Private Robert J. Morton


It is probable that this North Irish Horseman was the Robert John Morton born on 18 October 1898 at Glenarm, Larne, County Antrim, the first of eight children of agricultural labourer Robert Morton and his wife Mary Elizabeth (née Anderson). At the time of the 1911 Census he was living at 46 Glynn Road, Larne, with his parents and his four surviving siblings (another would be born two years later).

Morton enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 29 January and 28 March 1917 (regimental number 2362 or 2364-67 – later Corps of Hussars No.71776).

He remained at the regimental reserve camp at Antrim until January 1918, when he embarked for Egypt with a draft of around fifty North Irish Horsemen from the Antrim camp. There he was attached to the 1/1st Nottinghamshire Yeomanry (Sherwood Rangers), serving with that regiment in the Palestine campaign.

On 3 May 1919 the sporting newspaper Ireland's Saturday Night carried a letter as follows:

Sir – Would any kind reader oblige a few North of Ireland boys with a couple of mouth organs to pass away the weary evenings with a bit of enjoyment, as we cannot get them where we are now in Servia. We are constant readers of the dear old Pink. Wishing the Blues and Glens every success – Yours sincerely, R. Morton (Larne), J. Finlay (Belfast), E. Deane (Belfast), W. Johnston (Portadown), H. Cupples (Ballymena), P. McCloskey (Belfast), W. Archibald (Donegal), North Irish Horse (attached 4th Troop, A Squadron, Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry), B.E.F.

Morton was still serving as late as January 1920. Following his discharge he returned to Larne, where on 21 August 1921 he married Elizabeth Baxter in the First Presbyterian Church.


Morton's father Robert also served in the war, in the 12th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles.