Today’s Roll includes Royal Irish Fusiliers from Belfast, Dungannon, Larne and Limavady who died resisting the last major German assault of WW1. Three men from HMS Tamar, the RN’s land base in Singapore, died due to the Japanese invasion in 1942, and on that same day, two died in the loss of HMS Curacoa. Following the Veterans Roll is an account of the remarkable service in war and peace of Rifleman Stanley Burrows. Photo – Mazargues War Cemetery, Marseilles
Representing their comrades who died on this day
Royal Irish Fusiliers. 1st Bn. Private. 24898. Died 02/10/1917. Age 21. Born in Minterburn, County Tyrone about 1896. Son of William and Sarah Allen. William Allen was a caretaker and gamekeeper and then a farmer. Rocquigny – Equancourt Road British Cemetery, Manancourt, Somme, France. Dungannon WM
+BAILEY, James Joseph
Royal Irish Fusiliers. 1st Bn. Rifleman. 14/16213. Died 02/10/1918. Aged 40. Son of James and Margaret Bailey. Born on 07/03/1878 in Clabby, County Fermanagh. He worked in Belfast as a gas fitter. James Bailie enlisted in Belfast. Haringhe (Bandaghem) Military Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Dungannon WM
Royal Irish Fusiliers. 1st Bn. Lance Corporal. 300. Died 02/10/1918. Aged 21. Son of Edward and Margaret Clarke, of 15, Calvin St., Brushbridge Rd., Belfast. Native of Glenarm. Ypres Reservoir Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Larne WM
Royal Irish Fusiliers. 1st Bn. Rifleman. 7506. Died 02/10/1918. Aged 19. Son of James and Elizabeth Clements, of 20, Glynview Avenue, Larne. Tyne Cot Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Larne WM
+KING, J S
Royal Irish Rifles. 8th Bn. Rifleman.15047. Died 02/10/1918. Aged 48. Husband of the late Mary J. King. Dundonald Cemetery
+MOOREHEAD, Robert Moorehead
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 2nd Btn., formerly of the 11th. Btn. Fusiliers. Private. 29345. Died 02/10/1918. Aged 25. Son of Robert Moorehead, of Kennaught Street, Limavady and brother of Mrs. Scott also of Limavady . Tyne Cot Memorial to the Missing, Belgium. (Belfast Newsletter 18/10/1918)
Canadian Infantry. 27th Bn. Private.187695. Died 02/10/1918. Aged 29. Son of Michael John and Mary Shea, of Kiltennell, Gorey, Co. Wexford, Ireland. Richard was born in Gorey, County Wexford around 1890. Both his mother and his father were teachers. Richard Shea emigrated to Canada and enlisted in Winnipeg, in November 1915, he gave his next of kin as his sister Margaretta Shea of Augher, County Tyrone. Richard was an electrician by trade. At the time of his death, newspaper reports note his sister Margaretta was living at Union Place, Dungannon with her aunt, Mrs Sloan. Canada Cemetery, Tilloy-Lez-Cambrai, Nord, France
1942 HMS TAMAR
RN. Able Seaman. D/SSX 20157. HMS Tamar. Died 02/10/1942. Age 21. He had been notified as missing after the capture of Hong Kong. Joined up five years previously and had spent half his service on the China station. Son of John and Emily Attwell, Tandragee. ((Belfast Weekly Telegraph 06/02/1942, 29/01/1943). Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 64
RN. Signalman. D/JX 229549. HMS Tamar. Japanese PoW. Died 02/10/1942. Hans was being transported from Hong Kong to Shanghai in the hold of Lisbon Maru. On 27/09/1942 the Lisbon Maru left Hong Kong for Shanghai with 1816 prisoners on board. She was Torpedoed on 01/10/1942 by USS Grouper, 6 miles from Tung Fusham Island, off the China coast, 29°57’N, 122°56’N. Son of Thomas M. and Sarah J. Calvert, Comber. Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 67. Comber WM
+CRANGLE, John Raphael
RNVR. AB. P/UD/X 1399. Died 02/10/1942. Age 25. HMS Tamar. Prisoner of war in Hong Kong. Son of John and Sara Crangle, of Belfast. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 21/08/1942). Portsmouth Naval Memorial Panel 71
1942 HMS CURACOA
+HOUSTON, William James
