Monard, Donald Stanley Ashton (No. 129380)

Monard, Donald Stanley Ashton (Donald)

Flying Officer (Pilot)

No. 129380, 241 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Killed in action on Wednesday 23 August 1944 (aged 23)

Buried:

Padua War Cemetery, Italy (Grave II. G. 5)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Campbell College Belfast

Family grave headstone in Donaghadee Church of Ireland Graveyard

BIOGRAPHY

Donald Stanley Ashton Monard was born on 18 August 1921 and he was the elder son of Stanley Hopkirk Monard and Kathleen Sarah Monard (nee McIlroy).  Kathleen’s father was John McIlroy, an estate agent who lived in The Warren, Donaghadee, then Marion House, Marino, Co. Down and after that, Cosham in Hampshire.

Stanley Hopkirk Monard was in the Army and his address was the Reform Club Belfast when he and Kathleen McIlroy were married on 28 December 1916 in St. Mary Magdalene Church of Ireland Church, Donegall Pass, Belfast.  During the First World War Stanley Hopkirk Monard served as a Captain with the 14th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles and after the war he was a partner in the Belfast chartered auctioneer and estate agent firm of John McIlroy & Company.  During the Second World War he served as a Major in the Royal Engineers at Weymouth and Portsmouth and after the war he worked in Local Government.  He was a member of Knock and Donaghadee Golf Clubs.

Donald Stanley Ashton Monard was given the name Ashton after his godfather Edward Albert Ashton Bagley who, sponsored by the Tariff Reform League, was elected in 1918 as the Conservative MP for Farnworth, Lancashire.  Donald Stanley Ashton Monard attended Campbell College, Belfast from 1934 until 1938 and during the Second World War he served with the RAFVR.  He died on 23 August 1944, just five days after his 23rd birthday.  Donald’s Commanding Officer informed Donald’s father that, when Donald flew in low to strafe a train as the Allies advanced northwards through Italy, a bullet fired by a soldier on the train struck the fuel tank of his aircraft which then crashed in flames.  A short tribute was published in the December 1944 edition of The Campbellian:

‘Donald Monard lost his life while taking part in a ‘train busting’ raid somewhere on the Continent. That is all the news we have received. To those who took the trouble to understand him he was a most charming character. He was by no means a reed shaken by the wind but held decided views on things. He will be greatly missed, and we offer sincere sympathy to his father and mother’.

Donald Monard’s effects amounted to some £2,612 and probate was granted to his father.  During the Second World War Donald’s younger brother, Patrick Terence Monard, served as a Petty Officer Cadet in the RNVR (Fleet Air Arm).  Patrick survived the war and afterwards practised as a doctor.

Flying Officer Donald Stanley Ashton Monard (No. 129380) was buried in Padua War Cemetery, Italy and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:

FEARED GOD

AND FEARED NAUGHT

Flying Officer Donald Stanley Ashton Monard (No. 129380) is commemorated in Campbell College and on the family grave headstone in Donaghadee Church of Ireland Graveyard.

Donald’s mother Kathleen died of pneumonia on 5 June 1941 (aged 50) and there are two inscriptions on the headstone:

A little while

 Fear God and fear naught

Donald’s father Stanley remarried and his marriage to Daphne Winifred Dore was registered in the third quarter of 1944 in Portsmouth, Hampshire.  They had a son named Stuart.

Stanley Hopkirk Monard died on 22 August 1964.