Lieutenant Alexander (Lex) Doveton John Brennan



Alexander Doveton John Brennan was born on 16 February 1895 at Modder River, South Africa, the first of five children of farmer Alexander Brennan and his wife Edith Sarah (nee Hudson). By 1901 his family had returned to their farm at Bentra, Templecorran, County Antrim, where they remained over the next decade. At the beginning of 1912 he began work as a linen apprentice for the firm of J.A. Thompson & Co.

Brennan enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Belfast on 1 October 1914 (No.1226). He was promoted to corporal on 7 November 1914, and sergeant on 9 February the following year. On 17 November 1915 he embarked for France with F Squadron.

In the latter part of 1916 he fell ill, his mother writing to military authorities on 12 November:

I would be so very much obliged if you would furnish me with any information regarding my son, Sgt. A.D.J. Brennan North Irish Horse Reg. No. 1226, whom you reported ill in France on Nov. 3rd. If you could even furnish me with his address I would be thankful as we have had no word from him directly for 3 weeks.

At about the same time Brennan had applied for a commission. He returned to the UK for officer cadet training on 21 February 1917, reporting for duty after a period of leave to No.1 Cavalry Cadet Squadron, Netheravon, on 23 April.

Brennan was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant on 25 August 1917 and posted to the 2nd Reserve Regiment of Cavalry at Newbridge. He was later attached to the 4th Hussars and on 25 February 1919 was promoted to lieutenant.

He relinquished his commission on completion of his service on 18 March 1919.

Before the war Brennan had been an accomplished Rugby player. On New Year's Day 1920 he played in a Rest of Ulster team in a trial match against Belfast at Ormeau.

Brennan later moved to England. He married Grace Eileen Lalor in Sleaford, Linclonshire, in 1924. In June 1926 he was appointed an inspector for the Ministry for Agriculture and Fisheries, later reaching the position of Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer. In 1953 he was awarded a CBE (Civil Division).

He died in England on 22 July 1975.

The above image, showing Brennan and his wife at the Palace to receive his CBE, is sourced from Brennan Family Chronicles.