Private Stewart Wilson


Stewart Wilson was born on 5 September 1887 at 14 Kiln Street, Newry, County Armagh, the second of ten children of groom (later labourer) Archibald Wilson and his wife Rose Ann (née Cunningham). His father died when he was just thirteen years old. Four years later his mother remarried, to gardener Thomas Ballantine, the couple having two children before Thomas's death in January 1909. At the time of the 1911 Census, Stewart was living at Carnagat, Newry, with his mother and five siblings, and working as a van man. The family later lived at 7 Erskine Place in Newry, where Stewart's mother died on 13 May 1917.

Wilson enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 18 May 1915 (No.1570 – later Corps of Hussars No.71446). He gave his occupation as carter. 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.

Wilson remained with the regiment until the end of the war, returning to the UK on 26 February 1919. Ten days later at Newry he re-enlisted in the 8th (King's Royal Irish) Hussars (Corps of Hussars No.80724 – later Army No.533937). He served with the Hussars in India from November 1919 to October 1920, Mesopotamia from October 1920 to October 1921, and Egypt from October 1921.

On 2 January 1922, while in the Citadel Military Hospital in Cairo, he died from a self-inflicted head-wound.


At least one of Wilson's brothers also served in the war. Archibald Wilson joined the Royal Air Force on 23 September 1918, serving as a batman until demobilised five months later.