RN. Cook (S). C/MX 92438. Died 02/10/1942. Age 25. HMS Curacoa. He had been home on leave six weeks before his death. Son of Mr and Mrs Ernest Houston, Bellevue Pk., Belfast. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 13/11/1942). Chatham Naval Memorial
RN. Petty Officer Stoker. C/K 17091. MiD. Died 02/10/1942. Age 49. HMS Curacoa. 23 years’ service. Previously reported as missing. He had been Mentioned in Despatches in the New Year’s Honours List. His only brother had been killed in WW1, nine days before the Armistice. Son of the late Thomas and Elizabeth Jamfrey, Cookstown and Lurgan; husband to Winifred Mary Jamfrey, Groomsport Rd., Bangor, Co. Down. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 13/11/1942). Chatham Naval Memorial
RNPS. Leading Cook. LT/MX 83350. Died 02/10/1942. Age 39. HM Trawler Lord Stonehaven. Served through WW1 and volunteered for a year’s service in a minesweeper in 1919. He survived the sinking of his ship at Dunkirk. He again escaped when his next ship was torpedoed. Son of William and Martha Lewis, of Belfast; husband of Sarah Lewis, of Belfast. Father of four children. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 23/10/1942). Lowestoft Naval Memorial, Panel 10
+ROLESTON, Frederick Livingston
RAFVR. Sergeant (Wireless Op./Air Gunner). 982544. Died 02/10/1942. Aged 21. 218 Sqdn. Son of Frederick Thomas Roleston and Sarah Louisa Roleston, of Benburb, Co. Tyrone. Hamburg Cemetery, Hamburg, Germany. Moy WM
+BEGGS, Jane Grant
WAAF. Sergeant. 889112. Died 02/10/1944. Age 43. Daughter of James and Mary Ann Beggs of Dromore. Dromore Cathedral Churchyard
+BINGHAM, William John
RAFVR. Sergeant.1796293. Died 02/10/1944. Aged 20. 114 Sqdn. Son of James and Maria Bingham, of Greencastle. Argenta Gap War Cemetery, Italy
BOYD, Thomas John
Private, 10th. Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (the Derrys). The Derrys trained at Finner Camp, County Donegal, and Seaford, Sussex, and arrived at the Western Front in October 1915. Thomas served in France and Belgium and was wounded in 1918. Before and after the War he served in the Merchant Navy. His parents, Mr. John (fisherman) and Mrs. Sarah Jane Boyd, lived at Mullaghacall, Portstewart. He was living at Mullaghacall Cottages, when he died on 02/10/1957 aged 68 years; he was buried in Agherton Cemetery. He is commemorated on the Roll of Honour in Agherton Parish Church.
RN. RNR. Stoker. John lived in North Street, Ballycastle, and left a wife and two young children to join the Royal Navy. He had previously worked as a fisherman. John was born on 30/1/1871 in Ballycastle and enlisted for a twelve year period on 07/11/1895. He was based at Devonport. John was five feet ten inches tall with auburn hair, grey eyes and a fresh complexion. When his twelve year period of service was up he joined the RNR on 8/11/1907. He was called up for further service when war broke out in August 1914 and served throughout the war. In April 1919 John’s father, Archibald Coyles, died, but John was unable to get leave for the funeral as he was in mid voyage at the time. Archibald’s grandson, Frank McLarty MM. only arrived on the day following the funeral. John was demobbed 02/10/1919. Ramoan Parish Church, Ballycastle RH
PAYNE, Reuban Woodland
RN. Surgeon – Lieutenant. FRCS 1926. Ophthalmic surgeon. Born 02/10/1892. Died 06/1974. Son of R. F. Payne, Holywood. Campbell College 703
Rifleman Stanley Burrows
Rifleman Stanley Burrows served in 2nd Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles during World War Two. Born in Belfast, Co. Antrim, he attended Harding Memorial Primary School before taking on work in the shipyards.
His father and uncles had served with distinction in the Army and so, aged 18 years old in 1940, Stanley Burrows wanted to enlist. He worked full-time in the shipyards and his father convinced bosses there to refuse Stanley permission to leave. Men working in the shipyard were important to the war effort as Harland and Wolff built many vessels for the Royal Navy.
