Brief history


Old comrades



The first reunion of the North irish Horse took place at Thompson's Restaurant, 14 Donegall Place, Belfast, in February 1924. From them on it became an annual event, the proceedings usually reported in the local press. In 1927 the format was change to a 'smoker' timed to coincide with Remembrance Day commemorations.



The first annual dinner in connection with the North Irish Horse took place last evening in Thompson's Restaurant, Belfast, when upwards of ninety officers and men were present.

Lieut.-Colonel R.G.O. Bramston-Newman, M.V.O., presided, and was accompanied at the table by Lieut.-Col. Viscount Cole, C.M.G.; Major Sir Emerson herdman, K.B.E.; Major D.A.W. Ker, O.B.E.; Captain J. Grant, Capt. T.W.G.J. Hughes, Captain Warren Murland, Captain R.A.B. Filgate, Captain F.G. Uprichard, Messrs T.F. Cooke, W.B. Smyth, G.B. Brown, W. Hunter, T.A. Barnes, and J. Wherry.

Captain Warren Murland was chairman of the dinner committee, the other members of which were Captain T.W.G.J. Hughes, Messrs. F. Scammell, W. Loughran, R. McLean, J.E. O'Neill, W.V. Ferguson, W. Donaghy, and W.A. Sewell, hon, secretary.

After an admirably-served repast, the toast of "The King" was honoured.

Ex-Regimental-Sergeant-Major F. Scammell proposed the sentiment of "The Glorious and Imperishable Memory of Our Fallen Comrades." The toast was received in silence, and was followed by the graceful rendition of an appropriate solo by Miss D. Sewell.

The Chairman proposed the toast of "The Regiment," and said he did so as the senior member of the North Irish Horse present [though he thought that Lord Cole, who took the regiment out to France, could have fittingly been assigned the task. Lord Cole had resigned the regiment shortly after the war, and consequently the duty of proposing the toast had fallen to his lot.]. He had to announce apologoes for inability to attend from Earl Shaftesbury, Major Crabbe, Major Finlay, and Major Ross, Mr. O'Neill, Mr. Coey, Lord Farnham, and Lord Roden.

Continuing, he said those dinners were an excellent means of bringing them together, and they hoped to continue them in future years. (Hear, hear.) The goodly company present showed him that the spirit of the regiment was still alive, and their love of the old Irish Horse was still there. (Hear, hear.) It had not been an easy matter to start the regiment. It was difficult to get people to understand what they were going to be asked to do, and they little knew how much they owed to their Colonel-in-Chief, the Earl of Shaftesbury. It was entirely due to his energy that the regiment was originally started. Though he had left them in 1910 or 1911 it was owing to him that they had been made an active machine to go out to France in 1914. His successor, Colonel Maude, had reaped the advantages of what Lord Shaftesbury had laid down, and had the luck to command the regiment during the greatest war the world had ever known. There was one name which he wished to recall with all feelings of respect, and that was the name of the late Mr. Pittaway, who was for many years quarter-master of the Regiment [who had helped him wonderfully, and he was extremely sorry at his untimely death].

Proceeding, the Chairman briefly traced the history of the regiment in peace and war. When the war broke out two squadrons were immediately sent to France. One was commanded by Lord Cole, and the other by Lord Massereene, and both took part in the retreat from Mons, an honour which very few yeomanry regiments had. Subsequent to the despatch of those squadrons a depot was formed at Antrim, and at that depot everything was done that was expected of them. They got things going there in an amazingly short space of time, and in the spring of the following year another squadron was sent to France, under the command of Major Hamilton Russell. Altogether five full squadrons were sent to France, and the three squadrons which remained at home were able to keep all the service squadrons up to strength throughout the entire period of the war. (Hear, hear.) There was no part of the British line where Irish Horse men were not to be found, and he never heard a disparaging word spoken against the regiment during the whole war. Anything they got to do – and they were given some very unpleasant jobs – was done well. It was rather unfortunate that the war was not a war of movement. Cavalry did not get much chance of operating as such, but when any nasty job had to be performed, those in control always sent for the North Irish Horse. (Applause.) The excellent work they did was fully recognised, and there was no battle honour for France that the Irish Horse were not entitled to share in. The battle honours they had selected for the regiment were:– Mons, Le Cateau, Marne (1914), Aisne (1914) Albert (1916-18), Ypres (1917), Bapaume (first and second), Havrincourt, Canal du Nord, and Selle.

That was a list of which any regiment might be proud. Later in the war when the regiment was dismounted the officers and men were drafted to other units and all rendered good accounts of themselves. A great many of their N.C.O.'s and men were given commissions, and that he thought was a great complement to the North of Ireland men. Over 2,100 men enlisted in the regiment during the war, and 1,981 men and 86 officers proceeded overseas with various squadrons. One hundred and twenty-five N.C.O.'s and men were given commissions, and amongst the honours gained by members of the regiment were one Victoria Cross, one C.M.G., and three D.S.O.'s. (Applause.) Arrangements were being made to erect a war memorial to the members of the regiment who fell in the war. What form it would take had not yet been decided upon, but a sum of £500 had been allocated from certain funds for the purpose, and a committee had the matter in hands. (Applause.)

Lieut.-Colonel Viscount Cole responded. The North Irish Horse was formed of the best material for purposes of war that any officer ever commanded. Officers and men were of the very highest class, and the reason why they accomplished so much was that every man tackled the job which he had to do. Besides being good workers the men were cheery and not given to grumbling. [Concluding, he proposed the health of the Committee.]

The toast was cordially honoured, and was responded to by Mr. W.A. Sewell [who said that to the members of the Committee the work had been a labour of love].

On the motion of Mr. W. Harcourt, seconded my Mr. J.E. Stafford, it was agreed to continue the dinner as an annual fixture.

A tribute was paid to the bravery of the late Major Holt Waring in the War, and the toast of his memory was drunk in silence on the proposition of Mr. Jack Mitchell.

The health of the officers of the regiment was also drunk with great enthusiasm. Captain John Grant responded.

In the course of the evening an enjoyable programme was contributed by Miss D.A. Sewell, Messrs. J. Donnelly, D . Morrow, D. Bell, and L.L. Click. The accompanist was Mr. D. Leinster.

(Belfast News-Letter, 23 February 1924, with additional text in square brackets from the Northern Whig and Belfast Post, 28 February 1924. Photograph from Larne Times and Weekly Telegraph, 8 March 1924.)



