Poppy In memoriam Poppy

Private Reginald George Armstrong

 

 

Armstrong 1

 

Reginald George Armstrong was born on 18 November 1897 at 54 Alphonsus Road, North Dublin, the first of two children of cashier Charles Bancroft Armstrong and his wife Frances Elizabeth (formerly Armstrong). His mother died when Reginald was just 5 years old, and three years later his father remarried – to Annie Mary Stewart, an auctioneer's daughter from Belfast. By 1911 he was living at Wigan Road, Drumcondra, his father working as book keeper to a cattle salesman and auctioneer. A year later they were living at Beechfield House, Clontarf.

Armstrong was educated at St Andrew's College, Dublin, and was soon after employed by the Scottish Union and National Insurance Company. According to the Irish Times was an old member of the 14th Dublin Company of the Boys' Brigade.

On 23 November 1915, just days after his eighteenth birthday, Armstrong enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim (No.1950 – later Corps of Hussars No.71643). After training at Antrim, on 12 October 1916 he embarked for France, where he was posted to E Squadron of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment.

In February and March 1918 the 1st Regiment was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps. On 26 March during the German spring offensive Armstrong and another man, John James Durneen, were on reconnaissance duty near Toutencourt, west of the old Somme front, when they were killed by a stray shell.

They were buried together at Toutencourt Communal Cemetery, Somme, France, Armstrong in grave I.B.2A. His gravestone inscription reads:

71643 PRIVATE
R. G. ARMSTRONG
NORTH IRISH HORSE
26TH MARCH 1918 AGE 20

HE DIED FOR US

 

Note: Due to an administrative error which recorded Armstrong as having embarked for France on 12 October 1915, it appears that his family was issued a 1915 Star together with his British War Medal and Victory Medal.

 

Gravestone image kindly provided by Steve Rogers, Project Co-ordinator of the The War Graves Photographic Project. Image of Private Armstrong from www.aviva.com.