Brief history


Annual Camp, 1903 to 1914


Every Summer the North Irish Horse, and its predecessor the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry, assembled at various places around Ulster or at the Curragh for training. Below are reports of each of these camps.


1903 - Blackrock, Dundalk, County Louth


On Tuesday the North of Ireland regiment of Imperial Yeomanry concentrated at the cavalry barracks, Dundalk, for the first annual training of 14 days, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel the Earl of Shaftesbury, Belfast Castle. The regiment is made up of the following squadrons, all of which are considerably below their proper strength – "A" squadron, Belfast; "B" squadron, Ballymena; "C" squadron, Dundalk; "D" squadron, Enniskillen, with small detachments in various other towns. The regiment has a strength of some 170 rank and file. The Ballymena detachment numbering about twenty-five left by 9.39 a.m. train on Tuesday morning and joined the Belfast detachment, which left at midday train to Dundalk. The men looked very smart, and all were exceptionally well mounted. Under the new adjutant, Captain R.G.O. Bramston-Newman, 7th Dragoon Guards, they have been brought into a soldier like lot, and we have no doubt but that they will give a good account of themselves during their first training, particularly as his lordship took every precaution against submitting any recruits save those who were likely to be a credit to the regiment.

(Ballymena Observer, 31 July 1903)


1904 - Finner Camp, Bundoran, County Donegal

Owing to the fact that there were so many competitors at the recent competitions for the "Shaftesbury" Cup, the officers in charge – Staff-Sergeant-Majors Blakley and Pettaway – had considerable difficulty in making up the scores. The competition, which was very keen, lasted considerably over a week, and the final scores have just been compiled. From the undermentioned scores it will be seen that a considerable number of Ulster Yeomen have qualified as marksmen. The highest possible number of marks in the recent tests was 168, and the lowest qualifying score was 125, so it is evident that a very high percentage is necessary to make a qualified marksman. The 23 [sic] men in A Squadron who have made 125 marks or more are entitled to wear a badge of crossed guns on the left forearm. Of these Armour-Sergeant Hunter, Trooper Barron, and Trooper Harding, all of Belfast, are qualified as the three top scorers in the squadron to compete in the final for the "Shaftesbury" Cup, which will be held in a week or so at Finner Camp, near Ballyshannon, the training ground for the Yeomanry this year.

Another competition was held amongst recruits to enable them to qualify as marksmen, and the results are also appended. It should be mentioned that the recruits were firing at a 24-inch target, whereas those competing for the marksmanship certificate were only allowed a 12-inch target at the same distance – viz., 200 yards.

Below are the complete scores of A Squadron, and in the "trained soldiers" course the following qualified as marksmen:--

Highest possible score, 168 – Armour-Sergeant Hunter (Belfast), 140; Trooper J. Barron (Belfast), 137; Trooper C. Harding (Belfast), 137; Sergeant N. Harvey (Belfast), 135; Trooper H. Barron (Belfast), 135; Trooper L. McElroy (Belfast), 136; Lance-Sergeant H. Lowry (Larne), 135; Trumpeter J. Coulter (Belfast), 133; Sergeant J. Richardson (Belfast), 133; Trooper W. Hastings (Belfast), 132; Trooper S. Houston (Belfast), 132; Lance-Corporal W. Long (Lurgan), 132; Squadron Quartermaster-Sergeant H. Harrison (Belfast), 132; Sergeant H. Dyas (Belfast), 129; Sergeant F. Dinsmore (Ballymena), 127; Trooper T. Meeklen (Downpatrick), 127; Sergeant J. McBride (Belfast), 126; Corporal W. Moore (Downpatrick), 126; Trooper A. Duke (Belfast), 126; Lance-Corporal J. Montgomery (Belfast), 126; Trooper J. Newton (Ballymena), 125; Trooper R. E. Hunter (Belfast), 125.

The following recruits are entitled to rank as trained marksmen:--

Highest possible score, 287 – Lance-Corporal H. Greer (Belfast), 257; Trooper D. McIlroy (Belfast), 252; Trooper W. Gilchrist (Belfast); 247; Trooper J. Wells (Lurgan), 247; Trooper W. McArthur (Belfast), 242; Trooper J. Crawford (Larne), 242; Lance-Sergeant W. Shaw (Belfast), 239; Trooper T. Spence (Lurgan), 236; Trooper R. A. Hunter (Belfast), 236; Trooper H. Osborne (Belfast), 234; Trooper T. Sayers (Belfast), 234; Trooper L. Shaw (Belfast), 230.

To-morrow there will be a big parade of A Squadron at three o'clock in the afternoon for the purpose of receiving final instructions previous to going to camp on 20th June.

(Northern Whig, 10 June 1904)


FINNER CAMP. Saturday.

Ballyshannon was in a regular flutter this morning. Rumours were in evidence that a general attack was to be made on the town. The inhabitants of this pretty little town by the hills turned out at an early hour, and long before the real object of the military manoeuvres was announced, squadrons of yeomanry, attired in khaki, were arriving in the town. Today was market as well as fair day and naturally a large crowd of visitors were in the little town by the Erne. The men paraded at the bridge, and looked exceptionally well. Every man was rigged out in full fighting attire, with rifle slung, and all the prospects of a good fight were in evidence. The general idea of the operations was that the yeomen, of "Blues," were an invading army coming in to attack Finner Camp, and practically camture Ballyshannon. The Yeos(?) were supposed to come from Sligo, and the rallying point was at the cross roads of Beleek, the centre of the famous pottery manufactories. Here the invaders assembled at a very early hour, and scouts and vedettes were at once thrown out. "A" or the Belfast squadron made tracks for Bundoran, and successfully reached this popular watering place without any interruption. At Ashbrook, a place some miles from Ballyshannon, the Connaughts, or "Reds," defending force, were carefully concealed and successfully escaped the observation of the invaders. In the meantime a considerable number of the yeomen had been detailed off to watch Ballyshannon, and after evading the "Reds" scouts, succeeded in occupying the town at an early hour. Long before nine o'clock the streets of "ballyshanny," as it is called locally, were occupied by khaki clad yeomen. Needless to say, the inhabitants all turned out to watch the evolutions. A dosmounted party of about 40 men was sent up the road towards Finner to reconnoitre, but no signs of the enemy were visible. After some stiff outpost duty the scouts returned, but nowhere could the enemy be seen, so carefully had the Connaughts concealed themselves. Eventually word was brought into town that one or two yeomanry scouts had been captured by the Connaughts at a place described as Paddy Smith's Bridge, and subsequently this news(?) was confirmed. Bundoran and Ballyshannon were now occupied in force by the enemy, or "Blues," and everything looked bad for the Connaughts. However, the latter, by dint of smart manoeuvring, succeeded in getting the advantage as far as cover went, but we are not in a position at present to say what was the result of the battle. The engagement, which occupied some time, covered a considerable area of ground, and the greatest interest was taken in the day's proceedings by the people of the vicinity, who have already got to think a great deal of the yeomanry. The latter are certainly well trained, and a finer set of officers and men could scarcely be found.


The Connaughts have already renewed many old acquaintances in Bundoran and Ballyshannon, and both towns are pretty lively every night.

Even in the morning we can see numerous crowds of people on the bridge - from which, by the way, a lovely view can be obtained - watching the local "swells" fishing for salmon.

Great value is expected on Monday. The sports are coming off and include Victoria Cross races and many other events.

Practically all Ballyshannon and Bundoran has been invited, and a great days' sport is anticipated.

Every day visitors throng into the camp, not only from Derry, Omagh, Strabane, Clones, Enniskillen, Monaghan, but even from Belfast and Dublin many friends of the Yeomen come to see their volunteer friends.

Everybody is enjoying camp. Although we have have several very heavy showers, all are agreed that this is the best holiday that one could have.

"Smokers" are the order of the night, and high old times are being held in the canteen. The greatest good humour prevails, and as a downright jolly place for a holiday Finner Camp cannot be surpassed.

We understand that Generals Leech and Rimington both left camp this afternoon after witnessing the operations. Both officers have been highly pleased with the operations of the Yeomanry and the Connaughts, and the inhabitants of both Ballyshannon and Bundoran have nothing but praise for them.

It will be interesting to our readers to know that no less than 1,000 eggs were consumed every morning in our camp alone, while one of the chefs has a good five hours' work every night in carving 35(?) hames for next morning's breakfast.

The amount of grub consumed is simply marvellous, and the Bloomfield Bakery Company are to be congratulated on their splendid catering arrangements.

Every evening the Yeomen have a little (?)tion at horse-jumping, and it speaks well for their abilities when we record that scarcely more than a couple of falls occurred this week.

(Larne Times and Weekly Telegraph, 9 July 1904)


1905 - The Curragh, County Kildare


The Belfast squadron of the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry left for the Curragh by special train on Friday morning for the annual fortnight's training, and have taken up their quarters there. The Enniskillen contingent left by special train at 9.5 o'clock on Friday morning and the Pettigo and Irvinestown contingents travelled by the good train leaving Bundoran at five o'clock a.m. Upon arrival at Clones the Cavan men, who had also travelled to that junction by goods train, were picked up. The Omagh and Derry contingents travelled together by special train. Owning to the absence of Lord Cole on leave the "C" Squadron is under the command of Captian C. C. D'Arcy Irvine during this year's training. He will have under his command two officers and one hundred and five non-commissioned officers and men.

Lord Shaftesbury has arrived in Ireland in order to take over the command of the North of Ireland regiment during the training. The South of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry, under the command of the Marquis of Waterford, will go into training at the Curragh this week, so that the two regiments will have one week together.

(The Dublin Daily Express, 26 June 1905)

The two Irish regiments of Imperial Yeomanry are now under canvas at the Curragh for annual training. The South of Ireland is accommodated in Donnelly's Hollow, and close by are quartered their Northern compatriots. Both regiments are almost at full strength. The Marquis of Waterford is in his place as commander of the Southerns, and the Earl of Shaftesbury is in command of the Northerns. Both regiments are fraternising in a manner which is surprising. So much so is this apparent that in the afternoons almost half of the entire North of Ireland regiment may be found in the lines of the South, and vice versa. The fact of the headgear of the North regiment being different from the South has again caused the vexed question of a suitable headgear for the South to crop up. It will be remembered that the King on his last visit to Ireland expressed himself very highly pleased with the Yeomanry escort supplied by the South regiment, and while commenting on the neat appearance of the uniform, he at the same time expressed a wish that a full dress helmet or hat should be supplied. Indeed, his Majesty promised to furnish a design, but it has not as yet made its appearance.

