Ballymena 1939-1945

An interactive community history site from the Ballymena Times

Carved in stone: Allen-Fiffe

 

JOHN ALLEN
 
 
Name: John Maybin Allen
Rank: Corporal
Number: 7012090
Unit: 1st Btn. Royal Ulster Rifles
Date of death: 24/07/1941
Interred: Gravesend Cemetery, Kent.
Plot: B13 Grave - 1427

SAMUEL ALLEN
 
 
Name: Samuel Allen
Number:521623
Rank: Corporal
Unit: Royal Air Force
Date of death: 9/11/1942
Age: 28
Next of kin: Samuel and Annie Allen, Cullybackey Road, Ballymena
No known grave: Comm. on Singapore Memorial, Col. 426

 
 THOMPSON ALLEN
 
THOMPSON ALLEN was an engineer officer in the merchant navy. His ship was sunk with all hands in February 1943.
Name: ALLEN, THOMPSON MCWHIRTER
Initials: T M
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Third Engineer Officer
Regiment/Service: Merchant Navy
Unit Text: M.V. Eulima (London)
Age: 31
Date of Death: 23/02/1943
Additional information: Son of Samuel James Allen and Hannah Jane Allen, of  Tullynamullen, Ballymena, Co. Antrim,  Northern Ireland.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 48.
Memorial: TOWER HILL MEMORIAL


The Eulima was a motor fuel tanker of 6,207 GRT owned and operated by Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Co. She was sailing Liverpool - New York in ballast as part of convoy ON.166 when she was torpedoed at around 07.00 on 23 Feb 1943 by U-186, a type IX/C40, commanded by KapitanLeutnant Siegfried Hesemann. In the same attack, the submarine sank a freighter.

'Eulima' did not sink immediately, and was finished-off by a second torpedo from U-186 at about 10.30 the same morning. She went down at 4648N:3618W, north-west of the Azores. All the 54 crew and nine gunners were lost.

U-186, commissioned in July 1942, was herself depth-charged and sunk with all 53 hands by the RN destroyer HMS 'Hesperus' on 12 May 1943, at 4154N:3149W, north of the Azores.
 

 
 WIILIAM ALLEN
 
Name: William Allen
Number: 14358464
Rank: Gunner
Unit: Royal Artillery att. 301st Field Regt. East African Artillery
Date of death (lost at sea): 12/02/1944 SS Khedive-Ismail (London)
Age: 30
Next of kin: Wife, Fanny Jane Allen; parents Samuel and Elizabeth Allen of Shankbridge, Ballymena.
No known grave: Comm. on the East Africa Memorial, Nairobi. Col. 4
 

 
MARJORIE W ANDERSON
 
Name: Marjorie Wilson Anderson
Number: 192396
Rank: Senior Commander
Unit: Woman's Transport Service
Unit sub-text: FANY (First Aid Nursing Yeomanry)
date of death: 15/11/1943
Age: 41
Next of kin: Parents Samuel Wilson Anderson and Edith Maude Anderson MBE, JP, Coleraine
Interred: Ballymena New Cemetery, Cushendall Road.
 

 
GEORGE ANGUS
 
GEORGE ANGUS served with the Irish Guards.
 
Name: ANGUS, GEORGE
Initials: G
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Lance Serjeant
Regiment/Service: Irish Guards
Unit Text: 1st Bn.
Age: 21
Date of Death: 26/11/1941
Service No: 2718810
Additional information: Son of Robert and Agnes Angus, of Shankbridge; husband of Ivy Violet Angus.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Cemetery: BROUGHSHANE FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHYARD
 

 THOMAS ARMSTRONG
 
Name: Thomas Armstrong
Number: 134072
Rank: Pilot Officer (Navigator)
Unit: 57 Squadron RAF Volunteer Reserve
Date of death: 5/5/1943
Next of kin: Parents Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Armstrong of Lisnafillan, Ballymena.
Interred: Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany.
Plot: 15, row F, grave 15
 

 
WILLIAM BAXTER
 
WILLIAM BAXTER, from Glenravel, was 22 when he died in 1940 while serving with the Royal Ulster Rifles.
Name: BAXTER, WILLIAM
Initials: W
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Rifleman
Regiment/Service: Royal Ulster Rifles
Unit Text: 7th Bn.
Age: 22
Date of Death: 13/11/1940
Service No: 7019617
Additional information: Son of James and Sarah Baxter, of Glenravel.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Cemetery: NEWTOWNCROMMELIN PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHYARD
 

 
DAVID BELL
DAVID BELL was among the many thousands of Allied POWs who died in Japanese camps along the Burma Siam Railway -made famous by the epic movie 'Bridge On The River Kwai'. He was educated at Ballymena Academy and Trinity College, Dublin.
 
