July 23 – Roll of Honour


On this day in 1759 HMS Victory was laid down at Chatham dockyard. 46 years later she would seal her place in history at Trafalgar. 163 years later, still in service she was saved for the nation as a museum at HMNB Portsmouth and after 260 years is still in commission with the Royal Navy. The McNeill family lost two sons in WW2, one on this day in HMS Fearless, and their home was destroyed  in an air raid on Belfast.

Representing their comrades who died on this day


+DALZELL, Robert
RNR. 2100/T. HMS Lancaster. Died 23/07/1915. Age 43. Husband to Matilda Dalzell, Ulverston St., Belfast. Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery, Kent


+HOLLAND, Charles Julius
RAFVR. Sergeant (Observer).745631. Died 23/07/1940. Aged 19. 107 Sqdn. Son of Julius Alfred and Beryl Ethel Holland, of Bangor, Co. Down. Tangmere (St Andrew) Churchyard, Sussex. 502 (Ulster) Squadron WM, St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast

+STERLING, Robert Camac
RAFVR. Pilot Officer. 77981. Died 23/07/1940. Aged 22. 149 Squadron. Son of David Colston Sterling and Jean Smyth Sterling of  Belfast. Dundonald cemetery


+McNEILL, James
RN. AB. D/SSX 25765. Died 23/07/1941. Age 20. HMS Fearless. His only brother Private George McNeill, RUR, was killed in action in Belgium the year previous. His parents residence in Mountcollyer St., Belfast had been destroyed in an air raid. Son of Mr. and Mrs. George McNeill, Upper Charville St., Belfast. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 16/08/1941). Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 47

+SMITH, Hugh
RN. Able Seaman. D/SSX 24851. Died 23/07/1941. Age 21. HMS Fearless. He was posted as missing after the sinking of Fearless. He had three and a half years service and had been in two ships which also had been sunk by enemy aerial attack. One of these was HMS Gurka. His brother Thomas was serving in the RN. Son of Samuel and Elizabeth Smith, Fortingale St., Belfast. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 16/08/1941). Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 48


+CURRIE, Vivian Lester

RAFVR. Pilot Officer.106035. Died 23/07/1942. Aged 22. 263 Sqdn. Science 1939 – 40 QUB. Son of Samuel and Margaret Currie, Stormont, Co. Down. Runnymeade Memorial, Panel 69. Belmont Presbyterian Church, Belfast, RH. QUB RH

+HAIRE, Sidney Sedgwick
Indian Army Ordnance Corps. attd. 161 Inf. Motor Bde. Major. EC/1105. Died 23/07/1942. Aged 29. Son of Sidney Hume Haire and Nora Julie Haire, of Earlswood Road, Belfast. Brother of Sergeant Pilot John Keatinge Haire RAFVR who died in the Battle of Brittain on 06/11/1940, over the Isle of Wight. Both educated at RBAI. El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt. Family Memorial, Dundonald cemetery


2nd Bn. Royal Ulster Rifles. Rifleman.1647367. Died 23/07/1944. Aged 24. La Deliverande War Cemetery, Douvres, Calvados, France


ALLEN, Conway Benning
RN. Commander. DSO 1943. RN Colleges, Osborne and Dartmouth. Served in WW1 and WW2. Lieutenant in HMS Inconstant in WW1. Commanded HMS Rochester, a sloop of the Shoreham Class, from 16/01/1941 to 10/1942. 19/10/1941 – German U-boat 204 was sunk near Tangier, in position 35°46’N, 06°02’W, by depth charges from the British corvette HMS Mallow (Lt. W.R.B. Noall, RNR) and the British sloop HMS Rochester (Cdr. C.B. Allen, RN). 06/02/1942 – German U-boat 82 was sunk north of the Azores, in position 44°10’N, 23°52’W, by depth charges from the British sloop HMS Rochester (Cdr. C.B. Allen, RN) and the corvette HMS Tamarisk (Lt. S. Ayles, RNR). Retired 1945. Born 25/09/1896. Son of Samuel Allen and Florence Mary nee Adair, Lisconnan House, Dervock, Co. Antrim. Husband to Marjorie nee Warren. Died 23/07/1980, Victoria BC, Canada. ADM196/119. ADM196/146

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