Private William Kerr


The background of this North Irish Horseman is not known at present. It is possible that he was the man shown in the Presbyterian Church in Ireland Roll of Honour as a private in the 9th Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers, connected to the First Presbyterian Church, Armagh.

William Kerr enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 4 and 10 March 1914 (No.924). He embarked for France with C Squadron on 20 August 1914, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

In June 1916 C Squadron combined with F Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded and its men transferred to the infantry. Like most, Kerr 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 41301. It is likely that he saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

At the end of December 1917 Kerr was one of twenty-four former North Irish Horsemen who transferred from the Royal Irish Fusiliers to the Tank Corps (No.304863). Following training at the Tank Corps Depot at Bovington near Wareham, Dorset, he was posted to the 17th Battalion. The battalion saw action driving armoured cars during the Advance to Victory offensive from August to November 1918.