Private Robert Tughan, MM


Robert Tughan was born on 4 April 1894 at Tullyglush, Keady, County Armagh, the youngest of six children of farmer Samuel Tugham and his wife Essie (nee McBride). By 1911 he was living at the family home in Tullyglush and working as a grocer's apprentice.

Tughan enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 23 November 1915 (No.1959). In 1916 or 1917 he embarked for France, where he joined the 1st or 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment in the field.

In September 1917 the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment was dismounted and most of its men, together with some from the 1st Regiment, were transferred to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – which was then renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion. Like most of the men, Tughan was transferred to the battalion on 20 September. He was issued a new regimental number – 41280 – and posted to C Company.

Tughan was one of the many in the battalion listed as missing following the retreat from St Quentin from 21 to 28 March 1918 during the German spring offensive. He was later confirmed as having been captured on the 26th. (Though one record states he was captured at Ham, it was more likely near the village of Erches.)

Two months later he was one of seven men of the battalion award a Military Medal for the role they played during the retreat.

Tughan remained a prisoner of war until repatriated after the Armistice. Records show that he was held at camps in Stendal (August) and Gustrow (November) in Germany.