WW2 in North Africa is reflected in the records of three NI men who died serving with the guns of the Royal Artillery. Two were from the 9th Heavy AA Regiment from Londonderry. A WW1 Chaplain who died in Egypt had also links to the maiden city.
Representing their comrades who died on this day
Chaplain to the Forces. 4th Class. Attached to 1st Battalion British West Indies Regiment. Died of dysentery 06/04/1916 in Alexandria, Egypt. Listed in the 1901 Belfast/Ulster Street Directory as a curate assistant of Derry Cathedral. Husband of Jessie Helen Egan, Spencer Rd., Eastbourne. Chatby Military Cemetery, Alexandria. St Columb’s Cathedral Derry WM
RMLI. Private. 1339 (S). Portsmouth Division. 2nd RM Btn. RND. Died 06/04/1918. Enlisted 11/01/1916. 2nd Royal Marine Battalion, BEF, 26/09/1916 – 06/04/1918. Born Ravarra, Ballygowan 14/08/1896. Next-of-Kin: Sister, Agnes McKee, Ravarra, Ballygowan. Pozieres Memorial, Panel 1, Somme. Ballygowan – PCI RH. ADM 159/205/1339
Royal Dublin Fusiliers, 1st Btn. Private. 28679. Died of wounds on 06/04/1918. Aged 21. John Donnelly was the son of John and Annie Donnelly of Coleraine St., Kilrea. He was born on 12/10/1895 in Kilrea. He was one of eleven children. The family lived in Movanagher, Kilrea. Both John and his father were labourers. John enlisted in Edinburgh. In March 1918 he was badly wounded and was taken from the front and transferred by ship to Southampton hospital in England. His left leg was so badly injured and infected that it had to be amputated at the thigh. Southampton (Hollybrook) Cemetery, Hampshire, Kilrea WM
RNPS. Engineman. LT/KX 111106. HM Yacht Torrent. Died 06/04/1941. Aged 37. Son of Samuel and Sarah Hayes, of Belfast. Lowestoft Naval Memorial, Panel 6
+McCARTER, Thomas James
Royal Artillery. 9 HAA Regt. Gunner. 1451870. Died 06/04/1943. Aged 31. Son of John and Margret McCarter, of Drumahoe, Co. Londonderry. Sfax War Cemetery,Tunisia. Derry Cathedral WM
Royal Artillery, 9 HAA. Regt. 25 Bty. Bombardier.1457726. Died 06/04/1943, Battle of Wadi Akarit, Tunisia. Aged 35. Son of Neil and Mary Ann Murray; husband to Vera Murray, of Bridge St., Londonderry. Medjez-El-Bab Memorial, Tunisia
+WILSON, Daniel Martin
Royal Artillery, 64th (London) Medium Regiment. Captain. MC. 100950. Died 06/04/1943. Aged 37. On 02/09/1939, he gained promotion to 2nd Lieutenant. The post in The Gazette refers to him as a former Cadet Company Sergeant Major in the Junior Division of the Officer Training Corps at Shrewsbury School. A keen sportsman, he was awarded a Blue for athletics whilst a student at King’s College, Cambridge. The Gazette on 22/04/1943, announced the award of a posthumous Military Cross to Lieutenant (Temporary Captain) Wilson of Farnham, Surrey. A British paper carried news of Captain Wilson’s death. It suggests that family and friends may have known him as Tim. He was the only son of the late Honourable Mr. Justice Wilson and Eleanor Wilson of 11 Deramore Drive, Malone Road, Belfast, and husband to Isabella Mary Frothingham Wilson of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. In 1943, the couple lived at New Acre, Great Austins, Farnham, Surrey. Medjez el Bab Memorial, Béja, Tunisia, North Africa. His name also features on one of two memorial stones in the Grand Hall of the Royal Courts of Justice, Chichester Street, Belfast.
Royal Ulster Rifles, 2nd Btn. Rifleman.7043667. Died 06/04/1945. Aged 38. Son of Samuel and Elizabeth Kane, of Tobermore, Co. Londonderry. Rheinberg War Cemetery, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Germany
+THOMPSON, Victor Arnold
RAFVR. Flight Sergeant. W. Op. (Air).1076295. Died 06/04/1945. Age 21. Son of Robert and Kathleen Thompson, of Elsinore, Doury Road, Ballymena. Ballymena new cemetery
06/04/1915 – Royal Navy ordered false bow waves to be painted on its ships in order to confuse enemy submarines as they prepared firing solutions for their torpedoes. The aim being to falsely indicate the ship’s speed.
06/04/1917 – US declares war on Germany, enters World War I
06/04/1942 – German troops invade Yugoslavia. After 11 days of fighting, Belgrade surrenders unconditionally.
05/06 April 1945 – London Irish Rifles – the start of Operation Grapeshot in Italy saw the 1st Bn LIR join the attack across the River Reno.. the final push to the Po.
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