No. 1468863, 5 Battery, 2 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery
Died of wounds on Sunday 21 June 1942 (aged 29)
Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya (Grave 10. C. 11)
Newtownards and District War Memorial
Family grave headstone in Templepatrick Church of Ireland Graveyard
David McClinton was born on 14 August 1912, and he was a son of Andrew and Agnes McClinton (nee Harris) who lived in the townland of Ballywee East, Doagh in County Antrim and later at 18 Santiago Street, Belfast. Andrew McClinton worked as a yarn dryer and he and Agnes Harris (a minor) were married on 31 December 1897 in Carnmoney Presbyterian Church. They had at least ten children:
John (born 23 December 1898)
Josephine (born 23 February 1901)
Samuel Roland (born 4 May 1903)
Thomas James (born 10 May 1905)
Sarah Elizabeth (born 18 February 1907)
William Andrew (born 30 March 1910)
David (born 14 August 1912 in Ballywee, Kilbride)
Robert Walter (born 31 January 1915 in Muckamore)
Rebecca (born 17 May 1917 at 18 Santiago Street, Belfast)
It was reported in the Press that David McClinton’s brother John served in the First World War, then in the Royal Ulster Constabulary, then as an Inspector of Police in Vancouver, Canada and then with the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. His brother James also served with the Royal Canadian Air Force; his brothers William Andrew and Francis served with the Irish Guards and his brother Walter was a Telegraphist in the Royal Navy. Sergeant William Andrew McClinton (No. 2716729; POW No. 4425) was captured and held in the Stalag Prisoner-of-War Camp at Posen in Poland.
David McClinton was the husband of Martha McClinton (nee Graham) of 5 Zion Place, Newtownards. They were married on 27 May 1935 in St. Anne’s Church of Ireland Cathedral, Belfast.
During the Second World War Gunner David McClinton (No. 1468863) served with the Royal Artillery and he died of wounds on 21 June 1942, along with three of his comrades, after being hit by shellfire at Tobruk. Their gun position was sited some 2¼ miles south of Tobruk docks, on a broad plateau above an escarpment and about a thousand yards east of the road running almost due south out of Tobruk. Their Navy, Army and Air Force Institutes (NAAFI) Building was on the same plateau but slightly further north. The Axis Forces (21 Panzer Division) swept through their gun position some time between 2.30 and 5.00 pm on Saturday 20 June and reached the harbour area shortly afterwards. The other men who died were Lieutenant (Acting Captain) John Malcolmson Gibson from Newtownards, Sergeant Alexander Davidson from Newtownards, and Gunner George Alfred Rayner from Glastonbury in Somerset.
Gunner David McClinton (No. 1468863) was buried in Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:
AS LONG AS LIFE AND MEMORY LAST
I WILL REMEMBER THEE
David’s wife Martha placed an Our Heroes – In Memoriam notice in the 19 June 1943 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle and it contained the verses:
Although we’re in a far-off land,
And your grave we cannot see,
As long as life and memory last
We shall remember thee.
I do not forget him, nor do I intend,
I think of him always, and will to the end;
I mourn him in sorrow and silence, unseen
And dwell on the memory of days that have been.
Gunner David McClinton (No. 1468863) was 29 when he died, and he is commemorated on Newtownards and District War Memorial, and on a family grave headstone in Templepatrick Church of Ireland Graveyard.
His mother Agnes died 25 February 1945 and his father Andrew died 25 December 1947.
His brother, Leading Telegraphist Robert Walter McClinton (No. D/JX 135912), H.M. Submarine P.615, Royal Navy) was killed in action on 18 April 1943 and is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial (Panel 81. Column 1).