Company Quartermaster Sergeant William Arthur Quinn


William Arthur Quinn was born on 11 November 1890 at Drummal, County Fermanagh, the first of seven children of clerk (later land agent) William Quinn and his wife National School teacher Anna Bella (nee Cathcart). By 1911 Quinn was living with his family at Drumarky, near Lisnarick, County Fermanagh, and working as a farmer.

Quinn enlisted in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron between 6 and 10 October 1914 (No. UD/18).

He embarked for France with his squadron on 6 October 1915. At the time the squadron was serving as divisional cavalry to the 36th (Ulster) Division. According to the squadron war diary, from 12 to 17 October Sergeant Quinn and Captain Hulse attended a bombing class. On 26 January 1916 the diary noted that:

2/Lieuts Matthews & McWilliam, Sergt Quinn & Lce Sergt Reid proceeded to the Div. School of Instruction at Le Meillard.

In June 1916 the Inniskilling squadron came together with C and F Squadrons of the North Irish Horse to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until August 1917. On 5 July 1916, while engaged on salvage duty at Aveluy Wood, Quinn was wounded when his party came under heavy artillery fire. The regimental diary stated in part:

Lt Seymour with his party had reached about 1 mile along the road & turned down a lane leaving the horses in charge of Sergt Quinn. Almost immediately a heavy fire was brought to bear on the horses and Sergt Quinn was wounded. The horses stampeded in every direction, some back to Aveluy Wood.

In September 1917 the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment was dismounted and most of its men transferred to infantry. The majority, including Quinn, were transferred to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers, on 20 September. The battalion was renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse). Quinn was issued a new regimental number – 41097. As he had been acting squadron quartermaster sergeant, Quinn was made acting company quartermaster sergeant in the new battalion. He was later confirmed in that rank.

Quinn was transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 3 March 1919.