March 02 – Roll of Honour

Today’s Roll records the deaths of two members of the Royal Marine Light Infantry. One from Lisburn died in the German air raid on Scarborough in 1915. Another from Groomsport died in France in 1917 following the amputation of a leg shattered by gunshot. Two sailors from Bangor and Belfast died in HMS Stronghold sunk by the Japanese navy in Java sea in 1942. Photo – Vimy Ridge Memorial.

Representing their comrades who died on this day

1915

+HOLMES, James
Royal Marine Light Infantry, Plymouth Division. Private. Ply/17083. Died 02/03/1915. Aged 19. He died of wounds while serving on HMS London during the German raid on Scarborough. Son of Thomas and Annie Holmes of 2 Low Road, Lisburn.  He had two brothers who also served during the war.  Sergeant W.J. Holmes who worked in Belfast before the war, and lived with his wife at Millbrook Road, on the Low Road in Lisburn.  A reservist and member of the UVF, he served in 2 Irish Guards and won the DCM at Loos on the 29/09/1915.  In a letter published in the Lisburn Standard on the 26/11/1915 one of his colleagues, Sgt. Rolleston, described him as, “a great warrior [who] made a name for himself … at the outbreak of the war”.  Home on leave in the second week of January 1916, he received his DCM from the King on St. Patrick’s Day 1916 and the occasion was marked the next day by the presentation of a purse of sovereigns subscribed by the people of Lisburn.  Private Thomas Holmes, also of the Irish Guards, “gave up a lucrative post in America on the outbreak of the war” to return home and enlist.  Both appear to have survived the war.Portland Royal Naval Cemetery, England

1916

+DUNNING, T J
Royal Irish Rifles, 9th Btn. Rifleman. 14506. Died 02/03/1916. Aged 21. Husband to Margaret Dunning, of 16, Haddow St., Belfast. Sucrerie Military Cemetery, Colincamps, Somme, France

+REYNOLDS, James Andrew
Royal Irish Fusiliers, 7th Btn. 2nd Lieutenant. Died 02/03/1916. Son of Thomas William and Marcella Elizabeth Reynolds. The family lived in Scotch Street, Dungannon, from where Thomas ran the family chemist and grocer shop. James was born on 31/01/1896. Tragically, his mother died just two weeks after he was born. By 1901, the four children were living with their aunt in Ballycastle. By 1911, the family had moved to Belfast. James enlisted and was with the 7th Battalion of the Royal Irish Fusiliers. During training, James fell ill and died of at the family home in Belfast. Dungannon WM

1917

+COUSINS, John
RNR. AB. 1192D. Died 02/03/1917. Aged 47. John who was a Fisherman enlisted in the RNR in 1894. Mobilised in 1914 he served at shore establishments at Portsmouth. He died of natural causes Husband to Sarah Cousins, Stanley Terrace, Kilkeel. Mourne – PCI RH. Mourne Presbyterian Churchyard. Kilkeel WM

+GORDON, James

Canadian Infantry, 5th Btn.(Central Ontario Regt.). Private. 799154. Died 02/03/1917. Born on 04/08/1895 at Liminary, Ballyclug, Ballymena. Son of William Gordon and Martha Bryson, Ballymarlow, Ballymena. Brother of Charles who also served. Fosse No. 10 Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. 1st Ballymena Presbyterian Church RH.

+WATERSON, Henry

Royal Naval Divison,1st Royal Marine Btn., Royal Marine Light Infantry. Private. CH/1261(S). Died: 02/03/1917. Aged 22. Born in Groomsport on the 27/12/1894. He was the youngest child of William Waterson and his wife Jane (nee Malone). His father was a fisherman and after his education, Henry followed in his father’s footsteps taking up fishing as his occupation. He enlisted on the 24/11/1915 and embarked with the Royal Marine Brigade on 28/06/1916. He was drafted to the BEF and joined the 4th Entrenching Battalion on 10/11/1916 before transferring to the 1st Royal Marine Battalion on the 25/11/1916. At the end of February 1917, he received a gunshot wound to the left leg resulting in a compound fracture of the tibia which required amputation. He died of his wounds in 11th Stationary Hospital, Rouen. St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France. Groomsport Parish RH. Groomsport WM. Family memorial in Bangor Cemetery. ADM 159/145/1261

