Private Robert Harshaw


Robert Harshaw was born on 10 February 1896 at Ringclare, Donaghmore, County Down, the second of six children of farmer Hugh Todd Harshaw and his wife Jane (née Jardine). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 9 Sandy Street, Newry, at the home of ironmonger Thomas James Rea, for whom he worked as an apprentice.

Harshaw enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 12 May 1915 (No.1529 – later Corps of Hussars No.71423). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp 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 A and D 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, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

Harshaw remained with the regiment throughout the war. On 28 February 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

On 1 July 1920 Harshaw emigrated to Canada, where he married Edith Eileen Dill. He died at Victoria, British Columbia, on 8 May 1994 and was buried in the Nelson Memorial Park.




Harshaw's brother, William James, also served in the war. He enlisted in the Royal Irish Rifles on 19 September 1914 (at the age of just 16), serving with the BEF in France and Belgium, and with the Army of Occupation in Germany, from October 1915 to June 1920. He was wounded in the left ankle on 11 April 1918.


Gravestone image sourced from the Find-a-Grave website. Newspaper clipping sourced from Public Member Trees - contributor Doranne Hardt.