Corporal Frederick J. Lindsay

 

 

Corporal Lindsay (No.753) enlisted in the North Irish Horse between October and December 1912. He embarked for France with C Squadron on 20 August 1914. He later transferred to the Army Service Corps (No. T/40579). The above image from the Belfast Evening Telegraph was accompanied by the following article recounting some of the fighting in the early months of the war.

NORTH IRISH HORSE.
SOME THRILLING TALES.
FIGHTING THE UHLAN RAIDERS.

Corporal Fred Lindsay, of No. 4 Troop, North Irish Horse, spending a few days’ leave at his home in Islandbawn, near Castledawson, relates some interesting particulars of his six months’ experience of war. No. 4 Troop first went into action near St. Quentin during the retreat from Mons. In this rearguard action Trooper Moirs, of Belfast, and a comrade, were captured by Uhlans, and re-captured later by the Suffolks, who made prisoners of the troopers’ erstwhile captors.

On another occasion Trooper Ellison, also of Belfast, rode by mistake into a Uhlan camp, but happily for him the night was so dark that he had discovered his mistake before he was recognised, and was almost clear of the camp again before the Uhlans were aware that he was not one of themselves. Just as he came to the high wire fence surrounding the camp one of the Uhlans struck a match to light his pipe, and Ellison stood revealed. Putting spurs to his horse, he attempted to jump the fence, but his mount baulked and threw him over its head into a drain on the outside. Amid a hail of bullets Ellison managed to run along the drain and escape in safety to the high road. Here he fell in with a motorist despatch rider, who gave him a "lift" behind him for some miles. Two weeks later he rejoined his troop, little the worse for his experience.

At Conde Bridge the N.I.H. lost Lieut. B. S. Combe, Belfast, who, rather than ask any of his men to take the risk, crossed the river at night to reconnoitre, and never returned. Here, too, Troopers Jack Scott, of Londonderry, and W. Moore, Limavady, lost their lives. Sent with Sergeant Hicks to patrol as far as a ford in the river, thr troopers were met with machine-gun fire from Germans concealed on the opposite bank. Scott and Moore were killed instantly, and Hicks, who escaped on Moore's horse, had his own horse shot under him.

On the first Sunday in September, Corporal Lindsay was sent with four men to patrol as far as a certain point where the railway crossed a road. They had scarcely dismounted at this point when they observed three Uhlans approaching up the road, and far away in the distance they could see a cloud of dust betokening the approach of the main body of Uhlans. Corporal Lindsay debated with his men the course of action, and decided to await behind a fence of sleepers until the three Uhlans were within 100 yards of them. The corporal through his field-glasses watched the Uhlans approach until they were near the desired range. Then he and his men fired, and two Uhlans fell dead, while the third reined sharply to the right, and escaped. The troopers at once mounted, and rejoined their column, informing Viscount Massereene of the proximity of the Uhlan force.

Next day the troop came up with the Uhlans in a small wood, killing a number and taking some prisoners. In this action Trooper McClenaghan, of Garvagh, single-handed killed three Uhlans and captured two horses, and Corporal Lindsay and two comrades, firing simultaneously, brought down an escaping Uhlan and his horse when 900 yards away.

Once, when a farm was heavily shelled, the troop had to beat a hasty retreat, and Corporal Lindsay, returning for his field glasses, had his trousers torn right up the leg, and was slightly injured on the nose by portions of a shell which alighted on a wall. He was afterwards in hospital at Hazebrouck suffering from the effects of the cold.

Corporal Lindsay is a member of Bellaghy Masonic Lodge No. 291, and his leave enabled him to be present at the monthly meeting on Wednesday evening, when he received a hearty welcome from the bretheren.

 

Image from the Belfast Evening Telegraph, 20 February 1915, kindly provided by Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster (www.greatwarbelfastclippings.com).