Historian seeks help to solve soldier mystery

The plaque at Drumcree churchyard
The plaque at Drumcree churchyard

A Second World War historian is seeking the help of readers in finding out more about a soldier buried in Drumcree Churchyard.

Andy Glenfield, who lives in Bangor, discovered the memorial plate on a visit to the graveyard, and is hoping that some of the soldier’s relatives may be able to help.

The plate is dedicated to Private First Class John Weatherall who had served with Headquarters Battery, 510 Field Artillery Battalion of the US Army during the Second World War.

He was 56 years old when he died and is buried with other family members at Drumcree Church.

Despite checks, including with the church, Mr Glenfield has been unable to find out any more details about the military man.

Said Mr Greenfield, “It is rare to find American military personnel laid to rest in Northern Ireland.

“The large American cemetery at Lisnabreeny had all the remains removed and either repatriated to the United States or to the US Military Cemetery in Cambridgeshire, England.

“The only others which I am aware of are where the serviceman married a local woman and settled after the war in Northern Ireland... There are occasions when I will discover something which I consider rather special and this is most definitely one of those.”

His website is ‘The Second World War in Northern Ireland’ and he can be contacted at ww2ni@btinternet.com