Tag: World War 2

Roll of Honour. St John’s College, Houghton

St John’s College in Houghton has a very strong connection to the military, and there are two chapels on the premises. The larger chapel houses the Roll of Honour, whereas the Crypt Chapel has the Delville Wood Cross in it. I have dealt with that chapel in a previous post and this post really deals with the Roll of Honour. Unfortunately my images are less than satisfactory, but I was pushed for time and was not able to concentrate on what I was photographing, which is probably why it has taken so long for these images to appear in the first place.

I really started working on the Roll of Honour as a result of my involvement with “Lives of the First World War”, and really looked at the 1914-1918 portion of the Roll of Honour and created a community for it (Community will be unavailable until July 2020). I had hoped to be able to tie a name into a specific record but I was not always successful. The problem really is that some names tie into a number of possibles, or don’t tie into anybody and without more details I am just unable to do anything except guess, and even then I cannot. The results here may not be correct and I do welcome any help with them.  

The inscriptions are on wooden panels and it was not easy to read them which is why I took an image with the flash and an image without one.  Images link to either CWGC or South African War Graves Project. There are 4 sections to this page: World War 1, World War 2, Post World War, Private Memorials

World War 1

V.L. Adams

CA Bailey (1)
R O Bettington
S. Dunstan (2)
A.Eastwood (3)
A Fraser (4)
W. Hirst (5)
R. Johnstone (6)
C.D. King (7)
H. Mallett DCM
S Marsh (8)
R. Martin (9)
J Peters (10)
B. Stokes (11)
W. Ware-Austin (12)

(1) CA Bailey. No possible candidate found

(2). S Dunstan. There are two possibles at CWGC but no way to tie either of them to the ROH.

(3) A Eastwood. No possible candidate found

(4) A Fraser. Possible candidate

(5) W Hirst. No possible candidate found

(6) R Johnstone. Two possibles but no way to positively tie them to the ROH

(7) CD King. Many possibles but nothing to tie them into the ROH

(8) S Marsh. Two possibles but no way to positively tie them to the ROH

(9) R Martin. Many possibles but no way to positively tie them to the ROH

(10) J Peters. Many possibles but no way to positively tie them to the ROH

(11) B Stokes. No possible candidate found

(12) W. Ware-Austin. No possible candidate found. 

World War 2

L. Adams (2)
P.H. Andrews (3)
H.C. Campbell (4)
G. Cherrington (5)
B.D. Havnl (1)
J.A. Hill (7)
R. MacDonald (8)
D.F. Murray (9)
B.P. Purves (10)
F.M. Reim (11.)

(1) Surname appears to be Havnl but this may be missing characters. 

(2) May be http://www.southafricawargraves.org/search/details.php?id=160

(3) May be http://www.southafricawargraves.org/search/details.php?id=537

(4) Two possibles but not able to confirm which it is

(5) No data on a G Cherrington

(6) Aka known as Baratt, Thomas Oxenham Gordon

(7) Two possibles but no way of checking which it is

(8) May be http://www.southafricawargraves.org/search/details.php?id=14221

(9) Two possibles but not enough information

(10) May be https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2239953/purves,-brian-percival/

(11) Initials are given as M.F on grave

Post World War 2

M.D. Reitz  (1952)

C.H.C.R. Stewart (12)

R.H. Mentis (1963)

P.N. Gettliffe (12)

D.A. Carshalton (1976)

D.R. Mitchell (12)

A Gordon-Bennett (1978)

A. De Kiewiet (12)

(12) No record found

Private Memorials.

I saw two private memorials amongst the panels.

 

Cyprian Ryland Jenkin
Tom Michael Glanvill Jenkin

DRW © 2018-2019. Created 15/11/2018, World War 2 names added 16/04/2019, added in links 18/04/2019

Updated: 18/04/2019 — 18:07

Bertram Stuart Trevelyan Archer GC

Bertram Stuart Trevelyan Archer (03/02/1915 – 03/05/2015) was awarded the George Cross for extensive work on defusing German bombs dropped on United Kingdom during World War II.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Issue: 35292, Page: 5653, reads

“The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the award of the GEORGE CROSS in recognition of most conspicuous gallantry in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner, to: —
Second-Lieutenant (Acting Lieutenant) Bertram Stuart Trevelyan Archer (126305), Corps of Royal Engineers.”

