Fujairah Collage

Fujairah Collage
Some distinctive landmarks in Fujairah

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Remembering Sgt. William Donnelly in Dhadnah, Fujairah

Remembrance Service

On Tuesday 15 November 2011 at 11.00am, a detachment from the Royal Air Force will hold a short remembrance service at the WWII memorial to Sgt. William Henry Donnelly (pictured) at the Fujairah village of Dhadnah.

The 15-minute service will be led by an RAF chaplain.

Squadron-Leader, Chris Jackson, who is in command of RAF personnel in the UAE, said he would be delighted if any members of the Fujairah community were able to attend. “It is a public event and there is no need to register one’s intention of attending the service,” said Squadron-Leader, Chris Jackson.

The service has been scheduled as near as possible to Remembrance Day (11 November) and it is designed to be a fitting tribute not only to William Donnelly but to the many who lost their lives during service to their country.

Billy’s Story

Many details were published (see links below) near to 27 January 2010 when a memorial was erected and a service was held at Sayd Dhadnah in Fujairah.

On 14 February 1943, Sergeant William Donnelly died when his plane crashed at Dhadnah. He was buried by his friends in a shallow stream bed.

The location of the grave was lost and rediscovered 65 years later, thanks to the persistent investigation of his family, members of the Al Ain chapter of the Emirates Natural History Group and the knowledge of some local fishermen.

The generous support of the Fujairah Ruler, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, was much appreciated by the relatives and Royal Air Force in establishing a memorial, paying tribute to Billy’s service and helping family and friends to find closure.


The Dhadnah War Memorial lies north of the Dhadnah village and further inland from the main road.

The memorial is visible on Google Earth as a little grey square.

The GPS location coordinates are:

434655.37 E

2825065. 86 N


Sincere thanks to Peter Hellyer for providing the details about William Donnelly’s life and many of the photos used in this article. Photo of Billy Donnelly, courtesy of his great niece, Lesley Botten.


Peter Hellyer, On the Trail of a Mystery from Peru to Fujairah, The National, 19 January 2010.

WWII Hero Honoured in Emirates, BBC Local, Edinburgh, 16 February 2010.

Geoff Pound

More Fujairah news, information and photos are posted on the Fujairah in Focus Facebook Page.

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