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"When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Your Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today"

8th Belfast H.A.A. Regt.

aka   'The Twelve Mile Snipers'
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WW1 Soldiers database               8th Index               WW2 Soldiers database

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The Men

Sergeant William Adrain - Diary and Biography

D. J. Bailie - War Diary and Photographs

Colonel Wm. N. Brann

Sgt. Thomas Herbert Coulter (Herbie)

Jimmy Cunningham's Private Army Comes Home

L/Sgt. Bertie Goodwin

Gunner Harry Grist

2/Lt. William George Hales

Gunner Herbert Hanley

Ken Heath

Bdr. William (Buttons) Hunter

Irvine Brothers 23rd Battery

Bdr. J. C. Irvine 23rd Battery

Bdr. Thomas Henderson Kane

Tommy and Albert Kinnon 21st and 23rd Bty.

 Gnr. Jim Lennon's War Records - Photos

Sgt. Joseph Harold Lynn (aka Harry-Joe)

Matchett Brothers 23rd Battery

L/Bdr. Harry Joseph Mawhinney 22nd Battery

Gunner Thomas Mercer 21st Battery

 Jimmy McKittrick

Bdr. Thomas McLaughlin

Colonel Harry Porter

Sgt. Billy Wilson 23rd Battery

Sidney Ernest Wright - Diary & Photographs


N-O-K- Dec'd Personnel 21/22/23 Hy.A.A.

Posted/Repatriated from 23 Hy.A.A.

List of Additional Soldiers

List of names, no addresses 23rd Bty.

Memorial Service Book (list of names) B Troop

22nd Bty. Memorial Brochure  names, addresses

23rd Bty. Memorial Brochure  names, addresses

RHQ/REME Memorial Brochure, addresses

Nominal Roll 21st Bty. all ranks

Nominal Roll 22nd Bty. all ranks

Nominal Roll 23rd Bty. all ranks

8th Belfast HAA Nominal Roll 21st Battery

8th Belfast HAA Nominal Roll 22nd Battery

8th Belfast HAA Nominal Roll 23rd Battery

Alterations & Additions to Nom. Rolls 23rd

RHQ / REME Nominal Rolls







Newspaper Clippings

Assorted Clippings 1

Assorted Clippings 2


SEAC March 1944



Sport & Small Groups

8th Belfast Band

Individuals & Friends

Large Group Pictures

Donated Photos

8th Belfast Band items

Documents  *  Items


Old Comrades Section

Burma Star Luncheon 2009

St. Annes and Lansdowne Court Hotel Laying-up of Burma Star Standard 3rd October 2010



Obituaries  *  Memorials  Changi Prison Chapel

8th Belfast HAA History
by Colonel Murray Barnes, OBE , TD.

A short History of The 8th (Belfast) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment Royal Artillery (Supplementary Reserve)
by Harry Porter


Dean Houston McKelvey's Sermon
3rd October 2010

Extract from Coralie Kinahan's book
'Behind Every Great Man'
"Robin's War"


Video Page

Harry Porters film of the Twelve Mile Snipers
(in 3 parts)

Burma Star Luncheon

The Last Parade

and more....


other WW2 stories

Cpl. William F. Davison

Belfast Telegraph Tuesday June, 6, 1944 Invasion


back to Photos 1      More Photographs 3     photos 4   photos 5

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8th Belfast HAA Regt. Band


John Simpson - Jimmy McKittrick -  ?  -   ?  -  Bob Biggerstaff - Jimmy Beggs - Sammy Olphert - Geo. Knowles


8th Belfast H.A.A. Regt. Band

Jim Lennon, back row, 3rd from right

(front row) 1. ?  2. Bobby McQuiston   3. Jimmy McKittrick   4. ?   5. ? Biggerstaff   6. Ronnie Scott   7. Sammy Gowdy  8. Sidney Cowan  9. Bobby McCartney
middle top Bobby Morrison.  middle centre ?
(back left) 1. Leonard Larkin? (standing left)  2. Sammy Larmour  3. Bobby Campbell  4. Lewis Houston  5. John Simpson  6. Sammy Watson  7. Jim Lennon  8. Sammy Alphort?
9. Geordie Bulla  10. Bobby Johnstone (standing right)

click here for pictures of Banner and Skins which are still in pretty good condition and were on display at Fernhill Museum until recently (I'm photographing them at the moment 16th August 2008)