The second annual dinner in connection with the Old Comrades of the North Irish Horse took place last night in Thompson's Restaurant, [Donegall Place] Belfast, where there was a representative gathering of [some sixty of the] survivors of the regiment, which had the unique distinction in the Great War of being mobilised on the outbreak of hostilities and serving continuously until the Armistice. The battle honours of the regiment are the Retreat from Mons, the Marne, the Aisne, and Armentieres, when it won imperishable fame. The proceedings last night were of a very happy nature, and suggestions were made for fostering the spirit of comradeship between members of the old corps. In the unavoidable absence of Brigadier-General the Earl of Shaftesbury, K.P., G.C.V.O., C.B.E., the chair was occupied by Lieut.-Colonel the Viscount Massereene and Ferrard, D.S.O., and accompanying him at the top table were:– Lieut.-Colonel R.S.O. Bramston Newman, M.V.O.; Major Sir Emerson Herdman, K.B.E.; Major D.A.W. Ker, Captain J. Grant, Mr. T.F. Cooke, Mr. W.B. Smyth, Mr. G.B. Brown, Mr. J.B. Young, M.C., and Mr. W. Wherry. The arrangements in connection with the reunion were excellently carried out by Mr. W.A. Sewell, who, with the assistance of a capable committee, welcomed old comrades, and very speedily there was created an atmosphere in which North Irish Horsemen recalled experiences in trench, in billets, and on the march. Apologies for inability to attend were received from the Earl of Shaftesbury, the Earl of Enniskillen, C.M.G.; the Earl of Roden, Lord Farnham, D.S.O.; Colonel E.A. Maude, Major J.A. Finaly, Captain T.W. Hughes, Captain Warren Murland, and Mr. A.E. Archdale. The members of the Dinner Committee were Capt. Warren Murland (chairman), Capt. T.W.G.J. Hughes, Mr. F. Scammell, Mr. W. Loughran, Mr. J.S. Mitchell, Mr. H.E. Craig, Mr. W.L. Harcourt, M.C.; Mr. W. Donaghy, and Mr. K. Moyse, with Mr. W.A. Sewell as hon. secretary.

Mr. J.S. Mitchell, in proposing the toast of "Fallen Comrades," [after the toast of the "King" had been honoured,] said it was but fitting that he should refer to the ceremony they had seen that day in the City Hall. It was a most beautiful ceremony, and he might say that they were not like other regiments, for the memorial was entirely put up by the men of the regiment themselves and not by voluntary subscription from the public. On the other hand, the ceremony was an expression of appreciation from the outside public of what the men of the North Irish Horse had done; and the fact that the memorial had been placed in the City Hall was an outward and visible sign to the relatives of the fallen that their dear ones had got a place in the niche of fame that they had done their duty and were worthy of remembrance. They, the surviving members of the regiment, honoured the toast of the men who fell, and, although in the usual memorial ceremonies they spoke of a sad memory, they said it was a glorious memory. (Hear, hear.) To those who died had been given the greatest honour, for they had died for country, King, and freedom. After all, life was short, and all had to die, but the deaths of their old comrades were inscribed on the scroll of fame and in the life of the nation. While they must be sad for the relatives of the fallen and sad for their departed comrades, let them think that those men had gone to a higher sphere and bigger victories in the fight. During its war experiences the North Irish Horse had lost 27 officers and 123 men, but there were other men who had been transferred to other corps, many of whom had also probably paid the supreme sacrifice. No words of his could fittingly express the glorious toast of the fallen – the men who had fought and died for them. In the words of Stevenson –
"Gladly did I live and gladly I died,
And I laid down my life with a will."

The toast was honoured in impressive and solemn silence, after which the roll of the fallen was read over by Mr. Sewell.

Lord Massereene, proposing the toast of "The Regiment," apologised for the unavoidable absence of the Earl of Shaftesbury who was to preside at the dinner. He did not propose to refer to the war which was now years past. He explained to them the workings of the various committees connected whith the regiment. The Association Fund assisted members who had fallen on bad times and were in need of temporary support. A battle honours committee had collected information and sent it through the War Office to claim the battle honours to which they were entitled. It has been a long task, but a fact of which the North Irish Horse should be proud was that outside the regular army they were the only regiment, he thought, with four battle honours of 1914. (Hear, hear.) The North Irish Horse was still shown on the Army List, but when he asked Lord Derby, a short time ago, as to whether it was likely that the regiment would be restarted, he was led to believe that there was no hope. Some of the happiest moments of his life, continued Lord Massereene, were spent in the North Irish Horse. He never regretted the day he joined them, and he never would. He never had a better lot of men than in the squadron he commanded. If in the future occasion arose, when the North Irish Horse would be wanted again, they would do their duty as they had done in those years of the Great War, and would add fresh laurels to their fame. (Applause.)

[After the drinking of the toast] Lieut.-Colonel R.S.O. Bramston-Newman, M.V.O., responded. In a reference to the ceremony on the City Hall that afternoon, he said that he thought how pleased all those who were once with them would have been. The window was a most beautiful tribute to their memorial. They were deeply indebted to the committee who chose the window and took the trouble of getting it put up. (Hear, hear.) It would be a lasting remembrance even if the Northern Government did not reconstitute the regiment, which was started in 1903, and had the luck to come into the greatest war the world had ever seen. First impressions were the most lasting, and he thought the first impressions of most of those present were at Antrim, where they were taught what would be required of them when they would go to France and elsewhere. Those impressions would not have been possible if Lord Massereene had not granted them the use of Antrim Castle and the deerpark. They were under a deep debt of gratitude to him. (Applause.) He hoped that they would continue to hold that dinner till all were too old to come to it. He suggested that they should form an Old Comrades Club. (Applause.)

A vote of thanks to the Lord Mayor and citizens for the privilege they had bestowed on the regiment in allowing the memorial to be placed in the City Hall was cordially passed, on the proposal of Sergeant J.B. Harvey (Antrim Depot) and Corpl. Arthur Mitchell.

Mr. H.E. Craig said, as a representative of the rank and file, it gave him much pleasure to submit the toast of "Our Officers." No regiment which served during the war could boast of finer officers than the North Irish Horse. (Applause.) When they all left civilian life to join a citizen army many of them thought at the time that some of the officers' orders were superfluous; but they now realised that they were essential for the making of a soldier. (Applause.) There had always been the most cordial relations between all ranks.

The toast was drunk with musical honours.

Lord Massereene, in replying, paid a tribute to the regiment and said the officers could never find a better set of men to instruct and lead. The discipline of a regiment was founded on respect – the respect of the men for the officers, and the officers for the men. (Hear, hear.) During the war the relations between officers and men were of the best, and he was perfectly certain that, as in the past, so in the future, if necessary, wherever the North Irish Horse officers led the men would always follow. (Applause.)

The health of Mr. Sewell, hon. secretary, was enthusiastically honoured, on the motion of Mr. W. L. Harcourt, M.C., and he briefly replied.

An enjoyable musical programme was supplied by Mr. J. Donnelly, jun., and Mr. J.A. Laird, the accompaniments being skilfully played by Mr. E.S. Mills.

Sir Emerson Herdman proposed a vote of thanks to the artistes, and this was passed by acclamation. The singing of "Auld Lang Syne" brought the proceedings to a close.

(Belfast News-Letter, 1 May 1925, with additions in square brackets from The Northern Whig and Belfast Post, 1 May 1925)



"There is no one present who does not consider it a great honour to belong to the North Irish Horse or in former years the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry. To our minds there was only one regiment in the British Army, and that regiment was our own," said Captain R.J. Buchanan at the Old Comrades dinner in connection with the N.I.H. on Friday evening in Thompson's Restaurant [Donegall Place, Belfast, where there was a large attendance].

