Headstones and shadows. Every shadow a fatality and a family bereft but with honour. Today’s Roll remembers 12 from NI who served on the sea, on land, and in the air. Sons of Ballymena, Belfast, Castledawson, Coalisland, Downpatrick, Portadown and Randalstown.
Representing their comrades who died on this day
+MELVILLE, Robert Love
Royal Engineers. 121st Field Coy. Sapper. 57634. Died 11/04/1915. Aged 19. He was the son of William and Eliza Jane Melville, of Downpatrick, Co. Down, and cousin of John, Samuel, George and William Love. Beauval Communal Cemetery, Somme, France
Royal Irish Fusiliers, 1st Btn. Lance Corporal. 24876. Died 11/04/1917. Browns Copse Cemetery, Roeux, Pas de Calais, France
+O’NEILL, John James
Royal Irish Fusiliers. Private. 20882. Died 11/04/1917. William John O’Neill was the eldest son of John and Ellen O’Neill. He was born on 21/01/1895 in Moyagall, Gulladuff, Knockloughrim. He was one of seven children. They were a farming family and lived in Dreenan, Knockloughrim. He enlisted under the names of John James O’Neill. Fampoux British Cemetery, Fampoux, Pas de Calais, France. Castledawson WM
Royal Irish Fusiliers, 1st Btn. Private. 3622. Formerly 5766 Royal Garrison Artillery. Died 11/04/1917. He was was born on the 18/11/1897 at Coach Entry, Castle Street, Ballymena. He enlisted in Ballymena. He was the son of Patrick McClintock and Sarah Elder. The couple had married in St Patrick’s Parish Church, Ballymena on 11/04/ 1883. He was the brother of 7300 David. Arras Memorial, France.
Northumberland Fusiliers. Private. 66192. Died 11/04/1918. From Brackaville, Coalisland. Enlisted Workington, Cumberland. Hedauville Cemetery Extension. Albert, Somme
+McAULEY, William John
Royal Irish Fusiliers, 9th Btn. North Irish Horse. Private. 41556. Died 11/04/1918. Enlisted in the North Irish Horse in 1915. Son of John McAuley, of Tamlaght, Randalstown. Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium.
RAFAAF. Sergeant. 816150. Died 11/04/1941. Aged 20. 30 Sqdn. Son of John and Mary Crooks, Belfast. Phaleron War Cemetery, Greece
1943 HMS Beverley
On 09/04/1943 HMS Beverley had been seriously damaged in a collision with the British steam merchant Cairnvalona (4929 tons) and took station in the rear of the convoy until she was torpedoed some 30 hours later by U-188. There were only 4 survivors out of a crew of 155.
RNVR. AB. P/UD/X 1323. Died 11/04/1943. Age 26. HMS Beverley. Brother serving with Royal Engineers wounded at Dunkirk. Son of Samuel and Elizabeth Agnew, Park St., Belfast. (Belfast Weekly Telegraph 14/05/1943). Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 80
ERA Third Class. P/MX 60364. Died 11/04/1943. HMS Beverley. Husband to Mrs PM Farquhar, Ormeau Rd., Belfast.(Belfast Weekly Telegraph 14/05/1943). Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 77
+WILSON, Valentine Robertson
RAFVR. Sergeant (Navigator). 1389001. Died 11/04/1943. Aged 28. 115 Sqdn. Son of Valentine and Nellie Wilson; stepson of Christine Wilson, Portadown. Le Thour Communal Cemetery, Ardennes, France
RN. Petty Officer. D/JX 191475. Date of Death: 11/04/1945. Age: 43. HMS President III. Son of James and Mary McNally. Husband to Bridget McNally, Castlereagh. Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 93
Leading Aircraftman James Stewart (630717) served in the Royal Air Force during World War Two. He was a flight mechanic in RAF 267 Squadron – The ‘Pegasus’ Squadron. He enlisted on 11/01/1939 and served until 19/02/1946 seeing action in Burma.
Born on 06/08/1918, he was the son of John Stewart and Ethel Selina Stewart (née Hayes) of Shankill Road, Belfast. The couple also had a daughter Margaret Earley Stewart born in 1913.
James, known to family and friends as Jimmy, was the husband of Jonathena (Ena) Hamilton Stewart (née Shields) of Shankill Road, Belfast
He died on 11/04/1999, aged 80 years old and his grave is in Roselawn Cemetery, Belfast.
11/04/1945 – 38 (Irish) Brigade. “0600 Brigade Group commences to move to Assembly Area north of Lugo. In this area, all tanks, Kangaroos and assault RE detachments linked up and coordinated with their respective battalions…
“Brigade Group will be required to pass through bridgehead tomorrow being formed over the River Santerno by 8 Indian Division tonight.
“Enemy resistance is fairly heavy and is supported by Tiger Tanks and there is quite a lot of mortaring and a considerable number of mines….”
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