December 27 – Roll of Honour


Piper from the 38th (Irish) Brigade in Italy in December 1944. Brigadier Pat Scott noted – “On 23rd Dec, the first serious fall of snow occurred. We were more or less snow-covered until 26th Jan. The rum issue rule was that if it was either raining or freezing, rum was to be had. We got through quite a lot during this period….”

Representing their comrades who died on this day


Canadian Infantry, 148th Btn. Private. 841318. Died 27/12/1916. Belfast City Cemetery


+CALLAGHAN, William Edward
RAF. Sergeant. 623929. Died 27/12/1940. Aged 19. 220 Sqdn. Coastal Command. Member of the aircrew onboard a Hudson II (T9373). During a night patrol on 27/12/1940, the aircraft ran out of fuel. The crew abandoned and the Hudson crashed. Sergeant Callaghan was thought to have been lost at sea. He was a member of Ballindrum Pipe Band, Moneymore. Son of Edward and Evelyn Callaghan, of Portadown. Runnymeade Memorial, Panel 1

+STEWART, Frederick
RAF. Aircraftman. 638353. Died 27/12/1940. Age 22. Son of Robert and Rebecca Stewart, of Cookstown. East Bridgford (St. Peter) Churchyard, Nottinghamshire. Cookstown WM


+SCOTT, Randal Archibald
RAFVR. Sergeant (Pilot). 981198. Died 27/12/1941. Aged 21. 58 Sqdn. 
Son of Randal Brown Scott and Mary Catherine Scott, of Dundrod, Co. Antrim. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany


+McGUCKIN, Ernest
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 2nd Btn. Fusilier. 6979734. Died 27/12/1946. Aged 25. Born in Stewartstown on 21/10/1919. Son of the late Robert McGuckin, Low Cross, Tullyhogue, and Emily Morrison, Dennistoun, Glasgow, formerly of Stewartstown, Co. Tyrone. Prior to enlisting in the army on 08/09/1938, Ernest worked as a farm labourer. He died as a result of a road traffic accident while in service in post war Austria. Klagenfurt War Cemetery, Klagenfurt, Carinthia. Stewartstown WM, Cookstown WM, Stewartstown C of I RH

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1 Comment

  1. The Piper is from 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers. On Christmas Day 1944, the Adjutant, Captain (later Lt Col) Brian Clark MC, sent the Battalion pipers out to play on the hillsides. Brian’s gesture was appreciated by friend and foe alike and, as the skirl of Irish warpipes floated through the mountain air, the opposing Fallschirmjaeger reciprocated by singing and applauding.
    Amongst the tunes from the German side was ‘Stille Nacht’, that most beautiful of carols. Later in the evening the Germans mounted a fireworks ‘display’ by firing their MG42s into the air, criss-crossing the night sky with tracer. Thus did the Faughs create a Christmas truce in Italy. Paradoxically, in 1914, the same battalion had not observed the famous truce on the Western Front.
    Some days before Christmas, and in clear daylight, a drunken Fallschirmjaeger had staggered into the Faughs’ lines loaded down with bottles of alcohol and wishing everyone a happy Christmas. He was most upset when his newfound Irish friends, having helped him consume his burden of alcohol and permitted him to regain sobriety, insisted that he remain with the Faughs rather than returning to his own lines. He thought this quite unsporting of them.


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