November 23 – Roll of Honour


Today’s Roll reflects hard times for the Inniskillings in the Munich Trench in 1916 and for the Royal Irish Rifles at Cambrai in 1917. Two Naval Reserve officers are lost in HMS Rawalpindi in 1939. 1943 and 1944 entries reflect the growing cost of war for the RAF. Photo – Cairo War Memorial Cemetery.

Representing their comrades who died on this day


McDONNELL, The Honourable Sir Schomberg Kerr
GCVO, KCB, Major, 5th Cameron Highlanders, DOW received in action on 23rd November 1915.  The 54-year-old was the 5th son of the 5th Earl of Antrim and Jane his wife of Glenarm, Co Antrim. He had held the office of Principal Private Secretary to the Prime Minister Lord Salisbury between 1888 and 1902, fought in the Boer War in South Africa and was Chief Intelligence Officer of the London District between 1914 and 1915. He is remembered in St Patrick’s Church of Ireland (Tickmacrevan), Glenarm, Co. Antrim and his remains buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium.

+McKENNA, John
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 2nd Btn. Fusilier. 27927. Died 23/11/1915. Son of Catherine McKenna. Born in Kildress, Cookstown, County Tyrone. John McKenna was working in Govan, Scotland when he enlisted in the army at the outbreak of war. In his Will, he left all to his mother, who was living in Upper Killeenan, Kildress. Thiepval Memorial, Theipval, Somme. Cookstown WM


Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 2nd Btn. Corporal. 10511. Died 23/11/1916. Brother of Miss R. Bradley, of Abbey St., Omagh, Co. Tyrone. Couin British Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France

+CAIRNS, Wilson
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 2nd Btn. Private. 3392. Died 23/11/1916. Aged 25. Son of Wilson and Maria Cairns, of 22, Beechnut St., Belfast. Waggon Road Cemetery, Beaumont-Hamel, Somme, France

Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Fusilier. 3853. Died 23/11/1916. He was killed in action when his unit had been ordered to attack Munich trench and succeeded in entering it but were unable to reach their second objective. Four men were killed in this attack with forty-two wounded and nineteen missing. John Donaldson was listed as missing. Son of John and Mary Donaldson of Drumglass, Dungannon. Husband to Mary, North Street, Stewartstown. Thiepval Memorial, Theipval, France. Stewartstown WM

+FREEL, William John
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 2nd Btn. Fusilier. 2983. Died 23/11/1916. Aged 21. Son of William and Selina Freel, of 17, Witlion Square, Belfast. Serre Road Cemetery No.2, Somme, France

+GRAHAM, James Patrick
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 1st Btn. Lance Corporal. 3143. Died 23/11/1916. Aged 20. Son of John and Mary A. Graham, of Maguiresbridge, Co. Fermanagh. Theipval Memorial, Somme, France

+HILL, Robert Henry
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 2nd Btn. Fusilier. 3518. Died 23/11/1916. Aged 19. Son of James Henry and Sarah Hill, of 91, Matilda St., Belfast. Frankfurt Trench British Cemetery, Beaumont-Hamel, Somme, France

+LATIMER, George Albert
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 2nd Btn. Corporal. 3324. Died 23/11/1916. Aged 24. Son of George Latimer and Margaret Latimer, of Hollybrooke, Lisnaskea, Co. Fermanagh. Waggon Road Cemetery, Beaumont-Hamel, Somme, France

Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 2nd Btn. Fusilier. 3537. Died 23/11/1916. Aged 25. Son of William J. McBay, of 20, Argyle Terrace, Londonderry, and the late Ellen McBay. Theipval Memorial, Somme, France

+McILVEEN, Robert
RNR. Stoker. 2092U. HMS Juno. Died 23/11/1916. Age 39. Son of William and Eliza McIlveen, Belfast; husband to Agnes McIlveen, Cherryville St., Belfast. Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 23

+MURRAY, Samuel
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 2nd Btn. Fusilier. 2549. Died 23/11/1916. Aged 26. Son of Samuel Murray, of Lisduff, Maguiresbridge, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, and the late Catherine Murray. Theipval Memorial, Somme, France

Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. 2nd Btn. Serjeant. 7084. Died 23/11/1916. Aged 33. Son of Andrew Preston, of Lenaderg, Banbridge; husband of Margaret Anne Preston, of Scarva St, Banbridge. Theipval Memorial, Somme, France



Royal Irish Fusiliers, 1st Btn. Fusilier. 12311. Died 23/11/1916. Born in Dunmurry, Co. Antrim, he lived in Monaghan, enlisted at Belfast. Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, Nord, France, panel 10.

