Private Robert Henry Sterling



Robert Henry (Harry) Sterling was born on 28 October 1897 at 30 Yarrow Street, Belfast, the third of four children of book keeper (previously foundry manager, later commercial clerk) James Sterling and his wife Eleanor (nee Taylor). The 1911 Census shows him living with his parents and three siblings at Avonbeg Street, Belfast.

Sterling enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 2 and 15 September 1916 (No.2272 – later Corps of Hussars No.71732). He embarked for France in 1917 or 1918, where he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment – A, D or E.

At some point, perhaps when the regiment was converted to a cyclist unit in February-March 1918 and a quarter of its number were posted elsewhere, Sterling joined the 3rd (King's Own) Hussars. He was still with that regiment at the beginning of 1920.

After the war Sterling was employed as a civil servant. He married Lizzie McClean at the Windsor Presbyterian Church, Belfast, on 18 February 1926. He died at his home, 12 Luxor Gardens, Belfast, on 24 August 1937 and was buried in the Dundonald Cemetery.


Two of Sterling's cousins also served during the war. Robert Sterling, from Tandragee, served in the North Irish Horse and 7th (Queen's Own) Hussars, reaching the rank of captain, and Benjamin, in the Royal Marine Light Infantry. The two articles below give a good indication of the family connections.


Report following the death of Robert Henry Sterling's cousin, Benjamin, in the Portadown Times, 25 July 1924.


Report following the death of Robert Henry Sterling's father, James, in the Portadown Times, 8 October 1926.


Image of Private Sterling kindly provided by Bracken Anderson.