Eagleson, Hugh Alexander (No. D/SSX 20113)

Eagleson, Hugh Alexander (Hugh)

Able Seaman

D/SSX 20113, HMS Glorious, Royal Navy

Killed in action on Saturday 8 June 1940 (aged 23)

No known grave

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon (Panel 37 Column 2)

Stained glass window in the Church of St. Peter, Martindale in Cumbria

Memorial plaque in Harstad, Norway

Newtownards and District War Memorial

Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Mark’s)

Family grave headstone in Movilla Cemetery, Newtownards

BIOGRAPHY

Hugh Alexander Eagleson was the fourth son of Hugh Alexander and Margaret (Maggie) Eagleson (nee McCullough) who lived at 110 East Street, Newtownards.  Hugh Eagleson Senior worked in a public laundry and he and Maggie McCullough were married on 10 November 1900 in Ballyblack Presbyterian Church.  They had at least eight children including:

Mary (Minnie, born 9 January 1901 in East Street, Newtownards)

Ann Jane (born 7 March 1905 in East Street, Newtownards; died of bronchitis 3 May 1906)

William John McCullough (born 19 April 1907 in East Street, Newtownards)

Robert McCullough (born 28 March 1911 in East Street, Newtownards)

Thomas (born 25 July 1913 in East Street, Newtownards)

Alice (born 16 February 1915 in East Street, Newtownards)

Hugh Alexander (born 15 March 1917 in East Street, Newtownards)

Hugh Alexander Eagleson joined the Royal Navy and, during the Second World War, he served aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious.  This ship was built as a battle cruiser by Harland and Wolff in Belfast and completed in 1917.  During the late 1920s HMS Glorious was converted to an aircraft carrier.

The evacuation of Allied Forces from Norway (Operation Alphabet) was carried out between 5 and 8 June 1940.  On the afternoon of 8 June 1940 HMS Glorious and her escorting destroyers HMS Acasta and HMS Ardent were proceeding independently to Scapa Flow when they were intercepted in the Norwegian Sea by the German battle cruisers Gneisenau and Scharnhorst.  At around 6.00 pm the three British ships were sunk by sustained and heavy gunfire with the loss of more than 1,500 lives.  These included Able Seaman Hugh Alexander Eagleson (aged 23) together with Able Seaman Alexander Doak and Ordinary Seaman David Scott, both also from Newtownards.

Able Seaman Hugh Alexander Eagleson (No. D/SSX 20113) is commemorated on Plymouth Naval Memorial in Devon; on a stained glass window in the Church of St. Peter, Martindale in Cumbria; on a memorial plaque in Harstad, Norway; on Newtownards and District War Memorial; in Newtownards Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Mark’s) and on the family grave headstone in Movilla Cemetery, Newtownards.

Able Seaman Hugh Alexander Eagleson’s mother Margaret died on 7 March 1934 (aged 54); his father Hugh died on 22 May 1960 (aged 82) and his sister Minnie died on 5 May 1965 (aged 64).