Pipers and all.
About 150 men were on parade, and proudest of all were the band of 15 pipers and drums who headed the contingent. Thirteen of the pipers never blew a note until they went to India, and the pipes they and their two "mentors" - Pipe Majors John Simpson and Herbert McCullough - played were all brought in the Punjab.
"Those Indian reeds gave us a lot of trouble at first," Pipe Major Simpson told a "Northern Whig" reporter afterwards, "but we mastered them and I think we're not bad now." "Not bad" is just the Army way of putting it. The tunes they played were "Bonnie Dundee," a great favourite, "Bon Awee" (the phonetic spelling the band gives to a French air they like) and the regimental march "The O'Neill's War March,"
At the City Hall the music was taken up by the combined bands of the Royal Ulster Rifles and the R.U.C., "who played the "ack-ackers" by with the quick march of the Royal Artillery, "The British Grenadiers." One of the tenor drums in the Burma band was played by an old Rifles man, who also served with the Inniskillings in the 36th (Ulster) Division in the 1914-1918 war. He is Gunner George Armstrong, who was "demobed" three months ago, and when he heard the band was to parade, came along to claim his old job at the drums.
Mace-pole with a history
There is a lot of history attached to the mace-pole carried by the drum-major. It is embellished with a series of Ulster "Red Hands," was made by the boys themselves, and included among its raw material a rice-bowl, the sleeve-arm of the cloth trailed by aeroplanes at target practice; an inkwell top and a 20 mm "ack-ack" bullet.
But none of this was known to the cheering crowds, who only knew they were hearing a hometown band with a difference playing really stirring music. Members of other Forces on parade - including a R.?A.F. "kiltie" band who would have stolen the show any other day - were not allowed past uncheered, but they knew it was the Belfast Regiment's day. They wouldn't have wanted it any different.

Belfast acclaims its H.A.A. Regiment 19.9.45
Belfast acclaimed the men from Burma on Saturday
Denied the opportunity of seeing the 8th (Belfast)
Heavy H.A. Regiment, R.A., march ceremonially through the streets when they arrived at the L.M.S. station two weeks ago, huge crowds lined the route of the Thanksgiving Savings Week parade from May's Market to the City Hall. They had one big purpose in mind. It was to give the Belfast chaps with the bronzed faces and the "digger hats" a real welcome, and cordons and wooden barriers could not hold the crowds when the men swung into view from May's Market, led by their Commanding Officer, Lieut-Colonel J. G. Cunningham, O.B.E.
Handshakes and pats on the back were showered on the marching soldiers. All the way up Chichester Street it was a case of "cead mile failte," and only the formality of the occasion at the City Hall prevented a demonstration there.

8th Belfast HAA Regt. RA
Pipes and Drums
23rd Battery - Madras 1945




"The Twelfth" India 45 21st Hy.A.A. Battery Band, 8th (Belfast) H.A.A. Regt. R.A.

"The Twelfth" India 45, 22nd Hy.A.A. Battery R.A., 8th (Belfast) H.A.A. Regt. R.A.

"The Twelfth" India 45, 23rd Hy.A.A. Battery R.A., 8th (Belfast) H.A.A. Regt. R.A.




8th Belfast HAA Regt. -  Marching in Burma


Jim Lennon
Durban South Africa


The Northern Whig, Monday, October 1, 1945
Belfast's Boys
front row
Pipe Major John Simpson, 22nd Battery - Gunner J. Lennon 22nd Battery - Pipe Major Herbert McCullough 23rd Battery



21st Battery Flute Band


 The Pipes and Drums of the 8th (Belfast) H.A.A. Regiment, R.A., heading the military section of the parade
Northern Whig