January 04. Voormezeele Enclosures cemetery. Roll of Honour

In today’s Roll – a moving account of the WW2 funeral in Lurgan of Wilfred White a young RAF man. Bombardier Eric Sheals, his father and brothers were keen members of Balmoral Golf Club. Eric died in Libya. The death in Algeria of Robert Carruthers Adjutant of 6 Skins was caused by an air attack on a car he was in. An overview of Voormizeele Enclosures cemetery includes John Bleakley, a Private in Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry who was born in Enniskillen. Photo – Goat Major Fusilier Matthew Owen of 1st Battalion The Royal Welsh with Llywelyn, the regimental goat. Queen Victoria presented the first official goat in 1844.

1 Comment

  1. Bdr Eric Sheals was an original member of 8th (Belfast) HAA Regiment RA (SR) which included 5 LAA Battery. However, when 9th (Londonderry) HAA Regiment RA (SR) was deployed to Egypt in 1939, its LAA battery (6) was left behind and 5 LAA Battery, then at a training camp in England, was placed under command.
    Arriving in Alexandria at the end of November 1939, the Regiment prepared to take over the AA defence of HMS Nile, the RN base in Alexandria, and HMS Grebe, the nearby RNAS station. Not until May 1940 did their Bofors 40mm guns arrive in Egypt and a single Bofors had to be borrowed from the Royal Egyptian Army for training.
    When the Battery’s guns did arrive, the necessary gun stores were missing. Even so, two troops (Y and Z) were deployed into defensive positions in Alexandria for harbour defence while X Troop went to Aboukir to defend the airfield there.
    The Battery helped train both Australian and New Zealand LAA regiments with two Australian troops coming under command for a time. On 26 July 1941 the Battery left 9th Regiment and joined 52nd LAA Regiment.
    In late September 1941, 5 LAA Battery moved to Tobruk as the Australian garrison was being relieved and remained there until the end of the siege after which it joined the Polish Carpathian Brigade and served with that formation during Operation CRUSADER.
    Although records show that 5 LAA Battery joined 2nd LAA Regiment in October 1940, this isn’t borne out by the battery’s war diary which show that it was still part of 9th (Londonderry) HAA Regiment until July 1941.

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