March 13 – Roll of Honour

A Naval schoolmaster who survived WW1 was a victim of the ‘flu pandemic’. Samuel Jess from Killyleagh survived a plane crash in WW2 but was later lost over Hamburg, and a 60-year-old Drumcree serviceman in the Pioneer Corps died with a stroke serving in Scotland. Photo – Winter sunset at Maissemy German Cemetery.

Representing their comrades who died on this day


+O’FEE, Stewart
RN. Naval schoolmaster. 346268. HMS Vivid. Died 13/03/1920. Age 31. Victim of ‘flu pandemic. Born Kilrea, Co. Londonderry 02/05/1878. Son of Samuel and Jane O’Fee. St. Patrick’s C of I churchyard, Kilrea. ADM 188/525/346268


+JESS, Samuel Hugh Albert
RAF. Sergeant. 635446. Died 13/03/1941, on a bombing raid over Hamburg, Germany. Age 19. 102 Sqdn. He was a wireless operator/air gunner on board Armstrong Whitworth Whitley bomber T4273 DY-O. This plane had crash-landed at RAF Topcliffe on 21/12/1940 while returning from a raid on Turin. On this occasion, the pilot was Sergeant Robert Aubrey Doherty from Dundonald, a former pupil at Regent House Grammar School, Newtownards. Whitley T4273 took off from RAF Topcliffe on the night of 12th-13th March 1941. It failed to return from the mission over Germany. Anti-aircraft flak guns downed the bomber over Kampstrasse, Hamburg, killing the crew of five. Son of James Jess and Ellen Henderson Jess of Plantation Street, Killyleagh, He came home on Christmas leave in December 1940. Ohlsdorf Cemetery, Hamburg, Germany. Killyleagh WM

+SNODDON, Samuel Wesley
RAFVR. Sergeant. 745108. Died 13/03/1941. 77 Sqdn. Runnymeade Memorial, Surrey. 502 (Ulster) Squadron WM, St Anne’s Cathedral, Belfast


+BENSON, John George
Pioneer Corps. Private.13014845. Died 13/03/1944 after suffering a stroke at a military hospital in Glasgow. Aged 60. Born on 22nd March 1885, he was the son of the late John Benson and Jane Benson (formerly Trueman, née Willis) of Cannagola More, Portadown. John’s base was at Bellahouston Camp, Glasgow, Lanarkshire. His home address was 12 Gaffikin Street, Belfast, where he lived as a single man and worked as a clerk before the outbreak of WW2. An uncle James Benson died serving in WW1. Drumcree C of I Churchyard, Co. Armagh. Portadown War Memorial


+BARR, Benjamin
RAFVR. Aircraftman 1st Class. 1083801. Died 13/03/1947. Aged 37. Son of Benjamin and Margaret Ann Barr; Husband to Eileen Barr of Coleraine. Coleraine Cemetery


13/03/1945 – The Irish Brigade

1 RIrF, Senio river:
1200 D Coy engaged in grenade duel past 1 ½ hours.
1630 Tank (Queen’s Bays) firing from hull down position on floodbank at shot up enemy positions on north bank.
1845 Wasp flamed bank area and caused screams.
1920 D Coy report all quiet.

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