Corporal James Montgomery Todd


James Montgomery Todd was born on 15 July 1898 at Ballywillin, Cairncastle, County Antrim, the second of five children of farmer Henry Shaw Todd and his wife Margaret (née Gilliland). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Ballywillin with his parents and three siblings.

Todd enlisted in the North Irish Horse at some point following the declaration of war in August 1914 (regimental number unknown). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp until November 1916, when he and around 100 other North Irish Horsemen volunteered to transfer to the Royal Irish Rifles. The formal transfer took place on 7 December (Todd was issued regimental number 40848), and on that day the men embarked for France. There they were posted to the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, joining it on the Somme front on 12 December.

By 1918 Todd had been posted to the 2nd Battalion (C Company), Royal Irish Rifles. He was captured near Cugny near St Quentin on 21 March at the beginning of the German spring offensive, remaining a prisoner (held at the Stendal camp) until the end of the war. Following his release he arrived at Dover on 27 November 1918.