Corporal Robert James Hassard, MSM



Robert James Hassard was born on 28 September 1890 at Kilmegan, Dundrum, County Down, son of harness maker and saddler James Hassard and his wife Jane Hassard (nee Cinnamond).

He grew up in Dundrum and like his father became a saddler.

Hassard enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Belfast on 1 October 1914 (No.1234 – later Corps of Hussars No.71294). Not surprisingly he was employed as a saddler, and in September 1915 was promoted to corporal.

On 1 May 1915 he embarked for France with D Squadron of the North Irish Horse. He remained with the squadron in France and Belgium throughout the war, including from March 1918 when, as part of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, they were dismounted and converted to a corps cyclist regiment.

In June 1918 he was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal.

In December 1918 Hassard went home on leave and there contracted influenza. This, combined with the effects of an earlier bout of trench fever, prevented his return to the regiment in France. On 17 April 1919 he was transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.


Image above sourced from the Mourne Observer, 1 July 1966.