September 27. Loos, a Portstewart doctor, and a SOE pilot. Roll of Honour

The Battle of Loos impacts on today’s Roll for 1915. An attack at Bellewaerde Lake near Ypres on 25/09/1915 cost the Royal Irish Rifles 2nd Btn over 350 casualties and there are also names of NI men who fell there serving with Scots regiments. Among them was Major Nicholas Archdale, an Old Portoran serving with the Cameron Highlanders. Francis Curley a former student at Belfast Municipal Technical Institute and a QUB engineering graduate is also named on the Loos Memorial – for men with no known grave. Another Fermanagh man was lost on this day, Henry Gartside-Tipping was in HMS Sanda of the Dover Patrol, a Trawlers and Minesweeping flotilla. Sanda was sunk by shore batteries at Zeebrugge, Belgium. James Gatchell, an army medical officer who was awarded the Military Cross and Croix de Guerre (France) died this day in 1917. His parents had a summer residence at Tullaghmurry, Portstewart and he is remembered on Portstewart WM, and Agherton Parish Church WM. Another name on the Parish WM is one of today’s veterans, Aaron McVicker of Castle Gate House, Portstewart. Harry Freeland’s aircraft crashed in France in 1942 when on an SOE Special Operations Executive (SOE) operation to link up with local resistance. He was deeply involved with the BB. His father gave a trophy in Harry’s memory, to be awarded annually at Balmoral Agricultural Show.

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