February 23 – Roll of Honour

Sergt R McClements of Belfast – left of photo – was a member of a bomber crew that completed 38 operations between July 1944 and Feb 1945. The majority of entries today are of NI men who died in RAF bombers. When he was killed Flight Lieutenant Doherty of Newtownards had taken part on 65 Missions which is more than two tours. In 1944 Trevor Boyd of Greenisland and David Nelson of Larne were lost in the same plane over Burma.

Representing their comrades who died on this day


Mercantile Marine Reserve. Chief Engineer. HM Tug Sonia. Died 23/02/1919. Carnmoney Cemetery.

+McKIRDY, Alexander
RNR. Eng. Lieutenant. Gainsborough Dr., Belfast. Sinclair Seamen’s – PCI RH


+COLYER, Kenneth Norman
RNVR. Able Seaman. C/LD/X 5213. SS Anglo-Peruvian. Died 23/02/1941. Age 21. Son of Reginald Thomas and Kathleen Colyer, Purdysburn. Chatham Naval Memorial, Panel 50


RN. Stoker First Class. D/KX 80906. Died 23/02/1942. HM Submarine Tempest. Son of Mrs. Annie Morrison, Kingswood St., Belfast. Another son, Robert, served at the Battle of Jutland. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 12/06/1942). Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 70

Royal Artillery. Gunner.1427548. Died 23/02/1942. Aged 21.1 Bty., 2 Lt. A.A. Regt. Son of John and Nellie Smithers, of Ballynahinch. Tobruk War Cemetery, LIbya


+BOYD, Trevor Barkley

RAFR. Sergeant. 1145139. Died 23-24/02/1944. Born in Greenisland, Carrickfergus in 1922. Killed in the air on a bombing run over Burma on 23rd/24th February 1944 aged 22.  He was assigned to a B-24 Liberator bombing crew as one of the 11 man crew.  On the evening of 23/02/1944, he and the B-24 crew of BZ951 were on a bombing mission en route to Sinde in Burma when the aircraft was lost in the sky due to an explosion.  Records on the event are vague but it appears that the entire crew was lost and none of the men were ever recovered for burial. Son of Edgar and Margaret Jessie Boyd of Greenisland. The entire crew including Trevor are remembered on the Singapore Memorial, Malaya, Column 435

+NELSON, David

RAF. Flight Sergeant. 533351. Died 23/02/1944. Aged 26. Killed in the air on a bombing run over Burma on 23rd/24th February 1944. On the evening of 23/02/1944, he and the B-24 crew of BZ951 were on a bombing mission en route to Sinde in Burma when the aircraft was lost in the sky due to an explosion. Son of Hugh and Nancy Nelson, of Ballyhampton, Larne. Singapore Memorial, Malaya, Column 435.


+DOHERTY, Robert Aubrey Alexander
RAFVR. Flight Lieutenant. 102594. DFC. MiD. Died 23/02/1945. Age 27. 608 Squadron Pathfinder Force. Missing, presumed killed as the pilot with the crash of de Havilland Mosquito B. Mk.XX “KB350” near Hohn/Rendsburg/Kiel, Germany. The aircraft, in which he and Navigator Flying Officer Leonard Moore were on their way for an operation over Berlin which had taken off from Downham Market at 1816 hrs, was reported missing in action on the night of February 23/24, 1945. The aircraft was lost without a trace. When he was Killed Flight Lieutenant Doherty had taken part in 65 Missions which is more than two tours.

Robert joined the RAFVR in Belfast in July 1939. He went to Number 3 Initial Training Wing at Hastings in September and received Ground Training until the following April when he went to Elementary Flying Training School for experience on Tiger Moths.
Faculty of Applied Science and Technology,1934-1936, QUB. Son of Robert John and Sarah Doherty, of Knock. Runnymede Memorial, Panel 265. Family memorial, Newtownards Cemetery. QUB RH 502 (Ulster) Squadron WM, Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast


McMILLEN, James Neal
Hertfordshire Regiment. Major. Londonderry Academical Institute. Magee College. QUB 1885. LRCP, LRCS 1893. RAMC 1902. Son of Douglas McMillen, Bushmills. Died 23/02/1920, Woking, Surrey


23/02/1917 – The Lisburn Standard
Second-Lieut. Walter C. Boomer, Royal Irish Rifles, officially reported wounded for the third time, is the only son of Mr. Richard W. Boomer, Knockmore House, Lisburn. He was educated at Lisburn Intermediate School and was a member of the local battalion of the Ulster Volunteer Force when war was declared. He obtained his commission on 7th January 1915 and was wounded in September last and again in the following November. His latest injury was caused by a bullet which entered his right thigh. The bullet has been extracted, and we are glad to be able to state that Lieut. Boomer, who has been transferred to a hospital in London, is doing well.

Captain Joseph Allen Johnston, Royal Irish Fusiliers (Armagh Volunteers) was killed on Sunday morning last by a sniper’s bullet, which pierced his heart, death being instantaneous. Deceased, who was only 25 years of age, was the fourth son of the late Mr. James Johnston, J.P., Lurgan, and cousin of Mr. Thomas Johnston, chemist, Market Sq., Lisburn. Two brothers are serving with the colours.

At an inquest on Tuesday on Private George Cordner, R.I.R. (South Antrim Volunteers), Gregg Street, Lisburn, who was knocked down by a motor lorry in Belfast on Thursday, 15th inst., a verdict of accidental death was returned. Private Cordner’s remains were interred with full military honours in Lisburn Cemetery on Sunday, the funeral being the largest (with one exception) we ever saw in Lisburn.

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