November 28. Brook Purdon, army medicine and rugby. Roll of Honour

Major General William Brook Purdon’s distinctive career covered rugby, medicine, war service, and public service. He played rugby for Inst and Queen’s and was President of London Irish. He became the Professor of Hygiene at the Royal Army Medical College, and later the Commandant and Director of Studies. After retiring from the Army in 1946 he accepted the post of Northern Ireland Government Agent in London. He was President of the QUB Services Club in 1948. The war graves of two RAF men, Robert Irvine from Belfast, and William Freeman from Ballycastle are in Egypt and South Africa. In 1941 nineteen-year-old James Scullion from Upperlands died during commando training in Scotland. James Taylor, a Royal Artillery gunner from Ballymoney serving with a Maritime regiment and who most likely died at sea in 1942, is named on Portsmouth Naval Memorial. On this day in 1914, Cdr Henry Peel Ritchie from HMS Goliath was awarded the first Royal Navy Victoria Cross of WW1. In 1916, a lone German warplane appears in the skies over London and dropped six bombs near Victoria Station. Ten casualties were reported. It is the first raid on the city by a fixed-wing aircraft; it won’t be the last.

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