Sam Hanna Bell Samuel Beckett John Hewitt Bernard (Barney) Hughes James Joseph Magennis VC Frances Elizabeth Clarke Stewart Parker William Carleton Rosamond Praegar

Ralph Bossence (1915 - 1971):

(Louis) Ralph Bossence, also known as “Bud” Bossence, was a humorous journalist, best remembered for his column in the Belfast News Letter.

His father was a shipyard worker and car mechanic, and when he emigrated to Detroit to work for the Ford Motor Company Ralph went with him and so was schooled there at Detroit Central High School. But he returned to Belfast and obtained a job at the Northern Whig in 1935, then the Belfast News Letter in 1947. He wrote about politics, though in a sardonic, humorous way, and for years wrote a personal column called “As I See It” in which he dealt with an extensive range of subjects. He also had a more serious side and was an occasional leader writer. He was a member of the Northern Ireland Labour Party, was Secretary of the Belfast branch of the NUJ and Chairman of the press gallery at the Northern Ireland Parliament (Stormont).

He was a well-known figure round Belfast, gregarious and corpulent – he had a regular Stammtisch at the Duke of York pub near the News Letter offices in central Belfast, where was known for his caustic but amusing table-talk. He left a sum of money on his death for a party of sorts in the same pub.

Legend had it that he walked with a friend from Dunmurry to Lurgan, County Armagh, stopping at every pub along the way.

There was published after his death a collection of his column, As I Saw It, edited by John Trew. There was also a dedicated window in the Duke of York, though a bomb blast destroyed it.


Born: 6 February 1915
Died: 3 November 1971
Richard Froggatt

Dictionary of Irish Biography;