Private William George Ewart


William George Ewart was born on 8 March 1883 at Brackley [Brackagh], Kilmore, County Armagh, the fourth of eight children of reedmaker John Alexander Ewart and his wife Martha Mary (nee Holmes). On 25 December 1903 he married Rachel Livingstone at the Church of Ireland Parish Church, Lurgan. The couple had two children over the next three years. By the time of the 1911 census the family was living at Factory Lane, Lurgan, William working as a linen weaver.

Ewart enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Lurgan on 19 March 1912 (No.684). He gave his occupation as joiner and stated that he had served six years in the Mid-Ulster Royal Artillery Special Reserve.

He embarked for France on 17 August 1914 with A Squadron, seeing action in the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne. On 11 December 1914  he faced a field general court martial at St Omer, charged with drunkenness whilst on outpost duty. Found guilty, he was awarded 84 days' field punishment No.1. After his punishment he returned to duty with his squadron.

The Lurgan Mail of 21 August 1915, reporting on comforts sent to soldiers at the front by the Gideon Temperance Loyal Orange Lodge No.8, noted that Ewart had written:

Your present was very nice indeed and very welcome, for you can hardly believe how much more one appreciates such out here than at home. I thank sincerely the warm-hearted members who sent the gift.

On 20 November 1915 to Mail reported that:

Many Lurgan soldiers who have been for a considerable period at the Front, enjoyed a few days' furlough at home this week. Amongst these was Trooper James [sic] Ewart, North Irish Horse, brother of Sergt. James Ewart, R.G.A., recently caretaker of the Town Hall.

On 10 October 1917 Ewart was transferred to the Labour Corps (No.380532) and posted to No.176 Labour Company. On 2 May 1918 he was posted to Area E Company 824. He returned to the UK on 16 October 1918, where he was posted to the Labour Corps' No.576 Agricultural Company.

Ewart was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 16 April 1919. His military character was recorded as 'good'. He later qualified for a partial pension due to debility and myalgia, both attributed to his military service.