 February 1915, while training at the regiment's Antrim reserve depot, he was disciplined (with two extra stable guards) for being absent off his post whilst acting as sentry on horse lines and found in the canteen at 7.30pm.

On 28 April 1915 Sloan embarked for France with a reinforcement draft for A and C Squadrons. He was probably posted to the former.

'A' Squadron served as escort to the BEF's Commander-in-Chief at St Omer until 4 January 1916, when it was posted divisional cavalry to the 55th Division. In May that year the squadron came together with D and E Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII Corps.

Sloan fell ill with dysentery in September 1916. Treated at the 12th Stationary Hospital at St Pol, then the 14th Stationary Hospital at Boulogne, on 8 October he was evacuated to England, where he was admitted to the 2nd Western General Hospital at Manchester. On 28 October he was transferred to the Barton New Milton Convalescent Hospital, where he remained until discharged on 26 January 1917.

On 16 May 1917 Sloan was transferred to the Military Foot Police (No. P/10849) with the rank of lance corporal. He remained in that role until 11 August 1919, when he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.