Lieutenant-Colonel R.G. Bramston Newman, M.V.O., presided, being supported by the following officers of the regiment:– Major Sir Emerson Herdman, K.B.E.; Major D.A.W. Ker, O.B.E.; Captains Warren Murland (chairman of committee), J. Grant, T.W.G. Hughes, F.G. Uprichard, R.A.B. Filgate, Lieutenants J. Wherry, G.B. Brown and J.B. Young. Reminiscences of the gallant part which the North Irish Horse played in the early stage of the war were given by the senior officers and the function was an unqualified success from every point of view.

The loyal toast having been duly honoured,

"Our Fallen Heroes" was given in impressive style by Mr. William Loughran. It is good, said the speaker, in the joy of reunion amid the exchange of memories of other times and places, that we can turn for a moment and in silence think of those men who were known to us, and with us faced things "in the raw." They were men who promptly answered the "boot and saddle," but who failed to answer the roll call when the cost was counted. It pleased the High God to take them in the height of their youthful glory. This is neither the time of the place to ask why? All that was left to us who were spared to come home is to keep their memory ever green. Maeterlink has said "Men are only dead when they are forgotten."

The toast was then drunk in silence.

In proposing the toast of "The Regiment," the chairman said it would be a pity if that annual dinner were discontinued, because there were not very many of the regiment now left in the Army List. He hoped that at future gatherings they would have a larger attendance of members of the regiment from both sides of the Border, so that the good feeling which had always existed between all of the squadrons in days gone by would be continued. (Applause.)

He regretted that Lord Massereene, who was to have presided that evening, was unable to be present. Colonel Maude, who had commanded the regiment for a great many years had been gazetted out. He was responsible for the training of the men sent out to France, and they owed the great efficiency of the regiment in a great degree to him. He (Colonel Newman) had also been gazetted out during the year. On Armisitce Day they placed a wreath on the Belfast Cenotaph, which was subsequently transferred to their own war memorial in the City Hall. (Hear, hear.) Proceeding, the chairman regretted to say that the death had occurred of Lieutenant T.F. Cooke, [who died suddenly quite recently, and Captain Finlay. They were jolly good fellows, and the best horsemen one could meet. They also deplored the death of Mr. Smith, of Antrim, who was in Lord Farnham's squadron.] (Hear, hear.)

[In conclusion, the Chairman congratulated Captain Warren Murland, Mr. Sewell, and the Committee for carrying out the arrangements for that dinner.]

[Captain R.J. Buchanan, proposing the toast of the "Officers of the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry and the North Irish Horse, Past and Present," said that during the space of over twenty years they had opportunities to recall incidents of a pleasant character. They were obsessed with one idea, and that was that they belonged to the finest regiment in the British army. (Hear, hear.) The camps at Dundalk, Finner, and Ballykinlar had been most enjoyable, and the officers of the regiment had reason to think that their labours] had not been in vain, because it could justly be said that during the great struggle the North Irish Horse gave a good account of themselves. He wished all the officers of the regiment long life, prosperity, and good health. (Applause.)

The toast was cordially honoured.

[Major] Sir Emerson Herdman and Major Ker replied, the former stating that although they were no longer officially connected with the regiment it would always be very dear to them.

[During the evening Mr. Jack Donnelly, who has no peers locally as a tenor, sang a number of solos in a most accomplished manner. His numbers included "Because," "Believe me if all those endearing young charms," and "The Minstrel Boy." The topical item by Mr. Fred McKee caused great amusement, and Mr. A Clenaghan's items were thoroughly enjoyed.]

The dinner committee consisted of Capt. Warren Murland (chairman), Captain Hughes, Lieutenant G.B. Brown, Mr. F. Scammell, Head-Constable A. Colhoun, Messrs. W. Loughran, J.S. Mitchell, F.E. Craig, W.L. Harcourt, M.C.; W. Donaghy, K. Moyse, and W.A. Sewell (hon. sec.).

(Larne Times and Weekly Telegraph, 27 February 1926. Additional material in square brackets from The Northern Whig and Belfast Post, 20 February 1926)



Old times were pleasantly reaclled at the annual reunion of the old comrades of the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry and North Irish Horse held yesterday evening at Thompson's Restaurant, Belfast.

Lieut.-Col. the Earl of Enniskillen, C.M.G., presided, and among those present were:– Lieut.-Col. R.G.O. Bramston-Newman, M.V.O.; Major Sir Emerson Herdman, K.B.E.; Captain J. Grant, Captain T.W.G.J. Hughes, Captain Warren Murland, and Lieut. W.B. Smyth.

Major Sir Emerson Herdman, in proposing the toast of "Fallen Comrades of the North Irish Horse," said that no words of his were required to add lustre to their name.

The toast was honoured with due respect.

The Earl of Enniskillen, who proposed the toast, "The Regiment," said that was the first occasion on which the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry had been associated with the North Irish Horse at the annual dinner. He was, therefore, really including two regiments in the toast. He would like as many as possible of the men of the regiment throughout the province to attend the dinner, and they would consider the matter to see if that could be arranged.

Lord Enniskillen recalled the latter period of the war, when their regiments were asked to provide three men every week for training as officers. It seemed a "tall order," but they had no difficulty in finding men of the right type, and he had been told at headquarters that their men were far ahead of those sent from other units. (Applause.) Those officers were posted to every branch of the service, and they even sent an officer to the navy. (Laughter.)

Lieutenant-Colonel R.G.O. Bramston-Newman, responding, said it had never struck him before that the Imperial Yeomanry ever considered themselves in any way dissociated from the North Irish Horse, because they only changed the name from the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry to the North Irish Horse, because the latter was shorter and saved a lot of trouble in the office. (Laughter.) When the regiment started they only had two squadrons – and these were not up to strength – and it had been rather wonderful that during the war they produced from that nucleus five squadrons in France, to say nothing of a very large depot at Antrim. (Applause.) There was one among them who could give them points in everything, especially in youthful looks. He referred to Sergeant-Farrier Mooney, who was in the Zulu war in 1879. (Applause.)

Mr. J.S. Mitchell, who propised the toast of "The Officers of the Regiment," said the two squadrons which went to France just after the outbreak of war joined in the most efficient army in the world. They were the first irregular cavalry regiment the reach France, and the only one that had the honour of taking part in the retreat from Mons, perhaps the greatest military event in the history of the war.

The Earl of Enniskillen, returning thanks on behalf of the officers present and absent, particularly referred to Lord Shaftesbury, who, he said, started the regiment in the face of the greatest difficulties. To Lord Shaftesbury's great regret, his time was up before the war began.

Mr. T. West (of Derry) spoke on behalf of old comrades in the Maiden City.

Songs were sung by Messrs. J. Donnelly, J.S. Mitchell, A.H. Clenaghan, and J. Holmes, and the accompaniments were played by Mr. D. Nummie. The artists were thanked on the motion of Captain J. Grant.

