June 4. Ballymena and Coleraine brothers in arms. Roll of Honour

William and Thomas Rowan from Ballymena joined the RAF in WW2. On this day in 1942 Thomas died when his Halifax bomber came down in the Wadden Sea. His brother William was a Japanese POW on the infamous Burma Railroad. His grave is beside the Rover Kwai. On June 4,1957, a Roll of Honour to the old boys of Coleraine Inst lost in WW2 was unveiled by the mother of two of them. They were Captain William McGrath D.S.O., of 1 Field Squadron, Royal Engineers and his younger brother, Lt. Daniel McGrath. Like their father James, the pair were members of Bann Rowing Club until shortly before the War started. In WW1 three Navy men from Belfast and Derry in an infantry role died at Gallipoli in 1915. In 1917 William Andrews with links to Dungannon and Ballymena died in an RFC plane crash. In 1940 in the closing days of the Dunkirk evacuation, Prime Minister Winston Churchill tells the Commons ‘We shall fight on the beaches, in the fields, in the streets and in the hills. We shall never surrender.’

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