WW2 Book of Remembrance - Surnames L

Index

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[Content]

LAMBERT, Vincent Arthur (Revised 06/03/2018)
LARKAM, Jack Ernest (Revised 06/03/2018)
LARSEN, Harald * (Revised 06/03/2018)
LARTER, Thomas * (Revised 06/03/2018)
LEE, Aubrey Carlton (Revised 12/02/2018)
LEE, William John (Revised 18/08/2018)
LEGERTON, Maud Constance * (Revised 07/03/2018)
LEGGETT, Francis Seymour Joseph (Revised 07/03/2018)
LEVERINGTON, Ernest (New 08/08/2017)
LEVERINGTON, Muriel (New 08/08/2017)
LEWIN, Walter William (New May 2016)
LEWIS, Cyril (New 14/08/2017)
LEWIS, Richard Granville (Revised 17/01/2018)
LINCK, Frederick William Patrick J (Revised 07/03/2018)
LLOYD-SMITH, Vivian Bernard (Revised 07/03/2018)
LOOP, David Halstead (Revised 12/12/2017)
LOVELESS, Leslie Charles (Revised 12/12/2017)
LOVELL, Stuart James (Revised 30/01/2018)
LOVELOCK, Henry James * (Revised 08/03/2018)
LOWE, Bertram Harrington (Revised 31/01/2018)
LOWER, Vivian (Revised 11/12/2017)
LUDBROOK, William Frederick (Revised 08/03/2018

* = Not included in the Book of Remembrance for reasons unknown.
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Content


LAMBERT, Vincent Arthur. Serjeant (1634643)

4 Garrison Regiment, Royal Artillery
Died 8 October 1945, aged 32

Vincent was the only child of Arthur Ernest Lambert and Emily Beatrice (née Edmonds). Their Q2 1909 marriage was registered in Emily's home Wandsworth District, but they set up home in the mid-Surrey area from which Arthur came. The 1911 Census, taken a few months before Vincent's birth, records the couple living at "Ensor", Brambletye Park, Earlswood. Arthur, aged 31 (although some records have his birth in 1877, which would make him 34), is listed as an "Accountant, General". The pregnant Emily (in this record "Emmaley") was aged 26.

Vincent was born on 26 September 1911, and the birth was registered in the Reigate District. Arthur died, at "Ensor", on 9 May 1916. The Probate records show that administration of his £ 542 estate was awarded to his older brother, William James Lambert, Dairyman.

In Q4 1926, the widowed Emily (by now aged 41) remarried. Her new husband was 30 year old John Frank Hayden. As for her first marriage, this was registered in the Wandsworth District. The 1939 Register records the family of three living at 24 Portway Crescent, Ewell. The 43 year old John is listed as "Forman Cleaning Service"; 54 year old Emily with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties"; and the unmarried 28 year old Vincent as an "Insurance Clerk".

Emily died on 12 December 1943 and, at some point, the widowed John moved away from the district. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission's post-war records list him, as Vincent's stepfather, being "of Hendon, Middlesex."

Vincent was already in the Royal Artillery when his mother died: he had attested in 1940. Disappointingly, the readily available records provide no details of his WW2 service in the 4 Garrison Regiment other than that his duty location was "Home".

His death on 8 October 1945 came several months after the cessation of hostilities. Casualty List No 1971 records that he "Died", implying that this was from illness or disease rather than the result of wounds or an accident. The death was registered in Christchurch, Hampshire, and the July 1946 Probate records list his home address at the time of death as 44 Kings Avenue, Christchurch.

Vincent was cremated and his ashes interred at the Bournemouth Crematorium, where he is commemorated on the Armed Forces' memorial there.

Roger Morgan © 2018

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LARKAM, Jack Ernest. Private (S/6093509)

Royal Army Service Corps
Died 21 February 1942, aged 23

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Jack was born in Q1 1918, the third of five children born to Arthur Cecil Larkam and Maud Violet (née Scott) The parents' Q2 1910 marriage had been registered in the Islington District of London. The couple - in their early 20s, were recorded in the 1911 Census at 3/269 (?) Oxford Road, Reading, and Arthur is listed as a Newsagent operating from that address.

The births of their first two children (William in Q4 1913 and Phyllis in Q4 1915) were registered in the Reading District. The family seem then to have moved to Croydon where the births of Jack (Q1 1918), Jessie (Q3 1919) and, finally, Doris (Q4 1914) were all registered.

In Q3 1940, the 22 year old Jack married 24 year old Iris Lilian Dickson. (While Jack is not found in the 1939 Register - perhaps because he was already in uniform - Iris is recorded as the oldest of five children living with their parents, William - a "Tool Room Superintendent" - and Lilian Dickson, living at 17 Rutland Drive, Morden.) Jack and Iris's marriage was registered in the Surrey Mid Eastern District. No record has been found of the couple having any children. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records note that the widowed Iris was "of Ewell, Surrey", but that address has yet to be established. (In Q4 1949 and registered in Barnstaple, Devon, Iris got remarried - to Percival H Jones.)

Disappointingly, the readily available records provide no details of Jack's WW2 service in the Royal Army Service Corps other than that his duty location was the "Middle East". Casualty List No. 794 notes that Jack "Died", implying that this was the result of illness or disease that was all too common in the area's harsh conditions.

He was first buried at Sidi Barrani on Egypt's Mediterranean coast. A number of graves from there were subsequently concentrated to Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery, further west on the Egyptian coast, very close to the border with Libya. The widowed Lilian took the opportunity of adding a personal inscription to his headstone,
"Too far away thy grave to see but ever are my thoughts of thee".
The entrance to the Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery in 2013, with caretaker and family.
The entrance to the Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery in 2013, with caretaker and family.
Photograph by Peter Leggo via findagrave.com

Roger Morgan © 2018

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LARSEN, Harald

Merchant Navy
Died 23 September 1940, aged 22

Harald Larsen
Harald Larsen
Image with thanks to the Stavern Memorial

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Presumably because Harald was not killed at sea, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission - while recognising him as a Merchant Navy seaman (and anglicising his Christian name to "Harold") - lists him as a Civilian casualty.

Harald - a Norwegian subject - was the son of Otto and Agnes Larsen, of Langenes, Vesteraalen, Norway. His ship was the 2,600 ton DS Ravnefjell (in English, the SS Raven Mountains). After the German occupation of Norway, the ship appears to have been operating out of the Surrey Docks at Rotherhithe, and Harald was lodging at nearby 4 Drummond Road.

On 22 September 1940, a couple of weeks into the London Blitz, Harald was on his way from the Surrey Docks to the Norwegian Church and Seamen's Mission at St Olav's - about halfway between the Docks and his lodgings - when he was injured. He was taken to Horton Emergency Hospital - one of Epsom's "cluster" of mental hospitals that, as for WW1, had been taken over for dealing with wartime injuries - but died there the following day.

