Private Joseph Holden


The background of this North Irish Horseman is not clear, but he may be the Joseph Holden born on 23 August 1889 at Cloghmore, Rosslea, County Fermanagh, the first 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 28 March to 30 April 1912 (No.697– later Corps of Hussars No.71076). He embarked for France with A Squadron on 17 August 1914, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

In May 1916 A Squadron came together with D and E 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.

Holden remained with the regiment throughout the war, though how much time he spent in France and Belgium and how much at the Antrim depot is not known present.

He was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 9 February 1919.


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