On this day in 1940, nearly 1,500 aircraft were in the skies over Britain, as the Luftwaffe attacked London. It is regarded as the climax of the Battle of Britain when the tide begins to turn as the Royal Air Force repulses a major Luftwaffe attack, losing 29 aircraft to the Germans’ 57-61. Today’s Roll includes the second and third North Irish Horse fatalities in WW1, three who returned with Canadian and New Zealand forces, and a female private in the ATS in WW2.
Representing their comrades who died on this day
+MOORE, William Moore
North Irish Horse. Private. No.511.Died 15/09/1914. Born at Balteagh, Co. Londonderry. He enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Limavady in April or May 1910 (No.511). On 20/08/1914 he embarked for France with the North Irish Horse, seeing action in the retreat from Mons and the Advance to the Aisne.
On or soon after 15 September, Moore and two other men of C Squadron, Sergeant George Hicks and Private Harry Scott, were on patrol near the Aisne River, the far side of which was held by the Germans. According to fellow Horseman Corporal Fred Lindsay:
“… they were sent on patrol as far as a ford in the river which, unknown to us, was held by a German force with a machine gun. When the three reached the ford they found a British officer dead across his motor-car and some of his men dead around the car. They were about to dismount to investigate when the machine-gun fired upon them, instantly killing the two troopers. Sergeant Hicks escaped on Moore’s horse, his own being shot under him.”
Moore and Scott were listed as missing, presumed dead. They were the regiment’s second and third fatalities of the war. Their bodies were never recovered. They are now commemorated on the La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, Seine-et-Marne, France.
+SCOTT, Henry St George Layard Scott
North Irish Horse. No.963. Died 15/09/1914. Born in 1886 or 1887 at Carndonagh, Inishowen, County Donegal, the last of three children of millowner and farmer John Scott and his wife Catherine.
Scott enlisted in the North Irish Horse or its predecessor the North of Ireland Imperial Yeomanry at some time after 1903. By 1911 he had risen to the rank of sergeant, but he left the regiment soon after.
Between 7 and 9 September 1914, soon after the outbreak of war, Scott re-enlisted in the North Irish Horse at Londonderry (No.963). He embarked for France with C Squadron on 20 August, seeing action on the retreat from Mons and advance to the Aisne.
( See entry above). Both men were initially listed as missing but their death was later accepted. Whether Scott died that day, or of wounds later on, is not entirely clear.
According to a report in the Londonderry Sentinel:
Rev. Joseph Northey, Belfast (uncle of the late Trooper Scott, North Irish Horse, Hollymount, Carndonagh, has received the following letter from Lieutenant-General Rev. J. R. Simms, D.D., Presbyterian chaplain to the forces:– “I am deepy grieved from my heart to tell you that your worst fears for your dear laddie are more than realised. The only official information that has reached us as yet is that he was found lying dead. If anything further is heard I will certainly let you know as soon as I can. Meanwhile will you please express to his poor father my heartfelt sympathy, and accept the same for yourself. We are living in trying and testing times.”
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission gives his date of death as 8 October 1914. However it is generally accepted it is more likely that he died with Private Moore on 15 September, and that their bodies were not recovered until 8 October, when they were buried in the Chassemy-Conde Road. That burial place, however, was subsequently lost or forgotten, and Private Scott is now commemorated on the La Ferte-sous-Jouarre Memorial, Seine-et-Marne, France.
+MILLS, Frederick James Greer
RMLI. Private. PLY/16454. Plymouth Btn. RND. Died 15/09/1915. Age 22. Enlisted Belfast 27/10/13. Plymouth Battalion at Dunkirk and Defence of Antwerp 19/09/1914 – 12/10/1914. MEF 06/02/1915 – 15/09/1915. 15/07/1915 Awarded Cert. by GOC RND for Courageous & Gallant Conduct in the Field. A Railway Signalman. Born Belfast 08/04/1894. Son of John and Annie Mills, Culloden Cottages, Marino, Holywood. 1914 Star and clasp issued to father 14/0719/21. Pink Farm Cemetery, Helles. IMR states he died in Alexandria of wounds received at Gallipoli. Holy Trinity, Glencraig Parish, WM, IMR
‘B’ Coy 1st Bn. Scots Guards. Guardsman. 10495. Died 15/09/1916
Age 23. Born 1893 Ballycastle. Son of Hugh and Mary Casey. Guards Cemetery, Lesbeoufs.
