On this day in 1916, the sister ship to the Titanic, HM Hospital Ship Britannic, strikes a German mine in the Aegean Sea and sinks. It is the largest vessel lost in the First World War. Today’s Roll includes NI men serving with New Zealand, Canadian and USA forces and an Aircraftwoman 1st Class from Belfast.
Representing their comrades who died on this day
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 2nd. Bn. Private. 7989. Died 21/10/1914. Robert Dornan was born in Belfast. Robert Dornan enlisted in Dungannon. Ploegsteert Memorial. Hainaut, Belgium. IMR
+CARSON, Andrew James
Canadian Infantry,1st Bn. Private. 400738. Died 21/11/1916. Born on 02/01/1893 in the Eskermore area. Son of Joseph and Lizzie Carson. The family emigrated to Canada. Prior to enlisting, Andrew Carson worked as a turner. Andrew enlisted in January 1915 in London, Ontario. He gave his next of kin as his father, Joseph, who was living in London, Ontario. Vimy Memorial, Pas de Calais, France
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 9th Bn. Private. 17555. Died 21/11/1916. Aged 19. Son of Thomas and Jane Smith, of Caledon St., Aughnacloy, Co. Tyrone. They were married about 1891. William was born about 1897 in Carnteel, Aughnacloy. He enlisted in Aughnacloy. Pond Farm Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 9th Bn. Private. 22618. Died 21/11/1916. Born in Clonfeacle, County Tyrone about 1890. The 1901 census lists John as age 11 living with his family at house 4 in Culkeeran, Moy. His father was a farm labourer. Son of Thomas and Mary Stafford, of Moy, Co. Tyrone. John enlisted in Omagh. Pond Farm Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
+STEWART, Robert James
3rd Btn, Canterbury Regiment, N.Z.E.F. Private. 42825. Died 21/11/1917. Aged 32 Son of John and Agnes Stewart, of Ballyhacket, Cairncastle, Larne. He was one of nine children. Robert Stewart enlisted in New Zealand on 03/01/1917, stating that he was born on 01/02/1885. He said he had been in NZ for two years and that he was an orchardist employed by Tasman Fruit Lands at Nelson. He was described then as being 5’ 8” and as having blue eyes and fair hair. He nominated his father at Ballyhackett, Cairncastle as his next of kin and also gave the name of his brother, John M Stewart, Tasman, Nelson, NZ.
He left NZ on 02/04/1917 aboard HMNZT 80, ‘Corinthic’, from Wellington and disembarked at Devonport/Plymouth, England on June 10. He completed training at Sling Camp and went to France and Flanders after 06/07/1917. He was at Etaples on the 9th and was sent to 12th Company, 3rd Canterbury Regiment, 4th NZ Infantry Brigade. He was slightly wounded, probably by gas, and treated in France by No 4 NZ Field Ambulance from the 9th – 20th October. He rejoined his unit on the 25 October and his short military career ended when he was killed in action on the 21/11/1917. Buttes New British Cemetery (NZ), Polygon Wood.
+McGEOWN, Mervyn Jack
Royal Irish Fusiliers, 12th Btn. Private. 30902. Died 1/11/1918 of illness at home. Aged 17. Son of William and Mary McGeown. Born on 18/12/1900 in the Cookstown area. By the time of 1911 census, Mervyn’s mother had died. Mervyn and his father lived with his in-laws, the Fergusons, in Killymoon Street, Cookstown. He enlisted in December 1916. He was discharged in June 1917, after 166 days service, due to sickness. Cookstown WM. Derryloran Parish, St Luran’s Church, Church St., Cookstown
RN. AB. D/J 87462. Died 21/11/1939. Age 38. HMS Gipsy. Son of David and Mary Ann Dalton, Ballee, Antrim (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 02/12/1939). Husband to Alice Emmeline Dalton, Devonport. Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 33
Royal Artillery. Gunner. 1460770. Died 21/11/1941. Aged 35. 6 Lt. A.A. Bty., 2 Lt. A.A. Son of Mr. and Mrs. William J. Toner; husband to Margaret Toner, of Coleraine. Alamein Memorial, Egypt
Royal Artillery. Gunner. 1450762. Died 21/11/1941. Aged 21. 6 Bty., 2 Lt. A.A. Regt. Son of John and Mary Ann Wisoner, of Tobermore, Co. Londonderry. Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt
+LYNN, John Joseph
RAFVR. Pilot Officer (Observer), 120916. Died 21/11/1942. Aged 28. 415 (R.C.A.F.) Sqdn. Son of William Lynn, M.B.E., J.P., and Charlotte Lynn; husband to Anne V. Lynn, of Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Solicitor. Pihen-Les-Guines War Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France
+McCARROLL, William John
Flight Lieutenant William John McCarroll (103019) served in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve during World War Two. He died on active service on Sunday 21/11/1943 aged 25 years old while flying off the Italian coast. Born in 1918, he was the son of William McCarroll and Minnie McCarroll of Belfast. He attended Ballymena Academy. In early 1943, William married Gwendoline Mary Sheridan from Enniskillen. Mary gave birth to a son, also named William, after her husband’s death. Flight Lieutenant William John McCarroll has no known grave. His name is on Panel 120 of the Runnymede Memorial, Surrey.
US Army. Private First Class.32004368. Died 21/11/1943. Dungannon WM
+McCOO, Thomas David
RAF. Leading Aircraftman. 619940. Died 21/11/1944. Age 23. Son of Samuel and Emily McCoo, of Lurgan. Ramleh War Cemetery. Lurgan WM
WAAF. Aircraftwoman 1st Class. Died 21/11/1945. Born in December 1917, she was the daughter of James Petrie Cooke and Catherine “Kitty” Cooke (née Atkinson) of Belfast, Co. Antrim. Elizabeth had two younger sisters, Lily and Gwen, and a younger brother James. Dundonald Cemetery
BEATH, R Maitland
RAMC. Captain. QUB Services Club President 1939, 40. QCB BA, 1907, MB 1914, BCh, BS (London). Captain RAMC 06/08/1914. In France from 15/08/1914 as Battalion MO. Served on an ambulance train, as a radiologist in the 18th CCS, and also on hospital ship St. Andrew. He authored several papers in the Ulster Medical Journal. An article in the Ulster Medical Journal, April 1934 which was a tribute to Sir William Whitla quoted a paper by RM Beath. He was Hon Secretary of the Ulster Medical Society 1925 – 30. Died 21/11/1940, Belfast.
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