WW2 Book of Remembrance - Supplement


This page contains information about some of the 342 local individuals who died as a result of World War Two and are recorded in the Epsom and Ewell WW2 Book of Remembrance. In time we hope to provide some basic information about each person listed in the book, but feel we should complete the huge task of providing information on the fallen of the Great War. Meanwhile we rely on family members and friends to to supply any information they can on an individual by individual basis. If anyone has any information about one of the names in the Book or Remembrance or is interested in carrying out research into the Borough's fallen of the Wars please contact the webmaster.


Index

Click on the name to jump to the relevant entry
[Content]

Abel, Jack Sydney (New 29/08/2014)
Adkins, Henry Charles (New 12/09/2014)
Alway, Edwin John (New 25/12/2015)
Arnold, John Turney (New 24/05/2012)
Baker, Donald (New 31/10/2014)
Basson, Peter Henry
Bliss, John Miller (Links to an external site)
Broderick, George Adrian Leonard (Revised 06/10/2014)
Burrough, John Hardy (Revised 21/10/2014)
Butterworth, John Leslie Gilbert (New 28/01/2016)
Clark, Victor James (Links to an external site)
Connor, Edith May see Tragedy on the Home Front
Conran, Edward Denis (Revised 06/06/2014)
Everett, Daniel Bulmer (New 29/09/2014)
Fournier, Bernard Maurice (Links to an external site)
Ford, Leslie Arthur (Links to an external site) see also Ford, Leslie Arthur (Links to an external site)
Freakes, Kenneth (New 19/01/2016)
Frost, Rupert Chatham (New 22/11/2014)
Geen, Henry (properly Harry) Ernest (New 28/11/2014)
Greenslade, John Leonard (New 28/01/2016)
Hampton, Denis Allen (NOT LISTED in the Book of Remembrance) (New 23/11/2014)
Hanley, Matthew (otherwise Michael) William (New 15/11/2014)
Hawkins, Albert J. (New 28/08/2014)
Hicks, Archibald Jack (Updated 01/09/2014)
Hills, Oliver Lilburne Rieu (New 18/03/2013)
Ievers, Eyre Osbourne (New 16/03/2014)
Moore, Harry (New 28/11/2014)
Page, Wilfrid Thomas (Ted)
Pearson, Nevill Corrie (New 03/02/2014)
Penfold, Ernest John
Penfold, Harry
Pilley, John Herbert (Links to an external site)
Rawson, John Leslie (New 10/08/2013)
Swan, Mrs Annie Elizabeth see Tragedy on the Home Front
Sandall, Jack Francis (New 20/12/2014)
Smith, John Arthur (New 07/12/2014)
Smith, John Frederick (New 11/12/2014)
Telling, Robert Douglas (New 11/12/2014)
Tepper, Roland Harcourt (New 01/09/2014)
Todd, Eric Joseph (Updated 17/01/2016)
Underwood, Paul Derek (New 20/12/2014)
Watson, Robert Sims (NOT LISTED in the Book of Remembrance. Links to an external site)
Williams, Herbert Charles (New 08/11/2014)

Content


Abel, Jack Sydney, Flying Officer (Navigator) 120353

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR) 115 Sqdn.
Died 06/12/1942, aged 26

Jack Abel
Jack Abel
Photograph courtesy of Margaret V Thompson nee Abel

The marriage of Albert Arthur Abel to Edith May Tooley was recorded at Yarmouth, 3/1916. Birth of their son, Jack Sydney Abel on 21 January 1917, subsequently came to be registered in the Mutford District of Norfolk for the March Quarter of 1917.

Having joined the Post office in 1933 as Temporary Postman/Messenger Jack was appointed to the grade of Sorting Clerk/Telegraphist by Limited Competition during 1935, apparently in Norfolk.

Following enlistment in the RAFVR, he would have been inducted at Cardington around April 1940 with a Service Number 122267. Subsequently Jack is known to have trained in South Africa at 75 Air School, Lyttleton, Pretoria. Possibly this would have been followed by a period in 45 Air School at Oudtsshoorn, about 200 miles east of Cape Town, - 'A.O.N.S & B & GS', otherwise Air Observers Navigation School, and Bombing & Gunnery School.

Although Victoria Mary McCondach had been born in the Romford area (reg. 12/1914), her brother Robert McCondach's birth was registered in Yarmouth, 9/1920 and one infers that the family could then have been living near Gorleston. Victoria McCondach and Jack Sydney Abel seem to have met in Norfolk but he is assumed to have been training in Wales when they married during 1941 (reg. Cardigan for June Quarter of that year). Their daughter's birth is registered in Surrey Mid E District, 6/1942 - Margaret V. Abel - presumably reflecting Mrs Abel's residence at that time in 27 Oakhurst Road, with two of her sisters, Josephine Charlotte and Louvine Elizabeth McCondach.

Jack was stationed with 115 Squadron at East Wretham, near Thetford, for the fateful flight of the Wellington Mk111, BJ 898, KO-C, on 6 December 1942. It took off at 17.33 hrs. from its base on a bombing mission against Mannheim, one of 272 aircraft taking part in the raid. This particular Wellington is claimed to have been shot down by Ofw. Wilhelm Engel of Nachtjagdgeschwader 4 (8/NJG 4), a Luftwaffe night-fighter wing, 15 km. north of Worms at 20.12. It crashed in a vineyard 3 kilometres west of Alsheim with the loss of the entire crew who were buried in the cemetery at Alsheim before being reverently re-interred in the Rheinberg Cemetery in accordance with the policy agreed upon by His Majesty and the Commonwealth Governments that fallen airmen in Germany should rest together in British Military Cemeteries.

Images, courtesy of Frank East from www.luntfamilyhistory.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk (link no longer working)

Collective photograph of crew headstones
Wellington Mark 111, Serial No BJ 898, KO C. Collective photograph of crew headstones.
From Left to Right, Plot 8, Row C, Graves 18-22 inclusive
Sergeant R E Hayman. Air bomber
Flying Officer H W Larkins Pilot
Flight Sergeant E F Stammers RCAF Air Gunner
Flying Officer J S Abel Navigator
Flight Sergeant D G Williams RCAF Air Gunner

Sadly the widowed Mrs Victoria Abel survived only until 1959. Her daughter Margaret married Vere O.S(haun) Thompson during 1964: they migrated to Canada in 1970, where they now reside in Southampton, Ontario.

Brian Bouchard ©2014

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Adkins, Henry Charles

Sergeant 1269014 RAFVR (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve)
15 Squadron Died 8 December 1942, aged 31.

William Thomas Chapman Adkins (b. Battersea in1867) had married Clara Jane Henden (b. Stoke Newington during1870/1) at Christ Church, Battersea, on 25 December 1895 [reg. Wandsworth 12/1895]. Birth of their fourth child, Henry Charles, was registered in Wandsworth for the first quarter of 1911. The 1911 Census shows the family enumerated at 14 Barchard Street, Wandsworth with baby Charles described as being under two months old. William T C Adkins survived until 1 November 1929.

The wedding of Henry C Adkins to Evelyn B Joyce may be found registered in Edmonton, 6/1940. They came to reside at 18 Amberley Gardens, Stoneleigh.

Henry enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve to be inducted, probably at Uxbridge, about May 1940. Eventually he was assigned to 15 Squadron which had been equipped with Short Stirling Mk 1 aircraft from April 1941. In August 1942, the squadron moved to RAF Bourn, Cambridgeshire.

On 8 December 1942, Stirling I W7635, identification code LS-V, of 15 Sqn., Bomber Command, took off from Bourn at 16.42 on a mine laying detail in the Sweet Pea region (Rostock and Arcone Light) intent on 'Gardening' in the Baltic south east of Lolland & Falster islands.

Attacks against a Stirling were reported on 8 December 1942 by pilots of Nachtjagdgeschwader 3, a Luftwaffe night-fighter wing - Feldwebel (Sergeant) Helmut Schuppan of 2./NJG 3 [2. Staffel of Nachtjagdgeschwader 3 (2nd Squadron, Night Fighter Wing 3)] 21.48 at 3600m, and Oberleutnant(1st lieutenant) Hans Graf, 4./NJG 3, 22.03 at 400m. It seems likely that the same British aircraft was involved, after descending rapidly, and it had been W7635 which finally crashed into the North Sea west of the island of Rømø .

Messerschmitt bf 110
Messerschmitt bf 110, a twin-engine heavy fighter
(Zerstörer-German for "Destroyer") as flown by NJG3

Pilot Sgt Jochemus J. Blignaut, Flt. Engr. Sgt Eric Bance, Navigator Sgt Francis G. Crapp, W/Op Sgt Richard G. Oliver and Air Gnr. Sgt Robert Skelton have no known grave and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Air Gnr. F/Sgt Alfred T. Kelley RCAF was found to have drifted ashore on the island of Rømø near Lakolk on 17 December and was laid to rest in Kirkeby cemetery on 18/12-42. Kelly hailed from Kansas City and had joined the Canadian Air force.

Nav./Bomber Sgt Henry C. Adkins was apparently brought in from the island of Rømø and was laid to rest in Fourfelt cemetery, Esbjerg, on 18/12-1942 - Plot AIII. 8. 10.

Administration of Henry's will was granted to his relict, Mrs Evelyn Barbara Adkins, (Effects £1507:9:1) - she remained in Stoneleigh at least to the end of the war.

Henry's headstone in Fourfelt cemetery
Henry's headstone in Fourfelt cemetery
Image courtesy of Søren Flensted, Billund, Denmark ©2014

With acknowledgement of material derived from Airwar over Denmark with kind permission
Brian Bouchard ©2014

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ARNOLD John Turney.

Merchant Seaman. SS Lulworth Hill.
Died as a result of enemy action, 12 May 1943, aged 18.

John Turney Arnold in his uniform.
John Turney Arnold in his uniform.
Image source David Arnold © 2012

John Turney Arnold was born on 2 April 1925 in Camberwell. In 1931 John, aged 6, attended Collingwood School for Boys, Wallington, and when the family moved to West Ewell he attended Ewell Castle School between 1934 and 1936.

At the age of 16, in 1941 John joined the Merchant Navy as an apprentice, and sailed with the 7,628 ton freighter, SS Lulworth Hill. In a letter to his father, at the beginning of a voyage that left Hull on Sunday 27th September 1942, John prophetically wrote 'I think it may be us this trip'.

SS Lulworth Hill sailed North, and round the North of Scotland for three days, before joining a convoy of 57 ships protected by a pack of frigates and corvettes, and led by a destroyer. She was carrying 7,000 tons of aircraft engines as well as 7,000 tons of high explosive 250lb bombs intended for the troops in North Africa. After only 7 hours the convoy was attacked and at least 4 ships were sunk.

On the 17th day the convoy split up and SS Lulworth Hill took another 8 days to reach Brazil. From there they went to Cape Town for a brief stop and then north up through the Red Sea, refuelled at Port Said then on to Alexandria where the cargo was offloaded.

They now turned round and headed back to Mauritius where they picked up 10,000 tons of sugar, some fibre and 400 tons of rum. Back to the Cape for more fuel and then on to Walvis Bay where they intended to rendezvous with nine other ships for the convoy home, but for some reason, unknown at present, they were then instructed to make their way home alone.

During World War II, Italy operated a substantial fleet of submarines which were larger and less manoeuvrable than the German U-boats which sank so many Allied ships in the North Atlantic.

Italian submarine commanders usually operated alone and preferred the method of torpedoing a victim from periscope depth before rising to the surface to finish of the attack with gunfire.

In 1942 the Italian submarines based at Bordeaux, France, began venturing farther out to look for ships travelling alone in waters off the Caribbean, along the western coast of Africa and off north-eastern South America.

On 19th March 1943 the SS Lulworth Hill was attacked and sunk by the 'Leonardo da Vinci, under Captain Gianfranco Gazzana- Priaroggia. The submarine surfaced among the struggling survivors and they hoped to be rescued but the captain shouted to them from his conning tower, 'Your aircraft bomb our cities, you shall all die'. Fourteen men managed to board a life raft but after 50 days adrift only two remained alive. One of the survivors Kenneth Cooke described their ordeal in his book 'What Cares The Sea?

The Italian U-boat Leonardo da Vinci
The Italian U-boat Leonardo da Vinci
Image source Wikipedia

The two survivors of the SS Lulworth Hill after 50 days adrift.
The two survivors of the SS Lulworth Hill after 50 days adrift.
Image source not known

The two survivors were picked up by HMS Rapid on 7 May 1943, and were later both awarded the George Medal.

John Turney Arnold, having spent his 18th birthday on the raft, died on 12 April 1943. His name can be seen in the 'Book Of Remembrance', at the Town Hall in Epsom. His name can also be seen on Panel 66 of the Merchant Navy Memorial at Tower Hill, London, and the Books of Remembrance at Ewell Castle School and the Urban Saints Memorial at Westbrook House, Isle of Wight. There will shortly be a memorial plaque to him at the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, Staffs.

Information supplied by John's brother David Arnold.


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Baker, Donald, Pilot Officer (Pilot) 169107,

RAFVR (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve) 625 Squadron
Died, aged 20, 16 December 1943

The marriage of Frank Walter Thomas Baker (c. 1 November 1882 at Hillmorton, Warwick) to Laura Huse (b. reg Cookham, 9/1881) was registered in Maidenhead for the September Quarter of 1900. They already had a family before they arrived from Richmond to take up residence at 15 North View Villas, Ewell, towards the end of 1912. Births were recorded in Epsom of Cyril W., 12/1914, and Lucy, 12/1916. Donald, who had arrived on 8 January 1923, came to be baptised at St Mary's, Ewell, his father's occupation being stated as Police Constable.

Donald Baker had enlisted in the Royal Air Force Voluntary Reserve to be inducted, probably at Uxbridge, with a Service Number 1332320 after November 1940. He would have trained to fly as a Sergeant but had risen to Acting Warrant Officer by 14 December 1943 before then being commissioned as Pilot Officer on probation (emergency).

Two days later later, in 625 Squadron, he was given command of a Lancaster Mk.III, LM 424 (CF-B). Airborne 16:21 on 16 December 1943 from Kelstern destination Berlin but, outbound, believed to have been shot down by a night fighter. As reported by Heinrich Schumacher, it crashed in the middle of the farming village of Oppendorf (Stemwede), 18 km SSE of Diepholz, North Rhine-Westphalia, the fuselage hitting a barn at 'Sander 20'. The aircraft and barn burned fiercely and attempts to extinguish the fire were impeded by exploding ammunition. After ten minutes an 1800 kg H E bomb ('air mine') exploded, spreading incendiary bombs throughout the agricultural settlement. Within moments the entire village had been set on fire. Seventeen farm houses and a barn burned to the ground. Two villagers were killed while attempting to rescue farm animals from burning buildings. Many locals were injured and some suffered severe burns. The six members of the crew who died in the crash were buried in the Russian 'Wetscher Wiesen' cemetery at Wetschen some 5 km E of Diepholz. After the war, in 1948, the aircrew's graves were concentrated in the Hanover War Cemetery.

The only survivor, the Bomb Aimer, Sgt W.H.Pallett, 1393564, baled out to land in the municipality of Lemfoerde: he was interned in Stalag Luft III, Sagan & Bellaria, Poland, PoW No.269864. The body of another of the fliers had been found with a burnt parachute at 'Witte 24'.

