Today’s Roll of 16 includes a young Derry officer who fell at Gallipoli in WW1 and a former Glentoran goalkeeper who won MM with Irish Guards in Tunisia in WW2. Photo of Somme Tower landscape
Representing their comrades who died on this day
Connaught Rangers, 1st Btn. Private. 3851. Died 28/04/1915. Aged 22. James was born about 1893 in Kilbagh, Charlestown, Co. Mayo. He enlisted in Swinford. He was living in Charlestown at the time. Son of James and Catherine Frain, of Charlestown, Co. Mayo. CWGC records Private J Frain as being a native of Bellaghy, Co. Londonderry. La Brique Military Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium
+GILLILAND, William Millar Major
Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, 2nd Btn. attd. 1st Btn. Lieutenant. Died 28/04/1915. Aged 20. Lieutenant Gilliland was gazetted to the 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers on 25/02/1914 and accompanied his battalion to France as part of the Expeditionary Force. He was wounded at the battle of Le Cateau (receiving a bullet in his right wrist, a shattered hand, and a shrapnel wound on the leg) in August 1914, and on his recovery was attached to the 3rd Battalion of his regiment until February 1915, when he joined the 1st Battalion and proceeded with them as part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force to Gallipoli.
A memorial service for Lieutenant W. M. M. Gilliland, Captain V. K. Gilliland, and Captain John Goold Adams was held in All Saints’ Church, Clooney, Londonderry, on Thursday, June 3, 1915.
A handsome Latin brass tablet in memory of Lieutenant Gilliland was unveiled in All Saints Church, Clooney, on Sunday, December 5, 1915, by Lieutenant Colonel J.K. McClintock, D.L., officer commanding the 3rd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, in the presence of the officers and men of the battalion, the relatives of the deceased, and a number of the general public. Erected on the wall of the north transept, close to the family seat, the tablet bore the following inscription:- ‘To the glory of God, and in loving memory of William Millar Major Gilliland, Lieutenant Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, only son of William Louis Gilliland, of Eschol, and of E. Catherine Major, his wife; wounded at Le Cateau, France, 26th August 1914, while serving with 2nd Battalion; killed in action near Krithia, Gallipoli Peninsula, 28th April 1915, while serving with 1st Battalion; aged 20. Brave, debonair, chivalrous, true, greatly beloved, he trusted in God, and was Christ’s faithful soldier and servant unto his life’s end.’
On the left-hand corner of the tablet was the crest of the 1st Battalion (the old 27th Inniskillings), who “had fought so nobly, so gallantly, and so heroically in the Gallipoli Peninsula, and a feature of the work was the accurate colouring of the castle”.
The tablet was unveiled by Lieutenant Colonel McClintock, after the reading of the Lesson for the day, and, in dedicating it, the Reverend W. F. H. Garstin, M.A., rector of All Saints Church and chaplain to the troops at Ebrington Barracks, said ‘To the Glory of God, and in loving memory of William Miller Major Gilliland, Lieutenant Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who died upon the field of battle while serving his King and country, we dedicate this memorial brass, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.’
William Gilliland was the son of the late Mr. William Louis Gilliland (of the firm of solicitors, Messrs. Knox, Gilliland & Babington) and Mrs. Gilliland, Eschol, Derry. He was a Grandson of Canon W. M. and Mrs. Major.
Pink Farm Cemetery, Helles, Turkey (including Gallipoli), Diamond War Memorial, Londonderry, All Saints’ Church (Church of Ireland), Clooney Parish, 1914-18 Roll of Honour.
1 RInF. Private. 13206. Died 28/04/1915. Aged 20. Born in Derryloran, Co. Tyrone. Enlisted at Cookstown. Son of James and Mary Jane McGeown of 27 Milfort Avenue, Dunmurry. Helles Memorial, Turkey (including Gallipoli)
Gordon Highlanders, 1st/7th Btn. Lance Corporal. S/14324. Died 28/04/1917. Aged 42. He was born on 05/06/1875 in Kilrea. His mother died when he was a year old. His father remarried and had a further eight children. They were a farming family that lived at Claragh House, north of Kilrea. Thomas set up in business in Glasgow a few years previous to the war. He enlisted and joined the Gordon Highlanders and served with them throughout his time in the army. In April he was seriously wounded. He was removed to a casualty clearing station and then to a hospital in Etaples where he died of his wounds a few days later. Son of John and Mary Adams of Claragh, Kilrea, Co. Derry. A native of Claragh. Etaples Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais, France. Kilrea WM
Northumberland Fusiliers, 26th (Tyneside Irish) Btn. Private 26/1443. Died 28/04/1917. Aged 38. Andrew Conlan was the son of Patrick and Sarah Conlan, of Donaghmore, Co. Tyrone. Patrick had been a U.S. Army veteran. Sarah was born in the United States. Andrew was born in Tyrone about 1879. By 1901 Patrick’s father had died. Andrew was a 20-year-old postman living in Donaghmore with his mother and sister. Andrew was husband to Teresa Conlan, of 75, Alexander St., Newcastle-on-Tyne. Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, Pas de Calais, France. Dungannon WM
15 RS. Private. 24748. Died 28/04/1917. Born Lisburn and enlisted there. Listed in the Lisburn Standard as a “Lisburn Casualty” when the paper reported that he had been wounded in May or June 1916. Arras Memorial, France, bay 5.