It is understood that Harald is buried in the Norwegian section of the Greenwich Cemetery, although he is not listed as such in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's database. He is also commemorated in the Sailors' Memorial Hall in Stavern in the south of Norway, the country's national memorial for Norwegian merchant sailors who lost their lives during the two world wars.

Roger Morgan © 2018

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LARTER, Thomas.

Civilian
Died 7 November 1940, aged 73

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Thomas was born in Hoxton on 17 January 1867. In Q4 1888, he married Gertrude Claxton, registered in the Southwark St Saviour District. The 1911 Census records the couple - now with six children ranging from 2 to 18 - living at 193 Mayall Road that runs from Brixton to Herne Hill. 44 year old Thomas (and his 18 year old son, William) is listed as "Carman (Biscuit)" - in modern parlance a van driver or delivery man.

In the light of later evidence, their work may well have been at Williamson's Ltd "Bonanza" store - a high class grocers at 2 Electric Avenue, Brixton, at the junction with Brixton Road. (The store is long-closed but the building remains, although its imposing façade is now partly concealed by post-war development on Brixton Road.)

The 1939 Register records Thomas, Gertrude and youngest son John (still single) - aged, respectively, 72, 69 and 30 - living a few doors down Mayall Road, at No 198. Thomas is listed as a "Shop Porter", Gertrude with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties" and John as a "Coal Porter & Carman".

It seems most likely that Thomas's work was at Williamson's Ltd. It is there that he was injured by enemy action on Thursday 3 October 1940. He was taken to Horton Emergency Hospital - one of Epsom's "cluster" of mental hospitals that, as for WW1, had been taken over for dealing with wartime injuries. He died there just over a month later, on 7 November.

Roger Morgan © 2018

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LEE, Aubrey Carlton. Flying Officer (127096)

37 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 10 August 1943 Age 29

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

The marriage of Carlton Lee to Ethel M Adcock, 10 September 1912, was registered in Grantham for the September Quarter of 1912. The birth of Aubrey C Lee came to be recorded in Sculcoates, 9/1913.

Carlton Lee had been born in Grantham, Lincolnshire, on 14th October 1879 as the eldest of ten children of William and Mary Lee. He was educated at Gray's School in the town before marrying Ethel Marion Adcock there in 1912. The couple moved north to take up residence in 64 Albany Street, Hull, with their son Aubrey. Carlton worked as a Draper until his call-up papers came and he was made to enlist on 26th August 1916 as Private 27076 in the East Yorkshire Regiment, to arrive in France just before Christmas of that year.

Carlton lost his life in front of Soyer Farm on 6th September 1918. His Commanding Officer wrote of him: -
'He was killed by an enemy sniper while carrying a badly wounded man to the rear….Believe me, we will all miss him terribly here. He was a good soldier and a pal to us all'.
Since Carlton's body was never recovered, his name is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial, aged 38, also at the Kingsron upon Hull War Memorial and St.Wulfram's Church, Grantham, Lincolnshire.

It appears that Aubrey was brought up by his widowed Mother and two maiden aunts, Annie Johnstone Adcock & Grace Winifred Adcock. In 1939 they were living at 25 The Glade Woodford Wells, Essex, but Aubrey C was in Guildford.

Having attended Cambridge University, where he was listed in the Medical and Dental Students Register for 1932, Aubrey enlisted with the Royal Air Force during August1940, at Euston. On 17 July 1942 he was commissioned Pilot Officer from the rank of Leading Aicraftman before promotion to Flying Officer, 17 January 1943.

He became assigned to 37 Squadron, which from 30 May-15 November 1943 was based at Kairouan/ Temmar (Tunisia) equipped with Vickers Wellingtons.

Reportedly, Wellington HE758 of 37 Squadron was lost on 10 August 1943 in unknown cicumstances: the crew missing believed killed in action are listed on the Alamein Memorial were:
Fg Off LEE Aubrey Carlton 127096, RAFVR,
Sgt LEE Walter James 1396166, RAFVR,
Sgt POWNALL Richard Bentley 1162051, RAFVR
Sgt SHONE John Robert 1320718 RAFVR.
Aubrey has been described by CWGC as the son of Carlton and Ethel Marion Lee; husband of Frances Elizabeth Lee, of Epsom Downs, Surrey. B.A. (Cantab.). His marriage has not been traced but the address given for Probate was 14 Christchurch Gardens, Epsom. Frances E Lee was resident at that address from 1945 to 1948, with Elizabeth W Baillie presumed to be her Mother, and later in 76 Downs Wood, Banstead.

Brian Bouchard © 2018

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LEE, William John. Corporal (6468751)

1st Battalion, Gordon Highlanders
Died 15 August 1944, aged 26

The Borough's Book of Remembrance has the following entry for William Lee of the Royal Fusiliers.

Borough's Book of Remembrance Extract
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2014

While the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's WW2 casualties database lists 37 servicemen the surname Lee and William as one of their Christian names, none was in the Royal Fusiliers. The only one of the 37 with a connection to the Borough is this William John Lee of the Gordon Highlanders. As he is not in the Book of Remembrance, it would seem that some transcription error along the way muddled the Regiment.

William was born Q3 1917, the second of five children born to George Edwin Lee and Maud (née Bellhouse). Their Q3 1914 marriage was registered in the Lambeth District, as were the births of all but one of their children - the first in Q1 1916 and the last in Q1 1923. The exception was William's Q3 1917 birth which was registered in Willesden.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission's WW2 database notes that William was the "husband of Iris Betty Lee, of Worcester Park, Surrey". It seems the Commission has her Christian names reversed: other records show that, in Q4 1939, William married Betty I Wright. (She perhaps favoured her second name.) Their son Terrence - mentioned on his father's headstone as "Terry" - was born Q2 1943. While the indicated Worcester Park address has yet to be established, it is the case that the couple's marriage and their son's birth were registered in the local Surrey Mid Eastern District.

The readily available records provide disappointingly little information about William's WW2 service in the 1st Battalion of the Gordon Highlanders. It is unlikely that he was with them in the earliest stages of the war when, during the fighting retreat to Dunkirk, the 51st Division of which they were part was trapped and forced to surrender at Saint-Valéry-en-Caux, with very few men escaping capture.

The Battalion was reformed and saw service throughout the rest of the WW2 - in North Africa (at El Alamein and in Tunisia, in Sicily and then in back in Europe for the Normandy landings and, eventually, on into Germany. The Battalion landed at Arromanches on D-Day+1 (7 June 1944). While the Allies' initial landings were an unqualified success, the break out from the firmly secured base proved much harder than anticipated because of the difficulty in capturing the German stronghold of Caen a few miles inland.

Caen finally fell in early August and, by the middle of the month, the Battalion was part of the Allied forces fighting eastwards along the north French coast. On 15 August 1944, William was killed in action (Casualty List No 1542) in the area of St Sylvain - between Le Havre and Dieppe.

