August 11 – Roll of Honour

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Two centres of musical excellence – Westminster Abbey and the Band of the Royal Marines. 18 names are recorded in today’s Roll. They include four from HMS Albatross which was badly damaged by a U Boat in 1944

Representing their comrades who died on this day

1915

+CASSIDY, James
6th Bn. Royal Irish Rifles. 11527. Died 11/08/1915. Aged 27. Son of Rose Ann Cassidy, of 131, New Lodge Rd., Belfast, and the late Thomas Cassidy. Helles Memorial, Gallipoli, Turkey

1917

+ALEXANDER, William

16th (Service) Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles (2nd County Down) (Pioneers). Rifleman. 16/422. Died 11/08/1917. The battalion was working on road and trench repair near Wieltje, Belgium in the opening phase of the Third Battle of Ypres. William and four of his comrades were Killed in Action on this date, probably by shellfire. He embarked for France in October 1915 and served at the Somme and Messines. He was married with five children when he enlisted in 1915. Prior to enlisting he was employed as a Damask Weaver. Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. Donaghcloney WM, Donaghcloney PCI WM, Blackskull Orange Hall RH

+JOHNSTON, Hugh
16th Batt., Royal Irish Rifles. Rifleman. 538. Died 11/08/1917. Youngest son of Alexandra and Mary Johnston, Saul Street, Downpatrick.

+McCREIGHT, George Edward
10th Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Regimental Sergeant Major (RSM) 41202, formerly 7846, Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Died 11/08/1917. He was born in Portsmouth, Hampshire. Son of George and Eliza McCreight, of 50, Jameson Street, Ormeau Road and husband to Margaret nee Slingo, 15, Harrow Green, Leystonstone, London. In 1911 he was living with his wife at 44, Bellbrooke Place, Harehills, Leeds and he was a police constable. Etaples Military Cemetery, France. St Jude’s C of I Church, Belfast WM

1942

+HOLLAND, Albert
RN. Petty Officer Stoker. P/KX77069. HMS Eagle. Died 11/08/1942. Age 35. Operation Pedestal. He enlisted aged 18. He was the lightweight boxing champion of the navy in 1933 and 1934. Only son of John and Lena Holland, Arundel St., (late of Donegore St.), Belfast. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 28/08/1942). Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 67

+MILLIKEN, Thomas Eric
RN. Petty Officer Steward. D/LX 21430. Died 11/08/1942. Age 29. HM Submarine Thorn. Thorn (Lt Cdr R G Norfolk+), 07/07/1942, Eastern Mediterranean, 30 miles from Gavdos Island off SW Crete – by depth charges of Italian destroyer escort ‘Pegaso’. Attacking steamer ‘Istria’ sailing from Benghazi, spotted by escorting Ju.88 aircraft, depth-charged and believed sunk by ‘Pegaso’; all 60 crew lost (SW Crete patrol). Served nine years in destroyers and after Dunkirk served in submarines. Son of John and Georgina Milliken, Saintfield Rd., Newtownbreda. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 01/01/1943). Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 72

+WEAD, James Richard
RN. Leading Stoker. P/KX 96121. Date of Death: 11/08/1942. Age: 21. HMS Eagle. Son of James Edward and Daisy Wead, Cregagh. Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 68.

1943

+GIBSON, Wesley
RN. Able Seaman. D/JX 149209. HM Submarine Parthian. Died 11/08/1943. Age 23. In May 1943 HMS Parthian (Lt. M.B. St. John, RN) sank several Italian sailing vessels while operating in the Aegean. HMS Parthian (Lt. Cyril Astell Pardoe, RNR) is presumed mined in Adriatic late July/early August 1943. Having sailed from Malta on 22/07/1943 for patrol west of Greece in the southern Adriatic. She was ordered to patrol off Otranto on 26/071943. She was again given a new area to patrol on the 28th. She was reported overdue at Beirut on 11/08/1943. Most likely she was mined off Brindisi. The date given as lost (11/08/1943) is the date she was reported missing. Son of Robert James Gibson and Margaret Gibson, Lurgan. Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 79. Lurgan WM

