George Hunniford

George Hunniford worked for the Belfast Savings Bank in Portadown, Co. Armagh before serving as a sergeant in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War.


George Hunniford


Sergeant George Hunniford (950488) served in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve during the Second World War. He was the son of George Hunniford and Rebecca Hunniford of 30 Margretta Park, Portadown, Co. Armagh. George Hunniford Senior was the principal of Thomas Street Public Elementary School.

In civilian life, George Hunniford Jr. was an employee of the Belfast Savings Bank in his hometown. He had attended Portadown College Grammar School where he played rugby for the 1st XV. On 4th October 1939, George joined R.A.F. 219 Squadron at R.A.F. Catterick, North Yorkshire, England. The following year, he moved to a night defence role helping to protect London during the Blitz.

Sergeant Hunniford died on 15th December 1941 aged 22 years old while serving in R.A.F. 219 Squadron. He was a radar operator on Bristol Beaufighter IF R2154 when it took off at 1940hrs on 15th December 1941 for a routine patrol from R.A.F. Tangmere, West Sussex, England. On attempting to land back at base, the plane crashed into high ground near Fontwell, about 3 miles northeast of the airfield.

Amidst many manifestations of regret the funeral took place on Tuesday of last week to Seagoe Churchyard of Wireless Observer Sergt. Geo. Hunniford, R.A.F., who lost his life on service with the R.A.F. in England.

The very considerable extent of the cortege, representative of every section of the community, bore testimony to the popularity of the deceased young man and to the esteem in which he and his family are held in the town.

The attendance included a detachment from an R.A.F. unit. The coffin was draped with a Union Jack.

At the service held in Thomas Street Methodist Church, Rev. R.H. Gallagher B.A., who with Rev. W. Moore Graham, officiated, paid a glowing tribute to his character. In the course of this reference Rev. Mr. Gallagher said that those who had seen Sergt. Observer George Hunniford when he was home on leave only a few weeks ago had remarked on the good spirits he was in and how well he looked and on the hopefulness and buoyancy of his disposition.

Sergeant Hunniford’s grave is in Section A, Plot 5, Grave 5 of Seagoe Church of Ireland Churchyard, Portadown, Co. Armagh. A funeral service took place on 23rd December 1941. His name is on the Portadown War Memorial and the Seagoe Church of Ireland War Memorial, Portadown, Co. Armagh.

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