A bronze plaque, 'Zur Erinnerung und Mahnung zum Frieden' [In commemoration and to welcome peace], listing the names of all the victims of the disaster is located at the intersection Oppen Straße / Am Hunneort. The civilian fatalities were Christoph Kalnake, 61, and Heinrich Waering, 29. Photographs of the devastation caused by the crash, taken on 17 December 1943, and an image of a memorial plaque detailing the victims may be viewed at www.oppendorf.de (site no longer exists).

Stemwede Coat of Arms
The Coat of Arms for the Stemwede Municipality which covers Oppendorf
Image source Wikipedia

In addition to the inclusion of his name in Epsom's Book Of Remembrance, Donald Baker is commemorated on Old Bletchley War Memorial situated on a triangular area off Church Green Road, Bletchley, at the entrance to St Mary's Church (The youngest son of Mr and Mrs. F. Baker, Ivy Cottage, Church Green Road, and formerly of Newton Longville). His name is also recorded at Newton Longville on a Portland stone obelisk in ornamental garden outside the church of St Faith.


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BASSON, Peter Henry, Pilot Officer (Rear Gunner) 48081

No.149 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Killed in action 24th July 1942 aged 29

Peter Basson
Pilot Officer Peter Basson
Image courtesy of Tessa, daughter of David Morris © 2011

Peter Henry Basson's birth was registered in the quarter ending September 1913 in Poole Dorset (GRO Ref: Sept 1913 Poole 5a 477), the eldest son of Bertie Henry Thomas and Davidina Crockett Basson, nee Methven.

Peter's father had been born in 1879 in Littlemore, Oxfordshire and by the age of 22 was training to be a cook. Peter's mother was born in 1889 in Edinburgh, Scotland. 29-year-old Bertie married 22-year-old Davidina on 28 November 1908 at 118 Princes Street Edinburgh, Scotland. At the time Bertie was the hotel manager for the George Hotel in George Street, Edinburgh
.
When the 1911 census was taken, the couple appear as joint managers of the King's Head Hotel in Change Alley, Sheffield.

There are conflicting Poole registration district birth entries for Peter's younger sister Angela.
  • Angela H G Basson has been registered in the quarter ending June 1919 (mother's maiden name Methven).
  • Angela H I Basson has been registered in the quarter ending September 1920 (mother's maiden name Methven).
As yet, I have been unable to find any further records for her.

Peter's parent's marriage did not last and in 1929, after divorcing, Davidina married Thomas Reginald Ransom, an estate agent, in Wandsworth London. The couple lived in The Riviera Hotel Canford Cliffs, Bournemouth where Davidina later died, aged 55, on 2 March 1934 leaving an estate of £16,214 17s 7d.

By 1937 Bertie was living at 32 Princess Road, Bournemouth and in 1940 he married Jeannette Oppenheimer. Bertie died aged 72 in 1951 in the Ploughley registration district in Oxfordshire.

There does not appear to have been any children from either of these second marriages.

It is unknown if Peter and Angela lived with either of their parents after the divorce, but the CWGC records show that Peter had been living in West Ewell Surrey. I have not found any record of a marriage for Peter, or of his address in West Ewell.

Peter was the Rear Gunner of W7580, a Short Stirling of No.149 Squadron, which had the code number of OJ-D.

Three Short Stirlings
Three Short Stirlings
Image source Wikimedia

The RAF crew was made up of the following:
  • F/O A.J.L.Bowes, Captain
  • Sgt N. Acton, Flight Engineer.
  • Sgt D. Morris, Observer
  • Sgt G Blatherwick, W/Op
  • Sgt E.H. Boumphrey, A/G Forward
  • Sgt E.C. Isted, A/G Mid. Upper
  • P/O Peter H.Basson, A/G Rear.
Both AJL Bowes and Peter H Basson were posted into 149 Squadron on the 13 July from 1651 Conversion Flight, just ten days before Stirling No. W7580 took off from RAF Lakenheath, in East Anglia, at 01.11am on the night of 23/24 July 1942. The operation was a bombing raid on Duisburg, just over the German border. OJ - D was shot down by a German night-fighter, and the aircraft crashed at 03.25am into a field near to the village of Geffen (Noord Brabant), 5km SW of Oss in Holland. (Source = AIR 27/1002 at The National Archives Kew.)

All of the RAF crew died and were buried temporarily in the garden of the parish priest. The bodies were later exhumed and buried in the Uden War Cemetery. Peter H Basson's grave reference is Coll. grave 4. I. 10-13.

With thanks to Ruun Verhagen for supplying additional information

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Broderick, George Adrian Leonard. Flying Officer (Observer), 122067,

RAFVR (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve) 608 Squadron
Died 16 May 1943, aged 32

The marriage of Adrian Joseph Broderick (b. 1881) to Elizabeth Lydia Watkins, born 24 January 1879 at Greenwich, daughter of William Isaac Watkins, was registered at Epsom, 12/1910. A son, George Adrian Leonard was born 23 April 1911 followed by two others recorded in Epsom, Leonard A[drian]., 9/1914, & Joseph M[aurice]., 6/1916. The family lived at 14 Upper Court Road, Epsom, whilst Adrian was employed in one of the local mental hospitals as an 'Asylum stores porter' or 'store's clerk'.

George attended Pound Lane School until 1923 when he obtained a scholarship to what used to be known as Sutton County Grammar School, and later Sutton Manor School. He left aged 16 with his School Certificate. His first employment is unknown but the London Gazette of 8 September 1936 reported his appointment, 'Without Competition', as an Assistance Clerk in the Unemployment Assistance Board.

On 26 June 1937 George married Frances Rose Madeleine, only child of Caroline Rose (nee Shaughnessy) and Percy George Vincent Edwards, from Stoneleigh. He had been working in Newcastle upon Tyne but subsequently obtained a transfer to a UAB office in Soho.

George is said to have volunteered for the RAF at a Recruiting Centre in West Croydon early in 1941 and his service number 1383536 suggests that he was subsequently inducted at Euston. By the middle of May he had been stationed at No.24 Elementary & Reserve Flying Training School at RAF Sydenham, Belfast, originally used exclusively for the training of R.A.F. Volunteer Reservists, being equipped with Tiger Moth and Hawker Hind aircraft. He did not reach the standard of flying solo and was re-assigned for training as a Navigator, attached to RAF Blackpool. The navigational school was situated in buildings on Squires Gate airfield. On 5 September 1941 he set sail destined for No. 31 Air Navigation School, Port Albert, near Goderich, Ontario, Canada.

A fresh number 122067 applied from his advancement to Pilot Officer (on probation), emergency, 16 March 1942. Promotion to Flying Officer (war sub.) followed with effect from 1 October 1942.

About this time George had been appointed to 608 Squadron at No 6 Operational Training Unit, RAF Thornaby, joining the crew of a Hudson Mk. V, AE 641. They arrived in Gibraltar on 26 November to carry our sorties until leaving for Blida, Algeria, on 18 December. AE 641 returned to the repair base RA F Henlow on 28 March 1943 for refurbishment.

A daughter, Jill Susan Broderick, arrived 20 April - reg. Surrey N E, 6/1943.

After a month's leave in England the crew left for a second round: by mid-May 1943 the war in North Africa seemed to have turned in favour of the allies, but for the Coastal Command Squadron, work had to continue. Hudson Bomber AE 641 (Freddy) was sent out on submarine patrol the fatal evening of May 15. Their plane crashed in the early morning of 16 May 1943, near Cheraga, attempting to return to base through a thick coastal fog; the contributory causes were not clearly established.

Allied fatalities in the Blida area were buried at the El Alia Cemetery, 20 miles east of the city of Algiers on the road to Bougie. The crew of AE641 were laid to rest there side by side.

Jill S E Broderick, attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart School in Epsom, married Derek M Tansley, Southend 6/1967, and went to live in Othery, Somerset.

Whilst he served in the RAF, George and his wife had shared a home with his parents in law at 110 Chadacre Road, Stoneleigh, Ewell. Mrs Caroline Rose Edwards, aged 69, was brought from St Helier Hospital, for burial in Plot O134 at Epsom Cemetery on 31 May 1945.

Mrs Frances Rose Madeleine Broderick acquired her own home, also in Chadacre Road, Stoneleigh Park, and taught at the Sacred Heart before leaving the area following the death of her widower father on 24 June 1962. Having eventually entered sheltered accommodation at Guillemard Court, Chichester Grove, Birmingham, her death was recorded in the West Midlands during 1994.

Many further biographical and operational details, with photographs, may be found in James R Stevens' Searching for the Hudson Bombers, re-published 2004, of which a copy is held in the Epsom and Ewell Local and Family History Centre at Bourne Hall, Ewell.

The name of George Adrian Leonard Broderick also appears on the Suttonian Memorial.

Brian Bouchard 2014

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Burrough, John Hardy, Flight Lieutenant, 135500.

RAFVR (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve) 502 Squadron
Died 26 November 1944, aged 31.

The marriage of Ernest James Burrough (a son of the founder of James Burrough Limited, the distillers of Beefeater gin) to Sophie Burston was registered at Bridgewater, 6/1910.

They took up residence in Millwood, Links Road, Epsom, and a daughter arrived during 1911, followed by John Hardy (reg. Epsom 3/1913), and another five children.

John was brought up in Epsom, and attended St Paul's School, London, [preceding his younger brother Alan Burrough, CBE, Steward of Henley Royal Regatta & sometime president of Thames Rowing Club] where his rowing career began with sculling on the Serpentine, before going up to Cambridge University. He appears, as J H Burrough, a member of Christ's College Boat Club Men's 1st VIII Mays 1932-33 & 1933-34 - in Isis crew 1935, Thames 1936/1939 and London Rowing Club (Grand Challenge Cup) 1938, also amongst the winning English Men's Eight, 1938 British Empire Games, Sydney, Australia. He returned from the latter on the Aberdeen & Commonwealth Line's S S Moreton Bay, arriving on 18 April 1938 with his occupation stated as 'Wine Chemist'.

His family had moved to 7 Downs Avenue, Epsom, by 1934 and his name still appeared at that address, as a Service Voter as at 15 March 1945. John may, however, have taken up pre-war employment in Whitstable.

He enlisted in the Royal Air Force Reserve to be inducted with a Service Number 1338149, at Uxbridge about November 1940. Advancement from Leading Aircraftman to Pilot Officer (emergency) followed on 4 December 1942. Promotion to the rank of Flying Officer (on probation/war sub.) took effect from 4 June 1943.

Eventually, he was assigned to No. 502 Squadron. On 26 November 1944, by then an Acting Flight Lieutenant, he was the pilot of a Halifax Mk. II, serial number JP319, code letter 'D', which took off from RAF Stornoway for an anti-shipping patrol in the Skagerrak [rather than a 'Gardening' flights, mine laying]. On board was Wing Commander K.B. Corbould (RAF from Canada) - 39211, DFC, Mentioned in Despatches - who had assumed command of 502 Squadron in the previous month. Another six were in the crew of the aircraft which carried six 500-pound Mark II anti-shipping bombs. It was airborne at 14.14 hours and a call-sign signal had been received at 19.00 hours, after which nothing further was heard from the aircraft. The 502 Sqn. Operational Record Book (ORB) for 26/11/44 states, in relation to the loss of the aircraft, 'It was learnt from another source that the aircraft was shot-down off the Swedish coast'.

Casualties commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial were: -
Wing Cmdr. Kenneth Bruce Corbould - 39211
Sgt. Trevelyan Ivan Powis - 1813257
F/Lt. John Hardy Burrough - 135500
F/Sgt. David McCann - 1322549
F/Sgt. Ernest James Sinfield - 1084554
P/O Frederick Sydney Leech - RCAF J/92652
F/Sgt Carl Robert Tibbo - 798756 (RAF from Newfoundland)
whilst
P/O George Booth - 188621, Wireless Op./Air Gunner was recovered and his remains interred at Tonsberg Old Cemetery on the west coast of Oslofjiord.
John's name does not appear in the Epsom and Ewell Book of Remembrance but on the WW2 Memorial inside St Martin of Tours Church. He is also commemorated on Whitstable's memorial in the courtyard of Whitstable library, Oxford Street, and in the RAF Stornoway Book of Remembrance, held in Martin's Memorial Church, Stornoway. An RAF memorial, co-located with the memorial to those that fell from the adjacent villages of Melbost and Branahuie, is simply a low circular drystone memorial with an oval brass plaque inserted into its top bearing the inscription 'RAF Stornoway - 1941-1945 - For Those Who Gave Their Lives'. It lies on a circle of tarmac immediately adjacent to the entrance to Stornoway Airport.

With grateful acknowledgement of assistance from Robin Hudson, RAFA Stornoway.

Brian Bouchard 2014

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Butterworth, John Leslie Gilbert Butterworth, Pilot Officer 40798

Pilot, 53 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Died 3 May 1940, aged 21

The marriage of Joseph Leonard Butterworth to Cicely Ellen Fenn was registered at Camberwell for the September quarter of 1914. Their second child John Leslie Gilbert's birth appears in Lewisham District, 6/1918, when the family were residing at 53 Micheldever Road, Lewisham.

By 1932, they had moved to Oak End, Ember Lane, Thames Ditton, and from 1937 to The Cot, 12 Arundel Avenue, Ewell, Surrey.

Having obtained at least part of his secondary education at the Jesuit Wimbledon College, Edge Hill, London, SW19 4NS, John entered the RAF with a permanent commission as Acting Pilot Officer on probation with effect from 4 June 1938: that rank was confirmed on 4 April 1939.

He was appointed to 53 Squadron which was located in France from September 1939 in order to undertake strategic reconnaissance duties. On 3 May 1940 the squadron was based at Poix en Picardie but Blenheim L9329, piloted by J L G Butterworth, is reported to have taken off from Metz airfield at 20.30 hrs., to continue a reconnaissance sortie over the Ruhr. The aircraft failed to return and is understood to have been shot down on Hornisgrinde, above the village of Sasbach near Baden-Baden, Germany, at around 21:00 hrs. killing all three crew.

Villagers have erected memorials to this crew on the mountain and in churchyard where they were originally buried.

On 16 May 2006, Mittelbadishe Presse reported a dedication by Mayor Wolfgang Reinholz:-
The interior of the memorial to the British crew of the crashed plane is credited to Erwin Fischer and the chairman of the association for local history, Carl Muth. The Bristol Blenheim had crashed during the night of 3 to 4 May 1940, seven days before the start of the French campaign, on the western slope of the Hornisgrinde in Sasbacher district. Erwin Fischer explained that the British had, on the outbreak of war, based a Bristol Blenheim squadron at Poix near Amiens in northern France. From there, the plane took off by 2 p.m. in the direction of Metz and after refuelling continued to night reconnaissance over the Rhineland and the Schwarzwald.

Flagman Josef Fallert was on night duty at the railway crossing Römerfeld in Sasbach. He noted the low-flying aircraft, emitting a strange engine noise. From the Rhine, it flew towards Achertal and from Hornisgrinde he observed a glow of light. Because the crash site was in Sasbacher woodland, the recovery of the dead crew fell to the community of Sasbach and was organised by Anselm Vollmer and Hermann Fischer. The three British airmen were laid in the cemetery chapel of St. Michael, the military funeral was held in Achern on 6 May 1940. An 'Ehrenzug' [honour guard?] from the Wehrmacht, a music corps, divisional chaplain and an officer in the Air Force gave the dead their last respects. The band played in honour of the fallen enemy the song from 'Good fellow', the Ehrenzug fired three volleys over the graves decorated with lilac wreaths.
The low altitude and the route suggest that this reconnaissance flight was observing rail guns on the Achertalbahn and long-range artillery in Ottenhöfen, said Fischer - 'The bunkers in Kniebis-Schliffkopf where Adolf Hitler was staying temporarily, were just a few kilometers away from here'.

Above the crash site on the 'Middle Mark forest road', the Sasbach association for local history has erected a memorial plaque providing details of the event.

The crew's mortal remains were exhumed from the village graveyard before John was re-interred in Plot 11, E20, of Durnbach War Cemetery.

The Butterworths remained in Ewell until 1948 but Joseph Leonard died at Highlands, Dence Park, Herne Bay, Kent, on 7 March 1949. His relict, Cicely Ellen, survived until 11 January 1962 before passing away at 8 Hull Road, Cottingham, Yorkshire.

J. L. G. Butterworth's name appears on the WW2 War Memorial in the Chapel of Wimbledon College.

Wimbledon College WW2 Memorial
Wimbledon College WW2 Memorial
Image courtesy of www.aircrewremembered.com ©2016.

Brian Bouchard, Jan 2016

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Conran, Edward Denis, MC and Bar

Air Raid Warden
Died 07 November 1940, aged 52.

Edward Denis Conran
Edward Denis Conran
Image courtesy of Edward's daughter Pauline Hill ©2014.

On 3 April 1881, Agnes Blatch had been a spinster daughter, aged 22, of William H Blatch, Brewer & Spirit Merchant (Employing 35 Men) of The Brewery, Brook Street, Basingstoke, Hampshire. Her marriage to Edward Petman Conran was registered in Basingstoke for the September Quarter of 1882. The birth of a son from that union, Edward Denis Conran came to be registered in the same District, June 1888.

His father was a Wine and Spirit Merchant, born in Limerick, of the Spirit Stores, Flaxfield Road, Basingstoke - at that time in partnership, trading as Petman & Co, but from 1891 conducting his business as a sole trader.

For the 1901 Census Edward Denis Conran was enumerated at 9 Priory Road, Bedford park, Chiswick, with his aunt Alice (nee Blatch) and her husband, George H Edwards, a Civil Servant. On 6 April 1908, after a Limited Competition, Edward Denis Conran was appointed Second Class Clerk in the Receiver's Office, Metropolitan Police. In 1911, aged 23 and single, he had taken up residence in his aunt Mary Agnes Paterson's house, 5 Priory Gardens, Bedford Park, and was employed in the Receiver's Office. Scotland Yard.

Denis Conran had enlisted as Private 447 with the Artists Rifles, a volunteer light infantry unit which formed part of the Territorial Force, during February 1909 - its full title had become 28th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment. Called up on 3 August 1914, he went to France on 25 October and by March 1915 had entered Officers' training at the Artists School of Instruction, Bailleul. A number of enlisted members of The Artists' Rifles were selected to be officers in other units of the 7th Division, including Conran from April 1915 when he became a Temporary 2nd Lieutenant in the 2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers - with a 'Long Number' 6791006.

1915

The story of the Munsters at Etreux, Festubert, Rue du Bois and Hulloch by Mrs Victor Rickard

[Article first published in The Sphere on July 15, 1916, giving an account of the work of the 'The 2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers at Hulloch'.]
"September 25, 1915
Below the chateau of Vaudricourt there is a wood which closes it around with a sense of security belonging to fir woods, and the zone of pines is dense and fragrant.
On the night of September 23, 1915, the Royal Munster Fusiliers marched from the little village of Philosophe and bivouacked in the Vaudricourt domain. The battalion was on the march again, and that dim, cloudy night they trooped in under the shelter and lighted their camp fires.
The whole effect was mysterious and unreal as things seen in dreams; the columns of luminous smoke soared upwards, illuminating the low strong branches of the trees, and around the fires the men lay huddled in their great-coats, grouped within the circles of flickering light.
Just as the fires were dying down into blackness a little incident that memory dwells upon changed the Vaudricourt woods into an undying picture for those who saw it. One of the men stretched out his arm and placed a lighted candle on a branch just over his head, and as though this simple act appealed to the memories and imaginations of his comrades, in a moment the pine woods of Vaudricourt became transformed into a forest of Christmas trees. One after another the tiny flames appeared, and burned like a hundred little glittering shrines. God knows what memories of childhood and things that were far enough away from war it recalled to the hearts of these men.
Yet the memory of the clouded night, the whisper of the wind in the trees, and the woods of Vaudricourt, bright with the soldiers' candles, comes like a gleam across the vast darkness and lights again the faces of the war-worn battalion once more on its way to the fighting line.
On September 24 the Munsters took up their position close to La Routoire Farm. Beyond these trenches the Germans occupied a long, sweeping ridge of down land; a space of quiet scenery spread out to the horizon like a calm sea. On the German side were Auchy, Hulloch, and Loos, and on the British Cambrin, Vermelle, Philosophe, and Mazingarbe, and between them the desolate ground from which living things are fenced and barred out. The trenches divided the two main roads at right angles, and the Hulloch road played an important part in subsequent operations. Here and there over the grass piles of slag stood out like stubborn towers, black and desolate as some minor, haunting fragment of an evil dream. They masked the mines, and were treacherous, cruel defences on a poor, wasted land.
The weather was gloriously fine, and under the heavy bombardment of the British guns the whole sky line seemed to be in eruption. Huge masses of chalk-dust and smoke lifted hundreds of feet into the air, and rolled slowly away like a drowsy cloud trailing near the ground and reluctant to depart from this "best of all possible worlds."
In the grey light of the morning of September 25 the British guns opened a furious fire, joined by the rattle of rifle and machine guns. Without fuss or disorder the Munsters awaited the moment when they should face a pouring stream of bullets and charge into the teeth of the storm.
Led by Major Considine, the Munsters pushed up the winding trenches to the front line, exchanging a word or two as they went, and relying, as all men do in time of crisis, upon those unexplained resources that stand for all that is best in a soldier. When they reached the front line the leading company was blocked, for the trenches were full of men, with their faces coloured an ashen blue and the buttons and badges on their coats turned green. Some were dead and others unconscious, for they were the helpless victims of gas fumes.
When the Munsters charged over the parapet the Hulloch road was alive with troops racing towards the German trenches, but to the front all was quiet, and a number of khaki figures in blue gas helmets lay very still out over the grass towards the German lines, having so encountered that "last and greatest of all fine sights" in the cold dimness of half oblivion.
The fire from the enemy's guns increased as the Munsters advanced with a yell, and the wire ahead of them was apparently unbroken.
Leading "A" Company, Major Considine fell in the advance, and as he sank down Sergeant-major Jim Leahy rushed forward to carry him into safety. He, too, was hit through the heart by a German bullet, and when he fell the advancing Munsters cheered him as they raced ahead, carrying with them the memory of the two men who had fallen so gallantly, into their fierce charge. Both Major Considine and Sergeant Leahy are buried on the battlefield almost where they fell, 800 yards west of Vermelles.
Up the long-deserted, grass-grown Hulloch road six batteries came at a gallop, wheeling boldly across the open under heavy fire, the Munsters, in conjunction with the brigade, following at a run. Great volcanoes of black smoke shot up immediately as the bombers worked down the German trenches. Lieutenant Denis Conran with six of his company occupied a support trench crowded with German troops, and for forty-eight hours held this small salient of the advance, waging a steady war with unwavering determination and grit. The enemy were all around this small handful, and from where they fought they could see the village of Hulloch being knocked to pieces like a card-house, and again on the right the shell-torn havoc of the advance to Loos, the chalk pit, and Hill 70. The larger stride had been taken at last, and the men in their gas helmets with their five days' growth of beard looked strange and almost oriental as they advanced, receded, and again advanced as the deadly conflict rolled onwards.
Towards evening the weather turned bitterly cold and heavy rain began to fall. The smell of poison gas, shell fumes, and blood became almost overpowering. Among the torn bodies the flotsam of war lay unheeded in the mud. Innumerable blankets, rifles, caps, belts, and bloodstained dressings told that a memory was all that was left to many of those who had been alive and glad a few hours before, and everywhere there were dead, dying, and wounded men, and all the helpless misery of battle.
The troops charged again, and the remnants of the Munsters raised another cheer and rallied for the last rush, and then the strain ended as you may see men pulled suddenly over at a tug-of-war. Four columns of German soldiers filed out of the trenches, holding their hands above their heads.
The road from Loos to Hulloch was clear at a cost of 1,000,000 shells and 50,000 men. A right of way was established at a price that no one can ever tell, since broken lives and hearts are not entered into any known roll of honour, and this right of way was made good by the simple valour and indomitable constancy of the ordinary man.
For them there is no return, for those who waited for them no more reason to cross the days off the calendar; stillness has intervened - the stillness that marks the passing of the mortal to immortality. Tears are useless, broken hearts useless; life will not alter because of these things. The days go on, and we with them; those who have gone have "bought eternity with a little hour, and are not dead."
And the road is now clear from Loos to Hulloch."

Edward Conran advanced to Temporary Captain but relinquished that rank on 25 May 1916.

1918

The 2nd Battalion of the Munsters was finally transported on 1 October 1918 to Epehy, scene of its March experiences where it was again ordered into the lines on 4 October, to capture Le Catelet. Largely gaining their objective, they had to retire encountering heavy counter attacks and failures elsewhere on the line. The 50th Division's advance was resumed on 10 October...

The Munsters in France, Lt. Col. H S Jervis, MC, first published in 1922, by Gale and Polden, Aldershot, mentions: -
"14th Oct [1918] Lieutenant E. D. Conran, M.C, an officer who first distinguished himself with the Battalion at Loos, September, 1915, was wounded, and the transport lines at Reumont were heavily shelled. They were accordingly moved back to Bertry about 1a.m."
By 16 October 1918, the Battalion had been reduced to 13 officers and 411 men.

Citation for Bar [to M.C awarded 3 June 1916].

T./Lt. Edward Denis Conran, M.C., 2nd Bn., R. Muns. Fus. (M.C. gazetted 3rd June, 1916.)

"LE CATELET, 4th October, 1918. For conspicuous gallantry, determination and resource when in command of a platoon in the attack. By his cheerfulness and complete disregard of danger he set a good example to all under his command, He materially assisted the attack on VILLERS FERME on 6th October, 1918, by outflanking the enemy and bombing down his trench." (Gazetted 29 July 1919)

Conran relinquished his commission, 2 January 1920, on re-enlistment in the Territorial Force.

By 1921 E D Conran, MC, was back in the Metropolitan Police Receiver's Office as a Junior Clerk.

[A 'Jack the Ripper' connection existed through Conran's uncle and mentor who as 'GHE' made a pencilled notation in Scotland Yard's copy of From Constable to Commissioner, reminiscences, published by Messrs Chatto and Windus in 1910, of Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Henry Smith, late Commissioner of Police in the City of London, acting at the time of the investigation into the death of Catherine Eddowes. George H. Edwards, Secretary to the Metropolitan Police (1925-1927), remarked:- "A good raconteur and a good fellow, but not strictly veracious: most of the book consists of after dinner stories outside his personal experience. In dealing with matters within his own knowledge he is often far from accurate as my own knowledge of the facts assures me.]

Denis' marriage to Dorothy H Efford was registered in Hammersmith 9/1928. They lived at 58 Upper Mall during 1929 and at another Hammersmith address in 1934.

By 1938, he had become an Higher Executive Officer and was Senior Clerk in the Receiver's Office, 1940, having taken up residence in 72 Alexandra Road, Epsom, before 1939.

His mother Agnes [Blatch] Conran had died on 19 November 1937 to be interred in a family plot at Theale churchyard. Edward Petman Conran followed at the age of 88, 26 January 1940 (leaving an Estate of only £233).

1940

During an Air Raid on 7 November 1940 a bomb fell on 19 Links Road, Epsom, killing four occupants including G F H McCormick, an ARP Warden, and a second Warden, E D Conran.

The latter is interred near his mother at Holy Trinity, Theale, Berkshire.

Edward's headstone inscription
Edward's headstone inscription
Image courtesy of Phil Wood, President of the Newbury District Field Club.

Edward's memorial was inscribed: - "In loving memory of / Edward Denis Conran MC / Aged 52 / Artists Rifles and 2nd Royal Munster Fusiliers / 1914-1918 / Air Raid Warden / killed by enemy action at Epsom, Surrey, / on 7th Novr 1940. / Son of Edward Conran and Agnes Blatch"

Probate was granted to Dorothy Helen Conran, Widow. Effects £3235, re-sworn £5046. 13 January 1941

His relict survived until 1996 as shown by a ledger stone placed upon the grave.

Dorothy's inscription
Dorothy's inscription
Image courtesy of Phil Wood, President of the Newbury District Field Club.

Brian Bouchard 2014

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Everett, Daniel Bulmer, Squadron Leader (Pilot) 155223.

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve No. 35 Squadron
Died 7 March 1945, aged 24

Sgt D B Everett, 1263497, No. 158 Squadron
Sgt D B Everett, 1263497, No. 158 Squadron
Image source: 158 Squadron Association Archive,
with kind permission of Rolph Walker, 158 SA Archivist/Historian.

On 14 June 1905, Harold Bulmer Everett (b. 6 April 1878), from Wimbledon, married Ellen Ada Mary Edwards (b. 14 April 1877) [reg. Kingston 6/1905]. She was the daughter of Patrick John Edwards of Blakesley, Merton Park. The groom had qualified a a Chartered Accountant to practice as Messrs Harold Everettt & Co from 3/7 Southampton Street, Strand. Birth of their son Daniel B Everett (apparently on 15 October 1920) came to be registered in Epsom, 12/1920, where the family lived at 'Stoneleigh', 26 Woodcote Park Road.

Daniel Bulmer Everett enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve to be inducted around May 1940, probably at RAF Uxbridge. With a Service Number 1263497, he trained to fly with the rank of Sergeant. In July 1942 he was stationed at RAF Bicester, seemingly as a pilot with 13 Operational Training Unit which trained light day bomber aircrew on Bristol Blenheims.

This was followed by a period with 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit, Marston Moor.

Having been posted to 158 Squadron at Lissett 28/2/43, he flew (familiarly known as 'Dan' or 'Danny') in the position of 2nd Pilot on operations: -
8/3/43 - Nuremberg (F/Lt. A.S. Woolnough)
11/3/43 - Stuttgart (F/Sgt. R.D. Roberts)
28/3/43 - St. Nazaire
3/4/43 - Essen
4/4/43 - Kiel [The mid upper gunner sighted a twin engined aircraft, presumed to be a Me 110 with a yellow light in the nose at approx 320 yards range, dead ahead, 45 degrees up. The enemy aircraft dived to attack and the Halifax turned to starboard and then did a violent turn to port. The enemy aircraft did not fire but the Mid Upper gunner on the Halifax fired a three second burst. The enemy aircraft broke away to starboard quarter and was lost. 150 rounds were fired by the Halifax.]

