November 25. HMS Barham. QUB surgeon and the Red Baron. Roll of Honour

On this day in 1941, the battleship HMS Barham sank in the Mediterranean whilst taking part in an operation against an Italian convoy to Lybia. Three men from NI were lost – Midshipman John Joycelynn, son of the Earl of Roden from Larne, Marine John Smylie from Lisburn, and Marine Joseph Berry from Portadown. Of the crew of 1,312, there were only 452 survivors. In WW1 Coleraine-related Seaman Gunner David Murphy served in Barham at Jutland. Thomas Sinclair served during WW1 as a consulting surgeon to the army in France and Egypt. He conducted an examination of the German ace, the Red Baron after he was shot down. Sinclair was the Professor of Surgery at QUB and the first President of the Queen’s University Services Club formed by those who returned to remember their colleagues who fell. He was also consulting surgeon to the Forster Green Hospital, the Co Antrim Infirmary, and the Lisburn and Coleraine Cottage Hospitals.

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