Lieutenant Thomas Victor Joyce


Thomas Victor Joyce was born on 3 December 1894 at 8 Windsor Terrace, Londonderry, the third of five children of compositor Thomas Joyce and his wife Grace (or Grizelda) Milligan Joyce (nee Elliott). By 1911 he was living at with his parents and two brothers at 32 Academy Terrace and Fairman Place, Londonderry, and working as a laundry apprentice.

Joyce enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 8 September 1914 (No.1171). He embarked for France on 18 December 1914, part of a group of twenty reinforcements for A and C Squadrons. Joyce was posted to A Squadron.

In March 1915 he fell ill with measles and after treatment at No.14 Stationary Hospital at Boulogne, was evacuated to the UK. After recovering he returned to duty at the North Irish Horse reserve depot at Antrim.

On 6 December 1915 Joyce was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant and posted to the 13th (Reserve) Battalion, Highland Light Infantry. The Belfast News-Letter reported that:

... presently stationed near Richmond, Yorkshire [this] young officer ... joined the North Irish Horse at Londonderry on the outbreak of war, and was one of a squadron selected for duty in France at the beginning of December. He returned at the end of March, and has since been engaged in the adjutant's office at Antrim, the present headquarters of the North Irish Horse. He leaves this week for a course of instruction at the Glasgow University contingent of the Officers' Training Corps.

In 1916 Joyce returned to France, joining the 15th (Service) Battalion (1st Glasgow), Highland Light Infantry at Thiepval with five other officers on 21 June.

He was gazetted to a permanent commission in the regular army on 6 September 1916 and was posted as a staff officer. On 6 March 1918 he was promoted to lieutenant, and on 23 August was made temporary captain (with lieutenant's pay) whilst employed as an adjutant.

On 29 November 1919 Joyce was placed on the half-pay list "on account of ill-health contracted on active service". After five years he was placed on retired pay.

On 4 October 1920 he married Jean Reynar of Belfast, at Harold's Cross Parish Church, Dublin. (On the marriage records he gave his rank as major.)