Lance Corporal Henry Thistlethwaite


This North Irish Horseman was probably the Harry Thistlethwaite born on 17 April 1897 at Askwith, Yorkshire, the last of four children of policeman Daniel Thistlethwaite and his wife Mary Hannah (née Hudson). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 33 Westmoreland Street, Skipton, Yorkshire, with his parents and two of his siblings, and working as a post telegraph messenger.

Thistlethwaite enlisted in the Dragoons of the Line in the early years of the war (No.20339). Posted to the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons, he embarked for France in 1916 or the first half of 1917, possibly at the end of June 1916, having been posted to the headquarters establishment of the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment following the formation of that regiment in France from C and F Squadrons and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron. The headquarters, formed in England and comprising 40 officers and men, joined the new regiment in France at the beginning of July.

The 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment served as corps cavalry to X Corps until August-September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded and its men were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Thistlethwaite, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. Thistlethwaite was issued regimental number 41099 and posted to A Company.

Thistlethwaite was wounded during the Battle of Cambrai, probably in the fighting for the village of Moeuvres on 22 and 23 November 1917, but the injury was not severe, as he was back with the 9th (NIH) Battalion early in the new year. He was wounded again during the battalion's fighting withdrawal from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918 during the German spring offensive.

Nothing more has been discovered about his military service during the remainder of the war.

After the war Thistlethwaite returned to Skipton, where he was employed as a postman. He married Drusilla Hebden there in 1924.