Name: BELL, DAVID DUNWOODY
Initials: D D
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment/Service: Royal Artillery
Unit Text: 148 (The Bedfordshire Yeo.) Field Regt.
Date of Death: 15/12/1942
Service No: 140727
Additional information: Son of Henry Edward and Mary Bell, of Gracehill, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: 12. C. 9.
Cemetery: CHUNGKAI WAR CEMETERY


The notorious Burma-Siam railway, built by Commonwealth, Dutch and American prisoners of war, was a Japanese project driven by the need for improved communications to support the large Japanese army in Burma.

During its construction, approximately 13,000 prisoners of war died and were buried along the railway.

An estimated 80,000 to 100,000 civilians also died in the course of the project.

The line, 424 kilometres long, was completed by December 1943.
 
The graves of those who died during the construction and maintenance of the Burma-Siam railway (except for the Americans, whose remains were repatriated) were transferred from camp burial grounds and isolated sites along the railway into three cemeteries at Chungkai and Kanchanaburi in Thailand and Thanbyuzayat in Myanmar.

Chungkai was one of the base camps on the railway and contained a hospital and church built by Allied prisoners of war. The war cemetery is the original burial ground started by the prisoners themselves, and the burials are mostly of men who died at the hospital.

There are now 1,427 Commonwealth and 314 Dutch burials of the Second World War in this cemetery.
 

 
HENRY BELL
 
Name: Henry Bell
Number: 1463074
Rank: Gunner
Unit: 9th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regt. Royal Artillery
Date of death: 4/4/1944
Age: 29
Next of kin: Wife Martha Bell of Harryville. Parents William McNiece Bell and Hannah Grace Louisa Bell
Interred: Ballymena Cemetery, Cushendall Road.
 

 
 DAVID BLACKER
DAVID BLACKER of Ballymena served with the 'Redcaps' - the Corps of Military Police.
 
 
Name: BLACKER, DAVID
Initials: D
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Corporal
Regiment/Service: Corps of Military Police
Unit Text: 508 Provost Coy.
Age: 27
Date of Death: 12/12/1943
Service No: 7684102
Additional information: Son of Jonathan and Elizabeth Blacker, of Ballymena, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: 3. 1. 9.
Cemetery: RAMLEH WAR CEMETERY
 

 
SAMUEL McCAUGHEY BOAL
SAMUEL McCAUGHEY BOAL was a Wing Commander in the RAF and was the holder of the Distinguished Flying Cross. Further research being undertaken.
 
    
 
 
 
 
Name: BOAL, SAMUEL MCCAUGHEY
Initials: S M
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Wing Commander
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force
Unit Text: 217 Sqdn.
Date of Death: 01/04/1942
Service No: 37713
Awards: D F C
Additional information: Son of Hugh and Annie Boal, of Ballymena, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland; husband of Joy Boal, of Leamington Spa, Warwickshire.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 64.
Memorial: RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL
 

 
SAMUEL BONAR
 
SAMUEL BONAR. Further research into this man is ongoing. If you can help please use the Guest Book facility.
 
Name: BONAR, SAMUEL
Initials: S
Nationality: Canadian
Rank: Private
Regiment/Service: Royal Canadian Army Service Corps
Unit Text: 62 Gen. Transport Coy.
Age: 39
Date of Death: 16/03/1942
Service No: B/82613
Additional information: Son of James Boyd Bonar and Jeanie Bonar, of  6, Salisbury Square, Ballymena; husband of Kathleen Bonar, Toronto. 
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Sec. A. Square 14. Grave 46.
Cemetery: BALLYMENA NEW CEMETERY
 

 
 SAMUEL BUNTING
 
SAMUEL BUNTING was Chief Engineer on the SS Glendalough. Further research being undertaken.
 
