Lance Corporal David Connolly, MM



Possibly the David Connolly born on 8 May 1879 at Castle Street, Lisburn, one of eleven children of agent Robert Connelly and his wife Margaret (nee Williamson). This man worked as a painter, and on 4 April 1906 married Phoebe Murtagh. In 1907 or 1908 the couple moved to Ballarat Street, Belfast. They had six children between 1907 and 1915.

Connolly enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 13 and 15 November 1915 (No.1866 – later Corps of Hussars No.71603).

He embarked for France in 1916, where he was posted to E Squadron of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment.

On 5 August that year, while at Pommera, he faced a Field General Court Martial charged with 'absence and breaking out of barracks or camp.' He was sentenced to 14 days' Field Punishment No.1.

During the Advance to Victory offensive in the last months of the war, the 1st Regiment, by then converted to a corps cyclist unit, saw much action on reconnaissance, signalling and communication duties for the divisions of V Corps. Following actions in mid-September 1918 five men of E Squadron, including Lance Corporal Connolly, were awarded a Military Medal.

Connolly was transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 18 March 1919.


Image from the Belfast Evening Telegraph, from the last quarter of 1918, kindly provided by Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster (