November 5 – Roll of Honour


Belfast Cathedral, Royal Irish Regiment Service of Remembrance
Included in today’s Roll from WW1 are Francis Annesley of Castlewellan a naval aviator, a medical officer from Cloughmills, and a nurse from Dromore. From WW2 are a naval signalman lost in battle with German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer and a special forces SOE Liaison Officer with Russian N.K.V.D. lost on a flight.

Representing their comrades who died on this day


RNVR. RNAS. Sub-Lieutenant. Before he was 21 years of age he sailed from Liverpool to Vancouver, around Cape Horn, serving as a sailor before the mast. Later he crossed the Atlantic on board a three-masted schooner yacht Karina as one of the guests of Robert E. Todd of the New York Yacht club. He was a noted big game shot.

Prior to joining 2 (Naval) Squadron, RNAS at Eastchurch, he distinguished himself serving with the RNAS Armoured Car Division, with his armoured motorcar in helping to check the advance of the Germans on Brussels and in the Defence of Antwerp.

He was last seen alive on 6/11/1914 leaving Eastchurch, England in a Bristol TB8 Biplane, serial 1220, flown by Flight Lieut C F Beevor, RNAS, bound for France / Flanders. They were never seen again. His death was presumed on 2/12/1914. Two German prisoners had been interrogated and it was established that the two aviators had been shot down when a German shell had hit the petrol tank of their aircraft and it had fallen in flames near Dixmude.

Francis Annesley, 6th Earl Annesley, was the only son of Hugh Annesley, 5th Earl Annesley and his first wife, Mabel Markham. He was born on 25/02/1884 at Castlewellan. On 14/02/1909 he married Evelyn Hester Mundy. They had no children. Between 1884 and 1908 he was styled as Viscount Glerawly. He was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Cambridge. He succeeded as Earl 15/12/1908. St John’s Parish Church, Newcastle WM. Castlewellan WM


+GASTON, James

RAMC. Captain. MC. Died 05/11/1918. Age 36. Ballymena Academy, Queen’s College, Belfast; and the Royal University of Ireland – where he graduated M.B., B.S.R.U.I. in 1906. He had been in practice at Cloughmills, Co. Antrim, and when war broke out he was engaged in an extensive practice in Durham. He gained a temporary commission in the RAMC at the rank of lieutenant on 28/12/1914 and was promoted to temporary Captain one year later. James entered the war in France on 19/05/1915. After serving with a West Riding Field Ambulance he was attached as Medical Officer to the 5th Bn. King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. He was wounded in September 1916, then after recovering returned to France in January 1917, and was attached as Medical Officer to the 4th Bn. Suffolk Regiment. He was awarded the Military Cross “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He attended the wounded of five other units besides his own throughout the day. The next day he led a party out in front and recovered twelve more wounded who were lying out. Throughout he set a splendid example to all.” James was the eldest son of Andrew and Marian Gaston of Carabeg, Cloughmills. “His brother, Captain Andrew Gaston, RAMC, is also a holder of the Military Cross and a younger brother, Dr. John Gaston is practising in Chester.” Ballymena Observer, November 15, 1918. Arras Road Cemetery, Roclincourt, Pas de Calais, France

+STERLING, Walter Ambrose
RAF. Private 2nd Class. 310462. Died 05/11/1918. Aged 14. Son of Wesley and Margaret Sterling, of 68, Newport St., Belfast. Shankill Graveyard, Belfast

+WATSON, Elizabeth Harvey
Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service. Staff Nurse. Died 05/11/1918. Age 30. Daughter of Robert H. Watson, of Hillsborough St., Dromore, Co. Down. Caudry British Cemetery, Nord, France. Memorial St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast


+CAIRNS, Archibald Joseph
RNR. Seaman. P/X 18342A. HM Trawler Northern Rover. Died 05/11/1939. Age 25. Son of James and Elizabeth Cairns, Ballycastle. Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 36