(The Dublin Daily Express, 4 July 1905)


1906 - Ballykinlar Camp, Dundrum, County Down


Orders have been issued in respect of the annual training of the North of Ireland Yeomanry (to which belong a strong contingent of Larne young men). The camp this year will be formed at Ballykinlar, commencing on June 22, and continuing for eighteen days.

(Larne Times and Weekly Telegraph, 10 February 1906)


On Friday morning [22 June] the "C" (Enniskillen) Squadron of the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry left Enniskillen by special train for Newcastle en route to Ballykinlar Camp, where the annual training takes place. The troopers, who numbered about 100, all looked smart and fit. They were in excellent spirits, and anticipated the training period as a pleasant break in the routine of business life. The officers in charge of this squadron are - Viscount Cole (Major), Captain D'Arcy Irvine, Lieutenant Barton, Lieutenant Yates, and Sergeant-Major Towner.

(Larne Times, 30 June 1906)

The North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry yesterday had a tactical march from Ballykinlar to Downpatrick, in charge of the Earl of Shaftesbury, with the Marquis of Hamilton, Lord Cole, and other officers, in search of a supposed enemy. After remaining ambushed in Irish street for some time they rode off to camp. It being market day, the unusual occurrence caused considerable excitement while the troopers remained in town.

(The Dublin Daily Express, 27 June 1906)


Ballykinlar Camp, Wednesday. The reconnaissance towards Downpatrick yesterday was attended by a curious accident, which resulted in a horse receiving fatal injuries. It seems that a portion of the B Squadron had dismounted just outside Tullymurry Station, when a traction-engine came along. The horse of Trooper Lowry came into contact with the engine, stumbled in front of it, and was run over. Presumably his backbone was broken, as he died. A board of officers subsequently rode out to the scene of the accident. The traction-engine was coming to camp with baggage.

The following promotions and appointments have been made:- No. 191 Lance-Corporal W. J. Dunwoody to be corporal, No. 112 Lance-Corporal G. Taylor to be corporal, Private R. H. Jones to be lance-corporal, No. 90 Corporal H. Scott to be lance-sergeant; No. 23 Lance-Corporal J. McCandless, No. 163 Lance-Corporal H. McCormick, and No. 417 Private D. Moore to be corporals; No. 391 Private J. Porterfield, No. 430 Private W. Walls, No. 279 Private Bell, and No. 175 Private D. Kennedy to be lance-corporals.

A striking feature of the camp is the orderliness of the lines. Under the supervision of the energentic quartermaster, Lieutenant W. J. Fields, they are kept models of neatness, and would bear comparison with regular cavalry quarters. Cheerfulness through the camp seems to be the order of the day. The catering for the non-coms. and men is good, and, as the regiment is not overworked, there is little room for grumbling. There is every prospect of a very successful training.

This afternoon the casuals of the A Squadron completed musketry. In the squadrons which have completed the course the following results have been made known:- B (Londonderry) Squadron - Badges for marksmanship, Sergeant Murphy; C (Enniskillen) Squadron, Sergeant Cooper; D (Dundalk) Squadron, Lance-Corporal F. Booker. Senior non-commissioned officer of best shooting troop in each squadron (badge, cross rifles, and star) -- B Squadron, Sergeant Roulstone; C Squadron, Sergeant F. Wilson; D Squadron, Sergeant J. F. C. McKean.

(The Northern Whig, 28 June 1906)


Ballykinlar Camp, Friday.

This morning the four squadrons of the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry were practised in reconnaissance and scouting on the sands round the Bay. The work was very well carried out, and the rank and file seemed to enter into it with the proper spirit and intelligence.

Yesterday afternoon some of the musketry competitions were decided at the range. The Belfast men came out well in the shoots. Trooper J. McCullough, with a score of 34 points out of a possible 40, carried off the honours as best shot in the regiment. Behind him came Armourer-Sergeant W. Hunter, Sergeant M. B. G. Harvey, and Lance-Sergeant Harry Greer, who tied with 33 points each. The "Recruits' Prize" was easily won by Trooper Edward Hunter, who, like Trooper McCullough, is a member of the Belfast Rifle Association and the Ulster Rifle Association. His score was one point short of a possible. In the inter-squadron competition the A (Belfast) Squadron came out ahead by some 34 points, winning the Ashley Cup. The best shot in the A Squadron is Sergeant Harvey. When the results were read out in the A lines last evening Trooper McCullough, Trooper Hunter, and Sergeant Harvey received an ovation.

In the evening, on the invitation of the Earl of Shaftesbury, Mr. T. Miller Maguire, LL.D., Barrister-at-Law, who is a well-known military expert, visited Ballykinlar Camp and lectured to the Yeomanry on "The vital importance and true function of cavalry." At the outset of his remarks he alluded to the extraordinary interest attaching to the movements of mounted troops and their celebrity in the most ancient times, pointing out how highly they were esteemed by the Egyptian and other races. To be a skilled cavalry leader or trooper seemed in every age to have been the ideal of manhood, though, of course, the organisation of the infantry was also a principal point. Every nation that had neglected cavalry since B.C. 400 had soon repented of their action. The lecturer enumerated some of the historic feats performed by cavalry at different times and in various countries, enlarging upon the effects they had been able to produce at the most critical periods of battle. Proceeding, he maintaied that the potentialities of cavalry were likely to be greater in the future than they had been in the past, and said though mounted infantry were of certain importance they could never supersede cavalry. In a most instructive and interesting manner he went on to treat of riding and horse management and many other matters, and after enlarging upon the extraordinary careers of some of the regiments now stationed in Ireland he concluded by expressing the opinion that our mounted men deserved the high esteem and hearty encouragement of all classes of the community.

(The Belfast News-Letter, 30 June 1906)


While the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry were engaged in field manoeuvres near Ballykinlar Camp on Saturday a serious accident befel on of the men. While "B" Squadron was crossing some rough ground Trooper Day's horse stumbled in a rabbit warren and fell, throwing its rider heavily and rolling over him. Assistance was promptly rendered the injured man, who, it was found, had broken his collar-bone and suffered from severe shock. After receiving first aid, the trooper was assisted to the camp hospital, where he is reported to be progressing favourably.

(The Dublin Daily Express, 9 July 1906)


1907 - The Curragh, County Kildare


According to a notification issued from the War Office, the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry, with headquarters at Belfast, will on Friday next assemble for the annual training at Curragh Camp, where the regiment will be under canvas until the 8th of next month. The corps will be commanded by Colonel the Earl of Shaftesbury, assisted by Major the Marquis of Hamilton (second in command), Major Maude, Viscount Cole, and Rotherham (squadron commanders), and Captain and Adjutant Bramston-Newman.

(Dublin Daily Express, 19 June 1907)



The Belfast Squadron of Yeomanry, under Lieutenant Holt Waring, arrived at Newbridge at 5.30 p.m. on Friday. The squadron, numbering 120 of all ranks, had a pleasant run, and as soon as the horses were unboxed proceeded to the camp, which is about a mile out on the Curragh side. The Enniskillen Squadron arrived about an hour earlier than the Belfast Squadron, which in turn was followed by the Dundalk Squadron. The Londonderry Squadron will arrive early this morning. The weather has kept up wonderfully.

(Belfast Telegraph, 22 June 1907)



NEWBRIDGE CAMP, Monday.- This morning the two troops of yeomanry detailed for the Wicklow manoeuvres left the camp. One troop, consisting of Sergeant H. Scott, Corporal McCandless, Corporal McCormick, and 22 men, under the command of Second Lieutenant Charles Norman, was drawn from the B (Londonderry) Squadron, and the other was taken from C (Enniskillen) Squadron, and consists of Sergeants R. S. Scott, J. Shaw, A. Mair, and 22 men, under Second Lieutenant R. L. Yates. The Londonderry troop is attached to the Blue army, and the Enniskillen troop to the Red force. The monoeuvres will last to the 5th inst.

Yesterday the result of the musketry competitions shot off up to the present were announced. Last year, the A Squadron swept the board; this year B Squadron did it. The B Squadron team of eight men won the Ashley Cup from the A Squadron by a number of points, Corporal McDougall, a smart young Lifford yeoman, won the honour of "regimental shot," making a score of 39 points out of a possible 40, and the best recruit's shot went to Trooper T. Graham, who hails from Cavanlea, Strabane. The Squadron team which won the cup consisted of Major E. A. Maude, commanding the squadron, Sergeant J. Murphy (who shot in the regimental team at Bisley last year), Sergeant Taylor, Sergeant McDonnell, Sergeant Whiteside, Corporal McDougall, Corporal Sterritt, and Trooper Young. On the result being announced, Sergeant Major Emby, the popular instructor of the squadron, received many hearty congratulations on the success of his squadrons.

(Belfast Telegraph, 2 July 1907)


(Larne Times and Weekly Telegraph, 26 June 1909)


1908 - The Curragh, County Kildare

Mr. E. J. Pittaway, regimental sergeant-major North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry, and the advance party left Belfast on Friday for newbridge, where the camp for the annual training will be pitched on the grounds occupied last year.

(Northern Whig, 16 June 1908)


To-morrow (Friday) morning at ten o'clock the A (Belfast) Squadron North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry, Major Viscount Massereene and Ferrard, D.S.O., commanding, will leave the Great Northern Railway terminus for Newbridge Camp by special trains. The B (Londonderry), C (Enniskillen), and D (Dundalk) Squadrons proceed the same day to the same destination. Some of the B and C Squadron troops will have to leave for their headquarters to-morrow evening.

(Northern Whig, 18 June 1908)



[From our Correspondent.]

Newbridge Camp, Saturday.

To-day the regiment assembled in squadrons for horse inspection, which was gone through by a number of officers of the regiment under the supervision of Lord Shaftesbury. The regiment was subsequently medically inspected, and found fit in every way. A troop of twenty scouts under Lieutenant Yates left in the evening to take part in the scouting operations of the Third Cavalry Brigade, to which they will be attached till the 1st July. The party went to Dundalk by rail, and will work their way towards the Curragh in the coming week. The regiment has had the advantage of starting camp with maginficent weather, which is in striking contrast to last year, when it rained on seventeen days out of the eighteen days' training.


For so far ideal weather has attended the training. Living under canvas in such weather is more like picnicing than soldiering. To-morrow the business of the training will commence by squadron drills under the respective squadron commanders. The following is the strength of the regiment:-- Staff - Lieutenant-Colonel the Earl of Shaftesbury, K.C.V.O., commanding; Major the Marquis of Hamilton, M.P. (who joins to-morrow), Captain and Adjutant H. A. Clifton, Quartermaster and Honorary Lieutenant W. J. Fields, and Regimental Sergeant-Major Pittaway.

A (Belfast) Squadron - Major Viscount Massereene and Ferrard, D.S.O., commanding; Lieutenant Holt Waring, and Second-Lieutenant S. J. Lyle; Squadron-Sergeant-Major Blakley, and 118 non-commissioned officers and men.

