Lieutenant-Colonel John Henry Michael Cole

 

 

John Henry Michael Cole was born on 10 September 1876 at Florence Court, Enniskillen, the son of Lowry Egerton Cole, 4th Earl of Enniskillen and Charlotte Marion Baird. He was educated at Eton College.

Cole began his military career in the 3rd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers before joining the 7th (Queen’s Own) Hussars. He was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant on 13 April 1898, and a lieutenant on 9 October 1899, He served with the Hussars in the Boer War.

He joined the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry with the rank of major on 17 July 1903, remaining with the regiment when it became the North Irish Horse in July 1908. He commanded C Squadron (Enniskillen) from 1903 to 1914.

Cole commanded A Squadron of the North Irish Horse when it embarked for France on 17 August 1914. On 10 May 1916, when A, D and E Squadrons were brought together to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, Cole became the regiment's commanding officer, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel.

He remained with the regiment until 1 January 1918, when he relinquished command and returned to Ireland. He was Aide-de-Camp to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1918.

Cole's wartime awards (pictured below) included a Mention in Despatches (London Gazette 1 January 1916), The Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (London Gazette 14 January 1916), and Officer in the Ordre du Merite Agricole (France) (London Gazette 7 October 1919).

He succeeded to the title of 5th Earl of Enniskillen on the death of his father on 28 April 1924. He died on 19 February 1963, aged 86.

 

Miniature, dated 1901, in the uniform of a Hussars officer

 

Cole's family home, Florence Court, Co. Fermanagh, now maintained by the National Trust

 

Cole's medals - detailed below

 

Miniatures of Cole's medals

 

The five images above are from the National Trust's Florence Court collection. I am grateful to the National Trust for permitting me to reproduce them here - details below:

John Henry Michael Cole, 5th Earl of Enniskillen (1876 - 1963) by Nicolas Becker (b. St Petersburg, fl. in Britain and France c.1922 -1932).  CMS_PCF_631095. Collections - Public. ©National Trust Images.

John Henry Michael Cole, 5th Earl of Enniskillen (1876-1963) by British (English) School. Portrait miniature, watercolour painting on ivory, John Henry Michael Cole, 5th Earl of Enniskillen (1876-1963) when Viscount Cole, British (English) School, 1901. Oval. Head and shoulders portrait of a young man, turned slightly to the left, gazing at the spectator, in blue and silver Hussar uniform. Grey eyes, light brown hair and moustache, aged 25. Sky background. CMS_FLO_0765. Image No.315113. Collections - Public. © National Trust / Bryan Rutledge. Florence Court.

Florence Court, Co Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. The house was built by the 1st Lord Mount Florence between c.1756 and 1764 in classical style. Image No.180728. NTPL Commissioned (NTPL). ©National Trust Images/John Millar

Group of eight medals of Major Viscount Cole, North Irish Horse, 1. Queens South Africa, clasps South Africa 1902, South Africa 1901, Transvaal, Orange Free State, Cape Colony; ribbon red, blue and orange. 2. 1914 Star, Major Viscount Cole N.IR.H. clasp 5th Aug - 22 Nov 1914. 3. British War Medal 1914-1918, ribbon blue, black and white thin lines on orange ground; .4 Allied Victory Medal, oak leaf on ribbon; 5. King George V and Queen Mary Coronation Medal 1911, ribbon blue with two red lines; 6. King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Coronation Medal 1937, ribbon blue with white and red lines on edges; 7. Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal 1953, ribbon red with white edges and two blue stripes. 8. REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE. V; MERITE AGRICOLE 1885. Ribbon green and red with rosette. Associated with FLO.CM.120, Cross of Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) and FLO.CM.113, miniature medal group. (Description added by Boris Mollo 24.2.2008). CMS_FLO_1015. Image No.316681. Florence Court. Collections - Public. © National Trust / Bryan Rutledge.

Group of nine miniature medals of Major Viscount Cole, North Irish Horse, 1. Badge of Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG), 2. Queens South Africa Medal, 3. 1914 Star, 4. British War Medal 1914-1918, 5. Allied Victory Medal, oak leaf on ribbon; 6. Coronation Medal 1911, 7. Coronation Medal 1937, 8. Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal 1953, 9. REPUBLIQUE FRANCAISE. V; MERITE AGRICOLE 1885. Associated with FLO.CM.120, Cross of Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) and FLO.CM.77, full size medal group. (Description added by Boris Mollo 24.2.2008). CMS_FLO_1820. Image No.315141. Florence Court. Collections - Public. © National Trust / Bryan Rutledge.

 

Another image of Cole can be found here.