The Committee responsible for arranging the dinner consisted of Captain Warren Murland (chairman), Captain T.W.G.J. Hughes, Lieutenant G.B. Brown, Captain R.J. Buchanan, Mr. F. Scammell, Mr. J.A. Barlowe, B.A.; Mr. W. Loughran, Mr. H.E. Craig, Mr. W.L. Harcourt, M.C.; Mr. W. Donaghy, Mr. K. Moyse, Mr. J.S. Mitchell, and Mr. W.A. Sewell (hon. secretary).

(Northern Whig and Belfast Post, 26 February 1927)


All squadrons were represented, and many South African veterans were present, at the annual "smoker" of the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry and the North Irish Horse Old Comrades' Association, held at Ye Olde Castle, Belfast, last night.

Lieut.-Colonel Viscount Massereene and Ferrard, D.S.O., presided, and the other officers present were:– Lieut.-Colonel Lord Farnham, D.S.O.; Lieut.-Colonel Bramston-Newman, M.V.O.; Major D.A.W. Ker, Captain John Grant, Captain T.W. Hughes, Captain W. Murland, Captain F.G. Uprichard, Lieut. G.B. Brown, and Lieut. A. Coey. The Inniskilling Fusiliers, now stationed in Belfast, were represented by Captain Allen, Lieut. Herd (adjutant), Sergeant-Major McLean, and Company Quartermaster-Sergeant McCone.

His Grace the Governor, who was expected to attend, wrote apologising for his absence owing to business in London.

Expressing pleasure that the N.I.I.Y. and the N.I.H. had come together at last, Lieut.-Colonel Bramston-Newman said that since its inception 24 years ago the N.I.H. had produced many squadrons, both before and during the great war.

"Fallen Comrades" were toasted by Lord Farnham, and the toast was drank in silence.

Those who entertained the company were Lord Farnham, Messrs. J.B. Harvey, A.H. Clenaghan, W.K. Cooke, Tom Reynolds, T. Graham, and Cecil McClelland (pianist).

(Northern Whig and Belfast Post, 11 November 1927)



As a former officer of the old North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry, which later became the North Irish Horse, his Grace the Duke of Abercorn, Governor of Northern Ireland, was given an enthusiastic welcome when he arrived at the annual smoking concert of the old comrades of the regiment last evening.

The gathering took place in the Shaftesbury Restaurant, Belfast, and old comrades in arms spent a pleasant evening exchanging stories of the days when a good horse and a good fellow were always welcomed in the regiment.

The chair was occupied by Lieut.-Colonel the Viscount Massereene and Ferrard, D.S.O.; and amongst those present were:– Lieut.-Colonel R. Smythe, C.M.G., D.S.O.; Lieut.-Colonel Groves-Raines, Lieut.-Colonel R. Magill, Major Riley, Major the Right Hon. Hugh O'Neill, D.S.O. (Speaker of the Northern House of Commons), Major Sir Emerson Herdman, Major D. Ker, Capt. F. Uprichard, Capt. Hughes, Capt. W. Murland, Capt. Martelli (A.D.C. to his Grace the Governor), Capt. John Grant, and Lieutenants G.B. Brown and W. B. Smythe.

Before leaving, his Grace spoke of the great pleasure it gave him to be amongst members of the old regiment again, and wished them all the best of luck in the future.

His Grace's good wishes evoked hearty cheers, and he was accorded a "good night" with musical honours.

The Chairman said he was gratified to see such a large attendance of old comrades present. A gathering of such a kind was one in which they ought to take much pride, particularly when they had his Grace the Governor of Northern Ireland amongst them and also the Speaker of the Northern Ireland House of Commons. (Applause.) He went on to refer to the death since the last meeting of Farrier Q.M.S. Mooney, a respected member of the old regiment. His Lordship concluded with a reference to the good work which the association was doing to assist members.

The toast of "Our Fallen Comrades," proposed by Mr. J.A. Barlowe, was honoured in the traditional manner. Mr. Barlowe said that the regiment formerly known as the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry well represented the Imperial race at the front. When the King's message went forth to the Army well and worthily did the regiment behave itself.

Major the Hon. Hugh O'Neill, M.P., proposing the sentiment of "Our Guests," said he had joined the regiment in 1902, when Lord Shaftesbury was in command and his Grace the Governor was second-in-command. The trainings at Finner Camp and Dundalk were very pleasant recollections, and it was nice to see so many of the old comrades gathering together again. It was specially gratifying to have Lieut-Colonel Smythe from the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers with them. Nothing had given the people of Northern Ireland more pleasure than to have one of their finest regiments at last posted in Ulster.

Lieut.-Colonel Groves-Raines, replying, said that the presence of such a fine gathering made him think it a great pity that in Ulster there were no voluntary regiments or Yeomanry, such as existed in England. Referring to the mechanisation of cavalry he said that even if the North Irish Horse were turned into a tank unit they would still give a splendid account of themselves.

During the evening the following artistes contributed to the enjoyment of those present:– Mr. Gerland Morrison (manager of the Empire Theatre), Mr. A.H. Clenaghan, Mr. Derek Martin, Mr. harry Lawrenson, Mr. Tom Reynolds, Mr. Donald Reid and Mr. Ally Benson. Mr. S. Howard Whyte acted as accompanist.

The committee in charge of the arrangements was composed of Messrs. F. Scammell, J.A. Barlowe, E. Berwitz, N.J. Fulton, H.E. Craig, W.L. Harcourt, M.C., W. Donaghy, E. Deane. Mr. W.A. Sewell was an efficient honorary secretary.

(Belfast News-Letter, 10 November 1928)

Belfast Weekly Times, 17 November 1928



A telegram to the V.C. heroes dining with the Prince of Wales at Westminster was sent from the annual "smoker" of the North Irish Horse Comrades' Association on Saturday night. The telegram, which was signed by Lieut.-Colonel Lord Farnham – who occupied the chair – read as follows: "Victoria Cross winners, Westminster, London – North Irish Horse Comrades' Association at Belfast smoker drink your health and happiness."

Lord Farnham proposed the health of the V.C. heroes, and the toast was honoured with enthusiasm.

The concert was held in the Locksley Hall, Belfast, and a large attendance of ex-members of the regiment thoroughly enjoyed an excellent musical programme.

Lord Franham, proposing the toast of "The Regiment" read a telegram from Viscount Massereene, in which he said: Warmest greetings to you and all our comrades, and best wishes for a very pleasant evening." Lord Farnham said Viscount Massereene had the best interests of the old comrades of the regiment at heart. Proceeding, he gave details of what had been done by the North Irish Horse Fund. Since it had been inaugurated 107 ex-members and their dependents had been assisted, this involving an expenditure of £491. During the past year 15 men were assisted. This work, his Lordship said was very satisfactory, and it was a great gratification to them all to know that some old comrades who needed assistance had been able to get it.

His Lordship announced that, after the North Irish Horse wreath had been placed at the Cenotaph on Monday, it would be transferred from there to the regimental memorial window inside the City Hall. This ceremony would take place at noon, and all ex-members of the regiment were cordially invited to be present. He hoped there would be a large attendance.

