Private David Gamble


David Gamble was born on 6 April 1873 at 9 Mayne Street, Belfast, the third of four children of baker John Gamble and his wife Eliza (nee Dobbs). On 6 February 1890, at the age of 17, he married Eliza Jane Moore at Great Victoria Street Presbyterian Church, Belfast. The couple had seven children before Eliza's death in February 1906.

Gamble enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 29 May 1914 (No.948 – later Corps of Hussars No.71176). He embarked for France with A Squadron on 17 August 1914, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

On 3 September 1914 Gamble became the first North Irish Horseman to face a court martial, charged with disobeying the lawful command of a superior officer. He was awarded 28 days Field Punishment No.2 and forfeited 28 days pay. On 15 January 1915 he again faced a court martial, charged with insubordination, threatening a senior officer and drunkenness while on active service. This time he was sentenced to 91 days hard labour.

In May 1916 A Squadron came together with D and E Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps until February-March 1918, when the regiment was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit. Gamble remained with the regiment through much of this time, though by April 1918 records show he was on attachment to the 4th Divisional Train.

On 28 April 1918 he fell ill, and after treatment at the 18th General Hospital, was evacuated to the UK.

Gamble was discharged on 19 November 1918, being no longer physically fit for military service (paragraph 392 xvi, King's Regulations). He was subsequently awarded a disablilty pension for debility and tuberculosis, which were attributed to his service in the army, and varicose veins, aggravated by his service.