The Normandy Memorial at Ver-Sur-Mer officially inaugurated by PM Theresa May in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron on D Day anniversary 2019. It overlooks Gold beach and the remains of the Mulberry harbour at Arromanches.
Representing their comrades who died on this day
Captain. HMT Harbury. Died 09/06/1917. Sunnyside, Antrim Road, Belfast. Fortwilliam Park – PCI RH. Family memorial, Balmoral Cemetery, Belfast
+SMYTH, William Smyth
12th Bn. Royal Irish Rifles. Rifleman. 1782. Died as a Prisoner of War at Ruckhiem, Germany, 09/06/1917. Aged 26. Born Ballycastle. Married. Lived at 20 Church Street, Port Glasgow, Niederzwehren German
Royal Irish Royal Irish Rifles. Rifleman. 14181. Died 09/06/1917. Dundonald cemetery
+TYRELL, Walter Alexander
RNAS. Petty Officer. 32nd Squadron RAF. MC. Died 09/06/1918. He was educated at RBAI (Inst) and the Belfast Municipal Technical Institution He was a member of the QUB OTC and was working as an apprentice motor engineer when he commissioned into the Royal Flying Corps in July 1917. He served in the RNAS (Armoured Car Section) as a Petty Officer from 26/12/1914 to 24/11/1915. During this time, he spent 8 months in France and suffered an injury, when an armoured car crushed his foot. Subsequently he used a specially made boot.
Alexander was Ireland’s fourth ranked air ace, with 17 victories. The first was on 30/10/1917 over Passchendaele, the last two being at 1845 hrs and 1850 hrs on 06/06/1918. He was awarded the Military Cross, the citation for which read: “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. On one day this officer attacked two enemy triplanes, destroying one and driving down the other out of control. After this he was attacked by two other machines, one of which he forced to land, taking the occupants prisoners. On various other occasions, he has destroyed or driven down out of control enemy machines.”
One particular victory, his second, on 11/11/1917 is described here: “Three 32 Sqn DH5s flown by 2nd Lts Howson, W A Tyrrell and Claydon, were engaged on an OP. At 1000 over Westroosbeke, Clayton & Tyrrell first intercepted an Albatros with a yellow and green fuselage and yellow nose. Clayton was forced to pull out of the fight with a gun jam, but Tyrrell carried on the attack. The German began a staggering flutter in a downward direction. As the pilot attempted to pull the stricken Albatros out of the dive, Tyrrell fired again, his bullets striking the pilot’s head and the instrument panel in front of him. The Albatros reared upwards before spinning down again. Tyrrell lost sight of his quarry at 300 feet as it fell through and below other circling German aircraft – it was too dangerous to follow. There no German pilot fatalities on this day. Nevertheless, Tyrrell added this ‘out of control’ to his score.”
Alexander was killed, at the age of 19, while flying his Fouquerolles SE5a biplane. He was brought down by enemy machine gun fire from the trenches. Born 23/08/1898. Son of John Tyrrell and Jeanie Tyrrell (nee Todd) of Fairview Buildings, Crumlin Road, Belfast, and later Ballyholme. Beauvais Communal Cemetery, Oise, France. First Bangor PCI RH. Bangor WM. RBAI WM
Royal Artillery. Gunner. 458599. Died 09/06/1940. Dundonald cemetery
Royal Artillery. Gunner. 1474572. Died 09/06/1940. Aged 30. 23 Bty., 8 HAA (Belfast) Regiment. Son of Samuel and Alice Jameson, of Belfast, Northern Ireland; husband of Sarah Jameson, of Belfast. Pont-de-L’Arche Communal Cemetery, Eure, France. Regimental WM and RH, St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast
Royal Artillery. Gunner. 1476657. Died 09/06/1940. Aged 22. 23 Bty., 8 HAA (Belfast) Regiment. Son of Patrick Rea, and of Ellen Rea, of Belfast. Pont-de-L’Arche Communal Cemetery, Eure, France. Regimental WM and RH, St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast
RAF. Sergeant (Air Gunner). 613758. Died 09/06/1942. Aged 22. 83 Sqdn. Son of Edward and Mary Ann O’Neill, of Armagh. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
+BURNS, Gerald Joseph
RAFVR. Sergeant (Air Gunner). 1796555. Died 09/06/1944. Aged 24. 44 Sqdn. Son of Hugh and Agnes Burns of Belfast,. Moringny-Champigny Communal Cemetery, Essongy, France
+HALFPENNY, John James
2nd Btn. Royal Ulster Rifles. Rifleman. 7015482. Died 09/06/1944. Aged 27. Son of Frank and Annie Halfpenny, of Ligoniel, Co. Antrim. Delivrande War Cemetery, Douvres, Calvados, France
+ROBINSON, William Arthur
RAFVR. Sergeant. 1504635. Died 09/06/1943. Aged 22. 619 Sqdn. Son of Joseph and Barbara E. Robinson, of Belfast. Runnymeade Memorial, Panel 163
+SCOTT, William John
2nd Btn. Royal Ulster Rifles. Rifleman. 7011203. Died 09/06/1944. Cambes-en-Plaine War Cemetery, France.