Poppy In memoriam Poppy

Private Andrew Pepper



Andrew Pepper was born at Kilpike, Banbridge, County Down, the first of nine children of weaver (later insurance agent) James Pepper and his wife Mary (nee Anderson). By 1911 he was living with his family at 13 Newry Road, Banbridge, and working as a cabinet-maker. Soon after they moved to Belfast, living at 21 Greenville Terrace, Bloomfield. According to the Larne Times, prior to the outbreak of the war Pepper "was employed as a cabinet-maker with Messrs. T. Proctor & Son, Banbridge, and was subsequently with Messrs. Hanna & Brown and Harland and Wolff, Belfast."

Pepper enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim on 6 November 1915 (No.1797). He embarked for France on 29 June 1916, where he was posted to either the 1st or 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment.

In September 1917 the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment was dismounted and most of its men, together with some surplus to the needs of the 1st Regiment, were transferred to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – which was renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion. Like most of the men, Pepper was transferred on 20 September and issued a new regimental number – 41427.

Pepper probably saw action with the 9th Battalion in the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917, and perhaps also in the retreat from St Quentin and the fighting south of Ypres during the German spring offensive in March and April 1918.

In August 1918 the 9th Battalion was in the field in the Ypres sector, on the forward slope of Mont Noir on high ground known as Meulenhouck. On the night of 11/12 August 1918 a large patrol attempted a raid on German-held Shoddy Farm. They got to within thirty yards of the farmhouse when attacked from behind by a German patrol. Grenades were thrown by the Germans and hand-to-hand fighting ensued. Eventually the raiders made it to safety, with some casualties. Pepper was one of those killed in the fight – his body was not recovered.

Having no known grave, Private Pepper is commemorated on Panel 9 of the Ploegsteert Memorial, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium.



Family memorial in Dundonald Cemetery, Belfast


Images 1 and 2 Copyright © Phillip Tardif with all rights reserved as set out in this Use of Material policy. Image 3 kindly provided by Nigel Henderson.