+HALL, Samuel Hugh
Canadian Infantry, 8th Btn. Private. 871185. Died 28/04/1917. Aged 32. His enlistment papers record that he was born in Belfast on 14/06/ 1884. There is a possible listing of William John Hall in the 1901 census. He was living in Vernon Street in Belfast. He was 19 years old. Samuel Hall emigrated to Canada and worked as a machinist’s helper. He was living at 2 Bury Street, Winnipeg. He enlisted in Winnipeg on 16/02/1916. He listed his next of kin as his wife, Mary Hall. Mary was living in Leckagh, Magherafelt at that time. Vimy Memorial, Pas de Calais, France
8 COR, Canadian Expeditionary Force. CSM. 150154. Died 28/04/1917. Aged 28. Born in Hillsborough, Co. Down on the 21/09/1888, he was a policeman with 3 years service in the RIC. A single man with no previous military experience he joined up at Brandon, Manitoba, Canada on 24/07/1915. 6’2” tall, he had a 39 inch chest, fair complexion, blue eyes, and fair hair. Passed fit for overseas service on the 01/09/1915 he was posted to the 79 Overseas Battalion, CEF, and later to 8 COR. Son of Jane McCarthy and the late John R. McCarthy of Corcreeny, Hillsborough. Vimy Memorial, Pas de Calais, France
Highland Light Infantry, 2nd Btn. Private.17220. Died 28/04/1917. Aged 27. William McCool was the eldest son of Archibald and Isabella McCool. William McCool was born about 1890 in Glasgow. The family lived in Castledawson, Like his father and brother, William was a labourer. William enlisted in Glasgow. Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France . Castledawson WM
RMLI. Sergeant. 14226. Plymouth Division. 2nd Marine Battalion. RND. Died 28/04/1917. Age 28. Enlisted 10/10/1907. Plymouth Battalion at Dunkirk & Defence of Antwerp 1914 ; Landed at Ostend 27 to 31/08/1914; Defence of Antwerp 19/09/1914 – 12/10/1914; Promoted Paid Lance Sergeant at Malta 14/02/1915; Promoted Acting Sergeant at Mudros 09/03/1915; MEF 06/02/1915 – 27/04/1915. Sprained ankle (slight) to Hospital Malta ; From Malta to Alexandria 06/09/1915 ; Rejoined Battalion Cape Helles 17/09/1915; To 11th Casualty Clearing Station 16/10/1915 Enteritis ; To Stationary Hospital Mudros Dysentery 17/10/1915 ; To Convalescent Depot Mudros 26/10/1915 Dysentery; To ANZAC Base W.Mudros 11/11/1915 ; Rejoined Battalion Cape Helles 02/12/1915 ; Embarked Mudros 07/05/1916, disembarked Marseille 12/05/1916; 10 days Leave to UK 21/09/1916; Rejoined Battalion France 01/10/1916; To 1st (RN) Field Ambulance 08/10/1916. Abscess right thigh; Rejoined Battalion 14/10/1916 ; Attached to Town Major, Bernaville 20/11/1916 for Clerical Duties ; Rejoined Battalion 16/12/1916 ; To 2nd (RN) Field Ambulance Abscess right thumb and Reverted to Corporal 30/01/1917 & on to 3rd (RN) Field Ambulance Divisional Rest Station same date ; Rejoined Battalion and promoted Acting Sergeant 19/02/1917, 2nd Royal Marine Battalion ‘B’ Company. Born Comber 16/05/1888. Son of David and Jane Quinn, The Cottages, Comber. 1914 Star issued to father 25/08/1919. Arras Memorial. First Comber – PCI RH. Comber WM. ADM 159/155/14226
RMLI. Private. 960(S). Chatham Division. 1st RM Btn RND. Died 28/04/1917. Enlisted 25/08/1915 ; Embarked RM Brigade 16/02/1916 per HMT Olympic and arrived Mudros 24/02/1916), joined 1st RM Battalion at Stavros 28/02/1916 – 03/10/1916. Sick. Rejoined 1st RM Battalion 25/11/1916 – 16/12/1916 sick, rejoined 1st RM Battalion 23/02/1917-28/04/1917. Born Belfast 25/11/1891. Son of John Smyth. Husband to Annie Smyth, Mackey St., Belfast. Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France. ADM 159/144/960
+ALDERDICE, William Yarr
