Private John Nixon



The background of this North Irish Horseman is not known at present.

John Nixon enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 31 August 1914 (No.1053).

On 18 December 1918 he embarked for France with the first group of North Irish Horse reinforcements. There he was posted to C Squadron. Soon after, he was appointed as orderly to the squadron's commanding officer, Lord Massereene.

In the early months of 1915 a photograph of Nixon appeared in the Belfast Evening Telegraph (picture below), over the caption:

Four Belfast chums at the front with the North Irish Horse.- Standing from the left - Trooper Wilson Donaghy, late of 'Evening Telegraph' staff, now orderly to General Plumer; Troopers Mandy Berwitz and John Nixon, orderlies to Viscount Massereene and Ferrard, and (sitting) Corporal McClements.

In June 1916 C Squadron joined 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. In August 1917 orders came that the regiment would be dismounted and its men transferred to the infantry. Nixon was 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. Nixon was issued regimental number 41621. His subsequent experiences in the war are not known.

On 22 February 1919 Private Nixon was transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.



Image from The Belfast Evening Telegraph, kindly provided by Nigel Henderson, Researcher at History Hub Ulster (