March 27 – Roll of Honour

In March 1945 Winston Churchill visits UK forces near the Rhine with Field Marshal Montgomery, the latter standing in a jeep, talking to Scottish troops. There are 16 records in today’s Roll. The 1918 entries reflect the German Offensive including a former CSM of the Royal Irish Rifles who was commissioned into the Royal Naval Division comprised mainly of naval personnel deemed to be in access to manning needs in ships. They fought with distinction at Gallipoli and in most major battles in Europe. WW2 entries reflect the war in the East and the Pacific. A Killyleagh RAF man is remembered in Singapore and a RN aviator with Limavady links served on three carriers in the Pacific.

Representing their comrades who died on this day

+GREER, Abraham John
Royal Irish Fusiliers, Depot . Private. 12867. Died 27/03/1916. Aged 24. He died at 39 Belgrave Street, Belfast. Son of Mrs. Annie Greer, of 45, Downing St., Belfast. Apprentice Boys’ Memorial Temperance LOL 1317. Funeral (with military honours) was to Belfast City Cemetery

Durham Light Infantry. 14th Btn. Private. 39213. Executed on Tuesday 27/03/1917. Aged 31. Believed to be from St Peters, Belfast. Noeux – Les – Mines Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France

+McCABE, Robert
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 2nd Btn. Serjeant. 6654. Died 27/03/1918. Brother of Mrs. Jane Green, of 3 Rowan Street, Belfast. (Northern Whig 05/06/1918). Serre Road Cemetery No.2, Somme, France.

+CATON, John
RNVR. Sub-Lieutenant. Anson Btn, RND. Rossville, Died 27/03/1918. Killed in the German offensive of March 1918. Enlisted 1 Royal Irish Rifles. 11/19430. Promoted Sergeant and later Company Sergeant Major (Warrant Officer). Commissioned Temporary Sub Lieutenant RNVR 27/06/1917; Draft for Anson Battalion BEF 08/12/1917, joined Anson Battalion 15/12/1917 – 27/03/1918. Born Bury 15/02/1893. His family moved to Muckamore. He worked in York Street Flax Spinning Co. Only Son of John and Elizabeth Caton, Abbeyview, Muckamore. Husband to Robena W Caton, Rossville, Muckamore. His only child was born after his death. His wife and son moved from Railway St, Antrim to Northampton after the war. His son Jack Sydney Caton served in the RAF in World War II and was a PoW in Germany after being shot down. A teacher, he died in Northampton in 2006. Mesmil Communal Cemetery Extension. ADM339

+GILDEA, James
Royal Engineers, 122 Field Coy. Serjeant. 64253. Died 27/03/1918. He enlisted in 1914. Born 28/02/1888, son of William Gildea and Ellen nee Douglas, Springwell Street, Ballymena. James was a carpenter in a local spinning mill. He married Margaret McCaughrin, James Street, Harryville, Ballymena, in 2nd Ballymena (High Kirk) Presbyterian Church on 08/07/1912. James gave his address as Holywood Road, Belfast. Local press said he lived at 79 Brookmount Street, Belfast at the time of his death. Pozieres Memorial, Somme, France. Townsend Street Presbyterian Church WM, Belfast

+GOURLEY, Francis
Royal Irish Rifles. 2nd Btn. Rifleman. 9790. Died 27/03/1918. Aged 30. One of five brothers serving. A sixth brother Sergeant Joseph Leo Gourley, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died on 22/03/1918. Son of Joseph and Jane Gourley nee McKaig, of Winetavern Street, Belfast. Pozières Memorial, Somme, France.

+HAIRE, Thomas John Gerald
Royal Irish Fusiliers, 9th (North Irish Horse) Btn. Private. 21645. Died 27/03/1918. Aged 20. Eldest son of David and Sara Jane Haire, of Trew and Moy Station, Co. Tyrone. By 1910, the family was living in County Cavan. Thomas enlisted in Cavan. Pozières Memorial, Somme, France. Cookstown War Dead Book

+McCABE, Robert
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 2nd Btn. Rifleman. 6654. Died 27/03/1918. He was a brother of Mrs. Jane Green, of 3 Rowan Street, Belfast. Serre Road Cemetery No.2, France.

+QUINN, Thomas H
Royal Irish Rifles,14th Btn. Rifleman. 16923. Died 27/03/1918. Born in Caledon, County Tyrone. He enlisted in Belfast. In his will Rifleman Thomas Quinn left all to his mother Mrs. M Quinn, who was living at 122 Utility Street, Donegal Place, Belfast. Ham British Cemetery, Muille-Vilette, Somme, France

+SEDGWICK, John Henry
Royal Ulster Rifles, 2nd Btn. Rifleman. 24692. Died 27/03/1942. Son of William and Agnes Sedgwick, Belfast; Husband to Margaret Sedgwick, Belfast. Belfast City Cemetery, Glenalina Extension

1943                                                             HMS DASHER

+GAMBLE, John Morris
RN. Leading Radio Mechanic. FAA/FX. 88200. Died 27/03/1943. Age: 23. HMS Dasher. Son of John and Ellen Gamble, Knock. Lee-on-Solent Memorial, Bay 4

+HART, Henry

Chief Stoker. 208840. Died 27/03/1943. Age 32. HMS Dasher. Worked at Glenmore Bleach Green, Lisburn, prior to the war. Son of William John and Annie Hart, Ulsterville Gds, Belfast. Husband to Winifred Hart, Belfast. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 07/05/1943). Liverpool Naval Memorial, Panel 10

Royal Artillery.136 Field Regt. Gunner. 6980157. Died 27/03/1944. Aged 22. Son of William and Jane McCandless, of Coleraine. Taukkyan War Cemetery, Myanmar

+PERRY, Frederic James
RAFVR. Flight-Lieutenant.119140. Died 27/03/1944. 431 Sqd RCAF. Husband to Elizabeth Mary Perry, of Killyleagh. Singapore Memorial, Singapore. Killyleagh WM. QUB WM

+RODGERS, William
RAF. Sergeant. 527615. Died 27/03/1945. Aged 28. Son of Robert William and Mary Jane Rodgers; Husband to Beulah Edna Rodgers of Londonderry. Londonderry City Cemetery

+SQUIRES, Francis William
RNVR. Lieutenant (A), 854 Squadron. HMS Illustrious. Died 27/03/1945. Aged 29. Launching attacks on airfields in Sakishma, Gunto. Pacific, from HM Aircraft Carriers Indomitable, Indefatigable and Victorious covered by major units of BPF and with screen of Fleet destroyers. Joint operations with US Task Group in continuation with breaks for refuelling from British Fleet Train. Graduated B.Sc. (Eng.) Hons. Son of Francis William and Florence Evelyn Squires; husband to Margaret Jane Squires, Limavady. Lee-on-Solent Memorial, Bay 6


FRY, Robert
Sapper Robert Fry 45910 Royal Engineers. Robert, from Ashton Street Belfast, was an Iron Moulder prior to enlistment and embarked for France in July 1915 serving throughout the conflict and being demobilised on 27/03/1919.


27/03/1945 – 38 (Irish) Brigade. 2 LIR – ITALY: 0900 Bttn commenced move back to Forli area. 1700 CO and Coy Commanders proceed to O Group on forthcoming ‘Kangaroo’ Exercise. The ‘O’ Group took place in the Amgot building in St Andrew’s Square, Forli.

27/03/1945 – The last two German V-2 rockets are launched, one of them killing 134 people and injuring 49 when it hit a block of flats in Stepney, a district in the East End of London.

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