Sent to France in August 1914 the North Irish Horse (NIH) were the first British reservist regiment to see action (at Le Cateau) before fighting as rearguard on the long retreat to the outskirts of Paris. For the next four years they saw action in many of the major battles (Ypres, Somme, Passchendaele, Cambrai) and were involved in the final advance to victory. The book not only describes the Regiment's actions by squadron but focusses on the officers and men; their background, motivation and courageous deeds and sacrifices. The author places the Regiment's achievement in the context of the overall war and also reflects on the effect that unfolding events (eg the Easter Rising) in Northern Ireland had on the Regiment and its members. The book draws on a wealth of primary source material, much unpublished including war diaries, personal accounts, letters and memoirs. Thus in addition to compiling the first history of the NIH, the author succeeds in painting a valuable picture of The Great War at the fighting end.
Phillip Tardif has long had a close interest in the North Irish Horse, his grandfather having served in the regiment during the War. He was the first to transcribe its regimental war diaries, published on www/northirishhorse.com.au. His previously published works have included Notorious Strumpets and Dangerous Girls; Convict Women in Van Diemen's Lane 1803-1829 and John Bowen's Hobart: The Beginning of European Settlement in Tasmania. The latter work won the Tasmanian Bicentenary Local History Prize and was shortlisted for the 2005 Tasmania Prize. He lives in Camberra, Australia where he has worked for many years in public policy and political advisory roles.