March 23 – Roll of Honour

24 records today. The morning of 23/03/1918 was again foggy and soon after dawn the enemy captured Ham and advanced on Brouchy, to the rear of the position held by the 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers. Kaiserschlacht in photos: the carnage of the battlefield. Dead horses and smashed British limbers and field guns on the Somme front in March 1918.

Representing their comrades who died on this day


+CONNOR, Charles
Royal Field Artillery. 74th Bde. Ammunition Col. Gunner. 80588. Died 23/03/1916. Aged 23. Son of Frederick and Margaret Connor, of II, Adelaide Avenue, Whitehead. Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France/ Whitehead WM

Lancashire Fusiliers, 16th Btn. Private.11557. Died 22/03/1916. Aged 39. Son of Joseph Jardine, of Banbridge; husband to Emma Jardine, of 88, St. Simon St., Salford, Manchester. St. Pierre Cemetery, Amiens, Somme, France. Banbridge WM

Connaught Rangers, 6th Btn. Lance Corporal. 6/2795. Died 23/03/1916 of wounds in Bellahoustin Military Hospital, Glasgow. He had been slightly wounded in the stomach but remained in the field, though assigned only light duties. His condition deteriorated and he was eventually transferred to hospital in Scotland. A telegram reached Mrs McNally from his commanding officer, this stating that her husband was seriously ill and asking that she go over to see him. She went but may have arrived too late. Born 13/02/878 at Cullybackey. Son of Margaret McAnally. Husband to Sarah McKeown, Coach Entry, off Castle Street, Ballymena. Margaret McAnally died aged 63 on the 9 December 1906 at Galgorm Street, Ballymena, her son’s wife Sarah being with her. St. Mary’s (Aughnahoy) Cemetery,  Ahoghill Road, Portglenone.

1917                       HMS LAFOREY

+JOHNSTON, James Alexander
RN. AB. 235110. HMS Laforey. Died 23/03/1917. Born Belfast 24/11/1889. Killed by mine explosion in Straits of Dover. Brother of John Johnston, Channing St., Belfast. Plymouth Naval Memorial. IMR. ADM 188/417/235110

+McBRIDE, William
Stoker 1st Class. K6288. HMS Laforey. Died 23/03/1917. Age 30. Mine explosion in Straits of Dover. Enrolled 01/04/1910 for 12 years. War service in Hibernia, Pembroke II, Champion and Laforey (08/03/1917 – 23/03/1917). Born Belfast 14/01/1892. Son of Samuel and Sarah McBride, Belfast. Chatham Naval Memorial. ADM 188/879/6288


+BENSON, Private David
47 Machine Gun Corps(I). Private 122848. Formerley of the Yorkshire Regiment (45417). KIA in France on the 23/03/1918. Born at Trummery, near Moira he enlisted at Stockton-on-Tees. Metz-En-Couture Communal Cemetery British Extension, Pas de Calais, France

9th Bn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, formerly No. 3 Coy. 12th (Reserve) Bn. Private. 27685. Died 23/03/1918. Aged 24. Service Number 27685. Son of Samuel and Elizabeth Douthart, of Fairhill Street, Ballycastle. Noyon New British Cemetery, Oise, France. His headstone is beside that of Capt. JF Harvey (Below)

Royal Irish Rifles, 2nd Btn. Rifleman.188. Died 23/03/1918. Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France

+HARVEY, John Forsythe
9th Bn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Captain. Died 23/03/1918. Aged 24. Son of William and Elizabeth Harvey, of “Inverary”, Downshire Rd., Cregagh, Belfast. Noyon New British Cemetery, Oise, France. The headstone beside Capt. Harvey is that of Pte John Douthart, who it is believed from documentary evidence held by the family, was Captain Harvey’s orderly, who carried Captain Harvey when he was wounded until both were shot dead.

+MARKS, James Ganley
Seaforth Highlanders. Lieutenant. Died 23/03/1918. Age 22. Member of the QUB Training Corps 1914. Enlisted as a private 10/1914, in the Black Watch. Son of James G. and Sophie Marks, “Roselyn,” Deramore Drive, Belfast. Lebucquiere Communal Cemetery Extension. QUB WM

+MAYNE, William
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 9th Btn. Corporal. 27687. Died 22/03/1918. Youngest son of Samuel and Annie Mayne. He was born and lived at Annaghananam, Sandholes, Cookstown. They were a farming family. Savy British Cemetery, St. Quentin, Aisne, France. Cookstown WM, Sandholes Presbyterian Church RH

+McDOWELL, James
12th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles. Corporal. 20/160. Died of wounds 23/03/1918. Age 22. He was a son of William and Margaret McDowell, of 22 Erin Street, Belfast. (13/05/1918, Northern Whig). Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France

+McKENDRY, William

Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 2nd. Btn. Private. 2815. Died 23/03/1918. Born 26/12/1893 at Ballygarvey, near Ballymena and enlisted Belfast. He was the son of Margaret McKendry. He left his effects to his mother and his will states she lived at 125, Bellevue Street, off Shankill Road, Belfast. Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France

