February 14. First NI fatalities in Fall of Singapore. Roll of Honour

Today’s Roll contains Remembrance NI’s first entries from the battle for Singapore in 1942. Alexander Glendinning was the son of a clergyman with links to both Saintfield and Belfast. An Old Campbellian, he served with the RAFVR. Stewart Potts from Lisburn was on the strength of HMS Sultan, the RN’s shore base in Singapore. His brother died two years later serving with the Irish Guards. In 1917 Alexander Dixon died alongside fellow Ballycastle man Hugh McKendry. The Royal Irish Riflemen were killed when a shell burst in a trench they were occupying near Ypres. Both soldiers died together and are buried side by side in St Quentin Cabaret Military Cemetery, Belgium. The record of Joseph Houston from Ballymena is beyond remarkable. He served 14 years with the Royal Irish Dragoon Guards and spent some time as a Boer prisoner after being captured at Bloemfontein during the S African war. He returned to civy street and volunteered for WW1 even though his time as a committed reservist had expired. He was posted to Mounted Branch, Corps of Military Police. He was to spend almost the entire war in France. He died with the occupying forces in Germany in 1919, a victim of the ‘Spanish flu’ epidemic. In 1943 the remains of RNVR Signalman George Campbell from Belfast were placed in the Naval Vault in Tahiti. James Nicholls, an RAF Air Gunner, from Newtownards died on the same day over Belgium and rests in Heverlee War Cemetery near Louvain.

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