Danny Everett
Danny Everett
Image courtesy of the late Eddie Fell, of Driffield, former chairman-membership officer
of the 158 Squadron Association

On 9/4/43 he was detached to No 1502 Beam Approach Training Flight at RAF Driffield, flying: -
20/4/43 - Stettin
12/5/43 - Duisburg
13/5/43 - Bochum
23/5/43 - Dortmund
25/5/43 - Dusseldorf
27/5/43 - Essen
Promoted on 29/5/43 Pilot Officer (Probation/Emergency), 155223, he then joined 35 (Pathfinder) Squadron at RAF Graveley, part of No 8 Group In March 1944 that squadron re-equipped with the Avro Lancaster.

In Bomber Command generally, a tour of operations had been 30 missions followed by a break, often instructing away from the Squadron, before recall for a further round. Having been picked or volunteered for the Pathfinder Force, however, the requirement was to serve only a single tour, but of 45 missions, and then no more in the European Theatre of Operations.

Awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (as P/O. in 35 Sqn.) as shown by the London Gazette dated 21 January 1944. No citation was published but original recommendation dated 29 October 1943 read: -
'Pilot Officer Everett was captain of an aircraft detailed to attack Kassel on the night of 22/23rd October 1943. En route to the target the weather was particularly bad and some of his blind flying instruments became inoperative owing to the icing conditions. This officer carried on despite this handicap as he fully realised the importance of this special task and at the target he made a most successful attack, this being proved by an excellent photograph. Throughout the 33 night bombing attacks in which he has taken part, Pilot Officer Everett has consistently maintained an extremely high standard of tenacity and reliability and it is considered that the fine results he achieved in this attack fully merits the immediate (amended to non immediate by the AOC) award of the Distinguished Flying Cross'.
Advanced to Flying Officer (Probation/War sub.), 29/11/43.

DB Everett appears to have been posted out of 35 squadron during March 1944, presumably to be rested upon completion of his operational tour. No.35 Squadron's Operations Record Book shows that he returned to the squadron on 22 August 1944 from the Pathfinder Force Navigational Training Unit. The ORB records that he subsequently participated in 46 operations between 25 August 1944 and 7 March 1945.

Award of a First Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross (as A/F/Lt. No. 35 Sqn.) published in the London Gazette dated 16 January 1945. No citation detailed but the original recommendation dated 21 October 1944 read: -
'This officer, now on his second operational tour, is a brilliant captain of aircraft, possessing the greatest determination on operations and the utmost thoroughness in all matters of airmanship.
Since being awarded the D.F.C. he has taken part in many attacks against the enemy on widely separated targets such as Berlin, Nuremberg, the Ruhr and Army support attacks in Normandy. Whatever the target and whatever the task, he can be depended upon to mark and bomb with the greatest reliability. Flight Lieutenant Everett continues to show the keenest desire to operate against the enemy on all possible occasions and his enthusiasm and efficiency sets an example to the entire Squadron. In recognition of this Officer's fine record of service, he is recommended for the non-immediate award of a Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross'.
On 14 January 1945 he had piloted an Avro Lancaster PB684 (TL-B) from Graveley to Merseburg - Leuna. That aircraft was hit by a bomb dropped by a friendly aircraft over the target area; the rear turret was smashed and later broke away taking with it the body of the rear gunner F/O Raymond Terence Salvoni, DFC, who was thought to have been killed by the impact of the bomb.

Awarded a Second Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross (as A/S/Ldr. No. 35 Sqn.) according to the London Gazette dated 27 March 1945 [almost three weeks after the recipient's demise]. Citation : -
"One night in February 1945, Squadron Leader Everett was pilot and captain of aircraft detailed to attack Goch. Whilst making his first run over the target his aircraft was badly hit. The starboard main plane was extensively damaged and the starboard inner engine caught fire. Momentarily the aircraft went out of control. Squadron Leader Everett quickly levelled out though and feathered the propeller of the burning engine. The flames were then extinguished. Although unable to assess the full extent of the damage sustained, Squadron Leader Everett went on to several further runs over the target, which he only left after he was satisfied as to the success of the operation. He afterwards flew the badly damaged aircraft safely to base. This officer displayed a high degree of skill, courage and resolution throughout."
This is somewhat abridged from the original recommendation dated 18 February 1945 (which was actually for the award of the Distinguished Service Order but amended to that of the second Bar): -
"On the night of 7th February 1945, Squadron Leader Everett was captain of an aircraft detailed to attack Goch, his task being vital to the success of the attack and the safety of our own troops.
Whilst making his first run over the target, before the attack began, his aircraft was involved in a collision which resulted in extensive damage to the starboard main plane and inner engine which caught fire. Squadron Leader Everett skilfully regained control, feathered the engine and put out the fire. Although unable to assess the full extent of the damage and knowing full well that in all probability the wing itself had been weakened structurally, this officer made several further runs over the target and remained in the target area until the last of the bombers had left, and only after he had satisfied himself that the attack had been successfully delivered did he set course for base where he made a masterly landing without further incident. Squadron Leader Everett, by his realisation of the importance of his task accepted the great hazard of remaining in the target area for a long period in a badly damaged aircraft, displaying courage and tenacity of the highest order, and it is considered that his magnificent example fully merits the immediate award of the second Bar to D.F.C."
By then he had flown a total of 85 sorties.

Promoted Flight Lieutenant (War sub.), 25/2/45 - Acting Squadron Leader.

Lancaster ME361, a Mk.111 delivered to 35 Squadron ex-32MU in November 1944, had taken part in the following Operations: Cologne 23 December 1944, Daylight Hannover 5/6 January 1945, Duisburg 21/22 February 1945.

Although ordered to take a rest after 98 sorties and assigned to PFF Group Maintenance Unit testing aircraft Danny Everett is reported to have heard that a spare aircraft was 'going begging' at his old squadron [Pathfinders at War, 1977, and Bomber Barons, 2001, by Chaz Bowyer ]. He was said to have authorised his own participation in the raid by 35 Squadron having gathered together a scratch crew for what was to be his 99th and last, Operation.

A similar story appeared in We Act With One Accord, 35 Squadron, Alan Cooper, 1998, Pilot Officer White who had played chess with Danny immediately before take off noted that he appeared to be suffering from stress, sweating profusely. 1063420 Flight Sergeant Frank Joseph Tudor, DFM, his Wireless Operator, observed that this pilot was 'a very quiet person but knew what it was all about, he liked having a beer with his crew... He was a great man who never panicked and could not be faulted. His great aim in life was to get it all over as soon as possible'.

There were a number of relatively highly ranked, and decorated, fliers with him - Plt. Off. K G Munro, RAAF, Flg. Off. J M Aylieff, DFC, Flt. Lt. C G Mitchell, DFC, RCAF, Flt. Lt. C O Russell, DFC, Flt. Lt. R C Chapman, Flg. Off. R M Weller, DFC, & Flg. Off. A H Pidgeon.

On 7 May 1945, 256 Halifaxes and 25 Lancasters of Nos. 4, 6 & 8 Groups attacked the Deutsche Erdoel oil refinery at Hemmingstedt, near Heide, with little success - 4 Halifaxes and 1 Lancaster were lost. Airborne 18.53hrs on 7 March 1945 from Graveley as Master Bomber for the raid on the Deutsche Erdoel oil refinery, Sqn Ldr Everett's aircraft was shot down at about 22.00 hrs. in the target area. P/O Bob White, with whom he had been playing chess before departure, saw the aircraft go down, apparently hit by flak. (Luftgau kommando files record "Hemmingstedt lanc 35 me361 n/f [night fighter] hemmingstedt, 5 km s heide (UT42) ca. 2200" [RG 242.4.2 at NARA in the US: Microfilm frame 132351 ] but a card RL 19/470 at BA/MA in Germany summarises the Flak claim by 3. Flak-Division which lists the seven batteries making the claim )

Touchingly, the Ottawa Journal, 10 December 1947, reported a posthumous award to the next of kin of ME361's Canadian Navigator -
"'In the name of His Majesty the King … I give you the medal which your father won …' Viscount Alexander, Governor-General, bowed and smiled as he handed the Distinguished Flying Cross to 4-year-old Kenneth Mitchell of Victoria at an investiture today in Government House. It was the medal Kenneth's father, the late Flt. Lt. C. G. Mitchell, had won for "devotion to duty." The lad and his mother had travelled from the west coast to receive the award".
[No citation other than completed numerous operations against the enemy in the course of which he has invariably displayed the utmost fortitude courage and devotion to duty. Recommendation dated 18 February 1945, National Archives, Air 2/ 9070.]

Daniel was buried with his crew in the Hamburg Cemetery, Germany, known locally as 'Ohlsdorf '. His father, Harold Bulmer Everett, died, aged 70, 25 September 1948 and was interred at Gap Road Cemetery, Wimbledon. The widowed Mrs Ellen Ada Mary Everett, passed away 16 August 1950 to be buried in plot G588 Epsom Cemetery three days later.


Ellen Everett's Headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Ellen Everett's Headstone Detail
Daniel's inscription on his mother's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Image courtesy of Brian Bouchard ©2014.

With grateful acknowledgement of material supplied by the late Eddie Fell, of Driffield, former chairman-membership officer of the158 Squadron (RAF Bomber Command) Association and Pete Tresadern of the No. 35 Squadron - From Thetford to Scampton website.

Brian Bouchard 2014

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Freakes, Kenneth, Flight Sergeant 1604876

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Navigator 115 Squadron RAF
Died 15 February 1945, aged 21

Kenneth Freakes
Kenneth Freakes
Image © Beryl Lock (Kenneth's cousin) and courtesy Kelvin Youngs of Aircrew Remembered

Herbert Freakes, born 12 August 1901 in Ash, was appointed a porter with the London and South Western Railway Company at North Camp from 9 December 1918. He married Violet Lock at Christ Church, Epsom, on 16 April 1923. She was a laundress and daughter of Frederick Lock (otherwise Smith and sometimes Lock-Smith or Locksmith), butcher of 39-41 High Street, Epsom, whose family resided at 1 Isabel Cottages, The Common, Epsom. Herbert Freakes became a porter at Epsom from 24 March 1927 and the family lived at 11 West Street until at least 1931.

The birth of their only son, Kenneth Freakes, in Ash came to be registered at Farnham for the March Quarter of 1924. His secondary education was obtained at Glyn School, Ewell.

He joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and his service number suggests that he was inducted to the RAF at Oxford in September 1941. Having trained as a Navigator he was posted to 115 Squadron to become part of a crew aboard Lancaster Mk. III, LM 725, call sign KO-X.

On Wednesday 14 February 1945, this aircraft took off from R.A.F. Witchford, Cambridgeshire at 20.37 hrs. to bomb Chemnitz amongst an armada of 717 aircraft from 1, 3, 4, 6 and 8 Groups taking part in 'Operation Thunderclap'. The bombing was hampered by cloud and, although many parts of the city were hit, the majority of the bombs fell in open country. Only 13 aircraft in total were lost during the Chemnitz raid.

One was Lancaster LM725 which crashed near Haveluy, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France. It is not known what caused the fire which brought the plane down but no claim has been traced from a Luftwaffe night fighter.

A description of the crash, in French:
… de retour d'Allemagne, s'apprête à survoler Haveluy… La base de Cambrai Epinoy capte alors le message suivant :
« Trois moteurs en feu… le 4ème à blanc… passons au dessus de l'aggloméation pour atterrir'.»
L'avion perd de plus en plus d'altitude. Pour éiter les maisons à droite du village, le pilote Edward Arthur Slogrove tente tout pour redresser le bombardier qui perd une partie d'aile sans faire de victimes.
Il est 2 heures 25 minutes, au lieu-dit «Le Calvaire» on entend une terrible explosion… Le Lancaster, en percutant le sol a creusé un trou de 20 mètres de diamètre et profond de 8 mètres. 7 aviateurs anglais héroïues viennent de péir pour sauvegarder des vies et notre village,…
but this does not provide a complete account.

The aircraft was already in trouble at 1a.m. in the early hours of Thursday 15 February 1945 when arrangements were made for it to attempt a forced landing at Valenciennes (Prouvy) [now Aéroport de Valenciennes - Denain]. During that process it crashed close to Chemin d'Haveluy in open ground between Haveluy and Wallers, 8km from Valenciennes. In the French language extract reproduced above, the mayor of Haveluy recalled that the airfield at Cambrai Epinoy (which by that date was back in Allied hands) had received a radio message from the stricken bomber - 'Three engines on fire … the 4th white hot … clearing the built up area before landing.' The aircraft lost more and more height. The pilot managed to avoid houses, and possible civilian casualties, but shed part of one wing at 2.25 a.m. and plunged into the ground near a place called 'The Calvary, with a terrible explosion causing a crater 20 metres wide and 8 metres deep - heroically saving lives and the village itself.

Location Map for 115 Squadron Lancaster III LM725 KO-X.
Location Map for 115 Squadron Lancaster III LM725 KO-X.
With kind permission of Kelvin Young of Aircrew Remembered

Mortal remains of the crew were interred together in a grave at Haveluy.

Left: Crew graves at Haveluy Right: Thurette family plot
Above left: Crew graves at Haveluy Right: Thurette family plot
With kind permission of Kelvin Young of Aircrew Remembered

After the war the Freakes family kept in touch with Marie Louise Monnez and her husband Gabriel Thurett (members of the French Resistance from Haveluys, near Lille). Sadly, whilst Flt. Sgt. Freakes' father, 'Bert' was on a visit to France to visit his sons' grave, he suffered a heart attack. Marie Louise Monnez gained permission for him to be buried in the Thurette family plot so that he could be near to his son.

Kenneth's name also appears on the Glyn School War Memorial

By 1945 the Freakes had taken up residence at 17 Limecroft Close, West Ewell. Kenneth's widowed mother, Violet Freakes, survived until 1980.

Brian Bouchard, January 2016

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Frost, Rupert Chatham, Pilot Officer (Pilot), 42497,

Royal Air Force 16 Operational Training Unit
Died 28 May 1940, aged 26

On 31 May 1913, Albert William Chatham Frost (b. 7 July 1872 at Leicester), widower, married his second wife, Florence Burslem (b. Crewe, 5 March 1876) with a civil ceremony in Berlin. The groom was a travel-writer/journalist who had been living in Germany from no later than 1898. The birth of a son from this union, Rupert Chatham Frost (11 March 1914), came to be registered at Croydon for the June Quarter of 1914.

Rupert, recorded as the son of Albert W C Frost, journalist, of Nenna, Limpsfield, Surrey, became a boarder at Eastbourne College - in Wargrave House between 1928-30. He is reported subsequently to have attended King's College, London, between 1932 & 1935 but to have left without a degree.