Proceeding, Lord Farnham said he was uttering no platitude when he told his old comrades what a pleasure it was to preside at their re-union. They had had many wonderful pleasant times together, and he was glad to see so many with whom he had been associated in many different places. "We have been together in trainings in peace and trainings in war," said his Lordship, "and some of the happiest times of my life have been spent with you, my old comrades." (Applause.) Not only had they passed through happy times they had also had strenuous days and occasions of great responsibility, but their difficulties cemented their friendship and comradeship.

He remembered days of training when there were all sorts of friendly rivalries between the squadrons, but above all squadrons was the regiment. It was as a regiment they went out to France, and the name of the North Irish Horse would be honoured for what they did there. (Applause.)

Colonel the Right Hon. R.D. Perceval-Maxwell, D.S.O., who was an officer of the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry, responded, and in a humorous speech recalled some amusing episodes of training. the regiment increased in efficiency as years went on, and it was a tremendous pleasure to him to see so many of its former members. He hoped that they would continue to meet together in that way so long as there were even two of them left.

Mr. J.A. Barlowe, in an appropriate speech, proposed "Fallen Comrades." The North Irish Horse was one of the first regiments to be called up on the outbreak of war, he said, and it had the honour of furnishing the escort to the Commander-in-Chief.

Sir Emerson herdman proposed "Our Guests," and Major Rodwell, Colonel W.E. Rothwell, D.S., and Lieutenant R.A. Heard, M.C. (Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers), and Lieutenant R.J.R. Campbell and Lieutenant R.B. Allman (Royal Ulster Rifles) responded.

(Belfast News-Letter, 11 November 1929)



As announced yesterday the remains of the Hon. Diana Skeffington, only daughter of Viscount Massereene, will be interred on Monday at 3 p.m. in Antrim Castle grounds after service at the Parish Church.

... The smoking concert to be held for former troopers of the North Irish Horse on Monday next has been abandoned.

(Northern Whig, 8 November 1930)



The roof of the Locksley Hall, Belfast, was nearly "lifted off" last night when songs of the war days were sung by old comrades-in-arms of the North Irish Horse and the old North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry, who met for their annual reunion.

For many a long day now the sword has been sheathed and the spur laid by. "legs Eleven," "Ginger," "Darkie," and all those old friends that carried a weight over a stiff bit of country and later through a hail of bullets, are gone to that Valhalla where all good horses go. The gay tunics, packed away in 1914, lie folded, but not forgotten, and the rougher khaki service dress which jacketed the yeoman at war no doubt still finds an honoured corner in the home.

These are things of the past. But the spirit of the regiment lives on and will live on as long as a single yeoman remains on this side of the grave.

Old friends met last night who had not seen each other for years. Groups of men clustered round little tables and, with glasses charged and pipes burning nicely, settled down to a couple of hours of pleasant reminiscence. There was a sing-song, too, one of the most popular items being a song by the "Colonel," Lord Farnham, D.S.O., who presided. He proposed the toast of "The Regiment" and said that the best thing in their annual gatherings was the spirit of comradeship which they could recapture. That spirit extended back to the formation of the regiment in 1903 and had remained with them through the many vicissitudes of peace and war. They were fortunate to have in their membership men who had been with the regiment since its formation and he was glad to see some of them present. In asking Colonel Bramston Newman, D.S.O., to respond to the toast, he said he need hardly remind those present of what Colonel Newman had done towards the starting, furtherance and continuance of the regiment.

Colonel Bramston Newman, replying, told some interesting stories of the early days in 1903, of their first training camp, and of personalities in the regiment. "We did pretty well," he said modestly, "in our war."

Proposing the toast of "Our Fallen Comrades," Mr. J.A. Barlow said the career of the North Irish Horse was watched eagerly and anxiously at home until news of their first action came through. Mons, the Marne, the Aisne, Ypres – everywhere they had worthily upheld the traditions of the Imperial Province. "Our regiment," he said, "left over 100 officers and men in France and Flanders and 'their name liveth forevermore.' There was, for instance, our V.C., Captain West, who fell saying, 'Stick it, boys. Put up a good fight.' Colonel Holt Waring, too, who went down crying, 'Come on, lads!' We honour their memory as men who did their duty faithfully and well."

Amongst those present were Colonel Magill, Major Sir Emerson Herdman, Major D. Ker, Captains Grant, Smith, Hughes, Browne and W. Murland.
The reunion was organised by a committee composed of Captain Warren Murland, Messrs. J. Mitchell, W.A. Sewell and H.E. Craig.

The following artistes contributed to the sing-song – Messrs. J. Green ("D" Squadron), Geo. Ashton, Tom Reynolds, Arthur Clenaghan, and W. Tudor. By kind permission of the management of the Emprire Theatre, Messrs. Montague and Steele, and Mr. Bert Weston entertained the company. Mr. Gerald Morrison, manager of the theatre, also did a "turn." At the piano as accompanist was Mr. Bertie Durand.

(Belfast News-Letter, 11 November 1931)


Not "Go on men!" but "Come on, lads!" – thus epitomising the spirit of British officers towards their rank and file, Mr. J.A. Barlowe, B.A., submitted "Fallen Comrades" at the Armistice eve reunion smoking concert of the North Irish Horse at the Locksley Hall, Belfast, last night, when Lieut.-Colonel Lord Farnham, D.S.O., presided.

Mr. Barlowe reminded them that they had left over 100 officers and men in the fields of France and Flanders, and recalled occasions on which the regiment had been inspired in action by the words "Come on, lads!" from striken leaders, mentioning particularly the gallantry in their expiring moments of Capt. West, V.C., and Colonel Holt Waring.

The Duke of Wellington had once been asked if the courage of the British soldier were superior to that of any other soldier, and Wellington had replied, "No, but it lasts five minutes longer." Perhaps when he had said that, the Iron Duke had pathetically visualised the Armageddon of 1914-18. At home the movements of the North Irish Horse had been followed with pride and interest – on the retreat from Mons, back to the Marne, the advance to the Aisne, the move up to the salient, the fighting around Ypres, Cambrai, and other places. Sometimes it was said that an Ulsterman was not a loveable individual, because he was dour and cold, but it could never be said of an Ulsterman that he could not fight.

The toast was honoured in silence.

Lord Farnham proposed "The Regiment," to which Colonel R.G.O. Bramston Newman, D.S.O., replied.

Among those who sent apologies for absence was the Duke of Abercorn, Governor of Northern Ireland.

Captain Warren Muralnd was chairman of the organising committee, the other members of which were Messrs. J. Mitchell, W.A. Sewell (hon. secretary), and H.E. Craig.

Among those present were Major Sir Emerson Herdman, Colonel Magill, Captain Kerr [sic], Captain Hughes, Captain Browne, Captain Grant, and Cpatain Smith.

Contributors to a musical programme were Bert Weston, Montague and Steele, and Gerald Morrison (from the Empire); Messrs. J. Green, Geo. Ashton, T. Reynolds, and H. Clenaghan and Lord Farnham with Mr. Percy Durand at the piano.

(The Northern Whig and Belfast Post, 11 November 1931)



As the years pass, the surviving members of the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry – North Irish Horse – seem to be drawn closer together by the bonds of old comradeship. So strong is the regimental esprit-de-corps at present that there is a feeling that the regiment should be re-embodied in all its former glory.

