St Canice’s Church of Ireland, Faughanvale, Co. Londonderry

St Canice's Church of Ireland, in the parish of Faughanvale stands in Eglinton village. In the 1940s, a bond was formed with the nearby military airfield.

St Canice's Church of Ireland

Faughanvale, Eglinton

Derry

Co. Londonderry

BT47 3AQ

United Kingdom

St Canice's Church of Ireland is the parish church of Faughanvale in the centre of Eglinton. The village lies around six miles east of the city of Derry, Co. Londonderry.

A church of this name was first built by St Canice in the 6th century in the nearby village of Greysteel. This village is in the townland of Faughanvale around three miles from Eglinton. The Grocers’ Company of the City of London laid claim to this land in 1615 following the plantation of Ulster. Their manor house, known as Grocers’ Castle, stood on the site of the present rectory. Demolished in 1823, the rubble of the manor house became the building blocks of the new rectory.

The parish built upon their church building throughout the 1800s and 1900s. Some wealthy local families became generous benefactors. These included the Michaels family, the famous Gallahers of the tobacco industry, and the Spencers who share ancestry with Lady Diana Spencer.

Faughanvale Churchyard

Family graves of these families are among the most noteworthy in the churchyard. The parish churchyard at St Canice’s Church of Ireland also contains the burials of 35 men and one woman who died during World War Two.

Grummat Hellcat landing at RNAS Eglinton

Imperial War Museum Photo: A 22288 (Part of the Admiralty Official Collection). Dummy deck landing by a pilot of a Fleet Air Arm Squadron formed of Grumman Hellcats. The Squadron PHT is acting as batsman at RNAS Eglinton, Co. Londonderry. Photo taken by Royal Naval Official Photographer.

The church formed a close bond with the nearby RNAS Eglinton, military airfield in the 1940s. Today, naval colours and an ensign hang in the building and the crest of HMS Gannet is displayed.

Faughanvale parish of around 200 families is part of the Diocese of Derry. In 2017, the Bishop of Derry is the Right Reverend Ken Good. The minister of St Canice’s is Reverend Paul Hoey. People attend church in the parish from Eglinton, Derry City, Ballykelly, and Limavady.

World War Two Burials

Commonwealth War Graves Commission burials in St Canice's Church of Ireland Churchyard, Faghanvale, Co. Londonderry.

Spitfire of RAF 152 Squadron

Crelin Arthur Walford Bodie

Pilot Officer • 42790

Pilot Officer Crelin Arthur Walford Bodie joined the Royal Air Force on a short service commission in October '39. He was killed near RNAS Eglinton in 1942.

Erick Hendrik den Hollander

Flying Officer

Flying Officer Erick Hendrik den Hollander served in the Royal Netherlands Navy Air Service. Born in Bandung, Java in 1922 he was killed outside Ballymena.

An American Stinson Reliant

John Bernard Johnson

Sub Lieutenant

Sub-Lieutenant John Bernard Johnson served in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. By 1944 he was based at HMS Landrail with 878 Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm.

Hugh Greenville Knowles

Lieutenant

Royal Navy Pilot Lieutenant Hugh Greenville Knowles died on 22nd April 1944 while flying Grumman Hellcat FN394 in a training exercise over Co. Antrim.

John Hugh Nurse

Sub Lieutenant

Sub-Lieutenant John Hugh Nurse served with the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm and was based at RNAS Eglinton, Co. Londonderry when he died on 19th November 1943.

Alan Frederick Orchard

Alan Frederick Orchard

Sub Lieutenant

Sub-Lieutenant Alan Frederick Orchard was a pilot. He served with the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve flying with 878 Squadron from Co. Londonderry airfields.

Dennis Herbert Oxby

Sub Lieutenant

Sub Lieutenant Dennis Herbert Oxby was born in Lincolnshire, England and served in the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy. He died in Co. Londonderry in 1944.

Alan Albert Pollock

Alan Albert Pollock

Sub Lieutenant

Sub-Lieutenant Alan Albert Pollock was a pilot with the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve. Flying of 878 Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm when he was killed in NI.

Newsletter Signup

If you'd like to hear more from WartimeNI, you can sign up for regular free updates to your inbox. Just enter your email address below.