He enlisted for 6 years from 19 August 1939 on a short service commission with the RAF becoming an Acting Pilot Officer, on probation. That appointment was confirmed with effect from 1 February 1940. Whilst serving with No 16 Operational Training Unit he, flying a Hampden L4156, and Pilot Officer (Pilot) Neil George Dryburgh in L4158, were detached to RAF Stormy Down near St Athan, South Wales - No 7 School of Air Gunnery. On 27 May 1940 the two aircraft from 16 OTU took off from the aerodrome for a flight over the Bristol Channel on an air firing exercise. Hampdens L4156 and L4158 collided in mid-air near Ilfracombe. All of both crews (P/O's R C Frost, N G Dryburgh and T A Nixon; LACs R J Aitken, T Baird, H Sharpe and J Whyte) were killed. [LINK http://thekenfigsociety.weebly.com]

Rupert Frost survived his injuries only until the following day but his death was not registered in Barnstaple until the September Quarter of 1940: he was interred in Upper Heyford Cemetery Section B Grave 38 . [LINK www.theygavetheirtoday.com ]

By the time of WW2, the Frost family had taken up residence at 19 The Avenue, Worcester Park, Surrey - Grafton House demolished for the construction of Squirrels Court. Deaths are registered of in Surrey Mid E of Florence Frost, 12/1943, & Albert William C Frost, 3/1958.

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Geen, Henry (properly Harry) Ernest, Sergeant, Observer, 744982

RAFVR (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve) 101 Squadron
Died 28/11/1940, aged 33

Henry's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Henry's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Image courtesy of Brian Bouchard ©2014.

The marriage of Charles Geen (b. reg. Fulham 12/1876) to Elizabeth Maud Eves (b. Cheltenham 1884) was registered at Cheltenham for the September Quarter of 1905. Their second son, Harry Ernest, was baptised at St Paul's Kingston Hill on 15 December 1907 (reg. Kingston 12/1907).

For the 1911 Census the family were enumerated at Amesbury, 72 Park Road, Kingston Hill but by 1915 had come to live in Mayfield, 25 Links Road, Epsom. Charles Geen was an estate agent and auctioneer in partnership, trading as Philip and George Geen, at 57 Waterloo Road, Lambeth.

Harry obtained his education at Epsom College, leaving in 1925. By 1928 he had taken up farming in South Africa but returned to England from Montreal, Canada, during 1929. It appears that he subsequently joined his father in business as a surveyor.

His service number suggests enlistment for training as an RAFVR pilot after January 1937.

Evidently he was diverted into training as an Air Observer and turns up in that role at 17 Operational Training Unit (formed in April 1940 as part of No 6 Group. Bomber Command, at RAF Upwood to train light bomber crews using the Bristol Blenheim). He was posted with a crew led by Sgt Pilot B J Redmond to 101 Squadron on 14 November 1940. They were aboard Blenheim Mk. IV, N6236, SR- ? Airborne 17.18 from West Raynham. During the operation against Wanne Eickel the locknut on the spider in the starboard propeller reduction gear became loose, causing the reduction gear casing to be churned away. Consequently the airscrew shaft and propeller fell off during the return flight over the North Sea. With commendable skill Sgt Redmond succeeded in getting his aircraft back to base with only one engine but crashed, on circuit of the aerodrome whilst trying to land, at 22.58 into West Raynham village.

The pilot Sgt B. J. Redmond and rear gunner Sgt A. G. Woodruff suffered only minor head injuries but the air observer Sgt H. E. Geen was left critically ill with a fractured skull.

Harry Geen succumbed to his injuries. The Squadron Operation Record Book mentioned that Sgt A/Obs.H E Geen died Tuesday 26 November 1940 at 11.40. CWGC, however, show the date of his demise to have been 28 November 1940 and that is what appears on his gravestone. His parents announced in the Daily Telegraph of 3 December 1940, the day of his funeral, only that their 'dearly beloved second son' Sergt Harry Ernest (Bob) Geen had died in November.

His mother, father and married sister later joined him in Plot M403 of Epsom Cemetery. Charles Geen had passed away at The Little House, 38 Downswood, Epsom.

Brian Bouchard ©2014

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Greenslade, John Leonard, Corporal 362353

Royal Air Force
Died 25 October 1940

The marriage of Frederick George Greenslade to Frances Maria Charles was registered at Greenwich for the September Quarter of 1894. In 1897, whilst at the London County Asylum, Cane Hill, Frederick George Greenslade was awarded a Certificate of Proficiency in Mental Nursing. The couple's son Charles, born 1 July 1898 (baptised at Coulsdon, 15 April 1899) attended Ewell Infants School between 1st and 29th May 1905 when the family were living at Chessington Road, West Ewell but subsequently left the district. Nevertheless, a brother Frederick William came to be baptised at St Mary's Ewell on 9 July 1905 followed by John Leonard, 10 March 1907. On those occasions F. G. Greenslade's occupation was stated to be Attendant or Labourer but he seems to have achieved some prominence at Horton County of London War Hospital because he was mentioned by name in the Epsom Herald's report on 23 July 1915 regarding the burial of Private E. A.Riley.

In the 1911 Census the Greenslade family comprising 5 children may be found enumerated at Stoke, Upper Court Road, Epsom, where they remained until 1925.

It appeared that John Leonard Greenslade entered the Royal Air Force between January 1921 and July 1922 as a Boy Entrant with the service number 362353. In fact he was part of the RAF Apprentice Scheme, 5th Entry to Halton, No 1 School of Technical Training, during 1922.

By 1926 the Greenslades had moved to Fredonia (later 125?) East Street Epsom

John's brother, Charles Wells Greenslade, an omnibus conductor was brought from Farnborough Hospital, Kent, for burial aged 32 in Plot K688 at Epsom Cemetery on 23 July 1930. He was followed to that grave on 26 March 1932 by their father, George Frederick Greenslade, described as Clerk steward, who had died four days earlier in the Cottage Hospital, Epsom, aged 66.

John Leonard Greenslade had completed his first period of service in the Royal Air Force by 1930 and returned to live with his family. From 1933 at the latest, however, he was resident in Horton County of London Mental Hospital having followed in his father's footsteps to become a member of staff. His marriage to Alexina Florence Richards (born Alverstoke, Hants 11 October 1909) appears registered in Surrey Mid. E. for the September Quarter of 1935. The newly-weds took up residence with the bride's parents, Robert and Florence Emily Richards, at 16 Holdenby Road, Lewisham, before the birth of their daughter Barbara D. Greenslade registered at Lewisham, 6/1936. Subsequently they moved to a marital home, 11 Oakhurst Road, West Ewell, where they were living in 1939.

During 1935 the British government had decided to expand the RAF in the face of a growing threat from Germany and a key requirement was for more trained military pilots. RAF Montrose, virtually unchanged from the First World War, was re-opened on 1 January 1936 as No.8 Flying Training School. Evidently John returned to the colours at the outbreak of hostilities in WW2, either from Reserve or as a volunteer. On 25 October 1940 three German Junkers Ju 88 aircraft dropped 24 bombs on the Angus airfield killing five, injuring 18, and destroying two hangars and the officers mess. One of the fatalities was Cpl J. L. Greenslade whose remains were returned for interment in the family grave at Epsom Cemetery, Section K. Plot 688 on 1 November 1940.

John Leonard Greenslade does not appear in the Epsom and Ewell WW2 Book of Remembrance but his name is on the Horton Hospital Roll of Honour 1939-1945 plaque in Horton Chapel.

Horton Hospital Plaque
Horton Hospital Plaque
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2014

The demise of his mother the widowed Mrs Frances M. Greenslade, aged 91, is to be found registered in Surrey Mid. E., 12/1960. His relict, Alexina F. Greenslade, survived until 2002 - death registered, dying in Hertfordshire.

Brian Bouchard, Jan 2016

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Hampton, Denis Allen, Sergeant (Pilot), 741874

RAFVR (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve)
Died 12 April 1940, aged 23

The London Gazette, 2 February 1909, gave notice that a
"Partnership between Charles Alfred Hampton, of Ewell, Surrey, Shipowner, and George Chudleigh Hampton, of Ewell aforesaid, Shipowner, carrying on business as Ship-brokers, Insurance Brokers, and Commission Agents, at 6, Lime-street-square, London, under the style or firm of George Henderson and Co., was. on the 31st day of December, 1908, dissolved by mutual consent".
Denis was born on 9 May 1917, and baptised 29 July 1917 at St. Mary's Ewell, a son of George Chudleigh Hampton, Shipowner, and Kathleen Margaret Hampton, of St Martin's Avenue, Epsom.

His grandfather owned Seleng House, Ewell but died on 20 November 1922 and was buried in Plot 182 in St Mary's Ewell churchyard. Before 1925 Denis' branch of the Hampton family had moved to Firs, College Road, Epsom.

Having (reportedly) attended Rugby School, D. A. Hampton enlisted in the RAFVR around July/August 1938. He started, 31 January 1940, on initial training with Course 18 at No. 11 Flying Training School, RAF Shawbury, near Shrewsbury, Shropshire. This establishment had been reactivated in February 1938 and equipped, amongst other marques, with some Hawker Audax aircraft formerly operated by 26 Squadron RAF.

Hawker Audax K3067 of No. 26 Squadron RAF
Hawker Audax K3067 of No. 26 Squadron Royal Air Force at Manchester Barton in 1934
Image source Wikimedia

On 12 April 1940, in Audax K3091 of 11 FTS, apparently solo, he crashed and was killed at High Hatton, not far from Shawbury - death registered Whitchurch, 6/1940. His body was brought back to Ewell for interment with his uncle Walter, a WW1 casualty, and grandfather who had died on 20 November 1922. George Chudleigh Hampton joined them in 1949.

Brian Bouchard 2014

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Hanley, Matthew (otherwise Michael) William, Flight Sergeant (Flt. Engineer), 573620,

Royal Air Force
Died 22 November 1944, aged 22

The marriage of Lucy Beatrice Mary Reardon (b. Celbridge, Co. Kildare, 1895) to Samuel David Hanley (b. Kildare 1891) was registered in Naas, Co. Kildare, Ireland, for the June Quarter of 1921.

The birth of their elder son Matthew William Hanley came to be recorded at Naas, County Kildare, Ireland, a year later, 6/1922. Matthew (as therefore he should properly be called ) seems to be found listed as Michael simply because of an error in the registration of his death. His grandfather, also called Matthew, and father both became racehorse trainers in Epsom - at Woodcote Side/Turbine Stud. 'Sam' Hanley then lived at Hanleys Cottage, 37 Nether Woodcote or Woodcote Side. By 1929, however, Samuel had moved his family to Seabright, 10 Ashley Road, with a stable yard near the old Epsom Police Station.

Births of siblings may be found registered in Epsom - Moyra G, 6/1925, 7 David L, 3/1934.

Matthew is reported to have attended the Lecture Hall school, and to have been a member of the Boys' Brigade attached to the Congregational Church.

In January 1938, around the age of 15 and a half, Matthew enlisted in the RAF's Aircraft Apprentice Scheme, becoming a member of the 37th entry to No1 School of Technical Training at Halton. Having graduated in March 1940 he was subsequently transferred into aircrew development to become a Flight Engineer.

Flight engineers, and sometimes the second air-gunner, joined a heavy bomber crew at a later stage in training, at a Heavy Conversion Unit (HCU) where they could gain experience of the four-engined bomber rather than twin-engined Wellingtons The Stirling had a new and complex electrical system for the crews to learn, for many of the aircraft's services such as the Gouge flaps and the ponderous undercarriage were electrically driven. Consequently the first two weeks at HCU were at ground school cramming all that was possible to learn about Exactor hydraulic controls, DR compasses, petrol, pneumatic, electrical and hydraulic systems. Also practised during those first weeks were emergency drills and the associated equipment.

Matthew had been posted to No 1660 HCU based at RAF Swinderby, and on 22 November 1944 was aboard a Sterling Mk. III (transferred from 513 Squadron on its disbandment 21 November 1943) which crashed under circumstances described in W. R.Chorley's Bomber Command Losses, Vol. 8 :-
"Stirling III EF201 took off at 10.15 for a cross-country exercise, an exercise that soon became dogged with engine problems. Initially, the difficulties were confined to the port outer, which was feathered (effectively turned off) but soon after the inner port began to over speed and F/O Craig, the pilot, attempted to restart the outer motor. Unfortunately, due to a fuel cock being left off, he was unsuccessful and the windmilling blades created such a drag that he lost control. Thus, at 11.20, the Stirling came down near Northleach airfield in Gloucestershire. Out of the crew of nine on this particular flight, five were killed."
Deaths registered at Cirencester, 12/1944, suggest that there was a greater number of fatalities: -
  • Craig, Lawrence William Harward - F/O (Pilot)
  • Wallace, Anthony John - Sgt (Nav)
  • Hanley, Matthew William - Flt Sgt (Flight Engineer)
  • Williams, Eldred Thomas Henry - Sgt (W/Op-Air Gunner)
  • Dickie, William James - Flt. Sgt (Air Bomber), R/113573, RCAF
  • Brown, Alan John - Sgt (Air Gunner)

Matthew was actually entered as 'Michael W' and was brought from Northleach for his interment, to be recorded with the names Michael William, in Plot N255 of Epsom Cemetery on 29 November 1944. A CWGC headstone gives only the initials of his forenames, M W. Image - www.findagrave.com

He appears as Michael William Hanley in the St Martin's War Memorial names for 1939-1945: he is also commemorated on the Old Haltonians Roll of Honour and the United Reformed Church's plaque at Epsom.

Administration of the personal estate of Michael William Hanley of Seabright, Ashley Road, Epsom, who died on 22 November 1944 during war service was granted to David Samuel (sic) Hanley during 1946.

Brian Bouchard 2014

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Hawkins, Albert James, Sergeant 919537.

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR).
Died 4 April 1943, aged 25

The marriage of Albert John Hawkins to Florence Jane Snell had been recorded at St George, Hanover Square, 12/1916. The groom is thought to have been a regular soldier,Corporal in the Royal Engineers with a service number 773. A son, Albert Jack Hawkins, may have been born near the RE Barracks at Chatham, being registered Medway 9/1917.

A family connection to the Isle of Wight had been established before the birth of his brother, William George, during 1919. Albert James is reported to have attended the County Secondary School in Newport and to have taken up employment first with the Council there. By 1939, he was living in Epsom, apparently lodging with Mr and Mrs Banwell at 1 Ladbroke Road, and working for the Borough of Epsom and Ewell.

He enlisted in the RAFVR and took up service at Uxbridge, reportedly during March 1940. After training overseas he was posted to 408 (RCAF) Squadron, based at RAF Leeming, for flying duties.

His story appears on the Aircrew Remembered website and is detailed below with kind permission of Kelvin Youngs (Webmaster), information courtesy of Peter Bilbrough from Worthing, Sussex. Peter's late mother Elsie, née Worsley, was Sgt. 'Bert' Hawkins' fiancée when he went missing, however she kept in touch with his family after marrying Angus Bilborough in 1946.

