January 01 – Roll of Honour

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Amongst our Veterans today is one who was serving with 1st NIH Regiment when it was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps for the remainder of the war. He was one of four NIH who were affected by mustard gas bombardment at Beaumont Hamel. Photo – Pony Major Pte Mike Cochrane of the Parachute Regiment with Pegasus V in front of a Second World War Dakota aircraft at Colchester Barracks


Representing their comrades who died on this day

1915

See article on this site on this date about HMS Formidable. The battleship HMS Formidable was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U-24 while on exercise off the coast of Devon. She sank with heavy loss of life: 547 dead from her complement of 780. There were at least six from NI lost. The first Royal Navy battleship to be lost in WW1.

1916

+COOPER, William
RN. Stoker. K23456. HMS Hecla. Died 01/01/1916. Enrolled 11/11/1914 for 12 years. Served in Victory, Dido and Hecla. Born Belfast 11/12/1893. ADM 188/913/23458
1917

+GRAHAM, Skeffington
RNAS. Petty Officer Motor Mechanic. F/2852. Russian Armoured Car Brigade. Died in hospital whilst a PoW in Turkey 01/01/17. Age 32. Born Belfast 06/06/1886. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Graham, Dunmurry, and husband to Mary J. S. Graham, Alton Avenue, Toronto, Canada. Address also found as Upper Canning St., Belfast. His remains were buried in Haidar Pasha Cemetery, Istanbul, Turkey. Haidar Pasha Cemetery was first established for Crimean war burials and was used during the First World War by the Turks for the burial of Commonwealth prisoners of war. After the Armistice, when Istanbul was occupied, further burials were made mainly from No 82 General Hospital and remains were brought in from other civil cemeteries in the area. IMR. ADM 188/565/2852

1918

+McLINDEN, John
RN. Seaman. J50014. Died 01/01/1918 of tuberculosis of lungs. Enrolled 16/02/1916 for hostilities. Served in Vivid, Hecla and Apollo. Born Lurgan 30/06/1894. ADM 188/747/50014

1941

+GLOVER, Harold Aloysius
RN. Petty Officer Airman. FAA/FX. 80001. Died 01/01/1941 Age: 23. HMS Formidable. Husband of Eileen May Glover, Portrush. St Helens Cemetery, Lancashire. Lee-on-Solent Memorial, Bay 2

1943      HMS FIDELITY
See article dated December 30 on this site

+BRADLEY, William Jospeh
RM. Marine. PLY/X 3580. Died 01/01/1943. Age 22. HMS Fidelity. Son of  Mr and Mrs John Bradley, Queen St., Londonderry. He was reported missing in March last and his parents were informed officially that “it has become necessary to presume his death”. Aged 22 and  unmarried he joined the RM at the outbreak of war and had been serving with a Commando unit. Before the war he had been in business in London, having been previously in the employment of the Northern Counties Hotel, Londonderry, with his father who was a member of staff of the American Red Cross Club. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 09/04/1943, Derry Standard 03/09/1943). Plymouth Naval Memorial Panel 83

+KELLY, John Francis
RM. CH/X 2555. Died 30/12/1942. Age 21. HMS Fidelity. Son of John and Mary Kelly, Armagh. Chatham Naval Memorial, Panel 73

+LLOYD, James Hill
RN. AB. P/JX 189415. Died 01/01/1943. Age 22. HMS Fidelity. He had previously survived the sinking of the Ark Royal. Before joining up he was in the Stereo Department of the Belfast Telegraph. He was a member of the Norther Swimming Club. Three brothers also served with HM Forces. Son of Iorwerth Griffith Lloyd and Jean Hill Lloyd, Somerdale Pk., Belfast. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 28/12/1945). Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 75

+WHITE, William Bell
RNR. Lieutenant – Commander (E). RD. MiD. Died 01/01/1943. Age 42. HMS Fidelity. RBAI. Malone RFC. Earlier he was in a ship torpedoed in the North Africa landings and he was mentioned in despatches for efficiency and devotion to duty on that occasion. Served an apprenticeship with Harland & Wolff, joined P & O and whilst with the latter held a commission in the RNR. Second son of Commander William Bell White, RD, RNR. and of Amalia Bell White; husband to Lilli Bell White, Christchurch, Hampshire. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 15/10/1943). Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 79 Lieutenant – Commander White was an uncle of Dr Dennis White of Dunmurry who kindly responded to remembrance ni enquiries.

