April 16. German bombing of Londonderry. Roll of Honour

This night in 1941 aerial mines were dropped by the Lufwaffe and aimed at the Royal Naval Maintenance Yard at Pennyburn. They landed in Londonderry. One exploded above the British Legion houses in Messines Park, a small development named after the First World war Battlefield at the Somme and home to a number of Ex-Servicemen and their families. London also suffered through the heaviest blitz of the war. Parliament buildings and St. Paul’s Cathedral were damaged, and more than 2,250 fires were touched off by incendiary bombs. Today’s Roll includes the names of nine Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who died when their camp at Newtownards was bombed by German aircraft. In 1918 Fred Law and George McClure from Moira, Charles Crooks from Muckamore and James McGrath from Belfast fell serving in the Royal Irish Rifles in Belgium and France. In 1941 William McGennity, a Royal Ulster Rifleman, got a pass home from Palace Barracks, Holywood. He, his wife, and three children, died when their home in Holmdene Gardens, Belfast, was hit with a German bomb. John McClean of the Derry Gunners died in Egypt. Today’s veterans are John Dale from Cairncastle and John Morrison from Ballymoney. John Dale was discharged after being wounded in WW1. He joined the merchant service and was lost when SS Hungerford was torpedoed this day in 1918. This is John Morrison’s birthday. He served in N Africa and was captured in Italy in 1944. Photo – Remembrance at Australian National Memorial, Canberra.

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