Private Robert Johnston


The background of this North Irish Horseman is uncertain, other than that he was from Belfast. He may be the North Irish Horseman in the pictures below, who is identified as a Robert Johnston, batman to an officer of the regiment.

Johnston enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 1 and 4 November 1915 (No.1789). He embarked for France in 1916 or the first half of 1917, where he was posted to the 1st or 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment.

In September 1917 the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment was disbanded and most of its men, together with some surplus to the needs of the 1st NIH Regiment, were transferred to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion. Like most of the men, Johnston was transferred on 20 September. He was issued a new regimental number – 41454.

Johnston was wounded during the Battle of Cambrai in November or December 1917. The severity of his injuries and whether he saw any further service in the war are unknown at present.



Johnston with his officer's horse


Pictures kindly provided by Frank McLernon.