February 14 – Roll of Honour

Today’s Roll contains Remembrance NI’s first entry from the battle for Singapore in 1942. Alexander Glendinning was the son of a clergyman with links to both Saintfield and Belfast. An Old Campbellian, he served with the RAFVR and is named on the Singapore Memorial.

Representing their comrades who died on this day


+DEVLIN, Thomas
Royal Irish Rifles, 13th Btn.Rifleman. 140. Died 14/02/1916. Aged 41. From Parkestown, Gilford. Prior to his enlistment Thomas had been a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force. Son of Thomas and Jane Devlin, husband to Margaret Jane Devlin. Mesnil Ridge Cemetery, Mesnil-Martinsart, Somme, France. All Saints’ Church of Ireland, Tullylish WM. Ballymacanallen Orange Hall WM

+GRAY, Robert John
Royal Fusiliers, 20th Btn. Corporal. PS/4916. Died 14/02/1916. Aged 25. Educated at Bangor Grammar School and the Queen’s University, Belfast, he was serving with one of the public schools’ battalions. Prior to the outbreak of the war, he was engaged in business with his father. Son of Robert M. and Elizabeth M. Gray, of “Lindores,” 291, Ormeau Rd., Belfast. Robert M. Gray was an auctioneer and valuer. (The Witness 25/02/1916). Cambrin Churchyard Extension, Pas de Calais, France. QUB RH


+MacAULAY, Marshall Coulter
Royal Irish Rifles, 13th Btn. Serjeant. 339. Died 14/02/1917. Aged 27. Marshall was born about 1885 in Caledon, County Tyrone. By 1901 the family was living in Castlesaunderson, County Cavan. His father was a gamekeeper. By 1911 Marshall worked as a Gardener and Domestic Servant. Marshall enlisted in Belfast whilst residing in Belturbet, County Cavan. Son of M. J. and Martha MacAulay (nee Coulter), of Woodspeen West, Newbury, Berks. St. Quentin Cabaret Military Cemetery, Hainaut, Belgium


Royal Field Artillery. Driver. 91463. He died at his father-in-law’s residence, Bridge Street, Downpatrick, on 14/02/1919. Son of William and Elizabeth Fitzpatrick, 61, Verner St., Belfast. Downpatrick Cathedral Old Cemetery.

+HOUSTON, Joseph
Mounted Military Police, Military Police Corps, formerly of 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards. Lance Corporal. P/5516. Died 14/02/1919 on active service in Germany of pneumonia. He had served for some fourteen years in the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards and had participated in the Boer War. Indeed, he had spent some time as a Boer prisoner after being captured at Bloemfontein. He returned to Ballymena after the war and was employed at one time as the caretaker and commissionaire of the Ballymena Picture House on Mill Street. The outbreak of the war in August 1914 saw him offer his services, even though his time in the reserve forces had expired. He went to Tidworth, Salisbury Plain and rejoined the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards and then, possibly because of his age, he was posted to Mounted Branch, Corps of Military Police. He was to spend almost the entire war in France, save for a short leave in Ballymena. After November 1918 he was in the forces occupying Germany, where he died, a victim of the ‘Spanish flu’ epidemic. Husband to Annie Houston, of Fountain Place, Ballymena. Cologne Southern Cemetery, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany


+DUKE, Gilbert Noel 
RAFVR. Sergeant (Obs.) 1063676. Died 14/02/1942. Aged 25. Son of John James and Sarah M Duke of Knocknamuckley, Portadown. Knocknamuckley (St Matthias) Church of Ireland Churchyard, Co. Armagh.

RAFVR. Flight Lieutenant. 87519. Died 14/02/1942. Age 37. 1939-45 Star; Pacific Star; War Medal 1939-45. Campbell College. Reader for Constable. Reviewer for The Times. Son of the Revd. J. P. C. Glendinning and Caroline Mary Glendinning, of Saintfield and later Belfast. Singapore Memorial, Column 412, Singapore

+POTTS, Stewart
RN. Stoker 1st Class. D/SKX 942. Date of Death: 14/02/1942. Age: 21. HMS Sultan, a Singapore base. Brother of Guardsman Arthur Potts, Irish Guards, who died aged 21 on 11/08/1944 and is interred at Bayeux War Cemetery, France. Son of Stewart and Annie Potts, Lisburn. Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 70. Lisburn WM


+CAMPBELL, George Leslie
RNVR. Signalman. P/UD/X 1519. HMS Chevreuil. Aged 24. Died 14/02/1943 in the Society Islands. Chevreuil was a French ship which returned later to the French navy. Son of James and Elizabeth Campbell, Belfast; husband to Lavinia Alice Campbell, Belfast. George Campbell’s remains are interred in a naval vault in Titerui Communal Cemetery in Papeete, Tahiti, one of only four Commonwealth servicemen to be buried there, two from the Great War and two from the Second World War. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 05/03/1943).

+NICHOLLS, James Ernest
RAFVR. Sergeant (Air Gunner).927758. Died 14/02/1943. Aged 21. 15 Sqdn. James was in a Stirling I of 15 Squadron from RAF Bourn in Cambridgeshire which took part in an operation to Köln on 14-15/02/1943 (Sunday/Monday). Son of James Ernest and Hilda Nicholls; husband to Mary E. Nicholls, Newtownards. Heverlee War Cemetery, Vlaams-Brabant, Belgium. Newtownards WM. Newport WM

+WILSON, Andrew Victor Sproule
RAFVR. Flying Officer (Pilot). 119158. Died 14/02/1943. Aged 20. Son of Robert and Margaret Jane Wilson. Drumbeg (St Patrick) C of I Churchyard. QUB WM


+DAVIDSON, James Stuart
RAFVR. Flight Lieutenant (Air Gunner). 81393. Died 14/02/1945. Aged 43. 635 Sqdn. Son of James and Annie Davidson; husband of Eva Davidson, of Belfast. Berlin 1939 – 45 War Cemetery, Berlin. St Jude’s Parish Church, Belfast, WM

+DONOHUE, John Richard Charles
RAFVR. Flying Officer. 178567. DFC. Died 14/02/1945. Aged 21. 635 Sqdn. RAFPE 1941 – 42 QUB. Son of Charles B. Donohue and Eva E. Donohue, of Farlington, Hampshire. QUB WM


14/02/1939 – The German Kriegsmarine launches the famous battleship, Bismarck. Bismarck and her sister ship Tirpitz were the largest battleships ever built by Germany, and two of the largest built by any European power. Just 883 days later, Bismarck will be sunk by the Royal Navy in the North Atlantic.

14/02/1945 – 40 American B-17s accidentally drop 152 tons of bombs on the city of Prague. More than 700 civilians are killed. The planes were supposed to have hit Dresden more than 100 miles to the north. Aircrews attribute the mishap to a navigation error.

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