Sergeant David Matchett


David Matchett was born on 7 July 1880 at Drumcree, County Armagh, the fifth of ten children of farmer James Matchett and his wife Matilda (née Cregan). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Derryanvil, Drumcree, with his widowed mother and three siblings, and working on the family farm.

Matchett enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 19 and  25 October 1912 (No.742 – later Corps of Hussars No.71089). He embarked for France with A Squadron on 17 August 1914, seeing action in the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne. The squadron served as escort and bodyguard to the BEF's commander-in-chief at St Omer from October 1914 until January 1916, when it was posted as divisional cavalry to the 55th Division.

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.

In April 1917 Matchett was awarded a Special Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal.

In February-March 1918 the 1st NIH Regiment was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit. This meant a 25 per cent reduction in its numbers, and it is probable that this was the time that Matchett was transferred to the 8th (King's Royal Irish) Hussars. He later served with the 19th Royal Hussars (Queen Alexandra's Own).

He was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 29 February 1919.

After the war Matchett returned to farming at Derryanvil. On 29 April 1924 he married Sarah Ruddock. He died at Derryanvil on 31 August 1935.


Portadown Times, 6 September 1935


This page last updated 30 December 2023.