September 24 – Roll of Honour


HRH Prince Charles at the 75th anniversary remembrance of Operation Market Garden. Today’s Roll includes one of the first RAF casualties from Coleraine, a school teacher from Newtownards whose brother was serving with US forces and an RAFVR air crew from Lurgan serving with a Canadian Ghost Squadron.

Representing their comrades who died on this day


+SAMUELS, Arthur Purefoy Irwin

11th Royal Irish Rifles. 11Btn, C Coy. Captain. Died 24/09/1916. Aged 28. Having held a commission in the Territorial Force, on the outbreak of World War One in 1914, Samuels was commissioned to the 11th Royal Irish Rifles, 36th (Ulster) Division, being gazetted Lieutenant in November 1914, and temporary Captain in February 1915. He was in France and Flanders by October 1915. He was slightly wounded by shrapnel just before the Somme Offensive began on the 1st July 1916 and invalided out of the line, but Captain Samuels did recover sufficiently to rejoin his battalion that autumn. He was once again injured, this time fatally, at Messines

Born in Dublin on 14/02/1887. His father, Arthur Warren Samuels, KC, was a barrister, later MP for Dublin University, Ireland’s Solicitor-General and Attorney General, and a judge. API Samuels was educated at St. Stephen’s Green school and Trinity College Dublin, and he followed in his father’s footsteps and was called to the bar in 1910. Thereafter he joined the North-West Circuit. He married Dorothy Gage Young, of Millmount, Randalstown, in 1913. Son of the Right. Hon. Mr. Justice Samuels, of Cloghereen, Howth, Dublin; husband of Dorothy Gage Samuels (nee Young), of Millmount, Randalstown. Ration Farm (La Plus Douvre) Annexe, Hainaut, Belgium


+QUINN, Richard
Royal Irish Rifles. 17th Bn. Lance Corporal. 2325. Died 24/09/1917. Aged 40. Son of the late John and Mary Quinn. Born at Belfast. Dundonald Cemetery


+McLAUGHLIN, Edmond Charles

RAF. Air Mechanic 2nd Class. 238234. Died 24/09/1918. Age 22. Enlisted RNAS 19/09/1917. President II, Crystal Palace and Roehampton. Transferred to RAF 31/03/1918. Born Coleraine 13/09/1896. Son of Patrick and Kate McLaughlin, Waterside, Coleraine. Southend-on-Sea Cemetery. Coleraine Academical Institution RH. ADM 188/630/38234

+ROBINSON, John Singleton Henry
Welsh Regiment, 13th Battalion attached 12th Battalion. Captain. Died 24/09/1918. Age 26. Prior to the outbreak of the Great War, Jack Robinson worked as a teacher in the Model School Newtownards and then in St Barnabas’s and St Enoch’s in Belfast. Several members of Jack’s family, including his mother, moved to the USA. Jack joined the Officers’ Training Corps in 1915 and he obtained his commission as Second Lieutenant in October 1915. He went to France on 26/06/1916 as a Lieutenant in the Welsh Regiment. His brother, Corporal William James Robinson, served at the Front with the Engineers, US Army. In July 1916 Jack Robinson was wounded at the Somme when he was buried by a bursting shell. After treatment Lieutenant Robinson had a period of home leave and when he returned to duty he was posted to the 3rd Battalion at Cardiff. He returned to the front line and in March 1917 was admitted to hospital in Boulogne suffering from shell shock. In May 1917, he came home to Newtownards on convalescent leave for three weeks. Then he was posted for light duty with a battalion of his regiment stationed at Rhyl in Wales.

He was promoted to the rank of Captain in February 1918. Two weeks after period of home leave in September 1918 John Robinson (Robbie as he was known to his comrades throughout the battalion) was killed by a sniper’s bullet which passed straight through his head.

Lieutenant Ivor Ajax wrote a letter of sympathy to Jack Robinson’s mother who was then living at 7308 Race Street, Homewood, Pittsburgh, USA and with it he enclosed a letter which Jack had asked him to send in the event of him being killed.