B (Londonderry) Squadron - Major E. A, Maude, commanding; Captain A. F. Maude, Lieutenant E. C. Herdman, Lieutenant T. F. Cooke, and Second-Lieutenant C. Norman; Squadron-Sergeant-Major Emby, and 105 non-commissioned officers and men.

C (Enniskillen) Squadron - Major Viscount Cole, [commanding;] Captain C. C. D'Arcy Irvine, and Second-Lieutenant R. L. Yates (presently away in command of the regimental scouts attached to the Third Cavalry Brigade); Squadron-Sergeant-Major Towner, and 114 non-commissioned officers and men.

D (Dundalk) Squadron - Captain Lord Farnham, commanding; Lieutenant D. A. W. Ker, and Second-Lieutenant R. D. Ross; Squadron-Sergeant-Major Fryer, and 105 non-commissioned officers and men.

A number of non-commissioned officers and men have signified their intention of joining the regiment under the new conditions, which were explained yesterday very clearly by Lord Shaftesbury at a special parade. Yeomen who join what will be virtually a new regiment will enlist for four years, and will be liable to service abroad in times of national danger. In times such as mentioned the regiment will supply a party of 160 non-commissioned officer and men to join the expeditionary force, and this force will be employed in despatch riding, scouting, and such like duties. The remainder of the regiment will be embodied in order to supply drafts to the active-service squadron. The training period in the future will be for twenty-four days, and the rate of pay will be at the ordinary cavalry rates, with free rations, or allowances for it; each yeoman who attains a certain standard in horsemastership will be allowed an equitation grant of £1 per annum; the horse allowance will be £5 per training, the whole amounting to about £10 8s for the training, whilst in addition to this each man will receive £4 per annum - £1 each quarter - and every man joining under the new conditions during the present training will receive an additional £2. The terms on the whole are handsome, and it is believed that there will be no difficulty in getting the regiment remade under the new conditions. Where the difficulty with some comes in is the extension of the training.

To-day the Church party, under the command of Lord Shaftesbury, about three-fourths of the regiment, attended divine service in the garrison church, the officiating clergyman being the Rev. W. G. Howard, M.A., garrison chaplain. The Presbyterian and Wesleyan parties went to their respective places of worship at the Curragh.

(Northern Whig, 22 June 1908)



[From our Correspondent.]

Newbridge Camp, Monday.

This morning the four squadrons went out to the Curragh for a couple of hours' troop and squadron drill under their squadron commanders. Major the Marquis of Hamilton, M.P., second in command, joined the regiment to-day for duty.

The following non-commissioned officers and men have been struck off the strength of the regiment on purchasing their discharges:--Squadron Quartermaster-Sergeant Wilson (C Squadron), Corporal Brady, Corporal Gillespie, Troopers Frew, Davin, Marrion, Moore, Gray, Henderson, W. McKee, R. Robinson, and McCausland; and Trooper Cameron on joining the Royal Marine Artillery.

This afternoon the South of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry held its annual sports at the Curragh, when a good many of the Northern Yeomen were present.

(Northern Whig, 23 June 1908)



[From our own Correspondent.]

Newbridge Camp, Tuesday.

This morning the regiment was out on the Curragh for a couple of hours at troop and squadron movements, under the squadron commanders. Whilst the regiment was so employed the lines and camp generally were inspected by the senior medical officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Daly, Curragh, who was pleased to express approval of the sanitary condition of the camp. A very popular feature of this training are the hot and cold baths - an idea of Captain and Adjutant H. A. Clifton - rigged up in a large marquee outside the lines, and which can be had at a nominal fee. The creditable state of the camp is due to the energetic quartermaster, Lieutenant W. J. Field, who sees that it is kept as near perfection as possible.

Yesterday the regimental team of tent-peggers - Mr. E. J. Pittaway, regimental sergeant-major; Sergeant-Major Towner, Sergeant-Major Emby, Sergeant Major Fryer, and Corporal Woods (Castlederg) - competed in the sports held by the South of Ireland Yeomanry. Eleven teams of regulars and one of the S.I.I.Y. competed, the Northerners reaching the final, in which they were defeated by the narrow margin of two points.

(Northern Whig, 24 June 1908)



[From our Correspondent.]

Newbridge Camp, Wednesday.

Glorious weather is attending the training, and everyone is in the best of health and spirits. Except a few trivial accidents inseparable from camp life, there has been nothing to mar the training. Close on eighty non-commissioned officers and men have elected to join the special mounted reserve, which is to be the future role of the Irish Yeomanry. The programme of this morning was troop and squadron drills, with rifles, on the Curragh, the regiment returning to the camp at twelve noon, so that it is not being hard worked. In the afternoon there was a big lot of the officers and men at the Irish Derby on the Curragh.

(Northern Whig, 25 June 1908)



Newbridge Camp, Friday.

Yesterday afternoon the Inniskilling Cup, which was presented to the sergeants' mess of the regiment by the sergeants' mess of the 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, at Ballykinlar Camp, June, 1906, was shot for by the sergeants of the four squadrons on the Curragh rifle ranges, and the competition for the Ashley Cup also took place. Lord Shaftesbury, the Marquis of Hamilton, M.P.; Viscount Massereene and Ferrard, Lord Farnham, Captain and Adjutant H. A. Clifton, Lieutenant D. A. W. Ker, and Second-Lieutenant R. D Ross were present during the firing. The conditions for the Inniskilling Cup were - five shots at 300 yards and five shots at 500 yards; regulation marking, and prone position. The shooting was very close. The Ashley Cup is shot for by teams of eaight marksmen from each squadron, the conditions being - ten shots at 500 yards and a "sighter" at a 6 x 6 target; dress, drill order; position, prone. This competition also decides who becomes regimental shot for the year, the yeoman making the top score getting that honour and a £5 prize, and the runner-up £3. The shooting was good all round. The best recruit shot was also fired for by the recruits making the highest score in the squadron musketry course before the regiment assembled, the conditions being five rounds at 400 yards, prone position. The results have not yet been officially declared.

This moring the regiment went out upon reconnaissance in connection with a supposed war between the "hill tribes of Wicklow" and the "nation of Kildare."

(Belfast News-Letter, 27 June 1908)



[From our Correspondent.]

Newbridge Camp, Saturday.

The udeal weather which has attended the training remains unbroken. Today the thermometer registered 99 degrees in the sun. The regiment has what perhaps is the prettiest and most comfortable camp in the Irish command. The camp was laid out by Mr. Pittaway, the regimental sergeant-major, and the very best has been made out of the surroundings. The huge field in which it is located is bounded on every side by beech and fir trees, and, being now in full foliage, the green contrasts beautifully with the white canvas marquees and tents which stud the ground, the whole making a most striking picture. At the top of the camp on a gently sloping acclivity stand the officers' lines. On the left and slightly in advance of the lines is Lord Shaftesbury's tent - a very handsome structure, having a sitting-room and a bedroom, with corridors running round between them and the outside fabric. From the colonel's tent the other tents stand in the order of the regimental seniority of their occupants, and to the rear are the officers' servants' tents, and on the right is the officers' mess. This consists of two large marquees, one used as an ante-room and the other as the mess. The furnishing of both is of the most luxurious description, and was carried out by Messrs. Todd & Burns. The marquees are connected by a covered passage. Occupying prominent places on the mess table are the "Ashley Cup," the "Ormeau Cup," and the gold cup which the officers of the regiment won at the army point-to-point races the other day, whilst the display of silver can only be described as magnificent, and most likely unequalled in any other mess in the country. Captain D'Arcy-Irvine is the mess president. Mr. David Rankin, Belfast, is the chief steward. On the right of the mess is the cook house, which is under the control of Mr. Aikenhead, chef. At the extreme top of the lines are two very large marquees, which are used as garages, there being usually a dozen motors in camp. Running right round the camp in the following order are the orderly room, where the official business of the regiment is carried on; hospital tent, quartermaster's stores, tailor's shop, saddler's shop, signaller's stores, bath tent - one of the finest things in the camp - watering troughs for the horses, ablution stands for the men, latrines, and the four mess marquees for the squadrons, each being capable of accommodating 130 men, and in the immediate vicinity are cook houses and their apparatus. The latter includes six regimental Victoria stoves, supplemented by a similar number belonging to the Ulster Menu Company, and these can supply tea and coffee for 1,000 men. The specially built cook house holds an oven which daily roasts from 500lb. to 800lb. of meat, and on emergency could turn out 1,600lb. of meat daily, and the field oven in which bread is baked can supply the needs of 1,000 men. Mr. Wright is the chef of the cooking department, and Mr. Stout is in charge of the bakery. Next comes the sergeants' mess, which embraces two large marquees, one being used as a sitting and writing room, and the other as the mess. The sitting-room is very comfortably furnished, and has a piano, writing tables, and other facilities for taking the rough corners off camp life, especially when the day's work is done. Mr. Nesbitt is in charge of the sergeants' mess. A prominent feature in the camp is the huge recreation tent for the men, which is provided by the thoughtfulness of Lord Shaftesbury. It can seat 600 men, and is much utilised in the evenings by the rank and file for their sing-songs and other diversions to pass the time pleasantly. At the entrance to the field, which is between two majestic beeches, is the main guard, where the guards mount daily in full dress. On the other side are the wet canteen (run by Messrs. Macardle, Moore, Dundalk) and the farrier's lines, where the horses are shod and the sick horses attended to. The squadron lines occupy the centre of the camp, the tents standing in regular lines, with the horses picketed between. For cleanliness and order the lines - which are supervised by Lieutenant and Quartermaster W. J. Field - look more like the lines of a cavalry regiment than those of the average yeomanry regiment, and we speak from a lengthened experience. The sanitation of the camp is perfect, and the water supply very ample. The present camp will be long remembered as one of the pleasantest in the history of the regiment.

We should say that the catering of the officers' mess and for the entire regiment, the grocery shop and coffee-room, and the regimental transport, which consists of three two-horse brakes and a couple of light vans, are in the hands of the Ulster Menu Company, Belfast, Mr. John Donnelly being the efficient superintendent.

The following are the results of the musketry competitions up to date:-- Winner of the Inniskilling Cup, Sergeant-Major R. J. Blakley, Belfast Squadron; regimental shot, Private Young, B (Londonderry) Squadron; best shot of the recruits, Private W. J. Agnew, D (Dundalk) Squadron; best shot amongst the sergeants, Sergeant R. J. Hogg (Cookstown), A (Belfast) Squadron; whilst the Ashley Cup, one of the most coveted trophies, has been won by the A Squadron, the score of which was 232 points; B Squadron, 221 points; D Squadron, 164 points; and C Squadron, 148 points.

