WW II, a British focus  



War Diaries

North Irish Horse
September 1939 To June 1946

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31st August 1939
GOC Northern Ireland District (NID) receives an order from the War Office giving authority for North Irish Horse to be reconstituted as a Light Armoured Regiment (wheeled).
Ref WO Letter 20/RAC/3 AG dated 30th August 1939.

September 1939 CO:
Sep 39 North Irish Horse
4/9/39 Belfast
Referring to WO Letter of 30th August, GOC NID proposes, amongst other things, that detachments or Squadrons be located as follows:-
  one Sqn ARMAGH

Sir Basil Brooke Bt provisionally selected as Commanding Officer and the Secretary of County Antrim TA & AF Association issues instructions as regards selection of officers, men, recruiting, accommodation and courses of instruction.
8/9/39 Letter from War Office authorising reconstitution of the NIH. Regt will now be raised and equipped on War Establishment, Capt the Right Honourable Sir Basil Brooke, Bt DL, CBE, MP, to be commanding Officer and Capt OC Smith-Bingham, 17/21st Lancers appointed as Adjutant. Two regular and four TA NCOs will be despatched as PSIs.
9/9/39 Adjt reports to NID Victoria Bks. One SSgt and one Sgt posted as PSIs from Derbyshire Yeomanry.
10/9/39 Two Cpls posted as PSIs from East Riding Yeomanry.
12/9/39 Recce by Capt Smith-Bingham of suggested accommodation for Sqn in ENNISKILLEN, DUNGANNON and ARMAGH.
15/9/39 Temporary office opened in Victoria Bks, BELFAST.
20/9/39 Owing to his inability, for political duties, of Sir Basil Brooke to assume command, Major Sir Ronald Ross appointed CO and granted acting rank of Lt Col.
21/9/39 Lt The Earl of Erne RARO Royal Horse Guards posted to Regt as 2i/c and granted acting rank of Major.
22/9/39 Further recce of ENNISKILLEN (CASTLE BKS and COUNTY HALL), ARMAGH and GOSFORD CASTLE by the CO, Major Lord Erne and Adjt.
24/9/39 NID arranges that recruits will be accommodated and given an initial period of training with 1st Btn East Lancashire Regt at HOLYWOOD BKS BELFAST.
26/9/39 First 12 recruits enlisted.

October 1939 CO: Lt Col Sir Ronald Ross
Oct 39 North Irish Horse
1/10/39 Belfast
BOARD of OFFICERS held in County Hall ARMAGH consisting of CO, Lord Erne, Adjt to interview candidates for commissions.
Further recce of GOSFORD CASTLE.
3/10/39 Two Sgts from 17/21st Lancers posted as PSIs.
10/10/39 Further recce of ENNISKILLEN.
12/10/39 CO admitted PURDYSBURN FEVER HOSPITAL, BELFAST suffering from Scarletina.Regtl strength in recruits is 29.
15/10/39 The following officers gazetted with effect from Sep 20th and granted acting rank of Captain:-
CNL Stronge The Lord O’Neill
RC Newton AR Booth
Lt MT McDonald arrived from 7th Btn RTC to assume duties of QM.
17/10/39 The following officers gazetted:-
   The Marquis of Ely, ADC Butler, JP Herdman.
19/10/39 2Lt Marquis of Ely attached to 2nd Btn Royal Sussex Regt for signalling instruction.
20/10/39 The following officers gazetted:-
   CA Crofton, KG Pomeroy, RL Nugent, RJ Adams.
200 rifles and bayonets taken on charge.
21/10/39 Final recce of ENNISKILLEN by:-
Col Holmes a’Court Col i/c ADM NID
Col Findlay CRE NID
Major Earl of Erne  
results in decision to concentrate whole Regt there.
The following officers attached to 2nd Btn SWB at LONDONDERRY for instruction in Regimental Duties:-
Capts Stronge, Lord O’Neill, Newton, Booth,
2Lts Butler, Adams, Herdman, Crofton, Pomeroy, Nugent.
23/10/39 Lt MT McDonald MBE gazetted from 7th Btn RTC as QM
31/10/39 27 recruits enlisted.
officers 14
WOs 2
ORs 44
Total 60

