Andrew Joy Welsh

On 4th May 1944, Charles Edward Cottrell repeatedly fired a Sten Gun into a passing lorry killing fellow serviceman Flight Sergeant Andrew Joy Welsh of Belfast.

Flight Sergeant

Andrew Joy Welsh

Flight Sergeant Andrew Joy Welsh (539579) served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. He was the son of John Welsh and Elizabeth Welsh of Belfast.

Flight Sergeant Welsh died on 4th May 1944 aged 25 years old while serving in R.A.F. 2942 Squadron. The airman was the victim of a seemingly unprovoked murder while serving at Dohazari Airfield. Fellow serviceman, 31-year-old Charles Edward Cottrell of West Haddon, Northamptonshire, England shot the Belfast man several times. A trial that followed heard that Cottrell fired several rounds from a Sten Gun into a lorry driven by Welsh.

He ran towards the lorry, which was driven by Welsh. There were more bursts of firing and he ran back, his face distorted, and foaming at the mouth.

On 18th October 1945, Judge Mr. Justice Hallett presided at the Old Bailey in London, England. He found the 32-year-old Cottrell, committed from Bow Street Police Court, “insane” and unfit to plead. Cottrell would remain in custody at the King’s pleasure.

I think he is so apathetic that he can take no interest in the proceedings or in his own defence. His condition is due to disease of the mind.

Flight Sergeant Welsh’s grave is in Section 1, Row B, Grave 5 of Chittagong War Cemetery, Bangladesh. His headstone bears the inscription:

In righteous strife, for rightful laws, he gave his life in Britain’s cause.

© 2024 WartimeNI | Design & Development: Scott Edgar | Hosted by: Big Wet Fish