October 21 – Roll of Honour


Autumn takes hold and the colours at CWGC cemeteries are now changing, as at the WW2 Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery in the Netherlands. Twenty men represent their comrades who fell on this date. The WW2 entries reflect the cost to the Royal Ulster Rifles and to Royal Artillery from Derry and Limavady of liberating Italy.

Representing their comrades who died on this day


+FARREN, William James
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 2nd Bn. “C” Coy. Private. 7139. Died 21/10/1914. Aged 31. Son of the late John and Lettie Farren, of Monellan, Co. Donegal; husband of Mary A. Farren, of 27, Florence St., Waterside, Londonderry. Ploegsteert Memorial, Hainaut, Belgium

+FRIEL, Charles
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 2nd Bn. Private. 3134. Died 21/10/1914. Aged 25. Husband of Sarah Donaghy (formerly Friel), of 1, Miller’s Close, Bridge St., Londonderry. Ploegsteert Memorial, Hainaut, Belgium

+HOLMES, Joseph
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 2nd Bn. Private. 7210. Died 21/10/1914. Ploegsteert Memorial, Hainaut, Belgium

+LAVERY, James Sterling
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 2nd Bn. Private. 10097. Died 21/10/1914. Age 24. Born about 1890 in Cookstown. Son of William James Lavery and Ellen Lavery. After leaving school James served his apprenticeship in the offices of Gunnings Factory. He immigrated to Canada where he remained for two years before returning home. James was married to Edith Lavery. He joined the army in Cookstown and trained in Omagh. Soon after the outbreak of hostilities he was sent to Dover, from where he went to France in one of the earliest drafts. Strand Military Cemetery, Comines-Warneton, Hainaut, Belgium. Gunnings Factory WM at Cookstown RBL

+McNULTY, Thomas
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 2nd Bn. Private. 3843. Died 21/10/1914. Ploegsteert Memorial, Hainaut, Belgium

Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 2nd Bn. Private. 7332. Died 21/10/1914. Ploegsteert Memorial, Hainaut, Belgium

+SMITH, Samuel R
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 2nd Bn. Private. 6219. Died 21/10/1914. He had been through the South African campaign, and was following his vocation as a tailor when, as a reservist, he was called-up at the outbreak of war. “He married a little over three years ago, and his widow has the care of two small children. They live in Fountain-street, Downpatrick.” Ploegsteert Memorial, Hainaut, Belgium


Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 1st Btn. Private. 29168. Died 21/10/1916.
Born on 25/08/1893 at Ballynaleney, Randalstown, the son of Patrick Gilmore and Mary McErlain or McErlane, later of Staffordstown, Randalstown. Theipval Memorial, Somme, France


+COUSINS, Charles Henry

RAF. Private. 299638. Died 22/10/1918. Age 18. Only son of Henry and J. Elizabeth Cousins. He was born in Lurgan, on 12/12/1900. His father Henry died sometime between 1901 and 1905. His mother remarried around 1905 to William Stewart McClean. The 1911 census records that the family lived at house 3 in Roughan, Augher, County Tyrone. Charles Cousins enlisted in the RAF on 25/09/1918. He was aged 17 and three quarters. Private Cousins served at the RAF School of Technical Training at Halton, Buckinghamshire, England. He died at Central Military Hospital Aylesbury. Aylesbury cemetery, Buckinghamshire

+DANIEL, Ernest
Royal Irish Rifles, 1st Btn. Lieutenant. 6028. Died 21/10/1918. Aged 34. Son of Robert and Marion Daniel. Ernest was born in Cheshire about 1884. Robert Daniel, an Englishman, was Justice of the Peace and a Linen Finisher. They lived at Farlaugh, Tullyniskane, Tyrone. Harlebeke New British Cemetery, Harlebeke, West-Vlaanderen. Dungannon WM, Newmills C of I Parish Church WM


+KERR, James Francis Ferguson
RAFVR. Sergeant. 748075. Died 21/10/1940. Aged 21.No. 13 OTU. Training as an observer when he died as a result of an aviation accident on board Bristol Blenheim L8871. The other crew on board from No. 13 OTU were Sergeant LH Hillelson and Sergeant AW Dinsmore. All three died in the accident. Son of James and Florence Eda Kerr of Strandtown, Belfast. Dundonald Cemetery. 502 (Ulster) Squadron WM, St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast


Royal Artillery. Lance Serjeant. 1455996. Died 21/10/1943. Aged 28. 25 Bty., 9 H.A.A. Regt. Son of James and Matilda Gilmour, of Londonderry. Naples War Cemetery, Italy