Old comrades met last night in the Locksley Hall, Belfast, for their annual "Armistice Day" reunion and talked over old times, fought their battles again and decided, as many another unit has done, that they were the finest regiment in thhe British Army.

Soon talk drifted back to pre-war days when the regiment held its last peace-training at Newcastle, when saddles and rifles were things to be kept "eye-wash" clean. Little did the (?) troopers think then that a month or two would find them used in the grim reality of war which was to see the regiment reduced to a memory.

They talked, last night, of "D" Squadron, which made history with the invincible 51st Highland Division, of a squadron which eventually became Irish Fusiliers, of a whole regiment of theirs which was finally turned into a cyclist battalion ... Of Lieut. Barry Combe, Trooper Scott, Trooper Moore, and (others?) who were killed in the retreat from Mons ...

"(?)," said a squadron sergeant-major, "we were in the saddle for eighteen hours."

"We were the first reserve regiment in the British Army to be sent to France," said another.

Colonel Perceval-Maxwell was the first man to join the North Irish Horse, and was the first leaderr of the Belfast Squadron," said Major Sir Emerson Herdman, who presided in the unavoidable absence of Lord Farnham and Lord Massereene. The members present stood in silence to the memory of "Bob" Maxwell, Colonel E.A. Maude (who had trained the men before they went to the front), Sergeants Dean and Rainey and Troopers Handley and McMillan – all have "passed over" since the last reuinon.

One of the speakers at the reunion was Mr. J. Barlowe, who said that no regiment went to the war with such a will to conquer as the "N.I.H." They had been represented on every battle-front in the war, and their gallantry in the "Ypres salient" was remembered to this day.

Another comrade remembered that when the war broke out he gave a false age in order to "join up." "Now," he said, "I had eight children, and when I put down their ages on my attestation paper, the recruiting officer said: 'This is absurd. Why, from this, you must have been only eleven years old when you married.'

"so," the raconteur added naively, "I stroked out the names of the three eldest children, and everything in the garden was lovely."

That was pre-war. The post-war "N.I.H." spirit was exemplified last night by a member who recently met with an accident, but rather than miss the reunion, came on crutches!

Amongst those present were: – Colonel R.J.O. Bramston-Newman, Colonel Magill, Major May, Major Grant, Captain T.W.S. Mayes, Captain F.G. Uprichard, Captain Warren Murland, Captain Filgate, and Lieutenants W.B. Smyth and J. Waring.

The committee responsible for the reunion arrangements was composed of: – Captain Murland, Captain T.W. Hughes, Messrs. Sewell, Mitchell, Loughran, Douglas, Scammell, Harcourt, Berwitz, Barlowe, and Morrison.

An excellent entertainment was given by a number of artistes, including (by kind permission of Mr. Gerald Morrison) several appearing this week at the Empire Theatre, Belfast.

(Belfast News-Letter, 11 November 1932)



There was once a cavalry officer who heard during the war that his regiment might be dismounted and might have to fight as infantry. "I'm hanged if I'll fight on my two flat feet for anybody," he announced, and promptly joined the Navy. This little story was told last night by Sir Emerson Herdman, D.S.O., presiding at the annual gathering of the North Irish Horse, last night in Belfast.

"That subaltern," said Sir Emerson, "was a member of the North Irish Horse, and he was one of the reasons why we can say we fought on land and sea." [This was Lieutenant George Bramato Brown.]

Sir Emerson might have added "the air," for several members of the regiment served in the Royal Air Force during the war.

This annual gathering is unique in that the members represent the only voluntary cavalry unit raised in Ulster which took part in the war. The regiment had a fine tradition, first as the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry, and then as the North Irish Horse, who retained the old title with the new nomenclature.

The corps attracted a very fine type of officer and trooper, who gave a first-class account of themselves in South Africa, and some years later in Belgium and France. In 1914 the regiment went on service as a unit, which compared favourably with the "crack" cavalry of the British Army, and there were few despatches from the "front" which did not include the honourable mention of a member of the corps.

It is a source of regret with every member of the regiment that the annual "trainings," are no more, and even now, it is felt that if a cavalry unit could not be maintained, there is room for a teritorial mechanised unit, say an armoured car squadron or regiment, such as has been organised in the 11th Hussars, but, of course, on a territorial lines.

Naturally old members would prefer to see a cavalry unit re-embodied, but they are broad-minded and think only of the revival of the corps.

Major Sir Emerson Herdman reminded the Old Comrades that they were all a good deal older and perhaps a bit more staid than the day, 19 years ago, when they took the field for war. "This is the only night in the year, alas, that we can meet as a regiment," he said, "but it helps us to remember what fine fellows we are – and were. We can have a talk over old times; swop lies – (laughter) – and capture again for an hour or two that old spirit of comradeship that was such a feature of regimental life."

"There are no early stables now, nor no troop leaders to search out dirty saddles or rusty irons; no rifles to be inspected – but we enjoyed it all, every minute of it."

"We are still proud of the old Corps, and proud to be the first reserve regiment to take the field along with the Regular Army. We hope this annual gathering will continue as long as there are any of us left. I am only sorry that there is no "N.I.H." now into which our men can go and follow our footsteps."

The toast "Our Fallen Comrades," was proposed by Mr. J.A. Barlowe, B.A.

Captain J.D. Nicholl, M.C., chairman of the Belfast branch, British Legion, made a stirring appeal for support for "Poppy Day," and went on to speak of the horrors of war.

"Not one of us," he said, "who experienced the last war, ever want to see the bayonets fixed again. But as fellow soldiers, I think you will agree that the only way to secure peace is to be ready for war."

"Twenty-five years ago," he said, "we had the strongest navy in the world, and an army second to none. In those days the peace of the world was secure. I think, and most ex-soldiers will agree with me, that politicians are thinking far too much about disarmament. We are being discredited in the eyes of the world, and now, on the eve of Armistice Day I believe that those men who are strongest for peace are those who gave their best in the war."

A real soldiers' concert was arranged, to which the following contributed: – Miss Lilian Gunns, Mr. Ike Freedman, the Benito Accordeon Band (all from the Empire Theatre); Mr. Bob Stewart, Mr. A.H. McClenaghan, Mr. George Ashton, Mr. A. Sharpe, Mr. Jack Conway (N.I.H.). The arrangements for the reunion were made by Captain Wallace Murland, R.S.M. Sewell, H.C. Craig, and Capt. W.L. Harcourt, M.C.

(Belfast News-Letter, 11 November 1933)


The annual social reunion of the North Irish Horse was held last evening in Ye Olde Castle Buildings, Belfast, and proved even more enjoyable than any of its predecessors.

It was attended by old comrades who travelled from all over Ulster, while several came from the Free State.

Great regret was felt that Lord Farnham, the colonel of the regiment, was recently involved in a motor mishap and could not attend the reunion, over which he had presided.

Major Sir Emerson Herdman, D.S.O., who presided, said that that was the only night in the year that they could meet as a regiment, but it helped them to remember and have a talk over old times.

