Private Donald McFarlane Wallace



Donald McFarlane Wallace was born at Tullyhona, Florence Court, County Fermanagh, the seventh of fifteen children of farmer Oliver Wallace and his Scottish-born wife Margaret (nee McFarlane). By the time of the 1911 Census he was living at Tullyhona with his parents, seven of his ten surviving siblings, an uncle and a cousin. He and other members of his family are likely to have also worked on the nearby estate of Lord Cole.

Wallace enlisted in the North Irish Horse between 10 and 23 November 1908 (No.236 – later Corps of Hussars No.71010). He embarked for France on 17 August 1914, seeing action in the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne. At this time he was incorrectly reported as having been killed. According to the Belfast News-Letter of 11 September:

Our Enniskillen correspondent writes:– Two deaths while on active service are reported in the "C" (Enniskillen) Squadron of the North Irish Horse – Trooper Dundas, Tabaugh, Derrygonnelly, and Trooper D. Wallace, Florencecourt. Both were troopers in the Enniskillen Horse, U.V.F.

An account of that time by Horseman Willie Acheson throws some light on the relationship between Wallace and his commanding officer:

The first big charge they took part in was at Kemmel Hill using swords. They became hemmed in by Germans. A comrade, Dan Wallace, never called Lord Enniskillen (John Cole) anything but John. ‘You may blow the whistle, John, ’cause we’re cornered here.’ Blow it he had to, and all retreated.

A Squadron served as escort to the BEF's Commander-in-Chief at St Omer until January 1916, when it was posted as divisional cavalry to the 55th Division. In May 1916 the squadron came together with D and E Squadrons to form the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps until February-March 1918, when the regiment was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps until the end of the war.

Wallace remained with the regiment throughout the war. On 17 February 1919 he was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve.

After the war Wallace returned to farming. On 29 June 1928 he married Isa Shaw in Antrim. He died on 24 August 1976.




Two of Wallace's brothers also served in the war. Richard Alexander Wallace in the North Irish Horse, and William John Wallace in the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron and 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers. William was killed in action on 23 October 1918.


Images sourced from Public Member Trees - contributor 'annetteharrison7'.