Private William Huggard


This North Irish Horseman was probably the William Huggard [or Huggart] born on 27 December 1894 at Tappagh, Kilmore, County Monaghan, the second of at least three children of farmer Thomas Huggard and his wife Margaret Jane (née Elliott). It is also possible, however, that he was the William James Thomas Wallace, born on 28 July 1893 at Killenamaddy, County Monaghan, son of carpenter John Wallace and his wife Levinia (née Huggard) who, it appears, later took the name Huggard.

Huggard enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 3 March 1913 (No.816). He embarked for France with C Squadron on 20 August 1914, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

He must have spent some time at home over the next couple of years, for on 15 March 1916 he married Dorothea Isabel Peake at the Church of Ireland Holy Trinity Parish Church at Ballywalter, County Down. Their first child was born almost a year later.

In June 1916 C Squadron combined with F Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded and its men transferred to the infantry. Huggard was probably one of 70 men given the job of conducting the regiment's horses to Egypt. They embarked from Marseilles on board HMT Bohemian on 25 August. After a month at Alexandria they returned to France, via Italy. On 5 October 1917 they arrived at the 36th (Ulster) Division Infantry Base Depot at Harfleur for infantry training. After just a few days they were posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt on 12 October. Huggard was issued regimental number 41623.

He may have seen action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917. However around this time or in early 1918 he returned to the UK, perhaps due to illness. Following his recovery he was posted to the 10th (Reserve) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers, at Armagh. He deserted from the battalion on 28 March 1918.

He must have returned or been apprehended later that year, for on 30 July 1919 he re-enlisted in the Army Service Corps (No. EMT/54401), serving until his discharge on 29 July 1921.


This page last updated 30 December 2023.