Private Alfred Holden



The background of this North Irish Horseman is not clear, but he may be the Alfred Holden born on 11 December 1896 at Cloghmore, Rosslea, County Fermanagh, the fourth of seven children of sexton and farmer Thomas Holden and his wife Margaret (nee Gordon). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Cloghmore with his parents and six siblings and working on the family farm.

Holden enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 10 and 12 August 1914 (No.989 – later Corps of Hussars No.71187). He embarked for France with C Squadron on 17 August 1914, less than a week after his enlistment, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

Holden  remained with the regiment throughout the war, having at some point either transferred to one of the three squadrons of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment (A, D or E), or returned to Ireland sick or injured and then serving at the Antrim depot.

Holden was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 16 February 1919.


If this North Irish Horseman was in fact the Alfred Holden from Rosslea, it is likely that two of his brothers were the Joseph Holden and John Holden who also served in the regiment during the war.


Image (showing the Alfred Holden from Rosslea), sourced from Ancestry public member trees, contributor Andrew Drysdale.