Private Fergus Robert Massey Galway


Fergus Robert Massey Galway was born on 24 August 1878 at 6 Rosewood Street, Belfast, the only child of yarn presser Robert Galway and his wife Agnes (nee Irvine). His father had died four months before he was born, and he was brought up in Belfast by his mother and her sister.

On 29 September 1909 he married Mary Anderson at Bloomfield Independent Church, Belfast. By the time of the 1911 Census the couple and their child Samuel were living at Dunraven Avenue, Fergus working as a vanman.

Galway enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 8 November 1915. (His regimental number one of the following: 1801, 1806, 1814, 1819, 1824 or 1825).

At the end of December 1916 Galway was one of forty North Irish Horsemen who volunteered to transfer to the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. The transfer took place on 9 January 1917, the same day they embarked for France, where they were posted to the 10th Battalion, joining it at Ploegsteert Wood on the Ypres front. He was issued regimental number 40643. He probably saw action with the battalion at Messines (June 1917) and Langemarck (16 August 1917).

In November and December 1917 the 10th Battalion was involved in the Battle of Cambrai, particularly at Moeuvres and south of Marcoing. Galway was wounded in his left elbow at this time. The injury was severe enough to prevent him from seeing any further active service, and on 3 July 1918 he was discharged (paragraph 392 xvi, King's Regulations).

He was granted a pension – as late as 1922 his disability was assessed at 30 per cent.

Galway later found work as a bread server. By 1946 he was living with his wife at 8 Dunraven Avenue. He died on 6 November that year at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast.