McCullough, William Errol Charles

McCullough, William Errol Charles (Charlie)


Merchant Navy, RMS Nova Scotia

Died at sea on Saturday 24 October 1942 (aged 29)

No known grave


Bangor and District War Memorial

Bangor Grammar School

Family grave headstone in Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road


William Errol Charles McCullough was born on 25 February 1913 and he was the younger son of William McCormick McCullough and Maria Macdonald McCullough (nee Cleland) of 18 Ward Avenue, Bangor.  Before that they lived at 2 Godfrey Avenue, Bangor.  William McCullough Senior was a partner in the linen manufacturing firm of Messrs William McCullough and Company, East Bridge Street, Belfast.  He and Maria Cleland were married on 26 August 1902 in Cliftonville Presbyterian Church, Belfast and they had three children:

Robert Cleland (born 6 March 1904 at 16 Allworthy Avenue, Belfast)

William Errol Charles (born 25 February 1913 in Godfrey Avenue, Bangor)

Marjorie Helen (born 5 January 1915 in Godfrey Avenue, Bangor)

William Errol Charles and Marjorie Helen were baptised in First Bangor Presbyterian Church.

William Errol Charles McCullough was educated at Mourne Grange, Kilkeel; Bangor Grammar School from 1927 until 1930 and Queen’s University Belfast.  He took his final medical examinations in 1939 and worked in various hospitals in England before joining the Merchant Navy in 1941.  He served aboard the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) Nova Scotia which was launched in 1926 and requisitioned as a troop ship during the Second World War.  RMS Nova Scotia was built by Vickers, Sons and Maxim Ltd., Barrow-in-Furness.

Surgeon William Errol Charles McCullough was 29 when he died at sea on 24 October 1942.  At the time, RMS Nova Scotia was on route from North Africa to Durban, South Africa with more than 700 Italian Prisoners-of-War on board.  A little over a month after Surgeon McCullough died at sea, RMS Nova Scotia was sunk by torpedoes fired from the German submarine U-177.  More than 800 people died when she went down on 28 November 1942 in the Indian Ocean some 30 miles off the coast of Natal Province, South Africa.

Surgeon William Errol Charles McCullough is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial; in Bangor Grammar School and on the family grave headstone in Bangor Cemetery.  His father William died on 11 July 1946 (aged 69); his mother Maria died on 31 July 1958 (aged 80); his brother Robert died on 18 October 1967 and his sister Marjorie died on 10 April 1974.