Corporal Alexander Lyons Smyth


Smyth (right) with an unidentified North Irish Horseman


Alexander Lyons Smyth was born on 20 March 1897 at Straid, Claudy, County Londonderry, the ninth of ten children of labourer Robert Smyth and his wife Eliza Jane (née Whiteside). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Straid with his parents and four of his eight surviving siblings.

Smyth enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 25 November and 2 December 1915 (No.2005 – later Corps of Hussars No.71666). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France sometime between 1916 and 1918, where he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment. This regiment served as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps from its establishment in May 1916 until February-March 1918, when it was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

Smyth remained with the regiment throughout the war. He was wounded in September or October 1918 during the Advance to Victory offensive.

On 12 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

After the war Smyth lived in Londonderry and worked as a salesman. On 16 October 1924 he married Dorah May Brady. He died at his home, 11 Harding Street, on 19 March 1956 and was buried in the Londonderry City Cemetery.


Image sourced from Public Member Trees - contributor Claire Smith.