Private Richard Alexander Wallace



Richard Alexander Wallace was born on 3 January 1897 at Tullyhona, Florencecourt, County Fermanagh, the twelfth of fifteen children of farmer Oliver Wallace and his Scottish-born wife Margaret (née McFarlane). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Tullyhona with his parents, seven of his ten surviving siblings, an uncle and a cousin.

Wallace enlisted at the Finner Camp, County Donegal, on 18 October 1914. He was only 17 years old at the time. It is probable that he joined the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Between 10 June and 6 July 1915, however, he transferred to the North Irish Horse (No.1697 – later Corps of Hussars No.71506). He embarked for France with a reinforcement draft for A, C and D Squadrons on 22 September that year. It is likely that he was posted to A Squadron, the unit in which his older brother was serving, commanded by Lord Cole of Florencecourt.

A Squadron served as escort to the BEF's Commander-in-Chief at St Omer until January 1916, when it was posted as divisional cavalry to the 55th Division. In May 1916 the squadron joined D and E 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, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

Wallace remained with the regiment throughout the war. He was wounded in the left hand and foot during the latter stages of the Advance to Victory offensive from August to November 1918. On 24 April 1919 he was discharged as 'surplus to military requirements, having suffered impairment since entry into the service' (paragraph 392 xvi(a), King's Regulations). He was granted a pension, his level of disability assessed at 30 per cent in November 1919. (This had reduced to 20% by April 1923.)

He served in the Royal Ulster Constabulary at some point after the force's creation in June 1922 (see image below).



Wallace married Christina Molyneaux in Belfast on 9 August 1922. Their daughter Janet was born the following year. By 1926 they were living at 493 Donegall Road, Belfast, Richard working as a motor driver. On 27 March that year he emigrated to Canada, his wife and child joining him there three years later. They later moved to the United States.

Wallace died on 26 August 1976 at Sayville, Suffolk County, New York and was buried in the Union Cemetery at Sayville.



Two of Wallace's brothers also served in the war. Donald McFarlane Wallace in the North Irish Horse, and William John Wallace in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron and 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers. William was killed in action on 23 October 1918.


First image of Wallace sourced from Public Member Trees - contributor 'LITexan57'. Second image kindly provided by his grand daughter Debbie Snowden Gianotti. Gravestone image sourced from the Find A Grave website.