1943

+MILLAR, John
RN. AB. C/SSX 26454. Died 01/02/1943. Age 22. HMS Welshman. Brother of William serving with FAA. Son of Mr and Mrs Wm Millar, McCandless St., Belfast. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 19/02/1943). Chatham Naval Memorial

1944

+McLAUGHLIN, Edward Colhoun
RAFVR. 2204122 . Died 02/01/1944. 100 Sqdn. Edward (Ted) was the son of Edward and Jeanie McLaughlin, Ballyronan. Prior to the war he worked in Walsley, England with his uncle in his grocer’s shop. During the war he flew numerous missions over Hanover, Bocum, Hagen, Munich, Kassel, Stuttgart, Dusseldorf and Berlin. His plane did not return from an operational sortie on the night of Sunday, 2/3 January 1944. Runnymeade Memorial, Panel 232. Rainey Endowed RH

1946

+CROMIE, David
Royal Artillery. Gunner. 1458587. Died in hospital in Belfast 01/01/1946. Aged 39. 8th (Belfast) HAA Regiment. He was honorary treasurer of the Belfast branch of the Royal Artillery Association. Born 05/05/1907. Son of Samuel and Emily S. Cromie. (née Bell) of Woodvale Pass, Belfast. Married Elizabeth Eileen Dixon on 26/04/1933. The funeral took place on 03/01/1946 from their home at Dhu Varren Parade, Belfast. Belfast City Cemetery, Glenalina. Regimental WM and RH, St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast

+MURDIE, John Brown
RAFVR. Leading Aircraftman. 1795125. Died 31/01/1946. Age 23, Son of Joseph and Emily Bennett Murdie, of Belfast. Delhi War Cemetery, India

VETERANS

BAXTER, Reginald
RN. Artificer. M3820. HMS Centurion. Jutland. Enlisted 13/10/1914 for 12 years. Re-enrolled 09/08/1926 and served to 01/01/1929. War service in Vivid II and Centurion from 04/03/1916 – 06/03/1919 involved also in Russian civil war. Born Portadown 23/10/1896. Son of William and Ann Jane Baxter, Parkmount. (Portadown News 1916). First Portadown – PCI RH. ADM 188/1025/3820

BURGESS, James
RN. Stoker I. 361209. Enrolled 17/06/1904 for 12 years. Served to 31/12/1910. Joined RFR 01/01/1911. Served 13/07/1914 – 16/05/1919. War service in Jupiter, Charybdis, Suffolk, Vivid II, Ariadne and Challenger. Born Belfast 17/06/1886. ADM 188/549/361209

CROSS, John
RN. AB. J32753. Boy service from 03/11/1914. Enrolled 03/01/1917. War service in Impregnable, Hindustan and Royal Sovereign. Invalided 01/01/1925. Born Belfast 31/01/1899. ADM 188/712/32753

DUFFY, Hugh
RN. Leading Stoker. K5076. Enrolled 26/01/1910. Served to 01/01/1929. War service in St.George, Collingwood, Marlboro, Actaeon, Pembroke II, Penelope, Ganges and Victory. Born Newry 29/12/1891. ADM 188/877/5076

EWART, Joseph
RN. Blacksmith. 296449. Enrolled 07/01/19011 for 12 years. Re-engaged 27/12/1912. War service in Assistance 17/09/1913 – 10/09/1918 and Fisgard. Invalided 01/01/1920. Born Brockley, Co. Armagh 03/07/1882. Ballindarragh. Second Markethill – PCI RH. ADM 188/479/296449

