Hegan, Robert Stanley (No. 816245)

Hegan, Robert Stanley (Robert)

Leading Aircraftman

No. 816245, 502 Squadron, Royal Air Force (Auxillary Air Force)

Died in service on Wednesday 6 January 1943 (aged 23)

Buried:

Belfast (Dundonald Cemetery), Co Down (Section F.5. Grave 175)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

BIOGRAPHY

In some records his surname is spelt Hagan.

Robert Stanley Hegan was born on 6 July 1919 at 17 Mountcashel Street, Belfast and he was a son of Robert and Sarah Jane Hegan (previously Carberry, nee French) who were married on 26 October 1910 in Albert Street Presbyterian Church, Belfast.  Robert Hegan, a postman from Belfast was a son of James Hegan, a carpenter.  Sarah Carberry (nee French) from Belfast was a daughter of William French (deceased).

Robert Hegan and Sarah Carberry (nee French) had at least four children:

James (born 19 August 1911 at 14 Thalia Street, Belfast)

Eleanor Victoria French (born 24 May 1913 at 14 Thalia Street, Belfast)

Emily Bell (born 20 September 1915 at 17 Mountcashel Street, Belfast)

Robert Stanley (born 6 July 1919 at 17 Mountcashel Street, Belfast)

Robert Hegan Senior served in India during the Great War and after the war he worked in the Messengers’ Department of the Belfast Post Office. The Hegan family lived at 137 Ainsworth Avenue, Belfast.

Sarah Jane Hegan (previously Carberry, nee French) had previously been married to James Carberry.  They were married on 25 December 1905 in Woodvale Presbyterian Church Belfast and James Carberry died of cancer on 17 November 1907 (aged 27).

At the beginning of the Second World War Robert Hegan Junior joined the Royal Air Force and for a time was attached to the Ulster Bomber Squadron.  Robert Stanley Hegan (aged 20) was an airman based at RAF Aldergrove when he and Ethel Doris McMurray were married on 3 July 1940 in St John’s Parish Church of Ireland Church, Laganbank, Belfast.  Ethel Doris McMurray (aged 23) from 169 Ballygomartin Road, Belfast was a daughter of Edward McMurray, an engineer.

Ethel Doris Hegan (nee McMurray) lived at 59 Donaghadee Road, Bangor and they had two children – twins born in March 1941.  The twins were 22 months old in January 1943 when their father died.

Leading Aircraftman Robert Stanley Hegan (No. 816245) was based at RAF Eval in Cornwall and he died there on 6 January 1943 (aged 23).  He was killed when the truck in which he was travelling was hit by an aircraft – an Armstrong Whitworth AW38 Whitley Mark VII (Z9379) – which was taking off.

Leading Aircraftman Robert Stanley Hegan (No. 816245) was buried in Belfast (Dundonald Cemetery), Co. Down (Section F.5. Grave 175). There is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:

THEY ARE WITHOUT FAULT

BEFORE THE THRONE OF GOD

Also buried in that grave were Ethel Doris Ellis who died on 13 April 1987 (aged 77) and John (Jack) Ellis who died on 25 December 1981 (aged 79).

In January 1963, the engagement of Robert Stanley Hegan’s son, Mervyn S. Hegan, to Eleanor Brookes of Grafton, New York was announced.