April 13. Foundation of RFC. HMS Repulse survivor. Roll of Honour

On this day in 1912, The Royal Flying Corps is founded. By the end of the year it had a fleet of 12 balloons and 36 aircraft. The first RFC squadron to deploy in France in WW1 was commanded by Major Charles Bourke from Armagh. James Stuart from Coleraine, a former Captain in Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, serving with the RFC, died this day in 1917. Edward Meredith from Antrim, a former sergeant of the North Irish Horse, also serving with the RFC, died exactly a year later. The Royal Irish Rifles were also in the thick of conflict this day in 1918 and are remembered at Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium. On this same day in 1945 three members of the Royal Ulster Rifles fell in Germany. Albert Shaw, John Speers and Samuel Tweedy remains rest in Becklingen War Cemetery, Niedersachsen. Today’s Veterans Roll attempts to tell the amazing experiences of Tom Burns from Londonderry who survived the sinking of HMS Repulse off the Malaysian Coast in 1941. He did two tours in the Far East during the Korean War and in retirement was a stalwart of the Waterside branch of the RBL.

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