April 02 – Roll of Honour

On 02/04/1945 Cpl Thomas Peck Hunter, advancing with 43 Commando, RoyalMarines, at Lake Comacchio charged across open ground to clear a German position and 3 Spandau machine guns, firing his Bren gun from the hip. He allowed his troop to advance but died shortly after. Awarded the VC. Today’s Roll contains the record of 11 from N Ireland who served.

Representing their comrades who died on this day

1915


+ LIDDLE, Thomas Dixon
RN. Staff Surgeon. HMS Thames. Died: 02/04/1915. Age 35. QUB MB, BCh, BAO, 1903. Thomas passed his surgical exams on 23/11/1903 and immediately joined the Admiralty. Eight years later, on 23/11/1911, he became a Staff Surgeon.
Over the years he served in many different ships and had at least two spells in Haslar Hospital. His last ship was HMS Thames which he joined on 07/01/1913.
When he died on 02/04/1915 there were extenuating circumstances which called for a post mortem to be held. The results of the post mortem were read by Staff Surgeon Hughes. The cause of death was given as morphia poisoning, self-administered, but whether by intent or misadventure, there was insufficient evidence to prove. Born in 1897. Son of Edward (MD) and Elizabeth Liddle, Cookstown. Sheerness (Isle of Sheppey) Cemetery. QUB WM. IMR

1920

+DOWNIE, Thomas
RN. Stoker 1st Class. SS114250. HMS Retriever. Died 02/04/1920. Age 24. Born Belfast 28/02/1895. Husband of Ellen M. Downie, Fair Hill, Ballycarry. Belfast City Cemetery. ADM 188/1120/114250

1944

+CLAYTON, Samuel Joseph
RAFVR.Sergeant (Wireless Operator). 1545659. Died 02/05/1944. 218 Sqdn. Poix-de-Picardie Churchyard. Somme, France. Portadown WM

+McCRYSTAL, Bernard
Pioneer Corps. 79 Coy. Private. 13011025. Died 02/04/1944. Age 46. Husband to Elizabeth McCrystal, Ballymena. Beach Head War Cemetery, Anzio, Italy

1945

+CONNOLLY, James
Royal Ulster Rifles. 1st Btn. C Coy. Rifleman. 7046879. Died 02/05/1945. Born in County Down. Reichswald Forest Cemetery, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

+GARDINER, Arthur
Royal Ulster Rifles. 1st Btn. Rifleman. 7020506. Died 02/05/1945. Four years service. From The Bridge, Monkstown, County Antrim. Reichswald Forest Cemetery, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

+O’HARE, Robert
Army Catering Corps, attd Royal Ulster Rifles, 2nd Btn. Private. 7011777. Died 02/04/1945. Aged 30. Son of Thomas O’Hare and of Brigid O’Hare (nee Kerr), of Belfast. Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany

VETERANS

McCLELLAND, Robert James
RN. Stoker I. SS107581. Enrolled 04/08/1890 for 5 and 7 years. Served to 02/08/1913. Joined RFR 03/08/1913. Served from 02/08/1914. War service in Pembroke II, Dido, Woolwich, Attentive II, Vigilant and Sarepta. Demobbed 02/04/1919. Born Belfast 04/08/1890. Upper Townsend St, Belfast. Agnes Street – PCI RH ADM 188/1113/107581

McGURK, Robert John
RN. Stoker I. SS112840. Enrolled 10/09/1912 for 5 and 7 years. War service in Tyne, Wallington, Pembroke II and Hecla (Pigeon). Invalided 02/04/1919. Born Belfast 03/03/1894. ADM 188/1118/112840

McKERNAN, Joseph William

Warrant Officer Class II Joseph William McKernan (D/25096) was a Company Sergeant Major in the Royal Ulster Rifles during World War Two. He was the son of William McKernan and Mary Ann McKernan and husband to Edith McKernan of 50 Enid Parade, Ballyhackamore, Belfast, Co. Down.

The East Belfast man had previously served in the King’s Own Scottish Borderers and was a member of the Ulster No. 1 Branch of the Old Contemptibles’ Association. Joseph William McKernan died on 02/04/1947 aged 62 years old. Dundonald Cemetery.

COCHRANE, George Waterson
RN. Leading Signalman. 215674. HMS Boadicea. Jutland. Enrolled 02/04/1904 for 12 years. War service in Vivid, Leander and Boadicea (09/08/1916 – 19/03/1919). Served to 19/03/1919. Born Coleraine 02/04/1886. ADM 188/378/215674

NOTES

02/04/1916 – German Zeppelin raid on the east coast and Scotland. A reported 13 killed and 24 injured.

02/04/1917- US President Woodrow Wilson presented a declaration of war against Germany to the US Congress.

02/04/1942 – The British Indian Ocean Fleet withdraw to Addu Atoll to avoid a clash with a far superior Japanese fleet. The overwhelming Japanese carrier force would have sunk the slow British capital ships. HMA Ships Napier, Norman and Nizam were part of the fleet’s escort

02/04/1944 – The Soviet Union announced that its troops had crossed the Prut River and entered Romania.

38 Irish Brigade – CQMS O’Sullivan, 2 LIR: “I was taken with my supplies to San Michele & I was allocated 30 mules which I loaded with tools, food & water & the men’s kit. After getting so close to Monte Cassino that we felt we were almost under the monastery’s walls, .we started climbing a precipitous path to Monte Castellone. We had to take particular care as the nervous muleteers were attempting to ditch their loads. I finally arrived at the top with about half a dozen mules. Loads were spread along the track behind us….”

02/04/1945 – American troops of the 10th Army marched inland after landing on the beach of Okinawa, Japan.

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