Private James Walsh


The background of this North Irish Horseman is not known at present, other than that he was born about 1894 and two addresses given for him are Lismontigley, Raphoe, County Donegal, and Gortongher, Sion Mills, County Tyrone. He may have been the James Walsh born on 26 August 1891 at Ballindrait, Strabane, County Donegal, one of ten children of riddle-maker (a riddle is a sieve), later farmer, William Walsh and his wife Rebecca (née Divan). By the time of the 1911 Census the family was living at Gortinreagh, Clonleigh, North Donegal, James working as a nurseryman.

Walsh enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 5 April 1913 (No.829). He embarked for France with C Squadron on 20 August 1914, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

By March 1916 C Squadron was serving as divisional cavalry to the 3rd Division, and supplying regular working parties to the front at Voormezeele on the Ypres front. Late that month Walsh was injured in an accident, fracturing several bones in his foot. Initially treated at the 18th General Hospital at Camiers, on 28 March he was evacuated to the UK.

On 21 August 1916 Walsh was discharged, being no longer physically fit for war service (paragraph 392 xvi, King's Regulations) due to his injury. He was granted a pension – as late as September 1922 his level of disability was assessed at 20 per cent.