On this day in 1941, a RUR and SAS officer died following a raid on airfields in North Africa. He was a member of a leading Irish legal family. A Catholic, he was educated at Clongowes Wood College, Co.Kildare, and Queen’s University. He was the brother of Sir Ambrose McGonigal MC (RUR).
Representing their comrades who died on this day
Irish Guards, 1st Btn. Private. 1535. Died 18/11/1914. Initially enlisted in Ballymena on 18/11/1902 and spent three years with the colours. He then spent nine years in the reserves before being called back to his regiment on 05/08/1914. His unit, mobilized on the 4th August, marched into Belgium on the 20th and reached the Mons area before being forced to retreat on the 26th; this was the famous Retreat from Mons, and for Charles Allen, it was a fighting retreat of about 140 miles. The unit was sent into billets at Hazebrouck in October but was then moved through Ypres and into trenches in Klein Zillebeke in November. On his second spell of duty in the trenches there – it was snowing and the Germans were shelling them heavily – he was killed. He was born at 39, North Queen Street, Belfast on the 15/08/1884, the son of William and Elizabeth Allen, nee McClean, of Alexander Street, Ballymena. He worked in Liscolman Spinning Mill. His wife Matilda and three children lived at Dervock. Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.
Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) attached Suffolk Regiment, 2nd Battalion. Second Lieutenant. Died 18/11/1914. Age 20. St Malachy’s College, Belfast. Student, Faculty of Medicine 1912-1913. Born 1894, Co Mayo. Son of Thomas and Maria McDonagh, , Loughgall, Co. Armagh. Wulverghem – Lindenhoek Road Military Cemetery
+ADAMS, John Hanna
North Staffordshire Regiment. Second Lieutenant. Died 18/11/1916. Age 25. Member of the Training Corps 1915. He was a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force and received his commission on 12/07/1915. He was posted to France on 29/05/1916. He was listed as missing on 18/11/1916, but it was not until the following year that his other was informed that his body had been recovered and was buried at Grandcourt, Ancre, France. John had been the Rector’s Churchwarden in Templecorran Parish. He worked as a bank clerk for three years and then entered the family firm of John Adams, North St., Belfast before enlisting. There is a Memorial Plaque in Templecorran Church which bears the regimental insignia of the Prince of Wales; North Staffordshire Regiment. It was unveiled in October 1918, only a month before the end of the war. At a memorial service in St Patrick’s Church, it was stated that “John took an active interest in everything pertaining to the welfare of the church. As a lad, he was an example, and as a young man he was a pattern for others…” Born in Larne. Eldest son of William George Adams and Emily F. Adams, Annadale, Whitehead. Grandcourt Road Cemetery, Grandcourt. County Antrim Yacht Club Memorial Plaque, Templecorran Parish Church plaque
Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment, 7th Btn. Private. G18647 Died 18/11/1916. Aged 38. Son of William and Harriet Baker, Harpole, Northampton; husband to Ellen Baker, 64 Moat Road, Ballymena. Thiepval Memorial.
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 8th Bn. (16th Irish Division). Private. 24309. Died 18/11/1916. Born 10/07/1898, Union Workhouse, Ballycastle. Son of Margaret Forsythe and James Gillen. Thiepval Memorial. Ballycastle WM
+McALPINE, William John
RNR. Trimmer. 3120/ST. HMS St. Seirol. Died 18/11/1916. Age 18. Son of Robert and Eliza McAlpine, Cowan St., Newry. St. Patrick’s C of I churchyard, Newry
Royal Field Artillery. Gunner. 71400. Died 18/11/1917. Dundonald Cemetery
RAF. Aircraftman 2nd Class. 632999. Died 18/11/1939. Son of Thomas and Alice McCleery of Belfast. Carnmoney Cemetery
+McGONIGAL, Eoin Christopher
1st Btn. Royal Ulster Rifles. Attached Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) 1940, 11 Commando (7 Troop) 1940-41, and posted to ‘L’ Detachment, SAS 15/08/1941. Lieutenant, No. 97290. Injured, aged 20, while serving with the Special Air Service on 18/11/1941. Taken POW during Operation Squatter targetting airfields at Timimi, west of Tobruk, he died of his wounds. The son of Mr. Justice McGonigal, KC, and of Margaret McGonigal, of Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin. His widowed mother lived at Kingstown, Dublin. Born Eire, resided Belfast. He was the brother of Sir Ambrose McGonigal MC (RUR, 12 Commando, and SAS) and of Mrs. Letty Carson, wife of Colonel R.J.H. Carson OBE. Educated Clongowes Wood College, Co.Kildare, and Queen’s University, Belfast. Alamein Memorial, column 71.
+HILL, Frederick Charles
RAFVR. Flying Officer. 62649. Died 18/11/1942. Son of Son of Charles V. and Evelyn I. Hill, of Belfast. Alamein Memorial, Egypt. Column 248. Knockbreda Parish WM and Family memorial in the churchyard. 502 (Ulster) Squadron WM, St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast
RM. Marine. CH/X 3438. Died 18/11/1942. Age 21. HMS Arethusa. In the eastern Mediterranean. After unsuccessful air attacks, Arethusa came under further attacks by torpedo-carrying aircraft at dusk. The vessel was hit on port side abreast B turret and took on a heavy list to port. Extensive fires in forward structure broke out due to oil fuel together with flooding. 156 killed and 42 injured. Ship disabled. Son of William Hugh and Annie Elizabeth McCormick, Larne. Chatham Naval Memorial, Panel 65
+CONNOR, Walter Campbell
RAFVR. Warrant Officer (Air Gunner). 1079115. Died 18/11/1943. Aged 21. 7 Sqdn. Son of John and Ellen Beatrice Connor, of Lisburn. Durnbach War Cemetery, Bayern, Germany
+DOUGHERTY, William John
RAFVR. Aircraftman 2nd Class. 1901690. Died 18/11/1943. Aged 18. Son of William A. Dougherty and Margaret Dougherty of Lisburn. Lisburn cemetery
+STONELEY, Michael John Ernest
RAFVR. Pilot Officer. 158258. DFM. Died 18/11/1943. Aged 22. 156 Sqdn. Son of Ernest Andrew Alexander Stoneley and Annie McKay Stoneley; husband to Jessie Stoneley, of Belfast. Runnymeade Memorial, Surrey, Panel 133
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