Second Lieutenant Harold George Stevenson - died 25/6/1917

13th York and Lancaster Regiment (1st Barnsley Battalion - the "Barnsley Pals")

Harold was killed in action on 25th June 1917, when his battalion were based near Oppy, north east of Arras. 

Harold is buried in Orchard Dump Cemetery, Arleux-en-Gohelle (ref VI H 10), Pas de Calais, France.

He is also commemorated on both the Carnmoney Church of the Holy Evangelists Memorial, Carnmoney, County Antrim, and also a plaque in the church.

 

Major Albert Lewis Stewart DSO - died 4/10/1917

22nd Machine Gun Corps

Albert was born on 19th February 1889, the son of Mr and Mrs James Stewart (solicitor) of 43 Eglantine Avenue, Belfast, later of 101 Wellesley Avenue, Belfast.

He applied for a commission on 24th September 1914, having been a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force. He was one of 8 Irish Rugby internationals to die in the Great War.

He was killed in action on 4th October 1917, aged 28, in the course of the Battle of Broodseinde (3rd Ypres). Amongst his effects when he died was a Nicaraguan 10 cent note.

Albert is buried in Hooge Crater Cemetery (ref VII E 14), Flanders, Belgium

Surgeon Probationer Louis Percival St John Story - died 12/1/1918

Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve - HMS Opal

Louis was the son of Reverend  Lawrence Parsons Story and Katharine Evelyn Story of 41 Ulsterville Avenue, Belfast.

He was 22 when he died on HMS Opal. Both the Opal, and the HMS Narborough ran aground during a snowstorm, on South Ronaldsay, Orkney. They were on a night patrol to hunt German warships suspected to be laying mines on the Scottish coast.

By 5.30pm the weather had deteriorated to such an extreme degree that the destroyers were in danger of swamping and foundering and visibility was near zero. The Opal and Narborough were sent back to Scapa Flow.
 
For the next four hours Opal regularly sent reports indicating her course and intention to return, but at 9.27pm, a garbled message stating "have run aground" was received, followed by silence. The weather was so atrocious that no vessels could be despatched until the following morning, and it was two days before the Opal was found, battered, broken and empty on the Clett of Crura.

The single survivor, who had been on board the Narborough, reported that the ships had suddenly crashed headlong into the rocks, probably due to a navigation error by the Opal's captain. Both wrecks were abandoned and broken up by the sea over the next few weeks taking the bodies of both crews, bar the single survivor, with them.

Louis is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (panel 31)

Captain Alfred Squire Taylor - died 31/7/1917

Royal Army Medical Corps, attached 10th/11th Highland Light Infantry

Alfred was the son of the Rev David A Taylor DD of "Eastbourne", Windsor Avenue North, Belfast. He was one of 8 Irish Rugby internationals to die in the Great War.

Alfred was killed in action, aged 29 on 31st July 1917, the first day of 3rd Ypres.

Alfred is buried in Ypres Town Cemetery Extension (ref III B 21), Flanders, Belgium. He is also commemorated on the Comber Memorial, County Down.


Engine Room Artificer (4th Class) Nathaniel Taylor - died 30/12/1915

Royal Navy - HMS Natal - service number M/768
 
 

Nathaniel was the son of Robert and Susan Taylor of Rookvale, Katesbridge, County Down.

He died, at the age of 22, when the HMS Natal capsized follows a series of explosions, on 30th December 1915. 

The Natal was lying in the Cromarty Firth with her squadron under the command of Captain Eric Back RN. Shortly after 3.20pm, and without warning, a series of violent explosions tore through the ship. Within 5 short minutes she capsized, a blazing wreck.

390 men, more than half of the ship's company, 11 women and children and two dockyard workers died either from the explosions or in the freezing water of the Cromarty Firth.

It is not known what caused the explosions. Sabotage by German agents was suspected but never proved. With her hull still visible at low water it was Royal Navy practice on entering and leaving Cromarty right up to the second World War for every warship to sound "Still" and for officers and men to come to attention as they passed the wreck.

The skeleton of the Natal still lies visible in the Cromarty Firth marked by a radar buoy.

Nathaniel is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial (panel 11).