HOY, Robert James
RN. Leading Signalman. 226231. HMS Marlborough. Jutland. Enrolled 01/01/1906 for 12 years. Re-enrolled 01/01/1918. Served to 03/10/1919. War service in Marlborough, Royal Oak, Vivid I, and Candytuft. Born Belfast 01/01/1888. ADM 188/399/226231

MAJURY, James
James Majury was born on 14 May 1895 at Ballyclare, Doagh Grange, County Antrim, the first of nine children of bread-server James Majury and his wife Elizabeth. Although he grew up in Ballyclare, by 1911 he was living with his family at 45 Farnham Street, Belfast, and working as a bread-packer. The following year the family moved to 36 Raby Street.

Majury enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 8 November 1915. He embarked for France in 1916, where he was posted to E Squadron, which from May that year was one of the three squadrons of the 1st North Irish Horse Regiment, serving as corps cavalry to VII, XIX, then V Corps.

In February and March 1918 the 1st NIH Regiment was dismounted and converted to a cyclist unit, serving as corps cyclists to V Corps for the remainder of the war.
V Corps was on the Somme front on 21 August 1918 – the day the Advance to Victory offensive began in that sector. V Corps’ 21st Division were to attack north of the Ancre, with its 1st and 2nd Lincolns in front. To assist them, two officers and sixty-seven other ranks of the North Irish Horse cyclists were attached, taking with them all nine of the regiment’s Lewis guns. The eve of the battle found the 2nd Lincolns, with their North Irish Horse Lewis gunners, positioned east and south-east of Beaumont Hamel. That evening the Germans opened an intensive mustard gas bombardment on the reserve positions. The 2nd Lincolns sustained many gas casualties. Among them were four North Irish Horsemen, including Private Majury, who also sustained a shrapnel wound to his left eye.

Majury was evacuated to the UK for treatment, where he was admitted to King’s College Hospital in London, remaining there for three months. On 30 January 1919 he was discharged, being no longer physically fit for war service and surplus to military requirements.

Majury’s brother Samuel also served in the war, as a private in the motor transport branch of the Army Service Corps.

McGEEAN, John
RN. Petty Officer Stoker. K12454. HMS Duke of Edinburgh. Jutland. Enrolled 20/09/1911 for 12 years. Re-engaged 29/03/1913. Served to 01/01/1928. War service in Vivid and Duke of Edinburgh (03/03/1914 – 30/03/1919). Born Downpatrick, 03/04/1893. ADM 188/891/12454

McGIMPSEY, William
RNAS. Petty Officer Mechanical. F2904. Armoured Car Division. Enrolled 01/01/1915 for hostilities. Served in Russia. Transferred to Machine Gun Corps 31/01/1918. Born Belfast 22/07/1894. ADM 188/565/2904

McKEE, Henry
RN. AB. J34289. HMS Centurion. Jutland. Enrolled 28/10/1915. Served to 01/01/1920. Joined RFR.War service in Impregnable and Centurion (01/05/1915 – 31/12/1919). Born Belfast 20/08/1897. ADM 188/715/34289

MINFORD, John
RMLI. Private 17500. Portsmouth Division. Enlisted 17/08/1914. RM Brigade 20/11/1914 – 21/11/1917. Demobbed 01/01/1920. Joined RFR 09/01/1920. Born Whiteabbey 31/10/1898. Son of Agnes Minford, Victoria St., Belfast. ADM 159/192/17500

TOLAND, Mary Angela
WRNS. Petty Officer 15687. London Gazette 01/01/1945. Londonderry

NOTE

On this day in 1945, the Luftwaffe launches its last major air attack of WW2: Operation Bodenplatte. The 1,000-plane raid causes only moderate damage and does nothing to stem the Allied advance into Nazi Germany.

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