Private Benjamin Watt Taggart


Benjamin Watt Taggart was born on 13 March 1883 at Correen, Broughshane, County Antrim, the fourth of eight children of farmer (later labourer) James Taggart and his wife Ann (née Watt). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Knockboy, Broughshane, with his parents and two of his surviving six siblings, and working as an agricultural labourer.

Taggart enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 11 and 24 December 1914 (No.1356 – later Corps of Hussars No.71348). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve depot before embarking for France sometime between 1916 and 1918, possibly with E Squadron on 11 January 1916.

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

Taggart remained with the regiment throughout the war. On 25 February 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

After the war Taggart returned to Knockboy. On 13 March 1919 he married Mary Ireland in the High Kirk, Ballymena.