Sergeant George Nesbitt


George Nesbitt was born at Tyranden, Kilmore, County Monaghan, on 15 May 1886, the eleventh of thirteen children of farmer Joseph Nesbitt and his wife Mary Anne (nee Hollinger).

Nesbitt enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 12 October 1908 (No.223).

He embarked for France with A Squadron on 17 August 1914, seeing action in the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

In May 1916 A, D and E Squadrons of the North Irish Horse came together to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment. C and F Squadrons, together with the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Servcie Squadron, became the 2nd NIH Regiment.

At some point Nesbitt probably moved from the 1st to the 2nd Regiment – perhaps after a period at home on sick leave or wounded. In September 1917 the 2nd Regiment was dismounted and most of the officers and men were retrained as infantrymen and transferred to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – which was renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers.

Nesbitt was one of those transferred, on 20 September. He was issued a new number (41198) and posted to D Company. There is no record that he was anything but a private in the North Irish Horse but in the Fusiliers he was made a sergeant.

The men of the 9th Battalion saw action at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917. In March 1918 they were involved in the retreat from St Quentin during the German spring offensive. It lost heavily in killed, wounded and missing. Nesbitt was listed among the wounded.

During 1918 he was awarded a Military Medal, probably for his actions during the retreat in March.

Nesbitt's wounds took him out of front line service for the remainder of the war, and he was discharged as no longer physically fit for war service on 28 November 1918.




Nesbitt's Military Medal, held in my private collection