Private William Victor Ferguson


William Victor Ferguson was born on 9 March 1896 in Mercer Street, Lisburn, County Down, the first of four children of painter William Ferguson and his wife Sarah (née Neill). Around the turn of the century he moved with his family to Belfast. By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 1 Mowhan Street with his parents and two surviving siblings and working as a painter.

Ferguson enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 16 February 1915 (No.1448). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve depot before embarking for France on 22 September 1915. There he was posted to A, C or D Squadron – probably C Squadron.

In June 1916 C Squadron combined with F Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded and its men were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Ferguson, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. Ferguson was issued regimental number 41312 and posted to C Company.

He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

Ferguson was one of the many posted as missing following the 9th (NIH) Battalion's fighting withdrawal from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918 during the German spring offensive. It was later learned that he had been seriously wounded, in the left arm.

Evacuated to the UK, Ferguson was discharged on 15 August 1918, being 'no longer physically fit for war service' (paragraph 392(xvi), King's Regulations). He was granted a pension, his level of disability being assessed at 60 per cent and permanent.

After the war Ferguson lived in Belfast and later worked as a customs and excise official. He died at his home, 44 Lancefield Road, Belfast, on 28 January 1957, and was buried in the Knockbreda Cemetery.