+McVEIGH, John

Royal Irish Fusiliers, 1st Btn. Private. 26124. Died 23/03/1918. Born at Ardboe, County Tyrone. He enlisted in Ballymena while his family were living in Draperstown. Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France. Coagh WM

+MONTGOMERY, Simpson Hall

22 Entrenching Battalion. Rifleman. 112. formerly 11th/13th Royal Irish Rifles. Died 23/03/1918. Enlisted Belfast. Born 26/07/892 at Galgorm Parks, Ballymena. Son of James Gore Montgomery and Maggie nee Haire of Galgorm Parks, Ballymena. Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France. Cuningham Memorial Presbyterian Church WM, Cullybackey.



RN. Stoker Second Class. D/KX 107842. Died 23/03/1941. Age 19. HMS Bonaventure. Two brothers serving with the Royal Artillery. Son of William and Agnes Campbell, Ewart’s Row, Belfast. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 10/05/1941.) Malta (Capuccini) Naval Cemetery


+ELKIN, John
Royal Ulster Rifles, 1st Btn. Rifleman, No. 6985544. Died 23/03/1945. Born in County Tyrone. Son of Thomas and Sarah Jane Elkin of Drumquin, County Tyrone. Reichswald Forest Cemetery

+MORROW, Robert John
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Fusilier. 6977247. Died 23/03/1945. Age 31. Son of Edward and Sarah Morrow. He was born about 1914. He joined the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers around 1933. He saw service in Palestine, Egypt and India. He went with the Expeditionary Force to France in 1939, served in Norway, and was also in the Dunkirk evacuation. He joined the Commandos on their formation (around June 1940), Commando Robert Morrow was killed when his boat sank crossing the Rhine. Reichswald Forest Cemetery, Kleve, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany. Fivemiletown WM

+YOUNG, Maurice Edward
2nd Bn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Lieutenant. 296607. Died 20/03/1945. Aged 24. Son of Edward Anderson Young and Matilda Elizabeth Young, of Bangor, Co. Down, Northern Ireland. Faenza War Cemetery, Italy. Hamilton Road Presbyterian Church, Bangor


COATES, Foster
RAMC. Lieutenant. MCB. QCB MA 1900, MB 1905, BCh BAO MD 1907. Lieutenant 31/07/1917. Post war, Lecturer in Clinical Medicine, QUB. Son of Stanley (Physician and Surgeon) and Elizabeth Coates, Shaftesbury Square, Belfast. Died 23/03/1949, aged 65. Belfast.

HAYES, Charles Berry
Royal Garrison Artillery. Gunner. Campbell College. Queen’s University. 1st XV, 1912-13. Long Jump Champion of Ulster, 1913.  B.A.,  LL.B.,  Q.U.B., 1920.  Solicitor; admitted, 1920.  Town Solicitor of Lurgan; Solicitor to the Moira Rural District Council; the Lurgan Board of Guardians; and to the Governors of the Lurgan and Portadown District Hospital.  Born 29/10/1893, son of Hugh Hayes, Moorfield, Maralin, Co. Down. Died 23/03/1948.


Auxiliary Territorial Service. Sergeant.W/758. Aged 50. Eldest daughter of John Qua and Eliza Qua of Dobbsland, Templecorran, Co. Antrim. Nora married WJ Hughes of Stockman’s Lane, Belfast at All Saints Church, Belfast, Co. Antrim in September 1923. In December 1945, the Ulster High Court granted Nora a Decree Nisi on the grounds of her husband’s infidelity. Nora and her husband had no children. Belfast City Cemetery, Glenalina Extension

JEFFREY, Douglas George
RN. DSO, Croix-de-Guerre, White Eagle of Serbia, St George of Russia. Prior to WW1 he served in merchant navy with six years in sail – square-rigged. Master’s Certificate. Served with Royal Canadian Navy in WW2. Commanded HMTB 050, several Q ships and others. Son of Pastor R Jeffrey, Ardlui, Bloomfield, Belfast. Born 23/09/1885. Died 23/03/1972. Campbell College 419.

PIRRIE, Robert Reid
26th Btn, Northumberland Fusiliers (Tyneside Irish). Captain. Also served with RAMC. QUB, TCD and Durham Univ. Born 1894 Belfast. Husband to Grace. Died 23/03/1936


23/03/1917 – the Frank Salisbury painting of Boy Sailor John Travers Cornwell VC, commissioned by the City of London is presented to the Royal Navy. Cornwell was awarded a VC for gallantry at Jutland, at 16 he is the 3rd youngest recipient. The painting is in the church at HMS Raleigh

23/03/1943 – Submarine HMS Turbulent failed to return from patrol in the Tyrrhenian Sea, cause of loss (possibly 12-14 March) unknown. All 67 crew were lost.

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