December 20 – Roll of Honour

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George McDowell from Lurgan was posthumously awarded the Albert Medal for his actions in saving life following the sinking of HMS HMS Kandahar on this day in 1941. The Albert Medal for Lifesaving was a British medal awarded to recognize the saving of life. It has since been replaced by the George Medal. George is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial and on Dollingstown WM.

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

Representing their comrades who died on this day

1916

+McNEE, Thomas
RN. Sub. Lieutenant. Engineer, Mercantile Marine Reserve. HM Water Tank ‘Progress’. Died 20/12/1916. Age 40. Thomas McNee, 20, Barry Street, signed the Ulster Solemn League and Covenant (September 1912) pledging resistance to Home Rule for Ireland. Member of Claremont Presbyterian Church. Son of John and Fannie McNee, Ramelton. Husband to Mary Jane McNee, Barry Street, Londonderry. Plymouth Naval Memorial. Londonderry, Diamond War Memorial. Claremont – PCI RH

1917

+ SMYTH, Samuel
RN. Seaman. J61607. HMS Dido. Died 20/12/1917. Enrolled 05/11/1916 for hostilities. Served in Vivid, Renown and Dido. Born Londonderry 09/03/1898. ADM 188/770/61607

1941

+McDOWELL, George Patrick
RN. Acting Yeoman of Signals. D/JX 143268. Albert Medal. Died 20/12/1941. Age 22. HMS Kandahar. He was awarded the Albert Medal posthumous for bravery and devotion to duty saving life. His ship had gone to the assistance of the crew of another ship which had been sunk. Yeoman McDowell went into the water and assisted many sailors to reach the rescue ship. Although he knew his strength was waning he refused to give up, and in company with another crew member, also awarded the Albert Medal, he gave his life. Son of Hugh and Elizabeth McDowell. Brother of Arthur McDowell, Ballymacateer, Lurgan. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 14/08/1942). Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 50, Column 1. Dollingstown WM

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