Duff, Robert Heyburn (No. D/KX94612)

Duff, Robert Heyburn (Robert)

Leading Stoker

No. D/KX94612, HMS Meteor, Royal Navy

Died of disease on Tuesday 20 August 1946 (aged 28)

Buried:

Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor, Co. Down (Section 5.X. Grave 35)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Groomsport and District War Memorial

Groomsport Presbyterian Church

Duff family grave headstone in Bangor Cemetery

BIOGRAPHY

Robert Heyburn Duff was born on 4 November 1918 at Ballymacormick, Bangor.  When his birth was registered on 9 December 1918, his name was recorded as Robert Duff Heyburn.  His mother, Jeannie Heyburn, a seamstress from Ballymacormick, was unmarried.  Jeannie Heyburn had a daughter whose birth was registered in the third quarter of 1921.  Her name was recorded as Betty Duff Heyburn.

Jeannie Heyburn and Robert Duff, a motor driver, were married on 29 August 1928 in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church and, after the marriage, their two children adopted the surname Duff.

Jeannie’s sister, Hannah Heyburn, and James Coey, also a motor driver, were married in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church on 23 October 1913.

During the Second World War Robert Heyburn Duff served with the Royal Navy aboard HMS Meteor.  HMS Meteor was a Marne-class Destroyer built by Alex Stephens, Linthouse, Govan in Scotland and, after completion, she began operational service in September 1942.  She was the eighth ship of the Royal Navy to be named HMS Meteor.  HMS Meteor survived the Second World War and afterwards was transferred to the Reserve Fleet.  Later HMS Meteor was sold to the Turkish Navy and formally handed over at Portsmouth on 26 September 1959.  HMS Meteor was renamed Piyale Pasha.

Leading Stoker Robert Heyburn Duff (No. D/KX94612) was 28 when he died of tuberculosis in Ards District Hospital on 20 August 1946 and he was buried in Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor.  There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:

NO MORNING DAWNS

NO NIGHT RETURNS

BUT WE’LL REMEMBER THEE

Leading Stoker Robert Heyburn Duff (No. D/KX94612) is commemorated on Groomsport and District War Memorial; in Groomsport Presbyterian Church and on the Duff family grave headstone in Bangor Cemetery.

His grandmother, Mary Heyburn, died on 15 February 1957 (aged 89); his mother, Jeannie Duff, died on 12 September 1978; his aunt, Mary Heyburn, died on 27 July 1979 and his father, Robert Duff, died on 21 September 1983.  Betty Duff died on 27 January 1995.