He was originally buried at St Sylvain but was later concentrated to the Ranville War Cemetery (about 6 miles northeast of Caen) being one of 2,236 Commonwealth WW2 burials there. His widow took the opportunity of adding a personal inscription to his headstone on Grave IX.F.5,
"In fondest memory of my dear husband always in our thoughts. Iris and Terry."
The Ranville War Cemetery
The Ranville War Cemetery
Photograph by "Woose" via findagrave.com

Roger Morgan © 2018

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LEGERTON, Maud Constance

Civilian
Died 8 August 1944, aged 21

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Maud was born on 26 August 1922, the first child of Claud Saxby Legerton and Maud Edith (née Thynne - they had married Q1 1921, registered in the Camberwell District). Young Maud's birth was registered in the Lambeth District. The Q2 1929 birth of the couple's second child, Patricia, was registered in the Lewisham District.

Claud Saxby Legerton, who had been a 2nd Lieutenant in the Machine Gun Corps during WW1, was a school teacher. The 1939 Register finds this 48 year old "Schoolmaster" and his 44 year old wife (listed with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties") living at 40 Walpole Road, Brighton. The couple were staying or lodging with writers Baroness Marie Anna Sophie Margrete von Seydewitz and her more famous protégé Winifred Jakobsson (who, under the pen name Winifred Norling, was a prolific author of children's books.) The same Register records 17 year old daughter Maud completing her secondary education as a boarder at Christ's Hospital School in Hertford. (This girls' section closed in 1985 and pupils transferred to the boys' site at Horsham, which became co-educational.)

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission credits young Maud with a BA degree, she obviously spent the early years of WW2 at university. By 1944, the family were living at 129 Como Road, Forest Hill, London. On 28 July 1944, enemy action of some sort at that address killed Claud instantly and injured young Maud. She was taken to the Horton Emergency Hospital - one of Epsom's "cluster of mental hospitals that, as for WW1, had been taken over for handling wartime casualties - but died there ten days later, on 8 August 1944.

Maud and her father are both buried in Lewisham's Hither Green Cemetery.

Roger Morgan © 2018

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LEGGETT, Francis Seymour Joseph

Civilian
Died 16 August 1940, aged 52

Francis Seymour Joseph Leggett Born in Suffolk on 6 February 1888, the fourth child of Robert and Alice Leggett. The 1891 Census records the parents (in their early 30s and Robert as a "Carpenter & Joiner") living in Rectory Road Middleton, Blything, Suffolk with their four children. By the time of the 1901 Census, the family (now with two more children) had moved to Epsom and were living at "Shanklin", 60 Miles Road.

In Q2 1916, Francis married Alice Louise Parker, registered in the Epsom District. Alice had been born in Cheam on 23 May 1885. She came to Epsom to work as a servant in the home of Stationer & Printer Henry Mayson Dorling at "The Birches" in Downs Road.

There is no record of the couple having any children. The 1939 records the couple living at 107 Chessington Road, West Ewell. 51 year old Francis (now styling himself "Seymour", his second name) is listed as a "House Painter" and 54 year old Alice with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties".

On 16 August 1940, Francis/Seymour was in Kingston Road, Merton when he was killed by some enemy action. He was buried in Epsom Cemetery (Plot F322) on 21 August 1940.

Roger Morgan © 2018

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LEVERINGTON, Ernest. Stoker 1st Class (C/KX 99533)

Royal Navy H.M.S. Wakeful
Died 29 May 1940, aged 37

Ernest was born on 29 March 1903, the fifth of the six children (all boys, and baptised at Christ Church Epsom Common) born to Martin Leverington and Sarah Elizabeth (née Potter) of Wheelers Lane. Martin was a "Labourer/Brewer's yardman" and died in 1909, aged only 39, and Sarah remarried - to Albert E Martin in Q2 1911.

It seems that Ernest was a career sailor, and it may be that it was on his travels that he met Muriel Clegg in Huddersfield. They married in Huddersfield In Q4 1932. They set up home at 15 The Crescent, Epsom, but the 1939 Register records Muriel living there alone, Ernest probably being at sea.

Ernest served as a Leading Stoker on HMS Wakeful. As noted in the general article about WW2 fatalities in the Royal Navy, that destroyer was involved in Operation Dynamo - the mid-1940 evacuation from Dunkirk.

HMS Wakeful
HMS Wakeful
Image source Wikimedia Commons.

HMS Wakeful first arrived off Dunkirk on 27 May 1940 and took on 631 Allied troops. While returning them to Dover, she came under air attack and suffered minor damage below the waterline. Despite that near miss, the ship returned to Dunkirk to continue the evacuation and, on 28 May 1940, took on a further 640 Allied troops. While doing so, HMS Wakeful was struck by two torpedoes from the German E-Boat S-30, one of which hit the forward boiler room.

Casualties were very heavy: only 26 survived the resulting explosion and its aftermath. Ernest Leverington was among the 724 killed - as was fellow parishioner Charles Easton.

Ernest is remembered on the Chatham Naval Memorial which commemorates 10,098 sailors of WW2 (and 8,517 of WW1) who have no known grave.

As noted in the separate article, his widow, Muriel Leverington, joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force and, like her husband (but for very different reasons), did not survive the War.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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LEVERINGTON, Muriel. Leading Aircraftwoman (2022927)

The Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF)
Died 1 May 1945, aged 32

Muriel was born on 18 June 1913 to Charles William & Ellen Clegg (née Cash - they had married on 8 September 1903 in St James's Church, Grimsby).

In Q4 1932, Muriel married Ernest Leverington in Huddersfield. The 1939 Register records her living alone at 15 The Crescent, Epsom - Ernest perhaps already being in the Navy. (That Register records her parents living at 46 Fair Lea Road, Huddersfield - her father being a "Carpet Planner". Also present there was a 24 year old "Cabinet Maker" Charles William Clegg, presumably Muriel's younger brother.)`

As noted in the separate article, Muriel's husband Ernest Leverington was killed in action in May 1940. The readily available records give no information about either when Muriel joined the WAAF or what part in the war effort - of the many potential and vital roles undertaken by WAAFs (which excluded aircrew duties) - she played as a Leading Aircraftwoman.

She died on 1 May 1945 at Epsom's Horton Emergency Hospital - not of injuries, but a brain tumour - and was then buried in the Huddersfield (Lockwood) Cemetery, near her parents' home.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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LEWIN, Walter William

Stoker 1st Class C/K 61449, Royal Navy Submarines
Died 20 July 1941, aged 36

Walter was one of the seven children of James William Lewin (1876-1907) and his wife Beatrice Eleanor (nee Sutton, c.1876- 1928), who were married at Christ Church, Epsom on 3 November 1895. The full list of children is as follows.

