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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


In Memory of

Jimmy McKittrick

Jim's gone but never forgotten...

by Barbara Goulden
Friday July 28th 2006

Coventry Evening Telegraph

                   Burma Star Veteran Jim McKittrick fought his last battle at University Hospital, Walsgrave, on Wednesday.
       But this time the old soldier, who dedicated his life to making sure his comrades in the "Forgotten Army" were given due credit for their part in winning the Second World War, lost the fight. He died of pneumonia and septicemia after developing breathing problems during the recent hot weather.
       Jim, aged 82, of Seneschal Road, Cheylesmore, Coventry, wrote the Evening Telegraph Ex-Service Notes column for 15 years. As well as serving in Burma and India, where his unit was surrounded by the Japanese on two occasions, Jim was also a veteran of Dunkirk. He was plucked from the beaches when he was little more than 17 - like many lads keen to do their bit as war loomed, Jim fibbed to the recruiting sergeant about his true age. Born in Ireland, he enlisted in the 8th Belfast Heavy Artillery on September 8, 1939, and did some of his basic training during the first blitzes on London.
       Soon afterwards he was shipped over to France and never forgot the wait for evacuation from the shell-blasted beaches as men fell all around him. Ever since 1972 he made annual pilgrimages back to the spot and always stooped down to fill a plastic shopping bag with handfuls of sand. As Chairman of the Coventry branch of the Royal Artillery Association and marshal of the Warwickshire Standard Bearers for 35 years, he kept the sand to sprinkle on the graves of fellow veterans who have died in increasing numbers over recent years. Hopefully his loving partner, Kath Turnbull, who shared the last 10 years of his life following the death of three wives, has saved some sand for Jim.
       Kath, aged 76, who met the father-of-four when they both attended meetings at the Royal Warwicks Club in the city centre, said; "We were both so moved by the mass graves in France - especially those unmarked where the inscription reads: 'Known Only To God.' Back at home Jim has been the marshal at so many cremations and burials that he used to say there would be nobody left to attend his funeral. But I don't think that will be the case."
       Jim, who worked for Standard and GEC in Coventry, also leaves four children, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Details of his funeral are still being arranged.

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

Place on roll of honour for veteran remembered for his singsongs...

       Dr. Robert Callow, honourary secretary of the Burma Star Association's Coventry branch, says Jim McKittrick's name will be the first inscribed in the new Roll of Honour when the group is officially wound up next month. Dr. Callow, who lives in Kenilworth Court, overlooking this War Memorial Park, said; "Fifty years ago there were 97 members of the association and today there are only about eight still able to walk. Jim was one of them. We are laying up our standard at St. Margaret's Church, Ball Hill, on August 15, the 61st anniversary of V.J. Day, and Jim's name will be first on the roll. He was one of what the army called the '12 mile snipers' because their guns could hit a target that far away." He recalled how Jim was involved in the Battle of Arakan, when the Japanese completely surrounded the hilltop on the Burmese-Indian border for a month in January, 1944. Only half of the 7,000 men involved survived, withstanding constant shell-fire as well as heat, disease and mosquitoes.
       Dr. Callow added: "Like many heroes of the 'Forgotten Army', he did it all again in March at the Battle of Imphal, in India, when a further 3,500 Allied troops lost their lives. During that time he caught malaria - the only time he was in hospital up until his death this week. During peacetime he's been our link with readers in the Evening Telegraph and will be sadly missed." Sidney Waterson, aged 85, president of the Royal Artillery Association and friend of 30 years standing, said: "The death of Jim McKittrick has left a void that is going to take some filling." Peter Jones, aged 81, who shared the Ex-Service Notes column with Jim and has been a standard bearer for 50 years, said: "He was a great chap who served his country and then his community very well indeed. His death is a great loss."
        Former Land Army girl Margaret Fletcher, now aged 79, and secretary of the Royal Artillery Association, said: "Jim was a gentleman and a real joker - he was also one of the kindest men I've ever met." Mrs. Fletcher of Fernside Avenue, Styvechale, added: "I'll always remember him rounding off social evenings with a singsong when he'd nearly always give us a rendering of his favourite Irish song, Patsy Fagan.