Second Lieutenant Henry Ernest Craig


Henry Ernest Craig was born on 14 May 1884 at 10 Parkview Terrace, Belfast, the second of two children of Inland Revenue officer Henry Craig and his wife Elizabeth (nee Anderson). His mother died when he was just four years old and three years later his father re-married, to clergyman's daughter Jane (nee Mateer) of Mossbank. The couple had three children over the next five years.

Craig was educated at Campbell College, Belfast. By 1911 he was living at 18 Fitzroy Avenue, Belfast, and working as a clerical official with the Belfast Harbour Commission.

Craig enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Belfast on 1 October 1914 (No.1229 – later Corps of Hussars 71291), understating his age by three years. He was promoted to corporal on 7 November.

On 2 June 1916 he embarked for France with a small party of reinforcements. Craig was eventually posted to C Squadron, but while at Rouen waiting for orders, on 26 August he was severely reprimanded for insolence to a senior NCO.

On 20 January 1917 he was promoted to lance sergeant and on 4 March to sergeant.

Craig applied for a commission in the cavalry on 28 April 1917. He left France for the UK and after a period of leave, on 1 September reported for duty at the No.1 Cavalry Cadet School at Netheravon. On 23 February 1918 he was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant and posted to the 2nd Reserve Regiment of Cavalry.

Later that year he returned to France, where he was posted to the 3rd (King's Own) Hussars, joining it in November. He remained at the regiment's base depot until the following year, when he returned to the UK. He was demobilised on 11 May 1919 and relinquished his commission on 1 September 1921.

After the war, Craig returned to work at the Belfast Harbour Commission. He died at his home at 8 Sixth Avenue, Baylands, Bangor, on 25 May 1945. The following obituary appeared in the Northern Whig and Belfast Post:

Mr. Harry E. Craig ... had been an official of the Belfast Harbour Board from the age of 16 until his retirement about a year ago. An ex-Serviceman of the 1914-18 war, in which he served with the North Irish Horse, and, as a captain, with the 3rd Hussars, he afterwards became a sub-district commander in the "B" Special Constabulary, Antrim Road District, and during the present War held the rank of lieutenant in the Bangor Home Guard. He was a prominent member of the Masonic Order, a director and secretary of Dunmore Badminton Hall, and a member of Bangor Golf Club.