+McCOMBE John Robert
18th Bn. Canadian Infantry Service Number 53364. Died 15/09/1916. Aged 35. Son of Robert and Jane McCombe, of Tullyvernon, Clogher, Co. Tyrone. Vimy Memorial, Pas de Calais, France
4th Bn. 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade. Rifleman. 26/195. Died 15/09/1916. Aged 28. Son of Mrs. M. J. McMinn, Crossdernot Rock, Dungannon. Caterpillar Valley (New Zealand Memorial), Somme, France
+SCOTT, Robert Henry
28th Bn. Canadian Infantry. Private. 74281.Died 15/09/1916. Aged 42. Son of William and Matilda Scott, of McKee’s Terrace, Dungannon, Ireland. B.A. (Royal University of Ireland). Vimy memorial, Pas de Calais, France
RN. Leading Seaman. 206086. SS Ravensworth. Drowned following collision at sea. Died 15/09/1917. Age 36. Enrolled 05/09/1899 for 12 years. Served to 26/06/1905. Joined RFR 27/06/1905. Re-enrolled to serve to 04/09/1916. Served 13/07/1916 – 15/09/1917. War service in Leviathan, Victory, Iron Duke. Excellent and President II. Born Belfast 05/09/1881. Son of David and Ellen Hanlan; husband to Lillie Jane Hanlan, Cross St., Holyhead. Ballantrae Parish Churchyard. ADM 188/359/206086
Royal Engineers. 203rd Field Company. Second Lieutenant. Died 15/09/1918. Age 24. Charles Legg was listed as a 17-year-old undergraduate at QUB in the 1911 Ireland Census. He was a member of the UOTC and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in 1914. He enlisted in June 1915, receiving his commission with the Royal Engineers in January 1917 and was serving as a Second Lieutenant with the 203rd Field Company, Royal Engineers when he died in a riding accident on 15/09/1918. In a statement, Lt Tate of the Royal Engineers said, “2nd Lt Legg and I were riding from the Company Camp to the CRE’s office at Bavinchove on duty and when crossing a field, Lt Legg’s horse bolted with him and he was thrown against a tree. Captain Lavington RAMC and his orderly were riding with me at the time and attended to Lt Legg after the accident until the arrival of the ambulance which was immediately sent for. The doctors did all they could but he died from a fracture of the ribs on the right side with internal injuries accompanied by severe shock”. Legg Park in Carrickfergus was built on the site of CM Legg’s boatyard and is dedicated to the memory of Charles Legg. Charles Legg Drive in the Victoria Road area of Carrickfergus is also named after him. He is buried in the Arneke British Cemetery in France. First Carrickfergus Presbyterian Church PCI – RH.
+BRISCOE, John David Mervyn
RN. Lieutenant. HMS Heron. Died 15/09/1941. Age 23. Son of Edward and Helen Briscoe, Newcastle. Husband to Eve Briscoe. East Chinnock (St Mary) Churchyard. St John’s Parish Church RH, Newcastle
+MAXWELL, John Harold
RAFVR. Aircraftman 1st Class. 1063559. Died 15/09/1941. Aged 31. 968 Balloon Squadron. Son of T. J. Maxwell and Abigail Maxwell of Kircubbin. Kircubbin Presbyterian Churchyard
RAFVR. Sergeant. 1073521.Died 15/09/1942. Aged 32. 218 Squadron, Son of William and Maria Watson; Nephew of Ellen Robinson of Bangor. Bangor Cemetery
+HOLLYWOOD, David Francis Apperson
RNVR. FAA. Sub. Lieutenant (A). HMS Goldcrest. Died 15/09/1943. Aged 20. Campbell College QUB OTC. Transferred to University Air Squadron. ‘Frank’ was flying a Sea Hurricane of 794 Squadron from the RNAS airfield at Dale in Wales when the engine caught fire on taking off on an exercise. He force landed the aircraft which over-ran into an adjoining field and caught fire, killing him. Born 21/03/1923. Son of David and Eileen Hollywood, Redgorton, Bangor, Co. Down. Buried Bangor Cemetery. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 24/09/1943). First Bangor Presbyterian Church WM, Campbell College WM, QUB WM
+SMYTH, John Reginald Walter
Royal Artillery. Gunner. 872147. Died 15/09/1943. Aged 23. 7 Coast Regt. died as a Japanese Prisoner of War forced to work on the Thailand – Burma Railway. Son of John and Mary Smyth, of Waterside, Londonderry. Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Saeng Chuto Road, Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Family memorial Carnmoney Cemetery
+SWANN, John White
RAFVR. Sergeant. 1131447. Died 05/09/1943. Aged 31.107 Squadron, Son of Andrew and Jeannie Swann; Husband to Rosetta Brown Swann of Glenarm. Glenarm New Cemetery
+SMITH, Marjorie Mary
Auxiliary Territorial Service. Private. W/52292. Died 15/09/1944. Aged 21. Daughter of Matthew and Margaret Smith, of Belfast. Dundonald Cemetery
Remembering also –
In 2007 Major General Sir Jeremy Moore, Royal Marines, died aged 79. Moore was the British Land Commander during the Falklands War and received the Argentine surrender. He was also the third generation of his family to win the Military Cross.
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