Determined to enlist, Burrows got himself sacked from Harland and Wolff and joined 70th Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles. Intensive training began immediately. By 1941, when Stanley Burrows went to England with the Rifles, he had experienced the horrors of war.
The Luftwaffe bombed Belfast in what became known as the [Belfast Blitz. As a young soldier with 70th Battalion, Burrows directed people to safety in Belfast’s Corporation Street. Later, he would find himself digging bodies from the rubble.
Soon after moving to England, 70th Battalion disbanded. Burrows applied for the Commandos but his request came too late. He instead joined the gliders of 6th Airborne Division. To gain Para wings, a soldier had to make eight flights. Stanley Burrows would not get that far.
A second medical examination revealed that Burrows had had a perforated eardrum, which he had concealed. After six weeks with the paratroopers, his trick of drying out his seeping ear with peroxide had come undone. Many years later, after the death of his mother, Stanley learned she had tipped the authorities off.
From 6th Airborne, Stanley moved to 2nd Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles . Training began immediately. While some believed they were bound for Sicily, a move to Droxford, Hampshire saw them prepare for Normandy.
On D-Day, Burrows was part of 9th Platoon, ‘A’ Company, 2nd Battalion Royal Ulster Rifles. Bound for Sword Beach on a landing craft, Burrows was one of many soldiers who wrote one last letter home. Aged 22 years old, he addressed his to his mother in Belfast.
The sea and sky were almost black with ships and planes. A shell struck Stanley’s landing craft but failed to explode. From this ship, Company Sergeant Major Walsh of ‘A’ Company and Rifleman Michael “Sticky” Ryan MM of ‘B’ Company formed a lifeline. This rope allowed men to pull themselves ashore.
Carrying 56 lbs of equipment, “Bettsy” his Bren gun, and a fold-up bicycle, Burrows knew he would not make it to the beach. He threw the bicycle overboard and his D-Day began as shells and mortars fell around him. All Burrows company made it ashore to the assembly point at Lion-sur-Mer deflecting sniper attacks all the way.
On 7th June 1944, ‘A’ Company followed the lead of ‘D’ Company on a failed attack on the well-defended Cambes Wood. They would end the day retreating to Le Mesnil having avoided mortar fire, snipers, and four Luftwaffe planes.
On 9th June 1944, Stanley Burrows’ company again attacked Cambes Wood. Nine men from his platoon made it through the 10-foot wall into the woods. They fought through to a farmhouse taken by Lieutenant Corporal White. He requested a volunteer to return to Captain Montgomery to inform of their whereabouts. Burrows volunteered without hesitation. He returned through the woods, shouting for his own company to not shoot him and relayed the message before rejoining his platoon. For the next while, ‘A” Company would make Cambes Wood their home.
On 19th June 1944, Stanley Burrows became an unlikely casualty at Cambes Wood. The Belfast man saw a chicken wandering through no-man’s land, sprang into action and within minutes the bird was in a soup. As Burrows cooked up the chicken broth in a biscuit tin, a shell landed nearby and boiling water covered him.
As he dived for cover, Burrows’ fellow soldiers realised he had caught fire and extinguished his burning clothes. He sought no treatment from medics and his body went into shock. His skin blistered and he learned he would have to return to England for treatment.
On the return to the United Kingdom, Stanley’s medical plane came under attack from the Royal Navy. Once again, he escaped unscathed. He would rejoin the Rifles that summer but after another injury on 9th August 1944, his service ended.
It was at Cambes Wood on 23rd June 1944, Stanley Burrows lost his best friend Hugh Crangles. A German sniper shot the 22-year old through the neck. The two men from Belfast, along with Robert Beck, made up the tight unit of Burrows, Beck, and Crangles – “The BBC”. Stanley would return many times to Normandy to pay tribute to Crangles and the other men of 2nd Battalion.
Burrows went on to serve with other units throughout the war including the 1st Paratroopers who liberated Copenhagen. He demobbed after World War Two in 1946.
Burrows observed the 60th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy with a group from Lisburn Royal British Legion. They spent five days there visiting the beaches, cemeteries, and memorials. Burrows carried a blackthorn walking stick and wore his green beret bearing the cap badge of the Royal Ulster Rifles. Next to him walked who served in ‘D’ Company of the same battalion in 1944.
Rifleman Stanley Burrows MBE died on 2nd October 2004 after a short illness.
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