+CRAWFORD, Harry James
RAFVR. Sergeant (Navigator). 973264. Died 21/10/1943. Aged 22. 161 Sqdn. Son of Harry and Jean M. Crawford, of Ballymoney; husband to Mary Crawford, of Cenore, Saskatchewan, Canada. Valenciennes (St Roch) Communal Cemetery, Nord, France

+MARK, James Lyle Douglas
Royal Artillery. Bombardier. 1466744. Died 21/10/1943. Aged 27. 9 H.A.A. Regt. Son of John Martin Mark and Jeanie Elizabeth Mark, of Limavady. Naples War Cemetery, Italy

+MARTIN, Thomas
RAFVR. Flight Sergeant. 1126214. Died 21/10/1943. Aged 28. 83 Sqdn. Son of James and Jemima Bryson Martin, of Belfast. Runnymeade Memorial, Panel 138, Surrey.

+PEOPLES, William Stewart
Royal Artillery. Lance Bombardier.1489361. Died 21/10/1943. Aged 28
25 Bty., 9 H.A.A. Regt. Son of George and Elizabeth Peoples, of Londonderry; husband to Margaret Kathleen Peoples, of Waterside, Londonderry. Naples War Cemetery, Italy


+BLAIR, James
Royal Ulster Rifles. 2nd Bn. The London Irish Rifles. Rifleman. 7019574. Died 21/10/1944, in a night attack on Casa Spinello. Aged 21. Son of Samuel and Elizabeth Blair, of Larne. Santerno Valley War Cemetery, Italy

+HASKINS, Jack Stanley
Royal Corps of Signals. 73 Constr. Sec. Driver. 5193194. Died 21/10/1944. Aged 22. Son of Frank and Margaret Haskins; husband of Jeanie Haskins, of Ballymena. St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France

+MURPHY, William James
Royal Ulster Rifles. 2nd Bn. The London Irish Rifles. Rifleman. 14437714. Died 21/10/1944. Aged 20. Son of William James Murphy and Marion Murphy, of Portadown. Santerno Valley War Cemetery, Italy

+REA, Edward Douglas
Royal Artillery. Major. 64505. MiD. Died 21/10/1944. Aged 29. 14 Anti-Tank Regt. Son of Thomas Rea, M.A., and of Dora Rea, of Bangor, Co. Down. Cesena War Cemetery, Italy


ALLEN, James
RN. AB. SS9896. Enrolled 22/10/1918 for 5 and 7 years. Pembroke. Served to 21/10/1923. Joined RFR 22/10/1923. Born Lurgan 23/06/1900. ADM 188/1103/9896

CAMPBELL, Inkerman Collins
RN. Stoker First Class. SS111187. Served 23/08/1911 – 21/10/1919. Joined RFR 22/10/1919. War service in Collingwood, Marlborough, Actaeon, Pembroke, Attentive and Dido. Born Belfast 29/04/1893. ADM 188/1117/111187

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2 Comments on “October 21 – Roll of Honour

  1. Fifteen members of A Tp, 25 Bty, 9th (Londonderry) HAA Regiment RA (SR) were killed in N.11 gunsite, Villa Nuova, overlooking the city of Naples on 21 October 1943. No. 2 gun took a direct hit from a dive-bomber and the entire detachment of ten died as did two OFsC and three men who had volunteered to act as additional ammunition numbers. In addition to Billy Peoples, Dougie Marks and Jim Gilmour, Lance Bombardier Robert Hamilton, from Culmore, Co. Londonderry, was killed. So, too, was Gnr Aubrey ‘Ginger’ Evans, from Yorkshire. Ten Basuto gunners also perished: Sjt Choni Kharasi, L/Cpl Solomon Mosestheli and Ptes Selet Chele, Lesiame Hlakane, Ramaisa Khoamyane, Tsoebilane Lepota, Morinanile Nena, S. Ntsovbe, Azael Semane and Nkhobiso Tsoasane. All were honorary Ulstermen.
    Serjeant Jim Peoples had been wounded so badly that he wasn’t expected to live. The No. 1 on No. 1 gun, he had refused medical attention until his wounded detachment members – three Basutos – had been seen to. Jim lived for many years afterwards, dying in December 1987. He still carried metal splinters in his body from that night and, strangely, some surfaced almost every October and were removed by a doctor.
    It was believed by many who were there on the night that N.11 had been targeted specifically and that someone on the roof of a nearby house had been signalling to the bombers.


    • Richard – could you kindly send me names dates etc of the Derry Regiment and I will incorporate in future posts and in the NI wide Artilery RH, I am working on gently. Thanks.Houston


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