+MARSH, Joseph
Royal Irish Rifles, 15th Btn. Second Lieutenant. Died 23/11/1917. Son of Samuel James and Annie Marsh of Roughan, Tullyniskane, Tyrone. He was born about 1892 in County Tyrone. His father was a mechanic at the mill. Pre-war Jospeh was a spinning mill mechanic, like his father. Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, Nord, France, panel 10. Dungannon WM, Newmillls C of I Parish Church WM, Newmills LOL 183 RH

+McCHESNEY, William
Royal Irish Rifles 8th/9th Btn. Rifleman.1941. Died 23/11/1917. Larne. Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, Nord, France

Royal Irish Rifles 8th/9th Btn. Corporal. 7421. Died 23/11/1917. Larne. Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, Nord, France

+ROBINSON, William
Royal Irish Rifles 2nd. Btn. Rifleman.1941. Died 23/11/1917. Larne. Cambrai Memorial, Louverval, Nord, France


+MONTGOMERY, Walter Augustus
RAF. Private (2nd Class). 286791. Died 23/11/1918. Age 19. 2nd Air Park. Born Moy 18/02/1899. Son of Thomas and Margaret Montgomery, Grange, Moy, Tyrone, later of Farlough, Tullyniskane, Tyrone. Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimillie, Pas de Calais, France. Dungannon WM


HMS Rawalpindi

+FEE, Thomas Hugh Cecil Hickland
RNR. Lieutenant(E). Died 23/11/1939. HMS Rawalpindi. Liverpool Naval Memorial, Panel 2

+QUINN, Thompson Baird
RNR. Sub Lieutenant. MID posthumously, London Gazette 08/06/1946. HMS Rawalpindi. Died 23/11/1939. Aged 23. Son of James and Elizabeth Jane of 72 Ravenhill Park, Belfast. Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 35. St Jude’s Parish, Belfast WM.

+MATTHEWS, Arthur James
RAFVR. Pilot Officer. 155803. Died 23/11/1943. Aged 30 630 Sqdn. Husband to Lilian Matthews, of Downpatrick. Runnymeade Memorial, Panel 132

+REAY, Derek Edward
RAFVR. Flight Lieutenant. 135136. Died 23/11/1943. Aged 22. 207 Sqdn. Son of William Harrington Reay and Margretta Elizabeth Reay, of Belfast. His brother Geoffrey Norman also died in service. Runnymeade Memorial, Surrey, Panel 120

RAFVR. Sergeant (Flight Engineer). 1796161. Died Between 23/11/1943 and 24/11/1943. Aged 23. 1658 RAF Conversion Unit. The Handley-Page Halifax bomber he was in crashed horrific weather conditions in Yorkshire with the loss of all on board. Six planes were sent on a navigational, night flying, cross-country training exercise. Large fragments of Titterington’s plane remain at the crash site alongside a memorial stone erected in the 1980s by David Morris. The area is popular with walkers and the memorial lies off a hiking trail in the crags. Son of Robert and Sarah Titterington, of Belfast. Dundonald Cemetery


+DUNN, James
Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, 5th Btn. Corporal. 5437164. Died 23/11/1944. Age 25. Son of Robert and Margaret Dunn. He was born about 1919. He was then looked after by his grandparents from a young age. James joined the army as a boy soldier in the 1930s. He was killed in action near Nijmegen. GroesBeek Memorial, Nijmegen, Gelderland, Netherlands. Cookstown WM

+LAIRD, Robert
Royal Army Service Corps. Sergeant. T/20729. Died 23/11/1944. Age 44. From Templemore St, Belfast, he enlisted in the Army Service Corps underage in 1917 and served in Mesopotamia. Discharged in May 1922, he re-enlisted in the RASC in August 1939, serving in France and in the UK. He died whilst on leave at home. Ballylinney Old Graveyard, Ballyclare.

+MANN, William Church
RAFVR. Flying Officer. 174377. Died 23/11/1944. Age 22. Son of John K. and Nellie Mann, of Castledawson. Naples War Cemetery, Miano, Naples. Castledawson WM, Rainey Endowed RH

+McDONALD, Peter Frank

RAFVR. Flying Officer. 154199. Died 23/11/1944. Age 26
195 Sqdn. Son of Peter and Sarah Jane McDonald of Portadown. Runnymede Memorial, Surrey


+BUSH, Bertram John
Worcestershire Regiment. 2nd Btn.Private. 6029690. Died 23/11/1945. Aged 24. Son of Bertram John and Elizabeth Bush; husband to Jane Bush, of Larne, Co. Antrim. Rangoon War Cemetery, Myanmar

+COLEMAN, John William
RN. Petty Officer Stoker. P/K57950. Died 23/11/1945. Aged 49. HMS Danae. HMS Danae had served in the First World War, entering the fray on 26th January 1918. It underwent repairs and modernisation and was once again used in World War Two. Attached to 9th Flotilla of cruisers, Danae patrolled the waters of south-east Asia before spending 11 months in the docks. Returning in July 1943, Danae returned to the English Channel as part of 1st Cruiser Fleet offering support to Operation Neptune. On D-Day, 6th June 1944, HMS Danae bombarded German batteries near Ouistreham, Normandy. It continued to support the Allies around Caen after D-Day. In August 1944, the ship returned to Plymouth before handover to the Polish Navy. Renamed ORP Conrad, it joined the 10th Flotilla of cruisers on 2nd April 1945 before returning to Royal Navy usage on 28th September 1945. John Coleman was born in Liverpool, on 14/02/1896, he was the son of George Henry Coleman and Frances Florence Coleman. John married Sarah Maze in September 1922 in West Derby, Lancashire. The couple had a daughter named Edna, born on 12/08/1929 in Belfast. Dundonald Cemetery

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