February 12 – Roll of Honour

Ships of the German High Seas Fleet under escort to Scapa Flow, Scotland, late 1918. Painting by Charles Edward Dixon. In WW1 a Belfast submariner taken POW in Gallipoli died near Baghdad. Jack Collier from Bangor was one of the early NI losses in the Royal Flying Corps. Two women are among the WW2 fatalities. Ethel Hunter, a Wren, was lost in a troopship sinking which Nicholas Monserrat later used in his novel “The Cruel Sea”.

Representing their comrades who died on this day


+REID, William
RN. AB. 214966. Submarine E7. Died 12/02/1916. Aged 31. Boy service from 14/05/1901. Enrolled 14/12/1903 for 12 years. Re-engaged 18/02/1914 for hostilities. War service in Vivid I, Victory I, Maidstone, Adamant and Dolphin (01/08/1914 – 14/01/1915 and 01/10/1916 – 12/02/1916). PoW taken at Dardanelles. Angora Memorial. 138. Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery. Printing Trades WM Belfast Cathedral. IMR

Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 2nd Btn. Private. 7980. Died 12/02/1916. Aged 31. Sergeant J. Preston who was in Private Woodburn’s company indicated that Thomas Woodburn was killed instantly when he was struck down by shell fire. Over 12 year’s military service. Son of Samuel and Elizabeth Woodburn, and brother of Miss M. Woodburn, Tyressan, Cookstown. Authuile Military Cemetery, Authuile, Somme, France. Cookstown WM, Molesworth Street PCI RH


+COLLIER, Reginald John
Royal Flying Corps. Second Lieutenant. 16207. Died 12/02/1918. Aged 19. Known as Jack he was educated at Bangor Grammar School and Kings Hospital School, Dublin. He took up a position in the Belfast Banking Company, working in their Cromac Street branch. He was also a member of the Queen’s University Training Corps in 1916-1917. He enlisted in early 1917. He transferred from the General List to the the Royal Flying Corps with the rank of Second Lieutenant in August 1917. On 12/02/1918, he was killed in a flying accident while training with 13 Training Squadron at RAF Yatesbury. Born 15/10/1898. Son of William F. Collier and Marion F. Collier (nee Townsend) of Belfast and later Bangor. A service was held in Bangor Parish Church prior to the interment at Bangor Cemetery (Northern Whig, 16th February 1918). St. Comgall’s parish church, Bangor WM and Queen’s University RH.


+GRAHAM, Nathaniel

13th Canadian Infantry, Quebec Regiment. Private.152774. Died 12/02/1919 of pneumonia at No. 8 Stationary Hospital, France. Born 18/07/1890 at Racavan, Broughshane. Son of David Graham and Agnes McNeill. The family lived at Blacktown, Ballyligpatrick. Nathaniel was husband to Annie Moore from Ballymena. Terlincthun British Cemetery, France.


Leicestershire Regiment, 1st Btn. Private. 7903698. Died 12/02/1942. Aged 34. Son of Bernard and Annie Meenan; husband to Frances Olive Meenan, of Droylsden, Lancashire. Singapore Memorial, Kranji War Cemetery. Singapore, Clogher WM


Cambridgeshire Regiment, 2nd Btn. Private. 5833440. Died 13/02/1943. Son of Patrick and Mary Ann Hackett, of Fivemiletown, Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland. Chungkai War Cemetery, Kanchanaburi, Thailand. Fivemiletown WM


+ALLEN, William

Royal Artillery. Gunner. 14358464. Died (lost at sea): 12/02/1944 SS Khedive-Ismail (London). Age 30. att. 301st Field Regt. East African Artillery. Husband to Fanny Jane Allen; son of Samuel and Elizabeth Allen of Shankbridge, Ballymena. East Africa Memorial, Nairobi. Col. 4

+DOWLING, Beatrice Olivia
Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service, Sister. Service No: 266662. Died 12/02/1944. Daughter of Sam and Sadie Dowling, Woodview, Bessbrook, and Belfast. Brookwood Memorial Cemetery Surrey. England.

+HUNTER, Ethel Margaret
WRNS. Wren. 43624. HMS Assegai. Died 12/02/1944 aboard SS Khedive Ismail. Age 19. HMS Assegai was a WWII naval shore base near Durban, South Africa. It was used as a Combined Operations training establishment, transit pool and General Drafting Office for the Eastern and Mediterranean Fleets and the South Atlantic Station. It was opened on 01/10/1942 and closed on 15/05/1944.

On 12 /02/1944 the troopship SS Khedive Ismail was in convoy KR8 on its way to Colombo, Ceylon, from Kilindini, Kenya, with a large contingent of African troops as well as British military personnel, including eighty-three women. Early in the afternoon, she was torpedoed by the Japanese submarine I-27 – she broke in two and sank quickly. Few who were below decks managed to make an escape. Of the 1,511 people on board only 208 men and 6 women survived. It was to become Britain’s third-worst mercantile disaster in the Second World War and the worst ever involving British servicewomen, seventy-seven were lost. The destroyers HMS Petard and Paladin went on the hunt for the submarine and eventually sank her, although it is believed that the depth charging caused some further casualties amongst people in the water. It was an incident that Nicholas Monserrat used in his novel “The Cruel Sea”, later memorably filmed. Daughter of Frederick and Sara Hunter, Belfast


12/02/1915 – Private James Whiteside, of Monaghan, Ballymena, who serves with the Royal Scots Greys (Royal Scots Dragoon Guards), has been wounded but is off to the front again.
Private Dick McCormick of North Street is home from the front suffering from frostbite. He was with the Royal Irish Rifles. – Ballymena Observer

12/02/1916 – The German offensive west of Soissons and at Pilkem (north of Ypres) has some success.

12/02/1946 – The last of the 116 captured German U-boats scheduled to be sunk is scuttled by the Allies 100 miles off the northwest coast of Ireland.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi Houston, What’s the NI connection with Pte Owen Meenan of the Leicesters? Was his wife a Derry wan? The Leicesters were in Ebrington for some years in the 1930s and several married local girls, including one who was a neighbour of mine many years ago. The battalion’s CO is still here. He’s buried in the City Cemetery having collapsed and died playing golf at Lisfannon. His wife, from Peru, is also buried there but she survived him by decades.Incidentally, Owen’s number shows that he wasn’t always a Leicester as it is from the block allocated to the Royal Armoured Corps. Best wishes, 



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