October 13. First Ulster Division fatality. Belfast Gunners costly defence of London. Roll of Honour

On this day in 1915 Rifleman John Hanna from Whitehouse was wounded and brought in by the enemy, sadly he died from his wounds and was buried by his captors. Rifleman Hanna is recognised as being the first Ulster Division soldier to die as a result of infantry actions on the enemy. Two Shankill Road members of the 8th (Belfast) HAA Regiment Royal Artillery died on this day in 1940. Robert Crawford and Robert Robinson took part in the Dunkirk evacuation and on arriving home, the Gunners got the task of defending London against the blitz. On dates between 8th and 16th October 1940, Luftwaffe bombs fell on the regiment’s barracks. Both men are remembered in Belfast City Cemetery, Glenalina Extension. Three men died and twelve more sustained injuries in these attacks. In 1944 Thomas Cochrane, a Royal Navy seaman from Newtownards who was attached to an RN Commando was lost when his Landing Craft was swept ashore in thirty-foot high waves in a force 9 gale along Chesil Beach, Lyme Bay, Dorset. Nine of the 13 strong crew died. Thomas is named on Chatham Naval Memorial, Panel 75, and Newtownards WM.

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