Stuart  Archer was the only VC or GC (up till 03/02/2015) to reach the age of 100. He passed away on 3rd May 2015 and was cremated at the New Southgate Crematorium.

DRW © 2018. Created 23/08/2018. Image courtesy of Mark Green. 

Updated: 26/08/2018 — 19:26

Commando Winners of the Victoria Cross

The Commando Winners of the Victoria Cross Plaque may be found at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

Lt Col Geoffrey Keyes VC, MC.
Lt Col Charles Newman VC
Sgt Thomas Durrant VC
Maj Patrick Porteus VC
L/Cpl Henry Harden VC
Lt George A Knowland VC
Cpl Thomas Hunter VC
Maj Anders Lassen VC, MC**

DRW © 2018. Created 21/08/2018

Updated: 26/08/2018 — 19:26

Forest Frederick Edward “Tommy” Yeo-Thomas GC

Forest Frederick Edward “Tommy” Yeo-Thomas (17/06/1902 – 26/02/1964) was a British Special Operations Executive (SOE) agent in the Second World War and was awarded the George Cross for his clandestine work behind enemy lines.  Yeo-Thomas was known by the Gestapo as “The White Rabbit”. 

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of Supplement: 37468, Page: 961 reads: 

“The KING has been graciously pleased to award the George Cross to Acting Wing Commander Forest Frederick Edward YEO-THOMAS, M.C. (89215), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.

This officer was parachuted into France on 25 February 1943. He showed much courage and initiative during his mission, particularly when he enabled a French officer who was being followed by a Gestapo agent in Paris to reach safety and resume clandestine work in another area. He also took charge of a U.S. Army Air Corps officer who had been shot down and, speaking no French, was in danger of capture. This officer returned to England on 15 April 1943, in the aircraft which picked up Wing Commander Yeo-Thomas.

Wing Commander Yeo-Thomas undertook a second mission on 17 September 1943. Soon after his arrival in France, many patriots were arrested. Undeterred, he continued his enquires and obtained information which enabled the desperate situation being rectified. On six occasions, he narrowly escaped arrest. He returned to England on 15 November 1943, bringing British intelligence archives which he had secured from a house watched by the Gestapo.

This officer was again parachuted into France in February, 1944. Despite every security precaution, he was betrayed to the Gestapo in Paris on 21 March. While being taken by car to Gestapo Headquarters, he was badly “beaten up”. He then underwent 4 days continuous interrogation, interspersed with beatings and torture, including immersions, head downwards, in ice-cold water, with legs and arms chained. Interrogations later continued for 2 months and Wing Commander Yeo-Thomas was offered his freedom in return for information concerning the Head of a Resistance Secretariat. Owing to his wrist being cut by chains, he contracted blood-poisoning and nearly lost his left arm. He made two daring but unsuccessful attempts to escape. He was then confined in solitude in Fresnes prison for 4 months, including 3 weeks in a darkened cell with very little food. Throughout these months of almost continuous torture, he steadfastly refused to disclose any information.

On 17 July, Wing Commander Yeo-Thomas was sent with a party to Compiègne prison, from which he twice attempted to escape. He and 36 others were transferred to Buchenwald. On the way, they stopped at Saarbrücken, where they were beaten and kept in a tiny hut. They arrived at Buchenwald on 16 August and 16 of them were executed and cremated on 10 September. Wing Commander Yeo-Thomas had already commenced to organise resistance within the camp and remained undaunted by the prospect of a similar fate. He accepted an opportunity of changing his identity with that of a dead French prisoner, on condition that other officers would also be enabled to do so. In this way, he was instrumental in saving the lives of two officers.

Wing Commander Yeo-Thomas was later transferred to a work kommando for Jews. In attempting to escape, he was picked up by a German patrol and, claiming French nationality, was transferred to a camp near Marienburg for French prisoners of war. On 16 April 1945, he led a party of 20 in a most gallant attempt to escape in broad daylight. Ten of them were killed by gunfire from the guards. Those who reached cover split up into small groups. Wing Commander Yeo-Thomas became separated from his companions after 3 days without food. He continued alone for a week and was recaptured when only 800 yards from the American lines.

A few days later, he escaped with a party of 10 French prisoners of war, whom he led through German patrols to the American lines. Wing Commander Yeo-Thomas thus turned his final mission into a success by his determined opposition to the enemy, his strenuous efforts to maintain the morale of his fellow prisoners and his brilliant escape activities. He endured brutal treatment and torture without flinching and showed the most amazing fortitude and devotion to duty throughout his service abroad, during which he was under the constant threat of death.”