November 1939 CO: Lt Col Sir Ronald Ross
Nov 39 North Irish Horse
1/11/39 Belfast
24 recruits made A/U/LCpls.
Two WOs and one Sgt lent by 2nd Btn SWB as temporary instructors.
2/11/39 CO returns from hospital.
4/11/39 Departure of initial selection of A/LCpls for vacancies at AFV School Bovington in D&M, and Gunnery courses.
7/11/39 100 rounds of SAA taken over from E Lancs for escort purposes.
Advance party leaves HOLYWOOD BKS for ENNISKILLEN.
10/11/39 Main body under command of Capt Newton leaves and arrives at ENNISKILLEN. RHQ opens up at CASTLE BKS.
13/11/39 2Lt Butler to instructors course (D&M) at Bovington.
2Lt Marquis of Ely to Wireless course at Bovington.
2Lts Herdman, Nugent, Crofton to Elementary course (D&M) at Bovington.
Strength return – total of ORs 90.
14/11/39 10 A/LCpls made A/Cpl.
13 Troopers made A/U/LCpls.
15/11/39 53 recruits enlisted.
Capt Stronge OC HQ Sqn
Capt Booth 2i/c HQ Sqn
Capt Lord O’Neill PMC & Sports officer
Capt Newton WTO & A/TO
2Lt Pomeroy Int Officer & A/Sigs Officer.
16/11/39 Four instructional vehicles purchased in Belfast and taken over.
Lt GE Calvert RAMC joins Regt as MO.
18/11/39 2Lt JA Coey gazetted from London Scottish.
20/11/39 2Lt Adams goes on Tech Officers course Bovington.
24/11/39 38 recruits enlisted. Total of ORs 134.
25/11/39 Major Tyler DAAG visits Regt.
26/11/39 Six 4 wheel trucks (15cwt), one wireless van, one wireless truck, one water truck, one Humber utility and ten M/Cs taken over from OO.
28/11/39 Ten A/U/LCpls made.
30/11/39 Eight A/U/Sgts made.
Strength of ORs 173.

December 1939 CO: Lt Col Sir Ronald Ross
Dec 39 North Irish Horse
2/12/39 Enniskillen
One A/Sgt and two A/Cpls made.
3/12/39 Major Grant DAQMG NID visited Regt.
6/12/39 Two WOs and one Sgt of SWB returned to LONDONDERRY.
Four further purchased vehicles brought down from BELFAST for instructional purposes.
9/12/39 Strength 186 ORs
11/12/39 The Regt splits into two Sqns.
HQ Sqn remains at Castle Bks, A Sqn takes over accommodation at COUNTY HALL. Transferred to A Sqn are:-
Capt Lord O’Neill Sqn Commander
2Lt Coey 2/ic
3 Sgts, 4 Cpls, 10 LCpls, 70 ORs.
13/12/39 45 recruits enlisted. 20 posted to A Sqn.
14/12/39 2Lt M Montgomery gazetted. Seven LCpls made A/Cpl.
16/12/39 Appointments:-
OC HQ Sqn Capt Booth
Security officer 2Lt Pomeroy
Sports officer 2Lt Butler
Technical officer 2Lt Adams

A total of 8 NCOs have now completed a fortnights course at Victoria Bks.
18/12/39 CQMS Jordan posted to Regt.
23/12/39 Strength of ORs HQ Sqn 119, A Sqn 108.
27/12/39 Main guard will be 24 hours both at Castle Bks and County Hall.
28/12/39 Capt Stronge granted sick leave.
29/12/39 RQMS Tanner posted from reserve 15/19th Hussars. Major the Earl of Erne proceeds on Tactical course at Tidworth.
30/12/39 Increasing numbers of cases of ORs “going sick” with “Tonsillitis”. ‘Gargling’ parades introduced twice per day.
31/12/39 Strength 237 ORs.

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