+WEIR, Patrick J
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 9th Btn. Sergeant. G/14585 . Died 02/03/1917 near Albert, France. Aged 40. Born in Fintona, County Tyrone about 1877. Patrick Weir married Elizabeth Jane Weir. The 1901 census shows Patrick living with his wife and child in Fintona, working as a rural postman. By 1911, Patrick Weir was working as a railway porter. He was 34 years old. They now had seven children. The family now lived in Mullaghmore, Mountnorris, County Armagh.
Dernancourt Communal Cemetery, Dernancourt, Somme. Dungannon WM, St Anne’s C of I WM, Holdfast LOL 1620 RH

1918

+O’HARE, Robert
RNR. Seaman. 6681A. HM Trawler Clenboyne. Died 02/03/1918. Age 23. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Peter O’Hare, River St., Newry. Dunkirk Town Cemetery.

1919

+DALTON, Alexander

MMR. Fireman. 865447. HMS Eaglet.  Died 02/03/1919. Aged 25. Son of William Dalton of 128 Bristol Street, Belfast. Blaris Old Cemetery, Lisburn

+GORMAN, James
RNR. Stoker 3410 (S). HMS Maidstone. Died 02/03/1919. St Mary’s Catholic Cemetery, Newry

1941

+MILLAR, William Alexander
RAFVR. Sergeant (Pilot). 748196. Died 21/03/1941. Aged 21. 83 Sqdn. Son of David and Mary J. Millar, of Belfast. Bayeux War Cemetery, Calvados, France. 502 (Ulster) Squadron WM, St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast

+MORRISON, Robert
1st Btn. Royal Ulster Rifles. Rifleman, No. 7013673. Died 02/03/1941. Aged 25. Born in Belfast, the foster son of Rosina Reid, of Monkstown. Carnmoney (Holy Evangelists) Church of Ireland churchyard extension.

+MURRAY, James Noel
RAFVR. Sergeant. 968178 9. Died 02/03/1941. 9 Sqd. Son of James and Ethel Murray, of Dunmurry. Runnymede Memorial, Panel 49.

+STARRETT, Samuel
Royal Ulster Rifles, 8th Btn. Rifleman. 7013794. Died 02/03/1941. Aged 20. Son of Robert George and Annie Starrett, of Cullion, Co. Tyrone.Glendermott C of I Churchyard, County Londonderry,

1942                                HMS STRONGHOLD
A Japanese task group consisting of the heavy cruiser Maya and the destroyers Arashi and Nowaki discovered and sank the destroyer HMS Stronghold as she tried to escape the south of Java for the safer waters of Northern Australia. Maya later took on board 50 survivors from HMS Stronghold.

+LOWRY, George Victor
RN. Able Seaman. D/SSX 20899. Date of Death: 02/03/1942. Age 22. HMS Stronghold. Over eight years’ service. An elder brother Sgt. Wm Lowry was serving in Palestine. Son of William and Violet Lowry, Railway View St., Bangor. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 20/03/1942 and 14/12/1945). First Bangor Presbyterian Church WM. Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 65

+TYRE, Patrick Joseph
RN. Able Seaman. Died 02/03/1942. Age 21. HMS Stronghold. A brother John was also serving in the East with RN. Son of Patrick and Elizabeth Tyre, Ardilea St., Belfast, formerly of Cookstown. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 20/03/1942 and 21/12/1945). Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 66

1944

+HILL, William James
RAFVR. Sergeant (Wireless Operator (Air)). 1084513. Died 02/03/1944. 156 Sqdn. Born in Lurgan on 29/01/1922, son of William Hill of High Street. He was a pupil at Lurgan College from September 1934 until July 1937. Durnbach War Cemetery, Bayern, Germany

+NANGLE, Gilbert William
Gurka Rifles, 7th Btn. Major. IA/966. Died 02/03/1944, during the Battle for Monte Cassino. Son of retired Colonel Kenlis E. and Sybil B. Nangle who lived at Ballyeglish Rectory, Moneymore. Gilbert Nangle enlisted in the Indian Army at the outbreak of World War 2. He was Mentioned in Dispatches. Cassino War Cemetery, Cassino, Frosinone, Italy

