October 14. WW2 Battleship sunk in UK’s safest anchorage. Roll of Honour

HRH Princess Royal visited the location where seven men from Northern Ireland died on this day in 1939 when the battleship HMS Royal Oak was torpedoed and sunk in Scapa Flow. Just weeks after the outbreak of WW2, it was one of Britain’s worst naval disasters. Men from Belfast, Florencecourt, Newtownards, and Newtownstewart, were lost. Joseph Cherry and James Cobourn, from Lisburn, were teenagers when they died in 1918 in the closing days of WW1. Their stories will touch your heart. The entry for Charles Walkington who also died on the same costly date gives an insight into the social background of former Ulster Volunteer Force officers who joined the Ulster Division on the outbreak of war. Peter Ross died in HMS Liverpool. He was a keen yachtsman and drove his own car in the Ulster TT. He was the son-in-law of Lord Glentoran. On the same day in 1940 Richard Garstin, son of the Rector of Maghera, died serving in the RAF. His brother also died in the RAF. In 1944 John Robinson from Belfast died in Hungary when his Liberator Mk VI flown from Italy crashed.

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