"03/04.04.1943 No. 408 Squadron Halifax II HR713 EQ-F
Operation: Essen Date: 03/04th April 1943 (Saturday/Sunday)Time: 21.45 hrs.
Unit: No. 408 Squadron (Goose) R.C.A.F.
Type: Halifax II Serial: HR713 Coded: EQ-F
Location: Lake Ijssel, north east of Amsterdam.
Pilot: F/O. (Acting Fl/Lt) Robert Hodgson Perry Gamble J/9337 R.C.A.F. Age 23. Missing
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Robert Walton Barker 9889712 R.A.F.V.R. Age: ? Missing
W/Op/Air gunner: P/O. Charles Noola Black AUS/405437 R.A.A.F. Age 23. Missing
Nav/Bomber: Sgt. Albert James (Jimmie) Hawkins 919537 R.A.F.V.R. Age 25. Missing
Nav/Bomber: W/O 11. Donald Leslie Jarrett T/90781 R.C.A.F. Age 23. Missing
W/Op/Air/Gnr: P/O. Kenneth Septimus McColl AUS/401712 R.A.A.F. Age 30. Missing
Air/Gnr: F/O. Edmond Rothwell Ray J/11851 R.C.A.F. Age 26. Missing

REASON FOR LOSS:
Took off at 19.45 hrs, part of a huge raid on Essen. 325 Lancasters, 113 Halifaxes - led by 10 OBOE Mosquitos. Due to return at 00.57 hrs but failing with nothing heard from them.
HR713 was shot down by Oblt. Eberhard Garddiewski (3 victories) from 12./NJG1 at a height of 4000 metres. The aircraft reported to crash into the North Sea 60 km's North West of Vlieland at 00.47hrs


Left: Sgt. Albert (Jimmie) Hawkins Right: Sgt. Robert Walton Barker
Left: Sgt. Albert (Jimmie) Hawkins (courtesy Peter Bilbrough)
Right: Sgt. Robert Walton Barker (courtesy Victoria Southgate and Sylvia Gardiner)

408 Squadron being awarded their Crest
408 Squadron being awarded their Crest.
The pilot F/O (Acting Fl/Lt) Robert Hodgson Perry Gamble seen on extreme right. (courtesy Peter Bilbrough)

Burial details: None - still classed as missing. All remembered at the Runnymede Memorial Sgt. Albert James (Jimmie) Hawkins: Panel 152.

Further information: Eldest son of Albert John Hawkins (c1879-1932) late Sergeant in the Royal Engineers and Florence Jane nee Snell (c1894-1974) of 11 Castle Road, Newport, Isle of Wight and fiancé of my late mother Elsie Bilbrough nee Worsley who remembered him during the rest of her life. Educated in the local secondary school, he worked in the rating department of Newport Corporation and later as a rating and valuation officer for Epsom Council prior to joining the RAF in March 1940. He trained at the Initial Training Wing in Rhodesia in 1942, and had flown 12 sorties and 69.08 operational hours. His commander wrote "The loss of your son and the other members of the crew is greatly felt by everyone in the squadron. He was very popular with the boys, especially in the sergeant's mess where he was looked upon as a good fellow and his loss is regretted by all. Your son... was fast becoming an ace air bomber." (Isle of Wight County Press: 14 April 1943). His brother William George Hawkins (1919-?) served in the Royal Artillery.

[Also recorded on the Newport (IOW) War Memorial and on his parents grave in Carisbrooke (Mount Joy) Cemetery, Isle of Wight - Y 3/215]"

Additionally the name of Albert James Hawkins appears on WW2 Memorials in Epsom, particularly at the Town Hall and in the local Book of Remembrance.

Albert (Jimmie) Hawkins' Headstone
Albert (Jimmie) Hawkins' Headstone
Image courtesy of Peter Bilborough

Albert (Jimmie) Hawkins' parents grave in Carisbrooke (Mount Joy) Cemetery, Isle of Wight
Albert (Jimmie) Hawkins' parents grave in Carisbrooke (Mount Joy) Cemetery, Isle of Wight
Image courtesy of Peter Bilborough

IN PROUD MEMORY OF
OUR DEARLY LOVED SON
ALBERT JAMES HAWKINS
(JIMMIE)
SGT NAVR R.A.F.
MISSING OVER ESSEN
APRIL 3RD 1943 AGED 26
REUNITED WITH HIS DAD
R.I.P.

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Hicks, Archibald Jack, Pilot Officer 120655.

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR).
Died 03 August 1942, aged 22.

Archibald's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Archibald's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Image courtesy of Brian Bouchard ©2014

As explained by Linda Jackson in her piece about 17 High Street, Epsom, Archibald Henry Hicks, a hairdresser, 'born 1882 Epsom; married c.1910 Lily Gertrude Beach (c.1887 Bruges - 1963); their son, Pilot Officer Archibald Jack Hicks, 114 Squadron RAFVR (born 1920), died on 3 August 1942 in Chester district ...'.

Certainly, Lily Gertrude Beach was living in Epsom as a child enumerated in the 1901 Census and she re-appears, married to Archibald Henry Hicks, in 1911. The birth of son, Jack, from their union seems to have been registered in Guildford, 3/1916, but he may have survived only until 1919. The arrival of Archibald Jack Hicks was recorded at Kingston for the first Quarter of 1920.

The Kelly's Directories list Archibald Henry Hicks at 17 High Street, Epsom, in 1924 & 1927, then 21A during 1930, 1934 & 1938.

Archibald Jack joined the staff of the municipal Borough of Epsom and Ewell. Having enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, he became a Pilot Officer with the Service Number 120655 attached to 114 Squadron at RAF West Raynham, flying Blenheim Mk IV bombers. On Monday 3 August 1942, he piloted a Blenheim (built by Rootes) R3813, code RT-S, from West Raynham. Also aboard were F/S 1280524 Arthur Haydn Frederick Chote, W.Op./Air Gnr, LAC 1233263 James Lewis Joseph Barnes and AC1 1511232 George Craddock. The crew were killed when this aircraft crashed at Lache House (otherwise The Lache), Lache Lane, near Chester.

A Civil Aviation Accident Report on that incident numbered W1290 is held in the National Archives, Kew, under reference AVIA 5/21.

Archibald Jack Hicks, RAF, aged 22, late of 2(1?)a High Street, was buried in Epsom Cemetery on 10 August 1942, Sec. N. Grave 260. His name appears in the Book of Remembrance, and is commemorated on both the St Martin's and the Council Staff War Memorials.

Brian Bouchard 2014

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Oliver Lilburne Rieu Hills, Flight Sergeant. 161337.

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve (RAFVR).
Died 25 November 1943, aged 32.

Oliver's headstone in Epsom cemetery
Oliver's headstone in Epsom cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2013

On 23 June 1906, in St. Andrews church in the parish of St. Marylebone, London, solicitor Charles Robe Hills married Agnes Marie Reiu, the daughter of the late Charles Reiu who had been a professor at Cambridge University. Charles and Agnes' eldest son Gilbert Archibald Reiu was born in 1907 and their daughter Audrey Reiu in 1908. When the 1911 census was taken, before Oliver's birth, the family was living at 'Fairview', Alexander Road, Epsom, Surrey where Charles employed two servants to help run their home.

Charles and Agnes' youngest son, Oliver Lilburne Rieu Hills, was born in Epsom on 21 November 1911 (GRO reference: Dec 1911 Epsom 2a 61a).

During WWI, Oliver's father served as a temporary Lieutenant in the Surrey Volunteer Regiment, 9th Battalion, and in 1919 he was made an Honorary Lieutenant. Then in 1925, while living at 17, Alexander Road, Epsom, he bought two pieces of freehold land in Epsom, one in Claygate Hill and the other in Pound Lane.

Oliver attended Charterhouse School in Godalming between 1925 and 1930, after which he qualified as a solicitor. In 1941 he joined the RAFVR, serving as a Mosquito navigator and radar operator with the 488 Royal New Zealand Air Force Squadron based in Singapore.

In early 1942, Oliver married Joan de Lancey Wilson in the registration district of Blandford, Dorset. After their marriage, the couple lived at 8, Randolph Road, Epsom. Oliver and Joan's daughter Fiona was born a few months before Oliver's death.

On 2 December 1943, newspapers announced that Oliver had been declared missing, believed killed, on night operations over the North Foreland of the coast of Kent having taken off from RAF Bradwell Bay in Essex. Oliver, and the RAF pilot Squadron Leader Dudley Ormston Hobbis, were both killed after the engine of their de Havilland Mosquito, registration number HK423, caught fire over the North Sea, causing them both to abandon the plane.

Oliver's body was found eight months later, in the Thames Estuary, and was laid to rest in Epsom cemetery in grave N256 on 12 August 1944. The body of his pilot, Squadron Leader Hobbis, was never found, and he is commemorated on the RAF, Runneymede memorial to the missing.

Probate records state the following:
HILLS Oliver Lilburne Rein (sic) otherwise Oliver Lilburne of Clayhill Lodge West Hill Epsom Surrey died 25 November 1943 on war service. Probate Llandudno 4 November to Joan de Lancey Hills his widow. Effects £1657 19s. 9d.
Oliver's widow married Thomas B. Page in 1947 and died in 1994 in Derbyshire.

Oliver is remembered in the Epsom WWII Book of Remembrance displayed in the Town Hall. He is also commemorated on the memorial at the former RAF airfield, Bradwell Bay, Essex and on the Charterhouse School Roll of Honour inside their Memorial Chapel.

Sources:
     http://www.roll-of-honour.com/Surrey/GodalmingCharthouseSchoolWW2.html
     http://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=73028

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IEVERS Eyre Osbourne, Flying Officer. 81827.

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 9 April 1942, age 39.

Eyre Osborne Ievers was the eldest son of Eyre Francis Wall and Catherine Lilian Ievers, whose birth had been registered at Tonbridge for the September Quarter of 1903.

After early education at Yardley Court, Somerhill, he followed his father to Tonbridge School from 1917 to 1920 and subsequently trained as an Accountant before joining a family business in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during 1928. About that time his parents were resident at 'Croft House' Epsom. In 1936 he returned to England to take employment with Eyre Smelting Co - where his father, E F Ievers, held the position of Managing Director.

Having become a member of the Royal Air force Volunteer Reserve, gazetted as 'Levers' on 30July 1940, he was appointed Flying Officer in 1941 and Officer Commanding No 15 Bomb Disposal Squad, with headquarters at Ulleskelf near RAF Church Fenton. On 29 April 1942 there was a 'Baedeker' Air Raid on the City of York which left two unexploded bombs close to RAF Clifton. F/O Ievers was mortally wounded when they detonated whilst he was preparing to disarm the UXBs. Full details of the incident are reported at - www.rafchurchfenton.org.uk.

In a list of casualties Eyre O Ievers' address is given as- 'Campana', Lynwood Road, Epsom - www.stmartinsyork.org.uk. RAF Records again showed his name incorrectly as 'Levers' and that he had died of wounds or injuries received on active service.

He was buried in St John the Baptist Churchyard Extension, Kirkby Wharfe, North Yorkshire, England, Plot: Row B. Grave O. [Link to CWGC]

Mr E F Ievers, retired Company Director, died at 12 Lynwood Road, Epsom, on December 1958.

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Moore, Harry, Corporal, 351185

Royal Air Force
Died 28 June 1940, aged 37

Harry's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Harry's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Photograph courtesy of Brian Bouchard © 2014

William George Moore (b. 1868) married Fanny Kingshott (b. 1867) at Haslemere on 18 March 1888. The arrival on 15 February 1903 of their son Harry, also in Haslemere, was registered at Hambledon, 3/1903.

After a short period of employment as a Butler, at Stoney Crest, Hindhead, Harry enlisted with RAF on 22 February 1922 for 8 years with the colours and a further 4 in reserve. He trained with the RAMC at Crookham Barracks, Aldershot to become a Hospital/Nursing Orderly at Halton Hospital. From 19 September 1924 to the end of January 1927 he was in Iraq at Hinaidi, rising to the rank of LAC (Leading Aircraftman). Having been posted to SHQ Upavon on 1 February 1927, he moved to Central Flying School, RAF Wittering, on 30 July 1927.

His wedding to Winifred Emily Taylor came to be registered at Epsom for the June Quarter of 1928. The couple subsequently lived in the village of Barnack, near Stamford, Lincs.

After his period of full time service came to an end in 1930, Harry would have returned to civilian life, eventually taking up residence at 57 Stamford Green Road, Epsom.

He re-enlisted, with his original service number, at the beginning of WW2 to take up duties at No 1 Elementary Training School [formerly the de Havilland School of Flying] at Hatfield. On 28 June 1940, 'at Watford Way near Selborne Gardens, Hendon, Mx., he died [presumably killed in a road traffic accident, possibly en route for Epsom].

Harry was interred in Grave 31, Section U, of Epsom Cemetery on 4 July 1940, 'late of R.A.F. Aerodrome, Hatfield, Herts.' Administration of his estate was granted to the widowed Mrs Winifred Emily Moore of Epsom.

Brian Bouchard ©2014

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PEARSON Nevill Corrie, Signalman. 2327369.

Royal Corps of Signals.
Died 13 February 1942, age 22.

Nevill Corrie Pearson was born in Hastings, Sussex in 1919 (GRO reference: Jun 1919 Hastings 2b 26), the son of Joseph William and Florence Eva (nee Taylor) Pearson.

Nevill's father's occupation was noted in the 1911 census as a boot maker on his own account working from his home 55, Howarth Street, Old Trafford, Manchester. Both of Nevill's parents were recorded as being aged 24 years old when they married on 10 June 1916 in St. Anne's church in Sale, Cheshire. (Nevill's father was actually aged 27 having been born on 5 January 1889 to Joseph Corrie and Alice Ann Pearson).

By 1921 the family had moved south to Surrey and were at living at 7, New Cottages, Horton Hill, Epsom. When Nevill's sister Mavis Margaret was born the following year, they were living at 144, Horton Hill. This may well have been the same cottage as renumbering of roads, in Epsom, was implemented in the 1920s.

Nevill and his family moved several times within the Epsom district and were recorded as living at the following addresses:
1925/27: - 15, Court Farm Gardens, Manor Green Road
1928/29: - 23, Ebbisham Road
1934: - 22, Hook Road
1935/37: - "Lyndhurst", Grosvenor Road
1938/39: - 8, Hamilton Close
While Nevill's sister Mavis worked as a typist for the Post Office during WWII, Nevill enlisted and became Signalman 2327369 in the Royal Corps of Signals.

During the Japanese invasion of Malaya, the Japanese crossed the Straits of Johore and landed at the mouth of the Kranji River on 8 February 1942. On the evening of 9 February they launched an attack during which fierce fighting, including hand-to-hand combat, ensued for several days until the official surrender by General Percival on 15 February. During this fighting, Nevill was attached as a signalman to the 29th Construction Section of the Malaya Command Signals. After the surrender of Singapore, the Japanese established one of their Prisoner of War camps in Kranji.

Nevill's final resting place after his death on 13 February 1942 is unknown but he is remembered on Column 45 of the Singapore Memorial, which stands in Kranji War Cemetery. Kranji War Cemetery is 22 kilometres north of the city of Singapore, on the north side of Singapore Island overlooking the Straits of Johore.

Singapore Memorial
Singapore Memorial
Singapore Memorial
Photographs courtesy of Bert Barnhurst © 2014

After his death, Nevill's distraught parents approached their local church, St. Barnabas in Temple Road, Epsom and requested that they had some sort of memorial in the church for their dear son. A candlestick was eventually purchased by themselves, at the cost of £14 16 shillings (around £500 in 2014), as a lasting memorial in St. Barnabas church to Nevill. Whether it was engraved with his name was not recorded in the account book entry.

St. Barnabas Church Account Book, 1 January 1946
St. Barnabas Church Account Book, 1 January 1946

In January 2014 I enquired as to the whereabouts of the candlestick, and received the following reply from the vicar:
"I cannot find any reference in the old inventories to any silver candlestick (or sticks)'. There are several brass candlesticks but not any inscribed or recorded as being in memoriam or gift in the name of Pearson."
On 2 September 1947, the St. Barnabas Parochial Church Council (PCC) announced that the Town Clerk had sent them a circular stating "that a Roll of Honour was being prepared consisting of those living in the Borough at any time who had lost their lives by Enemy action. The list would include members of the Forces and any others connected with the Forces and also civilians." It was noted that the vicar, Father Anderson, would make enquiries and send to the Town Clerk the names of members of his parish who had given their lives.