NameBornDiedFurther information
William John12/9/18962/6/1942 at The Sewage Farm, EpsomLatterly of 2 Woodcote Side, Epsom
Eleanor Isabella2/3/18988/1898 (5 months)-
Ernest William27/4/18992/1910 (10 years)-
Beatrice Annie10/3/190122/11/1948 EpsomMarried Frederick William Hince 22/5/1926 Christ Church, Epsom
Clara23/6/19031958?Married Charles Albert Goodwin 1921
Walter William16/11/190420/7/1941See below
Albert13/6/1906?-

Broadly speaking, most of the extensive Lewin clan lived at Epsom Common in Isabella Cottages, Stamford Green; they ran Lewin's Laundry and many of them worked in the business. Walter followed in the family footsteps for a short while but in June 1923 he signed up for twelve years in the Royal Navy.

The Lewin family.
The Lewin family.
Left to right: Beatrice Annie, Walter William, Beatrice Eleanor, William John, Clara and Albert.
Image courtesy of Terry Friday

On 28 March 1932 at Christ Church Walter, then based at Southampton in the submarine service, married Emily Jane Ede (born 26 April 1909), daughter of John and Mary Ann Ede of Epsom Common. I am not aware of any children of the marriage and it seems that Walter and Emily maintained a home in Stamford Green. I am not sure if Walter left the Navy after his twelve years expired and then rejoined at the outbreak of war, but in any event he was part of the crew of the new HM Submarine Umpire (N82) when she left the builder's yard in July 1941.

HMS Umpire was a U-class submarine, one of 49 such boats built just before and during World War 2. They were small vessels and all but two of them, HMS Umpire and HMS Una, were built by Vickers-Armstrong. Umpire and Una were constructed at Chatham and were virtually identical, although Una was commissioned later than Umpire. There are few extant photos of Umpire, since she sank just a few days into her maiden voyage, but there are many of Una and the one below is particularly good in showing the scale of man to boat.

HMS Una at Malta, 1943.
HMS Una at Malta, 1943. Photo by Lt F G Roper.
Image Source : Imperial War Museum © IWM (A 14467)

HMS Umpire was commissioned on 10 July 1941 and set sail from Chatham en route to Dunoon to join the 3rd Submarine Flotilla. The commander was Lt Mervyn Wingfield and the first lieutenant was Peter Bannister.

Lt Cdr Mervyn Wingfield DSO, DSC
Lt Cdr Mervyn Wingfield DSO, DSC,
photographed at Tricomalee in 1943, then commanding the T-class submarine HMS Taurus.
Image Source : Imperial War Museum © IWM (A 21522)

The boat stopped overnight at Sheerness to wait for a merchant convoy, which then proceeded up the East coast escorted by motor launches and Admiralty trawlers. Just off Aldeburgh, Suffolk a Heinkel bomber attacked and Umpire dived successfully for the first time. That same night there was a problem with one of the two diesel engines and she had to stop (there were also two electric engines): the problem could not be fixed, however, and she had to slow down because the one working diesel engine had insufficient power to maintain the necessary speed. A motor launch dropped back as an escort and they proceeded at reduced speed.

Umpire was then involved in a near-miss with an approaching southbound convoy. It was dark and none of the ships were showing lights because of the likelihood of prowling E-boats. Nevertheless, visibility was reasonable, but crucially Umpire had lost contact with the motor launch. The rule at sea was that in a channel ships should keep to the starboard side, so they would pass oncoming ships port to port. For some reason the southbound convoy approached on the port side and extended across Umpire's starboard bow. It was too risky to alter course to starboard so Umpire steered slightly to port and a collision was avoided by a distance of approximately 200 yards. Unfortunately, the avoiding manoeuvre had put Umpire directly in the path of an oncoming escort trawler, the Peter Hendriks (later renamed Lord Rivers), which had not seen them. The trawler had right of way and ordinarily Umpire would have steered to starboard but could not do so because of the proximity of the southbound convoy. So Wingfield ordered hard-a-port, which should have averted disaster, but at the last moment the trawler spotted the submarine and turned to starboard. Wingfield's desperate order of full-astern came too late and the trawler rammed Umpire in the bow; she lurched and then sank in under 30 seconds. The next picture shows the trawler Paul Rykens, which was identical to the Peter Hendriks, in the background.

HMT Paul Rykens and the Boat Pool, Oban.
HMT Paul Rykens and the Boat Pool, Oban.
Painting by Stephen Bone 1943.
Image Source : Imperial War Museum © IWM (Art.IWM ART LD 3125)

A graphic account of HMS Umpire's last moments appears in the book called 'One of Our Submarines' by Edward Preston Young, then a Lieutenant. Young was off duty aboard Umpire when it sank and in 1952 recorded his wartime career (he was awarded the DSO, DSC and Bar for subsequent exploits and was also the man who, before the War, had designed the striking original covers for Penguin paperbacks). Mervyn Wingfield was in the conning tower when the trawler struck, together with Tony Godden, the officer of the watch, and two lookouts. All four of them were flung into the water at the moment of impact. Wingfield, only semi-conscious, tried to keep Godden afloat but he then lost consciousness altogether and was picked up by another ship. Godden and the lookouts drowned.

Meanwhile a terrible drama was unfolding in the sinking submarine. Bannister ordered the watertight doors shut and then there was an almighty crash and an electrical explosion. Umpire lurched and plunged straight to the bottom. Water was pouring into the boat through the ventilation shaft and, if it reached the battery cells, lethal chlorine gas would be formed. Young said in his book that, with hindsight, he could and should have shut off the ventilation shaft, but the situation at the time was mayhem and everything was happening very fast. The boat was only 60-80 feet down and Bannister thought she might surface if they blew the ballast tanks, which they did, but nothing happened. The water still poured in and the electrics were spitting and flashing. Young said that there was no panic but they were all suffering from a kind of mental concussion. A plan was formed that four men, including Bannister and Young, would try to escape via the conning tower, whilst others could get out via the engine room hatch. For Bannister and Young it was a case of opening the hatch to the conning tower, taking one deep breath, with water pouring in, and launching themselves upwards. The two officers made it, together with one of their companions, and Young was subsequently picked up by a motor launch.

HMT Paul Rykens and the Boat Pool, Oban.
Lt Edward Young RNVR,
pictured in command of HM Submarine P555 (formerly US Submarine S24), 1943.
Image Source : Imperial War Museum © IWM (A 15863)

Other men, who had escaped via the engine room, eventually straggled to the surface but, by then, Bannister had disappeared. Reports vary as to the number of men on Umpire - 37 being a much-quoted number - and 22 of them died. Umpire, stripped of anything useful by an official salvage team, is still on the bottom, a protected site, lying in 18 metres of water off Sheringham Shoal, Norfolk, about 15 miles from shore and now within the site of the Sheringham Shoal wind farm (see their Summer 2012 newsletter for an image of the wreck). She had lasted a little over one week from commissioning.

