Book Reviews: Little-Known History of the True Value of Horse- Power

The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), March 10, 2003 | Go to article overview

Book Reviews: Little-Known History of the True Value of Horse- Power


Byline: STEVEN MOORE

The North Irish Horse: A Hundred Years of Service by Richard Doherty. Published by Spellmount Publishers. pounds 20 (hardback).

THE North Irish Horse has been around virtually as long as the Irish Guards, yet comparatively little has ever been written about it.

Formed after the Boer War, along with its sister regiment, the South Irish Horse, its fortunes have ebbed and flowed with the tides of war.

It was the first Territorial unit into France during the First World War, landing in 1914 as part of the British Expeditionary Force.

Thirty years later, it won the distinction of being allowed to wear the maple leaf battle honour - awarded by the Canadian troops it supported during its attack on the Hitler Line in Italy.

On March 6, this fine regiment's history finally got a proper airing thanks to the penmanship of Richard Doherty, who has made a habit of throwing fresh light of Ulster's military past.

His book, The North Irish Horse: A Hundred Years of Service more than simply outlines its history.

Doherty's coverage of the war years, in particular, is first-class, putting into context the importance of the regiment.

He doesn't waste words at any juncture, and that is particularly the case in his chapters on the years between and since the war when, as a TA unit, its activities have largely been confined to training exercises. …

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