Reprinted here is a memoir by Newry-born Francis Joseph McMahon who recounts life with the NIH in WW1 and the journey to Egypt with their horses when the regiment was dismounted in 1917. The tank above stands in Carrickfergus as a memorial to the regiment and particularly in the freedom of Italy. The flash denoting a Canadian war honour for its support attacking the Hitler Line. Medical officer James Annesley from Fermanagh, an old boy of Armagh Royal, died in an air crash in WW1, examing the effects of nervousness on RFC crew.
This day in 1944 Allied forces captured Monte Cassino, Italy, after 123 days of heavy fighting. 55,000 Allied troops became casualties. It took four separate battles before the Abbey was finally taken by part of a multinational force of 20 divisions assaulting across a front of 20 miles. There are 19 unique stories of service in today’s Roll. William Cummings, a doctor from Dungannon and a well known Queen’s rugby player, was killed in the WW1 battle around Bullecourt. John Hood, son of a Larne family, died in Lybia in the Australian Infantry in WW2. Read More
Feature on Flight Sergeant Richard “Dickie” Bolitho who was born in Portrush in 1920. He was a casualty in the Dambusters’ Operation Chastise in 1943. Henry Corkin from Lisburn drowned in France in 1915. Only one of his friends survived the war – see an account in today’s Roll of Honour. Read More
In 1915 at Festubert 265 Inniskillings died in a hard fought battle. Rolls of Honour today for 2nd Btn. Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, and of men from Londonderry. In 1917 Campbell Kennedy from Lisburn was in Sulva Bay. A letter home and his parent’s newspaper notice are simple and moving insights of the times. Tomorrow – Portrush’s Dambuster. Read More
This period in both world wars is marked by major battles in which the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers took part – In 1915 The Battle of Festubert and in 1944 the Battles around Cassino. Veterans today include two well known naval surgeons Kirk Forsythe and Edwin Torrie and Hugh White a PoW who survived a 6-month death march from Dunkirk into Poland. Read More
On this day in 1945 the surrender of German U-boats began on the Foyle. In 1915 William Stanfield, a Marine from Belfast, died in Gibraltar on the hospital ship bringing him home from Egypt. He rests in North Front Cemetery. Entries for three RUR Riflemen reflect the fought withdrawal to Dunkirk in 1940. Read More
The sinking of HMS Goliath off Cape Helles in 1915 dominates today’s Roll. 570 of the 750 men were lost including 23 from NI. Boy First Class Alfred Henry Gadd and Stoker First Class Hector Hiles, had Newtownards links. In 1944 Christopher Saunderson from Ballymena died while taking part in a mission to attack railway marshalling yards at Hasselt, Belgium with RAF 76 Squadron. Read More