Newbridge Camp, Sunday.

Today the Church of Ireland party attended divine service at the Garrison Church - Major the Marquis of Hamilton, M.P., second in command of the regiment, being in command of the party, and Second-Lieutenant Ross was in command of the Presbyterian party, which subsequently worshipped in the same place; whilst the Wesleyans went to the Curragh.

A number of the non-commissioned officers and men are enlisting for one year under the new conditions; about 20 per cent are taking on for the four years.

The following promotions are announced:-- Corporal Harry Henderson to a sergeant trumpeter; Lance-Corporals McCandless and Cassidy to be corporals; Troopers J. Hall, McMath, Dickson, and Chambers to be lance-corporals.

The heat of the last two days has been most intense, the thermometer rising to over 100 in the sun.

It has been officially intimated that Sergeant R. J. Hogg (Cookstown), of the Belfast Squadron, is the second best shot in the regiment, which carried with it a prize of £3. The competitions yet to be decided are the Ormeau Cup and the saddling-up competition, or "speedy turnout," which is one of the most exciting events of the camp.

(Northern Whig, 29 June 1908)



[From our own Correspondent.]

Newbridge Camp, Monday.

The heat of the past couple of days has been trying to both men and horses. The latter are standing it well, only a few cases of kicks, cuts, and bruises being in the sick horse lines. This morning, before the heat was at its greatest, the regiment got through its day's work. This included outpost duties, attack and defence operations, carried out under the supervision of Lord Shaftesbury. The regiment returned to camp a little after noon. Whilst engaged in the dismounted work the horse - a valuable charger - of one of the officers broke away towards Newbridge. In capturing the runaway the horse of Trooper Kennedy, D Squadron, fell, and breaking its neck was killed instantly. The trooper's rifle was smashed up, but, although he was thrown clean over his mount's head, he held on to the other horse, and escaped with a trifling bruise on one of his arms. When last heard from the regimental scouts, under Lieutenant Yates, attached to the Third Cavalry Brigade, were in the vicinity of Glendalough, COunty Wicklow, and were expecting to return to camp about Wednesday or Thursday.

(Northern Whig, 30 June 1908)



[From our Correspondent.]

Newbridge Camp, Tuesday Evening.

The regiment had a busy morning of it in skirmishing, outpost and attack and defence operations, in which there were some exciting incidents, several troops being "cut up" badly, and prisoners taken, or alleged to have been taken, on both sides, the regiment having been divided into portions - A and B Squadrons on one side and C and D on the other.

It is expected that the non-commissioned officers and men who are joining under the new system will be attested, and sworn in on Thursday next.

The following is the oath now taken by the Irish Yeomanry on attestation:-- "I do make oath that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to his Majesty King Edward VII,. his heirs, and successors, and that I will, as in duty bound, honestly and faithfully defend his Majesty, his heirs, and successors, in person, Crown, and dignity against all enemies, and will observe and obey all arders of his Majesty, his heirs, and successors, and of the general officers and officers set over me. So help me, God."

(Northern Whig, 1 July 1908)



[From our own Correspondent.]

Newbridge Camp, Wednesday.

The regiment had another field day this morning, under Lord Shaftesbury, K.C.V.O., the place of rendezvous being the Little Curragh. The operation lasted from 9 a.m. till noon, when the regiment returned to camp. Last evening the regimental scouts, under the command of Lieutenant Yates, returned to camp after having been engaged in scouting operations from the day after arrival in camp. It is understood that the scouts did excellent work, "scooping" a lot of regular cavalry, during the time they were out, and they managed to reach their objective without the loss of a man.

On Friday evening the sergeants' mess will give a dinner, to which the sergeants of the 3rd Prince of Wales's Dragoon Guards have been invited. Advantage will be taken of the function to present to the mess of the 3rd a piece of plate as a memento of the good feelings which prevailed between the two regiments at Belfast and the Curragh.

The recruits for the new Mounted Special Reserve will be attested and medically inspected to-morrow. The regimental sports will be held on Saturday, and camp will be struck early on Monday morning. Up till the present the weather has been magnificent.

(Northern Whig, 2 July 1908)



Operations at the Curragh

Newbridge Camp, Thursday.

This morning the regiment went out to the Curragh to engage in reconnaissance and for that purpose was divided into two forces - A and C Squadron (distinguished by a white band round their slouched hats) under Captain C. C. D'Arcy-Irvine; and B and D Squadrons under Captain Lord Farnham. The idea was that the Red Army was endeavouring to cut the line between Naas and Rochestown, and in order to do so it was necessary to get through to a point 100 yards south-east of the Naas-Kilcullen Road, and the Blue army was to prevent that if possible.

The regimental scouts, who were commanded by Lieutenant Yates, rather distinguished themselves in the recent scounting operations of the Third Cavalry Brigade. The yeomen co-operated with the scouts of the 11th Hussars against the scouts of the 3rd Dragoon Guards and the 18th Hussars, and on three occasions captured groups of the regulars, including an officer. The yeomen were subsequently complimented by Brigadier General the Honourable J. K. Lindley, commanding the Third Cavalry Brigade, Curragh.

(Belfast News-Letter, 3 July 1908)



Newbridge Camp, Friday.

In the regimental orders published this evening it was announced that Brigadier-General Lindley expressed himself satisfied with his inspection of the regiment, and the commanding officer, Lord Shaftesbury, also wished to say that he was pleased with the way in which the squadrons worked under their commanders. To-morrow morning the regiment will parade on the Curragh at seven o'clockfor final inspection by General the Right Honourable Sir Neville Lyttelton, Commander-in-Chief of Ireland. This evening D Squadron team defeated A Squadron in horseback wrestling, and B defeated C team after an exciting contest.

(Belfast News-Letter, 4 July 1908)



Regimental Sports.

[From our own Correspondent.]

Newbridge Camp, Saturday.

The regimental sports were held this afternoon in the presence of a large and fashionable assembly. Colonel Lord Shaftesbury and the officers gave an "at home," for which some 200 invitations were issued. The Committee in charge of the sports were Major the Marquis of Hamilton, M.P.; Major Viscount Massereene and Ferrard, D.S.O.; Captain A. Maude, Captain Lord Fanham, Lieutenant Holt Waring, Lieutenant Ker, Regimental-Sergeant-Major Pittaway, S.S.M. Emby, Sergeant Moore, Sergeant Taylor, Sergeant Shaw, and Sergeant W. J. Dunwoody. The band of the 3rd Prince of Wales Dragoon Guards was present. The above-named officers acted as judges. Details:--

100 Yards Race, confined to North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry. Prizes, 15s, 10s, and 5s - Corporal Lockhart, Belfast, 1; Sergeant Booker, 2; McKinney, 3.

Section Tent-pegging by Squadrons, open to ranks, including permanent staff. Prize, 40s - A Squadron, 1; B Squadron, 2.

150 Yards Race, carrying a man. Prizes, 30s, 15s, and 5s - Agnew, 1; Wilkinson, 2; Dobson, 3.

Saddling-up Race, horses picketed in line, saddles fully equipped on ground in front of each horse, with capes on; men in drill order with rifles; saddle up, go over two jumps, first man past post properly saddled declared the winner; four men from each squadron may compete. Prizes, 20s, 15s, and 5s - Corporal Woods, 1; Corporal Gregg, 2; Corporal Porterfield, 3.

Horse-jumping, confined to North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry. Prizes, 40s and 20s - Sergeant Taylor, 1; Sergeant Shaw, 2.

Section Tent-pegging, open; one section per regiment. Prize, 40s - Army Service Corps, 1; N.I.I.Y., 2.

Led Horse Race; men gallop to firing point over two jumps; all dismount except No. 3; dismounted men come into action and fire; No. 3, who remains mounted, leads all horses of a section round a post, and back through two posts to the firing line, when all mount and ride back to the winning post; points given for time, sections keeping together, and leading of led horses, and general smartness. Prizes, 40s and 20s. A Squadron (Belfast), 1; B Squadron, 2.

Wrestling on Horseback; one team of six men from each squadron; final. Prize, 30s - B Team defeated D Team.

Inter-Squadron Tug-of-War; eight men per squadron; final. Prize, 40s - D Team defeated C Team.

220 Yards Race with Arms, open to Curragh district. Prizes, 15s, 10s, and 5s - Private Rason, 18th Hussars, 1; Wilkinson, 2; Lockhart, 3.

100 Yards Race Fatigue Party. Prizes, 15s, 10s, and 5s - McKinney, 1; Graham, 2; Tassell, 3.

(Northern Whig, 6 July 1908)




The annual shooting competitions in connection with the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry now in training at Newbridge, County Kildare, took place last week at the Curragh range. Trooper John Agnew, of Searce, near Newry, proved of the best recruits' shot competition, carrying off the £3, regimental prize. So far none of the local troop have signified their intention of rejoining the regiment under the new conditions, the extension of the annual training from 18 to 24 days being largely responsible for this. The following comprize the local troop: Sergeant Jack Best, Jerretspass; Lance-Corporal F. McMahon, Warrenpoint; Lance-Corporal T. Ranton (scout), Donaghmore; Troopers J. A. Kennedy (scout), Newry; J. Porter, Tullyhappy; W. Lockhart, Jerrettspass; J. Agnew, Searce; C. Sterritt, do.; W. Freeburn, Bessbrook; D. Nugent, Warrenpoint; W. Forgue, do.; J. Hawthorn, Newtownhamilton; M. Andrews, do.; and J. Robb, do.

(Newry Reporter, 30 June 1908)



Disbandment of the Regiment.

Yesterday morning the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry broke up the camp at Newbridge, and returned to its respective squadron headquarters, at the conclusion of the training, under the command of the Earl of Shaftesbury, K.C.V.O. The first to leave camp was the Londonderry Squadron, which left at 5.30, under Major E. A. Maude, for the Curragh Siding, where it entrained half an hour later. The Enniskillen Squadron (under Viscount Cole) followed at 6.30, the Belfast Squadron (under Captain and Adjutant H. A. Clifton and Lieutenant Holt Waring) at 7.15, and the Dundalk Squadron (under Lord Farnham) at 8 o'clock. The luggage had been packed up the previous day and conveyed to the siding, where it was quickly handled and got aboard the respective trains. The Belfast men did not leave the siding till 8.30, and their train arrived here a little after 5 p.m. Detachments for Dungannon, Stewartstown, Cookstown, and Portadown were detrained at the latter station, and at Lurgan and Lisburn further detachments left the squadron. The run home was made much quicker than last year. Last night the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry ceased to exist on the disbandment of the regiment, and to-day the new "North Irish Yeomanry" came into existence with a nucleus of about 190 non-commissioned officers and men.