 
Name: BUNTING, SAMUEL
Initials: S
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Chief Engineer Officer
Regiment/Service: Merchant Navy
Unit Text: S.S. Glendalough (Belfast)
Age: 41
Date of Death: 09/08/1941
Additional information: Son of Samuel Bunting, and of Anne Jane Bunting, of  'Hame', Summerfield Street, Ballymena, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 52.
Memorial: TOWER HILL MEMORIAL
 

 JOHN CAIRNS
 
JOHN CAIRNS is buried in Italy. He died while serving with the Royal Irish Fusiliers. He was only 18.
 
 
 
Name: CAIRNS, JOHN JAMES
Initials: J J
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Lance Corporal
Regiment/Service: Royal Irish Fusiliers
Unit Text: 1st Bn.
Age: 18
Date of Death: 08/10/1944
Service No: 14416962
Additional information: Son of William and Mary Cairns, of  37 Castle Street, Ballymena, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: I, L, 16.
Cemetery: SANTERNO VALLEY WAR CEMETERY
 

 
ALEXANDER CARLISLE
 
ALEXANDER CARLISLE was a lance corporal with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.
 
Name: CARLISLE, ALEXANDER
Initials: A
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Lance Corporal
Regiment/Service: Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers
Unit Text: 70th Bn.
Date of Death: 16/04/1941
Service No: 6984668
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 11. Column 2.
Memorial: BROOKWOOD MEMORIAL
 

 WILLIAM CATHCART
 
WILLIAM CATHCART was serving with the London Irish Rifles when he died on Sicily in 1943.
 
 
Name: CATHCART, WILLIAM
Initials: W
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Rifleman
Regiment/Service: Royal Ulster Rifles
Unit Text: 2nd Bn. The London Irish Rifles
Date of Death: 05/08/1943
Service No: 7018987
Additional information: Son of William and Margaret Stewart Cathcart, of Kells, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: III. F. 29.
Cemetery: CATANIA WAR CEMETERY, SICILY
   

 
ROBERT COCHRANE
 
Name: Robert Cochrane
Number: 6975323
Rank: Gunner
Unit: 1st Maritime Regt. Royal Artillery
Date of death: 2/3/1945
Age: 37
Next of kin: Parents, James and Elizabeth Cochrane, Antrim.
Interred: Ballymena Cemetery, Cushendall Road.
 

 
ROBIN COLEMAN
 
ROBIN COLEMAN, a Royal Artillery officer, is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial.He was educated at Ballymena Academy and Campbell College, Belfast.
 
 
Name: COLEMAN, ROBIN BENJAMIN BUNCH
Initials: R B B
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment/Service: Royal Artillery
Unit Text: 9 A.A. Regt.
Age: 33
Date of Death: 05/03/1943
Service No: 87490
Additional information: Son of James and Doris Coleman, of Ballymena, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Column 3.
Memorial: SINGAPORE MEMORIAL
 

 THOMAS COLWELL
 
THOMAS COLWELL was serving with the RAF's (Special Duties) Squadron when he died in 1943. He was a Flight Engineer and his father was Robert McDowell Colwell of Mount Street, Ballymena.
 
Name: COLWELL, THOMAS BELL
Initials: T B
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sergeant
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force
Unit Text: 161 Sqdn.
Date of Death: 19/03/1943
Service No: 577324
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 145.
Memorial: RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL
 
On 15 February 1942, No.161 reformed at Newmarket from a nucleus supplied by No 138 Squadron and the King's Flight. It joined with No 138 in dropping supplies and agents over occupied Europe and took over the landing and pick-up operations for which it used Lysanders, Havocs and Hudsons. Only a few sorties were flown with the Havoc, and many of these were as convoy escorts under the control of Fighter or Coastal Command. Halifaxes were received in November 1942 and in September 1944, it began using Stirlings with which it continued it's covert tasks until on the 2 June 1945 the squadron disbanded.

