Lance Corporal Richard Jackson Torrance


Richard Jackson Torrance was born on 8 July 1896 in Hope Street, Larne, County Antrim, the third of four children of Royal Irish Constabulary sergeant William Torrance and his wife Annie (née Jackson). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living in Hillhall Road, Lisburn, with his widowed father and two of his siblings. He was later apprenticed as a clerk to the linen firm Barbour & Son.

Torrance enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim on 25 May 1915 (No.1602 – later Corps of Hussars No.71466). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France on 11 January 1916 with E Squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 34th Division.

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. It then served as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

Torrance remained with the regiment until 6 June 1918, when he was transferred to the Military Mounted Police (No. P/15696). There he was promoted to lance corporal and posted to No.2 Traffic Control Squadron. He returned to the UK on 6 July 1919 and on 4 August was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve. His military character and conduct were recorded as 'excellent – sober, trustworthy and hardworking'.