Corporal Alexander Campbell


Alexander Campbell was born on 12 August 1895 at Gladhill, Stranocum County Antrim, the seventh of eight children of farmer William Campbell and his wife Mary Ann (née Robinson). His father died when he was just nine years old. By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Stranocum with his mother, four siblings, an aunt and a cousin, and working on the family farm.

Campbell enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 7 April 1915 (No.1475 – later Corps of Hussars No.71395). On 22 September 1915 he embarked for France with a reinforcement draft for A, C and D Squadrons – he was probably posted to A or D Squadron.

In May 1916 A and D Squadrons came together with E Squadron 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, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

The regiment saw action from 21 August 1918 on the Somme front during the Advance to Victory offensive. According to its war diary, from 21 to 31 August it lost two officers wounded, seven other ranks killed, one missing believed killed and 25 wounded.

Campbell was one of those wounded, in the right knee. Evacuated to the UK for treatment, on 4 June 1919 he was discharged, being 'no longer physically fit for war service' (paragraph 392 (xvi), King's Regulations). He was granted a pension due to his wound, his level of disability assessed at 40 per cent in May 1920.

Following his discharge, Campbell returned to Gladhill and worked as a carpenter. He died of pulmonary tuberculosis on 25 September 1924, aged 29.