ALEXANDER COOKE
ALEXANDER COOKE died on HMS Glorious in 1940.
 
 
Name: COOKE, ALEXANDER
Initials: A
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Able Seaman
Regiment/Service: Royal Navy
Unit Text: H.M.S. Glorious
Age: 22
Date of Death: 08/06/1940
Service No: D/SSX 16795
Additional information: Son of Alexander and Lizzie Cooke, of Ballymena, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 37, Column 2.
Memorial: PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL

At the outbreak of the Second World War HMS Glorious was stationed at Alexandria with the Mediterranean Fleet. In October 1939, HMS Glorious was part of Force I, supported by the battleship HMS Malaya she patrolled the Gulf of Aden in search of German merchant ships and the pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee.

With the invasion of Norway on 9 April 1940, HMS Glorious was recalled to England with great haste, she left Malta on 11 April 1940. During the Norwegian Campaign HMS Glorious was almost fully employed in transporting RAF aircraft to Norway.

During the withdrawl from Norway, HMS Glorious (Capt. Guy D'Oyly-Hughes, DSO and Bar, DSC, RN) and her escorting destroyers HMS Acasta and HMS Ardent were caught by the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau with a full deck of Hurricanes and Gladiators, and unable to launch her aircraft she was sunk with great loss of life in position in position 68䣆'N, 03䣚'E. There were only 43 survivors.
 
 

 
 WILNOR CRAWFORD
 
WILNOR CRAWFORD served with the Glider-borne infantry of the Royal Ulster Rifles.
 
 
 
 
Name: CRAWFORD, WILNOR
Initials: W
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Rifleman
Regiment/Service: Royal Ulster Rifles
Unit Text: 1st (Airborne) Bn.
Age: 21
Date of Death: 14/06/1944
Service No: 7019461
Additional information: Son of John and Elisabeth Crawford, of Ballymena, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: IVA. G. 17.
Cemetery: RANVILLE WAR CEMETERY
 

 
 THOMAS DELANEY
 
THOMAS DELANEY, a wireless operator/air gunner, is buried in Ballymena New Cemetery.
Name: DELANEY, THOMAS ALFRED
Initials: T A
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Sergeant (W.Op./Air Gnr.)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Unit Text: 12 Sqdn.
Date of Death: 10/01/1942
Service No: 1111498
Additional information: Son of James Patrick and Mary Delaney, of Ballymena.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Sec. A. Square 13. Grave 3.
Cemetery: BALLYMENA NEW CEMETERY
 

 
ROBERT DEMPSEY
 
Name: Robert Dempsey
Number: 2967616
Rank: Private
Unit: Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders
Date of death: 31/12/1939
Age: 40
Next of kin: Robert and Margaret Dempsey
Interred: Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore
Plot: 35 row G grave 23.

 
THOMAS H ERWIN
 
Name: Thomas Harold Erwin
Number: T/160200
Rank: Driver
Unit: Royal Army Service Corps
Date of death: 8/11/1941
Age: 26
Next of kin: Parents, Andrew and Mary Erwin of 37 Park Street, Ballymena.
Interred: Ballymena Cemetery, Cushendall Road.
 

 
JOHN ESLER
 
JOHN ESLER was the holder of the Distinguished Flying Cross.
 
 
 
Name: ESLER, JOHN ACHESON
Initials: J A
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Flying Officer (Pilot)
Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Unit Text: 86 Sqdn.
Age: 27
Date of Death: 17/05/1942
Service No: 64903
Awards: D F C
Additional information: Son of Logan and Margaret Esler, of Ballymena, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: C. 4.
Cemetery: BERGEN (MOLLENDAL) CHURCH CEMETERY
 
 

WILLIAM C FIFFE
 
Below are the details of the nearest candidate for this individual on the Commonwealth War Grave Commission Records
 
Name: FIFE, WILLIAM CHARLES
Initials: W C
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Corporal
Regiment/Service: Royal Ulster Rifles
Unit Text: 2nd Bn. The London Irish Rifles
Age: 20
Date of Death: 29/11/1943
Service No: 7021381
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: VIII. B. 28.
Cemetery: SANGRO RIVER WAR CEMETERY