August 18 – Anniversary of famous ‘High Flight’ poem. Roll of Honour

Today is the anniversary of the writing of one of the most beautiful poems ever composed – “High Flight,” by John Gillespie Magee who was educated in the USA and at Rugby. He travelled from the USA to Canada to join the RAF. A former student at RBAI (Inst) died on this day in 1917. John Bill from Belfast fell during the Battle of Langemarck (Third Ypres). Six RAF personnel and two RN who died in WW2 are remembered. Charles Whiteside from Tandragee died over India, and William McDermott from Londonderry over Belgrade. The cost of caring is reflected in the deaths of Mary Louise Norrell, a staff nurse from Castlerock, in 1919, and RAF doctor Robert Cromie from Ballymoney. Veterans include George Young, from Aghanloo House, Limavady, who after RNVR service studied law, and WRNS Peggy Robertson from Fermanagh who served in S Africa and Egypt and celebrated her centenary in August 2015. Photo – John Gillespie Magee, RCAF, receives his wings.

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