Lieutenant Henry Percy Connar


Henry Percy Connar was born on 14 September 1890 at 8 Garmoyle Terrace, Belfast, the twelfth of fourteen children of National School teachers James Connar and his wife Isabella (nee Lindsay). He was educated at Skegoneil School and Esdales College, Belfast, and by 1911 was living with his family at 20 Chichester Avenue and working as a commission agent.

Connar enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Belfast on 3 September 1914 (No.1091). He embarked for France with D Squadron on 1 May 1915.

On 30 December 1915 he applied for a commission in the Royal Irish Fusiliers. He left France in March the following year, reporting for duty at No.7 Officer Cadet Battalion at the Curragh on 29 May.

Connor was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant on 26 September 1916 and was posted to the General List of officers for duty with the Royal Flying Corps. After several months in the Balloon Training Wing, on 27 April 1917 Connor transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers. (He married Kathleen Mary Stracey at St Anne's in Belfast the following day.) He arrived in France on 15 May and was posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion, joining it in the field on the Ypres front a fortnight later. He was posted to C Company.

Connor saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Messines on 7 June and Battle of Langemarck on 16 August 1917. For a short period from 30 June he was attached to the 12th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles.

On 27 December 1917 Connar transferred to the Tank Corps, leaving France for training at the Tank Corps depot at Bovington Camp in England. He was posted to the 16th Battalion. He was promoted to lieutenant on 26 March 1918.

On 29 July Connar was proceeding to his quarters prior to leaving for Dorchester to purchase stores of behalf of his company. On turning by Bovington Post Office he swerved to avoid colliding with a motor lorry. The pedal of his bicycle caught the road, throwing him off and causing a bad break to his ankle. He saw no further active service and on 18 November 1918 applied for a war gratuity as a result of the accident and the impact it had on his prospects for resuming his work as a commercial traveller.

Connar was released from service on 25 February 1919 and relinquished his commission on 1 September 1921. He lived at 'Whinfield', Greenisland, County Antrim.

In February 1934 he was appointed as a clerk, special class, Inland Revenue Department.

When war was declared in 1939 he unsuccessfully applied for an appointment in the Army Officers' Emergency Reserve.


Connar's brother, James Roy Lindsay Connar, also served in the North Irish Horse. He also went to France with D Squadron, and was later commissioned, serving in the Royal Irish Fusiliers before being badly wounded on 21 March 1918.