+CURRY, Richard
RN. Ordinary Signalman. C/SSX 29509. HMS Jervis Bay. Died 05/11/1940. Age 19. On 05/11/1940 HMS Jervis Bay was acting as sole escort for a freighter convoy when it was engaged by the German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer. To protect the convoy (37 Freighter Convoy HX84), HMS Jervis Bay ordered the convoy to scatter and attacked the Admiral Scheer alone. This gallant but unequal action which lasted for 24 minutes resulted in the loss of HMS Jervis Bay and the deaths of her Captain and 198 of her crew. Their sacrifice, however, was not in vain as 32 freighters from the convoy escaped into the closing darkness. The Captain of the Jervis Bay, Edward Fegen, was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. The Jervis Bay was a converted passenger ship which was taken over by the Admiralty in 1939 and equipped with seven 6 inch guns and re-designated as an armed merchant cruiser. A book has been published about the sinking of the Jervis Bay – “If the Gods are Good: The Sacrifice of HMS Jervis Bay”. Son of Thomas and Mary Curry, Coagh. Chatham Naval Memorial Panel 37


+TRAYNOR, Patrick
Pioneer Corps. Private. 13024745. Died 05/11/1942. Aged 44. Son of Patrick and Jane Traynor; husband to Maggie Traynor, of Ballycastle. Labuan War Cemetery, Malaysia


+BURNS, Thomas Hugh
Royal Army Service Corps. Driver. T/198213. Died 05/11/1943. Aged 43. Son of Mr. and Mrs. H. Burns, of Lisburn; husband to Margaret E. Burns, of Lisburn. Lisburn Cemetery

+DARLINGTON, Charles Arnold
RNVR. Chaplain. HMS Drake. Died 05/11/1943. Aged 30. HMS Drake was a barracks at Plymouth. Church of Ireland clergyman. TCD, BA 1935. He was made a Deacon in 1936 and ordained Priest by the Bishop of Down in 1937. He was Curate – assistant of Trinity College Mission, Belfast, off the Shankill Rd., until 1939. Son of Charles Horace John and Frances Ellen Darlington of Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow. Plymouth (Western Mill) Cemetery

+GORDON, Walter
RAFVR. Sergeant. 1016772. Died 05/11/1943. Aged 21. 616 Sqdn. Clerk in Secretary’s Office, QUB. Son of Thomas and Charlotte Gordon, of Ballynahinch. Runnymeade Memorial, Panel 151. QUB RH
+JEFFERSON, Thomas Francis
RAFVR. Warrant Officer. 1062362. Died on 05/11/1943. Aged 23. Son of John Frazer and Margaret Ann Valentine Jefferson of Holywood, Co. Down. Holywood cemetery.

+McMASTER, James
Royal Irish Fusiliers, 2nd Btn. Fusilier . 6978240. Died between 15/11/1943 and 16/11/1943. Aged 25. Son of Thomas and Maud McMaster, of Ballydrain, Co. Down. Athens Memorial, Greece

+MILNES-GASKELL, Charles Thomas
Coldstream Guards. Lieutenant Colonel. 41120. Died 05/11/1943 in an air crash returning from Moscow. Aged 35. He was serving with special forces as SOE Liaison Officer with Russian N.K.V.D. Son of Evelyn and Constance Milnes Gaskell; husband to Patricia Milnes Gaskell (nee Hare) daughter of Richard Granville Hare, 4th Earl of Listowel and the Hon. Freda Vanden-Bempde-Johnstone, of Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire. Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery, Egypt. Dungannon WM, St Anne’s C of I WM, Dungannon


+FFORDE Charles Holt
RN. Commander 6979074. Died 05/11/1944. Aged 60. Son of James and Patricia Fforde. Husband to May Fforde, Lurgan. Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery, Kent.


+MALLEY, William Edward
RAFVR.Sergeant. 993015. Mentioned in Despatches. Died 05/11/1945. Aged 30. Son of the Revd. Augustus Malley, Th.L., and Annie Elizabeth Malley, of Hemel Hempstead Vicarage, Hertfordshire; husband to Margaret Malley, of Lisburn. Malta Memorial, Malta


SMITH, Gilbert
RN. Stoker 1st Class. K22719. Enrolled 11/06/1914 for 12 years. War service in Vivid II and Tiger. Served 07/12/1927. Born Limavady 05/11/1895. Bellhouse Lane, Coleraine. ADM 188/912/22719

TODD, William Ferguson
RMLI. Private. 18467. Plymouth Division. Enlisted 14/10/1915 (Underage). Invalided 01/12/1915. Born Coleraine 05/11/1897. Nursery House, Coleraine. ADM 159/162/18467

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