Poppy In memoriam Poppy

Private George Galbraith

 

 

Galbraith 1

 

George Galbraith was born on 22 September 1889 at Moyadam, Nilteen Grange, County Antrim, one of thirteen children of labourer Samuel Galbraith and his wife Susanna (formerly Haddock).

By 1911 he was living at Glengormley, County Antrim, with his widowed mother and four of his siblings, and working as a labourer. The following year he married Annie Gault at St Anne's, Belfast. The couple had three children over the next four years – Albert, Alexander Gibb and Susanna.

Galbraith enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim on 24 or 25 May 1915 (No.1601). He embarked for France with F Squadron on 17 November that year.

In June 1916 F Squadron joined with C Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment. In September 1917 the regiment was dismounted and most of its officers and men were transferred to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – which was renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion. Like most of the men, Galbraith was transferred to the battalion on 20 September. He was issued a new regimental number – 41188.

In November and December 1917 the 9th Battalion played a role in the Battle of Cambrai, first going into action in the attack on the village of Moeuvres on 22-23 November. The battalion war diary for those days reads as follows:

[22 November] The Battn moved up at 6.30 a.m. to a position N. of Bapaume & Cambrai Road arriving at 8.30 a.m. Here the Battn waited for an order to attack Inchi when Moeuvres was taken by the 12th Royal Irish Rifles. At 11.45 a.m. the 12th R. Ir. Rifles captured village of Moeuvres. It was unable to clear trenches East of village. At 5.30 p.m. Battn moved up to support 12th R. Ir. Rifles in the village of Moeuvres. At 5.45 p.m. 12th R. Ir. Rifles reported driven out of village. At 8.30 p.m. Battn less 'D' Coy counter attacked village of Moeuvres but was driven back to trenches immediately south of the village, where it took up a defensive position for the night.

[23 November] Battn attacked Moeuvres at 10.30 a.m. At 11 a.m. Battn reported in village. At 11.45 a.m. enemy counter attacked from trenches West of village. 12.15 p.m. counter attack driven off. At 4.30 .p.m village evacuated by Battn on account of supports not coming up. 5 p.m. 'C' & 'D' Coys took up position on Sunken Road South of village and 'A' & 'B' Coys went back to trenches North of Bapaume & Cambrai Road.

Casualties for 22nd & 23rd: Officers killed 1. Officers wounded 6. ORs 82 casualties.

Galbraith was one of the 82 casualties. He died of wounds on 24 November at No.3 Casualty Clearing Station, Grevillers.

He is buried at the Grevillers British Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, France, grave VIII.B.2. His gravestone inscription reads:

9. 41188 PRIVATE
GEORGE GALBRAITH
ROYAL IRISH FUSILIERS
24TH NOVEMBER 1917

 

George Galbraith on the right

 

Galbraith seated on the left

 

Galbraith 3

In the picture above the grave is in the front row, second from the right.

 

Cemetery photos courtesy of Avalon Eastman. Photos of Private Galbraith and his comrades kindly provided by Laurence Galbraith.