Private Thomas Andrew Harrison



Thomas Andrew Harrison was born on 25 August 1898 at Tullyrahan, Castleblayney, County Monaghan, the tenth of twelve children of farmer Robert Harrison and his wife Margaret Ann (née Martin). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Tullyrahan with his parents, four of his nine surviving siblings and a nephew.

Harrison enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 4 or 5 January 1915 (No.1381). On 17 November 1915 he embarked for France with F Squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 33rd Division.

In June 1916 F Squadron combined with C 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 transferred to the the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Harrison, were transferred on 20 September and were posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. Harrison was issued regimental number 41183 and posted to D Company.

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

Harrison 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 captured, unwounded, on 27 March at Erches, near Roye, when much of the battalion had been overwhelmed by the fast-moving German advance. Harrison remained a prisoner until the end of the war, held at camps in Giessen and Münster. He arrived back in the UK, at Hull, on 30 November 1918.

On 26 March 1919 Harrison was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

Harrison emigrated to the USA in 1920, arriving in New York on 3 October. He listed his occupation as 'draper'. On 13 November 1924 he married Catherine Lessels. He died in New Jersey in August 1971.


Two of Harrision's brothers also served during the war - John Joseph in the Royal Engineers, and Robert in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


Image sourced from, Public Member Trees - contributor Susan Cansdale.