Remembering 15 men from the three services who did their duty. They include six who died at sea, an Ulster rifleman awarded the Military Medal for bravery under fire on 07/06/1944 and a former QUB Training Corps member who lost his life trying to dig out comrades whose trench had been hit.
Representing their comrades who died on this day
+LUCAS, Ernest Lionel
Cheshire Regiment. Private. 8649. Died 24/08/1914. Audregnies Communal Cemetery, Hainaut, Belgium. Dungannon WM
RN. Leading Seaman. 213672. HMS Collingwood. Died 24/08/1914. Age 30. Boy service from 15/01/1901. Enrolled 15/05/1902 for 12 years. In Collingwood 21/04/1911 – 24/08/1914. Born Dunsford, County Down 15/05/1884. Son of Patrick and Ann McCourt, Ardtole, Ardglass. Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery, Hampshire. ADM 188/374/213672
1916 HMS DUKE OF ALBANY
The Duke of Albany, an armed boarding steamer, was torpedoed. Duke of Albany was built for the joint Lancashire Yorkshire Railway/London North Western Railway, Fleetwood-Belfast service in 1907, the last of the classic Fleetwood Dukes. Her career as a front line steamer was short, since she was superseded by the two turbine Dukes in 1909. She then ran mainly relief and extra services. In 1916 she was torpedoed and sunk off the Orkneys, whilst acting as an Armed Boarding Vessel (HMS Duke of Albany – pennant number M.11). Armed Boarding Vessels were used to stop and inspect neutral ships to ensure they were not assisting Germany’s war effort. Since this entailed remaining stationary, it placed them at great risk of U-boat attack).
RN. Greaser. HMS Duke of Albany. Died 24/08/1916. Aged 20. Westbourne, Onslow Gds., Belfast. Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 20. IMR
+RAMAGE, George Norris
RNR. Commander. RD. HMS Duke of Albany. Died 24 – 25/08/1916. Age 45 years. George Norris Ramage is Gazetted as Sub-Lieutenant, Royal Naval Reserve, to be promoted to Lieutenant, dated 22/08/1903. Royal Naval Reserve Officers Decoration (RD) 06/04/1916. Son of William and Jane Ramage, Westruther, Berwickshire. Husband to Annie Amelia Ramage, “Bromsgrove,” Bloomfield, Belfast. Plymouth Naval Memorial. Panel 18. Strandtown WM. IMR
+ADRIAN, William Kearns
Leicester Regiment. 2nd Lieutenant. Royal Irish Regiment. 5th Bn. Attached 1st Bn. Royal Irish Rifles. Died 24/08/1916. Age 20. Draper’s apprentice in Barclay & Crawford’s general drapers shop in Church Street, Ballymena. Educated at Belfast Model School and RBAI. Member of the QUB Training Corps 1915. William was single and living at 25 University Avenue in September 1915, when accepted for a commission with the 5th Royal Irish Rifles. He departed for the front on 10/07/1916, being transferred to the 1st Royal Irish Rifles 8 days later. He was killed in action on 24/08/1916, near Vermelles, Pas de Calais. The War Diary states the following, “In the ‘Quarries’ Sector. At about 10.50pm, the enemy attempted to enter the ‘Northern Crater’. Bombs were thrown opposite Boyau (trench) 98 to distract their attention. A party of between 20 and 30 of the enemy attempted to raid the crater. They were discovered when within 20 yards of the crater, rapid fire was opened and bombs were thrown. The enemy scattered and were seen to carry some of their men back. 2nd Lt Adrain and 1 OR killed, 14 OR wounded Battalion subsequently withdrawn to brigade reserve in Curley Crescent.” The Irish Life of 24/11/1916 reported that “he met his death while heroically helping to dig out men who had been buried in the debris when their trench was hit.” Born 27/01/1896. Son of Robert and Jane Adrain, Ballyclare and University Avenue, Belfast,.Vermelles British Cemetery Pas de Calais, France. First Ballymena Presbyterian Church RH.
