June 22. Dunkirk Gunner who joined the RAF. Roll of Honour

Gunner Ernie Harwood escaped Dunkirk in a fishing boat in 1940 and joined RAF. On this day Barbarossa, the German invasion of Russia starts in 1941, and in 1944 the battle of Kohima ends having laid the ground from defeat into victory against the Japanese. On this day in 1942, Edward Laird, a 22-year-old Royal Inniskilling Fusilier, was executed by beheading by the Japanese for protesting at the execution of two comrades. He has no grave and is remembered at the Rangoon Memorial, Myanmar. John Smith from Derry was a keen member of the Scout Movement and the YMCA. He joined the Royal Marines and in his three years of service took part in the landings in Sicily and Italy. In 1944 he died of his injuries in Normandy where he had been taken prisoner of war by the German forces. The veteran’s entry on today’s Roll recalls the death this day in 1922 of Field Marshal Sir Henry Hughes Wilson, Chief of the Imperial General Staff, who formally opened the Ulster Battlefield Memorial Tower at Thiepval in November 1921. Photo – Le Trou Aid Post Cemetery in Northern France.

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