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Behind the artefacts: Captain William Armstrong

Recently some artefacts left our museum and were temporarily displayed at Moyaliffe House & Gardens, most notably was an impressive dress uniform worn by Captain William Armstrong, and a carriage from his home at Moyaliffe. As we prepare for their return, we thought we would share the story of the man behind the artefacts.

Capt. William Armstrong, or Capt. Pat as he was affectionately known to his men, served with the 10th (Prince of Wales Own Royal) Hussars. He was born 20th August 1889, the only son of Capt. Marcus and Rosalie Armstrong, of Moyaliffe Co. Tipperary. He was educated at Eton and the Royal Military college, Sandhurst. He began his military career with the Hussars as a 2nd Lieut. on 23rd Feb. 1910 and was subsequently promoted Lieut. on 1st Feb 1914 and Capt. 7th May 1917.

The Moyaliffe carriage on display at Moyaliffe House

He served with his regiment in India and South Africa and was on leave in England at the outbreak of the War and left for France in Aug. 1914 with the original Expeditionary Force.

After serving both in France and Flanders he was sent to Gallipoli, where he served as Staff Capt. with the famous 29th Division under Major General de Lisle and took part in the evacuation of both Suvia and Helles. He was then sent to Egypt and returned to France in March 1916 serving as Brigade Major. He had just been recommended for the D.S.O. when on 23rd May 1917 while on duty in a front line trench near Arras he was killed in action at the age of 28.

Capt. Armstrong was awarded the Military Cross and was mentioned four times in Dispatches for gallant and distinguished service in the field.

General de Lisle wrote ‘He was so absolutely fearless, he was bound to be hit sooner or later, but I had hoped it would be wounded only. You see the boy is referred to as “Dear old Pat”, that he always will be, to all the 29th Division who knew and appreciated him so well; he will never be forgotten’.

Capt. William Armstrong’s Dress Uniform & Memorial on display at Moyaliffe House

Thanks to team member Niall Carey for researching and writing this piece.

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