16th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles. Rifleman. 71. Died 24/08/1916 in King Georges Hospital, London, from wounds received in action in France. Husband to Catherine McCoubrey, and brother of Elizabeth McKelvey, Bridge-street, Downpatrick. He was a member of LOL No. 1898.Down Cathedral New Cemetery, Downpatrick.
1940 HMS PENZANCE
RN. Leading Cook. C/MX 51002. Date of Death: 24/08/1940. Age: 26. HMS Penzance. Son of John and Marion Hutchinson, Londonderry. Chatham Naval Memorial, Panel 39
RN. Leading Stoker. D/KX 86575. Died 24/08/1940. Age 25. HMS Penzance. Before joining up, worked in Greeves’ Mill, Belfast. Father served as a sergeant in Rifles in WW1. Son of James and Hannah Seeds, Givenchy Terrace, Stockman’s Lane, Belfast. Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 40
+McCONNELL, William James
RN. Air Mechanic (L) 2nd Class. S/FX. 964. Died 24/08/1940. Aged 20. H.M.S. Vernon. Son of David McConnell, and of Elizabeth McConnell, of Belfast. Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery, Hampshire
RAFVR. Sergeant (Flight Engineer). Died 23/08/1943. Age 24.
106 Squadron. Son of Frederick Green and Ellen Green of Harryville, Ballymena. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany
1st (Airborne) Battalion, Royal Ulster Rifles. Rifleman. 6984231. Military Medal. Died 24/08/1944. Age 22. Awarded the Military Medal for bravery under fire on 07/06/1944 at St Honorine. Charles was with “B” Company which was taking part in an attack of St. Honorine des-Pertes, which was one of the landing sites on D Day. When the attack began his platoon advanced about 28 metres into a wood and quickly became pinned down by German snipers but Feeney, with disregard for his own safety and to cover his platoon as it moved forward, constantly exposed himself to mortar fire by the enemy in order to throw 77 grenades where they would do most good. For 365 metres he continued to throw the grenades through the wood and open country dodging the heavy fire. As the platoon moved forward inspired by Feeney’s courage and coolness, he stayed behind to help a wounded man. For this heroic, unselfish act, Rifleman Charles Feeney was awarded the Military Medal. He was presented with his medal by General Montgomery at Division Head Quarters. Another soldier, Rifleman Gilliland also received the Military Medal. On the 24/08/1944 Feeney was with a reconnaissance patrol and sadly drowned in the River Touques. Trouville Communal Cemetery, Calvados, France. Banbridge WM
+GEPP, George Golding
RN. Sick Berth Attendant. D/MX 553308. Died 24/08/1944 of wounds received in action. Age 35. HM LST 404. Son of Frederick George and Elizabeth Gepp, Euterpe St., Donegall Rd., Belfast. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 08/09/1944). Belfast City Cemetery.
+THORNBERRY, Edward Windsor
RNVR. FAA.1842 Squadron. Sub-Lieutenant (A). Died 24/08/1944. Age 21. HMS Formidable. Flying a Vought F4U-1A Corsair from HMS Formidable during the attack on the battleship Tirpitz when he was shot down and killed over Alten Fjord. Son of Joseph G. and Agnes E. Thornberry, Mullaghglass, and Kilkeel. Med, QUB 1941. Lee-on-Solent Memorial, Bay 5. Bessbrook WM. QUB WM
RN. Stoker I. K4030. Enrolled 24/08/1909 for 12 years. War service in Duke of Edinburgh, Pembroke II, St.George, Shannon and Hannibal. Served to 13/03/1920. Born Killyleagh 26/06/1891. ADM 188/875/4030
MURRAY, Hugh James
RN. Stoker I. K33817. Enrolled 07/06/1916 for hostilities. Victory II and Monarch. Demobbed 12/02/1919. Born Portaferry 24/08/1883. ADM 188/934/33817
ON THIS DAY
DUFFY, John Alexander
FAA. Air Mechanic. 22 years old. One of the 25 survivors from HMS Glorious. Home after many weeks in hospital suffering from exposure. His father lost his life serving in RN in WW1. Sister serving in ATS. Mackey St., Belfast. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 24/08/1940).
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