Shoeing Smith Christopher Fleming

 

This North Irish Horseman was probably the Mathew Christopher Fleming born on 17 June 1897 at Kilfree Junction, Boyle, County Sligo, the first of four children of railway porter Edward Fleming and his wife Bridget (née Boylan). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Drumduff, Florencecourt, County Fermanagh, with his widowed mother and three siblings and working as an agricultural labourer.

Fleming enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 28 or 29 April 1915 (No.1499 – later Corps of Hussars No.71406). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve depot before embarking for France sometime between 1916 and 1918, possibly with E Squadron on 11 January 1916.

In May 1916 E Squadron came together with D and A 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. This meant a 25 per cent reduction in the regiment's numbers, and it is likely that this was the time that Fleming was transferred to the 11th (Prince Albert's Own) Hussars.

On 25 January 1919 Fleming was discharged, suffering from 'wyspuoea' (dyspoea?). He was granted a pension until 1920. (Another record states that he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 21 May 1919.)

After the war Fleming lived with his brother Edward Joseph at Newtate, Florencecourt, where they applied for a land grant under the Irish Land (Provision for Sailors and Soldiers) Act 1919.

Fleming later lived at 30 Centre Street, Glasgow.

 

His brother Edward also served in the war, in the Royal Irish Rifles.