John William Coleman

Royal Navy Petty Officer Stoker John William Coleman was born in Liverpool, Lancashire but made a home with his wife and daughter in Belfast, Co. Antrim.

Petty Officer Stoker

John William Coleman

P/K57950

Petty Officer Stoker John William Coleman lived in Belfast, Co. Antrim with his wife Sarah and daughter Edna. He died in November 1945 and is buried in Dundonald Cemetery, Dundonald, Co. Down.

Petty Officer Stoker John William Coleman (P/K57950) served in the Royal Navy during World War Two. Born in Liverpool, Lancashire on 14th February 1896, he was the son of George Henry Coleman and Frances Florence Coleman (née Farrell). He had a younger brother George born in 1898, and a sister Elizabeth Mary (May) born in 1900.

John married Sarah Maze in September 1922 in West Derby, Lancashire. The couple had a daughter named Edna, born on 12th August 1929 in Belfast, Co. Antrim. Coleman died on 23rd November 1945 aged 49 years old. At his time of death, he served on board HMS Danae.

HMS Danae and cruisers bound for Normandy

Imperial War Museum Photo: A 24094 (Part of the Admiralty Official Collection). Cruisers HMS Arethusa, HMS Danae, and HMS Mauritius on their way to bombard the enemy coast in support of the Allied invasion. They were bound for Sword Beach ahead of the D-Day landings. Copyright Lieutenant EE Allen.

HMS Danae had served in the First World War, entering the fray on 26th January 1918. It underwent repairs and modernisation and was once again used in World War Two.

Attached to 9th Flotilla of cruisers, Danae patrolled the waters of south-east Asia before spending 11 months in the docks. Returning in July 1943, Danae returned to the English Channel as part of 1st Cruiser Fleet offering support to Operation Neptune.

Commemoration site at Sword Beach

The site of the official international commemoration site is dismantled after the D-Day 70 events in Ouistreham. Photo taken on 9th June 2014.

On D-Day, 6th June 1944, HMS Danae bombarded German batteries near Ouistreham, Normandy. It continued to support the Allies around Caen after D-Day. In August 1944, the ship returned to Plymouth before handover to the Polish Navy.

Renamed ORP Conrad, it joined 10th Flotilla of cruisers on 2nd April 1945 before returning to Royal Navy usage on 28th September 1945.

John William Coleman’s grave is in Section B4, Grave 639 of Dundonald Cemetery, Dundonald, Co. Down.