Sergeant William Henry Beaconsfield Phayre


William Henry Beaconsfield Phayre was born on 19 April 1887 in Dublin, the first of three children of clerk John William Phayre and his wife Sarah (nee Henderson). He grew up with his family at Lower Rutland Street, Mountjoy, Dublin, and by 1911 was working as a solicitor's clerk.

Phayre enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 2 and 7 April 1915 (No.1471 – later Corps of Hussars No.71392).

Soon after, he embarked for England with F Squadron, where they awaited orders for France. On 12 July, however, Phayre was one of about two dozen men of the squadron who volunteered for service as Military Mounted Police with the 54th (East Anglian) Division, which was under orders to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. They sailed from Devonport on HMT Manitou on 29 July 1915, joining the landing at Suvla Bay between 10 and 16 August.

By the end of the year the campaign at Gallipoli was abandoned, the men of the North Irish Horse leaving in December. Arriving at Egypt the following month, a number, including Phayre, remained there for the duration of the war, serving in various elements of the Egypt and Palestine campaign.

At the end of June 1918 Phayre formally transferred to the Military Mounted Police (No. P/14886) – with effect from 30 August 1917.

He was mentioned in despatches by General Allenby at the end of 1917, in recognition of "distinguished service in connection with military operations under his command".