Jack wrote the letter on 24/09/1918, the day he died: “Mother Darling, Brothers and Sisters… I am going into action again with my company and feel very proud indeed as I know it will do well. We all know that it is for a good cause, and as it is all in good hands we leave it at that. For myself, I trust in God as I have always done, and am prepared for anything that might happen. If we don’t meet again in this world we will meet in His glorious Kingdom, where struggles all cease. All I possess belongs to you, mother darling, and may God bless you all, and all my good friends. Au Revoir, your big loving son, Jack.” Marteville Communal Cemetery, Attilly. Newtownards and District WM; Newtownards C of I Parish Church (St Mark); family grave headstone in Movilla Cemetery Newtownards.

+DOAK, Robert Victor
RAF. Corporal. 639860. Died 24/09/1942. Age  32. 51 Sqdn. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Doak of Lurgan. Husband to Cloda Phyllis Doak, of Streatham. London. Seagoe Cemetery. Lurgan WM

+SPENCE, Robert
Royal Army Ordnance Corps. Private 7018821. Died 24/09/1942. Age 44. Son of Joseph and Jane Spence, Belfast; husband to Hester K Spence, Belfast. Dundonald Cemetery.

+WEIR, John Dennison
RN. Stoker 1st Class. P/KX 119218. Date of Death: 24/09/1942. Age: 21. H.M.S. Somali. Son of Joseph and Mary E. Weir, Banbridge. Seapatrick Parish WM. Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 68.


+CURRAN Joseph
RAFVR. Sergeant (Flight Engineer).1045746. 428 RCAF SQDN Died 24/09/1943. Aged 20. 428 (R.C.A.F.) Sqdn. Sergeant Curran from Lurgan was shot down over Germany while serving with 428 Ghost Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force, then based at RAF Middleton St George, Durham. The squadron was first equipped with Vickers Wellingtons (Mk III and Mk X), and its first operational mission was on January 26–27, 1943, when five Wellingtons bombed the Keroman U-Boat pens at Lorient in Brittany, on the Bay of Biscay. In the early part of June 1943, the squadron moved to RAF Middleton St George, Durham where it remained for the remainder of the war.

Around this time the squadron was converted to Handley Page Halifax (Mk Vs). At 22.39 on 23/09/1943 he was aboard Handley Page Halifax EB207, NA-B for a night operation to Mannheim,Germany. The aircraft was on its way to the target when it was attacked and shot down by Oblt. Heinz-Martin Hadeball of 3./NJG 6 of the Luftwaffe, with the loss of all seven Crew Members who were:- P/O William Anderson Hadden, Sgt. Joseph Curran, Sgt. Alexander F. Morris, Sgt. Sydney A. Whitby, Sgt. Peter J. Flower, Sgt. Clifford W. Renwick and Sgt. Archibald Yuill. The Halifax crashed into woodland at Hahnenberg near Kottreichen.

Son of John and Mary Curran, of Ballynamoney, Lurgan. Rheinberg War Cemetery, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany


+MOORE, James Stirling
RAFVR. Pilot Officer (Navigator).156433. Died 24/08/1943. Age 33. 78 Sqdn. Aboard Halifax JD310, EY-Z which was shot down by a night fighter over Berlin. Son of Thomas and Miriam R. Moore, of Belfast. Berlin 1939 – 45 War Cemetery, Berlin, Germany

+MOORE, William Craig
Royal Artillery. Second Lieutenant. 267047. Died on 24/09/1943. Aged 27. 126 Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment. Son of William and Jean Houston Moore of Dunmurry. Belfast City Cemetery

+LILLY, William James
RAFVR. Warrant Officer. 1126218. Died 24/09/1944. 50 Sqdn. Son of William and Ellen Lilly, of Larne. Runnymeade Memorial, Surrey


+LAIRD, William John
Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. 2nd Bn.Lance Corporal. 2766842. Died 24/08/1945. Aged 29. Son of William Laird, and of Margaret Laird, of Galliagh, Co. Londonderry. Hamburg Cemetery, Hamburg, Germany.


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