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William Cairnduff
1874 - 1921
On the 22nd November 1921 Around 6 o’clock a bomb was thrown at a tram in Corporation Street, Belfast. The tram was transporting shipyard workers home. The bombing of trams by the IRA was supposedly in retaliation for Loyalist attacks on Catholics. There were 3 fatalities, including 2 young Comber men. The funeral of James Rodgers on 24th November to Comber Cemetery was one of the largest in the town for many years. James was only 18, the son of an ex-RIC sergeant, and worked in the engineering department of Workman Clark. His mother had died just a fortnight before. Rev Breakey of 2nd Comber conducted the graveside service. The second victim was William Cairnduff, a member of Comber First Presbyterian Church Newtownards, who left a wife Maggie and 4 children William, Margarret,Agnes and Lizzie, William had married Magaret Casey on the 12 june 1899. Members of the Plumbers’ Shed of Workman Clark marched four deep behind the hearse. At first it had been thought stones were being thrown at the tram and passengers had lain down to evade them. Cairnduff fell on the bomb, and whose body was the most terribly mutilated of all the victims, but in so doing probably saved the lives of others. The town came to a standstill on the days of both funerals.
15 Jan 2018
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