Private William Frederick Carse


William Frederick Carse was born on 29 June 1893 at 13 Canning Street, Belfast, the eighth of nine children of labourer (later flax mill foreman) John Carse and his wife Sarah Charlotte (née Aiken). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living with his parents and six surviving siblings in Canning Street. Both parents died in the next three years.

By 1915 Carse was working as a clerk for the printing firm David Allen & Sons. He enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 2 June that year (No.1655 – later Corps of Hussars No.71486). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France, probably with E Squadron on 11 January 1916.

In May 1916 E Squadron came together with A and D 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. It then served as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

Carse was wounded – "blown up by [a] shell" in his words – and buried in late August or early September 1918 at the beginning of the Advance to Victory offensive. After treatment for deafness in hospitals in France, on 28 October 1918 he was transferred to the Labour Corps (No.636337) and posted to No.144 Company.

On 22 March 1919 Carse was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve. His military character was recorded as 'good'. He sought a pension, without success, for 'general debility' caused by the incident in September 1918 – "has been run down since ... [with] buzzing in head on exertion. General feeling of lassitude."

Carse died at his home, 377 Antrim Road, Belfast, on 20 November 1950.


One of Carse's brothers, James, also served in the war, as a sub-lieutenant in the Royal Naval Reserve.