February 16. QUB doctor’s service in both wars. Roll of Honour

William McMeekin Chesney, MC, and Bar, MiD, was studying medicine at Queen’s University when he joined the OTC in 1911. From Ahoghill, he served in both world wars and died this day in 1979 at the age of 86. Lt. Col. Chesney was one of eight members of Fitzroy Presbyterian Church, Belfast to be awarded the Military Cross. Another doctor, Edward Martin from Dromore died of wounds in Mesopotamia in 1917. Today’s Roll reflects the cost of the defence of Singapore in 1942. The majority of names are from HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Sultan which was the land base of the Royal Navy. William Coleman from Warrenpoint was serving with the Royal Indian Artillery and is named on the Singapore Memorial. Naval reservist William Preston from HMS Caroline was lost in HMS Grasshopper (T85) which was a Dragonfly-class river gunboat. She and her sister ship HMS Dragonfly were sunk byJapanese forces south of Singapore with heavy loss of life. This is also the anniversary of a massacre of Australian nurses retreating from Singapore. Francis P Nugent was born in America. Both his parents were Irish. He came home when he was four years old and spent his childhood in Pomeroy. Francis Nugent returned to America. He enlisted in New Jersey. He served with the 318th Infantry Regiment, 80th Infantry. He was awarded the Purple Heart which was adorned with an oak leaf cluster to show he was wounded in battle twice. He fell this day in 1945 and is remembered at the American Cemetery, Luxembourg. Photo of Gaza War Cemetery early in the morning.

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