Lisburn Exiles Forum

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The Lisburn Exiles Forum is dedicated to the memory of James Goddard Collins (The Boss) who single-handedly built LISBURN.COM (with a lot of help from many contributors) from 1996 to 29th November 2012. This website was his passion and helping people with a common interest in the City of Lisburn around the world is his lasting legacy.

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Military Funerals

While I guess a lot of people might think this is a morbid subject, never the less it is a fact of life. During the second world war military personnel killed in action were usually buried in the vicinity of where they were killed, naval personnel were buried at sea unless their ship was near land. For example my uncle who was more like a brother to me, at the age of 23 was wounded during the "Bismarck" action, he was on the destroyer HMS Zulu which done a torpedo attack on the "Bismarck" at night, he was out in the open as one of the crew on the torpedo tubes and was hit by shrapnel in the stomach from an exploding shell,two other crew members were also wounded but nothing really serious however the ship after the attack now made for the nearest safe port which happened to be Londonderry where my uncle was transferred to the Military Hospital, my Grandparents were notified by telegram and the family immediatley headed for Londonderry in a taxi loaned to us by Cambell Thompson, my Grandparents stayed there untill he died a few days later. To have a full military funeral the Commander of the hospital said he would have to be buried in the military cemetary in Londonderry, my Grandparents balked at this as they had a family grave in Belfast City Cemetary, would you believe they had to pay to have him taken to Belfast and also for the funeral, though a retired RUC Head Constable who lived beside us arranged for a Naval Gun Carriage party from Belfast to attend the funeral.
I didn't mean to go into so much detail on this, what I was going to try and do was to show the diffence between then and now, for example during the war in Iraq and Afganistan military personnel killed in action were flown home and had funerals with full military honours and of course in this day and age thats the way it should be, even in 1949 when we had a Marine killed on HMS Vanguard off Malta he was buried in Malta and yet its not that long by air from Malta to the UK. Mauri