Corporal Albert Victor Spence Dunseith



Albert (Bertie) Victor Spence Dunseith was born on 31 October 1898 at 42 Southport Street, Belfast, the first of three children of commercial traveller George Lemon Dunseith and his wife Alice Isabella (nee Spence). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living with his parents and a sibling at Old Cavehill Road, Belfast, his father working as manager of a belting shop. He was educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution.

Dunseith enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 22 March and 3 April 1916 (No.2137). He embarked for France in 1916 or the first half of 1917, where he was posted to the 1st or 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment.

In September 1917 the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment was disbanded and most of its men, together with some surplus to the needs of the 1st NIH Regiment, were transferred to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion. Like most of the men, Dunseith was transferred on 20 September. He was issued a new regimental number – 41364 – and was posted to B Company, where he served as a signaller. He probably saw action with the battalion in the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

Dunseith served with the 9th (NIH) Battalion for the remainder of the war. One record states that he was wounded, but details are not known at present. He was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, in 1919.

In July 1922 Dunseith emigrated to Canada, where he settled in Ontario, working as a travelling salesman and later as a truck driver. On 4 June 1923 he married Clara Ashworth, but they were later divorced. On 29 April 1936 he married Edna Jessie Wilson, the family moving to England the following year. Dunseith died at his home, 21 Crossfield Road, Swiss Cottage, London, on 10 September 1939. He was buried in Carnmoney Cemetery, County Antrim.


The image above was drawn on an envelope by Corporal Dunseith's uncle Davy McGowan, and posted to him in France near the end of the war.


Image of Albert Dunseith and some of the biographical information sourced from Vic Boyd, via Nick Metcalfe's Blacker's Boys. Envelope image kindly provided by Vic Boyd.