October 8. Tyne Cot Cemetery. Roll of Honour

Tyne Cot Cemetery is situated on ground captured by the British army. A Dressing Station was located at a captured German Blockhouse. There were 354 burials near the Dressing Station. After the Armistice of 11/11/1918 the cemetery was enlarged. Over 11,500 graves of British soldiers from the nearby battlefields of Passchendaele and Langemarck were located and brought into this cemetery. Today’s Roll has two entries from the RND – the Royal Naval Division – which was comprised of naval personnel serving in an army role in WW1. There were men from throughout NI in the RND and they fought in most of the major engagements of the war. Today we remember two of them who died in 1918 – James Johnston, an Old Campbellian and Queen’s OTC member from Strandtown Belfast, and William Benson from Caledon. Five brothers from Banbridge served. Sergeant Edward McClean died this day in 1915 in France and his brother died in December 1916. Their father, grandfather and great grandfather had also served in the army. In 1944 two Royal Irish Fusiliers died in Italy. John Cairns from Ballymena and Alfred Hall from Portadown are remembered at Santerno Valley War Cemetery.

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