Private David O'Sullivan

Royal Marine Light Infantry - WWI


Service Number: CH / 21243

Royal Marine Light Infantry Regiment

Born:  14 Nov 1898, in  Ballynoe, Tallow, Waterford

Date of death:   April 23, 1918 - Age 20 - Zeebrugge, Belgium

Status: Killed or died as a result of enemy action





Buried in Flushing (Vlissingen) Northern Cemetery, The Netherlands I. 14.

"In loving remembrance from his loving mother brothers and sisters"


A word of explanation about David O'Sullivan's military career:

David, born on November 14, 1898, as the son of Denis and Margaret O'sullivan, of Glenreigh, Ballynol, Tallow, Co. Cork.

Joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry, Chatham Division, 4th Royal Marines Battalion on March 30, 1917 at age 19.


In April 1918 he was involved in a Royal Navy attack on the port of Zeebrugge. The plan was to sink three old ships just before the entrance to Zeebrugge and thus make the port unusable as a submarine base.


David was part of the Royal Marine Light Infantry Regiment on the HMS Hindustan. As the port approached, the wind changed direction and the smoke screen of the fleet went to sea. The Germans opened fire and panic hit the British fleet. The marines were in the wrong place without their heavy weapons and one of their blockade ships was already lost before the entrance to the harbour was only visible. The other two ships were sunk in the wrong place and the harbour was therefore unavailable for submarines only a few days before the Germans dug a canal around these sunken ships.


About 227 Britons died and 356 were injured, David O'Sullivan was one of the victims on that day, 23 April 1918, he was with the missing. A month later his body washed ashore after a storm, but in the Netherlands, he was buried at the Noorderbegraafplaats in Vlissingen.

The HMS Hindustan battleship was launched in 1903 and completed in 1905.


She spent most of her career in the Home Fleet with a brief tour in the Mediterranean Sea in 1912.


In 1918 HMS Hindustan served as a parent and depot ship for the Zeebrugge and Ostend Raids.


HMS Hindustan was decommissioned and sold in 1919 and was scrapped at Belfast in 1923.

Monument in the town of Tallow, Ireland, to remember the fallen.

On Tuesday, September 5, 2017, I had the honour to meet the family of my adopted soldier, it was a special and especially emotional encounter. First and foremost we paid a visit to the grave and afterwards we had a nice chat in the center of Vlissingen.


Monday 23rd April 2018. We remember David O'Sullivan, killed in the Raid on Zeebrugge, 23rd April 1918. He is my adopted soldier and to remember the centenary of his death I joined the O'Sullivan family for an intimate ceremony.