August 26 – Roll of Honour

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Red Arrows over New York – On this day two who fell in WW1 had served in the South African campaign. Four infanteers died in the same battle. In WW2, three Gunners died in Egypt and a naval pilot from Bangor was freed from a Japanese camp.

Representing their comrades who died on this day

1914

+CAREY, Sylvester
1st Bn. Rifle Brigade. Rifleman. 6178. Died 26/08/1914. Aged 50. Served in the South African campaign. Son of John J. and Catherine Carey, of St. Helens, Lancs; husband to Jane Carey, of Sandy Lane, Lambeg, Co. Antrim. Served in the South African campaign. Beauvois-en-Cambresis Communal Cemetery, Nord, France

+CARR, James
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Private. 6182. Died 26/08/1914 at the Marne. Son of the late William Carr. Husband to Annie Carr of John-street, Downpatrick. Father of four children. One of his brother was killed at Stormberg during the Boer War. Another brother was serving with the 3rd Royal Irish Rifles. La Ferte Sous Jouarre Memorial, Seine-et-Marne, France.

+KENNEY, Hugh 
2nd Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. Private. 9722. Died 26/08/1914.
Born 28/04/1886. Son of Robert Kenny, Drumanaway, Randalstown and Jane Kenney, Groggan, Randalstown. La Ferte Sous Jouarre Memorial, Seine-et-Marne, France.

+McCLINTOCK, David
1st Royal Irish Rifles. Rifleman. 7300. Died 26/08/1914. Born on 02/05/1884 at Broughshane Street, Ballymena. Son of Patrick McClintock and Sarah Elder who were married in St Patrick’s Parish Church, Ballymena on the 11/04/1883.  The family lived at Mitchell’s Entry in 1911. Twelve children were born of the marriage but only three boys survived, namely Patrick. John and Robert. Robert also served. La Ferte Sous Jouarre Memorial, Seine-et-Marne, France.

+O’DONNELL, Charles
2nd Bn. Royal Inniskilling FusiliersPrivate.7171. Died 26/08/1914. Londonderry. La Ferte Sous Jouarre Memorial, Seine-et-Marne, France.
1917

+HALL, Albert Edward
RN. 304367. HMS Ossory. Died 26/08/1917. Son of Ellen and James Hall. Londonderry City Cemetery. Londonderry, Diamond WM

+HANNAN, Daniel Malachy

33rd Signal Company, Royal Engineers. Sapper. 160815 .Died 26/08/1917. Born 25/11/1896. Son of Charles and Mary Hannan, Main Street, Randalstown. Coxyde Military Cemetery, Belgium.

+WILKINSON, D S
Royal Flying Corps. Lieutenant. Died 26/08/1917. On the outbreak of war he returned from Canada and obtained his commission in the Cameron Highlanders. He was badly wounded, and being unfit for service in the trenches he applied for and obtained a transfer to the Royal Flying Corps, and went to France in June of 1917. He was reported missing on August 17th, and was ascertained to have died from wounds in a German hospital on August 26th. Son of Mr. J. Wilkinson, of Messrs. Wilkinson and Turtle, Alfred Street, Belfast. Kortrijk (St Jan) Communal Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium

1918

+MAGILL, H
Manchester Regiment. Private. 4351. Died 26/08/1918. Family Memorial Carnmoney Parish Church yard and Carnmoney Parish RH

1940

+McMEEKIN, John
Royal Artillery. Gunner.1487270. Died 26/08/1940. Aged 30. 26 Bty., 9 A.A. Regt. Son of Patrick and Ann Jane McMeekin, of Ballymena. Alexandria (Hadra) War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

+MILLAR, George
Royal Artillery. Gunner. 1449826. Date of death: 26/08/1940. Date of death: 26/8/1940. Age: 20. 9th Heavy AA Regt. Son of Alexander and Annie Millar of 31 Garfield Place, Ballymena. Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt.

+McMEEKIN, John
Royal Artillery. Gunner. 1487270. Date of Death: 26/08/1940. Age: 30. 26 Bty., 9th Heavy AA Regt. Son of Patrick and Ann Jane McMeekin, of Ballymena. Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery

1941

+HIND, Michael Christopher
RAFVR. Sergeant. 948679. Died 26/08/1941. Aged 23. 82 Sqdn. Son of James Alexander Hind and Constance Neville Hind; husband toThelma Mary Adeline Hind, of Knock, Belfast,.Runnymeade Memorial, Panel 45. QUB RH

+MacILWAINE, John Patterson
RAF. Sergeant. 1114000. Died 26/08/1941. Aged 26. Son of Robert and Janetta Macilwaine of Newtownstewart. Ardstraw Church of Ireland Churchyard

+WEIR, Cecil Pollock
RAF. Flight Sergeant (Wireless Op./Air Gunner). 551626. Died 26/08/1941. Aged 21. 82 Sqdn. Son of George and Maud Weir, of Portrush. Sage War Cemetery, Niedersachsen, Germany

1944

+KERRIGAN, David Hugh
1st Bn. Worcestershire Regiment. Serjeant. 5250370. Died 26/08/1944. Aged 31. Son of John and E. Kerrigan, of Fivemiletown. Bayeux War Cemetery, Calvados, France. Fivemiletown WM

+WILSON, Hugh
RAFVR. Pilot Officer (Wireless Op./Air Gunner). 178769. Died 26/08/1944. 90 Sqdn. Bomber Command. The Lancaster aircraft of 90 Squadron were on a Bombing raid to the Opel Factory at Russelsheim, Germany. Durnbach War Cemetery, Bayern, Germany. Family memorial, Newtownards Cemetery.

