Corporal Thomas Douglas Macpherson

 

Thomas Douglas Macpherson was born on 7 April 1896 in Dixon's Villas, Bangor, County Down, the second of three children of Scottish-born coal merchant Thomas Smiley Macpherson and his wife Susan (née Todd). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Edenview House, 174 Earlswood Road, Belfast, with his parents, siblings, and two half-siblings (from his mother's previous marriage).

Macpherson enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 3 or 4 June 1915 (No.1663 – later Corps of Hussars No.71490). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France in 1916 or 1917, possibly with E Squadron on 11 January 1916.

In May 1916 E Squadron came together with A and D Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps.

At some point, Macpherson returned to the UK, subsequently serving at Antrim until January 1918, when he embarked for Egypt with a draft of North Irish Horsemen. There he was attached to the 1/1st Nottinghamshire Yeomanry (Sherwood Rangers), serving with that regiment in the Palestine campaign.

While in Egypt or Palestine Macpherson contracted malaria. He returned to the UK in 1918 or 1919, where on 30 April 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

Macpherson was granted a pension as a result of the malaria, his level of disability assessed at 30 per cent in January 1920 (two years later it had improved to 1-5%).

Following his discharge Macpherson returned to Belfast and worked as a coal merchant. On 26 June 1922 he married Kathleen Elizabeth Macartney. The couple lived at Ballyrussell and had two children over the next five years.

On 8 July 1927 Macpherson was involved in a motor-cycle accident. Admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital, he died five days later. He was buried in the Belfast City Cemetery, Glenalina Extension.

 

Macpherson's brother William Angus Smiley Macpherson also served in the war, as an officer in the Royal Irish Rifles. He was awarded a Military Cross in December 1918 for "conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty" (see citation below).

 

London Gazette, 2 December 1918