Monday, 17 July 2017

SKIMIN, George

Mate, Franz Fischer (London)
Died: 01/02/1916
Age: 48

Remembered on Tower Hill Memorial
Remembered on family memorial in Bangor Cemetery

George Skimin was born on the 21st June, 1867, in Church Street, Bangor. His parents were John Skimin (aka Skimmon), a sailor, and his wife Eliza Skimin (nee Leay).

Like his father before him, George took to the sea and signed on as a ships boy in 1884.

In June 1892 he married his wife Jane Barnes in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church. Her father James was also sailor.

List of those killed in the Great War
in Trinity Presbyterian Church, Bangor
Over the years his maritime career progressed. He passed his examinations in April 1896 earning his Mates certificate and gained his Master's Certificate of Competency in November 1903.

Mainly working the coasting trade, George served on various vessels, and in November 1915 signed on as Mate on the Franz Fisher.

Built by Irvine & Co., West Hartlepool in 1881 the Franz Fischer was a German owned steamer that had been requisitioned by the Admiralty for service as a collier.

She was on a voyage from Hartlepool to Cowes with a cargo of coal on 1st February 1916, when she was sunk two miles south of Kentish Knock lightvessel. Of the 16 crew members, 13 were lost.

The cause of her loss has been the source of some controversy over the years however. British records give her loss as the result of a bomb from a zeppelin – L19. However, later research, which is now more accepted, claims she was sunk by the German submarine UB-17.

George's name is recorded on the war memorial of Trinity Presbyterian Church, Bangor, and on the Roll of Honour for Bangor Masonic.


Captain George Skimin, a Bangor seaman, who was engaged in transport work since beginning of the war, has been killed by the explosion of a bomb from a Zeppelin. He was a son of the late Captain Skimin, Bangor, and a brother of Mr. Arthur Skimin, clerk of the Bangor gas undertaking. He was a member of Trinity Presbyterian Church, Bangor. Deceased's widow, two sons, and daughter reside at Holborn Avenue, Belfast.
Belfast Newsletter, 12th February 1916

Tuesday, 11 July 2017


Second Lieutenant, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, attd. 6th Rajputana Rifles
Service No: 190209
Died: 30/09/1942
Age: 29

Interred in Rawalpindi War Cemetery (Punjab, Pakistan).
Remembered on Family Memorial in Bangor Cemetery

David Morrow was born in Ballymagee Street, Bangor, on 28th June 1913. He was the son of Matthew Morrow, a plumber, and his wife Agnes Morrow (nee Moffatt).

He was educated at Bangor Grammar School and his Headmaster wrote on his death: "He was a quick-witted, clever, attractive youngster — a favourite with everyone — but, frankly, no scholar: I think he was too full of restless vitality and a craving for action for that. His figure was lithe and slight, but intensely athletic, and as he grew older he shot up very straight and tall. He took a very prominent part from the first in the school games: We have photographs of him in a small boys’ team, in the Medallion side of 1928, in the 1st XV rugby side of 1930, and in the 1st XV cricket team of 1931. He played in various positions in the back division: I remember him specially as the scrum-half of his year’s 1st XV under Fred McMurray’s captaincy.

“He was strikingly handsome as a boy and later as a young man, with curling fair hair over mobile and expressive features. His smile was characteristic of him; it was always there — a smile of complete friendliness and good nature entirely simple and natural. He had a capacity for mischief — and when he was punished for neglecting his work or getting into trouble he bore no resentment. He frequently exasperated his teachers, but no one could be angry with him for long. I seem to remember that he was fond of dogs and had a way with them, and that he was useful at times in taking charge of stray dogs that had found their way into our classrooms — to the immense delight of the boys."

After leaving school David began a succesful career in the world of insurance.

When he enlisted he went to the Officer Cadet Training Corp and was commissioned as Second-Lieutenant in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers on the 7th June 1941.

MORROW – September (in India), Second-Lieutenant David Morrow, third and youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Morrow, Ward Avenue, Bangor.
Belfast Newsletter, 9th September 1942.

JEFFARES, Michael Henry

Lieutenant, Royal Irish Rifles
Died: 22/05/1953
Age: 61

Interred in Bangor Cemetery.

Michael Henry Jeffares was born on the 29th April 1892 in Seskin, Co. Carlow, the son of Michael Henry Jeffares (aka Jeffers) and Catherine Jeffares nee Collier.

After school, Michael trained as a Chemist passing the Pharmaceutical License Examination in October 1915.

In July 1916, he enlisted in the 11th Battalion Royal Dublin Fusiliers and not long after was promoted to Lance-Corporal. He transferred to the Officer Cadet Corps in November 1916.

On 1st March 1917, he received a commission as Second Lieutenant in the 5th Batt., Royal Irish Rifles going to France in May 1917. He was promoted to Lieutenant on 1st September 1918.

His brother Richard who had previously served with the South African Police, was a Captain in the 4th Batt., Royal Irish Rifles and was killed on 6th October 1917.

After the war Michael returned to his career as a Chemist in New Ross and in 1924 married a Belfast girl, Rebecca Morrison.

JEFFARES – May 22, 1953, at his residence, Thornhill, 28 Osborne Park, Bangor, Michael Henry, loved husband of Rebecca Jeffares. Interred in Bangor Cemetry. Deeply regretted by his sorrowing Wife and Family.
County Down Spectator, 30th May 1953.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

COLLIER, Reginald John

Second Lieutenant, Royal Flying Corps
Service No: 16207
Age: 19
Date of Death: 12/02/1918

Interred in Bangor Cemetery

Reginald John Collier was born on 15th October 1898 at 21 Strandmillis Gardens, Belfast, to William F. Collier, an accountant, and Marion F. Collier (nee Townsend). The family later moved to Evelyan Gardens on the Cavehill Road before settling in Bangor in the early 1900s.

Known as Jack, he was educated at Bangor Grammar School and Kings Hospital School, Dublin and took up a position in the Belfast Banking Company, working in their Cromac Street branch when he enlisted in early 1917.

A BE 2E which was the type of aircraft Jack was flying.

He was also a member of the Queen's University Officer Training Corps in the years 1916-1917.

He transfered from the General List to the the Royal Flying Corp with the rank of Second Lieutenant in August 1917.

On 12th February 1918, Reginald was killed in a flying accident while training with 13 Training Squadron at RAF Yatesbury.

He is remembered on the war memorial in St. Comgall's parish church in Bangor and in the Queen's University Roll of Honour.

COLLIER – February 12, accidentally killed when flying, Reginald John Collier, Second-Lieutenant R.F.C., only son of W. F. Collier, 123, Hamilton Road, Bangor, aged 19. Funeral service in Bangor Parish Church this day (Saturday, 16th inst.), at 2.30. Funeral immediately after to Bangor New Cemetery.
Northern Whig, 16th February 1918.