Darnell, Charles Verdon

Darnell, Charles Verdon

Second Lieutenant

1st Battalion Connaught Rangers transferred to

 25th Squadron, Royal Flying Corps

Killed in action on Wednesday 25 April 1917 (aged 22)

No known grave

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Arras Flying Services Memorial, France

Cheltenham College Chapel Memorial Plaque

Bangor and District War Memorial

Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque

Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum

North of Ireland Cricket Club (includes members who played Rugby Football)

Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club (RNIYC)

Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Comgall’s)

Credence Table in Helen’s Bay Church of Ireland Church

BIOGRAPHY

The birth of Charles Verdon Darnell was registered in the first quarter of 1895 in Torrington, England and he was the only child of Charles Knapp Darnell (born in Hillmorton, Warwickshire) and Annie Verdon Darnell (born in Scotland).  They were married around 1893.  Charles Knapp Darnell was a general medical practitioner in Bangor and in 1901 the Darnell family lived at 60 Main Street.  In 1911 they were living at 30 Hamilton Road.  In January 1915 it was reported in the County Down Spectator that Civil Surgeon Charles Knapp Darnell had taken over medical charge of the Ulster Division Cyclist Company stationed in Bangor.

Charles Verdon Darnell was educated at Arnold House School in Llanddulas; at Cheltenham College in Gloucestershire and at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Berkshire.  From there he obtained his commission in the Connaught Rangers and in 1917 he transferred as a Pilot to the 25th Squadron Royal Flying Corps.

Second Lieutenant Charles Verdon Darnell was 22 when he was shot down on 25 April 1917 and it was reported that he had been attacking a German observation balloon at Willerval in France and his aeroplane crashed to the ground.  He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Flying Services Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.  This memorial is located   in the Faubourg-d’Amiens Cemetery, Arras.

Also aboard the aircraft was Air Mechanic 2nd Class George Pawley who was 19 when he died and he was buried in Orchard Dump Cemetery, Arleux-en-Gohelle (Grave III. C. 9).

Second Lieutenant Charles Verdon Darnell is also commemorated on Cheltenham College Chapel Memorial Plaque; on Bangor and District War Memorial; on the Royal British Legion (Bangor Branch) Memorial Plaque; in the Comrades of the Great War (Bangor Branch) Album in North Down Museum (Page 39); on the North of Ireland Cricket Club Memorial Plaque (includes those members of the Club who played Rugby Football); on the RNIYC Memorial Plaque; on the Memorial Plaques in Bangor Parish Church of Ireland Church (St Comgall’s) and on the credence table in Helen’s Bay Church of Ireland Church which bears the following inscription:

THIS

CREDENCE TABLE WAS

ERECTED BY MAJOR F.G. HILL QC RGA

SEPTEMBER 1914 TO JULY 1919

TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN MEMORY OF THE

OFFICERS WHO SERVED UNDER HIM AT GREY POINT

BATTERY AND GAVE THEIR LIVES FOR KING

AND COUNTRY IN THE GREAT WAR

ROYAL GARRISON ARTILLERY

CAPT W.B. PEPPER LIEUT C.D.D. SWAIN

LIEUT D. O’RORKE ALSO LIEUT C.V. DARNELL

LIEUT L.H. McKISACK ATTACHED RFC

ATTACHED INFANTRY OFFICERS

CAPT W.A. VERSCHOLE ROYAL IRISH FUSILIERS

LIEUT O.B. MACAUSLAND INDIAN ARMY

LIEUT W. LA NAUZE ROYAL IRISH RIFLES

Charles Verdon Darnell’s father died on 10 April 1942 (aged 73) and his address at that time was 15 Tennyson Avenue, Bangor.

[The North of Ireland Football Club (members played Rugby Football as opposed to Soccer) was founded by members of the North of Ireland Cricket Club and the North of Ireland Cricket Club Memorial Plaque commemorates members of both Clubs.  Members of the Football Club were also members of the Cricket Club but not all members of the Cricket Club were members of the Football Club.]