February 24 – Roll of Honour

Edward Dalton, one of the pioneers of civil aviation in Ireland served with the RFC and William Boal DCM served with the army in WW1. Both died in service with the Fleet Air Arm in WW2. Both WW1 Veterans remembered today are from Portstewart. One served as a naval gunner, the other was with Canadian forces. Photo – Fossvogur Cemetery, Iceland.

Representing their comrades who died on this day


Royal Irish Rifles, 9th Btn. Rifleman.14411. Died 24/02/1915. Carnmoney (Church of the Holy Evangelists) C of I Churchyard Extension


+EDGAR, John Hammond
Durham Light Infantry, 9th Battalion, attached to 7th Battalion, Royal Dublin Fusiliers. Lieutenant. Died 24/02/1916. Age 28. Campbell College, QUB and University of London. B.A. 1900; M.A. 1901; LL.B. 1904. In the course of his career, he won many prizes and a valuable scholarship. He was called to the Irish bar in 1904 and in the following year to the English Bar. He joined the North East circuit and settled at Newcastle regularly attending Jesmond Presbyterian Church. He was initiated into 1427 Percy Lodge, Masonic Hall, Maple Street, aged 33, and proceeded to be Passed and Raised. Shortly after the outbreak of war he joined the army and was gazetted as a lieutenant on 13/11/1914 and posted to the 9th DLI. He went overseas in May 1915 as part of the 50th (Northumbrian) Division and was in heavy action within days of arriving in France. He was slightly wounded in a bomb explosion and was gassed on another occasion. He died of wounds received in action on 24/02/1916 within a few hours of returning to France from leave, being wounded in the head by shrapnel. Born in 23/10/1879. He was the son of Robert Smyth Edgar and Eliza Jane Edgar, Ballynahinch. Railway Dugouts Burial Ground, Transport Farm, Ypres, Belgium. Jesmond Presbyterian Church RH. Four Courts, Dublin, WM of Irish barristers killed in the war. QUB WM


+GRAY, James
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. L/Corporal. Died 24/02/1922. Aged 28. Son of John William Gray and Annie Gray. James was born in County Tyrone about 1893. James lived with the family in Donnydeade, Bernagh. His father was a farmer. James belonged to the Dungannon Battalion of the U.V.F. A report in the Mid Ulster Mail in July 1916 states that Lance Corporal James Gray had been invalided home suffering from severe shell shock. It seems he returned to the front, as a report in the local newspaper in August 1917 states that he was injured in action once again. There is no record in CWGC. Dungannon WM


+COCHRANE, Quentin Alexander
RNR. Sub-Lieutenant (E). HMS Manitee. Died 24/02/1941. Age 45. Son of William and Elizabeth Cochrane; husband of Eileen Cochrane, Larne Harbour. Liverpool Naval Memorial. Panel 2

RN. Able Seaman. C/SSX 23954. Date of Death: 24/02/1941. Age: 20. HMS Dainty. Ship sunk by German bombers as it left Tobruk harbour. Loss of 33 lives. Son of Joseph and Agnes McCarthy, Lurgan. Chatham Naval Memorial, Panel 43


+BOAL, William James
RNVR. FAA. Prob T/ Sub-Lieut (A). DCM. 755 Squadron based at HMS Kestrel, Worthy Down, Winchester. Died 24/02/1942. Age 47. Whilst serving as a pilot instructor there was a collision with another plane. Served in the ranks of 9th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers in World War 1. DCM 01/01/1919, France. Son of Robert and Jane Boal, Ravenhill Ave., Belfast. Husband to Sarah Margaret Boal, Tobermore, who was a teacher in Magherafelt Public Elementary School. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 06/03/1942). St Columba’s Church of Ireland graveyard, Draperstown, Co. Londonderry.

+DALTON, Edward Charles
RNVR. FAA. Lieutenant (A). Died 24/02/1942. Age 39. HMS Goshawk, the Royal Naval Air Station on Trinidad used for aircrew training. In WW1, aged 17, he joined the Royal Flying Corps. After the war he took up the cause of civil aviation, being associated with Mr. E Hillman during the early stages of Hillman Aviation. He was a member of several well-known aero clubs in Ireland and England. Shortly after the outbreak of WW2 he received his commission in the Fleet Air Arm. Son of Joseph and Mary Ann Dalton. Husband to Helen Betty Dalton, St Alban’s Gds., Belfast. Port of Spain (St James) Military Cemetery.

