Fitchie, Samuel Jamieson
HMS Arawa, Royal Navy
Died of disease on Friday 12 October 1945 (aged 28)
Killinchy Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Churchyard (Row 2. Grave 22)
Fitchie family grave headstone in Killinchy Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Churchyard
Samuel Jamieson Fitchie was born on 12 May 1917 in the townland of Ballyminstra and he was a son of Robert Henry Montgomery Fitchie and Agnes Fitchie (nee Bowman) who were married on 27 July 1910 in Ballygowan Presbyterian Church. Robert Henry Montgomery Fitchie, a carpenter from Ballyminstra was a son of James Henry Fitchie, a farmer. Agnes Bowman (aged 18) from the townland of Magherascouse was a daughter of Robert Bowman, a farmer.
Robert and Agnes Fitchie (nee Bowman) had at least four children:
James Henry (born 24 August 1913 in Ballyminstra)
Phoebe Jamison (born 6 June 1915 in Ballyminstra)
Samuel Jamison (born 12 May 1917 in Ballyminstra)
Mary Kerr (born 7 January 1919 in Ballyminstra)
During the Second World War Samuel Jamieson Fitchie served with the Royal Navy aboard HMS Arawa. HMS Arawa was built as the Esperance Bay in 1921 by William Beardmore and Company Ltd., Dalmuir, Scotland and in 1936 she was renamed Arawa. Owned by the Shaw, Savill and Albion Company Ltd., London this passenger ship was requisitioned by the Admiralty and converted to an Armed Merchant Cruiser in 1939. She operated in the China, East Indies and South Atlantic Stations until 1941 when she was used as a troopship by the Ministry of War Transport (MOWT) and later as a repatriation ship for prisoners. HMS Arawa was returned to her owners in 1945.
Sub-Lieutenant Samuel Jamieson Fitchie was 28 and unmarried when he died of pulmonary tuberculosis on 12 October 1945 in Musgrave Park Hospital, Belfast. His father, who lived at Stormont View, Lower Castlereagh, was with him when he died.
Sub-Lieutenant Samuel Jamieson Fitchie was buried in Killinchy Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Churchyard and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
WORTHY OF EVERLASTING REMEMBRANCE
Three Fitchie deaths are commemorated on the family grave headstone – Phoebe Fitchie (died 10 March 1935)
Samuel J. Fitchie (died 12 October 1945)
Robert M. Fitchie (died 31 December 1984)