December 15 – Roll of Honour

The night of 16/17 December is the 76th Anniversary of ‘Black Friday’, 1943. From 498 aircraft sent on an operation to Berlin, 25 were lost over Germany and occupied Europe and 31 crash-landed or were abandoned over England in thick fog.’ Alfred Beckett a Queen’s University graduate and RAF navigator died this day over Italy. 75 years ago On This Day,1,600 German heavy guns open fire on American positions in Belgium’s Ardennes. The barrage kicks off the Battle of The Bulge.

Photo – Regina Trench Cemetery in the snow on the Somme battlefields. Regina Trench was captured by the Canadians and the battle of the Somme came to an end near here in November 1916.

Representing their comrades who died on this day


Royal Irish Rifles. Rifleman. 19417. Died 16/12/1914. Dundonald Cemetery


+LEES, Robert H
RNR. Sub – Lieutenant. HMS Arabis. Died16/12/1915. Suffered from shell shock. Committed suicide having previously killed his wife. Castletoothery, Coleraine. Coleraine Cemetery. Coleraine WM. Terrace Row – PCI RH. IMR


Royal Army Service Corps. Private. M-2081014. Died 16/12/1916 (Family Memorial Detail). Dundonald Cemetery


+WHEELER, William Arthur
New Zealand Expeditionary Force. Methodist College Belfast. QCB MB 1889. Served 1914 – 18. Born 1860 Belfast. Son of Dr Thomas Kenedy Wheeler. Died 16/12/1918 in New Zealand


+BECKETT, Alfred Francis
RAFVR. Flying Officer (Navigator). 145778. Died 16/12/1943. Age 36. QUB, BA (Hons) and Dip Ed 1928. Son of Alfred and Frances Lucy Beckett; husband to Nellie Beckett, of Newcastle-on-Tyne. Bari War Cemetery, Italy. QUB WM


+TOTTON, Robert
RM. Marine. PO/X4901. Died 16/12/1944. Age 22. Five years’ service. Brother John serving with RN. Father served with Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Eldest son of Robert and Mary Totton, Bangor. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 29/12/1944). Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 93. Bangor Methodist Church RH

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