He survived the war and died in 1964 at the age of 61 in his Paris apartment following a massive haemorrhage. He was cremated in Paris and then subsequently repatriated to be interred in Brookwood Cemetery, Surrey, where his grave may be found in the Pine Glade Garden of Remembrance. 

DRW © 2018. Created 21/08/2018. Image courtesy of Mark Green

Updated: 26/08/2018 — 19:26

Lachhiman Gurung VC

Lachhiman Gurung (30/12/1917 – 12/12/2010), a member of the 4th Battalion, 8th Gurkha Rifles of the Indian Army, was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions in May 1945 at Taungdaw, Burma.

The Citation, recorded in the London Gazette of 24 July 1945, Supplement:37195, Page: 3861 reads:
“No. 87726 Rifleman LACHHIMAN GURUNG, 8th Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army.

At Taungdaw, in Burma, on the west bank of the Irrawaddy, on the night of I2th/I3th May, 1945, Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung was manning the most forward post of his platoon. At 0120 hours at least 200 enemy assaulted his Company position. The brunt of the attack was borne by Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung’s section and by his own post in particular. This post dominated a jungle path leading up into his platoon locality.

Before assaulting, the enemy hurled innumerable grenades at the position from close range. One grenade fell on the lip of Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung’s trench; he at once grasped it and hurled it back at the enemy. Almost immediately another grenade fell – directly inside the trench.

Again this Rifleman snatched it up and threw it back. A third grenade then fell just in front of the trench. He attempted to throw it back, but it exploded in his hand, blowing off his fingers, shattering his right arm arid severely wounding him in the face, body and right leg. His two comrades were also badly wounded and lay helpless in the bottom of the trench.

The enemy, screaming and shouting, now formed up shoulder to shoulder and attempted to rush the position by sheer weight of numbers. Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung,  regardless of his wounds, fired and loaded his rifle with his left hand, maintaining a continuous and steady rate of fire. 

Wave after wave of fanatical attacks were thrown in by the enemy and all were repulsed with heavy casualties. For four hours after being severely wounded Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung remained alone at his post, waiting with perfect calm for each attack, which he met with fire at point-blank range from his rifle, determined not to give one inch of ground.

Of the 87 enemy dead counted in the immediate vicinity of the Company locality, 31 lay in front of this Rifleman’s section, the key to the whole position. Had the enemy succeeded in over-running and occupying Rifleman Lachhiman Gurung’s trench, the whole of the reverse slope position would have been completely dominated and turned.

This Rifleman, by his magnificent example, so inspired his comrades to resist the enemy to the last, that, although surrounded and-cut off for three days and two nights, they held and smashed every attack.

His outstanding gallantry and extreme devotion to duty, in the face of almost overwhelming odds, were the main factors in the defeat of the enemy. “

Lachhiman Gurung VC died at the  Chiswick War Memorial Homes on 12th December 2010  aged 92 of pneumonia, and was buried in Chiswick New Cemetery.

DRW © 2018. Created 12/08/2018. Image courtesy of Mark Green

Updated: 26/08/2018 — 19:27

The Fourteenth Army Memorial

In the same space occupied by the Bristol Cenotaph in Magpie Park is the The Fourteenth Army Memorial. 

The Fourteenth Army, also known as the Forgotten Army,  was a multi-national force comprising units from Commonwealth countries during World War II. It’s  operations in the Burma Campaign were easily overlooked by the contemporary press and a memorial to the memory of these men is quite rare to find.

It is a relatively simple memorial though, with a beautiful relief plaque and a simple explanation on the plaque.

 

The Forgotten Army did however leave us one legacy. Known as the Kohima Epitaph it has been incorporated in many military commemoration services.

“When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,

For Your Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today”

The Kohima Epitaph is attributed to John Maxwell Edmonds (1875–1958).  

DRW © 2018. Created 22/07/2018

Updated: 26/08/2018 — 19:28

Donald Owen Clarke GC

Donald Owen Clarke (05/03/1923 – 08/09/1942) was posthumously awarded the George Cross for his actions on 08-09/08/1942 off coast of Trinidad while a crewman of the tanker San Emiliano.

