Poppy In memoriam Poppy

Lance Corporal William James Reid


Reid WJ


William James Reid was born at Agherton, Portstewart, County Londonderry, on 26 July 1892, second of eight children of builder and contractor Daniel Reid and his wife Margaret Ann (nee McIlreavy).

Reid enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim between 6 and 8 December 1915 (No.2021).

After nearly a year's training at Antrim, in November 1916 Reid, together with around 100 other North Irish Horsemen, volunteered to transfer to the Royal Irish Rifles (No.40838). They embarked for France on 7 December, where they joined the 1st Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles, on the Somme front.

On 14 October 1918 the 1st Battalion was advancing across Belgium. According to its war diary:

The Bn passed through the 15th Bn, E. of Moorseele and attacked Gulleghem without Artillery Support, and was held up by 3 belts of barbed wire and heavy machine gun opposition about 500 yards W of Gulleghem. 17.00. Bn again attacked Gulleghem attempting an outflanking movement but only progressed about 200 yards.

Casualties for the day were heavy – 3 officers wounded, 23 other ranks killed, 92 wounded, 8 missing and 1 died of wounds. Lance Corporal Reid was one of those killed that day.

He was buried on the eastern edge of Moorseele, Belgium (map reference 28.L.18.c.5.3). After the war his body was exhumed and re-buried at Dadizeele New British Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, grave I.D.17. The gravestone inscription reads:

40838 LANCE CPL.


Agherton Old Graveyard, Portstewart


Image kindly provided by Steve Rogers, Project Co-ordinator of the The War Graves Photographic Project, www.twgpp.org. Image from Agherton kindly provided by Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster.