September 23 – Roll of Honour


Remembrance at Osterbeek. Today’s Roll includes Wilhelmina Charley from Dunmurry, a VAD, in the UVF hospital in Belfast and later in Salonica and Italy; a Belfast lawyer, a Gunner turned glider pilot, who flew glider on D-Day (Wave 3) and died at Arnhem; and several other remarkable servicemen.

Representing their comrades who died on this day


+RIDDELL, David Moore
The King’s (Liverpool Regiment). Second Lieutenant. Died 23/09/1917. Aged 27. BSc (Engineering), QUB 1912. Son of Henry and Mary Jane Riddell, of 51, Myrtlefield Rd., Belfast. Belfast City Cemetery.


+ BAILEY, Wilhelmina nee Charley
The youngest daughter of the late William Charley D.L. and sister of Mr. E.J. Charley both of Seymour Hill, Dunmurry, she was married in Los Angeles to Mr. S. Bailey, “an English Gentleman”.  During the war she joined the Dunmurry VAD, serving in the UVF hospital in Belfast in 1915 and in York Military Hospital in 1916.  She volunteered for foreign service in 1917 and was posted to Salonica and later Italy, serving at 38th Stationary Hospital, Voluntary Aid Detachment, Genoa.  She died in Italy on 23/09/1918 and is buried in  Staglieno Cemetery, Genoa, Italy. The Italians entered the war on the Allied side, declaring war on Austria, in May 1915 and Commonwealth forces were at the Italian front between November 1917 and November 1918.  Rest camps and medical units were established at various locations in northern Italy behind the front, some of them remaining until 1919.  From November 1917 to the end of the war, Genoa was a base for Commonwealth forces and the 11th General, and 38th and 51st Stationary Hospitals, were posted in the city.


RAFVR. Aircraftman 2nd Class.1832447. Died 23/09/1943. Aged 37
Son of Hugh Alexander Bailie and Annie Josephine Bailie, of Armagh. El Alia Cemetery, Algeria

+BOYD, James Jackson
RN. Leading Signalman. D/JX 158635. HMS. Itchen. Died 23/09/1943. Age 21. Joined aged 15. Trained in HMS Caledonia. In Rodney at Narvik and at sinking of the Bismarck. He was also in a ship which was torpedoed. In Hood for North African invasion. Father served with RAF in World War I. An uncle was in US navy. Son of Thomas Henry Boyd and Agnes Boyd, Fort St., Low Rd., Lisburn. (Lisburn Standard late 1943, Belfast Weekly Telegraph 08/10/1943). Plymouth Naval Memorial. Panel 80. Lisburn WM

+DUFFY, Thomas
RAFVR.Sergeant (Air Gunner).1037801. Died 23/09/1943. Aged 23. 106 Sqdn. Son of Mr. and Mrs. J. S. Duffy, of Londonderry. Rheinberg War Cemetery, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

+McNALLY, Robert William Stephen
RAFVR. Sergeant (Wireless Op./Air Gunner).1028538. Died 23/09/1943. Aged 26. 419 (R.C.A.F.) Sqdn. Son of Robert and Agnes McNally, of Lisburn. Rheinberg War Cemetery, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany


+SMELLIE, John Frederick
AAC. Captain. 158421. Glider Pilot Regiment, 1st Wing. Flew glider on D-Day (Wave 3) and at Arnhem with B Squadron 1 Wing GPR. Killed in action 23/09/1944 aged 30 . On the 17/09/1942 he was commissioned into the Royal Regiment of Artillery and later transferred to the Glider Pilot Regiment-Army Air Corps in 09/1944 where he became Officer Commanding 4 Flight (B Squadron, No 1 Wing.) In September 1944 “Operation Market Garden” was launched in an effort to secure the town and bridges at Arnhem which were of importance to the enemy, and it was thought that the plan would be successful with little opposition. This turned out to be a false hope as fierce fighting broke out in the streets of Arnhem and the Allies never achieved the advance they had hoped for. A graduate of QUB in law, he became a solicitor. Son of N.S.H Smellie and Ileen Smellie, Brookeside Manor, Holywood. Arnhem (Oosterbeek) War Cemetery, Gelderland, Netherlands, grave 6-A-4. Royal Courts of Justice WM, Holywood Parish Church WM.


+COLEMAN, John William
RN. Petty Officer Stoker. P/K57950. Died 23/11/1945. Aged 49. HMS Danae. HMS Danae had served in the First World War, entering the fray on 26/01/1918. It underwent repairs and modernisation and was once again used in World War Two. Attached to 9th Flotilla of cruisers, Danae patrolled the waters of south-east Asia before spending 11 months in the docks. Returning in July 1943, Danae returned to the English Channel as part of 1st Cruiser Fleet offering support to Operation Neptune. On D-Day, 06/06/1944, HMS Danae bombarded German batteries near Ouistreham, Normandy. It continued to support the Allies around Caen after D-Day. In August 1944, the ship returned to Plymouth before handover to the Polish Navy. Renamed ORP Conrad, it joined 10th Flotilla of cruisers on 02/04/1945 before returning to Royal Navy usage on 28/09/1945. John Coleman was born in Liverpool, on 14/02/1896, he was the son of George Henry Coleman and Frances Florence Coleman. John married Sarah Maze in September 1922 in West Derby, Lancashire. The couple had a daughter named Edna, born on 12/08/1929 in Belfast. Dundonald Cemetery, Co. Down.


NESBITT, William Alexander Nesbitt

According to Belfast Banking Company records, William Alexander Nesbitt served as a Signaller (Private) with the Royal Dublin Fusiliers.  Born on 26/08/1899 at Toberdowney, Ballynure. Son of the Rev. Samuel T Nesbitt and Agnes Bailie Nesbitt nee Hill. He joined the Belfast Bank on 16/04/1917 working in Derry, East End and Accountants. Following demobilisation after the Great War, he returned to work, residing at Ingleside, Browns Bay, Islandmagee. He retired 16/04/1962. Died on 23/09/1978.

TATE, James
Indian Army Reserve. Captain. M.C. (Mesopotamia), 1917. Campbell College. B.Sc. (Engineering), 1913. P.W.D., India (Madras), 1914-23.  Capt., 1919.  Attached 2nd Q.V.O. Sappers and Miners, 1923-28.  Govt. of N.I. Asst. Tech. Inspector Factories and Asst., Works Dept., Min. of Finance. Born 23/09/1892, son of A. C. Tate, Slieve-ma-Failthe, Whiteabbey. Died 1948.


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