On This Day in 1944, The Battle of Arnhem ends in Allied defeat with more than 8,000 British and Polish soldiers killed or captured. James Cameron from Carrickfergus died on this date as the result of wounds received during the Battle. He had served with distinction in Italy. In WW1, John Mulholland from Sandy Row, Belfast, a boy aged only 16, died. Randal McDonnell, the Veteran remembered today, served during WW2 and was Commander of the Ulster Division, RNVR, 1954 -1957.
On This Day September 26th, 1944
The Battle of Arnhem ends in Allied defeat with more than 8,000 British and Polish soldiers killed or captured. Operation Market Garden, the largest airborne operation so far of the Second World War. The aim of the operation was to seize key bridges in the Netherlands using airborne troops, creating a wide salient through which allied forces could advance into the German heartland. Intelligence initially suggested that the only German resistance in the area would come from lightly armed reserve forces, however the German Commander headquartered at Arnhem anticipated the invasion and moved not only elite SS units into the area, but seasoned veterans and units specifically trained to combat airborne landings. What followed was nine days of intense battle with poor radio communication, isolated units, low supplies and constant assault from German armour and artillery. By the ninth day, Adolf Hitler, giving priority to the defence of the Netherlands had ordered the terrifying Tiger Tanks into the battle and the allied troops began withdrawing, taking yet more casualties.
Representing their comrades who died on this day
+ARTHURS, Richard James
Royal Engineers, 1st Signal Company . Pioneer. 23832. Died 26/09/1914. Bourg-et-Comin Communal Cemetery, Dungannon WM
+DUNBAR, Robert Glass
5th Bn. Canadian Infantry. Private. 105253. Died 26/09/1916. Born 29/12/1872, Edinburgh, Scotland. Lived Ballycastle. Vimy Memorial, Pas de Calais, France
+MASSEY, David Samuel
4th Battalion. The Kings (Liverpool Regiment). Lance Sergeant.13643. Died 26/09/1917. Age 26. Son of David and Eliza Mossey. He was born in Augher, Co. Tyrone about 1890. The 1901 census records the family is living at Main Street, Augher. Husband to Nora Massey (nee Patterson), of Liverpool. Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke. West-Vlaanderenland, Belgium. Clogher WM
Royal Irish Fusiliers. 3rd Bn. Boy. 28750. Died 26/09/1918. Aged 16. Son of Joseph and Elizabeth Mulholland, of 20, Boyne Square, Sandy Row, Belfast. Dundonald Cemetery
RN. Leading Stoker. C/KX 89752. Died 26/09/1942. Age: 25. HMS Veteran. Son of Richard and Mary A. Dawson, Lurgan. Chatham Naval Memorial, Panel 61. Lurgan WM
+SMITH, John Preston Thomson
RN. Leading Stoker. C/KX 90277. Died 26/09/1942. HMS Veteran. Served in RN in WW1. Re-joined at beginning of hostilities WW2. Brother Harry, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, taken prisoner in France shortly after outbreak of war. Parents resident Convention St., Belfast. Wife and four children in London. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 27/11/1942). Chatham Naval Memorial
RAF. Corporal. 626169. Died 26/09/1943. Aged 22. Son of Joseph and Mary Somerville of Upperlands. Upper Tamlaght-O’Crilly C of I Churchyard
Parachute Regiment, A.A.C. 21st Indep. Coy. Private. 6982743. Died 26/09/1944. Aged 22. Died as the result of wounds received during the Battle of Arnhem. He had served with distinction in Italy. On the seventh day of Operation Market Garden Private Cameron received a serious leg wound and was taken to the Casualty Clearing Station where he succumbed to his wounds. Son of Thomas and Ellen Cameron, of Carrickfergus. Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Gelderland, Netherlands
Royal Ulster Rifles. 2nd Bn. Lance Serjeant. 7009901. Died 26/09/1944. Aged 34. Son of Alfred and Mary McMichael, of Belfast. Leopoldsburg War Cemetery, Limburg (Belgium), Belgium
RAFVR. Flt. Sgt.1051821. Died 09/02/1945. Aged 27. 630 Sqdn. Son of Denis and Alice Montague; husband to Brigid T. Montague, of Swatragh, Co. Londonderry. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, Panel 272.
McDONNELL, Randal John Somerled
HMS Caroline. RNVR. Captain. Served WW2 in various theatres and with the Special Operations Executive where he worked at times with Peter Fleming the elder brother of Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond. Commander of the Ulster Division, RNVR, 1954 -1957. 8th Earl of Antrim. Eton College. Christ Church, Oxford. Honorary Attaché to Tehran 1932. Clerk of the House of Lords 1932 – 34. Succeeded to the title of 8th Earl of Antrim 15/06/1932. Vice-Lord-Lieutenant of County Antrim in 1955. Chairman of Ulster TV. Invested as a Fellow, Royal Institute of British Architects (FRIBA) 1972. B 22 /05/1911. Son of Randal Mark Kerr McDonnell, 7th Earl of Antrim and Margaret Isabel Talbot. Husband to Angela Christina Sykes, daughter of Sir Tatton Benvenuto Mark Sykes, 6th Bt. and Edith Violet Gorst. Died 26/09/1977. Age 66.
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