Private Robert Wilson


Robert Wilson was born on 10 November 1899 at Ballynakillew Mountain, Ballintra, County Donegal, the third last of at least fourteen children of farmer Alexander Wilson and his wife Sarah Anne (née Morrow). His mother died when he was just a year old. By the time of the 1911 Census he and his twin brother Hamilton were living as boarders at Tullyhorky, Ballyshannon, at the home of farmer William Scott and his wife Annie. By 1917 he was working as a hall porter at the Powerscourt estate, Enniskerry, County Wicklow.

Wilson enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Dublin on 15 December 1917, reporting for duty at Antrim two days later. He was issued regimental number 2759 (later Corps of Hussars No.72013).

He embarked for France on 23 November 1918 (twelve days after the end of the war) with a reinforcement draft for the North Irish Horse Cyclist Regiment, joining it in the field on 10 December. On 7 June 1919, with around twenty other North Irish Horsemen, he transferred to the Army Cyclist Corps (No.23924) and was posted to IV Corps Cyclist Regiment, part of the Army of Occupation based in Rolsdorf, Germany.

While at Rolsdorf, on 16 July, he was awarded five days' confined to barracks for 'not complying with an order in failing to report to 2/3 West Riding Field Ambulance when ordered to do so'.

Wilson was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 12 November 1919.

By 1925 he was living at Brownhall, Ballintra, and working as a farmer. On 14 April that year he married Susan Maria Arnold in the Ballintra Church of Ireland Parish Church.