Private Daniel Ballentine


Daniel Ballentine was born on 27 July 1895 at 2 Raleigh Street, Belfast, the eighth of twelve children of carpenter Daniel Ballentine and his wife Agnes (née Ferris). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living in Agnes Street, Shankill, Belfast, with his parents and seven of his ten surviving siblings, and working as a messenger.

Ballentine enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 8 or 9 November 1915 (No.1827). At the end of June 1916 he embarked for France, where he was posted to one of the squadrons of the 1st or 2nd North Irish Horse Regiments – probably C or F Squadron of the 2nd Regiment.

In May and June 1916 C Squadron combined with F Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, and A, D and E Squadrons combined to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, each serving as corps cavalry units. In September 1917 the 2nd NIH Regiment was disbanded and its men, together with some surplus to the needs of the 1st NIH Regiment, were transferred to the infantry. Like most, Ballentine was posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – on 20 September, joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. He was issued regimental number 41545 and posted to C Company.

Ballentine was listed as 'wounded and missing' following the battalion's attack on the village of Moeuvres on 22 and 23 November 1917 during the Battle of Cambrai. It was later learned that he had been made a prisoner of war, suffering from a serious wound in his right hip and frost bite in his left foot.

Ballentine's right leg had to be amputated. He was later held at camps at Valenciennes, Limburg and Münster before, in mid-August 1918, being returned to England, There he was admitted to the 1st London General Hospital at Camberwell for further treatment. It was not until 9 November 1920 that he was discharged from the army. He was granted a pension, his level of disability rated at 100 per cent.

After his discharge Ballentine returned to Belfast, living with his family at 20 Agnes Street. He died there on 12 March 1952 and was buried in the City Cemetery.


At least one of Ballentine's brothers, Charles Ferris Ballentine, also served in the war, in the Army Service Corps (Motor Transport).