“On the night of the 8th-9th August 1942, Clarke was serving on board the tanker “San Emiliano” when it was hit by two torpedoes and her cargo of petroleum burst into flames, turning the ship into an inferno. Clarke was trapped in his cabin but fought his way out on deck and boarded the only lifeboat that was still intact. It was full of burnt and wounded men, and he himself was badly burnt on the face, hands and legs. When the boat was lowered onto the sea, it started to drift back towards the flaming tanker and it was evident that it would require a tremendous effort to pull it out of danger. Most of the occupants, however, were so badly injured that they were unable to help. Despite his injuries, Clarke took an oar and pulled heartily for 2 hours without complaint, and only when the boat was well clear did he collapse and then his hands had to be cut away from the oar as the burnt flesh had stuck to it. He died a few hours later of his injuries.”

Clarke’s body was lost at sea off the coast of Trinidad, and he is commemorated on the Merchant Navy Memorial at Tower Hill in London.

 

© DRW 2016-2018. Information from Victoriacrossonline

Updated: 11/01/2018 — 20:49

Michael Gibson GC

Michael Gibson (06/1906 – 18/10/1940) was awarded the George Cross for his actions on 17 October 1940 in Coventry.

He was 34 years old and serving in the Corps of Royal Engineers when he and Second Lieutenant Alexander “Sandy” Campbell GC were called in to deal with an unexploded bomb which had fallen on the Triumph Engineering Company’s works. War production in two factories had stopped because of it., and a large number of people living nearby had been evacuated. Campbell found the bomb was fitted with a delayed action fuse which it was impossible to remove, so he decided to transport it to a safe place. This was done by lorry. Campbell lay alongside the bomb so that he could hear if it started ticking and could warn Gibson, the driver, to stop and run for cover. Next the two men carried it a mile from Priory Street to Whitley Common, where they successfully made the bomb safe. They were both killed the following day while working on another unexploded bomb.

Following a funeral service at Coventry Cathedral on 25 October 1940, the squad were buried in a collective grave in Coventry’s London Road Cemetery. The squad comprised Second Lieutenant Alexander Fraser Campbell GC and Sappers William Gibson, Richard Gilchrest, Jack Plumb, Ronald William Skelton, Ernest Arthur Stote and Gibson.

© DRW 2016-2018. Created 17/03/2017. Images and information courtesy of Mark Green.

Updated: 11/01/2018 — 20:49

Alexander Fraser Campbell GC

Alexander Fraser “Sandy” Campbell (02/05/1898 – 18/10/1940) was awarded the George Cross for his actions on 17 October 1940 in Coventry.

“He was 42 years old and serving in the Corps of Royal Engineers when he and Sergeant Michael Gibson were called to deal with an unexploded bomb which had fallen on the Triumph Engineering Company’s works. War production in the two factories had stopped because of it, and a large number of people living nearby had been evacuated. Campbell found the bomb was fitted with a delayed action fuse which it was impossible to remove, so he decided to transport it to a safe place. This was done by lorry. He lay alongside the bomb so that he could hear if it started ticking and could warn Gibson, the driver, to stop and run for cover. Next the two men carried the bomb a mile to Whitley Common, where they successfully made the bomb safe. Both men were killed the following day trying to defuse another bomb.”

Following a funeral service at Coventry Cathedral on 25 October 1940, the squad were buried in a collective grave in Coventry’s London Road Cemetery. The squad comprised Second Lieutenant Alexander Fraser Campbell GC and Sappers William Gibson, Richard Gilchrest, Jack Plumb, Ronald William Skelton, Ernest Arthur Stote and Gibson.

© DRW 2016-2018. Created 17/03/2017. Images and information courtesy of Mark Green.

Updated: 11/01/2018 — 20:50

George Walter Inwood GC

George Walter Inwood (22/09/1905 – 16/10/1940) was awarded the George Cross while serving with the Home Guard in Birmingham between 15-16 October 1940.

“He was 34 years old and serving in the Home Guard. After a heavy air raid, Inwood and 6 other men, with the aid of the police, discovered a number of people trapped in a cellar in Bishop Street. Inwood was lowered into the cellar by rope and managed to bring two men out alive. The rescue was particularly difficult as not only was he working in a gas-filled space but those he was trying to save were already unconscious. Although suffering the effects of gas, he insisted on going down again, but collapsed and died.”

He is buried in Yardley Cemetery, Yardley, Birmingham.

© DRW 2016-2018. Created 16/03/2017. Image and information courtesy of Mark Green.

Updated: 11/01/2018 — 20:36
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