At a special parade of the regiment in the recreation tent on the afternoon of the 5th inst., Lord Shaftesbury, in addressing it, said that the training had been favoured with exceptional weather. The discipline had been of the highest order, and just what he expected of the regiment. There had not been the slightest trouble with the men. The weather had been extremely trying on both horses and men owing to the great heat, and they had come well through the ordeal, and there had been no sickness. He wished to speak of the work done by the regimental scouts under Mr. Yates. (Applause.) They had earned the approval of General Lindley and Colonel Rycroft (11th Hussars), and had astonished those under whom they worked. Their one drawback was the want of knowledge of cooking. The scouts had to forage for themselves, and they were not so good at the cooking as they might have been. He hoped that they would learn to cook properly before next training. One of the first thing he learnt as a boy was to cook, and he could cook a chicken in a way that would surprise them. (Applause and laughter.) With regard to the regiment, General Lindley expressed himself satisfied with the regiment when he saw it, and General Lyttelton said that he was pleased with everything that he saw. He was very sorry that he was losing so many of the men who could not join under the new conditions, as they could not give the requisite time. He was glad to say that all his officers were joining, and had in this way given a good lead to the men. (Applause.) He hoped, however, that in the coming winter months that the men would think over it and rejoin before next training.

His Lordship presented the prizes won at the regimental sports and the other prizes won during the training. The latter included the Ashley Cup, won by A (Belfast) Squadron, which was received by Lord Massereene, the squadron commander, and the Ormeau Cup, which was won by the C (Enniskillen) Squadron for good shooting and accepted by Captain D'Arcy Irvine on behalf of the squadron. The points were - A Squadron, 115; B Squadron, 146; C Squadron, 180; and D Squadron, 160. The D (Dundalk) Squadron was adjudged the best at the inspection, and B was the best mounted squadron. After distributing the prizes his Lordship bade the regiment farewell, and he and the officers were loudly cheered as they left the tent.

(Belfast News-Letter, 7 July 1908)



Yesterday the new North Irish Yeomanry came into existence to replace the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry, which was disbanded on the 6th inst. at the termination of its training. Colonel Lord Shaftesbury, K.C.V.O., and all the officers, and about one-half of the old regiment, have joined the new corps. From this date the term of enlistment will be for four years, and pay and separation allowance will be on the same scale as in the regular army. Financially that will be an advantage to all ranks.

(Northern Whig, 8 July 1908)



The above photograph, which was taken at the Curragh during the annual training this year, is particularly interesting, in view of the fact that scarcely half of the sergeants in this squadron have rejoined the regiment under the new conditions.

Top row (left to right) - Sergeants J. Dunwoody, Jackson, Raeburn, Tevelyn, A. Dunwoody.
Bottom row - Sergeants Taylor, T. Dunwoody, Sergeant-Major Fryer, Quartermaster-Sergeant Gordon, and Sergeant Booker.

His many friends will be very pleased to learn that Sergeant Booker (Kells), who met with a nasty accident owing to his horse "coming back over" with him while jumping at the sports, has completely recovered, and is as keen on soldiering as ever. Sergt. Booker, who is always the life and soul of the camp, was the means of many men rejoining under the new conditions.

(Larne Times and Weekly Telegraph, 25 July 1908)


In this "snap" a group of D. Squadron men, no less than six counties are represented, while "Maggie," the regimental pet, (brought back as a prisoner of war by the scouts from New Ross, Co. Wexford), is also included in the picture. "Maggie" has rejoined under the new conditions.

(Larne Times and Weekly Telegraph, 25 July 1908)


Standing (reading from left to right) - Sergeant Harvey (Belfast), Trooper T. Graham (Downpatrick), Sergeant-Major Blakley (instructor), Trooper Wilson (Belfast), Sergeant Moore (Downpatrick).
Sitting (reading from left to right) - Sergeant-Farrier Reid (Belfast), Sergeant Hogg (Cookstown), Major Lord Massereene (Squadron Commander), Sergeant R.E. Hunter (Belfast).

(Larne Times and Weekly Telegraph, 26 June 1909)


(Larne Times and Weekly Telegraph, 26 June 1909)


1909 - Ballykinlar Camp, Dundrum, County Down


(Image courtesy of Sarah Swinscoe)



(By A Non-Com.)
The North Irish Horse (late North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry) assembled at Myrlough, Dundrum Bay, County Down, for the first annual training under Mr. Haldane's new scheme, and under vastly different conditions than obtained hitherto in the Yeomanry. The regiment is at full strength and although there had been rumours that the duties this year will be very exacting and severe, all the men assembled as jubilant as a lot of schoolboys going on a picnic.

I have endeavoured in the following article to give a short account of the evolution of the regiment, together with a few, I trust interesting particulars, concerning it, which have not before found their way into print.


Without delving unnecessarily into ancient history, I might say that on the return of the Irish contingent of Imperial Yeomanry from the South Africa war a reception by the citizens of the loyal city of Belfast was given the men in the Exhibition Hall in the month of February, if I remember right, 1902. At that reception, which was a stirring and memorable one, it was suggested that some steps should be taken to form a permanent body of Volunteers of Yeomanry in Ireland. The idea was received with great warmth and enthusiasm, but the preliminary steps bristled with difficulties. It was pointed out that Ireland had been proclaimed "proscribed" from the Irish Rebellion of '98, and that before any number of men could bear arms or a regiment of Yeomanry be formed a special Act of Parliament would have to be promoted in Parliament. This, the chief difficulty, was tackled with such vigour and determination by the prime movers, chief of whom was the Earl of Shaftesbury, K.C.V.O., that towards the end of the year – on the 18th of December, to be exact – an Act to amend the law relating to Militia and Yeomanry, known as the Militia and Yeomanry Act of 1902, was passed through Parliament and subsequently received the Royal Assent.


Recruiting commenced forthwith for the North of Ireland Yeomanry in Belfast and Ulster generally, while at the same time a sister regiment was being gathered together in the metropolis under the style and title of the South of Ireland Yeomanry. This was the first start proper, and Squadron Sergeant-Major Blakley, of the 4th Dragoon Guards, was brought over specially from England to take chage of the recruiting in the North. In a wonderfully short period of time he had gathered together the nucleus of the present regiment. Drills were held almost nightly, and to its credit be it said the new corps was able to make a first appearance in the city on the 27th July, 1903, on the occasion of the King's visit to Belfast, when they formed a dismounted guard of honour at the North-East Agricultural Show Grounds, Balmoral.


The King was extremely pleased and gratified, and in no unmistakable terms congratulated the officers in charge (Major E. D. P. Maxwell, of Finnebrogue, and Lieutenant the Hon. H. O'Neill, Shane's Castle, County Antrim, on the general smartness and physique of the men, many of whom displayed the South African medals.

On the following day the regiment, 200 strong, proceeded to Red Barns, Dundalk, for the first annual training, including, of course, detachments from Derry, Enniskillen, and Dundalk.

Nothing of particular note happened in 1904, but in passing I many mention that when the regiment went to Finner Camp that year for training it was at full strength, 476 men. The following year training was carried out in conjunction with the South of Ireland Yeomanry at the famous Donnelly Hollow, Curragh Camp, County Kildare, where cavalry regiments have been lying for the past 150 years. In 1906, the regiment, still at full strength, made Ballykinlar Camp the rendezvous, and the writer well remembers the extremely anxious, though, on the whole, very pleasant times, he spent in that very popular camp. 1907 saw the regiment back at the Curragh, this time the camp being pitched on a higher and dryer ground than at Donnelly's Hollow, and at the same time much nearer the town of Newbridge. It was lucky this was so, as that particular camp was the worst on record, rain falling almost unceasingly every day during the training. Newbridge was again selected by the powers that be for the 1908 camp, and the weather proved a most delightful contrast to that experienced the previous year. Only one shower – and that a sun shower – fell during the entire three weeks, and it was on the evening before the regiment was broken up and disbanded, and prior, as it proved, to its being called together again under greatly changed conditions and under the more dignified title of the North Irish Horse.

The disbandment of the Yeomanry was brought about by Mr. Haldane's new Territorial scheme, which it must be admitted, without reflection on the men, was not very well understood. The colonel (Lord Shaftesbury), however, assembled the entire regiment in a large marquee, and explained the new conditions at some length. The Irish Horse, he explained, would be by no means the Yeomanry under another name. They would be more genuine soldiers, a step above the English and Scottish Territorials, and must send 160 men to the front with the expeditionary forces the moment war broke out, an honour conferred on the Irish Horse and the Irish Horse alone. The colonel concluded amid cheers by making a special appeal to the men, and, to the credit of all concerned, let it be stated that every officer and considerably over half the men rejoined under the new conditions, and then and there was established the North Irish Horse.


The terms of enlistment are in a great many respects different from the Yeomanry. In the first place, the latter were only enlisted for home defence purposes, but the North Irish Horse and the South Irish Horse must be mobilised the moment war breaks out, and each regiment will sent 160 men out with the expeditionary forces, or, in other words, 160 men must be sent out to the scene of hostilities right away, while the remainder of the regiment is held in readiness to take the field at a moment's notice.

In the English and Scottish Yeomanry or Territorials the annual training is only for a period of fifteen days, whereas twenty-four days is the term now fixed for the Irish Horse. Recruits will be taken on (cross?) Channel Volunteers and trained to ride, but a man must be able to "sit a horse" and not hang on by the reins before being accepted for the North or South irish Horse. A recruit must not be under 18 or more than 25 years of age, not less than 5ft. 3in. in height, with a chest measurement when fully expanded, of at least 34 inches, and fill other exacting conditions too numerous to mention and of interest only to the intending recruit.


In less than forty-eight hours after war being declared the North Irish Horse would be in readiness to embark for the scene of action. Stored away at the headquarters of the regiment, Skegoneil Avenue, Belfast, stores are packed, neatly arranged and numbered, and only to be touched when war actually breaks out, should that be long or short.

In the event of the regiment receiving orders to mobilise the following are the details for service squadron to be furnished by the squadrons. – Officer to command, the Honourable E. A. Maude, with Captain C. C. D'Arcy Irvine as second in command; Lieutenants E. C. Herdman, D. Ker, R. L. Yates, S. J. Lyle.

To be furnished by A Squadron (Belfast) – Squadron Sergeant-Major Blakley; sergeants, 2; corporals, 2; signalling corporals, 1; shoeing smiths, 2; drivers, 1; signallers, 2; privates, 28.

To be furnished by B Squadron (Derry) – Squadron quartermaster-sergeant; sergeants, 2; corporals, 2; shoeing smiths, 1; saddlers, 1; drivers, 2; signallers, 2; privates, 28.

