“From mud, through blood, to the green fields beyond” is used as a slogan by the Royal Tank Regiment, the oldest tank unit in the World. The colours of the regiment’s flag represent the slogan. The RTR was formed in 1916 during the Great War. Many of those involved in developing the first tanks had served in Royal Navy armoured cars – including men from N Ireland – hence the term landships. Today’s Roll includes two Gunners from Belfast who died defending London during air raids in 1940. Their regiment, the 8th (City of Belfast) Heavy Anti-Aircraft, later served in Burma. There is a regimental memorial and a Roll of Honour in St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast.
Representing their comrades who died on this day
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 9th Btn. Private. 11042. Died 22/11/1915 of pneumonia. Age 22. Son of George and Mary Rainey. Robert was born about 1893 in Errigal, Ballygawley, Co. Tyrone. Private Rainey was one of three soldier sons. One brother, William George Rainey was killed and the other was discharged on account of wounds. Beauval Communal Cemetery, Beauval, Somme, France
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 2nd Btn. Private. 27409. Died 22/11/1916. Age 25. Son of Charles and Maria Rooney Bradley. Born in Magherafelt about 1891. Joseph’s father was a member of the Royal Irish Constabulary (R.I.C.). Joseph enlisted in Strabane. He was living in Newtownstewart at the time. No known grave. Commemorated on Thiepval Memorial, Thiepval, Somme
Royal Irish Rifles, 12th Btn. Rifleman 18/817. Died 22/11/1917. Aged 42. Born on 16/05/1875 at Kells and in 1901 and 1911 was living at Tannaghmore, Shilvodan. Son of Samuel and Agnes Agnew, nee Crawford, both from Fenagh, Craigs, Cullybackey. Cambrai Memorial, Louverval.
Royal Irish Rifles, 12th Btn. Sergeant. 12/17393. Died 22/11/1917. From Larne.
+CLYDESDALE, John Alexander Wilson
Royal Irish Rifles, 15th Btn. Rifleman 204. Died 22/11/1917. Aged 19
Son of Joseph and Annie Clydesdale, of Church-street/New Bridge-street, Downpatrick. CWGC note – Name to be added to Cambrai Memorial
King’s Liverpool Regiment, 13th Btn. Private. 84821. Died 22/11/1917.
born in Randalstown. Favreuil British Cemetery, Pas de Calais.
+FORSTER, Edward John Forster
Royal Engineers. Sapper. 64439. Died 22/11/1917. Age 24. Son of James and Maria Foster, Cushendall. Husband to Elizabeth, Provost Road, Dundee. Layde Church of Ireland Churchyard, Cushendall
+GRAHAM, William John
Royal Irish Rifles,18th Btn att 12th Btn. Second Lieutenant. Died 22/11/1917. Aged 26. Son of William and Mary Graham, of 67, Coolderry St., Donegall Rd., Belfast. No known grave. Commemorated on Cambrai Memorial, Louveral, Nord, France. Panel 10. Magheragall Parish Church WM
U.S. Army. 544th Engineer Regt. Private. Died 22/11/1917. Oise-Aisne American Cemetery, Fere-en-Tardenois, France. Ballintoy Parish Church RH
Royal Irish Rifles.12th Btn. Rifleman.18/1135. Died 22/11/1917. From Larne
+McMINN, William James
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 1st Btn. Private. 28158. Died 22/11/1917. Age 19. Son of John and Mary Jane McMinn of Coalisland. He was born in the parish of Derryloran, Cookstown. He was living in Motherwell and enlisted in Hamilton, Scotland with the 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers some time in late 1916. He was wounded at the Battle of Cambrai and removed to hospital and later died of his wounds. Rocquigny – Euancourt Road British Cemetery, Rocquigny, Somme, France
Royal Irish Rifles, 12th Btn. Rifleman.12/563. Died 22/11/1917. From Larne
RN. Able Seaman. D/JX 192733. Died on 22/11/1940. Aged 22. HMS President III. Accidentally drowned. Son of Edward and Mary Harte of Belfast. Milltown Roman Catholic Cemetery
