Private Samuel James Harcourt


Samuel James Harcourt was born on 15 April 1893 at 38 Kilronan Street, Belfast, the first of four children of merchantile clerk Samuel James Harcourt and his wife Margaret (née McCullough). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 64 Cavehill Road, Belfast, with his parents and siblings, and working as a linen apprentice.

Harcourt enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 9 September 1914 (No.1183). His younger brother, William Lyttle Harcourt, had joined the regiment just a few days earlier. On 1 May 1915 they embarked for France with D Squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 51st Division.

In May 1916 D Squadron came together with A and E Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, initially serving as corps cavalry to VII Corps.

At some point in 1916 or early 1917 Harcourt was evacuated to the UK, either sick, wounded or injured. He was discharged from the army on 7 May 1917, being 'no longer physically fit for war service' (paragraph 392(xvi), King's Regulations). He was immediately granted a pension, due to rheumatism and shell-shock – as late as March 1923 his level of disability was assessed at 30 per cent.

Harcourt later worked as a civil servant. By 1952 he was living at 190 Connsbrook Avenue, Belfast. He died (on the way to the Royal Victoria Hospital) on 29 September that year, aged 59.