Lance Corporal James Bryson Whiteside


James Bryson Whiteside was born on 1 October 1892 at Ballybracken, Kilbride, County Antrim, the first of three children of labourer Daniel Whiteside and his wife Lizzie (née Martin). His mother died of tuberculosis when he was just four years old, and his brother and sister died two months later. James's father remarried later that year. By the time of the 1911 Census, James was living at Ballybracken on the farm of John Alexander Whiteside (presumably a relative) and working as a farm labourer.

Whiteside enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Antrim on 22 May 1915 (No.1568). He gave his occupation as 'driver'. On 22 March 1916 he embarked for France, where he was posted to F Squadron, joining it in the field at Coyecques five days later.

In June 1916 F Squadron combined with C Squadron and the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons Service Squadron to form the 2nd North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to X Corps until September 1917, when the regiment was disbanded and its men transferred to the infantry. Whiteside was one of 70 men given the job of conducting the regiment's horses to Egypt, to be handed over for use by mounted units there. 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, and after just a few days were posted to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Fusiliers – which had been renamed the 9th (North Irish Horse) Battalion – joining it in the field at Ruyaulcourt on 12 October. Whiteside was issued regimental number 41583 and posted to D Squadron.

He probably saw action with the battalion at the Battle of Cambrai in November and December 1917.

On 28 December 1917 Whiteside was one of twenty-four former North Irish Horsemen who transferred from the 9th (NIH) Battalion to the Tank Corps (No.304854). Sent for training to the Tank Corps Depot at Bovington near Wareham, Dorset, he was posted to the newly-formed 17th (Armoured Car) Tank Battalion.

Whiteside embarked for France with his battalion on 27 April 1918. They saw a great deal of action from June that year until the end of the war. Whiteside was slightly wounded by a shell splinter on 9 October during the advance from the Hindenburg Line to Le Cateau.

On 23 January 1919 he returned to the UK. He was demobilised and transferred to Class Z, Army Reserve, on 7 June 1919.

By 1923 Whiteside was living at 16 Adelaide Terrace, Larne, and working as a labourer. On 26 April that year he married Edyth King at the Larne First Presbyterian Church. He died at Larne on 10 February 1946, and was buried in the Larne New Cemetery.


Larne Times, 14 February 1946