+McCAIG, James Victor
RN. Leading Steward.D/LX 26009, Died 11/08/1943. H.M. Submarine. Plymouth Naval Memorial

1944 –  HMS ALBATROSS

+GRAY, William Joseph
RN. AB. D/SSX 31287. Date of Death: 11/08/1944. HMS Albatross. Built as a seaplane tender. The loss of aircraft carriers provided a renewed role for Albatross. It was initially based in South Africa for patrol and convoy escort duties in the southern Atlantic, then was relocated to the Indian Ocean in mid 1942. From late 1943 to early 1944, the vessel underwent conversion into a “Landing Ship (Engineering)” to support the Normandy landings, and was used to repair landing craft and other support vessels off Sword and Juno Beaches. Albatross was torpedoed in October, but survived to be towed back to England and repaired. Albatross was badly damaged on 11/08/1944 by a U boat action. “Dolly” Gray was described as “a likeable Irishman with strong political opinions” – Bill Forster, Holywell House Publishing, quoting his father who served with him in HMS Venomous on Atlantic convoys from the base in Londonderry. Belfast. Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 86

+HOY, Robert James
RN. Stoker 1st Class. D/KX 95518. Died 11/08/1944. Age 23. HMS Albatross. Son of Robert James and Daisy Elizabeth Ada Hoy, Newtownards. Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 90. Newtownards WM

+McFETRIDGE, John McDonald
RN. Stoker Second Class. D/KX 598770. Died 11/08/1944. Age 20. HMS Albatross. Brother served with Canadian forces. Son of Mr. and Mrs. D. McFetridge, Mackey St., Belfast. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 08/09/1944). Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 90

+O’DOHERTY, John
RN. Ordinary Seaman. D/JX 649835. Died11/08/1944. Age 28. HMS Albatross. Son of James and Sarah O’Doherty, of Londonderry. Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 88

1943

+TOWNSEND, John Eric James
RAFVR. Flying Officer.130317. B E M. Died 11/08/1943. Aged 33. 200 Sqdn. Husband to Ruby K. Townsend, of Belfast. Malta Memorial, Panel 6, Malta
1944

+IRELAND, Thomas
Royal Army Service Corps. 282 General Transport Company. Driver. T/7007689. Formerly Royal Ulster Rifles. Died 11/08/1944. Aged 44. Driving an ambulance which was hit by an artillery round killing him. Son of William and Ellen Ireland and husband to Margaret Ireland. Stanley Lane off York Street, Belfast. Bayeux War Cemetery, Calvados, France

+POTTS, Arthur
3rd Bn. Irish Guards. Guardsman. 2724063. Died 11/08/1944. Aged 21. Son of Stewart and Annie Potts, of Lisburn. Brother of RN Stoker Stewart Potts who died on 14/02/1942 at HMS Sultan, Singapore. Bayeux War Cemetery, Calvados, France. Lisburn WM

+WATT, Robert James
Irish Guards. 3rd Bn. Guardsman. 2719513. Died 11/08/1944. Aged 25. The Ballymena Observer recorded: “Guardsman Robert J Watt, killed in action in Normandy, was the third son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Watt, Cross, Moorfields. He was 22 years of age and single.”He joined up in November 1939 and subsequently served with the Commandos for a period of 16 months before transferring back to his old regiment. Prior to joining up he was in the employment of Mr. George Allen, grocer, Bridge Street, Ballymena.”
Son of Samuel and Matilda Watt, of Moorfields, Co. Antrim. Tilly – sur – Seulles War Cemetery.
1945

+LILLY, Wilson
RAFVR. Aircraftman 2nd Class. 1028484. Died 11/08/1945. Aged 22. Son of William and Ellen Lilly, of Larne. Labuan War Cemetery, Malaysia

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