In today’s Roll – A Royal Artillery gunner from Ballymoney serving with a Maritime regiment and who most likely died at sea, is named on Portsmouth Naval Memorial. The war graves of two RAF men from Ballycastle and Belfast are in Egypt and South Africa.
On this day in 1914 Cdr Henry Peel Ritchie from HMS Goliath, was awarded the first Royal Navy Victoria Cross of WW1 for his leadership in a raid to neutralise German shipping in the port of Dar-Es- Salaam in what is now Tanzania, during which he was shot 8 times. He survived. On this day in 1916, a lone German warplane appears in the skies over London and drops six bombs near Victoria Station. Ten casualties are reported. It is the first raid on the city by a fixed-wing aircraft; it won’t be the last.
Representing their comrades who died on this day
+GUBBEY, William Ernest Gubbey
RN. Ordinary Seaman. J19564. Died 26/11/1914. Aged 18. Born 21/02/1896. Son of William Henry and Alice Maud Eleanor Gubbey, Renny Rd., Fratton, Portsmouth – living at Ballycastle at time of son’s death. Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery.
RN. AB. SS107579. Died 28/11/1918 in hospital at Rosyth Naval. Age 27. MFA Divis attached to the Grand Fleet. Born Carrickfergus 01/01/1890. Son of John and Margaret Hill (Mann), Hillsport, Islandmagee. ADM 188/1113/107579
Army Cyclist Corps. Lance Serjeant. 744. Died 22/12/1918. Aged 37. Husband to Martha Amelia McDonald, of 13, Lismain St., Ravenhill Avenue, Belfast. Dundonald Cemetery
RNR.Trimmer. 7876/TS. HMS Crescent. Died 28/11/1919. Son of Mrs. M. Kingcross, Eton St., Agnes St., Belfast. Dundee Eastern Necropolis
RAFVR . (W.Op./Air Gnr). 1119371. Died 28/11/1942. Aged 21. 95 Sqdn. Coastal Command. Son of Robert D. and Emma Irvine, of Belfast. Freetown (King Tom) Cemetery, South Africa
+TAYLOR, James Hector
Royal Artillery.4/2 Maritime Regt. Lance Serjeant. 7018920. Died 28/11/1942. Aged 30. 4/2 Maritime Regt. Son of Mr. and Mrs. James Taylor; husband to Elizabeth McDowell Taylor (nee Gitty), of Ballymoney. Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 72
+FREEMAN, William John
RAFVR. Sergeant (Wireless Op./Air Gunner). 1145117. Died 28/11/1943. Aged 27. Son of James and Minnie Freeman; husband of Annie Turner Freeman, of Ballycastle. Heliopolis War Cemetery, Egypt.
BULLICK, William Joshua
T/A/S. Lt. (E). Russian convoy early in WW2. Trained with Commandos, Achnacarry, Scotland. HMS Prince Charles, infantry landing ship. Escort carrier HMS Arbiter. Temporary Officer under T.124X agreements. Post-war tea planter in India. Born Dungannon district 05/03/1921. Retired to Belfast. Died Belfast 28/11/1986
McKENNA, Hugh Patrick McKenna,
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 7th and 7/8th (Service) Battalions. Captain. Hugh was born near Ballymoney, Co. Antrim in 1894 and was commissioned in 1915. He embarked for France in February 1916 and saw action at Ginchy, Messines and Langemarck. He was captured along with most of the rest of the battalion at Lempire on the opening day of the German Spring Offensive, 21 March 1918. Hugh was held at Hesepe POW camp near Hanover and repatriated on 28 November 1918.
WATT, William Robert
Sergeant William Robert Watt served in 2nd Battalion Inniskilling Fusiliers during World War Two. He was born on 28/03/1914 at 2 Empress Street East, Belfast, Co. Antrim. He served between 1938 and 1945 seeing action in Burma. His wife Annie Watt gave birth to a son also called William Robert in June 1945. The boy died in infancy on 15t/01/1946. In later years, William joined the Corp of Commissioners. He resided at Edenvale Crescent, Belfast. William Robert Watt died on 22/11/2002 aged 88 years old. His funeral took place on 02/12/2002 at Dundonald Cemetery.
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