Sandford, Henry Dougan (No. 537402)

Sandford, Henry Dougan (Harry)

Leading Aircraftman

No. 537402, Royal Air Force

Died as the result of enemy action on Friday 25 October 1940 (aged 25)

Buried:

Montrose (Sleepy Hillock) Cemetery, Angus, Scotland (Section 10 Class A Grave 336)     

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

BIOGRAPHY

Henry Dougan (Harry) Sandford was born on 30 June 1915 at 61 Island Street, Belfast and he was a son of Henry and Agnes Jane Sandford (nee Bell) who were married on 26 October 1907 in Ballymacarrett Parish Church of Ireland Church (St. Patrick’s), Belfast.  Henry Sandford (aged 21), a labourer from 58 Dee Street, Belfast was a son of William John Sandford, a brush maker.  Agnes Bell (aged 21) from 122 Island Street was a daughter of William John Bell, a labourer.

Henry Sandford worked as a shipyard labourer and he and Agnes Jane had at least five children:

Margaret Ann (born 8 August 1908 at 166 Island Street, Belfast)

Agnes Jane (born 14 April 1910 at 74 Convention Street, Belfast)

Sarah (born 18 April 1912 at 61 Tamar Street, Belfast)

Henry Dougan (born 30 June 1915 at 61 Island Street, Belfast while his father was serving as a soldier)

Samuel (born 5 September 1917 at 74 Island Street, Belfast while his father was serving as a soldier)

Henry Dougan (Harry) Sandford was the husband of Margaret Sim Sandford (nee Duncan, daughter of David Duncan) of Graham Street, Montrose, Scotland.  They were married in 1939.

During the Second World War Leading Aircraftman Henry Dougan (Harry) Sandford (No. 537402) served with the Royal Air Force and he died at dusk on 25 October 1940 during a Luftwaffe air raid on RAF Montrose.

Harry’s family in Belfast and Newtownards placed Our Heroes – In Memoriam notices in the Newtownards Chronicle and the notice in the 25 October 1941 edition contained the verse:

In God’s garden above

Dwells Harry, the brother we fondly loved,

Dearest Harry, we have laid thee

In the peaceful Death’s embrace,

But thy memory shall be cherished

Till we see thy heavenly face.

For in my happy childhood days

He gave both love and care.

Now Harry dwells with Jesus

In that Heavenly mansion fair.

The notice in the 24 October 1942 edition contained the verse:

Never a day but his name is spoken,

Never a day but he is in our thoughts,

A link in the family chain is broken,

He has gone from our homes – but not from our hearts.

Some may think he is forgotten,

When they see us smile,

But little do they know the heart-ache

That a smile hides all the while.

Harry’s sister Agnes and brother-in-law Stewart McBlain, who were married on 1 April 1929 in Ballygilbert Presbyterian Church, lived at 114 East Street, Newtownards and his sister Sadie and brother-in-law Bruce Ross lived at 32 Thorndyke Street, Belfast.

It was Leading Aircraftman Henry Dougan (Harry) Sandford’s father-in-law, David Duncan of Myrtlebank Bank, Rosehill Road, Montrose who purchased the lair (grave plot) in which Harry was buried and his widow placed an inscription on Harry’s CWGC headstone:

CHERISHED MEMORIES

OF MY BELOVED HUSBAND,

KILLED IN THE SERVICE

OF HIS COUNTRY

Leading Aircraftman Henry Dougan (Harry) Sandford’s brother-in-law Gunner William McBlain died on active service on 11 September 1943.

William McBlain’s cousin, Fusilier William John Shields, was killed in action in Burma on 18 April 1942.