Today, Feb 6, 2020, marks the 68th anniversary of Her Majesty The Queen ascending the Throne on the death of her father. The Royal Horse Artillery marks the anniversary with a 41 Gun Royal Salute in London, and 206 (Ulster) Battery, 105 Regt, RA Volunteers, fire a salute at Hillsborough Castle. HM surpassed the record reign of Queen Victoria on 9 Sept 2015, to become Britain’s (and the World’s) longest-reigning monarch.
Representing their comrades who died on this day
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 1st Btn. Private. 16559. Died 06/02/1917. Born 25/04/1880 in Magherafelt, son of Joseph and Sarah Teaney. William was a shoemaker, who lived in Queen Street, Magherafelt. He enlisted in Cookstown. Husband to Rosanne Nelson. Theipval Memorial, Somme, France
RAF. Sergeant. 652473. Died 06/02/1942. Aged 24. serving as a Wireless Operator / Air Gunner with 224 Squadron, RAF Coastal Command. He was onboard the Hudson aircraft AM692 during a night patrol on 06/02/1942 along with four other crew. The Hudson failed to return from patrol and was posted missing. Son of Edward Brown, and Sarah J. Brown, Cookstown, Co. Tyrone. Runnymede Memorial, Panel 79, Cookstown WM, Stewartstown WM, First Stewartstown Presbyterian Church RH, Molesworth St., Presbyterian Church RH
+FLETCHER, Ronald Desmond
RAFVR. Sergeant (Observer). 1053905. Died 06/02/1942. Aged 19. 21 Sqdn. Son of Samuel Herbert and Kathleen Elizabeth Fletcher, of Campsie, Co. Londonderry. Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery
+McNEILLY, William St. Clair
RAF. Flight Lieutenant. 43462. DFC. Died 06/02/1942. Aged 26. 142 Sqdn. Son of William and Cissy McNeilly, of Belfast; husband to Margaret Esther McNeilly, of Belfast. Runnymeade Memorial, Panel 66, Surrey
+THOMAS, Richard Alexander
RNVR. FAA. 830 Squadron. Sub. Lieutenant (A). Died 06/02/1942. Age 23. HMS St. Angelo. Failed to return in a Swordfish aircraft to shore base on Malta from a sortie against shipping during the night of 6/7 February. After MCB he joined the Northern Bank and served in Gortin and Armagh. He joined up in January 1941 and was commissioned in November 1941. Son of Richard Blethyn Thomas and Helena Thomas, Cleaver Pk., Belfast. Richard Thomas was manager of Thompson’s Restaurants, Belfast. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 20/02/1942). Lee on Solent Memorial, Bay 4
+SMYTH, Robert John
RNVR. FAA. Lieutenant (A). 842 Squadron on Escort Aircraft Carrier H.M.S. Campania. Killed in action 06/02/1945. Age 23. Son of R Crawford Smyth and Anna Smyth, Rasharkin. Lee on Solent Memorial, Bay 6, Panel 3.
Royal Artillery. Gunner.1472242. Died 06/02/1946. Aged 31. 28 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery. Son of William John and Agnes Spratt; Husband to Elizabeth Spratt of Belfast. Dundonald Cemetery
+SPRIDGEON, William Edward
Royal Artillery. Gunner. 4795773. Died on 06/02/1947. Aged 41. Husband to Martha Spridgeon of Belfast. Dundonald Cemetery
CAITHNESS, William John
RN.1943 – 46. Born 06/02/1924. HMS Queen of Kent 1943 – 45. Normandy landings. Son of Dr. W. Caithness who served RN World War 1. Coleraine Road, Portrush. Campbell College 2840.
LEPPER, Reginald Mervyn
RN. Son of F R Lepper, Elsinore, Crawfordsburn. Born 05/03/1880. Died 06/02/1954. Campbell College 285
TEMPLETON, nee Casement, Joan Mary
WRNS. Stationed in London where she met Richard Aubrey Templeton, Blythe, Georgia, USA. Married 10/09/1942. She had to resign her commission as she outranked her new husband. Director of Religious Education in Good Shepherd Parish, Augusta. Served at VA Hospital, Augusta. (Augusta Chronicle 24/12/2008). Born 06/02/1917 Saharanpur, India. Daughter of Roger Hugh Casement and Mary Katherine Cowie Casement of Ballycastle.
On 06/02/1915 – Destroyer HMS Erne was wrecked during bad weather at Rattray Head lighthouse, Aberdeenshire, with no loss of life.
On 06/02/1916 – the 108th Brigade reaches the trenches. The 11th (South Antrim) and 13th (County Down) Battalions, Royal Irish Rifles, enter the trenches near Hamel, Mesnil.
On This Day 6th Feb 1917. SS California a twin-screw steamer operated by the Anchor Line is attacked without warning by German submarine SM U-85 (Kapitanleutenant Willy Petzsunk). Of the 215 onboard it reported 41 killed and missing.
On 06/02/1959 – an aircraft carrying Manchester United’s famous “Busby Babes” crashed on takeoff from Munich airport, killing 21. The pilot that day was Ken Rayment, an ex-fighter pilot and ace who had shot down five German Aircraft and a V1 during WW2.
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We will remember them