This week in 1942 saw the formation by Royal Warrant of the Royal Air Force Regiment. Per Ardua – Through adversity. In today’s Roll, an RAF officer from Ballymena who died in Burma only four months after his wedding. Also, a QUB medic who served with the Royal Navy in WW1 and with the RAMC in WW2 and whose wife was an Eaton from Toronto.
Representing their comrades who died on this day
+McCONNELL, William John
RN. Stoker First Class. 228579. HMS Ardent. Died 02/02/1915. Found drowned at Stranraer. Enrolled 02/07/1904 for 12 years. War service in Attentive, Victory II, and Hecla (Ardent 28/02/1914 – 02/02/1915). Born 02/07/1886. Son of James and Maggie McConnell. The family lived at Matlock Street in1901, Connsbrook Avenue in 1911 and Crimea Street, Belfast. Stranraer (Glebe) Cemetery. Eglinton Street – PCI RH. ADM 188/404/228579
Connaught Rangers, 6th Btn. Private. 2730. Died 03/02/1916. Aged 25. Pre-war he worked as a spinner in a mill. He enlisted in Omagh. Son of Thomas and Catherine McCluskey, of Tullyvar, Ballygawley, Co. Tyrone. Loos Memorial. Pas de Calais, France
+WILSON, William Oliver
RAMC. Captain. Attached Natal Carabiniers. Died 20/02/1917. Age 31. B.A., 1907; M.B., B.Ch., B.A.O.,1912. Brother of John Hugh Wilson who served and died shortly after the war. Sons of Mr. and Mrs. John Wilson. Family headstone, Dunluce Presbyterian Churchyard, Bushmills.
+CRAWFORD, Samuel Sloan
RNVR. OS. P/UD/X1273. HMS Victory. Died 02/02/1940. Aged 27. Died Portsmouth RN Hospital. Husband to Isabella Crawford, Templepatrick. Son of Mrs. M Crawford, Belfast. Carnmoney cemetery
+HAWTHORNE, James Thomas
RAFVR. Sergeant. 973032. Died 01/02/1941. Aged 27. 144 Sqdn. Son of Mary Hawthorne of Belfast. Dundonald Cemetery
+VAUX, Robert Norman
RAFVR. Leading Aircraftman. 970332. Died 15/02/1942. 243 Sqdn. Son of Harold and Mary Vaux, Belfast. Singapore Memorial, Singapore
Royal Ulster Rifles. 1st (Airborne) Btn. Rifleman. 7013415. Died 25/02/1942. Aged 27. Died as a result of shock following injuries caused by a bomb explosion. Son of Elizabeth Hogg, of Belfast. Belfast City Cemetery, Glenalina Extn.
+GIVEN, Hugh MacIvor
RAF. Flight Lieutenant. 112706. Died 08/02/1943. Aged 28. 27 Sqdn. Ballymena Academy. MB, B.Ch. BAO. QUB 1940. Before the outbreak of war, he practiced in Belfast, Omagh, Dungiven, and on the Ards Peninsula. Hugh joined RAF 27 Squadron in 1941. This new RAF 27 Squadron formed in India on 19/09/1942. They flew Bristol Beaufighters on ground-attack sorties over Burma and on anti-shipping strikes. While home on leave, he married Margaret Helen Thompson of The Warrens, Broughshane, Co. Antrim in 1942. Known as Helen, she hailed from Yorkshire but lived in Broughshane and taught at Downpatrick High School. Hugh died only four months after their wedding. Born September 1914. Youngest son of Robert Given JP and Kathleen Given of Markstown, Cullybackey; husband to Margaret Helen Given, of ‘The Warrens’, Broughshane, formerly of Cantley, Yorkshire. Ranchi War Cemetery, India. Ballymena WM. QUB WM
RAFVR. Sergeant (Wireless Op./Air Gunner).1037956. Died 02/02/1944. Aged 21. 221 Sqdn. Son of James and Violet Macready, of Bushmills, Co. Antrim. Bari War Cemetery, Italy
+O’MALLEY, Francis Gerald
RAF. Flight Sergeant. 517173. Died 01/02/1944. Aged 28. Family memorial, Milltown Roman Catholic Cemetery
+HARRIS, James Carnegie
RAF. Pilot Officer. 186470. MiD. Died 02/02/1945. Aged 27. 428 (RCAF ) Sqdn. Son of Major George Arthur Harris, C.B.E., D.S.O., and Evelyn Harris, Belfast. Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany
Royal Corps of Signals. Driver.116782. Died 23/02/1945. Aged 35. Son of Mr and Mrs Robert Nimmons, Tullygiven, Eglish, Dungannon. Schoonselhof Cemetery, Antwerp, Belgium
The funeral on Monday 02/02/1920, of Hamilton Carr, John-street, Downpatrick, a discharged soldier, whose health had broken down in the war, was accorded military honours. In 1915 Carr enlisted in the 6th Royal Irish Rifles and subsequently transferred to the Machine Gun Corps. His brother, James, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, fell at the Marne in 1914, and another brother, Thomas, of the 5th Royal Irish Rifles, was killed in the South African War.
DUNN, John Hubert
John Dunn, OBE, TD, MiD, entered the navy in late 1917 as an RNVR. Surgeon Probationer. He was promoted to Surgeon Sub. Lieutenant RNVR., with seniority from 16/10/18. He served in the destroyer HMS Triton, stationed at Scapa Floe, through part of 1918. (Surgeon probations were medical students who had not yet graduated).
Resuming his studies after the war, he graduated from QUB – BCh, DPH, BAO, QUB in 1920, and MD in 1924. After graduation and holding the offices of house physician at the Belfast Infirmary and Greenwich Hospital, he became RMO to the National Heart Hospital. Between the wars, he became a well-known physician in London. He was registered as a Member, Royal College of Physicians, London (MRCP) in 1925.
In the second war he served with the RAMC holding the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and for a time was Medical Adviser to the Malta Command. He was Mentioned in Despatches, awarded the TD in 1940 and made OBE in 1945.
Born 20/11/1897. Son of William and Jeanne Dunn. Husband to Margaret Craig nee Eaton, daughter of Colonel Robert Young Eaton and Margaret Craig Eaton, Toronto. She gained the rank of Colonel Director-General in the service of the Canadian Women’s Army Corps. She was invested as an Officer, Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1945.
He died on 20/02/1978, in Bramley, Guildford. Educated at RBAI and QUB. He is named in High Street Holywood – PCI RH.
On This Day 1867 – the Royal Navy introduced the rate of Writer. Writers are the RNs administrators, looking after: pay, leave, admin, legal, cash, terms of service and travel as well as front line roles in all ships and submarines.
On This Day 1943 – Stalingrad is back in Soviet hands as the last pockets of German resistance in the city are snuffed out. The Axis suffered more than 800,000 casualties in five-months of fighting there; Red Army losses are even heavier: an est. 1 million killed, wounded or missing.
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