1945

+CLAYTON, James

RAFR. Corporal. Acting Pilot Officer and Radio Operator. 970707. Died 02/03/1945 aged 28, whilst a prisoner of war. Born 19/03/1917. Son of James and Martha Clayton, of 3 Prospect Terrace, Gilford. He was a prisoner of war at the brutal Sandakan Camp, Borneo, Malaysia for almost 4 years. In January 1942, his name was on a list of recipients of a Red Cross Package from the local headquarters in Gilford. In September 1945, the Clayton family received a postcard stamped from the POW Camp in Borneo from James stating he was “in excellent health”. He also said spirits were high and he had received mail from them. By September 1945, the reality was that the Sandakan Camp had closed. Many of the men had been sent out on what became known as “Death Marches”. The family learned of the death of Jim in December 1945. His death was commemorated on Column 452 of Changi War Memorial in Singapore, now commemorated on Krangi Cemetery, Singapore. Gilford WM

+COCHRANE, Robert
Royal Artillery. Gunner. 6975323. Died 02/03/1945. Age 37. 1st Maritime Regt. Son of James and Elizabeth Cochrane, Antrim. Ballymena Cemetery, Cushendall Road.

+McSPERRIT, Bernard Ignatius
Royal Artillery. Gunner. 7017181. Died 02/03/1945. Aged 28. attd. 4th Bn. The Parachute Regiment, A.A.C. Son of Francis and Maria McSperrit, of Belfast. Rome War Cemetery, Italy

VETERANS

DYMOND, John
RMLI. Private.10349. Plymouth Division. Order of St. Stanislaus 1916 for service in Jupiter in the White Sea. South Africa war medal 1904. Enrolled 12/06/1900. Re-engaged 12/07/1912. Prior to the war, he served in Gibraltar and Highflier, Bulwark, Isis, Vivid and Flora. War service in Jupiter, Devonshire, and Cordelia. Discharged 14/07/1921. Occupation – Cooper. Son of the sexton of Terrace Row Presbyterian Church, John Dymond of Terrace Row, Coleraine. Born Coleraine 02/03/1878. “Brother of Jim killed in action with Scottish Rifles, and Robert of Inniskillings (Ulster Division), a prisoner of war after the big push”. (Coleraine Chronicle 02/09/1916). Terrace Row – PCI RH. ADM 159/77/10349

VINT, Robert Washington
RAMC. Colonel. QUB 1910 BCh, BAO. Lieutenant RAMC, Jan 1912. Captain, March 1924. Lt Colonel, June 1934. Colonel, July 1939. Served to 24/04/1947. Served India 1914 – 16, Mesopotamia 1916 – 19. Born 1887. Son of John and Margaret Vint, Carrickfergus. Died 02/03/1953
1945

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One Comment on “March 02 – Roll of Honour

  1. At the time of his death, A/Lt Col Gilbert Nangle was commanding 1st/9th Gurkhas and it was he who gave the order that led to C Company, under Captain Michael Drinkall, seizing and holding Hangman’s Hill close to the Abbey of Monte Cassino, one of the most remarkable actions of the Italian campaign.
    Both Gunners Robert Cochrane and Bernard McSperrit were former infantrymen, the former a soldier of The Corps of The Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and The Royal Irish Fusiliers, and the latter of the Royal Ulster Rifles. Gnr Cochrane’s service number indicates that he enlisted in the mid-1920s.
    The 8th Bn Royal Ulster Rifles, with whom Rfn Starrett was serving at the time of his death, was converted to 117th Light AA Regiment Royal Artillery on 1 January 1942, although it retained Rifles’ distinctions. The regiment served in the Mediterranean (Tunisia, Sicily and Italy) and was re-roled as infantry in Italy in May 1944, officially disbanding as a Gunner unit in June. The unit wasn’t converted as a whole but its soldiers reinforced units of the newly-formed 61 Brigade, a Green Jacket formation, under Brigadier Adrian Gore whose family roots were in County Donegal.

    Like

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