THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: The News Letter announces the death Ulsterman awarded the Victoria Cross

From the News Letter, September 25, 1939

The mural dedicated to Sir Edward Barry Stewart Bingham, VC, at Kilcooley, Bangor, Co Down. The mural was painted in September 2009. It is located at Orlock Gardens in the Kilcooley Estate. Picture: Dean Molyneaux/GeographAE Britain and Ireland
The mural dedicated to Sir Edward Barry Stewart Bingham, VC, at Kilcooley, Bangor, Co Down. The mural was painted in September 2009. It is located at Orlock Gardens in the Kilcooley Estate. Picture: Dean Molyneaux/GeographAE Britain and Ireland

On this day in September 1939 the News Letter reported that Edward Barry Stewart Bingham, who had won the Victoria Cross at Jutland during the First World War, had died in London the previous day.

“We regret to announce the death, in London nursing home yesterday morning, of Rear-Admiral the Honourable Edward Barry Stewart Bingham, VC, OBE, third son Maud Lady Clanmorris of Bangor Castle, Co Down, and brother of Lady Glentoran.”

The report continued to provide further details on his life: “Born in Bangor in 1831, he chose the Navy career, and a joined HMS Britannia, then the Osborne Naval College, and became Lieutenant in 1903, Lieutenant-Commander in 1911, Commander in 1915 and Rear-Admiral (retired) 1932. He was appointed a Naval ADC to King George V in 1931, and received the OBE (Military) in 1919.

“During the Great War, he was with the Destroyer Flotilla, and was present at the battles of Heligoland Bight, Falkland Islands and Jutland. It was at the battle of Jutland that he won the VC and was taken prisoner by the Germans.

“He was awarded the coveted decoration for the extremely gallant manner in which he led his destroyer division in their attack first the enemy destroyers and then their battle cruisers.

“He finally sighted the enemy battle fleet and, followed by the one remaining destroyer of his division, with dauntless courage closed within 3,000 yards the enemy in order to attain favourable position for firing the torpedoes.

“While making this attack the two destroyers were under concentrated fire of the secondary batteries of the German High Sea Fleet.

“His own destroyer, Nestor, was sunk, and his death in action was officially reported; nearly a week elapsing before it was ascertained that he had been picked up the enemy.”

Rear-Admiral Bingham had last visited Northern Ireland in the spring of 1939 when had met many old naval friends.

At the last British Legion naval dinner Belfast, to commemorate the battle of Jutland, the proposer of the toast “Jutland” said there was a “Nelson touch” about the action of the 13th Flotilla, the Commander of which alluded as “Our old comrade and neighbour, the Honourable Barry Bingham, of Bangor.”

He leaves one son, John Temple, and one daughter, Lavinia Mary.

It was also reported by the News Letter that Professor Sigmund Freud, “the originator of the science of psycho-analysis” had died at his London home the previous Saturday at the age of 83.

Freud, noted the News Letter, had fled from Austria in 1938 when that country had been invaded the Germans, and had since then lived at Hampstead.

“He was the man who dissected the human mind and discovered how the sub-conscious mind affected a man’s life, health and actions,” commented the News Letter.

The paper continued: “He horrified some people when expressed the view that sex was the primary cause of nervous disorders.”

He was born of Jewish extraction at Freiburg, Moravia, and was educated in Vienna and Paris.

Of his development of “the science of psycho-analysis”, the News Letter reported: “He had devised means of tapping the sub-conscious mind and, after beginning his researches with the aid of hypnotism, finally relied on his own methods, based on questions put the patient. Thus the great science psycho-analysis was born.”

On his 80th birthday, 200 leading thinkers of the world addressed him thus: “The master whose discoveries have opened the way to new and profounder understanding mankind.”