Wednesday, 28 June 2017

APPERSON, George Johnston

Major, 13th Batt., Royal Irish Rifles
Died: 13/06/1950
Age: 59

Interred in Bangor cemetery

George Johnston Apperson was born in Wellington Place, Dundalk on the 6th January 1891. He was the eldest son of Francis Apperson, then a drapers assistant and his wife Margaret nee Johnston.

Shortly after, the family moved to Belfast were they resided in Jocelyn Avenue and, as his fathers prospects improved, to Bangor where they are recorded in the 19i1 census living in Sheridan Drive.

On leaving school George became a clerk in the firm of Messrs. W. and R. Barnett, grain merchants in Belfast and played Rugby football for North of Ireland.

On the formation of the UVF, he became a member of A Company, 1st Battalion, North Down Regiment and on the outbreak of war enlisted in the 13th (1st County Down Volunteers) Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in November 1914 and received his training at Clandeboye and Seaford before going to France with his battalion.

In April 1916 he was wounded in several places when a bomb exploded prematurely.

On his return to duty in August 1916 he was promoted to Lieutenant but was wounded again two months later. He received his promotion to Captain in January 1917.

In March 1917 he was awarded the Military Cross: "For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He, single-handed, attacked a party of five of the enemy and shot two of them with his revolver. He has at all times set a splendid example of courage and determination."

In September 1917, he was promoted to Major.

When the 13th Battalion was disbanded, he served with the 12th (County Antrim) Battalion and was in command of the cadre of the 1st Battalion on their return to England in May 1919 and returned to Belfast in June.

After the war he returned to W. & R. Barnett, Ltd., the Belfast grain importers, and in October 1921 he married Dorothy Boyd. He became Barnett's manager in South America until 1925 and eventually became a director of the firm.

On the outbreak of the Second World War he volunteered again, and after serving at several home stations was appointed to command the Queen's University Senior Training Corps, holding that post until 1940. He was made an honorary M.A. of the University.

Major Apperson was very active in the ex-Service community. He was chairman of the Ulster Division ex-Officers’ Association and of the British Legion’s Club in Chichester Street. He was a member of the Council of the Royal Ulster Rifles Association and vice-chairman of the Belfast branch of the British Legion.

APPERSON – June 13, 1950, in Hospital, George Johnston, Major, M.C., M.A., dear husband of Dorothy Apperson, 151, Malone Road, belfast. House and funeral strictly private. No flowers, please.
Northern Whig, 14th June 1950

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