O'ROURKE, Patrick

Rank: 
Gunner
Unit/Base: 
6 Commando
Regiment/Corps: 
Royal Artillery
Service: 
Army
Number: 
1438623
Born: 
Tuesday, March 23, 1920
Birthplace: 
St. Helens Lancashire
Died : 
Saturday, February 10, 1945
Killed in action or died of wounds
Age: 
24
Cemetery/Memorial: 
Gunner Patrick O'Rourke 6 Commando
Grave of Gnr O'Rourke 6 Commando
Gunner Patrick O'Rourke, from St Helens, Lancashire, died of wounds during operations in Holland [1][1a][1b]
He was the son of working class Irish immigrants from Dublin [2].
January 1939 attested into the Royal Artillery aged 18 [3][3a].
24 November 1943 posted Royal Artillery (Field) [3].
6 April 1944 became a member of the Old Comrades Association of the Special Service Brigade at Achnacarry [4].
22 June 1944 (No.6 Commando) wounded in Normandy, France [5].  
10 February 1945 (No.6 Commando) wounded again in Holland, this time fatally [1b]
At the time of his death his Commando were engaged in operations in the area of Bell Island (Osen), Brachterbeek, Holland [6]
 
Sources
[1] CWGC.
[1a] Royal Artillery Casualty Card.
[1b] Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/88.
[2] [Image] Ray Edwards (nephew).
[3] Royal Artillery Attestation Records.
[3a] Army Form B271A.
[4] Membership Card in CVA Gallery (see notes).
[5] Casualty Lists / National Archives file WO417/77.
[6] 1 Cdo. Bde. HQ War Diary January 1945.
 
Notes
[1] Recruits passing out from their Commando Course at the CBTC  were encouraged to join the new Association set up by the Commandant Lt Col Vaughan. Gnr. O'Rourke's membership card is signed by Capt. Sharples, CBTC Admin Officer.
[2] There are photos in our gallery of the cross at his original grave and his CWGC headstone after reburial. Message sent to the CWGC as they list the date erroneously as 19th rather than 10th as on their own Grave Reports and Headstone.
 
Primary Roll of Honour: 
Photo of grave in Gallery: 
Yes

Comments

Comment: 
Mr Erik Ficken from The Netherlands adds the following: "In January 1945 No.6 Commando were assisting in Operation Blackcock. To do this, they crossed the Maas and the frozen Juliana Canal from the Liberated Netherlands. Although our village, Maasbracht, was already liberated on 23/24 January 1945; the German armies maintained a bridgehead on the island of "Osen", between the Maas and the Lateraal Canal, where they fought stubbornly. In the weeks of fighting, Patrick O'Rourke eventually lost his life on February 10, 1945. The battle for the island of "Osen" took the lives of 24 Allied soldiers, 30 were seriously injured and 12 were missing. We will continue to honor the war grave of your uncle at Nederweert with great respect."

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