To be furnished by C Squadron (Enniskillen) – Sergeants, 2; farrier sergeant, 1; corporals, 2; shoeing smith, 1; trumpeter, 1; driver, 1; signallers, 2; privates, 28.

To be furnished by D Squadron (Dundalk) – Sergeants, 2; corporals, 2; shoeing smith corporal, 1; shoeing smith, 1; trumpeter, 1; driver, 1; signallers, 2; privates, 28.


Some people imagine that the men go up each year for the sheer fun of playing at soldiers and "divilment" generally, while others more harshly inclined say that they simply go to camp for a cheap holiday and for the purpose of making money. All this is very wide of the mark, and let me say right here that the man who goes to camp for either a holiday or the purpose of raking in the "bawbees" will make the biggest mistake of his life, and will wish before many days are over that he had broken a plate-glass window and gone to jail instead. On the other hand, if the recruit has any patriotic blood in his veins, coupled with a natural love for a horse, is of a serene temper and willing to rough it a little and make the best of everything, there is no more delightful way or more profitable (from a mental and physical standpoint) way of spending the summer vacation. The entire training is spent at good, solid soldiering, and shirkers generally have a rough time of it, as may be expected when I state that from the Colonel (Earl Shaftesbury, K.C.V.O.), who served nine years in the 10th Hussars, sown to the youngest subaltern, more than two-thirds of the officers served in the regular army, while the Squadron Sergeant-Majors are specially selected men drafted from the regular army. The following is a correct list of the officers serving in the N.I.H., which, appearing as it does for the first time in any newspaper, should serve as a useful and handy reference:-

Honorary Colonel – Duke of Abercorn, K.G., C.B.
Colonel Commanding – Earl of Shaftesbury, K.V.C.O. (10th Hussars).
Majors (5) – Marquis of Hamilton (1st Life Guards), Hon. E. A. Maude (Scots Greys), Viscount Cole (7th Hussars), Viscount Masserene and Ferrard (17th Lancers), Hon. A. Hamilton-Russell (1st Royal Dragoons).
Captains (4) – Lord Farnham (10th Hussars), C. C. D'Arcy Irvine (3rd Battalion Inniskilling Fusiliers), and A. F. Maude.
Lieutenants (4) – E. C. Herdman (5th Battalion Inniskilling Fusiliers), F. F. Cooke, D. A. W. Ker (6th Dragoon Guards), and C. Norman.
2nd Lieutenants (3) – R. L. Yates, S. J. Lyle, and R. D. Ross (16th Hussars).


In addition to possessing a fine band of their own, which, by the way, made its first public appearance on Thursday evening, the 10th of June, in Ormeau Park, where a particularly flattering reception was accorded it, the new regiment will be armed this year with the new pattern short rifle, Mark 4, the latest and most modern rifle, another high compliment on the part of the Army Council; besides, all the officers, non-coms, signallers, and scouts will be supplied with the best and most modern field glasses, and other equipment likely to prove useful in time of war.


It was first arranged that the regiment would encamp at Ballykinlar, alongside the regulars and Royal Irish Rifle Special Reseve Brigade, but that order was subsequently cnacelled and the camp has been pitched at Myrlough, a pretty little spot nestling almost at the foot of Slieve Donard, on the Dundrum side of Dundrum Bay, and quite close to the quiet little town of that name. The immediate locality is more favourable for cavalry drill and manoeuvres, whilst being convenient enough to Ballykinlar for brigade work. The sands, which run rigt down to Newcastle, make an ideal place for squadron drills, and being broader than on the Ballykinlar side of the bay are not so much dependent on the tides.

It will come as a shock to many of the men to learn of the death of Squadron Sergeant-Major Emby (B Squadron), Derry, who was a great favourite in camp, and a splendid all-round sportsman and good fellow generally. The vacancy thus caused has been filled by Sergeant-Major Walsh, of the 8th Hussars. Then, again, Squadron Sergeant-Major Fryer (D Squadron, Dundalk) has been replaced by Sergeant-Major Aston (9th Lancers), and Squad Sergeant-Major Towner, of Enniskillen, of C Squadron (resigned), by Squad Sergeant-Major Wallis, 1st Royal Dragoons. Really the only old friends left in this capacity are Regimental Squadron-Sergeant Pettaway and Squadron Sergeant-Major Blakley (whose photograph appears with this article). All these men have reputations to live up to, and if hard work, enthusiasm, and energy counts for anything the regiment should prove both a credit and an ornament to dear old Ireland, and worthy in every respect the high compliment paid it by the Army Council.

I hope in a future article to deal with camp life.

(Larne Times and Weekly Telegraph, 26 June 1909)


Sergeant Major Blakley, the popular officer of A Squadron.


Some Sights and Scenes.
(By a NON-COM.)

In a previous article dealing chiefly with the history and organisation of the North Irish Horse (late North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry), I promised to give a sketch of the life in camp with the regiment, and now that half the training is over, I propose to redeem that promise.

There is not much time for writing here, nor, in fact, desire; but as the obliging sergeant-major, to whose squadron I am attached, has kindly granted me leave from evening stables, I shall do my best under the circumstances. I am sitting in what is known as the large recreation tent at the head of the lines, and a football match is in progress close by – I like football. Then, again, the band tent is just opposite, and the trombone players are murdering crotchets, and anybody with a musical ear knows what that means – I have a musical ear. The band is splendid as a band, and I shall have something nice to say about it later on; but my advice to anyone who wishes to write a nice and spicy articles is, keep away – far away – from practising trombones.


The times so far in camp have been of a rather variegated nature, due largely to the indifferent weather experienced, and to give as true a picture as I can of the life I think I had better take first what a trooper here would call an ordinary or routine day, and describe it as faithfully as I can.

Reveille, as a general rule, is sounded at 5 a.m., after which ten minutes are allowed to dress before stables. When the bugle sounds "stables" the sleepy troopers turn out into the lines, and one-half of the men take the horses to water, each man taking two horses, while the other half, with shovels, brushes, barrows, &c., clean up the lines. The horses having been well groomed and brushed and saddlery cleaned and shining, the men are then, and only then, allowed to wash up before breakfast. The morning meal is generally pretty much rushed, and the men are soon back into the lines saddling up.


The horses once saddled, and scrutinised by a keen-eyed troop sergeant, are filed out on the parade ground and formed up in troops and numbered off. The men of each squadron are finally examined by the respective majors, and a start is made for the sands, each squadron advancing by half sections (two men) to the right or left as the case may be. For the first few days of the training there is usually some excitement mounting at morning parade, as the horses are very restive, and most of them not used to drill. However, a couple or three days' work together soon surmounts the difficulty, and the horses as well as the men soon learn to take up their proper positions on the word of command.

The drill ground once reached, the several troops (four to each squadron) are told off to drill for a time under the different troop leaders, the major and captain visiting each troop in turn. This for the first few days commences with "cross-stirrup" drill – that is to say, the troop moves round in a circle, each man with his stirrups crossed in front of his saddle – at a walk, trot, or gallop, as the troop leader may direct. Any man with a shaky seat, or caught holding on by the saddle is brought out and made trot and gallop round alone in front of his comrades, who usually enjoy the fun. In a wonderfully short period of time the rawest recruit finds his seat, and soon grows as confident as his older and more experienced confrere. This is followed up by section drill, inclining, extending, shouldering, and so on, and finally the different troops rally for squadron drill. Much the same evolutions are gone through, only this time under the direction of the major or captain, and no prettier or more exhilirating sight could be imagined than a squadron of horse advancing at a gallop in line, and covering over a quarter mile of beautiful sand, with Slieve Donard in the foreground, and the sea stretching out as far as the eye can reach away on the left.


Squadron drill over a start is made for the sand hills, where imaginary battles are fought daily, the rough and irregular ground affording excellent cover. The enemy being either routed of captured, a halt is usually made, when the men are taught to fix up their horses in such a way that they can be left alone in the valley, while the men rush out to the attack. After the first lesson or two the men perform the task of hobbling the horses with an alacrity and alertness truly surprising. The men having "doubled" up the hill under cover, the major usually takes up a position where all can both hear and see, and delivers a lecture to the men.

The writer has had the pleasure and privilege of being present at several of these lectures delivered by Major the Honourable A. Hamilton-Russell, D. Squadron, Dundalk, and in common with his comrades enjoyed them very much. These lectures are indeed both pleasurable and profitable. The men are allowed to sit down and smoke, the whiff after the hot work on the sands beneath being very much appreciated. "Soldiering," said Major Russell, the other morning, after explaining what reserve, support, and picquet meant, "is nothing more than common-sense. Think before you act, and when you act you will act intelligently."


Lectures over, if the drill below has not been too severe, a return is made to camp through "hostile" country, each squadron in turn forming the advance party, with scouts out, patrols on right and left flanks, and connecting files thrown out over a distance of from one to three miles.

The invasion of the camp is usually effected about 12.30 p.m., and the next half hour is put in at stables under the supervision of the officers. The bugle having sounded the "feed," nosebags are slipped over the horses' heads, and then the men rush off for a wash – and dinner.


Outside the officers' and the sergeants' messes, each squadron has its own mess tent, and a hot reception is generally given the "recruity," who may through mistake wander into A. tent when he should have gone to B., C., or D. The dinner is a wonderful meal. Nobody knows what it is. These is always plenty of it though, and as the men come in as hungry as the proverbial hunter, dinner disappears like magic, to the rattle of knives and forks and merry banter of the men.

Dinner over saddlery is again cleaned up ready for the next morning, and rifles oiled and inspected. This task completed, the men are free to do as they choose until five o'clock, p.m., when "stables," go again, and after that comes tea. With the completion of this meal the work of the day is over, except for the few men told off for guard, and the evening is spent in a way that only a rollicking high-spirited lot of young fellows can. Impromptu concerts are held each evening in the canteen, while boxing, fencing, tent pegging, football, swimming, boating, etc., all find their quota of enthusiasts, while again others quit the camp for the evening, some walking out in full dress, others visiting Newcastle and the surrounding towns on bicycles to return to camp later on jaded out, but thoroughly pleased with the day's proceedings.

I have endeavoured to sketch an ordinary day in camp, but it must not be inferred from the foregoing that the programme to be followed out is exactly the same every day. Indeed, it is not so. The weather would not allow of it. Musketry, physical drill, lectures, &c., are fitted in chiefly for the purpose of discipline, and later on the several competitions will have to be decided in the afternoons, but this article gives a pretty general idea of the life in camp.


