The Battle of Loos in WW1 impacts on today’s Roll. There are five NI names from Loos in 1915, four of which are of men who fell serving with Scots regiments. Dr James Gatchell had strong inks with Portstewart where he is remembered. He was awarded the Military Cross and Croix de Guerre (France) in WW1. Three WW1 fatalities were in Empire forces. One of the veterans remembered today was a survivor of the Battle of Jutland. The final entry is of a RAFVR pilot from Holywood with Coleraine AI links who died in a special operations flight in WW2. On this day in 1939, Warsaw falls to Germany. The city will endure 1,939 days of ruthless Nazi occupation. Read More
On This Day in 1916 the Battle of Loos commences. In 1944, The Battle of Arnhem ends in Allied defeat with more than 8,000 British and Polish soldiers killed or captured. James Cameron from Carrickfergus died on this date as the result of wounds received during the Battle. He had served with distinction in Italy. In WW1, John Mulholland from Sandy Row, Belfast, a boy aged only 16, died. Randal McDonnell, the Veteran remembered today, served during WW2 and was Commander of the Ulster Division, RNVR, 1954 -1957. Read More
Parachute Regiment colours at Osterbeek 75th anniversary remembrance service in 2004. On this day in 1915 “The Witness” a Presbyterian Church newsmagazine reports on the UVF at Clandeboye Camp, Newcastle, and Ballykinlar. In 1915 the London Irish Rifles go over the top as the Battle of Loos begins. Today we record the record of service of 52 men from NI in both wars and all services. They include a Banbridge man who was one of the first to enlist with the North Irish Horse who were in France from 20 August 1914, also an Archdale from Fermanagh, and three Gunners from Newtownards who fell at Tobruk. Read More
HRH Prince Charles at the 75th-anniversary remembrance of Operation Market Garden. Today’s Roll includes one of the first RAF casualties from Coleraine, Edmond McLaughlin in 1918; a school teacher from Newtownards whose brother was serving with US forces. and a RAFVR air crew from Lurgan serving with a Canadian Ghost Squadron. Read More
Today marks the last day of the battle for Arnhem. At the 2019 75th Anniversary, some of the ‘original’ flower children who laid flowers on allied graves joined today’s youngsters. Two entries in today’s Roll are members of the Glider Pilot Regiment – James Boyd of Portstewart and John Smellie of Holywood who rest at Arnhem. In WW1 Wilhelmina Charley from Dunmurry, a VAD, in the UVF hospital in Belfast, served later in Salonica and died in service in Genoa, Italy. Read More
Three Cressy class ships were sunk in a matter of minutes on this day in 1914. At least twenty-four men from from NI were lost. It was the first of two actions in three weeks announcing the arrival of the U boat. 23 further men complete today’s Roll.
On this day in 1917 Robert Hanna from Kilkeel, serving in the Canadian Army was recommended for the award of the Victoria Cross for his courage and actions in Hill 70. Six VC’s were awarded to Canadians at Hill 70. James Carmichael from Larne fell in 1916 with Canadian infantry at Vimy. In WW2 John Creighton from Kilwaughter died in the RCAF and rests in Coburg, Ontario. In WW1 William Browne of the Inniskillings was attached to the Royal Flying Corps and died over France, and George Bittles of Coleraine who had served in India died in his home town. Read More
Arnhem’s successors – Advance pathfinder reconnaissance troops from 16 Air Assault Brigade at Colchester conduct a jump into southern Ukraine. They are part of ExJointEndeavour2020, a UK and Ukrainian airborne interoperability training exercise which is currently underway. Today was just another day in two world wars: another day which changed families forever. Today’s Roll recalls 25 men from all services and from all parts of NI who defended democracy and freedom, 21 paying with their lives. Read More