Private Bertie Acheson


The background of this North Irish Horseman is not known for certain, other than that he was born around 1890. He may have been the Robert Thomas (Bertie) Atchison born on 2 July 1887 at Ballyrashane, Coleraine, County Londonderry, the second of six children of farmer Thomas Atchison and his wife, National School teacher Matilda (née Acheson). (The Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour shows a Robert T. Acheson, Trooper North Irish Horse, from Islandeffrick, Coleraine.) By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Islandeffrick with his parents and two of his surviving four siblings and working on the family farm.

Acheson enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 7 September 1914 (No.1148 – later Corps of Hussars No.71252). On 20 January 1915 he embarked for France with a reinforcement draft for A and C Squadrons.

Little more is known of his military service, other than that, in November 1915, he spent a fortnight in the No.4 Stationary Hospital being treated for 'dental caries'.

Acheson remained with the regiment until the end of the war. On 19 March 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.