RAFVR. Sergeant. 1056825. Died 28/04/1942. Age 24. 408 (R.C.A.F.) Sqdn. He was serving in Bomber Command with 408 which is known as “Goose Squadron”. On 28/04/1942 he was a Wireless Operator / Air Gunner in Hadley Page Hampden Bomber AE 426 which had flown from R.A.F. Balderton on a mission to Keil, Germany when it was shot down. Son of George and Mary Alderdice, Belfast. Ohlsdorf Cemetery, Germany
+MORROW, Patrick William John
RAF. Sergeant. 196 Sqdn. Died 28/04/1943. On the night of 28/04/1943, he was aboard Vickers Wellington X aircraft HE220 which took off from RAF Leaconfield in Yorkshire at 2045 hrs to perform mine-laying duties in the Forgetmenots Region, being Kiel Canal. The aircraft and crew were lost without trace. Patrick William John was the Son of Francis and Margaretta Morrow of Dunmurry, County Antrim.
Irish Guards, 1st Btn. Lance Serjeant. 2721484. M M. Died 28/04/1943. Aged 30. Thomas Pearson – “Big Tom” played as goalkeeper for Hull City and Derby County before moving to Belfast to Glentoran Football Club in 1937. He played 98 games for Glentoran Football Club. had played as a Goalkeeper for Glentoran FC before joining the Irish Guards. He is remembered with a plaque and a documents display shown in the foyer of the Grandstand at The Oval. He won the Military Medal for action in Tunisia. The citation states –
“On the night 24/25 March this NCO was in a patrol which was working 3,000 yards behind the enemy lines at Point 305 and he was left with his Bren Gun to protect with fire a further forward movement of the patrol. As the patrol advanced five enemy Machine guns opened up on it. Lance-Sergeant Pearson immediately opened with his Bren Gun firing tracer at each in turn to draw their fire onto himself and thus save his patrol. This he did so successfully that the patrol was able to disengage and withdraw, he himself firing until his ammunition was exhausted and at several moments during this action his Bren Gun was being hit by enemy fire.
“Lance-Sergeant Pearson showed very great bravery in drawing the fire of five enemy Machine guns and completely disregarded his personal safety in order to distract the enemy and save the lives of his comrades. By this gallant action most of the patrol was saved and German deserters have subsequently confirmed that Lance-Sergeant Pearson killed four enemy and wounded two others.”
On 28/04/1943 1st Battalion, Irish Guards were attacking Djebel Bou Aoukaz. A Wehrmacht soldier manning the turret of an armoured personnel carrier gunned down Pearson. Glentoran Football Club received a letter on 14t/05/1943 confirming Thomas Pearson’s death.
His death came before the ceremony to award the Military Medal. His name still remained in the plans for the award ceremony. He was to be number 32 at the event on 25/05/1943.
The plaque at Glentoran FC was unveiled by Eddie Donnan, a 1st Battalion Irish Guards veteran, on Saturday 10/10/2009. Donovan, a lifelong Glentoran fan, had served alongside Pearson and witnessed his death. The Irish Guards Corps of Drums attended the ceremony.
Son of John and Elizabeth Pearson of Derby; husband of Margaret Harper Pearson, of Belfast. Oued Zarga War Cemetery, Tunisia. Glentoran FC, Belfast.
+MARTIN, George Alexander
RAFVR. Sergeant. 1006035. Died 28/04/1945. Aged 27. Died at City Hospital in Nottingham. Son of Frederick George and Bertha A. M. Martin of Khandahar Street, Belfast. Belfast City Cemetery
RAFVR. Aircraftman 2nd Class. 4005062. Died 28/04/1946, aged 31. Died at RAF Padgate Hospital, Lancashire. Last address: 54 Teutonic Street, Belfast. Belfast City Cemetery
Every Day is a Remembrance Day
We will remember them
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