Lieutenant Robert James Herron



Robert James Herron (or Heron) was born on 16 August 1893 at Ballyclug, near Ballymena, Co. Antrim, son of farmer James Herron and his wife Mary (nee McAllen [or McKillen]).

A law clerk, he enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Ballymena on 5 April 1913 (No.827). He embarked for France with A Squadron on 17 August 1914.

On 11 October 1915 he was attached to the Military Mounted Police but just over a month later (20 November) he was badly injured when a bomb exploded under his horse and he was thrown off, the horse falling on top of him.

The relatives of Private Robert Heron, North Irish Horse, residing at Tully, Ballymena, have received intimation that he is at present in hospital suffering from a dislocated shoulder blade and a broken leg received in Flanders. It is understood that a bomb exploded close to his horse and he was thrown from his seat, the animal falling on top of him. Private Heron was called up at the outbreak of war, and had been at the front for over a year.
(Belfast News-Letter, 6 December 1915)

Herron was evacuated to the General Hospital at Northampton for treatment.

He returned to France on 16 January 1917 but soon after was recommended for a commission, joining the No.3 Officer Cadet Battalion at Bristol on 5 July. He was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant on 31 October 1917 and posted to the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers.

Soon after the Armistice he was sent to the Middle East to an Armenian Relief Camp. He was promoted to lieutenant on 30 April 1919 and temporary captain on 1 July that year. Herron then volunteered for the Army of Occupation in Palestine, serving in Beirut, before embarking for Egypt and being posted to the 17th Royal Sussex Regiment. He embarked for home on 11 March 1920.

He relinquished his commission on 1 April 1920.


Image from the Ballymena Weekly Telegraph of November 1917 kindly provided by Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster (