The World at War – World War II

Rifleman Patrick George Bagnall, Son of George and Mary Bagnall, of Drogheda, Co. Meath Service Number 14425913 Died 21/01/1945 Aged 19 7th Bn.  Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) Buried at Sittard War Cemetery, Limburg (Netherlands), Netherlands Cemetery/memorial reference: E. 7. The burials in the cemetery, apart from a few dating from November 1944, are almost all from the months of January and February 1945. The men buried here belong mostly to the Scottish regiments of the 52nd (Lowland) Division, engaged in the battle in this vicinity from 18th to 24th January 1945, which had as its object the clearing of a salient west of the River Roer which was still held by the Germans. There are now over 230 1939-1945 War casualties commemorated in this site. Photo: Pontoon on  River Roer

Croker E. Barrington

Brigadier Croker E. Barrington, Son of Croker Barrington and of Florence Jane Barrington (nee Bayly); husband of Gwendolen Mary Barrington, of Brittas, Nobber, Co. Meath. Married 26.07.1933. Died 15/07/1944. Aged 46 .Royal Artillery and Commands and Staff.  General Staff. M C Buried at Gauhati War Cemetery India  Cemetery/memorial reference: 1.F.21. Gauhati War Cemetery was started during the Second World War for burials from the several military hospitals posted in the area. Later, other graves were brought in by the Army Graves Service from Amari Bari Military Cemetery, Sylhet Military Cemetery, Mohachara Cemetery, Nowgong Civil Cemetery and Gauhati Civil Cemetery, where permanent maintenance could not be assured. For the same reason, further graves were brought to the cemetery from isolated sites in the Lushai Hills and from civil cemeteries in Badarpur, Cooch Bahar, Darjeeling, Dhubri, Dibrugarh, Dinjan, Katapahar, Lebong, Lumding, Shillong and Silchar, in 1952. Gauhati, the capital city of the state of Assam in North East India is on the Eastern side of the River Brahmaputra some 600 kilometres east of Calcutta.

Private Christopher Bradley,Son of Thomas and Annie Bradley, of Navan. Service Number 13014602. Died 10/06/1943 Aged 33Pioneer Corps  Buried at Plymouth. Ford Park Cemetery Devon, United Kingdom Cemetery/memorial reference: Gen. Sec. L. Row 15. Grave 35. Plymouth was a naval station second only to Portsmouth during the Second World War. Devonport was also an important military station and there was a R.A.F station at Mount Batten, opposite Plymouth. Ford Park Cemetery (formerly known as Pennycomequick or Plymouth Old Cemetery). All of the 198 Second World War burials are scattered, 1 of which is an unidentified airman of the Royal Air Force.

Leading Aircraftman (U/T Pilot) Ernest Dowling Clarke, Son of The Marchioness of Headfort, and of Sir Rupert Clarke, 2nd Bt., of Kells, Co. Meath, Service Number 1251069 Died 15/12/1940 Aged 19 Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Buried at Montrose (Sleepyhillock) Cemetery. Cemetery/memorial reference: Sec. 1. Class C. Grave 89. The cemetery contains service plots of both wars here (the majority of which are 1939-1945). Most of these graves are of airmen and there is a special RAF plot in the south-eastern part of the cemetery, near the lodge. South of the north gate is an all services plot. There are now nearly 40, 1914-1918 and nearly 100, 1939-1945 War casualties commemorated in this site.

Pilot Officer Richard Joseph Clarke, Son of Richard and Mary Clarke, of Duleek, Co. Meath, Service Number 56445 Died 23/12/1944 Aged 26 35 Sqdn. Royal Air Force  Commemorated at Runnymede Memorial Surrey, United Kingdom Cemetery/memorial reference: Panel 210. The memorial commemorates those airmen and women who died in western Europe and have no known grave. They came from all parts of the Commonwealth and served in Bomber, Fighter, Coastal, Transport, Flying Training and Maintenance Commands. Some were from countries in continental Europe which had been overrun but whose airmen continued to fight in the ranks of the Royal Air Force.

Sergeant (Observer) James Francis Collins, Son of Patrick and Margaret Collins (nee Reilly), of Carlanstown. Service Number 1322290 Died 02/09/1942 Aged 32 157 Sqdn.  Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Buried at Kells New Cemetery Co. Meath. Cemetery/memorial reference: Grave C.35.

Sergeant Eugene Patrick Corrigan, Son of John and Anastasia Corrigan, of Kells, Co. Meath Service Number 580641 Died from peritonitis 02/03/1941 Sergt. Eugene Corrigan, served on a  HP52 Hampden Mk.B.1 Serial number: L4146, QR-R involved in Operation: Communications. Plane Lost: 24/05/1940. Airborne from Hemswell to attack rail communications in tactical support for the BEF in France. Ran out of fuel and forced landed on a patch of clear ground in the Black Forest between Horb and Rottweil, two small towns SW of Stuttgart, Germany. Horb, on the north bank of the River Neckar, being some 54 km SW. Initially the pilot though they had come down in Scotland and it is assumed that a faulty gyro-compass brought about their unexpected arrival in captivity. Sergt. Eugene Corrigan, from Robinstown, Kilskyre, died 2nd March 1941 as a prisoner of war in Germany serving with British army 61 Sqdn.  Royal Air Force  Buried at Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery Berlin, Germany Cemetery/memorial reference: 4. G. 9. The site of Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery was selected by the British Occupation Authorities and Commission officials jointly in 1945, soon after hostilities ceased. Graves were brought to the cemetery from the Berlin area and from eastern Germany. The great majority of those buried here, approximately 80 per cent of the total, were airmen who were lost in the air raids over Berlin and the towns in eastern Germany. The remainder were men who died as prisoners of war, some of them in the forced march into Germany from camps in Poland, in front of the advancing Russians. Photo: Prisoners of War World War II

Photo below: From Japanese Index Cards of Allied Prisoners of War and Internees. Photo: Trim in Days of Yore

Percy Hope-Johnstone was the son of Evelyn Wentworth Hope-Johnstone (1879-1964) and his first wife Eileen Briscoe, who died a few weeks after Percy’s birth. The family lived at Rock Lodge, Laracor for a period. After training at Sherborne School, he attended the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. He served with the 16th/5th The Queen’s Royal Lancers and the 155th Lanarkshire Yeomanry. During World War II he was an artillery officer with the rank of major. During the Japanese invasion of the Malay Peninsula, he was taken prisoner of war. He was married twice. The first marriage was to Phyllis Athena MacDonell in 1932 which ended in divorce in 1939. In 1940 he married Margaret Jane Hunter-Arundell (1910–1998). Percy He succeeded to his titles as Laird of Clan Johnstone, which included 10th Lord Johnstone and Hereditary Steward of Annandale and Hereditary Keeper of Lochmaben Palace, on the death of his father. He also succeeded to the dormant title of Earl of Annandale and Hartfell, but never claimed it. The couple had two children, a daughter and son Patrick, born in 1941, who inherited his father’s peerage. Percy Hope-Johnstone competed in two sports car races in 1931 as a gentleman driver in an Arrol-Aster. At the Le Mans 24-hour race, he had to retire after an ignition failure. At the Tourist Trophy, an accident prevented the finish line. He passed away on 5 April 1983.

Air Mechanic (O) 1st Class William Dalton, Son of William and Catherine Dalton. of Trim. Service Number FX.76257 Died 18/04/1944 Aged 29 H.M.S. Sparrowhawk  Royal Navy Buried at St. Loman’s Cemetery, County Meath, Cemetery/memorial reference: Grave B.50. HMS Sparrowhawk, also called RNAS Hatston, was a Royal Naval Air station, one mile to the north west of Kirkwall on the island of Mainland, Orkney, Scotland. It was located near the strategically vital naval base of Scapa Flow. Photo HMS Sparrow Hawk.

William Dalton

Major Derek Roderick De Stacpoole, Son of George 5th Duke de Stacpoole and of the Duchess de Stacpoole (nee Palmer), of Tobertynan, Enfield, Co. Meath. Died 01/11/1944 Aged 25 No. 48 R.M. Commando.  Royal Marines , Irish Republic. Buried at Bergen-op-Zoom War Cemetery Noord-Brabant, Netherlands Cemetery/memorial reference: 6. B. 2. Bergen-op-Zoom War Cemetery contains 1,284 Commonwealth burials and commemorations of the Second World War. 116 of the burials are unidentified. Many of the casualties are as a result of the Battle for Walcheren (Operation Infatuate), at the beginning of November 1944. Walcheren was an island that dominated the entrance to the River Scheldt, which the Germans fortified to prevent the allies gaining access to the vital deep water port at Antwerp. After a hard fought battle, that principally involved units from the 52nd (Lowland) Division, the 5th Canadian Infantry Brigade and the 4th Special Service Brigade, the island was secured on the 8th November 1944. Lt-Col J.L.Moulton described him as “A gallant, handsome Irish gentleman and most admirable soldier, we owed much to the standards he had set”

Roderick de Stackpoole
De Stacpoole’s gravestone

Petty Officer Airman Thomas Patrick Dwyer,Son of Philip and Mary Dwyer, of Cullen Slane, Co. Meath, Service Number FX.76650,  Died 27/11/1941, Aged 22. H.M.S. Kestrel.
Royal Navy.  Buried Winchester (Magdalen Hill) Cemetery, Hampshire, United Kingdom.  Row G. 1. Grave 110.The Royal Navy used the airfield at RAF Worthy Down, Hampshire and named it HMS Kestral from 1939 until 1942. Being completed in 1918, the airfield remained in use throughout the Second World War.

Private James Everard, Son of Patrick and Mary Everard, of Ratoath, Co. Meath. Service Number 6985970 Died 11/06/1944 Aged 21 1st Bn.  Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders  Buried at  Kohima War Cemetery  India  Cemetery/memorial reference: 5. K. 9. The Japanese advance into India was halted at Kohima in April 1944 and Garrison Hill, a long wooded spur on a high ridge west of the village, was the scene of perhaps the most bitter fighting of the whole Burma campaign when a small Commonwealth force held out against repeated attacks by a Japanese Division. The fiercest hand to hand fighting took place in the garden of the Deputy Commissioner’s bungalow, around the tennis court, but the heaviest casualties on both sides occurred after relieving forces reached the Garrison and the Japanese were driven off the ridge, so re-opening the road to Imphal. Kohima War Cemetery  lies on the battle ground of Garrison Hill. No trace remains of the bungalow, which was destroyed in the fighting, but white concrete lines mark and preserve permanently the historic tennis court.

Flight Sergeant (Wireless Operator) Michael Gerrard Everard, Son of James and Jane T. Everard, of Navan. 970535 57 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Died 11 November 1942. Age 26. Son of James and Jane Everard of Navan. Buried Navan New Cemetery D.41.

Captain Charles Trevor Vesey Fitzherbert, Blackcastle, Navan. Son of Beresford William and Alice Gwendoline Fitzherbert, of Buenos Aires, Argentine. Regiment/Service: Royal Armoured Corps Unit Text: 3rd Carabiniers (Prince of Wales’s Dragoon Guards) Age: 25 Date of Death: 13/04/1944 Service No: 226167 Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead Grave/ 11. Cemetery: Imphal War Cemetery, India. Memorial Reference: 9. C. Strategically well placed for attacks on the lines of communication by railway, road and river which were vital for the maintenance of all Allied operations in Burma, Imphal with its airfields was a main objective when the Japanese made their thrust towards India in the spring of 1944. There was severe fighting in the surrounding hills and on the outskirts of the plain and the Japanese succeeded in cutting a long section of the Imphal-Kohima road and holding it for over three months. The Fourteenth Army held on grimly, inflicting heavy punishment on the Japanese. Of all the battles on this frontier of India the siege of Imphal and its relief in the summer of 1944 rank next in importance to the Battle of Kohima.

Very Rev. Thomas Victor Perry, Dean, Trim, held the Burma Star. He was a chaplin, attached to the Fifth and Seventh Indian armies, who fought in this battle. He was ” mentioned in despatches”, which is a record for bravery. He later became rector of Trim.

Photo: Battle of Imphal-Kohima

Battle of Kohima

Private John Joseph Fitzsimons, Son of Patrick and Kate Fitzsimons, of Trim, Co. Meath, Service Number 7143980. Died 09/11/1941. Aged 41. Corps of Military Police  attd. 8th Bn. Hampshire Regiment. Buried: Rugby (Whinefield) Cemetery. Warwickshire, United Kingdom.   Cemetery/memorial reference: Sec. A. Grave 2.

Stoker 1st Class Thomas Joseph Fox, Son of Francis and Margaret Fox, of Athboy, Co. Meath, Service Number D/KX 88666 Died 10/04/1940 Aged 25 H.M.S. Hunter  Royal Navy

Republic of Ireland. Commemorated at Plymouth Naval Memorial Devon, United Kingdom
Cemetery/memorial reference: Panel 41, Column 1. The Plymouth Naval Memorial was unveiled by HRH Prince George on 29 July 1924. After the Second World War it was decided that the naval memorials should be extended to provide space for commemorating the naval dead without graves of that war, but since the three sites were dissimilar, a different architectural treatment was required for each. During the First Battle of Narvik on 10 April 1940, Hunter and four other H-class ships of the 2nd Destroyer Flotilla attacked the German destroyers that had transported German troops to occupy Narvik in northern Norway the previous day. Hunter followed Hardy into the harbour and fired all eight of her torpedoes into the mass of shipping. One torpedo hit the German destroyer Z22 Anton Schmitt in the forward engine room, followed by one of Hunter‘s 4.7-inch shells. As the British ships were withdrawing, they encountered five German destroyers at close range. Two of the German ships crossed the T of the British ships and quickly set Hardy on fire and forced her to run aground. Hunter eventually took the lead, but was severely damaged by the Germans, probably including one torpedo hit, and her speed dropped rapidly. Hotspur, immediately behind her, was temporarily out of control due to two hits, and rammed her from behind. When the ships managed to disengage, Hunter capsized. 107 men of the crew were killed and another five died of their wounds. The German destroyers rescued 46 men, who were released into Sweden on 13 April.

Able Seaman Gabriel Derek Furness, Son of Stanley and Mary A. Furness, of Navan, Co. Meath, Service Number D/JX 579806 Died 06/12/1945 Aged 19 H.M.S. Duke of York  Royal Navy  Commemorated at Plymouth Naval Memorial Devon, United Kingdom Cemetery/memorial reference: Panel 94, Column 1. H.M.S. Duke of York was the flagship of the Pacific Fleet in 1945.  The Plymouth Naval Memorial was unveiled by HRH Prince George on 29 July 1924. After the Second World War it was decided that the naval memorials should be extended to provide space for commemorating the naval dead without graves of that war, but since the three sites were dissimilar, a different architectural treatment was required for each. Photo HMS Duke of York in the Pacific

Albert Hughes of Kells was a rear gunner in the RAF and was killed in action.

Pilot Officer (Pilot) Noel James Kerr, Son of John and Marie Kerr, of Athboy, Co. Meath, Service Number 81041Died 10/04/1941Aged 21 144 Sqdn.  Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Buried at Adegem Canadian War Cemetery, Oost-Vlaanderen, Belgium A number of isolated graves from various communal cemeteries and churchyards in Belgium have also been brought into this cemetery since the end of the war.
Cemetery/memorial reference: III. AA. 5.  Pilot Officer Noel James Kerr born about 1920. He played rugby at school in Wilson’s Hospital Multyfarnahm.  Received an Inter cert in 1936 and went to employment in Messrs Armstrong Siddely, an engineering works in Coventry.  Joined the RAF Voluntary Reserve. From early 1941 he was based at RAF Cottesmore near Oakham. As a pilot in Bomber Command he took off on the night of April 10th 1941 on a bombing raid over occupied Belgium. The plane was shot down by anti-aircraft fire.   Letters to his sister Dolly survive and are recorded by David Robertson in his book “Deeds not Words” Photo: Bomber

Private James McCluskey, Son of Bernard and Ellen McCluskey, of Dunsany, Co. Meath,

Service Number 14003003 Died 20/04/1945 Aged 20  Highland Light Infantry (City of Glasgow Regiment)  6th Bn. Buried at Becklingen War Cemetery . Niedersachsen, Germany Cemetery/memorial reference: 3. D. 6 The site of Becklingen War Cemetery was chosen for its position on a hillside overlooking Luneburg Heath. Luneburg Heath was where, on 4 May 1945, Field-Marshal Montgomery accepted the German surrender from Admiral Doenitz. Burials were brought into the cemetery from isolated sites in the countryside, small German cemeteries and prisoner of war camps cemeteries, including the Fallingbostel cemetery, within a radius of about 80 kilometres. Most of those buried in the cemetery died during the last two months of the war.

Private Richard McCormack, Dorsetshire Regiment Son of Peter and Mary Anne McCormack, of Trim, Co. Meath husband of Norah McCormack, of Trim. Service Number 11268992 Died 29/04/1945 Aged 32 5th Bn.  Buried at Becklingen War Cemetery, Niedersachsen, Germany Cemetery/memorial reference: 1. B. 15. The site of Becklingen War Cemetery was chosen for its position on a hillside overlooking Luneburg Heath. Luneburg Heath was where, on 4 May 1945, Field-Marshal Montgomery accepted the German surrender from Admiral Doenitz. Burials were brought into the cemetery from isolated sites in the countryside, small German cemeteries and prisoner of war camps cemeteries, including the Fallingbostel cemetery, within a radius of about 80 kilometres. Most of those buried in the cemetery died during the last two months of the war. . (Photo Montgomery accepts German surrender.)

Lieutenant Robert Edward McDonnell, Son of John McDonnell, and of Senta McDonnell, of Kilsharvan, Co. Meath Service Number 64564 Died 16/02/1941 Killed at Barce. Aged 25. 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars Royal Armoured Corps Buried at Benghazi War cemetery. Libya.  Cemetery/memorial reference: 7. D. 30. Benghazi was an important goal for both Allies and Axis forces during the Western Desert campaigns of 1942 and 1943. There are now 1,214 Commonwealth servicemen of the Second World War buried or commemorated in Benghazi War Cemetery. 163 of the burials are unidentified. His sister, Louisa McDonnell, of Kilsharvan House  joined the Auxiliary Territorial service and worked as an ambulance driver in the English Midlands. 

Aircraftman 2nd Class James Joseph McKenna, Son of Joseph and Margaret McKenna, of Duleek. Service Number 1907964 Died 28/02/1946 Aged 21 Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve  Buried at Duleek Holy Cross Cemetery, County Meath, Ireland, Cemetery/memorial reference: Sec. B. New Plot. Grave 124.

Pilot Officer (Pilot) Joseph Francis Patrick John McKenna, Husband of Dorothy Joyce McKenna, of Cambridge. Service Number 84935Died 24/07/1941Aged 2476 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Buried at Pornic War Cemetery, Loire-Atlantique, France Cemetery/memorial reference: 1. AB. 18. Joseph Francis McKenna was born on 3 May 1917. He was one of five brothers who attended Belvedere College, Dublin. They were the sons of Mr and Mrs Charles McKenna who lived at ‘Balbrigh’, Robinstown, Navan. Joseph Francis was known as ‘Joffre’. He came to Belvedere from St Patrick’s National School, Navan in September 1932. While he and brothers attended Belvedere, they stayed at their aunt’s house (Seapark Cottage, Malahide). In 1933, when he was still only in third year, Joseph was a plucky enough rugby player to work his way onto the Senior Third XV. He left Belvedere after fourth year in 1934 and went to England.  In England, he worked for Pye Radio Limited until the war broke out in 1939. As he was already in the RAF reserve, he was immediately called up and soon became a Pilot Officer. He apparently showed as a pilot the same characteristics he had shown on the rugby pitches of Dublin. He married; he and his wife Dorothy had one child. In 1941 he was engaged in air operations not far from Nantes in France. On Thursday 24 July 1941, he was reported missing. It was not until the following November that his brother Charles, a barrister-at-law, received official notice of his death and learnt that Joseph had been buried in France. Joseph Francis McKenna was 24 years old at the time of his death. He is buried in grave number 1 AB 18 at Pornic War Cemetery, Loire-Atlantique, about fifty kilometres from Nantes in France. This story was gathered and submitted to the WW2 Peoples war by Oliver Murphy.

Aircraftman 2nd Class Joseph Patrick Mooney, Son of Peter and Helena Mooney, of Trim. Service Number 4005159 Died 30/08/1946 Aged 24 Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve  Buried at Newtown Cemetery, Trim. County Meath. Inscription Reads: Per Ardua Ad Astra 4005159 Aircraftman 2nd Cl. J.P. Mooney, Royal Air Force 30th August 1946 age 24.  Always remembered by his loving brothers and sisters. R.I.P. 

Oliver Bertram ‘Buck’ Morrogh-Ryan, The Morragh-Ryans lived at Dunboyne Castle; son Leonard and Laura Morrogh-Ryan, & husband of Marguerite Morrogh-Ryan of Brettanby Manor; Number 40970 Rank Flying Officer Nationality British Born Dunboyne Castle, Co. Meath, Ireland, 29 March 1919. Joined the RAF on a short service commission in June 1938. Fought during the Battle of Britain. He was with 41 Sqn at Hornchurch in May 1940 and over Dunkirk on June 1 he shared in destroying a HE111. On September 5 he claimed a BF109 and two days later made a forced landing in Kemsley’s Field, Star Lane, Brickfields, Great Wakering after a combat over Hornchurch, in Spitfire X4318. Morrogh-Ryan was posted away on December 18 1940 to 96 Sqn at its formation at Cranage from 422 Flight. He was killed on July 26 1941, as a Flying Officer with 68 Sqn operating in Beaufighters from High Ercall. He was 22 and is buried in St Cuthbert’s churchyard, Barton, Yorkshire. Grave 26 of the Lower Plot. Photo Spitfire

Civilian Maureen Tully Mickleburgh, Died 30/01/1941Aged 25 Civilian War Dead  of 240 St. John Street. Daughter of Lawrence and Julia Tully, of Johnstown, Navan, Co. Meath, Irish Republic; wife of Clifford James Albert Mickleburgh. Died at 240 St. John Street. Photo: London Blitz 1941

The Blitz

Scullion Gerald George Mulvey, Son of Gerald and Catherine Mulvey, of Drumcondra, Co. Meath, Died 02/07/1940 Aged 25 S.S. Arandora Star (London) Merchant Navy   Commemorated at Tower Hill, London, United Kingdom. Cemetery/memorial reference: Panel 9. In Liverpool on 27–30 June, S.S. Arandora Star embarked 734 interned Italian men, 479 interned German men, 86 German prisoners of war, 200 military guards, in addition to her crew of 174 officers and men. The ship was bound for St. John’s Newfoundland, and her internees for Canadian internment camps. Sources disagree as to whether the ship left Liverpool on 30 June, or at 4 h on 2 July 1940. She sailed unescorted, and early on the morning of 2 July she was about 75 miles west of Bloody Foreland when she was torpedoed. U-47 struck Arandora Star with a single torpedo. The torpedo detonated against Arandora Star‘s starboard side, flooding her aft engine room. All engine room personnel, including two engineer officers, were killed. Her turbines, main generators and emergency generators were all immediately put out of action and therefore knocked out all lights and communications aboard. The cruise ship carried 14 lifeboats and 90 liferafts. The crew successfully launched the remaining 10 boats and more than half the liferafts. Some boats were overloaded by prisoners descending the falls and side ladders, but many of the Italians were afraid to leave the ship. At least four of the remaining lifeboats were launched with a very small number of survivors. One other lifeboat was swamped and sank shortly after being launched. At 9:30, an RAF flying boat flew over and dropped watertight bags containing first aid kits, food, cigarettes, and a message that help was coming. The aircraft circled until 13:00, when a Canadian destroyer arrived and rescued 868 survivors,of whom 586 were detainees. During August 1940, 213 bodies washed up on the Irish coast, of which 35 were from Arandora Star and a further 92 unidentified, potentially from the ship. Photo: S.S. Arandora Star

S.S. Arandora Star

Merrick Oliver Lennox Naper Loughcrew. (Plaque in St. Bride’s C of I Church Oldcastle ) Son of Lt.-Col. Lenox Arthur Dutton Naper, D.S.O., and Laura Daphne Theodora Naper, of Malmesbury, Wiltshire. B.A. (Oxon.): P/O Royal Air Force killed in action in Tunisia April 2nd 1943 aged 30 years Pilot Officer (Nav.) Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Unit Text: 55 Sqdn. Age: 30 Date of Death: 02/04/1943 Service No: 136171 New College. Memorial Reference: XIII. F. 10. Cemetery: Sfax War Cemetery,  Tunisia.  The town of Sfax is 270 kilometres south of Tunis. In May 1943, the war in North Africa came to an end in Tunisia with the defeat of the Axis powers by a combined Allied force. In the south, the Axis forces defeated in Egypt at El Alamein withdrew into Tunisia along the coast through Libya, pursued by the Allied Eighth Army. Most of those buried in Sfax War Cemetery died in attacks on successive Axis positions at Medenine, the Marith Line and Wadi Akarit, in March and April 1943.

2nd Lieutenant Herbert Evelyn Oswald 2nd Bn. Northamptonshire Regiment Killed inaction at Marouiel, France 23rd May 1940 aged 23 years and of Noel Alexander Oswald Royal Engineers accidentally killed on duty at Aldershot 6th April 1942 aged 23 years, eldest and third son of The Revd. Herbert Evelyn Dalrymple Oswald, M.A., rector of Rathcore and Agher.  Rector from 1919 to 1944. Maroeuil Community Cemetery, France. Maroeuil is a village 6 kilometres north-west of Arras, lying between the two main roads from Arras to St Pol  and from Arras to Boulogne.

Officer Cadet Noel Alexander Oswald, Royal Engineers Age: 23 Date of Death: 06/04/1942 Service No: 1946166 Additional information: son of The Revd. Herbert Evelyn Dalrymple Oswald, M.A., rector of Rathcore and Agher.  Rector from 1919 to 1944. B.A. (Trinity College, Dublin). Cemetery: Aldershot, Hampshire, United Kingdom. Cemetery/memorial reference: A. 53. During both wars, numerous regimental and corps depots were based in and around Aldershot. Photo: Aldershot Hospital

Hospital Aldershot

Corporal George Michael Parr, Son of George Charles Parr, and of Bridget Parr, of Drumree, Co. Meath.  Service Number 36593 Died 03/11/1942 Aged 30 8th  Royal Tank Regiment, R.A.C. Commemorated at Alamein Memorial Egypt.Cemetery/memorial reference: Column 21. The Battle of El Alamein marked the culmination of the North African campaign between Commonwealth forces and the Axis forces (German and Italian). For both sides the objective was the control of the Mediterranean, the link with the East through the Suez Canal, the Middle East oil supplies and the supply route to Russia through Persia. Photo: The battle of El Alamein.

The Battle of El Alamein

Lieutenant The Hon. Stephen Edward Thomas Preston, Son of Jenico Edward Joseph Preston, 15th Viscount Gormanston, and of Eileen, Viscountess Gormanston, of Gormanston Castle, Co. Meath, Service Number 228338 Died 30/01/1944 Aged 23 1st Bn.  Irish Guards  Buried at Anzio War Cemetery Italy  Cemetery/memorial reference: III, K, 2. On 3 September 1943 the Allies invaded the Italian mainland, the invasion coinciding with an armistice made with the Italians who then re-entered the war on the Allied side. Progress through southern Italy was rapid despite stiff resistance, but by the end of October, the Allies were facing the German winter defensive position known as the Gustav Line, which stretched from the river Garigliano in the west to the Sangro in the east. Initial attempts to breach the western end of the line were unsuccessful. Operations in January 1944 landed troops behind the German lines at Anzio, but defences were well organised, and a breakthrough was not actually achieved until May. Photo: Battle of Anzio

Lance Corporal John Quinn, Son of Patrick and Mary Quinn, North of Ireland; husband of Muriel Quinn, of Navan, Co. Meath Worked at Elliott Sawmills. Saw service in World War I and was a prisoner of war during that war. Service Number 7620852 Died Between 10/05/1940 and 05/06/1940 Aged 44. 4 Ordnance Field Park  Royal Army Ordnance Corps  Mentioned in Despatches Commemorated at Dunkirk Memorial Nord, France Cemetery/memorial reference: Column 145. After the fall of Calais, Dunkirk was the only major channel port in the hands of the British Expeditionary Force. The decision to withdraw to the coast with the hope of evacuating as many men as possible from Dunkirk and the neighbouring beaches was made. Naval vessels and hundreds of civilian boats were used in the rescue. Photo: Dunkirk

Defeated British and French troops waiting on the dunes at Dunkirk to be picked up by the Destroyers and taken back to England. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

Warrant Officer (Air Gunner) Richard Reid, Son of James and Mary A. Reid, of Julianstown, Co. Meath Service Number 543427 Died 04/12/1943 Aged 24 625 Sqdn.  Royal Air Force  Buried at Hanover War Cemetery Niedersachsen, Germany Cemetery/memorial reference: 8. A. 5. Many of the graves in Hanover War Cemetery were brought in from prisoner of war camp cemeteries, small German cemeteries and from isolated positions in the surrounding country. The cemetery contains 2,407 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 62 of them unidentified.

Sergeant William Ernest Scanlon, Son of the Revd. Thomas Henry Scanlon, M.A., and Ada Mary Scanlon, of Batterstown Rectory, Co. Meath. Service Number 1089365 Died 05/04/1943 Aged 23 10 Sqdn.  Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Commemorated at Runneymeade, Surrey, United Kingdom Cemetery/memorial reference: Panel 164 The memorial commemorates those airmen and women who died in western Europe and have no known grave. They came from all parts of the Commonwealth and served in Bomber, Fighter, Coastal, Transport, Flying Training and Maintenance Commands.

Flight Sergeant (Flight Engineer) Malachy James Simonds, Son of James Napier and Mary Frances Simmonds, of Drogheda, Co. Meath, Service Number 1076298, Died 19/07/1944, Aged 23. 463 (R.A.A.F.) Sqdn.  Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Buried at Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, Pas de Calais, France.  Cemetery/memorial reference: Plot 14. Row F. Coll. grave 4-9.  There was some fighting in Wimille in 1944.

R.H. Stern

Second Lieutenant Reginald Hubert Stern, originally from Bective House, killed in an air raid on Swansea. Husband of Joan Stern. Son of Major Henry Julius Joseph Stern and Mrs Constance Stern, of Monmouth House, Yenston, Templecombe, Somerset. Educated at Wixenford Preparatory School, Wokingham, Berkshire, and Sherborne School in Dorset. A Lieutenant in the North Somerset Yeomanry. Married Catherine Joan Deles Dernier Stern (née Shepherd) of Kilbrack, Doneraile, Co. Cork and trained horses in Ireland. Killed during the Swansea Blitz. The heavy and sustained bombing of Swansea by the German Luftwaffe from 19 to 21 February 1941 saw a total of 230 people killed and 397 injured. Rank: Regiment/Service: Royal Artillery Unit Text: 8 A.A. ‘ Z ‘ Regt. Age: 34 Date of Death: 21/02/1941 Service No: 34212 Cemetery: Henstringe (St. Nicholas) Churchyard. John Halford of Kilcarn also died in the raid

Pilot Officer Stanley O’Connor Tate, Ardbraccan,Son of William Tate and of Maria Louisa Tate (nee O’Connor); husband of Doreen Alice Catherine Tate, of Dunmore, Co. Waterford, Republic of Ireland. Service Number 138889 Died 13/07/1943 Aged 41 467 Sqdn.  Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve  . Commemorated at Runnymeade Memorial, Surrey, United Kingdom Cemetery/memorial reference: Panel 133. The memorial commemorates those airmen and women who died in western Europe and have no known grave. They came from all parts of the Commonwealth and served in Bomber, Fighter, Coastal, Transport, Flying Training and Maintenance Commands.

Serjeant Michael William Knox Tisdall, Son of William George Robert and Elizabeth Beatrice Tisdall, of Kells, Co. Meath Service Number 7684450 Died 31/07/1940 Aged 37 Corps of Military Police. B.A.(Cantab.). Killed on a night operation in a collision with a military lorry. Buried at Postling (SS Mary and Radigund) Churchyard, Kent, United Kingdom.

Sergeant (Wireless Op./Air Gunner) Daniel Anthony Traill, Kells. Son of Alexander F. Traill and of Margaret Traill (nee Rathborn); husband of Frances Leslie Traill (nee Denny), of Newburgh, Fife. Service Number 657397 Died 13/05/1943 Aged 23 466 (R.A.A.F.) Sqdn.  Royal Air Force Buried at Driffield Cemetery Yorkshire, United Kingdom Cemetery/memorial reference: Grave 6218.  During the battle of the Ruhr in 1943, 577 British bombers destroyed the old city of Duisburg on 12/13 May, with 1,599 tonnes of bombs: 96,000 people were made homeless.

Lieutenant Colonel Hugh Carr Walford, Son of Herbert Nevill Walford and Sybil Marie Walford; husband of Mary Olivia Walford, of Rathmolyon, Co. Meath. Service Number 17786 Died 08/08/1941 Aged 39 17th/21st Lancers  Royal Armoured Corps  Buried at Barby (St. Mary) Churchyard. Northamptonshire, United Kingdom

Flying Officer (Pilot) James Noel Whitney, Son of Arthur J. Whitney, and of Eveleen A. Whitney, of Drumcondra, Co. Meath, Service Number 41087 Died 15/03/1941. Aged 26. Royal Air Force. Buried at Keren War cemetery. Location: Eritrea Cemetery/memorial reference: 5. H. 9. Keren was the last Italian stronghold in Eritrea and the scene of the most decisive battle of the war in East Africa in February and March 1941. Guarding the entrance from the western plains to the Eritrean plateau, the only road passing through a deep gorge with precipitous and well fortified mountains on either side, Keren formed a perfect defensive position. On these heights the Italians concentrated some 23,000 riflemen, together with a large number of well sited guns and mortars. A preliminary assault by United Kingdom and Indian troops was repulsed after a week of bitter fighting, although they gained and held a valuable position on Cameron’s Ridge, on the left of the road. The final battle began a month later. After ten days of gruelling combat the Commonwealth troops succeeded in forcing their way through the seemingly impregnable defences on the ridge and finally through the 200 metre long road block which the Italians had blasted at the narrowest point in the pass. Keren was taken on 27 March. The defeated Italian force retreated in some disarray to Asmara, which fell to Commonwealth forces on 1 April, and the Italian surrender was taken at the port of Massawa on 8 April. Photo: Keren.

Those who fought in World War II and survived


Lt.-Col. Basil Joseph Corballis Ratoath Manor. Born, on 14 August 1896. He is the son of James Frederick Joseph Corballis and Sybil Musgrave Beadon. He married Ruth Patricia Chubb, daughter of Frederick William Chubb, on 14 January 1926. Served in World Wars l and II. He was educated St Stephen’s Green Sch. He fought in the First World War.While seconded to the MGC (Machine Gun Corps) he was awarded the Military Cross on the first day of the battle of the Somme, 1st July 1916. Chevalier, Ordre national de la Légion (1945).  In 1946 Lt-Col 3rd Somerset LI (ret ). He died on 31 May 1966 at age 69.

Jimmy and Fitzroy Fletcher, son of Tommy Fletcher of Ardmulchan House, were in the British army and were taken prisoner at Dunkirk. Both were reported missing in action and it was not until the war was nearly over that the family received news that they were both alive and prisoners of war. Photo: Dunkirk

Wing Commander Frank Fowler, Son of George Hurst Fowler, Esq., J.P. co. Meath. Served in World War I – Lieut. Frank Fowler – Royal N. Air Service. In memory of  Frank Fowler D.S.C. A.F.C. D.L. Wing Commander R.N.A.S. & R.A.F. elder son of George and Mabel Fowler Born 28th May 1897 – He was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of County Down in 1969 where he was living. Died 11th Dec 1971 – Memorial Rathmolyon church.

 William and Charles Harman, Crossdrum, Oldcastle, both of whom served in the Second World War.


Sir Oliver Francis Lambart, 2nd Bt. Sir Oliver Francis Lambart, 2nd Bt. was born on 6 April 1913. He was the son of Sir Gustavus Francis William 1st Baronet and Kathleen Barbara Sophie Moore-Brabazon, Beauparc House . Sir Oliver became the 2nd Baronet on his father’s death in 1926. He served as 2nd Lieutenant in the service of the Royal Ulster Rifles.  He fought in the Second World War between 1939 and 1944, with the Royal Army Service Corps.  Sir Oliver’s uncle was Lord Brabazon of Tara and Minister of Aircraft Production during the Second World War.  Sir Oliver Lambart was last of the Lambarts to live in the house.  A popular local figure Sir Oliver had an interest in cricket and took part in the local team.  He donated a field to the local GAA club as a football pitch.  The Land Commission acquired 300 acres of the estate in the 1960s for distribution. Sir Oliver’s mother died in 1980 at 100 years of age.  Sir Oliver died in 1986 aged 72. He willed the house and estate to Lord Henry Mount Charles a distant relative.

William Magan

Brigadier William Morgan Tilson Magan  Killyon Manor, Longwood, Co. Meath. While he was still a boy, they went to live at the mill house at Levitstown, near Athy, where his father was executive director. Some years later his father bought back the Magan family home of Killyon Manor in Meath. Served in World War II. He joined the 1st Batallion 60th Rifles at Lucknow in 1928, Browne’s cavalry (12th Frontier force) in 1929, Hodson’s Horse 1937, army interpreter in Persian and Hindustani 1936,. Master of South Westmeath Hounds 1938-9. He was invested as a Officer, Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) in 1946. He fought in the Palestine Campaign between 1946 and 1947, where he was mentioned in despatches.1 He retired from the military in 1948, with the rank of Honorary Brigadier. He held the office of Assistant Under-Secretary, War Office between 1953 and 1968. He was invested as a Commander, Order of the British Empire (C.B.E.) in 1958. He reluctantly sold Killyon Manor in the 1960s. He died in 2010.

Captain John Stuart Martin, Captain Martin was born in Robinstown, Co. Meath. Service No: 131321
Regiment: 11 Honourable Artillery Company Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery. Theatre of Combat or Operation: Sicily Award: Military Cross Date of Announcement in London Gazette: 18 November 1943. Captain John Stuart Martin, M.B., Royal Army Medical Corps attached 11 Honourable Artillery Company Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery.23rd Armoured Brigade, 78 Division, 30 Corps On August 9th, 1943, when supporting 78 Division, “A” Battery was in action south of BRONTE at 730055.  Captain Martin was with the Battery. During the evening at about 1900 hours, the road between the Battery position and Bronte was very heavily and accurately shelled and mortared. This road was very congested with stationary guns and vehicles, and Captain Martin, realising that there were likely to be casualties, immediately proceeded to the place which was being most heavily shelled. A vehicle had been hit and there were a number of casualties, making it very dangerous to remain in the open. Captain Martin was quite undaunted by this heavy shellfire and attended to the wounded men without regard for his personal safety. By his brave action he undoubtedly saved some lives and his example had a steadying effect on all around him.

Festus William MacDonagh Quigley Address given as Clevelands, Laracor and the family were in Laracor in 1945. He is listed in the Meath Chronicle as getting the Military cross. He was born at Chakrata in the Upper Provinces, India in March 1911 and, having served for two years in the ranks of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, was recommended for a commission. He subsequently attended the R.M.C. Sandhurst and was appointed to the I.A. Unattached List as a 2nd Lieutenant in August 1933, following which he was posted to the 1st Battalion, Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry out in India and thence to the 2/4th Bombay Grenadiers. Advanced to Lieutenant in November 1934, he served on the North West Frontier on attachment to the South Waziristan Scouts as a Wing Officer from June 1939 to June 1941, and was awarded his immediate M.C. for an ‘independent patrol action near the Ladha post on 29 March 1940’. He had, meanwhile, been advanced to Captain, in August 1941. In February 1943, Quigley transferred to the 19th Hyderabad Regiment in the rank of Acting Major and it was in this capacity that he led the 8th Battalion with such transparent courage in West Mayu in April 1944. In the West Mayu, Arakan, on 10 April 1944, two companies of the 8/19 Hyderabad Regiment were ordered to capture an important feature. The troops had arrived in the area only that day and were going into action for the first time in their lives. The assault involved a night march of over 1,000 yards over very difficult, broken country covered with thick jungle followed by a steep climb of 700 feet also through thick jungle. Acting Major Quigley was the commander of the leading company and led the approach. It was his indomitable spirit which kept his men going through an extremely arduous march of some eight hours. He led his men up to and deployed them about 10 yards from the objective and then led the assault. He stood up on the top of the hill directing and encouraging his men completely regardless of his own safety and of the shower of grenades and bullets all around. His leadership was decisive and the enemy were driven from the position. He rapidly re-organised and beat off an immediate counter-attack. Throughout the operation his conduct was beyond praise. It was his determination which encouraged his men to overcome the many difficulties of the approach and his magnificent personal example and fine leadership of young inexperienced troops which led to the success of the operation.’ His final wartime posting was to G.H.Q., Bombay, as a Major. Photo: Fighting at Arkan


Major John George North-Bomford. He lived at Ferrans Lock, Kilcock, co. Meath. He gained the rank of Major in the service of the Royal Fusiliers. He served in World War I as Major R Fus, re-empd with RAF 1940. He held the office of Justice of the Peace (J.P.) for County Meath.Born on 13 October 1883. He was the son of John North Bomford and Mary Wilhelmina Constance Kaye. He married, firstly, Hilda Frances Munn, daughter of Reverend George Shaw Munn, on 5 October 1909. He married, secondly, Elizabeth Susan Armstrong on 4 February 1961.1 He died on 11 October 1965 at age 81.

Michael Tighe from Oldcastle joined the British army in 1936 mainly for economic reasons there being little work or jobs at the time. He joined the Royal Irish Guards. After training he was sent to Egypt. At the start of World War II he was despatched to Norway and was stationed at Bordeaux for a short period. They were attacked by the Germans on the ground and by the Luftwaffe and they had to withdraw northwards. They had to march 250 miles  and abandoned what they carried as they marched. They reached Narvik but the Germans were already in control of the port so they marched northwards. As they left the liner on which they were travelling was bombed and the ship sank. The survivors were picked up. He was then ordered to France but never got there. His company reached Glasgow. Micheal remembered the Battle of Britain. His company were despatched to Algiers. From Tunisia the army moved to Italy where Michael Tighe was captured in late 1943. He was despatched to a prisoner of war camp in Florence and from there to a camp in Germany.”Stalag 4” The Americans liberated Michael and the other POWs. When Michael returned to England he received full payment for the time he was in prison.  The full story is in John Smith’s book ‘The Oldcastle Centenary Book’

Lieut.Colonel Tom Algar Elliot Cairnes. D.S.O., Stameen. Drogheda, Son of the late Mr. And Mrs. William P. Cairnes, he was born in 1888, and was a member of a Louth family which played a prominent part in the commercial life of the county for generations. It was his great grandfather who established Cairnes Brewery Ltd. in Drogheda. Colonel Cairnes had a distinguished career in the British army which he joined in 1906 and with which he served until 1924 when he retired and married his late wife, formerly Miss Katherine Hosken. In his army days he saw service in the first world war with the 7th Dragoon Guards and later with the Royal Flying Corps to which he had been attached. He won the distinguished service order in 1917. In World War II Colonel Cairnes joined the Royal Air Force and served in Northern Ireland.

Harold Ashe

Capt. Harold Wellesley St. George ASHEBorn: 24 Feb 1881, Bellewstown House, Duleek, Co. Meath, Wellesley was the second son of Rev. Henry A. Ashe, who was the Church of Ireland Rector of the parish, and his wife Nannie Louisa, née Tyner. He left Portora School in 1900 and joined the Dublin City Artillery Served in South African war, 1899-1902 (Queen’s Medal), Abor Expedition (Assam Light Horse), and in World War I 1914-18, Indian Cavalry, in Home Defence Forces (1939-45; Marriage (1): Hon. Estelle Emily Spencer DE COURCY on 9 Dec 1916. In 1935 the family took a house in Connemara, moving to Roscommon on the outbreak of World War II and later to Perthshire in Scotland, where Wellesley joined the Home Guard. After the war they lived in Mayo and Tipperary, returning in the ‘fifties to England where, in Sussex in 1958, Wellesley Ashe died. His ashes were taken to Ireland and laid by his father’s grave in the churchyard at Duleek.

William and Charles Harman, Crossdrum, Oldcastle, both of whom served in the Second World War.

John Moore-Brabazon, Lord Tara – The second son, John Theodore Cuthbert Moore-Brabazon became 1st Baron of Tara. Attracted to engineering and mechanics he spent his university vacations as unpaid mechanic to Charles S. Rolls. In October 19090 he won a prize for being the first English pilot to fly more than one mile. He was the first pilot to receive a certificate in March 1910. One of his first flights nearly killed him. In youth he had flown with a pig as his passenger in order to prove pigs could fly. After serving in World War I, Moore-Brabazon entered parliament as a Conservative M.P.  and he became Parliamentary Secretary to Winston Churchill. He served under Churchill during World War II as Minister for Transport, 1940-41 and of Aircraft Production 1941-42. He was forced to resign in 1942 when he expressed the hope that German and Russia would destroy each other. Russia was then an ally of Britain and so Moore-Brabazon had to resign. The title, Baron Brabazon of Tara, was created for John Cuthbert Moore Brabazon in 1942. He died in 1964. Lord Brabazon of Tara took over the house and about sixty acres of land about the house. The remainder of the estate was taken by the Land Commission in the 1930s. The house then became uninhabited and soon fell to ruins. Lord Brabazon recalled his life in “The Brabazon Story” which was published in 1956. Lord Brabazon sold the house and it was pulled down to save on rates.  The third Baron Brabazon of Tara served in various department of the British government in the 1980s and early 1990s.

Charles Hamilton of Hamwood served during World War II and rose to the rank of Major.

Randal Plunkett, 18th Baron Dunsany joined the army after Eton and rose to the rank of Lieutenant colonel in the Indian Cavalry. He served in the wars on the North West Frontier and received a medal in 1930. He also served in World War II and retired to Dunsany in 1947. He was made Irish Grand Bailiff of the Order of St. Lazarus.

Stephen Preston, brother of the 15th Viscount Gormanston joined the Irish Guards and was killed in action at Anzio in 1944 during World War II.

Jenico William (1911-1940) the 16th Viscount Gormanston married Pamela Hanly in 1939 at the outbreak of war and was killed in action the following year.

Brendan Bracken – Minister of Information in the Second World War

Brendan Bracken who founded the modern Financial Times group and was Winston Churchill’s trusted Minister of Information in the Second World War.

A native of Tipperary, Patrick Laffan acquired Dollardstown when it was being divided by the Land Commission. Patrick Laffin had married a widow, Hannah Brackan, the mother of Brendan Bracken. The house was somewhat dilapidated and Hannah Laffan described the house as ‘that old barracks.’ Brendan Bracken was born in Templemore, Co. Tipperary in 1901 to Joseph K. Bracken and Hannah Ryan. Joseph died when Brendan was three and his mother married Patrick Laffan. Widowed in 1904, by 1908 Hannah Bracken had moved her family (including two stepdaughters) to Dublin. Brendan attended O’Connell school and then Mungret College before going to Australia. In the latter half of 1919 he returned to Ireland and found his mother, remarried to another Laffan cousin, living at Dollardstown, Beauparc, near Navan, Co. Meath. Brendan Bracken attended Mass at Yellow Furze while visiting Dollardstown. Sadly he was not hailed as the prodigal son but instead became embroiled in a bitter family row. He distanced himself from Ireland and from his siblings who were in revolt over their father’s inheritance, moving instead to settle in Liverpool. Bracken made a successful career from 1922 as a magazine publisher and newspaper editor in London.  Bracken founded the modern Financial Times in 1945. He was an ardent opponent of the appeasement of Adolf Hitler and a supporter of Winston Churchill. Brendan Bracken, was Minister of Information under Winston Churchill during the Second World War. He was briefly First Lord of the Admirality in 1945. He was created Viscount Bracken in 1952, the title became extinct on his death in 1958.

Patrick Laffan was a member of the Farmer’s Party and was elected to Meath County Council in 1925. Patrick Laffan also represented Fianna Fail on Meath County Council. His second wife, Catherine Moran, was a native of Trim. A son, Pat Laffan, became a distinguished Abbey actor. Pat Laffan featured in “The Snapper” and Fr. Ted. Pat Laffan was director of the Peacock Theatre and also directed in the Gate Theatre. He has appeared in around 40 films.  After the death of Patrick Laffan in the 1952, the property was purchased by Dan Connell. The house was then been demolished.

Pill-boxes along the Boyne

In 1940 – 1941 there was an extensive programme of building pill-boxes (sometimes referred to block houses) around the country. In his annual report for 1940-1941 the then Chief of Staff referred to 273 blockhouses having been completed between 1 April 1940 and 31 March 1941. A surprising number survive, particularly on the Curragh and along the Boyne River which was to be the main line of resistance in the event of an attack from Northern Ireland. There are approximately 37 pill boxes between Navan and Baltray. They may date to 1942. 

This pillbox at Oldbridge Reinforced concrete pillbox, built c.1940. Located in a defensive position overlooking the River Boyne. Built on a trapezoidal plan (c.3 m in width and 1.8 m high) with two horizontal gun emplacements, one to the north and one to the south. Entrance to the east. This pillbox at Oldbridge represents one of a group of approximately 20 pillboxes. They defended the southern banks of the River Boyne in the area to the east of the important strategic bridge at Slane. Oldbridge pillbox is an important historical artefact from the ‘Emergency’ and represents a domestic attempt to prepare against possible invasion. The walls of this pillbox are c. 0.8 metres thick and would have not offered much protection from enemy fire.

There are a number of pillboxes at Gormanston, one at the camps entrance, one situated directly on the railway.  There is another  situated under the iron bridge over the Delvin River’s mouth opposite Laytown.


Foreign Aircraft Landings in Ireland 1939 – 1946

See website: Foreign Aircraft Crashes/Landings In Ireland 1939-45

 Fuel is short supply duriong WWII. The Phoenix Park became a fuel depot. Woods were cleared for timber and fuel.

An observation point was operated by soldiers on top of the Motte at Navan during the World War

Mud turf was made at bogs ion the Meath area.

In 1940 Blackcastle House was requisitioned by the army to use as a base and it continued to be occupied until the end of the war. During the second world war the army was based at Stackallen house as well as Blackcastle.

Balrathbury – Bence-Jones – originally a two storey pediments 18th century house of seven bays. Suffered damaged when used as a barracks 1939-42 the house was reduced in size to its original size and at the same time re-built in an American colonial style.

LT‑COL GEORGE WARREN BOMFORD, formerly of Oakley Park, co Meath, late 2nd Lancers Ind Cav, served in World Wars I and II ( Via Tiberio 7, Rome, Italy), b 22 April 1900, educ Clifton.