The day of the week in camp is Sunday. Reveille is an hour later, and after stables and breakfast the men don full dress for church parade – and a very striking and imposing picture this makes. The North Irish Horse is practically divided into two big groups – Church of Ireland and Presbyterian, the former being in the majority. The band – and a splendid band it is – accompanies the Church of Ireland contingent to Dundrum Parish Church, the march to church attracting visitors from far and near. The Colonel (Lord Shaftesbury, K.C.V.O.) reads the lessons while the pulpit is usually occupied by the local rector. On Sunday last hundreds could not gain admittance to the church. Stables and saddle inspection (the latter just before dinner) by the colonel and other officers, are the only duties on Sunday, otherwise the men are free to do as they choose, and, needless to say, make the most of their time.


On the whole the times are excellent. True, the men have to work hard, but they are enthusiastic, revel in the open life, and enjoy themselves all the more in the afternoons for having something to do during the day.

As compared with other years the work is much stiffer, but it is all practical, and not so many irritating changes of headgear, and, to the men, unnecessary inspections. The officers do not shirk their duties, and in substantiation of this statement, I might just mention the following incident:– At the musketry course (casuals) at Ballykinlar the other afternoon the colonel shot his rounds like an ordinary trooper, afterwards picking up his empty cartridges one by one, and handing them to the corporal in charge of the ammunition. After that could any man refuse to perform his part? The men are very proud of their officers; the officers are proud of their men, and, under the new conditions, the North Irish Horse bids well to become a really formidable military factor.


A maxim gun has been added to the regiment this year, and, in good hands, is capable of firing up to 500 rounds per minute. The team (8 men) will be selected from A. squadron (Belfast), with Sergeant Booker, of D. squadron (Dundalk), as instructor.

Yesterday (Monday) the regiment paraded for regimental drill under the personal direction of the colonel, who, on the conclusion, expressed himself highly pleased with the progress made. This practically concludes the drill, and it is expected that road and brigade work will be taken up towards the end of the week.

(Belfast Evening Telegraph, 5 July 1909)



The annual training of the North Irish Horse (late North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry), which ended on Friday, has proved the most satisfactory and successful from every point of view since the regiment was inaugurated seven years ago. The extra days added to the training this year have allowed the men more time for drill and attaining greater efficiency in all departments, and in no place was the all-round improvement more noticeable than at the inspection and review of the regiment on Wednesday by Brigadier-General Lindley, the general officer commanding the 3rd Cavalry Brigade. The inspection of course took place on the sands to the left of Newcastle, which have been the scene of many stirring encounters during the past three weeks, and the General at the close complimented the troops upon the all-round excellence and improvement in all ranks since he first inspected the regiment two years ago. Later on Brigadier-General Lindley again expressed his pleasure to the Colonel (Lord Shaftesbury, K.C.V.O.) on the general turnout, the riding, and substantial all-round improvement, and further expressed his pleasure at being able to report favourably on all he had seen.


It is only natural that from the Colonel down every man connected with the regiment should feel proud of such an excellent report, and the Colonel in consequence for his gratification expressed his pleasure as follows in the "orders" at night – "The officer commanding the North Irish Horse desires to take this opportunity of communicating to all ranks his thanks for the loyalty and spirit, the keenness, the ready attention to work and drill shown by all during the training. The steadiness at work, the discipline, the efficiency attained in riding, manoeuvres and drill is due to the careful training of their units by squadron commanders, backed up by the enthusiasm of the officers and men. The officer commanding also wishes to express his great satisfaction at the excellent behaviour of the men of the regiment, both in and out of camp."


The annual musketry competitions were decided at Ballykinlar ranges on Tuesday, when "Galloping D," as Dundalk squadron is known in camp, completely swept the boards, winning both the Ashley and Enniskillen Cups, as well as all the individual prizes. Naturally the countrymen feel quite elated with themselves, and it was with difficulty that they held their enthusiasm in check until Wednesday night, when the results were officially made known to the regiment. On Sergeant-Major Aston making his appearance cheer after cheer rent the air, and the cheers were continued with greater volume and enthusiasm as the result of each competition was announced, finishing up with cheers for the officers of D Squadron, Major Hamilton-Russell, Captain Lord Farnham, Lieutenants Kerr and Ross, Sergeant-Major Aston, and finally for the recipients of the cups and other prizes, who were afterwards carried shoulder high round camp.

Musketry Prizes – Best shooting squadron in the regiment's annual course – D Squadron (Dundalk.)
Winners Ashley Cup – D Squadron, 106 points; A Squadron (Belfast), 62 points; B Squadron (Derry), 51 points; and C Squadron (Enniskillen), 42 points.
Best shot in the regiment, prize £5 – Sergeant W. Booker, D Squadron.
Second best shot of regiment – Squadron Quarter-Master Sergeant Sydney Jackson, D Squadron.
Winner Enniskillen Cup (sergeants only) – W. Booker, D Squadron.
Best recruit shot in the regiment – Trooper Greenaway, D Squadron.
Signed, H. A. Clifton, Captain and Adjutant, North Irish Horse.


This morning (Friday) the North Irish Horse, after completing twenty-four days' training at Dundrum Bay, Co. Down, struck camp, and were accorded an enthusiastic send-off by the people of the district, who all through took a keen and appreciative interest in the doings of the regiment. Reveille sounded at 3 a.m., and by nine o'clock scarcely a vestige of the camp remained, the last special train leaving Dundrum at 9-10 a.m. The men were genuinely sorry at leaving, and could have spent another fortnight under the conditions which obtained from start to finish. The Belfast contingent reached home shortly after midday.

The last few days, outside working hours, of course, was one round of pleasure enjoyment. On Wednesday night another concert was given by the regiment in the large recreation tent, and was attended by visitors for miles around, brakes, side cars, motor cars, and bicycles being requisitioned to bring the folk to camp. The concert was the most successful in the history of the regiment, almost the entire artistes being provided from the strength, the Colonel (Lord Shaftesbury, K.C.V.O.), Captain Lord Farnham, and Lieutenant Norman taking part.


The annual sports were held on Thursday, and attracted a record attendance. The day turned out bright and fine, the heat of the strong sun being tempered by a delicious breeze, while the dainty gowns of the fair sex – assembled in force – together with the brightly hued uniforms of the officers and men, made a striking and memorable picture. The several competitions were contested with more keenness and vigour than in previous years, and the presentation of the prizes by Lady Shaftesbury at the conclusion made an exceedingly happy and appropriate consummation to a capital day's enjoyment, and a record training in every respect. Details:–

100 Yards Flat Race – Sergeant Lockhart (A Squadron), 1; Sergeant Booker (D Squadron), 2; Bandsman Doherty, 3.
Individual Tent-Pegging – Corporal Woods (B Squadron), 1; Sergeant-Major Blakley (A Squadron), 2.
Saddling-up Race – Sergeant Ross (C Squadron), 1; Trooper Gordon (D), 2.
Wheelbarrow Race – Sergeant Lockhart (A), 1; Trooper Johnston (D), 2; Trooper Dawson (D), 3.
Horse Jumping – Sergeant Taylor (B), 1; Sergeant Ross(C), 2; Sergeant Taylor (second horse), 3.
Lloyd Lindsay Race – A Squadron.
220 Yards, drill order with arms (open to regiments at Ballykinlar) – Sergeant Lockhart (A), 1; Sergeant Booker (D), 2; Trooper Nesbitt (D), 3.
Wrestling on Horseback – B Squadron.
Tug-of-War (eight men per squadron) – C Squadron.
Band Race – Brady, 1; Ward, 2; Doherty, 3.

(Belfast Evening Telegraph 10 July 1909)



After the most successful training since the inauguration of the regiment, seven years ago, the North Irish Horse struck camp on Thursday morning, leaving by three special trains for their respective destinations. The training occupied twenty-four days, during which time the weather, with the exception of a few days, was admirable.

On Wednesday the regiment was inspected by Brigadier Lindley, commander of the Third Cavalry Brigade, who expressed great pleasure with all he saw, and said he observed a substantial improvement in all ranks since he inspected the regiment at the Curragh two years ago. The Colonel returned his thanks to the men for their excellent conduct both in and out of camp.

A concert was held on Wednesday night in the recreation tent, the artists including Lord Shaftesbury, Lord Farnham, and Lieutenant Norman.

The annual sports were held on Wednesday afternoon, in a spacious field adjoining the camp. The weather was all that could be desired, and there was a very large attendance. The events included a number of flat races, section tent-pegging, saddling-up race, horse-jumping, tug-o'-war, wresting on horse back, and several obstacle races.

The musketry competitions were shot off at Ballykinlar on Tuesday. D Squadron (Dundalk) were successful in carrying off all the competitions, winning the Ashley Cup and the Enniskillen Cup. Sergeant Booker was the winner of the competition for the best shot in the regiment, the second being secured by Squadron Quartermaster Jackson. Trooper Greenaway won the competition for best recruit shot in regiment.

Colonel the Earl of Shaftesbury and the officers gave an "At Home" in camp on Wednesday afternoon. The splendid band of the regiment played selections during the sports.

(Ballymena Observer, 16 July 1909)


(Larne Times and Weekly Telegraph, 3 July 1909)


1910 - Magilligan Camp, Bellarena, County Londonderry

Training Begun at Magilligan.

On the 20th inst. the North Irish Horse assembled at Magilligan Camp for the annual training. The regiment, which is practically at full strength, will be under the command of Colonel the Earl of Shaftesbury, and will remain under canvas until Thursday, 7th July. The Belfast (A Squadron) left the city on the 20th inst. on the 9.45 train (Midland), and, accompanied by the regimental band, were the first to arrive at camp, with the exception, of course, of the Derry (B Squadron), who were there to welcome the incoming contingents. The Dundalk (D Squadron) and the Enniskillen (C Squadron) arrived during the day. The Strand will be the venue for the drills for the first week, then road and field work will be commenced. The several competitions promise to be more open and interesting than ever, and with favourable weather a most successful training is anticipated.

(Belfast Weekly News, 23 June 1910)

Progress of the Training.

The annual training of the North Irish Horse at Magilligan Camp is proceeding apace. The camp, situated near the extremity of the "point", which, jutting out into Lough Swilly to within three miles of the Donegal coast, possesses much interest for tourists, is an ideal place for military operations, and the officers and men of the regiment are very favourably impressed with its scenic beauties and picturesque surroundings. The weather, though rough at times, has so far been fairly favourably, and the various stages of the training have scarcely been interfered with. There has yet been very little respite in the daytime for the strict exactions of duty, but in camp at night various amusements are indulged in and impromptu entertainments organised, the spirit of camaraderie which actuates the members of the various squadrons being very pronounced. The training will be wound up with the usual inspection and regimental sports, for which preparations are already in progress. On the 25th ult. the officers travelled to Londonderry, and engaged in a polo match with the officers of the Hampshire Regiment, stationed at Ebrington Barracks. The game, which was a splendid one, took place on the maginificent grounds of the Derry Polo Club, at Gransha. Hampshire won by four goals to three. A further match was contempleted for the 30th ult. with the County Derry team, but it was postponed. However, the officers travelled to Londonderry and took part in a very interesting practice at Gransha with the home club and the Hampshire officers. The exhibition lasted during the afternoon, and was witnessed by a numerous crowd. The players included the following:- Captain Ricardo, D.S.O.; Captain Connellan, Captain Newman, Major Parker, Captain J. C. Herdman, Captain Holt Waring, Captain Middleton, Mr. Fowelle, Mr. F. F. Cooke, Mr. A. F. Cooke, Mr Grant, Mr. Combe, Mr. E. C. Herdman, Mr. Le Hunt, and Mr. Hewitt.

