On this day in 1943, two men from NI were lost in HMS Avondale, and exactly a year later, three were lost in HMS Spartan. Today’s veteran is a Queen’s University medical officer who served during the Boer War and WW1 and whose grave is on St Helena. Photo – St Paul’s Cathedral, St Helena
Representing their comrades who died on this day
Royal Engineers. Sapper. 41667. Died 29/01/1918 at home. Son of William and Mary Jane Cotter. Thomas was born about 1886. The CWGC defines his birthplace as Aughnacloy, County Tyrone. Ireland’s Memorial Records Book records his birthplace as Armagh. Husband to Mary Ann Cotter. Carnmoney Cemetery
RN. Stoker I. K/11769. Died 29/01/1920. He enrolled on 12/07/1911 for 12 years. He had war service in Pembroke, Tyne, Ganges, and Phaeton. HMS Phaeton was one of eight Arethusa-class light cruisers built for the Royal Navy in the 1910s. In February and March, 1915 Phaeton was operating in the Dardanelles in support of the allied landings in Gallipoli. On Phaeton’s return to home waters, she was assigned to the 1st Light Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet and by mid-April 1915 she was operating out of Scapa Floe. On 04/05/1916 she took part in shooting down the Zeppelin L7. Phaeton fought in the Battle of Jutland and in the famous escort of the captured German fleet to Scapa Floe. James Lilley died in HMS Phaeton from the effects of his war service. Born Dromore 30/06/1893. Plymouth (Ford Park) Cemetery. Dromore, Co Down, WM. ADM 188/890/11769
+MacFARLANE, Albert George
RNVR. Telegraphist. D/WRX 741. Died 29/01/1942. Age 28. HMS Drake. Son of William and Hessie MacFarlane, Bangor. Bangor cemetery
+HAMILTON, Samuel Frederick
RN. FAA. Leading Air Mechanic. FAA/FX 76837. Died 29/01/1943. Age: 27. HMS Cormorant, RNAS Station, Gibraltar. Died in N Africa. Son of William John Frederick and Sarah Hamilton, Omagh. Bone War Cemetery. Annaba, N Africa
RN. Stoker 1st Class. D/KX 95801. Date of Death: 29/01/1943. Age: 23. HMS Avonvale. Joined RN in 1938 and served in Illustrious, Furious and others. Son of Sarah Jane Harrison, Ritchie St., Belfast. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 19/02/1943). Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 82
RN. Able Seaman. D/SSX 25513. Died 29/01/1943. Age: 23. HMS Avonvale. Five years’ service. Served two and a half years in HMS Rodney during which he was in several trans-Atlantic convoys. He was also at Narvik and served in HM patrol boats. Two brothers serving. One with Calgary Highlanders and another, a veteran of WW1, also with the Canadian army. Youngest son of James and Sarah Mahood, Banbridge. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 26/02/1943). Seapatrick Parish WM. Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 79
+SHARP, Robert Thomas Cartmel
RAFVR. Sergeant.1530450. Died 29/01/1943. Age 19. 166 Sqd. Son of Robert And Florence Cartmel Sharp, of Belfast. Guidel Communal Cemetery, France
HMS Spartan was sunk by a Henschel Hs 293 glider bomb in the Anzio Bay operations. 46 men killed.
RN. AB. D/SSX 16513.Died 29/01/1944. HMS Spartan. Son of Hugh and L. Houston; husband to Jessie Houston, Israel St., Belfast. Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 86.
+SHANNON, Robert Woods
RN. HMS. Spartan. Anzio. Died 29/01/1944. Aged 16. Spartan was hit by bombs from a German bomber gilder. Robert was in the forward gun turret. Ballyclare
+WELSH, Thomas Henry
RN. Seaman. Service Number D/JX 423403. Died 29/01/1944. Age 19. HMS Spartan. Son of Mr and Mrs A Welsh, Ebor Parade, Belfast.(Belfast Weekly Telegraph 12/05/1944). Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 88.
ARNOLD, Wilberforce John James
RAMC. Major. MCB. QUB, BA 1887, MB 1894. Oxon. Captain RAMC 19/04/1916, Major 04/01/1918. Served with RAMC during Boer War 1899 – 1903, St Helena. Served 1914 – 18. Egypt from 15/03/1917. Born 22/04/1867. Son of Dr. Wilberforce Arnold JP, and Grace Arnold, Fountainville Ave., Belfast. Died 29/01/1925. Buried at St Paul’s Cathedral, St. Helena
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