March 7. Rhineland invasion a major step towards WW2. Roll of Honour

A major step on the way to WW2. On this day in 1936 Hitler sends German troops into the Rhineland, breaking the Treaty of Versailles and the Locarno Pact. In 1916 Samuel Beattie from Ballymena a member of the Harryville Company of the Ulster Volunteer Force was killed by a sniper’s bullet when serving with the Royal Irish Rifles. Letters to his widow from his platoon commander and a Methodist Chaplain bring home the reality of war. The family of Bryan “Mick” Kane, an RHA officer from Belfast who died in Egypt in WW2, had major diplomatic links with the Solomon Islands. Today’s veterans are augmented by drawing on Remembrance NI research on NI men in the Royal Navy in WW1. Eleven men signed up on this day for service, and nineteen were discharged. The ships each served in are noted and those who fought at Jutland are identified as well as those who signed on for further possible service with the RFR – the Royal Fleet Reserve. Photo – Gouzeaucourt British Cemetery

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