October 16. Funerals in Belfast from HMS Otranto disaster at Islay. Roll of Honour

Edwin Edmonds from Belfast serving in the Royal Navy perished in HMS Otranto on this date in 1918. Hundreds of men including US army personnel died when in a storm the troopship was rammed by another ship off Islay. 21 were buried in Belfast City Cemetery. On the same day infantry in Europe were being hard-pressed resisting a German onslaught. James Campbell from Omagh, Edward McCann from Lisburn, and George Usher from Cookstown were among the fallen. Hugh McHugh died serving in the US army. His brother was a schoolteacher in Portstewart. In 1944 William Cowan, a bomb aimer in the RAFVR, was shot down over Poland on a mission from Southern Italy to drop supplies for the Polish Home Army. The Befast man’s body was found by the Polish Resistance who conducted a burial. His remains now rest at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery in Krakow, Poland.

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