Corporal Robert Patterson

 

Robert Patterson was born on 12 August 1896 at Tonagh, Blaris, County Antrim, the sixth of ten children of hackle-maker Thomas James Patterson and his wife Mary Ellen (née Coats). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at nearby Magheralave, Derryaghy, with his parents and eight of his siblings, and working as a telegraph messenger.

Patterson enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 19 January 1915 (No.1408). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France on 17 November 1915 with F Squadron, which at the time was serving as divisional cavalry to the 33rd Division.

In June 1916 F Squadron combined with C 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 were transferred to the Royal Irish Fusiliers, an infantry regiment. Most, including Patterson, were transferred on 20 September and posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt five days later. Patterson was issued regimental number 41480 and posted to C Company.

He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

Patterson was wounded in the right hand during the 9th (NIH) Battalion's fighting withdrawal from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918 during the German spring offensive. The injury was severe enough to end his military service. On 15 November 1918 he was discharged, being 'no longer physically fit for war service' (paragraph 392 (xvi), King's Regulations). He was granted a pension as a result of his wound, his level of disability assessed at 40 per cent and permanent in July 1921.

After the war Patterson lived at 22 Llewellyn Avenue, Lisburn. He later lived in China.