(Belfast Weekly News, 7 July 1910)


The officers and men of the above regiment, in training at Magilligan Camp, are looking forward to the termination of the camp on Friday next, after which each squadron performs a four-days' route march to a central point in its own district before being finally disbanded. The shooting competitions for the various cups and prizes were held on the splendid range just beside the camp, the principal event being the Ashley Cup, shot for by teams of eight, a team from "B" Squadron, consisting of S.S.M. Taylor, S.Q.M.S. Moore, Sergeants Whiteside, Sterritt, and Clarke; Corporal Chambers; Privates Kennedy, and Gourley, being successful, leading the next best team by 12 points.

The Inniskilling Cup, open to sergeants only, was also won by "B" Squadron, Sergeant Sterritt obtaining this trophy with 39 points out of a possible 40.

The recruits prize was won by Private Ross, of "C" Squadron. It is understood that five men have tied for the honour of being regimental shot.

(Ballymena Weekly Telegraph, 9 July 1910)


1911 - The Curragh, County Kildare

The North Irish Horse will proceed from the squadron headquarters at Belfast (A squadron), Londonderry (B squadron), Enniskilling (C squadron), and Dundalk (D squadron), on the 4th inst. for the usual training to Newbridge. Mr. J. E. Pittaway, regimental sergeant-major, and a fatigue party have already gone to lay out and pitch the camp, which is in the same field as it was during the last visit of the regiment to Newbridge.

(Dublin Daily Express, 2 May 1911)

NORTH IRISH HORSE.- Sergeant David Sterritt, with forty troopers of Squadron B North Irish Horse, left Letterkenny by special train for 24 day's drill at Newbridge, county Kildare. Troop 4 has in command a Donegal man, Captain Charles Norman, of Fahan.

(Derry Journal, 10 May 1911)


The members of the North Irish Horse under the command of Colonel the Right Honourable the Earl of Shaftesbury, K.C.V.O., entered upon their annual training on 4th inst. This year the camp has been chosen at Newbridge, where there is plenty of accommodation for the men carrying out their duties. The Belfast contingent left the city at eight o'clock in the morning, travelling per the Great Northern Railway. They were accompanied by the regimental band, under the command of Mr. Richard Wade. It is gratifying to know that during the past year there has been a decided increase in the number of recruits joining the regiment, which will remain in camp until the 27th inst. ...

(Belfast Weekly News, 11 May 1911)




This match was played on Saturday on the ground of the All-Ireland Club, Phoenix Park, in most beautifully fine weather, and was witnessed by a large gathering of spectators. The ground was in perfect condition, and the game was keenly contested.

The 5th Lancers were strongly represented, as was the team representing the North Irish Horse. ... Teams--
5th Lancers (Green and White) -- Captain Tyrrell, Captain Chance, Major Jardine, Col. Milner.
North Irish Horse (White) -- Mr. J. Grant, Major H. Russell, Captain Waring, Mr. D. Ker.
Umpires -- Captain Dennis and Mr. Roark.

In the opening chukkar the play was even, but a rush by the Royal Irish Lancers' quartette ended in a goal per Major Jardine. The advantage of the leaders was increased by Captain Chance in the second chukkar, but later a goal was recorded for the North Irish Horse. In the third period Captain Holt Waring equalised, and the half-time score was:-
Royal Irish Horse ... 2 goals.
5th Lancers ... 2 goals.

In the fourth chukkar Captain Tyrrell got the leading goal for the 5th Lancers, but immediately afterwards Mr. Grant equalised for the North Irish Horse. In the fifth period the play was a remarkably even character, either side failing to score. In the last period the scorers were Captain Holt Waring for the North Irish Horse and Captain Tyrrell (2) and Major Jardine for the 5th Lancers.
5th Lancers ... 6 goals.
N. Irish Horse ... 4 goals.

(Dublin Daily Express, 29 May 1911)


1912 - Ballykinlar Camp, Dundrum, County Down


The North Irish Horse after twenty-four days' training at Murlough, County Down, were disbanded on Saturday morning. With the exception of one really severe day the weather was delightful for camp life, and, notwithstanding the somewhat arduous course of training, the time was pleasantly spent. The regiment, which is under the command of the Earl of Shaftesbury, consists of about 480 officers and men.

The sports on the afternoon of the 13th were attended with marked success. There were ten events, which were well contested. Sergeant McIlroy, Ballymena, with his charger Nigger won the jumping competition. Nigger also won second prize at Banbridge on Tuesday. Much interest centred in a challenge horse-jumping competition between Lieutenant Herdman and Captain Newman, which was won by the former. Captain Newman's horse fell, and its owner narrowly escaped a severe accident. Sergeant-Major Ross won the Enniskillen Cup for being the best shot amongst the sergeants in the regiment.

Lord Shaftesbury distributed the prizes after the sports, and presented a replica to the winner of the Enniskillen Cup.

Lord Shaftesbury contributed, as also did the regimental band, at a concert held in Newcastle in aid of the local Boy Scouts. It was a brilliant gathering, and the performers included Lady Annesley, Mrs. Armytage-Moore, Mrs. Kidd, Miss Ewing, Miss Slacker, Miss Parr, Lord Farnham, and Mr. Haughton.

(Ballymena Observer, 21 June 1912)


1913 - Finner Camp, Bundoran, County Donegal

The North Irish Horse.

On Monday thirty-three men with horses, forming portion of 4th Troop B Squadron, mustered in Letterkenny. In charge of Sergeant A. Hatrick, they were conveyed by special train on Strabane and Letterkenny Railway for twenty-four days' training at Finner Camp, Ballyshannon. The troopers are a fine soldierly lot of young fellows recruited principally from the well-to-do farming class in Letterkenny district, while their mounts would compare favourably with those of crack cavalry regiments. The troop is under command of Lieutenant Charles Norman, D.L., Fahan.

(Ballymena Observer, 20 June 1913)


1914 - Ballykinlar Camp, Dundrum, County Down


Over four hundred officers and men of the North Irish Horse, including contingents from Belfast, Londonderry, Enniskillen, and Dundalk proceeded yesterday to Newcastle, Co. Down, where they will be engaged in training up till 8th July. For the past week an advance party, under the command of Lieut. Pittaway and Regimental Sergeant-Major Aston, and including S.Q.M.S. Knox and Sergt. McCartney of "A" Squadron, and S.Q.M.S. Chambers of "B" Squadron, had been engaged in the necessary preparations for the main body, for whom everything was in readiness by Sunday. The Belfast contingent entrained in a "special" leaving the Belfast G.N.R. terminus at 12-10, being joined en route by the other detachments. The camp which for the next three weeks will constitute their headquarters is in the delightfully situated and picturesque demesne of the Earl of Annesley.

(Larne Times and Weekly Telegraph, 20 June 1914)


(Ballymena Observer, 3 July 1914)



To-morrow the North Irish Horse, Lieutenant Colonel A. E. Maude commanding, will complete its annual training at Donard Lodge camp, Newcastle, and will be dismissed to the respective four squadron headquarters at Belfast, Londonderry, Enniskillen, and Dundalk. It is officially intimated that Captain Holt Waring, J.P., Belfast squadron, has passed in examination IV. for promotion to the rank of major, and Lieutenant R. D. Ross, Belfast squadron, has passed examination III. for promotion to the rank of captain. The regiment has been specially favoured with exceptionally good weather since it went into camp, and there has been practically no sickness in the ranks and very little amongst the horses. The regiment, it is understood, was highly complimented by the inspecting officer, Brigadier-General Allenby, C.B., after his recent inspection. The Belfast squadron held the annual reunion in Newcastle the other evening under the presidency of Squadron Sergeant-Major R. J. Blakely, when a very pleasant time was spent.

(The Belfast News-Letter, 7 July 1914)


Sports at Donard Lodge.

The North Irish Horse regimental sports took place at Donard Lodge, Newcastle, on Monday afternoon. Considerable interest was evinced in the programme, not alone by the regiment but by the general public. The weather was delightfully fine, and the grounds were in splendid condition. Lieutenant-Colonel E. A. Maude, commanding officer, took a keen interest in the proceedings, which were carried out by the following:- President, Major Viscount Massereene and Ferrard, D.S.O.; committee - Major Lord Farnham, Captain Holt Waring, Lieutenant D. A. W. Ker, Lieutenant and Quartermaster J. E. Pittaway, Regimental Sergeant-Major T. A. Aston, S.S.M. Atkins, S.S.M. Barns, S.S.M. Moore, R.Q.M.S. Jackson, S.S.M. Knox, and S.S.M. Whiteside. The different events were carried through with expedition, the horsemanship evoking unstinted praise from the large crowd of spectators. The band of the regiment, under the direction of Mr. Wade, bandmaster, rendered a programme of music with much acceptance. The sporting events included individual tent-pegging, a relay race, individual horse jumping, wrestling on horseback, heads and posts, saddling-up race in drill order, half-section race, and a fatigue party race.

A smoking concert in connection with the sergeants' mess took place on Saturday night - Regimental Sergeant-Major Aston presiding.

The regiment, having completed their period of training, will disband to day.

(The Belfast News-Letter, 8 July 1914)


Sergeant-Major Blakely presided at the annual dinner of A Squadron on Friday night. Amongst those present were Sergeant-Major Knox, Sergeant Major Moore, and Farrier-Major Mooney. About twenty-five sat down to dinner in the Central Temperance Hotel, Newcastle. An enjoyable musical programme was rendered, the following contributing:- Sergeant-Major Knox, Sergeant-Major Blakely, Sergeant Ashcroft, Trooper Clarke, Corporal Harding, Trooper Kinnear, Trooper Heron, and others.

(Ballymena Observer, 10 July 1914)


North Irish Horse.--Sergeant W. Lockhart, Jerrettzpass, near Newry, has been declared the winner of the Enniskillen Cup at the recent competition held at Ballykinlar, in connection with the North Irish Horse. He made six bull's eyes out of eight shots.

(Irish Times, 20 July 1914)


More information on this postcard here.