September 17 – HMS Courageous, Archbishop at Arnhem. Roll of Honour

Today is the anniversary of two costly events in WW2. In 1939 the air carrier HMS Courageous was lost and in 1944 Operation Market Garden began. 8 men from NI were lost in Courageous. They and 7 survivors are named in today’s Roll. One of them was Old Portoran Harry Creighton from Enniskillen who newspapers reported was a keen swimmer. Henry McCauley from Mill Lane, Ballyclare was amongst those lost. The allies failed attempt in Market Garden to gain a foothold over the River Rhine into Germany from the Netherlands was costly. William Parkes who had served in the army and Belfast Harbour Police was shot and killed after his Sherman tank had been destroyed and whilst he was trying to escape his stricken vehicle near Arnhem. Billy wrote a last letter home to his mother the night before he was killed. Alan Buchanan, a future C of I archbishop was at Arnhem where he remained with injured soldiers who were taken prisoner. An army chaplain, he had taken part in the Sicily campaign.

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