Captain Mervyn Wingfield DSO, DSC, as he later was, had a very distinguished career in the Royal Navy and one of his many wartime achievements was the sinking of the Japanese submarine I-34, the first Japanese submarine to be sunk by a Royal Navy submarine (HMS Taurus). Walter Lewin is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial (Panel 47, 3.). His widow, Emily Jane, married Frederick G Scutt in 1951 and died in 1969.

Note: Although Walter's rank was Stoker 1st Class, there was obviously nothing to stoke on a diesel/electric powered submarine. Stokers on submarines operated and maintained equipment in the engine room under the supervision of Engine Room Artificers.

Linda Jackson, May 2016

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LEWIS, Cyril. Petty Office(C/MX 71383)

Royal Navy, HMS Saunders
Died 14 December 1942, aged 22

Memorial to Cyril on his parents' grave in Epsom Cemetery
Memorial to Cyril on his parents' grave in Epsom Cemetery
Photograph courtesy Clive Gilbert © 2018

Cyril was born on 23 January 1920, apparently the older of George Ernest and Mary Catherine Lewis's two sons. The 1939 Register records the family living at 30 Ebbisham Road, Epsom listing George as "Stableman Racing", Cyril as "Fitter Motor Repair Works" and younger brother William Ernest (born 12 December 1921) as "Groundsman RAC Club".

HMS Saunders, where Cyril served, was not a ship but the shore-based naval limb of the Middle East Combined Training Centre at Kabret, on Egypt's Little Bitter Lake. Its purpose was to train Naval personnel in the operation of landing craft and, together with the troops of many Allied nations, to practice amphibious landings prior to operations against the enemy in the Mediterranean.

A sketch of HMS Saunders from the base's water-tower
A sketch of HMS Saunders from the base's water-tower
Courtesy of Henry More, grandson of Captain G I S More OBE RN -
who commanded HMS Saunders from June 1942 to December 1944,
and to whom the artist (Herbert Hastings McWilliams) presented it "with admiration".

Given George's pre-war occupation as a "Fitter Motor Repair Works", it is no surprise to find that his Petty Officer service was as a "Motor Mechanic". www.naval-history.net lists Cyril as killed by an explosion on a Tank Landing Craft Mk III. The fact he is buried in the Tobruk War Cemetery suggests that this was not at Kabret, but rather that he was somehow involved in the Allies' eastwards advance along the North African coast following the turning point of El Alamein.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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LEWIS, Richard Granville. Flying Officer 67061

165 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 9 February 1943 Age 25

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

The marriage of Granville L Lewis to Myfanwy J Lewis (b. Islington 31 August 1891) was registered at Islington for the September Quarter of 1912.

On 5 October 1917 an Avro 504 B3129, of 28 Training Squadron spun in off a turn at Castle Bromwich. 2/Lt Cyril Thornton was killed outright and 2/Lt Granville Vernon Lewis died some hours later. Lewis had been born in Melbourne, Australia but married to settle in north east London . He had enlisted in the the 3rd London Field Company, Royal Engineers at Denham Camp by 14 September 1914 before transferring to Cadet Wing RFC, Denham, 8 March 1917. He was gazetted Flying Officer 15 September 1917, becoming an instructor at 28 TS. He left his pregnant wife Myvanwy Jacob Lewis at 15 Aveling Park Road, Chingford Road, north east London.

Granville was commemorated on a headstone in St Pancras Cemetery, East Finchley, Grave RC. 9. 2. and at Bromsgrove School.

Birth of Richard G Lewis came to be recorded at Wandsworth, 3/1918.

Richard enlisted with the Royal Air Force at Uxbridge in September 1939 and was commissioned from Leading Aircraftman to Pilot Officer on 8 May 1941, gaining promotion to Flying Officer a year later.

He became a pilot with 165 Squadron to fly Spitfires om Rhubarb missions - freelance fighter sorties against targets of opportunity. On 9 February 1943 he flew in a pair with Sergeant J H Curry, on a Rhubarb operation in the Yvetot area [Seine-Maritime department, Normandy region, of France] , but both failed to return. Sgt Curry, in Spitfire BM518, reportedly shot down by by JG26 fighters, is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 136. Richard's aircraft seems to have been a Spitfire Mk.Vb, BM450.

He is interred in Grave A 8 at Grandcourt War Cemetery 30 kilometres east of Dieppe at the crossing of the roads from Blangy-sur-Bresle to Fresnoy and Criel-sur-Mer to Fallencourt. This contains individuals who were originally buried in smaller or isolated cemeteries, but who, at a later date, were exhumed and re-buried in the war cemetery.

CWGC records Richard as the son of Pilot Offr. Granville Vernon Loch Lewis, R.F.C., who died in service October 5th, 1917, and of Myfanwy Jacob Lewis, of Ewell, Surrey. The widowed Myfanwy had in fact married secondly Edward George McKanna (a book-keeper) about 1920 possibly in South America. The McKannas arrrived in England from Brazil, via New York on, 2 July 1924 with Richard Granville then aged 6 and his half-brother Reginald Edward Jacob McKanna - destined for 60 Freegrove Road, London N7. The Mc Kanna family were still in Brazil during 1954 but had established an address at Crilvermere, Lustrells Crescent, Saltdean Sussex. Edward George McKanna is found to have been living there prior to his death at Brighton General Hospital on 1 January 1962. Myfanwy Jacob McKenna herself expired in 54 Marine Drive, Brighton, Sussex, 2 April 1973.

None of this explains a Ewell connection but the CWGC reference could have been specific to Richard Granville Lewis and his residence locally with a relative - a possible candidate is Reginald McKanna (b. 15 November 1893) who died at 47 Sunny Bank, Epsom on 16 February 1972.

Brian Bouchard © 2018

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LINCK, Frederick William Patrick J. Lieutenant (296240)

Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment)
Died 2 February 1945, aged 22

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records note that Frederick was the "Son of Frederick William and Katharine Linck". There is a Forces Record which notes that Frederick junior was born in the Union Of South Africa and details of his 1922/23 birth have yet to be found.

The family came to the UK. The parents are found in the 1939 Register living with the apparently unrelated Arthur (a "Poultry Farmer") and Mary Gallsworthy at Little Stream Farm, Cranbrook, Kent. Frederick William senior is listed as a "School Master" and Katharine as a "School Matron".

Frederick junior is not found in the 1949 Register. However, in Q2 1943, he married Lillias Jean Humpleby, registered in the Wandsworth District. Her Q3 1921 birth was registered in the Lambeth District and, in the 1939 Register, she is probably behind the currently closed record at 93 Glennie Road, Lambeth where the two named residents are her father 51 year old Arthur (a "Bank Documentary Credit Clerk") and 48 year old Lillias (née Etheridge: their Q3 1917 marriage was registered in Camberwell) - listed with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties", and after whom Lillias junior was obviously named.

There is no record of Frederick junior and Lillias junior having any children. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records note that the widowed Lillias was "of Ewell, Surrey" but that address has yet to be established.