The sentiment of "Fallen Comrades" was proposed by Mr. J.A. Barlowe, B.A., J.P., senior ex-non-commissioned officer present, whilst Mr. Douglas ("B" Squadron, Derry) responded to the toast "The Old Imperial Yeomanry."

Among the aritsts who contributed to the musical programme were: – Messrs. Ike Freedman, the Benito Accordeon Band, and Miss Lilian Gunn (all from the Empire Theatre), the Five Sherry Brothers (Grand Opera House), Mr. Jack Conway (N.I.H.), Mr. George Ashton, and Mr. Bob Stewart.

Mr. Bertie Durant was accompanist, and delighted the audience with his war-time selections.

Among the officers present were: – Captain McCartney-Filgate, Captain Murland, Captain Uprichard, Captain Hughes, and Lieutenant Smith.

(The Northern Whig and Belfast Post, 11 November 1933)



Old comrades of the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry and the North Irish Horse, who held their annual re-union in the Locksley Hall, Belfast, on Saturday evening, were delighted when Viscount Craigavon paid them a visit and remained for a short time, enjoying the happy atmosphere of good comradeship which was the predominant characteristic of the proceedings.

Lord Craigavon served as an officer in the old North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry during the South African war and several members of that corps who were present at Saturday evening's function testified to his fine leadership and his constant thought for the welfare of the men under him.

There was a very large gathering and the re-union was perhaps the most successful that has yet been held. Major Sir Emerson Herdman presided, and amongst the former officers of the corps present were Lieut.-Colonel Lord Farnham, D.S.O., who came all the way from County Cavan to attend the function; Lieut.-Colonel Bramston-Newman, Major D. Ker, Major Hughes, Captain Warren Murland, Captain F. Uprichard, Mr. Copeland and Mr. Smith.

Lord Craigavon on his arrival was accorded an enthusiastic welcome, and in a brief speech in reply to the toast of his health, proposed by the Chairman, he expressed his pleasure at being once again amongst many old friends and comrades. They were all delighted to see their friend Lord Farnham, from the other side of the border, present that evening. He wished the Old Comrades' Association every success. Whenever he had the opportunity he would always be delighted to come amongst them.

Another former member of the Imperial Yeomanry present was Major Leo Moore, who also was toasted. In reply he paid a high tribute to the men of Northern Ireland. "All I can tell you is this," he said, "that the Northern Ireland man can adapt himself to any position he is put into, and that is the first requisite of a good soldier."

Mr. J.A. Barlowe, B.A., in an eloquent speech paid fitting tribute to the memory of fallen comrades, and told of how the people of Ulster watched with close interest and increasing admiration the work which the various squadrons of the North Irish Horse did at the front during the Great War. The regiment had, he said, worthily upheld the best traditions of Ulster and had acquitted itself nobly.

The toast of the Regiment was proposed by Sir Emerson Herdman in a speech full of humour. This sentiment having been honoured with great cordiality, the remainder of the evening was devoted to an excellent programme of songs, monologues, humorous items, &c., and the exchange of reminiscences which is, perhaps, the most enjoyable aspect of all social gatherings of ex-Service men.

The arrangements, which were admirable, were made by a committee, of which Captain Warren Murland was chairman, and Mr. W.A. Sewell (a former Regimental Sergeant-Major) was secretary. Mr. H.E. Craig and Mr. W. Harcourt were responsible for the musical programme, which was contributed to by the following:– Lord Farnham, Messrs.Andrew Gabbey, James Pim, Mervyn Stanley Thomas McLatchie, Crawford Irvine, A.H. Clenaghan, Frazer Doherty, W.E. Trimble, Private Burgess, Trooper Jones, of D Squadron; and others. Mr. Bertie Durand was at the piano.

(Belfast News-Letter, 12 November 1934)



Old comrades of the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry and the North Irish Horse assembled in large numbers at the annual smoking concert in the Carlton, Belfast, on Saturday night, when Major Sir Emerson Herdman presided in the unavoidable absence of Lieut.-Colonel the Earl of Enniskillen.

Mr. J.A. Barlowe, J.P., who proposed "Our Fallen Comrades," said that in this topsy-turvy world, where every street-corner orator had his remedy for humanity's ills, it was rather wonderful to think that the virtues of courage, self-sacrifice, and the will to win had not become old fashioned. And even in Britain's most glorious days there had never been a body of men who so handsomely displayed those virtues as the North Irish Horse. During all the long, interminable days of the war the North Irish Horse kept the name of the Imperial province as a symbol of honour and courage. Over 100 members of the regiment lay in Flanders fields, and they were justly proud of them. It was with the greatest pride tinged with sorrow that he asked them to honour their memory.

A minute's silence was then observed as a tribute to the fallen.

The Chairman, before proposing the toast of the "Regiment," mentioned that they had with them that night the only officer of the North Irish Horse who was still on the army list. He referred to Major Sir Ronald Ross, who now, however, instead of being a horse soldier was almost a sailor, because he was Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty.

Their regiment had been started, proceeded the Chairman, just after the South African War in 1903, and he was glad that some of those men who joined them in Dundalk in that year were still alive. They had started from very small beginnings in Dundalk. They had the honour of being the first regiment, apart from line regiments, to take the field in France, not with one squadron but with two squadrons. Their regiment had given a very good account of itself "over there."

Unfortunately, there was no North Irish Horse now, and he thought it a pity because a regiment like theirs was a wonderful opportunity for young men to learn discipline and manly virtues.

If they were not a regiment in actuality, however, they were one in spirit, and they were always ready to help ex-members who were in need. A large sum of money had already been expended in this way, and any of their old friends who felt the pinch could be assured of help in the future.

Major Sir Ronald Ross also spoke, and remarked that it was gratifying to see that the old regimental spirit still existed.

Captain Warren Murland proposed a vote of thanks to Sergeant Sewell, ex-regimental sergeant-major, who for a long time had served on the committee which attempted to relieve distress among ex-members. Sergeant Sewell now had to give up his duties as he was moving to England, but he would always be remembered for his indefatigable work on behalf of needy families, and also as one of the finest non-commissioned officers in the regiment.

In an enjoyable entertainment which followed, the artists included Haig and Escoe, Jack Grieve, Leo Curtis, the Arnold Sisters, and a quartette from Younkman's Band, all by permission of Mr. G. Morrison, of the Empire Theatre. Others who took part were Floyd and Gwynne, D. McAlpine, Tom Reynolds, J.S. Mitchell, Jack Conway, W. Sloan and William Moore. The accompaniments were played by Mr. Bertie Durand, the well-known Belfast pianist.

The arrangements were in the hands of a committee composed of Captain Warren Murland, Sergeant R. Goodwin, R.U.C., and Messrs. E.L. Craig, W.L. Harcourt, M.C.; W.E. Loughran, M. Berwitz, and J.S. Mitchell.

