Sergeant Thomas Jamison


Sergeant Jamison (right) with his mother and another North Irish Horseman identified as 'Charlie'.


Thomas Jamison was born on 1 August 1898 in Railway Street, Antrim, the last of thirteen children of farmer (later publican and undertaker) James Jamison and his wife Margaret (née Wilson). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living in Railway Street with his parents and five of his nine surviving siblings.

Jamison enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 29 or 30 November 1915 (No.1992 – later Corps of Hussars No.71660). He trained at the regiment's Antrim reserve camp before embarking for France in 1916 or 1917. There he was posted to E Squadron of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment. This regiment served as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps from its establishment in May 1916 until February-March 1918, when it was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

In the latter part of 1918 Jamison was one of five men of E Squadron awarded the Military Medal for gallant conduct during September in the Advance to Victory offensive. The commanding officer of the 38th (Welsh) Division had written:

I am deeply grateful for the magnificent assistance rendered to this Division by the squadron of V Corps Cyclists, North Irish Horse, during the past sixteen days. They have been gallant to a degree, unflagging in energy, and although placed under different Brigadiers almost daily, have never failed to supply me with early and accurate information. I desire especially to place on record my appreciation of the manner in which this sqn, on the 4th inst, took forward ammunition to the troops of the 114th Bde through a very heavy HE and gas barrage, across the Canal du Nord. I shall be very happy to forward any recommendations for immediate awards that the Squadron Commander may see fit to submit.

Jamison was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 15 February 1919.

After the war he returned to the town of Antrim, working in the linen business – he was later managing director of the carding and bleaching works at Kiltonga in County Down. On 18 September 1924 he married Eleanor Finney in the Bellevue Larne Harbour Presbyterian Church. The couple had two daughters, Nancy and Eleanor.

A keen sportsman, Jamison was captain of Scrabo Golf Club and celebrated winning the Ulster Cup, as non-playing captain, with the team in 1951. He was also a keen singer.



I am grateful to Lindsay Grant, grandson of Sergeant Jamison, for making available the photograph and much of the family background above. The newspaper image, from the Belfast Evening Telegraph in late 1918, was kindly provided by Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster (