Private Frederick WIlliam Gifford


Frederick William Gifford was born on 26 October 1880 at Banford, Tullylish, County Down, the second of ten children of foreman bleacher James Baxter Gifford and his wife Mary (née Morgan). During the 1890s he emigrated to South Africa, serving in the constabulary during the Boer War until discharged as physically unfit for police duties. He later returned to Ireland, and by the time of the 1911 Census was living ar Newtown, Rosstrevor, County Down, and working as a linen clerk.

Gifford enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Downpatrick on 31 August 1914 (No.1058).

In December 1914 he embarked with D Squadron for England, where they camped at Cople, near Bedford, awaiting orders for France. Gifford, however, was found to be suffering from varicose veins, and on 12 January 1915 he was discharged being 'no longer physically fit for military service' (paragraph 392xvi, King's Regulations). His military character was recorded as 'very good'.

Following his discharge Gifford lived at Castlewellan, County Down. By 1921, however, he was living at 4 Ballymoney Street, Belfast, and working as a cloth passer. On 22 August that year he married Mary Clifford at St Silas Church of Ireland Parish Church, Belfast.