October 6 – Roll of Honour


On This Day in 1901 Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward VII, became patron of the Naval Nursing Service which was renamed in her honour shortly after and the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Naval Nursing Service – QARNNS – still serve the RoyalNavy around the world today. A Portstewart doctor is among those in today’s Roll which also carries an amazing account of a Ballymoney RAF aircrew who is greatly honoured in the Netherlands.


Representing their comrades who died on this day

+BOYD, William
Irish Guards. 2nd Btn. L/Sgt. 6453. Died 06/10/1915. Severely wounded by shell fire in the attack that followed during the Battle of Loos. He was taken to hospital in Dieppe, but he died of his wounds. William was born about 1887 near Pomeroy. Son of John David and Eliza Boyd. His father was a farmer. Janval Cemetery, Dieppe. Cookstown WM


+McCLURE, Hugh Beggs
Royal Engineers, 150th Field Company. Sapper. 64264. Died 06/10/1916. Aged 30. Husband to the late Maude McClure, Larne. Pond Farm Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium


+CHARLES, John James Percival
Royal Army Medical Corps, attached to 1st/1st Hertfordshire Regiment. Lieutenant/temporary Captain. He was ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ and was awarded the Military Cross. He died on Saturday, 06/10/1917, aged 33 years, of wounds received during the Third Battle of Ypres. His parents, Professor John James and Mrs. Harrietta Madeline (nee Godfrey) Charles, lived at the Crescent, Portstewart; previously they lived in Cork. Professor Charles and his wife were married in Agherton Parish Church on 01/07/1873. John is commemorated on Portstewart’s War Memorial, Agherton Parish Church’s War Memorial and a Family Plaque in the Church, the Roll of Honour in Agherton Parish Church and in Ireland’s Memorial Record. Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France


+WHITLEY, George
Royal Irish Fusiliers, 1st Btn. Rifleman. 42394. Formerly 22479 Royal Irish Rifles. Died of wounds in the Australian Casualty Clearing Station 06/10/1918. Age 30. Husband to Elizabeth Whitley of 52 Canmore Street, Belfast. Haringhe (Bandaghem) Military Cemetery, Belgium. (Northern Whig, 22/10/1918)


+JENKINS, William
London Irish Rifles. Rifleman. 7020240. Date 06/10/1943. Age 24. Son of Samuel and Sarah Jenkins, of Waterside, Londonderry. Sangro River War Cemetery, Italy



RAFVR. Sergeant. Died 06/10/1944. Age 22. 159 Sqdn. Foster Parents at Castletown, Ahoghill. No known grave. Commemorated on the Singapore Memorial, Col. 436.
+McCLUSKEY, Francis Anthony
RAFVR. Flight Sergeant. Died 06/10/1942. Aged 20. RCAF 405 (Vancouver) Squadron. Born 01/07/1922, He was the son of Francis Anthony McCluskey Senior, a Flight Sergeant with the Royal Air Force in World War One. McCluskey Senior had enlisted again at the outbreak of World War Two. Known as Frankie to his family and friends, McCluskey left the family home in 1938 aged 16-years-old. He joined the Royal Air Force and was a qualified air gunner by the time World War Two broke out in September 1939. He was the gunner on board a Halifax Mark II bomber. The crew took off from RAF Topcliffem Yorkshire at 1854hrs on 6th October 1942. The target was Osnabruck, Germany. On board with McCluskey were five Canadians and a Scotsman. The RAF bomber never reached the target. Before midnight, a Luftwaffe night fighter shot the Halifax down over the occupied Netherlands. The crew bailed out of the stricken plane. Francis’ parachute failed to deploy and he came down among trees in the Prattenburg Estate near the town of Rhenen, Netherlands. A Dutch girl Jannie van Beek Pol and her father found Francis’ body as they cycled through the forest the next morning. A few days later, Flight Sergeant Francis Anthony McCluskey received a burial with full military honours from the German Army. The other six crew members became prisoners of war, first at Stalag 344 Lamsdorf and later at L3 Stalag Luft Sagan. News of Francis’ disappearance reached his grandmother by telegram. She still lived on Union Street, Ballymoney, Co. Antrim. Francis McCluskey’s grave is in Rhenen General Cemetery, Utrecht, Netherlands. During the 04/05/2013 Remembrance Day commemorations in the Netherlands, the Mayor of Rhenen laid a wreath there. On 01/11/2014, Toon Blokland and Hans van der Pas, Mayor of Rhenen, visited Ballymoney. The trip received support from the Causeway Branch of the Royal Air Force Association, the Ballymoney Royal British Legion, and Ballymoney Council. The group held a ceremony of remembrance and added Francis’ name to the Ballymoney War Memorial. An appeal on BBC Radio Ulster’s ‘Your Place and Mine’ traced members of the McCluskey family who also attended the occasion. Rhenen General Cemetery, Utrecht, Netherlands. Ballymoney WM

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