Private James Turbitt


James Turbitt was born on 23 November 1891 at Urcher, Kilmore, County Monaghan, the seventh of eleven children of National School teacher David Turbitt and his wife Mary Jane (nee Wylie).

Turbitt enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Monaghan on 8 April 1910 (No.506). He stated that he was a farmer. He embarked for France on 20 August 1914 with C Squadron, seeing action in the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

He was mentioned in an interview with fellow Monaghan Horseman John Montgomery in the Larne Times on 3 July 1915:

Their duties consist principally of what Trooper Montgomery describes as police work. They are also employed to a large extent in carrying the wounded out of the trenches. At Crepy he had his horse shot from under him, but escaped unwounded himself. Up to the present he had come through without a scratch, but, of course, there were times that to escape seemed miraculous. There are several Monaghan men at the front, and the trooper remarked he was along with Trooper Jim Turbitt, of Urcher, Stranardan, who also had the good fortune to be unhurt so far.

On 8 October 1915 Turbitt was injured in the knee by a kick from a horse. He was treated at No.17 Casualty Clearing Station at Remy Siding and then admitted to the Australian Hospital at Wimereux. By November he was well enough to resume active service, and he was posted to A Squadron at Blendecques near St Omer.

On 7 April 1916 Turbitt's period of engagement expired and he elected to accept a discharge from the army. His military record was marked as "very good".


At least one of Turbitt's six brothers served during the war. David Turbitt was killed on 1 July 1916 on the Somme while serving with the 1st Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


Turbitt's medals, recently sold online