August 11. HMS Eagle, HMS Albatross and HMS Parthian. Roll of Honour

On This Day in 1943 Escort Carrier, HMS Pursuer docked at Airport Wharf next to Sydenham Airfield, Belfast, with a cargo of American fighter planes. In 1916 Ralph Maxwell from Belfast, wounded at the Somme on July 1, died of wounds in a London hospital. His remains rest with three generations of his family at Derriaghy Parish Churchyard. He was buried with full military honours. Pioneers made and mended roads and trenches. William Alexander from Blackskull, Dromore, was one of four killed by shellfire whilst doing this essential work in 1917. Two NI men were lost in the fleet carrier HMS Eagle which sank in only 8 minutes in 1942, and four men were lost in HMS Albatross which was badly damaged by a U Boat in 1944. Three Irish Guardsmen from Pomeroy, Lisburn, and Ballymena died in Normandy in 1944. RAF casualties in WW2 include Wilson Lily from Larne and Joseph McCandless from Dromore. Wilson’s remains rest at Labuan War Cemetery, Malaysia, and Joseph is named on the Singapore Memorial. 51 names are recorded in today’s Roll. Photo Royal Marines Band and Westminster Abbey – both sources of excellent music.

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