March 15 – Roll of Honour

Among those remembered today is Andrew Todd, a medical officer from Derry and Moneymore, who served in both World Wars. He was the father of actor Richard Todd. Richard was one of the first members of the Parachute Regiment to jump on D-day – a real-life role he later echoed, albeit at a higher rank, in the film The Longest Day (1962).

Photo – The grave of US Medal of Honor recipient William Turner on the Somme. On 27/09/1918, he single-handedly charged and silenced two machine guns, bayonetted a number of the enemy, captured three trench lines and was wounded three times, before being surrounded and killed. Brave man.

Representing their comrades who died on this day


+MOFFETT, Samuel McWha
Royal Irish Rifles, 11th Btn. (South Antrim Volunteers). Rifleman.18/97. Died 15/03/1916. Age 29. Born 19/03/1886 in Ballyleidy (Clandeboye), Bangor. Son of Thomas Moffett, a labourer, and his wife Elizabeth Moffett (nee Russell). He was the youngest of their nine children. The family moved shortly after to Ballymullen, Crawfordsburn. Samue was a clerk. He was a member of Bangor Commercial L.O.L. 477. (Northern Whig, 25/03/1916). Forceville Communal Cemetery and Extension. Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church WM. Family memorial in Bangor Cemetery


+CRORKEN, Thomas
Royal Irish Fusiliers. 1st Btn. Private. 25051. Died 15/03/1918. Aged 21. Son of Michael and Margaret Crorken. Thomas was born on 18/02/1897 in Brookeborough, County Fermanagh. He was living in Cavans, Fivemiletown when he enlisted in Armagh on 16/11/1916 with the 3rd Btn. of the Royal Irish Fusiliers. Following training, Private Thomas Crorken was posted to the 1st Battalion and arrived in France on 23/05/1917. Thiepval Memorial, Somme, France. Fivemiletown WM

+LENOX-CONYNGHAM, Hubert Maxwell
Fifth Army. Army Veterinary Corps. D S O, Mentioned in Despatches. Died 15/03/1918. Aged 47. He died of illness at Chester. D.D.V.S.He joined the Army Veterinary Service Corps in 1897. He served in East Africa (Somaliland Campaign) in 1902-03 and during the First World War. Born in Dublin. Son of Col. Sir William and Lady Lenox-Conyngham; husband of Eva Lenox-Conyngham (nee Darley), of The Paddocks, Kilsby, Rugby. Kilgobbin Burial Ground, Co. Dublin. Desertlyn C of I RH, Coagh WM, Moneymore WM

+BROWN, Howard John
RN. Able Seaman. DEMS Gunner. D/JX 181631. Died 15/02/1941. Age 30. SS Alnmoor – Defensively Equipped Merchant Vessel. Hit by U 123. Son of William and Margaret Brown, Belfast. Husband to Elizabeth Brown, Donnybrook St, Belfast. Father of two children. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 15/03/1941.) Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 46


RN. Ordinary Seaman. P/JX226247. HMS Vortigern. Died 15/03/1942. Aged 20. Convoy FS49 was attacked by E boats 17 miles north of Cromer. Vortigern was sunk by torpedoes from S104 commanded by Oberlietenant Roeder. Son of George and Mary Johnston of Belfast, husband to Florence Johnston, 19 Barrow Street, Belfast. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 27/03/1942). Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 66

+TODD, Andrew William Palethorpe
RAMC. Major. MM. Died 15/03/1942 of illness. Aged 49. Only son of Andrew and Ellen Todd. Andrew Todd (senior) was a county court judge and later Recorder for Londonderry. His son, Andrew was born about 1893 in Dublin City. He was educated at Trinity College in Dublin. He served with the RAMC in WWI and was awarded an MM. In 1922 he became a GP in Moneymore for four years. On the outbreak of WW2, he was recalled for service as a captain in the RAMC. Father of actor Richard Todd. Richard Andrew Palethorpe-Todd, actor, (born Dublin 11/06/1919; died 03/12/2009), was one of the first members of the Parachute Regiment to jump on D-day – a real-life role he later echoed, albeit at a higher rank, in The Longest Day (1962). Andrew Todd became ill and died of pneumonia in England. Brookwood Military Cemetery, Surrey


+HARRIS, James
RAF. Corporal. 541809. Died 15/03/1944. Aged 32. Son of William And Mary Jane Harris; Husband to Emma Harris, Belfast. Naples War Cemetery, Italy


+JOHNSTON, Norman Albert
Royal Ulster Rifles.The London Irish Rifles. 2nd Bn. Serjeant. 7018844. Died 15/03/1945. Aged 23. Son of Henry and Elizabeth Johnston, of Bloomfield, Belfast. Faenza War Cemetery, Italy.


15/03/1942 – Royal Navy launches its first midget submarine, X3 on the River Hamble. The X Craft were tested and operated from HMS Varbel in Scotland and took part in numerous operations over WW2 including the famous attack that crippled the German battleship Tirpitz

15/03/1945 – 2 LIR – ITALY:
1600 Coy recce parties visiting 1 RIrF coy positions. Sgt Johnston of G Coy was killed by an enemy sniper as he raised his head above the top of the Senio floodbank.

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1 Comment

  1. Sergeant Johnston of G Coy was wearing his caubeen and hackle and it was believed that the hackle had been bobbing above the ground before Sgt Johnston raised his head. The marksman was waiting for a clear shot.


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