Extract from St. Barnabas Church PCC minutes, 2 September 1947
Extract from St. Barnabas Church PCC minutes, 2 September 1947

Nevill Corrie Pearson's name was included in his list and can be viewed in the WWII Book of Remembrance http://www.epsomandewellhistoryexplorer.org.uk/WW2Book.html on display in a cabinet in Epsom Town Hall.

The following year the St. Barnabas PCC also agreed that they would request that a friend of Mrs. Colgate produce a WWII Roll of Honour, similar to the one that Phyllis Chipperfield had painted for the WW1 Roll of Honour. It was to be framed and hung at the back of the church where the WW1 Roll of Honour was displayed. The final memorial contained the names of eighteen St. Barnabas' parishioners who had died during the hostilities.

St. Barnabas WWII Roll of Honour
St. Barnabas WWII Roll of Honour
Reproduced by permission of Surrey History Centre

On 21 June 1948 Nevill's father Joseph, aged 59, died. Probate records show that he had been living at 9, Hamilton Close, Epsom and that his effects had been valued at £244 19 shillings. In the 1955 British Telephone Directory, Nevill's sister Mavis was listed as still living at 9, Hamilton Close, Epsom but by 1957 she and her mother had moved to 45, Temple Road, Epsom, which is almost opposite St. Barnabas church.

Nevill's widowed mother died on 1 June 1963 at the Royal Isle of Wight County Hospital in Ryde. Probate of her effects valued at £156 15 shillings was granted to her unmarried daughter Mavis. Mavis was still living at 45, Temple Road, Epsom in 1979.

Sources:
CWGC
Ancestry
FreeBMD
Epsom Electoral Registers
British Telephone Directories
St. Barnabas PCC Minute Records and Account Books
Reverend Michael Preston
Researched and written by Hazel Ballan © 2014

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PENFOLD Ernest John, Gunner 1771905

2 Maritime Regiment. Royal Artillery
Killed in Action 22 February 1944 aged 32.

Ernest Penfold
Ernest Penfold
Image Courtesy of the Penfold Family © 2008

Ernest John Penfold was born on 27 April 1911 at Gibraltar, Ewell to Mr E J S Penfold and Mrs Annie Penfold daughter of John E Stevens of Epsom, who was originally from Bentworth, Hampshire. Ernest (aka Bimmy) had three younger brothers, Harry (aka Dinks), George (aka Pud) and Stanley (aka Toby) and one older sister Winifred (aka Dolly). The family lived in Rosebery Road, Langley Vale

Pud, Toby and Bimmy, some of the Penfold brothers.
Pud, Toby and Bimmy, some of the Penfold brothers.
Image Courtesy of the Penfold Family © 2008

Ernest's father, also called Ernest John, was working as a labourer on the construction of the 1927 Epsom Grand Stand when he died falling down a lift shaft as a result of an accident on the site. From 1936 the three youngest boys lived with their mother in Grosvenor Road, Langley Vale.

In 1936 Ernest (the younger) married Alice Bland from Staindrop, Co. Durham. They also lived in Langley Vale and had two children Elizabeth (Anne), and Kathleen (Kate), both born in Epsom.

Ernest joined the Royal Artillery Embodied Territorial Army as a Gunner on 20 February 1941. Initially he was posted to 288th Anti Aircraft Driving Training Regiment and was then posted to No.2 Maritime Anti-Aircraft Battery. By 6 May 1941 the force was called the Maritime Anti-Aircraft RA but in 1942 it was called the Maritime Royal Artillery. On the 1 March 1944 Ernest's unit was re-designated the No. 2 Maritime Regiment.

The job of this regiment was to protect merchant ships and the 1939-1945 conflict saw the first soldiers from the Regiment on board ships. As few as two 'Gunners' would be attached initially to coasters but as the need to protect ships of all sizes grew so did the regiment.

Ernest Penfold in 1944 just before he died.
Ernest Penfold in 1944 just before he died.
Image Courtesy of the Penfold Family © 2008

Ernest was allocated as a 'Gunner' on various ships, his last being the SS BRITISH CHIVALRY, a freighter. This ship was attacked by a Japanese submarine in the Indian Ocean on 22 February 1944. The submarine then surfaced and having first taken the Master, Capt. W. Hill, prisoner, it circled the survivors raking their life boats with machine gun fire for two hours. It was during this attack Gunner Penfold lost his life. Surprisingly after 37 days in an open boat, 38 survivors were rescued by the M.V. Delane.

The commander of the submarine (Lt-Cdr Hajime Nakagawa) had already carried out war crimes including the sinking of the hospital ship Centaur (14 May 1943) where 268 people died. One account suggests that after the war Nakagawa was arrested and tried for war crimes, spending four years in Sugamo prison for atrocities committed in the Indian Ocean. Another suggested he did pay the ultimate price. The Centaur was declared a historic wreck in 1990.

The No. 2 Maritime Regiment was stood down in 1946; an Association has been formed for the MRAA aiming to represent 'The Forgotten Regiment'. In 1989, for the first time the Regiment was given a place at the annual Remembrance Day parade.

Following WWII Ernest's widow Alice and their children continued to live in Langley Vale (see Langley Vale Remembered). Alice died in 1991. George/Pud (1913-1997) was a self employed builder, well known in the Epsom area. Toby was the last to marry (Agnes McSherry 1908-1991). They had one daughter, Rosemary, who died in 1997. Toby died in 2007 at Epsom.

Ernest's brother Harry also died at sea as a result of the war and both deaths are recorded in the Epsom and Ewell World War Two Book of Remembrance.

Text courtesy of Kathleen Penfold © 2008

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PENFOLD Harry, Gunner 1099081

68th Medium Regiment , Royal Artillery
Killed in Action 14 November 1942 aged 27.

Harry Penfold
Harry Penfold
Image Courtesy of the Penfold Family © 2008

Harry Penfold was born on 19 Jun 1915 at Rosebery Road, Langley Vale, to Mr E J S Penfold and Mrs Annie Penfold daughter of John E Stevens of Epsom, who was originally from Bentworth, Hampshire. Harry (aka Dinks) had two younger brothers, George (aka Pud) and Stanley (aka Toby), an older sister Winifred (aka Dolly) and an older brother Ernest (aka Bimmy). As there was no school in the village at the time, the four older children had to walk, with some cousins and other local children, to St. Giles school in Ashtead. Toby was lucky in that he missed that walk when the Langley Vale school opened.

Pud, Toby and Bimmy, some of the Penfold brothers.
Pud, Toby and Bimmy, some of the Penfold brothers.
Image Courtesy of the Penfold Family © 2008

Harry's father, Ernest, was working as a labourer on the construction of the 1927 Epsom Grand Stand when he died falling down a lift shaft as a result of an accident on the site. From 1936 the three youngest boys lived with their mother in Grosvenor Road, Langley Vale.

Harry, who was unmarried, enlisted on 14 November 1940. Initially he was posted to 16th Field Training Regiment but later was posted to 72nd Regiment and from there to 68th Medium Regiment Serving in the Middle East from 23 April 1941. He was taken as a Prisoner of War by the Italians from 20 June 1942 and was last known to be in Campo 154 in Benghazi prior to embarkation on the SS Scillin. This Italian cargo/passenger ship was en route from Tripoli to Sicily with 814 Commonwealth prisoners of war on board, a naval gun crew and 30 Italian guards when on 14 November 1942 it was torpedoed by the British submarine HMS Sahib (Captain Lt. John Bromage) 10 miles north of Cape Milazzo in the Tyrrhenian Sea.

SS Scillin
SS Scillin.

The Sahib rescued 27 POWs from the water (26 British and one South African) plus the Scillin's captain and 45 Italian crew members. Only then, when the commander heard the survivors speaking English, did he realize that he had sunk a ship carrying British prisoners of war as well as some Italian soldiers and had drowned 783 men. At a subsequent inquiry into this 'friendly fire' tragedy, Lt. Bromage was cleared of any wrongdoing as the ship was unmarked and at the time he firmly believed that the ship was carrying Italian troops.

The Ministry of Defence kept this incident a closely guarded secret for fifty-four years, telling relatives a pack of lies, maintaining that they had died while prisoners of war in Italian camps or simply 'lost at sea'. It was not until 1996, after repeated requests for information from the families of the drowned men, that the truth came out. The SS SCILLIN was always the intended target of the Sahib. At that time it seems the war was not going well, losses were high and the one good thing which had happened could not be told: 'the Enigma code' had been broken. To prove the code had not broken the SS SCILLIN was to be used as a diversion, it would reinforce the belief English would not attack its own. The SAHIB was given the time the SS SCILLIN would be leaving the port, even to being advised when its departure was going to be three hours later.

Following the sinking, the Sahib was itself attacked by bombs from escort German Ju-88s and depth charges from the Italian corvette Gabbiano in the counter attack immediately after the sinking. Badly damaged, the Sahib was later abandoned and scuttled

Immediately following WWII Harry's brother George/Pud (1913-1997) was a self employed builder, well known in the Epsom area. Toby was the last to marry (Agnes McSherry 1908-1991). They had one daughter, Rosemary, who died in 1997. Toby died in 2007 at Epsom.

Harry's brother Ernest also died at sea as a result of the war and both deaths are recorded in the Epsom and Ewell World War Two Book of Remembrance.

Text courtesy of Kathleen Penfold © 2008


Addendum
We are very grateful to Mr Brian Sims for pointing out that the image of the S.S. Scillin was taken in 1937 when the ship was named the Nicole De Borgne and originated from his personal collection. Mr Sims's research, some of which is included in the above text, shows that there were only 30 Italian Soldiers aboard the ship plus a Naval Gun Crew and 36 Italians were picked up by the P212 and taken back to Malta where they were interrogated. He also mentions that there is a memorial to those lost on the Scillin and 5 other ships at The National Memorial Arboretum.

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RAWSON John Leslie, Gunner 1542741

3 Lt AA Regt. Royal Artillery
Killed in Action 21 April 1942 aged 25.

The name of Gunner J L Rawson is inscribed on the Singapore Memorial. He had been in 3 Lt AA Regt Royal Artillery and died 21 April 1942, presumably in Changi POW Camp.

His father Frank John Rawson (b reg Epsom 3/1885) married Emma Constance Palmer (reg Epsom 6/1914) and John had been born 25/3/1917 (bap St Mary's Ewell, 19/4/1917 - siblings also appear there). The family lived at Avebury, Heatherside Road, Ewell and the father was a schoolmaster possibly at Pound Lane, Epsom.

Information source: Brian Bouchard

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Sandall, Jack Francis, Flying Officer, Sergeant, 516159

Royal Air Force, 44 Squadron
Died 12 June 1940, aged 28.

Francis John Sandall (b. reg. St Olave, Bermondsey,12/1865) joined the Metropolitan Police as Police Constable 76216 on 18 June 1888. He married Amelia Simmonds at Epsom, 2 January 1890, but she appears to have died in Chelsea during the summer of 1910. They had become parents to three children.

A second marriage of Francis, to Louise Kate Cane, was registered at Fulham for the September Quarter of 1911followed by the arrival of their son, Jack Francis Sandall, in the same District, 6/1912. The family's address was then 76 Sandilands Road, Fulham.

PC Francis John Sandall left the Force on 23 June 1913 before the birth of his daughter was registered in Epsom, 12/1913. She had been born on 25 November 1913 and was baptised at St Barnabas' Church from 114 Hook Road, Epsom. A brother, Ronald Ernest also appears in Epsom, 3/1921.

'John' Francis Sandall , born Fulham in 1912, signed up at Avonmouth on 3 May 1930 as a Deck Boy aboard an Elders and Fyffes' banana boat, S S Greenbrier. He was described as being 5ft. 8ins. tall with blue eyes, light brown hair and a fair complexion. There is no evidence that he sailed on more than one voyage but not long afterwards joined the Royal Air Force.

Francis John Sandall died on 18 September 1933, in the Metropolitan Free Hospital, 376 Kingsland Road, Hackney, which had developed specialist services, including expertise in treating tuberculosis. He was was brought back to Epsom Cemetery for interment in a family plot, F145A, three days later.

RAF Waddington had re-opened as a bomber base in 1937 and at the outbreak of WW2 housed Nos. 44 & 50 Squadrons equipped with Handley Page Hampden aircraft. They were in action from the first day of World War II attempting to bomb the German Navy at Keil. After Dunkirk, large numbers of support troops were mretreating to the western-most ports to find a route home. The 51st Highland Division had been fully engaged, fighting a defensive battle under French Command. Then like the main French forces, they were outflanked and they made their way to the small French port of St Valery-en-Caux where an attempt was made by the Royal Navy to evacuate these troops. However the main German force was soon on the cliffs overlooking the town and able to bring fire down on them forcing survivors to surrender on 12 June 1940. It appears that a Handley Page 52, Hampden, Mk.B1, P1325, call sign KM-?, of 44 Squadron which had taken off from Waddington 'for the Battle Area' might have been attempting to provide air cover on that day. It was brought down in the Pas de Calais.

The circumstances have not been established but National Archives, reference AIR 81/86, contains a report of deaths - Hampden P1325 crashed near Calais, France, 12 June 1940 - Sergeant W Jeffrey, Sergeant J F Sandall, Sergeant C L Sumpster and Temporary Sergeant J Simpson. Their service numbers indicate that they had all enlisted around 1930/1933 and they may have been a 'scratch crew'. Cyril Leslie Sumpster had been a Cranwell apprentice and William Jeffrey a Halton 'brat'; each of them was described as a Pilot but the roles of the other two members were unspecified.

The crew were interred together in Joint grave 2. A. 6. of a War Cemetery extension of Le Paradis Churchyard. Le Paradis is a hamlet near the village of Lestrem in the Department of the Nord, 10 kilometres north of Bethune.

The death of Mrs Louisa K Sandall was registered in Surrey Mid. E for the September Quarter of 1957.

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Smith, John Arthur, Flying Officer, Air Bomber,153826,

RAFVR (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve) 106 Squadron.
Died 1 November 1944, aged 20.

John Smith
John Smith
Image courtesy of late Gordon Smith and Ben Goossens

The marriage of Arthur Patrick Smith to Lilian Bandy was registered at Barnet for the June Quarter of 1920. Their son John A Smith's arrival came to be recorded in Edmonton, 6/1924.

The family had taken up residence at 18 Corbet Road, Ewell, by 1935 but moved to 59 Sunnymede Avenue, West Ewell, for 1938.

John enlisted in the RAFVR and was inducted at Euston with a Service Number 1803953 in 1942 about the time of his 18th birthday. He rose from the rank of LAC to Pilot Officer on probation (emergency), 153826, by 15 October 1943 and Flying Officer (war sub.) on 15 April 1944.

