Leading Stoker William Alexander Dempster (C/KX 79089) served in the Royal Navy during World War Two. Born on 16th January 1910, he was the son of Frederick James Dempster and Elizabeth Jane Dempster of Ballymaccarron, Killyleagh, Co. Down.
On 2nd April 1911, his name appears on the Irish census living at 1 Pawle Island, Killyleagh, Co. Down. His father Frederick James was 34 years old, mother Eliza Jane 31. The family were Presbyterian and had a 19-year-old servant living with them called William Green.
Dempster died on 15th February 1942 on board HMS Cleopatra in Valetta, Malta aged 32 years old. The cruiser Cleopatra and destroyer HMS Fortune came under attack from Luftwaffe JU-88 bombers near the harbour. A 500kg bomb hit HMS Cleopatra, exploding and killing twenty members of the crew. The damaged ship made it to port and underwent repairs.
William Alexander Dempster’s grave is in Protected Section (Men’s) Plot F, Combined Grave 89 of Capuccini Naval Cemetery, Malta. Next to Dempster, lie Able Seaman John William Mills and Ordinary Seaman W Walker of HMS Cleopatra and three men from HMS Maori. His name appears on the Killyleagh War Memorial, Killyleagh, Co. Down.