(Belfast News-Letter, 11 Novermber 1935)



(No record located)



Many years have passed since members of the North Irish Horse put away their awords and spurs. The corps has long been disbanded, but the spirit of comradeship lives on. Each year comrades of the regiment and of the original North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry renew "old times" at a smoking concert. Last night this annual gathering took place in the British Legion Club Rooms, Belfast. There was a record attendance, members travelling from all parts of Northern Ireland. It was voted a "great night." Officers and men were able to talk of campaigns, horses, camps, hardships, and other things dear to the heart of a cavalry man. Major Sir Emerson Herdman, who presided, had a real "soldier's welcome" when he entered the room.

Sir Emerson proposed "The Regiment," and recalled that Colonel R. Bramston-Newman, M.V.O., who was sitting beside him, had initiated him into "the mysteries of troop-leading." The Colonel, he added, had really made the Regiment. Sir Emerson went on to say that he still believed that the only place to "soldier" in was the cavalry. (Cheers.) He was glad to see such a turnout, twice as many being present than at any other gathering since the Great War. They all welcomed that opportunity of discussing the good old days, and telling each other "what great fellows they were on a horse." (Laughter.) Actually in the room were members of the old Imperial Yeomanry, who fought in South Africa. "We are all very proud," he said, "of our troopers, our N.C.O.'s, and our officers, and, above all, of the regiment. It no longer exists, but its spirit lives on, and will do so until the last survivor passes on."

Sir Emerson passed around some interesting photographs. One was of a very early camp at the Curragh in 1905. Another showed the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry marching past on the King's Birthday at the Curragh. Lord Shaftesbury was in command, and the first squadron was led by Colonel Maude.

He concluded with a welcome to Mr. W.A. Sewell, who was R.S.M. in France, and whose work for the N.I.H. Association was so well-known to members.

Mr. J.A. Barlowe, proposing the toast "Our Fallen Comrades," spoke of the formation of the North Irish Horse from the cream of the country and officered by the best in the land. "They fought from Mons to the Aisne," he said, "the Somme, Flanders, and weary years in the trenches. We who have returned honour those of our comrades who now rest in foreign soil."

The following contributed to a first-class programme – Messrs. D. McAlpine, J.J. McAlpine, A. Kirkpatrick, George Ashton, Robert Stewart, J. Heaps, H. Jones, and members of the "New Faces" revue at the Empire Theatre, by kind permission of Mr. Gerald Morrison. The accompanist was Mr. Bertie Durand, who delighted the audience with his selections of war-time music.

The organising committee, headed by Captain Warren Murland, was composed of Sergeant R. Goodwin, Sergeant T. Downey, Messrs. W.A. Sewell, J.N. Fulton, N. Durnan, G. Cole, K. Moyse, J. Shaw, A. Mitchell, J.A. Barlowe, F. Scammell, M. Berwitz, and W.C. Loughran (vice-chairman).

(Belfast News-Letter, 11 November 1937)



Sir Emerson Herdman, presiding at the annual re-union of the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry and North Irish Horse, Old Comrades' Asociation in the British Legion ballroom, Belfast, last evening, said that during the European crisis, when an announcement was made that the Reserve Cavalry would be brought up to strength a certain influential Ulsterman made it his business to see that the North Irish Horse would be remembered should the necessity arise.

He also said that many members of the regiment had telephoned, or written to him, offering their services, which showed that the old spirit of the North Irish Horse was by no means dead. Speaking of the use of cavalry in the present Palestine disturbances, he said that the time might yet come when the cavalry would come into their own again, and the North Irish Horse would be placed on the establishment once more.

Referring to the Great War, he said that the regiment started on active service with one squadron, and finished up with two regiments. In conclusion, he apologised for the unavoidable absence of Lord Farnham and Colonel Newman, and expressed the hope that Major David Ker, at present confined to be through illness, would soon be fit again. Sir Emerson closed with a word of thanks to Mr. W.C. Loughran, and the Committee, of which he is chairman, for their enthusiasic work in connection with the re-union.

Mr. W.J. Barlowe, in an impressive speech, proposed the toast of "The Fallen."

Captain Murland, proposing a vote of thanks the Sir Emerson Herdman, said that he was largely responsible for keeping alive the spirit of the regiment.

The organising committee included – Mr. W.C. Loughran (chairman), Mr. N. Dorman, Mr. K. Moyes, Mr. Cole, Sergt. Goodwin, Sergt. Downey, Mr. J. Shaw, Mr. M. Berwitz, Mr. A Mitchell, Mr. Scammel, Mr. W.A. Sewell, and Captain Norman Fulton.

A splendid programme was given, to which the following contributed:– Mr. W. Brown, Mr. D. McAlpine, Mr. J. McAlpine, Mr. Adam Kirkpatrick, Mr. R. Stewart. Mr. Bertie Durand delighted the audience with his war-time piano tunes and clever accompaniments.

Former members of the regiment travelled from all parts of Ulster in order to meet old comrades and a very jolly evening was spent. Among those present were – Colonel R. Magill, D.S.O., Captain Warren Murland, Mr. Y.J. Kirkpatrick, Major T.W. Hughes, Lieut. W.B. Smith, Dr. J.B. Young, M.C., and Major McCormack, D.S.O., M.C.

(Belfast News-Letter, 11 November 1938)

(Belfast News-Letter, 12 November 1938)


The North Irish Horse was the first reserve regiment to gain touch with the Germans in August, 1914. This is made clear by the following letter from Major Sir Ronald Ross, M.C., in the current issue of "The Field."

"Sir – I have read with great interest the letter from Colonel Burns-Lindow, who commanded that fine squadron which so worthily represented the South Irish Horse in August, 1914, with the B.E.F., as to who would claim to be the first reserve unit 'to gain touch with' the Germans in 1914.

"Certainly the squadron of the N.I.H. under Lord Cole (as he then was) was intended for General Headquarters, whereas the squadron of the sister regiment went to 1st Corps Headquarters, both positions of reasonable security under the conditions of 1914. But if reference is made to the official history – 'Military Operations France and Belgium, 1914,' Vol. 1, at page 148 (footnote) – it will be seen that half the N.I.H. squadron were detached to act as divisional cavalry to the 4th Infantry Division. That half squadron left G.H.Q. on the evening of 24th August, and patrols sent out to gain touch with the 19th Infantry Brigade were under shell fire shortly after noon on the 25th north of Solesmes.

"The half squadron opened fire with their rifles for the first time that evening in a skirmish with a Uhlan patrol east of a village of Broillers, some hours before the action of Landrecies, in which their comrades of the South took part after dark.

"I had always understood that the S.I.H. Squadron had remained with 1st Corps Headquarters till the evening of 25th August, and that Landrecies was their first action.

"I think that probably if you test the matter by which regiment was (a) first shot at, or (b) first to shoot, or even (c) first to suffer a battle casualty, the North Irish Horse would be found to be first.

"It is, however, a somewhat academic question, and the two squadrons came out in the same ship, and their landing and joining up with the B.E.F. was a dead-heat. If, therefore, the honour is shared between the two regiments, now, alas! regiments no more, no one who served in the North Irish Horse would, I am sure, grudge such a division with their old friends and comrades of the South."

(Belfast News-Letter, 23 August 1938)



(No record located)