Disappointingly, the readily available records provide little detail of Frederick junior's WW2. And care is needed to differentiate between this Lieutenant Frederick William Patrick J Linck and (who surely must be some relative) Major F W J Linck of the King's Royal Rifle Corps. A further complication is that the Commonwealth War Graves Commission notes, as an aside, that Frederick was attached to the 2nd Battalion, Nigeria Regiment, Royal West African Frontier Force. That may have been an episode in his army career, but it seems clear that he was with the Queen's Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) stationed in NW India and battling against the Japanese forces seeking to advance from their occupation of Burma (modern day Myanmar).

The tide was turned decisively after the vicious mid-1944 Battles of Imphal and Kohima and, by early 1945 significant parts of Burma were back in Allied hands. The big prize would be the then capital of Burma, Rangoon (modern day Yangon). Frederick appears to have been with the Commonwealth forces on Akyab Island, some way northwest of Rangoon when, as reported in Casualty List No 1682, "died", implying death from all too prevalent illness and disease rather than action.

He was originally buried in the Akyab War Cemetery (near modern day Sittwe) and later re-interred in the Taukkyan War Cemetery on the outskirts of Yangon (formerly Rangoon). The widowed Lillias took opportunity of adding a personal inscription to his headstone,
"In proud and treasured memory".
Roger Morgan © 2018

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LLOYD-SMITH, Vivian Bernard. Sub-Lieutenant

HMS Southampton, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
Died 11 January 1941, aged 23

Vivian was born Q2 1917, the first child of Harry Bernard Lloyd-Smith and Annie (née Barbour). - they married). His birth, like their Q3 1916 marriage, was registered in the Lambeth District. The couple had a second child, Ronald, whose Q1 1926 birth was registered in the Brentford District.

(Tracing the family background is complicated by the fact that transcribers - and perhaps even the family - have sometimes taken the surname as a simple "Smith". For example, father Harry's surname is not double-barrelled in the Q2 1895 registration of his birth in the Strand District of London.)

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission notes that Vivian's parents were "of Stoneleigh, Surrey". That address has yet to be established, but is consistent with Vivian's Q3 marriage to Elizabeth Esther Osborne being registered in the local Surrey Mid Eastern District. Neither Vivian nor Elizabeth have yet been found in the late September 1939 Register - and it's not impossible that they were on their honeymoon somewhere. (For completeness, it should be noted that, in their little more than a year together - for most of which Vivian was away at sea - there is no record of their having any children.)

The 1939 Register records Victor's parents at "Beverley", Wallingford Road, Henley - the home of 44 year old Christina Broad who is listed as "Temporarily Receiving Paying Guests". This looks like a temporary arrangement: Harry's occupation is listed as "Foreign Touring Reception Manager, Automobile Association". Also recorded at that address was a Frederick Brant whose occupation is listed as "Chief Clerk Foreign Touring, Automobile Association". Both Harry's and Frederick's wives are listed with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties".

Vivian's WW2 service was aboard HMS Southampton a member of the first group of five ships of the Town class of light cruisers. She was built on Clydebank in the mid 1930s and commissioned on 6 March 1937.

HMS Southampton on completion in 1937.
HMS Southampton on completion in 1937
Image Source : Imperial War Museum © IWM (HU 69048) - Public Domain

After initial service in home waters and off Norway and repair of the significant but survivable damage received (not helped, as Admiral Cunningham later pointed out by these ships' hangar-like superstructure which seemed "to provide a good point of aim"), HMS Southampton sailed for the Mediterranean and participated in the action off Cape Spartivento on 27 November 1940. In December the cruiser was moved to the Red Sea to escort troop convoys, and at the same time took part in the bombardment of Kismayu during the campaign in Italian East Africa.

On 1 January 1941, HMS Southampton was back in the Mediterranean to help escort supply convoys to Malta. This "Operation Excess" encountered the first presence of Luftwaffe anti-shipping aircraft in the Mediterranean. In the early afternoon of 11 January, south-east of Malta, both Southampton and fellow cruiser Gloucester came under attack from 12 Stuka dive bombers. Southampton was hit by at least two bombs and caught fire. The resulting blaze spread from stem to stern and trapped a number of men below decks. 81 men - including Vivian - were killed. Survivors of the complement of about 750 were by taken aboard by Gloucester and the destroyer Diamond. Heavily damaged and without power, HMS Southampton was then torpedoed and sunk by other British ships.

Vivian is one of the more than 10,000 Royal Navy WW2 personnel who have no known grave commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, Kent.

Roger Morgan © 2018

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LOOP, David Halstead. Warrant Officer/Pilot (658361). DFC

103 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Died 18 October 1943, aged 25

John Halstead Loop, born 20 January 1892, entered the Post Office as a Boy Clerk in 1908. His marriage to Dora Welch was registered at Hollingbourn for the December Quarter of 1915. Their son David Halstead Loop came to be born on 15 January 1919, registered in Barnet 6/1919.

The family arrived locally, to live at Whitethorn, 33 The Kingsway, Epsom, in time for David to enter Ewell Infants School: he was at Ewell Boys School from 1 April 1927 to 29 August 1930 before going up to Epsom County School. Reported to have been 'a gifted reader', he was offered free place at what is now known as Glyn School.

Evidently, he first entered the Army after the outbreak of WW2 but, with a Service Number 658361, transferred to the Royal Air Force.

Having reached the rank of Leading Aircraftman he was selected for flying duties.

The 'Arnold Scheme' (a name derived from US General Henry H. Arnold, Chief of the United States Army Air Forces, instigator of the arrangements) was established to train British RAF pilots in the United States of America during World War II and ran from June 1941 to March 1943. Its connection with Albany began in 1941 with Turner Field and Darr Aero Tech being selected as flying training bases. Darr Aero Tech was designated a Primary Flying Training School and Turner Field an Advanced School. LAC D. H. Loop went to Albany on 22 January1942 as a Pilot U/T, Arnold Squad C [42C]. He would have been taught to fly the Stearman PT-17 in primary training before moving on to theVultee B-13a.

By 7 July 1943 David was back in England, assigned to 1662 H.C.U.(Heavy Conversion Unit) at Blyton, near Gainsborough. On that date, aboard Lancaster ED 414, he took off at 10.15 to practice circuits and landings but at 01.35 misunderstood an instruction and failed to stop in the length of the runway. Although the aircraft hit an obstruction to be written off, Sgt. D H Loop and his crew survived the impact.

From 24 July 1943, Sgt D. H. Loop is found with 103 Squadron piloting Lancaster I, W4323. He had another escape on 23 August 1943 after W4323 had been fuelled and bombed up ready for that night's operation to Berlin. Prior to embarkation, there was a short circuit during a test and the small bomb containers jettisoned their load of incendiaries. These immediately started to burn on the concrete dispersal underneath the aircraft. Eventually the 4000 lb blockbuster went up causing a huge explosion and spreading wreck age over a wide area.

