Lance Corporal Wilfred Sloan



Wilfred Sloan was born on 11 August 1891 at 45 Stratheden Street, Belfast, the fifth of seven children of time keeper (later mercantile clerk) Joshua Sloan and his wife Sarah Jane (née Dubois). By the time of the 1911 Census he was working as an apprentice joiner and living in Bootle Street, Shankill, with his parents, a grandfather, and one of his three surviving siblings. (Three of his siblings had died within three months in 1897 – Ann of cerebral meningitis, Maggie of enteric fever (typhoid), and William of sub-acute phthisis (tuberculosis)).

On 5 April 1912 Sloan married Mary Elder at the Donegall Street Congregational Church. The couple had four children. The first, Mary, died in the Queen Street Hospital in 1915, and the second, Anne Jane, in the Royal Victoria Hospital in 1918 after being badly scalded in an accident.

Sloan enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 8 September 1914 (No.1168 – later Corps of Hussars No.71264). On 1 May 1915 he embarked for France with D Squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 51st Division.

In May 1916 D Squadron came together with A and E Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps.

On 7 January 1918 Sloan was one of thirteen members of the 1st NIH Regiment who transferred to the Tank Corps (No.305508). No further information has been located about his service with the Tank Corps through 1918. He probably trained at the Tank Corps Depot at Bovington near Wareham, Dorset, before being posted to one of the tank battalions in France.

After the war Sloan returned to Belfast and worked as a joiner. By 1972 he was living at 5 Alliance Drive, Belfast. He died on 26 August that year and was buried in the Dundonald Cemetery.


Wilfred Sloan with his wife Mary and one of their children


Sloan's brothers John, Joshua Robert, and Harold all served in the military during the war. Joshua, who was discharged from the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1919, died soon after due to chronic nephritis aggravated by his military service. As such, he meets the criteria for commemoration as a casualty of the war. A submission has therefore been made to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission through the In From the Cold Project.


Joshua Sloan


Images sourced from Public Member Trees - contributor Ruth Sloan Young.