Sergeant Horace Seymour Thompson



Horace Seymour Thompson was born on 3 November 1880 at 28 Market Street, Newry, County Down, third of nine children of farmer, merchant and land agent James Thompson and his wife Elizabeth (nee Sloan). The family later farmed at nearby Crieve, Horace's two older brothers having moved to South Africa.

On 2 August 1913 Thompson married Sarah Jane Preston of Canal Street, Newry.

Thompson enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 16 January and 23 February 1909 (No.282 – later Corps of Hussars No.71011). He was also active in the Ulster Volunteer Force, a report from April 1914 showing him as a sub-commander of E Company (Crieve), 2nd South Down Regiment.

Thompson embarked for France with A Squadron of the North Irish Horse on 17 August 1914, seeing action in the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.

On 2 March 1915 he faced a field general court martial at St Omer charged with being drunk while on active service. Found guilty, he was awarded 9 months imprisonment with hard labour and was reduced to the ranks.

After serving his time, Thompson returned to the regiment, serving throughout the war. On 10 February 1919 he was transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

After the war Thompson served in the Royal Irish Constabulary. He died on 19 June 1937 and was buried in St Patrick's Churchyard, Newry.The Belfast News-Letter of 21 June reported that:

Constable Horace S. Thompson, Roden Street R.U.C. Barrack, Belfast, died suddenly on Saturday morning after returning from night duty to his home in Broadway. Medical aid was rendered, but without avail. Constable Thompson, who was a son of the late Mr. James Thompson, Crieve House, Newry, served in the Great War and achieved the rank of sergeant-major. Before the war he was a trooper in the North Irish Horse. He leaves a widow and three children.



Thompson's two older brothers also saw service in the war, as part of the South African Infantry. James died in East Africa from malaria on 1 August 1917. Harry served in France, having been commissioned in 1917.


The first image is from a group photo of D Squadron NCOs in 1914, and can be seen in its full context here. Another image, from 1912, can be seen here. The press clipping from the Newry Reporter, 3 December 1914, kindly provided by Joe Center.