+MERCER, Joseph
RAFVR. Sergeant. 987916. Died 24/02/1942. Aged 28. 62 Sqdn. Son of Mary J. Mercer, of Bangor, Co. Down. F.A.I. Singapore Memorial, Column 415, Singapore


+KERR, William
Royal Artillery. 1/1 Maritime Regt. Gunner. 6980756. Died 24/02/1943. Aged 22. Son of John and Alice Kerr, of Dervock, Co. Antrim. Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 80


+STEWART, James Gordon
RCAF. Pilot Officer (Air Bomber). J/87408. Died 24/02/1944. Son of James and Agnes Stewart, of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada – formerley of Tullygarley, Ballymena. Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery


Royal Canadian Artillery, 19 Field Regt. Gunner. M/51511. Died 24/02/1945. John Bradley was the son of John and Harriet Bradley. He was born on born 5th April 1907 in the Benburb area. He was one of at least ten children. His father and grandfather were farmers. John Bradley came to Calgary in Canada in 1926. Prior to enlisting John was employed by the Empress Hotel. John Bradley enlisted with the army in 1942, proceeding overseas in July 1943. Husband of Muriel Bradley, of Calgary, Alberta. Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery, Netherlands. Moy WM

+MILLER, William Watson
RAFVR. Flying Officer. 151387. DFC. Died 24/02/1945. Aged 21. 248 Sqn, Son of Robert and Margaret Miller of Bangor. Bangor Cemetery

+SCOTT, John Malseed
RNVR. Died 24/02/1945. Age 36. HMS Ellesmere – an armed escort which was torpedoed. Principal of Darkley school, Co. Armagh. One of his pupils, Patrick Knott, was lost in HMS Glorious 08/06/1940. Son of Joseph and Louisa Scott. Lowestoft Naval Memorial, Panel 16. Whitehead WM


BACON, Charles Frederick
Gunner, Royal Naval Reserve. He volunteered for active service in the Winter of 1915 (aged about 22 years), and ships served on included H.M.S. Albemarle, a battlecruiser. He was commended for gallantry at sea off Malta during an engagement with an enemy submarine in 1917. Before the War he was a fisherman. His parents, Mr. James (fisherman) and Mrs. Catherine (Kate) McComb Stirling Bacon, lived at Crescent View, Portstewart. Charles was living at Heathmount when he died on 24/02/1956; he was buried in Agherton Cemetery.
He is commemorated on the Roll of Honour in Agherton Parish Church. Some References: Coleraine Chronicle of 27-11-1915 & 08-09-1917; Northern Constitution of 11-12-1915 & 23-09-1916.

Sergeant (152843), Canadian Forces. James enlisted in the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force on 24/02/1916 at Carberry, Manitoba, and he served with the 79th Overseas Battalion. He was born on 03/02/1886 in Portstewart and as a young man emigrated to Canada. Prior to joining up he was employed as a labourer in Carberry. His parents were Mr. Daniel and Mrs. Mary Jane McCready who lived at Burnside, Portstewart. He is commemorated on Portstewart Presbyterian Church’s Roll of Honour and the Roll of Honour of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.


24/02/1916 – Major John West, RAMC, was awarded the French Legion of Honour – Croix de Chevalier – by the French Republic in recognition of his service in the field. The Inst and Queen’s educated doctor was the son of the son of the Rev Dr Thomas and Mrs Helen West. Dr West was Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in 1917. John West rose to Major General. CBE. CB. CMG. MiD five times. His final Army post was as Colonel Commandant RAMC.

24/02/1916 – At the Battle of Verdun as the front is extended from Malancourt to Fromezy, it is reported that part of Bois des Fosses is taken by the Germans.

24/02/1917 – The British government provides the U.S. details of an intercepted German communique in which Berlin promises the return of New Mexico, Texas and Arizona if Mexico declares war on the United States. The Zimmerman Telegram helps draw America into WW1.

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1 Comment

  1. Sub Lt Quentin Cochrane served at HMS Manatee (not Manitee) the landing craft base at Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight.
    Gnr William Kerr enlisted in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


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