On the night of 18 October 1943, 103 squadron based at Elsham Wolds, formed part of a massive force of 260 Lancasters sent to bomb Hannover. Eighteen aircraft were lost on the raid, one of which contained David Loop and his companions.

He was buried in the Hanover War Cemetery, Niedersachsen, Germany.

The London Gazette, 23 March 1944, announced that Acting Warrant Officer David Halstead LOOP. (658361), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No.103 Squadron, had been awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross with effect from 18 October 1943.

Staplehurst churchyard, Kent, contains: -
72F. Headstone, inscribed on East: metal lettering, mint: sound, in situ.
'In / loving memory of / DORA LOOP / died 25th October 1961 aged 75. / And of / JOHN HALSTEAD LOOP / died 1st December 1976 aged 84'.
Brian Bouchard © 2017

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LOVELESS, Leslie Charles. Flight Sergeant/Pilot (1604264)

358 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 25 March 1945, aged 20

The marriage of Reginald G Loveless to Nellie Louisa Johnson was registered at Wandsworth for the June Quarter of 1916 and the birth of their son, Leslie Charles, in Lambeth, 6/1924. Reginald died 7 June 1930 at 46 Ouseley Road, Balham, and by 1936 the widowed Nellie was living, en famille, with Albert William and Ellen Cooper at 125 Tamworth Lane, Mitcham.

By 1938 the family group had moved to 65 Fairford Gardens, Worcester Park, but Ellen Cooper's death came to be recorded in Surrey Mid E for the June Quarter of that year. A union between the widower, Albert William Cooper, and Nellie L Loveless followed, 6/1941.

After September 1941, at Oxford, Leslie Charles Loveless enlisted in the RAFVR.

358 Squadron, R.A.F. was formed at RA.F Kolar, India on 8 November 1944 as part of 231 Group, and was comprised primarily of personnel from the No.1673 Heavy Conversion Unit, RAF South East Asia Command which had recently been disbanded. B-24 Liberator bombers arrived later the same month, for aircrew and ground staff training. Liberators were 4-engined American heavy bombers, supplied under lend-lease. With their lightweight construction, and fuel tanks throughout the upper fuselage, they had the long range necessary in the Far East, but were susceptible to damage From RAF. Kolar a move was made to the jungle airfield at RAF Digri, India on 2 January 1945, and from there 358 Squadron flew its first and only bombing mission on 13 January 1945, when eight of the B-24 Liberator aircraft bombed Mandalay. The 'Mandalay Raid' was the only bombing operation flown by the squadron because it was subsequently assigned to Special Duties. These consisted of dropping agents and supplies into enemy occupied territory, during the course of which long flights were undertaken, with such operations continuing until the end of the war. The change of the role probably accounts for a move from RAF Digri to RAF Jessore on 10 February 1945, where it remained until 18 November 1945. Nine of the crew of the B-24 Liberator bomber KH397, which hit trees on take off and crashed on 25 March 1945, were buried at Chittagong War Cemetery, Dampara, Bangladesh.

Operational records state: -
'Liberator VI. KH397 took off from base at 0530 hours but collided with trees at S. end of runway and crashed in flames in the native village of Bakkutia. The aircraft was a complete 'write off', Category E.O. Burnt total. All the crew were killed, and were interred in the European Cemetery, Jessore (Map Ref. 2311N 8911E) at 1800 hours the same day. Full service honours were accorded. The Station Chaplain, S/L. (Rev) John Scott, Conducted the ceremony. Personnel killed:

     1108628. W/O. W R Mills, Captain,
     1604264 F/Sgt. L C Loveless, 2nd Pilot,
     F/O. T. D. Taylor, A/B [Bomb aimer],
     R.93615 W/O. S E Hencher, Nav.,
     1623858 Sgt. C C Young, WOP/A,
     1795301 Sgt. G D T Rowe, WOP/A,
     1301823 F/Sgt. J F C Hawkins,A/G,
     1826585 Sgt. D S Potter, A/G,
     634691 Sgt. J L J Hulse, A/G.

The aircraft crashed in the midst of the village of Bakkutia and considerable civilian casualties and damage occurred. 8 civilians were killed and 10 injured and 10 horses and 7 cattle were destroyed in the resulting fire.'
The aircrew lie together in the Chittagong War Cemetery, Bangladesh, Plots 3G 5-12.

Brian Bouchard © 2017

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LOVELL, Stuart James. Flight Lieutenant (107258)

183 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 29 January 1944 Age 27

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Stuart was born in Ceylon in 1916, son of tea-planter Stuart Lovell and his wife Clare ('Cherub') O'Neill of Portrush, Ireland.

After obtaining an education at Ampleforth he also became a tea-planter in Ceylon before enlisting in the Royal Air Force at Padgate during September 1939 with a Service Number 971581.

From Sergeant, he was commissioned as Pilot Officer, 20 September 1940, rose to Flying Officer a year later and became Flight Lieutenant with effect from 20 September 1943.

On 21 September 1941, he had married Alicia May Montagu (born Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1 November 1919).

From 55 OTU, he joined 263 Squadron on 16 December 1941. After 22 April 1943, served with 51 OTU before returning to No 263. Posted to 257 Typhoon Squadron then 183, he was shot down by flak over Guipavas aerodrome on 29 January 1944 in Typhoon MM970.

A Typhoon Mark IB of 183 Squadron
A Typhoon Mark IB of 183 Squadron
with Flight Lieutenant Walter Dring standing on the wing.
Image source © IWM (CH 9289)

Reportedly killed with wingman whilst beating up the airfield at zero feet for the second time in 20 minutes. He flew into roof of a storage building and crashed on a dryfuel store. His attack resulted in serious injuries to a farmer's horse and put several holes in Plabannec water tower.

Buried by Germans with military honours, he lies in Brest (Kerfautras) Cemetery, Plot 46. Row 11. Grave 2.

Described by CWGC as the son of Stuart C. Anthony and Clare Mary Lovell, of Portrush, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland; husband of Alicia Lovell, of Epsom, Surrey. His brother, Wing. Cdr. Anthony Desmond Lovell, D.S.O. and Bar, D.F.C. and Bar, D.F.C. (American), also died on service.

A local address for Mrs Alicia Lovell has not been identified. She married secondly John Dobney Andrew Johnson, PhD (reg. Surrey Mid E, 9/1946) and subsequently went to live in Dorking.

Brian Bouchard

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LOVELOCK Henry James. Sergeant (PO/210573)

Royal Marines.
Died 6 August 1942, aged 57

William's headstone in Morden Cemetery
William's headstone in Morden Cemetery.
Photograph (53710710) by "Chris Doran" via findagrave.com

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

The readily available records do not provide sufficient information to allow a confident description of Henry's 1885-ish birth and family background. It appears that he was a Marine of long standing - indeed, as a 20+ year old seeing service during WW1.

