Private Thomas David Bratty




Thomas David Bratty was born on 3 April 1894 in High Street, Lurgan, the third of ten children of manufacturer's clerk William John Bratty and his wife Martha (nee Wright). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living with his parents and eight siblings at Windsor Avenue, Lurgan and serving an apprenticeship.

Bratty enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 23 or 24 November 1915 (No.1958). He embarked for France in 1916 or the first half of 1917, where he was posted to the 1st or 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment.

In September 1917 the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment was disbanded and most of its men, together with some surplus to the needs of the 1st NIH Regiment, were transferred to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion. Like most of the men, Bratty was transferred on 20 September. He was issued a new regimental number – 41475 – and was posted to B Company. It is likely that he saw action with the battalion in the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

Bratty was one of the many listed as missing following the 9th (NIH) Battalion's fighting withdrawal from St Quentin to near Amiens from 21 to 28 March 1918. It was later learned that he had been captured, unwounded, on 22 March near Seraucourt le Grand.

Bratty remained a prisoner until the end of the war, held at camps in Cassel, Zwickau and Chemnitz. He is also said to have been put to work in the salt mines in Silesia. He was repatriated at the end of 1918 or in January 1919, and soon after was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

After the war Bratty emigrated to New Zealand where, in 1925, he married Helen Frances Sloane. He died on 13 May 1971 and was buried in the Maunu Cemetery, Whangarei, New Zealand.


Images and some of the biographical information above sourced from Nick Metcalfe's Blacker's Boys.