VETERANS

McGREGOR, Helen
HMS Caroline. WRNS. Officer. HMS Caroline. 30/06/1946 – 07/1945. Rtd. 04/1946. Married Lt. Commander Alexander Robert Ramsey RNVR. One son, two daughters. Born Belfast/Lisburn 26/08/1918. Died Toowomba, Queensland, Australia

TAGGART, Redmond Thibeaudeau
HMS Caroline. RNVR. Commander. VRD. Joined 26/08/1927. Qualified in navigation and pilotage, and later in gunnery. August 1939 appointed to Examination Service at Swansea, boarding incoming ships. November 1939 promoted Lieutenant-Commander. December 1939 Whale Island for gunnery course. January 1940 to HMS Cairo as additional gunnery officer. April 1940 to HMS Foylehank, a merchant ship converted to an AA cruiser. In June 1940 the ship was dive-bombed at Portland Harbour and sunk with heavy casualties. After survival leave appointed to HMS Alynbank, another AA cruiser. In November 1940 appointed to HMS Queen Elizabeth, subsequently flagship of Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham, C-in-C Mediterranean, and took part in the passage of the last through-going convoy to Alexandria. May 1941 was present at evacuation of troops from Crete. HMS Queen Elizabeth was still based at Alexandria when she and other ships were attacked by Italian ‘Charioteers’ and badly damaged. At this time he was appointed Acting Gunnery Officer of the ship. Between January and June 1942, when temporary repairs were carried out the ship was the target for long and constant air attacks although it suffered no further damage. In June she sailed for Norfolk, Virginia, via the Cape. December 1942 came home on leave and in February 1943 he was appointed to HMS Excellent, at first for gunnery duties and later to the Gunnery Book Writing Department where between then and August 1943 he compiled two books on Gunnery Fire Control Instruments, leaving in August 1943 to prepare further volumes on the very complicated American Mark 37 Fire Control System (the Mark VI computer). He wrote the Admiralty manual on 15” guns. Spent 7 months in Washington studying design and construction of the Computer. April 1944 completed book which was published in January 1945. January 1944 promoted Commander. Known as “Bodo”, post-war he worked with the family firm WDR & RT Taggart, Architects and civil Engineers, from 1946 to late 1960’s. Born 01/10/1903, he died aged 84 in 1987.

ON THIS DAY

ALDWELL, Basil Willington
RNVR. FAA. Lieutenant. Enlisted 20/11/1940. Pilot 796 Squadron FAA Tanganyika; Squad 803 FAA East Africa; Squad 797 FAA Ceylon, Squad 810 FAA HMS Illustrious (carrier). PoW in Japanese captivity at Ofune near Tokyo, 21/06/1944 – 26/08/1945. Bother of Lieutenant (E) Thomas Derek Aldwell, RN. Born Lurgan 23/04/1920. Died 13/05/1996

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2 thoughts on “August 26 – Roll of Honour

  1. Charles O’Donnell was the first man from the Maiden City to die in the FWW. He came from the Waterside area of the city.

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  2. Gunners John McMeekin and George Millar of 26 HAA Bty, 9th (Londonderry) HAA Regiment were gunner/telegraphists at 26 HAA Bty’s gun position (No. 4 position in the Alex GDA) at Wardian on the western outskirts of Alexandria. At 4.20am on 26 August 1940 Regia Aeronautica bombers struck at Alexandria Harbour and were engaged by 24 HAA Bty’s guns at Ras-el-Tin and 26’s at Wardian. A stick of 8 bombs fell across the Wardian position, one of which exploded in the Command Post area. It was this bomb that killed Gnrs McMeekin and Millar. Sergeant Harry O’Neill was seriously injured and lost an eye as a result of the explosion. Sergeant Norman Neilly was Mentioned in Despatches for his calm and inspiring behaviour in the aftermath of the attack.
    On 31 August the CO of 9th Regiment, Lt Col G.L. Stanley Smith OBE, issued a Special Order of the Day:

    The names of Number 1449826 Gunner Millar, G., and Number 1487270 Gunner McMeakin, J., 26 AA Battery, RA, are placed at the head of the REGIMENTAL ROLL OF HONOUR.
    The Commanding Officer, on behalf of all ranks, wishes to take this opportunity of expressing his sympathy to the relatives and comrades of these men, and to record his appreciation of the magnificent spirit with which the Officers and Men of I and J Sections 26 AA Battery continued to engage the enemy after the tragedy occurred.

    Both Gunners were buried with full miltary honours that afternoon in the British Military Cemetery.
    The deaths of Gunners Millar and McMeekin were the first fatalities suffered by 9th (Londonderry) HAA Regiment RA (SR) in its five years of overseas service.

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