Private Joseph Hunter


Joseph Hunter was born on 21 June 1890 at Droghed, Aghadowey, County Londonderry, the tenth of thirteen children of farmer Thomas Hunter and his wife Mary Brown Hunter (née McIntyre). He grew up at Droghed before his family moved to nearby Clagan, probably following the death of his father.

Hunter enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 27 or 28 August 1914 (No.1045). On 1 May 1915 he embarked for France with D Squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 51st Division.

In May 1916 D Squadron came together with A and E Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps. At some point before June 1917 Hunter was posted to either B or C Squadron, which were then part of the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment.

In September 1917 the 2nd NIH Regiment was disbanded and its men transferred to the infantry. Like most, Hunter was posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – on 20 September, joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. He was issued regimental number 41323. He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

Hunter was wounded in the left thigh during the Advance to Victory offensive from August to November 1918. Evacuated to the UK for treatment, on 3 June 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve. He was awarded a pension due to his wound and 'heart trouble'. As late as October 1922 his level of disability was assessed at 40 per cent.