Shoeing Smith Albert Ashcroft


Albert Ashcroft was born on 21 February 1890 at Urble, Coagh, County Tyrone, the eleventh of fourteen children of horse trainer (later farmer) William Ashcroft and his wife Sarah (née Toss). Educated at Tamlaght National School, by the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Ballygonny Beg, Springhill, County Londonderry, with his parents and three of his ten surviving siblings, and working on the family farm.

Ashcroft enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 13 and 19 April 1915 (No.1481 – later Corps of Hussars No 71399). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France sometime between 1916 and 1918, possibly with E Squadron on 11 January 1916.

In May 1916 E Squadron came together with D and A 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. This meant a 25 per cent reduction in the regiment's numbers, and it is likely that this was the time that Ashcroft was transferred to the 8th (King's Royal Irish) Hussars.

On 2 May 1919 Ashcroft was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

Ashcroft emigrated to Canada on 21 September 1923, later moving to the United States. On 30 March 1930 he married Annie Margaret Buck at Elmira, New York. He died in Stamford, Connecticut, on 21 January 1963.


At least one of Ashcroft's brothers, Sergeant Hugh Ashcroft, also served in the North Irish Horse during the war.