+LANNIGAN, Thomas Wright
Royal Artillery. Gunner.1475147. Died as a result of enemy action in Middlesex, England on 16/11/1940. Aged 34. 21 Bty, 8th (Belfast) HAA Regiment. In July 1939, Thomas joined the territorial army in Belfast. After training, he joined 8th (Belfast) HAA which in 1940, fought in the rearguard during the retreat from Dunkirk. Born on 22nd September 1906, he was the son of Robert John Lannigan and Jane Stranaghan Lannigan (née McCullough) of Disraeli Street, Shankill, Belfast. He was one of five brothers who served in the forces during World War Two. three of Thomas’ brothers served in the Army and one brother served in the Royal Air Force. On 16/10/1933, Thomas married Isabella Todd in St. Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast. Isabella died two years later on 26/06/1935. He later married 22 year old Alma Reynolds in St. Anne’s Cathedral, on 16/12/1935. At his time of death, Thomas’ given address was Disraeli Street, Belfast. He spent leave time there with his mother Jane Ferguson six weeks before he died. His funeral took place on 20/11/1940 to a burial plot belonging to Mary Anna Todd Fee.Belfast City Cemetery, Glenalina Extension
Royal Artillery. Gunner. 1456311. Died 22/11/1940. Aged 33 years. 21 Battery, 8th (Belfast) HAA Regt. Born Belfast. Son of Agnes Tinsley. Husband of J Tinsley of Belfast. Belfast City Cemetery, Glenalina. Regimental RH, St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast
RN. Stoker. D/KX 561466. Missing presumed killed. Died 22/11/1943. Age 19. HMS Hebe. Brother and sister serving with Canadian forces. Son of Mr and Mrs W Lewis, Berlin St., Belfast. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 17/12/1943). Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 82
+McNEILL, James Ryce
RN. Able Seaman. D/SSX 32842. Date of Death: 22/11/1943. Age:23. HM MTB 686. Two sisters serving with ATS. Son of Samuel and Isabella McNeill, Hugo Gds., Coleraine. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 03/12/1943). Lerwick New Cemetery.
+MORRISON, Earl Darragh
RAFVR. Sergeant. 1093659. Died 22/11/1943. Son of Martha Morrison, of Coleraine. Runnymeade Memorial, Panel 159
Welch Regiment. Company Quartermaster Sergeant. 3907957. Died 22/11/1944. Aged 30. Son of Edward Jones and Emily Jones and the husband to Minnie Jones (née Greenwood) of Belfast. Dundonald Cemetery
Royal Fusiliers, City of London Regiment. Fusilier. D/26736. Died 22/11/1945. Aged 53. Son of Samuel Smith and Maria Smith and husband to Lily Smith of Belfast. Belfast City Cemetery, Glenalina Extension
Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service. Reserve. Sister. SRN. 345058. Died 22/11/1947. Aged 33. Daughter of James and Emma Fleck, of Dervock, Co. Antrim. Brookwood 1939-1945 Memorial
HERON, Hugh Michael Turretin
Pilot Officer. AFC. Born in Belfast on 22/11/1915, Heron completed his education at RBAI. He joined the RAF in December 1938 on a short service commission and was posted to No 266 Squadron in the autumn of 1939, flying Fairey Battles. In January 1940, Spitfires were received and they were first in action on 2 June over Dunkirk. On 27 July, Pilot Officer Heron went on a Fighter Navigation course and in September was transferred to No 66 Squadron at RAF Kenley. On 18 September, flying a Spitfire, he was credited as having shared the shooting down of a Junkers 88 and on September 30, he claimed the destruction of a Messerschmitt 109. In December 1940, he left No 66 Squadron and spent the remainder of his RAF service as an instructor. Awarded the AFC in September 1945, he left the service in 1946 as a Squadron Leader.
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