Stronge, Frederick Eustace (No. 79997)

Stronge, Frederick Eustace (Frederick)

Pilot Officer

No. 79997, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Killed in an aircraft accident on Wednesday 23 October 1940 (aged 32)


Donaghadee Parish Church of Ireland Graveyard, Co. Down


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Donaghadee and District War Memorial

St Jude’s Church of Ireland Church Belfast


Frederick Eustace (Frederick) Stronge was born on 25 October 1907 (his forenames were registered as Frederick Eugene) and he was a son of James Taylor Stronge and Mary Helen Stronge (nee McClaughlin or McLoughlin) who were married on 17 March 1904 in St. James’s Church of Ireland Church, Belfast.  James Taylor Stronge, a brickworks manager of 14 Whitehall Gardens, Belfast was a son of James Stronge, an engine driver.  Mary Helen McClaughlin of 48 Brougham Street, Belfast was a daughter of James Scott McClaughlin, a Naval pensioner.

James Taylor Stronge and Mary Helen Stronge (nee McClaughlin) had at least five children:

Harold George Rupert (born 8 February 1905 at 48 Brougham Street, Belfast)

Frederick Eustace, or Eugene (born 25 October 1907 at 2 Whitehall Parade, Belfast)

Winifred (born 29 May 1910 in Carlton House, Carolan Road, Belfast)

Eileen (born 8 September 1912 in Carlton House, Carolan Road, Belfast)

Gladys (born 5 May 1915 in Carlton House, Carolan Road, Belfast)

James Taylor Stronge JP died on 21 October 1945 at 22 Hartington Street, Belfast and he was a former chairman of Donaghadee Urban District Council.

Frederick Eustace Stronge and Mary Rankin were married on 27 October 1931 in Donaghadee Parish Church of Ireland Church.  Mary was a daughter of William Rankin, proprietor of the Railway Hotel, Donaghadee and she and Frederick had two children, Gladys Mary, and Taylor.

During the Second World War, Frederick Stronge served with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and on 23 October 1940 he was a passenger aboard a de Havilland aircraft (R2510) which hit barrage balloon cables and crashed into houses at Woodlands Way, Mill Hill, London.  The aircraft was on route from Hendon Aerodrome to Belfast with a crew of five and there were six passengers on board.  There were no survivors and the others who died were:

  • Flight Lieutenant Edward Charles Norman Jeffries
  • Flying Officer William Ledlie (aged 46) from Loughbrickland, Co. Down
  • Corporal Alexander Hamilton Knighton Robertson (aged 20) from Highgate, Middlesex
  • Leading Aircraftman Leslie Donald Rudling (aged 24) from Penge, Kent
  • Leading Aircraftman Walter John Wynne-Harley (aged 29) from New Zealand
  • Air Vice Marshal Charles Hubert Boulby Blount CB OBE MC (aged 46)
  • Lieutenant Commander Michael Joseph Toole (aged 42; Royal Navy)
  • Lieutenant (E) Thomas Gwyn James Mathias (aged 40; Royal Navy)
  • Pilot Officer George Grant (aged 40) from Canada
  • Warrant Officer Alfred Berry (aged 38) from Gillingham, Kent

Pilot Officer Frederick Eustace Stronge’s death was registered at Hendon, Middlesex.  He died two days before his 33rd birthday.  His daughter Gladys Mary Stronge died on 14 May 1948 (aged 15) and his wife Mary died on 18 February 1983.

A James Taylor Stronge (aged eight weeks) died at 49 Sunnyside Street, Belfast on 4 March 1922 and was buried in Belfast City Cemetery (Grave A. 515).  Also buried in the same grave were Eliza Devlina of 46 Hill Street who died on 6 April 1903 (aged 30); James Scott McClaughlin of 48 Brougham Street who died on 13 July 1906 (aged 62); Florence Muriel Stronge of 22 Whitehall Parade who died on 3 September 1906 (aged six weeks) and Helen Jones of 12 McClure Street who died on 30 April 1928 (aged 81).

Pilot Officer Frederick Eustace Stronge (No. 79997) is commemorated on Donaghadee and District War Memorial and his headstone in Donaghadee Parish Church of Ireland Graveyard bears the inscription:










He is also commemorated on a memorial plaque in St Jude’s Church of Ireland Church Belfast.