Mercer, Joseph (No. 987916)

Mercer, Joseph

Sergeant

No. 987916, 62 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Killed in action on Tuesday 24 February 1942 (aged 25)

No known grave

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Singapore Memorial, Singapore (Column 415)

Bangor and District War Memorial

Family grave headstone in Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor

Wesley Centenary Methodist Church, Bangor

BIOGRAPHY

Joseph Mercer was born on 31 July 1916 at 22 Croft Street, Bangor and he was a son of Joseph Stewart Mercer and Mary Jane Mercer (nee Morton) who were married on 9 July 1912 in Albertbridge Congregational Church, Belfast.  Joseph Stewart Mercer, an iron moulder from 9 Derwent Street, Belfast was a son of Joseph Mercer, a brass finisher (deceased).  Mary Jane Morton from 86 Omeath Street, Belfast was a daughter of John Morton, a farmer (deceased).

Joseph Stewart Mercer and Mary Jane Mercer (nee Morton) had at least three children:

Marjorie (born 23 September 1914 at 67 Omeath Street, Belfast; married Joseph Compton 25 September 1941)

Joseph (born 31 July 1916 at 22 Croft Street, Bangor)

James Harold (born 16 October 1919 at 22 Croft Street, Bangor; died 27 November 1929 aged 10)

Joseph Mercer was a member of the Hamilton Road Methodist Church Boys’ Brigade and he was educated at Bangor Central Public Elementary School and Bangor Technical School.  When he left school, he served his apprenticeship in estate agency with Messrs S.M. Claney and Company in Bangor.  Afterwards he worked for Alex Devon (Estate Agent) Wellington Place, Belfast and qualified with honours after studying for the Fellowship of the Auctioneers’ Institute (FAI).  He joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in 1940 and in the 7 March 1942 edition of the County Down Spectator it was reported that he was missing in action.  Sympathy was expressed to his mother and to his sister, Mrs Compton.  Later it was officially confirmed that Joseph Mercer must be presumed to have been killed in action.

Sergeant Joseph Mercer (No. 987916) was on board one of two Lockheed Hudson III aircraft that failed to return from an operational flight over the Bangka Strait, Indonesia.

Sergeant Joseph Mercer (No. 987916) was 25 when he died and he is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial; on Bangor and District War Memorial; on the family grave headstone in Bangor Cemetery (Section 4.N Grave 78) and in Wesley Centenary Methodist Church, Bangor.

Joseph’s father died on 4 May 1932 (aged 51) and his mother died on 28 March 1964 (aged 82).