Private Donald M Wallace

 

Donald M Wallace was born at Tullyhona, Florence Court, County Fermanagh, the seventh of fifteen children of farmer Oliver Wallace and his Scottish-born wife Margaret (nee McFarlane). He and other members of his family are likely to have worked on the estate of Lord Cole.

Wallace enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 10 and 23 November 1908 (No.236 – later Corps of Hussars No.71010). He embarked for France on 17 August 1914, seeing action in the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne. At this time he was incorrectly reported as having been killed. According to the Belfast News-Letter of 11 September:

Our Enniskillen correspondent writes:– Two deaths while on active service are reported in the "C" (Enniskillen) Squadron of the North Irish Horse – Trooper Dundas, Tabaugh, Derrygonnelly, and Trooper D. Wallace, Florencecourt. Both were troopers in the Enniskillen Horse, U.V.F.

An account of that time by Horseman Willie Acheson throws some light on the relationship between Wallace and his commanding officer:

The first big charge they took part in was at Kemmel Hill using swords. They became hemmed in by Germans. A comrade, Dan Wallace, never called Lord Enniskillen (John Cole) anything but John. ‘You may blow the whistle, John, ’cause we’re cornered here.’ Blow it he had to, and all retreated.

Wallace served with the regiment throughout the war. On 17 February 1919 he was transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

 

Wallace's younger brother, William John Wallace, also served in the war, in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron. He was killed in action on 23 October 1918.