In Q4 1915, he married Eleanor Tumber, registered in the Marylebone District. The Q3 1919 birth of their only child, Rita, was registered in the Portsmouth District. The 1939 Register records the now 57 year old Eleanor living at 53 Richlands Avenue, Stoneleigh, listed with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties". The only other record at the address is currently closed, but seems likely to be that of the 19/20 year old Rita.

Disappointingly, the readily available records provide no useful information about either Henry's WW2 service or the circumstances of his death on 6 August 1942 - which was registered in the local Surrey Mid Eastern District.

Henry is buried in Morden Cemetery. The widowed Eleanor took opportunity of adding a personal inscription to his headstone,
"Ever in our thoughts. His loving Wife and Daughter."
Roger Morgan © 2018

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LOWE, Bertram Harrington. Sergeant (658389)

Royal Air Force
Died 21 May 1943 Age 27

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

The marriage of Bertram Lowe to Florence Mary Harrington was registered in West Ham for the September Quarter of 1913. Birth of their son Bertram H Lowe came to be recorded in the same District 3/1916.

By 1939, the Lowes had taken up residence at 47 Thorndon Gardens, Stoneleigh, Ewell. Bertram, senior, was then described as a Solicitors Managing Clerk / Estate Agent, born 23 October 1889. His son, Bertram H, born 16 December 1915, had started work as an Estate Agent's Manager.

Bertram, junior, enlisted with the Royal Artillery before being transferred into the Royal Air Force.

During operations from RAF Turnberry on 21 May 1943 practising the laying of sea-mines at night, a Hampden AT125 ditched. Two accompanying aircraft engaged in a search, flying low over the water with their lights on. A Wellington Torpedo Bomber, LB237, from No.1 Torpedo Training Unit, was presumed to have collided with Wellington LB193, also from 1TTU, three and half miles east-north-east of Ailsa Craig, Firth of Clyde,. Both of these aircraft also crashed into the sea. Only seven men were recovered alive from a total of eighteen aboard the three downed planes. Five 'missing believed killed' from LB237 included the pilot, Flt/Sgt. John Frederick Forsyth-Johnson, 1383232, RAFVR (brother of the late entertainer Bruce Forsyth) and Air Gunner Bertram Harrington Lowe.

Bertram Harrington Lowe is commemorated on Runnymede Memorial, Panel 157. CWGC describe him as the son of Bertram and Florence Mary Lowe, of Ewell, Surrey.

Brian Bouchard © 2018

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LOWER, Vivian. Pilot Officer (143871)

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 224 Squadron
Died 2 September 1943, aged 31

Vivian was born on 6 May 1902 in Edmonton, the son of Nynian Evelyn Walter Lower (a "Bank Official") and Edith (née Morley - they had married in Hackney Q2 1911). The 1939 Register records Vivian staying (or lodging) with the Mitchell family at 34 Queen's Drive, Stoke Newington and described as "Bankers Official Cashier Electrical". However, the Probate records list Vivian as having lived at 141 Manor Green Road, Epsom. (As administration was allocated to his father, it is assumed Vivian never married.)

His WW2 service was in the RAF's Coastal Command. In 1942, he was in 119 Squadron based in Pembroke Dock. He had a narrow escape when the Short Sunderland flying boat DP176 on which he was the navigator had to ditch in the Bay of Biscay when the port outer propeller broke off - hitting the inner propeller which also came off. The pilot managed to ditch the aircraft but its port wing dug in and it sank in four minutes. Three of the crew were lost, but the remaining twelve (including the injured Vivian) made it into the dinghy. They were found the next day by an RAF Catalina which directed HMS Wensleydale to pick them up.

Vivian then transferred to 224 Squadron. This was stationed at RAF St Eval (on the north coast of Cornwall), and flew B-24 Liberators in anti-submarine operations over the Bay of Biscay and attacks on shipping around the French Coast.

A B24 Liberator heavy bomber
A B24 Liberator heavy bomber
Picture courtesy of Bill Zuk via Wikimedia Commons

On 2 September 1943, Vivian was part of the crew of Liberator FL938 GR-V on an anti-submarine patrol over the Bay of Biscay when it was shot down by a Luftwaffe Ju 88s. All nine on board were killed. As one of over 20,000 members of the RAF who were lost during WW2 operations and who have no known graves, Vivian is commemorated on the RAF Memorial at Runnymede.

Roger Morgan © 2017
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LUDBROOK, William Frederick J. Lance Corporal (2560297)

29 Construction Section, Royal Corps of Signals
Died 27 September 1943, aged 38

William's headstone in the Chungkai War Cemetery
William's headstone in the Chungkai War Cemetery
Photograph (18897754) by "GulfportBob" via findagrave.com


Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Frederick was born in Ipswich, Suffolk, the third of at least four children born to Frederick and Louise Ludbrook. His birth was registered Q3 1905 which, as noted at the head of this article made him aged 38 at his rather than the 39 noted in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records. The 1911 Census records the 33 year old parents and four children (aged between 4 and 8) living at 18 South Road, Reigate. Frederick's occupation is listed as "Chauffeur".

In Q2 1927, William married Susan Unity Fifield. They had two children - James born in Q4 1928 and Unity in Q3 1931 - whose births, like their parents' marriage, were registered in the Wandsworth District.

The family subsequently moved to the Borough. The 1939 Register records the 37 year old Susan (listed with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties") living at 27 Pams Way, Ewell together with her two children and her widowed 58 year old father, Arthur S Fifield (a "House Painter & Decorator").

William was presumably already in uniform, serving with the 29 Construction Section, Royal Corps of Signals. This Company was in Malaya when the Japanese invaded from the north on 8 December 1941. Commonwealth forces had not yet completed their defences and the ferocious attack drove them back, in some disarray, towards Singapore. This fell to the Japanese on 15 February 1942, with the surrender of some 80,000 Commonwealth troops. They became prisoners of war, joining the 50,000 taken by the Japanese in the preceding Malayan Campaign. Winston Churchill called the whole episode the "worst disaster" in British military history.

Somewhere along the way, William was noted as "missing in action". It was later confirmed that he was a prisoner of war in Thailand. He, like many others, was doubtless used as forced labour on the notorious Burma-Siam railway and weakened by the very harsh conditions. However, the direct cause of his death, on 27 September 1943 at the Malai 1 PoW Camp, is recorded as "Ludwig's angina". This is a rapidly progressive gangrenous cellulitis of the soft tissues of the neck and floor of the mouth consequent on an untreated serious oral infection - normally a dental abscess.

He was initially buried locally. After the War, his and many other scattered burials were concentrated in the Chungkai War Cemetery. This is located outside the town of Kanchanaburi, some 80 miles north-west of Bangkok, at the point where the river Kwai divides into two separate rivers.

The widowed Susan took opportunity of adding a personal inscription to his headstone,
"For ever in our memory".
Roger Morgan © 2018

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