Today’s Roll includes the first casualty of the North Irish Horse in WW1 and a Royal Marines officer who became a specialist in anaesthetics after WW2. Photo – Douglas DC10 at Gibraltar during WW2 silhouetted against anti-aircraft searchlights.
Representing their comrades who died on this day
+BELL, John Arthur
Irish Guards. Private. 3568. Died 01/09/1914. Aged 23. Son of John Arthur Bell, a carpenter, and his wife Elizabeth, nee Millar, a teacher from Dervock, near Ballymoney. John Arthur was born at Shane’s Castle, Randalstown on 10/12/1890. The parents’ later address as ‘Gwenville’, Comber, Belfast. La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial, Seine-et-Marne, France.
North Irish Horse. Driver. Died 01/09/1914. Driver Callanan was the North Irish Horse’s first casualty of the war. Callanan was born born at Knightsbridge, London in 1878. On 3 January 1903 he enlisted in the Army Service Corps at Aldershot (No. T/20248). His time in the army was not the happiest, being marked by a number of disciplinary breaches, and at the expiration of his three years he left, being placed on the 1st Class Reserve list for nine years.
Perhaps Callanan had Irish connections, because when war broke out in August 1914 he was living in Dublin. When the call went out for reservists to mobilise, Callanan went to the nearest Army Service Corps depot and joined the 19th Company. Three days later he was attached to A Squadron of the North Irish Horse and in a week was sailing with them on the SS Architect for Le Havre.
Driver Callanan’s role was most likely to help manage the squadron’s baggage train.
In France they travelled by train to Le Cateau, where two troops of A Squadron under Captain Herdman (including Callanan) were attached to General French’s GHQ. From 22 to 28 August they accompanied GHQ as they withdrew from Le Cateau to St Quentin to Noyon to Compiegne.
While at Compiegne, Callanan was involved in an accident that broke his spine. He died there on 01/09/914. His comrades passed his body and personal effects to the care of GHQ’s Field Ambulance. He was quickly buried and the location of his grave forgotten.
After the war his medals were returned unclaimed – no trace could be found on his next of kin, his brother John.
As Callanan has no known grave, he is commemorated at La Ferte-Sous-Jouarre Memorial, Seine-et-Marne, France.
11 RIR. Sergeant.17424.Died 01/09/1916. Age 24. Enlisted at Lisburn, possibly embarking with them from Bordon Camp for France as a corporal in October 1915. Before his death he had just returned to the front having been in Lisburn a few weeks previously with a recruiting party. Born in Belfast, possibly at Ballysillan, he lived with his parents James and Sarah Cathcart of 87 Ballynahinch Road, Lisburn. He was a spinning master at the Island Mill, Lisburn, a member of Lisburn Conservative Flute Band and Lisburn Mechanics LOL 557. David was the six member of the Conservative Flute Band to be killed in the war. Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium.
+MURDOCK, James Stanley
14th Royal Irish Rifles. Rifleman 18351. Died 01/09/1916. He was born in the Shankill area of Belfast. Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium. St Jude’s C of I Church, Belfast WM
+BARR, James Hamilton
Royal Irish Rifles 11th Battalion, attached 7th/8th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Lieutenant. Died 01/09/1918. Age 21. Foyle College. Matriculated in the Faculty of Arts, QUB 1915. He won the Irish Society’s Entrance Scholarship to QUB in 1915. A memorial prize in classics was created at Foyle College. Foyle College’s memorial was made of old battleship teakwood from H.M.S. Britannia. Son of Mr. and Mrs. William Barr, Aubrey St., Londonderry. Wulverghem – Lindenhoek Road Military Cemetery.
+BOLT, Harold Marcus
RAF. Leading Aircraftman. 553553. Died 01/09/1942. Aged 19. Son of J W Bolt and Sarah Bolt of Ballyreagh, Co. Antrim and Ballyleighery Upper, Bellarena. Capetown (Maitland) Cemetery, Western Cape, South Africa.
+ROGERS, John Kane
RAF. Wing Commander. 39761. Died 01/09/1942. Aged 28. 208. Son of John Sydney and Patricia R. Rogers, Belfast. Alamein Memorial, Egypt. Newcastle Parish Church, Co. Down, RH
+MACAULAY, Cecil Hill
RAF. Sergeant (Air Bomber). 656568. Died 01/09/1943. Aged 27. 158 Sqdn. Son of Robert and Margaret Jane Macaulay, of Islandmagee, Co. Antrim. Hanover War Cemetery, Niedersachsen, Germany
+McCORMICK, William Henry
RAFVR. Corporal. 972834. Died 01/09/1943. Aged 22. Son of Charles and Bridget Gertrude McCormick, of Londonderry. Medjez-El-Bab War Cemetery, Tunisia
RNPS. Leading Seaman. LT/JX 183819. HM Motor Minesweeper 117. Died 01/09/1944. Age: 28. Son of Frederick and Agnes Caulfield. Husband to Mary Caulfield, Clandeboye Place, Bangor. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 29/09/1944). Lowestoft Naval Memorial, Panel 14
NICHOLL, Robert Martin
RM. 2nd. Lieut. “Robbie” joined the Marines in 1944. He was appointed Probationary Second Lieutenant 01/09/1944 (London Gazette 13/10/1940). Demobbed in 1946, to read medicine at QUB. In August 1952 he was houseman in the Royal Victoria Hospital and then senior house officer in anaesthetics.
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