Sergeant Joseph Thompson



The family background of this North Irish Horseman is not known at this stage, other than that he was born around 1865.

Thompson enlisted in the 12th (Prince of Wales's) Royal Lancers (probably in the 1890s regimental number 2610), and served with the regiment in South Africa during the Boer War, rising to the rank of sergeant before his discharge from the army around 1909-10.

On 24 January 1910 he married 23 year-old Jane Mary Crawley at Hillsborough Church of Ireland Parish Church, County Down. Their first child was born soon after at Castlegore, County Mayo, where Thompson was working as a land steward. By the time of the 1911 Census, however, he was living as an army pensioner with his wife and daughter in Main Street, Hillsborough.

Thompson enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 5 October 1914 (No.1271). Aged 49 at the time, he was immediately promoted to sergeant given his previous cavalry experience. He remained on home service at the regimental reserve depot at Antrim until 9 July 1917, when he and about thirty other men of the regiment were transferred to the Labour Corps (No.333696) – he was posted to the 395th Home Service Labour Company.

On 23 May 1918 Thompson was discharged, 'being no longer physically fit for war service and surplus to military requirements, having suffered impairment since entry into the service' (paragraph 392 (xvi)(a), King's Regulations). He was granted a pension due to his deteriorating health.

Following his discharge Thompson lived in Main Street, Hillsborough, and Bachelor's Walk, Lisburn, but was later admitted to the Hilden Convalescent Hospital in Belfast, where he died on 12 January 1924. He was buried in the Hillsborough Churchyard.


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