April 23. Ypres, Zeebrugge and myriad acts of bravery. Roll of Honour

In today’s Roll of Honour there are representatives from some of the more notable battles of both wars. Ypres in WW1, the defence of Dunkirk in 1940, and air attacks on Germany, Denmark, and Norway, as well as in the Middle East. The first four entries are men from Northern Ireland who died serving with Canadian forces in 1915. John Gilfillan was from Londonderry, Gilbert Howe was from Hillsborough, William Hutchinson was from Richhill, and James Johnston was from Augher. Their graves are unknown and they are named on the Ypres (Menin Gate) memorial. Michael Armstrong from Armagh was a Cambridge graduate. An officer in the Royal Engineers, he is named on the Trinity College, Cambridge, WM. Lieutenant Oscar Henderson was awarded a DSO for his actions at the raid on Zeebrugge. After his naval service, he was appointed Private Secretary to the Duke of Abercorn, the first Governor of Northern Ireland. His sons Brum and Bill (ex-Irish Guards) managed the family’s Belfast News Letter and were key to the founding of UTV – Ulster Television. There is a link in this post to a RemNi feature on the raid and a Roll of Honour. Twenty-one year old Gerald McClelland DFM from Coleraine died this day in 1944 serving in 77 Sqdn. Bomber Command – see a photo in the Roll of his headstone in Assens (Fyn) New Cemetery, Denmark. On the same day a RN Reservist Noel Neely was lost in HMS Circe. Prior to enlistment he was on the staff of the Belfast Banking Company. Patrick Lawrie Neely was just three years old when his father Noel died. Photo – Ranville war cemetery – the resting place of many from Northern Ireland and especially the D-Day airborne battalion of the Royal Ulster Rifles.

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