After training he was assigned to 106 Squadron as an Air Bomber and then became a member of the crew on an Avro Lancaster PB303, call sign ZN-R which had been delivered to the squadron on 18 July 1944. At 14.05 hours on 1November 1944 this bomber with a seven man crew, took off from Metheringham Airfield near Lincoln, together with 19 other aircraft, for a raid on Homburg in Germany. It crashed close to a small village called Lepelstraat in the Southern part of the Netherlands at about 17.00 hrs. local time. Particulars may be found at www.bomber-command.info, thanks to Ben Goossens.

All aboard were killed to be interred in Collective grave 6. G. 5-9. of Bergen op Zoom Canadian War Cemetery. Mrs Jane Goossens was one of the many locals who adopted several of the graves as shown by the following certificate.

Certificate of Adoption of John Smith's Grave
Certificate of Adoption of John Smith's Grave
Image courtesy of Ben Goossens

Arthur Patrick Smith passed away at St Ebba's Hospital, Epsom, on 9 March 1962 survived by his wife Lilian.

Brian Bouchard

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Smith, John Frederick, Sergeant, Flight Sergeant, Navigator,1161856,

RAFVR (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve), 487 (R.N.Z.A.F.) Squadron.
Died 12/06/1943, aged 22.

The marriage of Frederick Smith to Margaret G Allen was registered in Croydon for the September Quarter of 1915. Their son John appears to have arrived about five years later. By WW2 the family had taken up residence at 2 The Warren, Worcester Park, Surrey.

The RAF's Bomber Command website page records that: -
'No. 487 Squadron was formed at Feltwell, Norfolk, on 15th August 1942, as a light day-bomber squadron equipped with Lockheed Ventura aircraft and began operations on 6th December, when it contributed sixteen Venturas to the famous low-level raid on the Philips radio and valve factory at Eindhoven. The squadron continued daylight operations with Venturas - albeit very spasmodically - until late June 1943, and on 3rd May suffered a severe blow when ten out of eleven aircraft were shot down during a raid on Amsterdam. For his outstanding leadership in this operation, Squadron Leader LH Trent, a New Zealander in the RAF, who commanded the squadron's "B" Flight (and who was shot down and captured by the enemy) was, after the war when the full story of the raid became known, awarded the Victoria Cross.

On 1st June 1943, No. 487 left Bomber Command to become part of the newly-formed Second Tactical Air Force.'
After the major attack on the Philips works at Eindhoven, 6 December 1942, 487 Squadron survivors in one of the 'flying pig' Venturas included:-
Flying Officer Brewer, DFC, Pilot,
Flight Sergeant Ron W. Secord, W/Op. - Air Gunner, who had moved from the astrodome before it had been punctured by flak in order to take up his gun position,
&
Sergeant R F (Bob) Edmonds, Air Gunner, despite having his steel helmet knocked off by shrapnel.
On 3 May 1943, a 12 aircraft Ramrod raid - one to be continued regardless of losses - against Amsterdam resulted in the loss of all but one of the squadron's Venturas. Eleven of the aircraft crossed the Dutch coast but the Venturas encountered a large group of German fighters. Bursting through the Spitfire escort, they got in amongst 487 Squadron's bombers, damaging one and forcing it to return to base. The returnee is thought to have been Ventura AE797.

According to New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force, Vol. II, by Wing Commander H L Thompson, 1956 : -
'The squadron's first mission after leaving Bomber Command was flown on 12 June when twelve Venturas attacked Caen aerodrome. Flying Officer Brewer, who had earlier won commendation while flying with No. 107 Boston Squadron, failed to return. His aircraft was hit by flak, the port engine caught fire, and the Ventura was last seen going down in what appeared to be a controlled dive; but hopes that Brewer had managed to land safely were not fulfilled and both he and two other New Zealanders in his crew were killed.'
It had been Ventura AE797 attached to 2nd Tactical Air Force shot down during the raid on Caen, 12 June 1943, with Flight Sergeant J F Smith on board as Navigator. None of the crew survived and they were taken for burial in Collective grave. XXVIII. J. 16-19. of Bayeux War Cemetery, Departement du Calvados Basse - Normandie, France :-
Pilot - F/O. 412196 Gordon William Brewer, DFC, Royal New Zealand Air Force, aged 28,
Navigator - Flt. Sgt. 1161856 John Frederick Smith, Royal Air Force, aged 22,
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner - W/O. 404098 Ronald William Secord, Royal New Zealand Air Force, aged 21 &
Air Gunner - Sgt. 413254 Robert Ferguson Edmonds, Royal New Zealand Air Force, aged 28
Brian Bouchard

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Telling, Robert Douglas, Sergeant, Pilot, 916899,

RAFVR (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve).
Died 19 January 1942, aged 23.

Robert's father had been Major Walter Brougham Telling, MC, who died on 27 April 1921. The birth of Robert D Telling was registered in St Geo. Hart, 12/1918, from a second marriage to Dorothy Eugenie Cocks at St John the Evangelist, Palmers Green, on 30 August 1913. Robert obtained his education as a pupil in Christ's Hospital School, Horsham, West Sussex, from 1928 to 1935 and the widowed Mrs D E Telling came to live at 91 West Hill Avenue, Epsom, by 1939.

Having enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Robert was inducted at Uxbridge after September 1939.

We are told on the Aircrew Remembered website [LINK http://aircrewremembered.com/saich-jack.html ] that he had joined 9 Squadron by the summer of 1941: -
"Date: 14/15th July 1941Unit: No. 9 Squadron
Type: Wellington Serial: Not known Code: WS-T
Base: RAF Honington, Suffolk, England.
Location: High Barn Farm, Somerton, Nr Caister, Norfolk.
Pilot: Sgt. Jack Cyril Saich DFM. 1253402 RAFVR Age 20. Survived
Pilot 2: Sgt. 'Bob' Robert Douglas Telling 916899 RAFVR Age 22 Wounded. Survived
Obs: Sgt. Smitten DFM. RCAF Age ? Survived.
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Eric Trott 1062958 RAFVR Age 20. Survived
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Hooper RCAF Age ? Survived
Air/Gnr: Sgt. English RCAF Age ? Wounded. Survived

REASON FOR LOSS:
Taking off at 23.30 hrs from RAF Honington loaded with 7 x 500 lb GP bombs to attack the shipyards and the goods station at Bremen.
They commenced their bombing run, coming out of the clouds, zoo, after dropping the first bomb at 01.40 hrs. they were caught and held by the powerful searchlights - anti aircraft shells burst just behind them and then another inside the fuselage wounding Sgt. English in the shoulder and hand. This also cut the hydraulic controls to his rear turret.
The fabric of the fuselage caught fire. Sgt Saich took evasive action and Sgt Smitten went to assist the rear gunner, spraying the area with fire extinguishers. He managed to release Sgt. English who entered the aircraft. The aircraft was hit again, the port wing caught fire. The pilot switched off the fuel supply to the port engine and the fire stopped. He managed to restart the engine - the bomb doors however would not close due to the damage. The situation seemed to be hopeless as they turned to go home.
At 05.35 hrs. they managed to cross the Norfolk coast - fuel had registered zero for the last two hours. The pilot noticed a Barley field and decided to try a forced landing. He managed it, the aircraft broke in two as it came to rest - no serious injuries to the crew, Sgt. English though was taken to the local hospital for further treatment. All crews survived, to be back on operations in less than two weeks."
Further details of this incident are recorded by Martin Bowman in Bomber Command: Reflections of War, 2011. In particular, the author mentions that after the engine had been re-started: -
"... Bob Telling [from Epsom, Surrey,]was crouched beside the main spar behind the wireless cabin pumping all the oil which could be extracted from a riddled auxiliary tank. T-Tommy was still under intense anti-aircraft fire and the shell splinters, one of which wounded him, were described by Telling as 'angry hail tearing through the aircraft'.
Sgt. (Bob) Robert Douglas Telling was killed the following year on 19th January 1942, piloting Wellington III X3370 WS-D

In a history of 9 Squadron, Bombers First and Last, 2006, Gordon Thorburn remarks on page 68:-
"Day and night the squadron was doing top secret Gee box exercises, carrying special crews, which meant that any loss was a blow way beyond the usual. On the morning of 19 January part of X3370's starboard wing fell off and she came down at Folly Farm, Thetford. All seven aboard were killed. The pilot was Bob Telling. One of three observers in training with Gee was Harry Tarbitten, who had started the previous May and was on his second tour.'
National Archives have a Report W1120 under reference AVIA 5/20, as recorded in Chorley's Bomber Command Losses: -
"Wellington III X3370 coded WS-D. Training. Crashed 1050 following structural failure at 250 feet of the outer section of the starboard wing. The Wellington fell and burst into flames at Folly Farm, just to the N of Thetford, Norfolk. At least one civilian had to be treated for burns to his hands as a result of trying to rescue the trapped crew. F/L Cresswell RNZAF was instructing the crew in navigation techniques.

Crew: Sgt. R D Telling, F/L P H Cresswell RNZAF, P/O H L Tarbitten DFC, Sgt. J Amphlett, Sgt. T F Greenwood,Sgt. T G Banks & Sgt. R S Aitchison."
Bob Telling was interred in Honington (All Saints) Churchyard, Suffolk. Row D. Grave 7.

Bob's headstone in Honington (All Saints) Churchyard
Honington (All Saints) Churchyard
Bob's headstone in Honington (All Saints) Churchyard, Suffolk
Images Courtesy of Kelvin Youngs, Aircrew Remembered © 2014

Robert's mother, the widowed Mrs Dorothy Eugenie Telling, migrated to Melborne, Australia, on SS Largs Bay on the 18 June 1954.

Brian Bouchard

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TEPPER Roland Harcourt, Lieut-Commander Royal Naval Reserve

HMS Leigh
Died 6 April 1943 aged 55.

The parents of Roland Tepper, Charles William Richard Tepper and May Jessie H Carew, married in Kent, reg. Elham, 6/1885. He had been born on 6 January 1888, reportedly at Weymouth, Dorset, before baptism, 4 April 1888, in Darjeeling, Bengal, India, where his father was a Civil Servant. Charles William R Tepper died in the same year aged only 26. The family were enumerated in Herne Bay for the 1901 Census.

British four-masted bark GALENA
Wreck of the British four-masted bark GALENA,
vicinity of Gearhart, Oregon, 13 November 1906
Image source not known

Having entered the Merchant Navy Roland may be found aboard the 'Galena' during 1906. 'Galena' was a steel sailing ship, rigged as a four-masted barque of 2169 tons registered tonnage, built at Dundee in 1890. She sailed from Junin, Chile, on the 15 September, 1906, bound for Portland, Oregon, with about 1150 tons ballast, consisting of refuse from the nitrate of soda works, and a crew of thirty hands. The vessel went aground the following 13 November on Clatsop Beach, near Astoria, Oregon, and Rowland (sic) Harcourt Tepper, acting second mate, was amongst those members of the crew commended for good conduct and discipline during the subsequent work of dismantling the ship. [A full report of the finding and order of a Naval Court held at the British Vice Consulate at Astoria, Oregon, on the sixth, seventh, and eighth days of December, 1906, may be found at PortCities Southampton]

He entered the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve on 8 January 1907. The Imperial Merchant Service Guild recorded in 1915 that he had been admitted for service in the Great War to the Royal Navy as a Sub-lieutenant 1640, Royal Naval Division, gazetted Temporary Lieutenant, 29 June 1915. He then undertook a course in gunnery at HMS Excellent before joining HMS Ness. The latter was a White Type River Class Torpedo Boat Destroyer [built 1905] in the 9th Destroyer Flotilla based at Chatham tendered to the depot ship HMS St George.

His marriage to Letitia A Laidlaw had been registered at Wareham, 3/1915. Their son Vyvyan Floyd H Tepper was born, 16 November 1915, at Portsmouth.

In 'Nelson', 2nd Battalion, Royal Naval Division, he served with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in Gallipoli to be mentioned in General Sir Ian Hamilton's despatch dated 22 September 1915 (London Gazette, 5 November 1915)

After demobilisation, he joined the Royal Mail Steam Packet Company, rising to the rank of Chief Officer on RMSP Narenta by 1924. He was, however, Chief Mate on Loch Goil 1927/8 before commanding Avon, which cruised round Britain, and taking over Ardacian during 1929. We are told that "Roland Harcourt was looked upon by Head Office as one of the firm's most efficient Chief Officer, and by most other people as a slave-driving tyrant. He [claimed] you can't be popular and efficient. He certainly made no attempt to be anything but efficient. Nevertheless he was the right man to be sent along if there was any nastiness to cleaned up. There were long faces round the decks of Arcadian when she left Immingham with a full passenger list, but things were done with alacrity and smartness and the ship had that Tepper look with every rope yarn in place and not a dirty mark on her enamel anywhere".

During 1933, Royal Mail Lines acquired S S Nalon for R H Tepper to be the Master on a voyage from Cape Town to the Clyde. At 09:56 hours on November 6, 1940, the convoy was attacked by low level German Bombers. Five bombs were dropped and although there were no direct hits, one bomb exploded underwater on the starboard side of SS Nalon alongside her bridge. This holed her below the waterline. When seven feet of water was reported in the No.3 hold, the ship was abandoned and the crew were taken off by HMS Viscount. Since SS Nalon carried a valuable cargo of copper, tugs were ordered to be sent out to recover the vessel but she sank before they could arrive. The convoy was in position 54.00N, 15.38W when the attack took place. The vessel foundered west of Ireland but all 72 crew members were saved. [LINK to www.wrecksite.eu>]

On 13 July 1942, Roland joined HMS Leigh as a Temporary Lieutenant, RNR. This establishment was in fact Southend Pier which had been taken over by the Admiralty. The pier's role was primarily to serve as a convoy assembly point, and in the ensuing six years of conflict some 3,367 convoys, representing 84,297 vessels, sailed from Southend.

Roland H Tepper Temporary/Acting Lieutenant Commander appears in the Royal Navy's Casualty Lists as having died on 6 April 1943 from 'illness' whilst associated with HMS President [the 'stone frigate', shore establishment of the Royal Naval Reserve]. He is recorded as having died on the way to Guy's Hospital, with his death registered at Southwark, 6/1943. A report on the circumstances is lodged in the National Archives under reference ADM 358/1501.

He was brought to Epsom Cemetery for interment in Sec. N. Grave 259 on 10 April 1943. For Probate, his address was given as 4 Meadside, South Street, Epsom: estate administered by Annie Hunt, Spinster, effects £154:11:1.

Roland's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Roland's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Image courtesy of Brian Bouchard ©2014

The death of his son, Vyvyan Floyd H Tepper, came to be recorded at Bridport, 4/1987. Roland's widow, Letitia Alice, survived for another year, registered Bridport 4/1988.

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Todd, Eric Joseph, Leading Aircraftman 1376167

RAFVR (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve).
Died 05 August 1945, aged 30.

Eric Joseph Todd
Eric Joseph Todd
Image courtesy of Peter Todd ©2016

The marriage of Joseph Todd (b. 1888) to Violet Elizabeth Fisher (b. 1889) was registered at Croydon for the September Quarter of 1912. Their son, Eric, came to be born at Fulham on 28 January 1915. His wedding to Margaret Ruth Todd took place in Battersea, reg. 3/1940.

The Todd family had taken up residence at 54 Elmstead Gardens, Worcester Park, Surrey, by 1937.

E. J. Todd became a member of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve before being inducted into the RAF at Euston in August 1940. It has not been established where he served, or for how long, but he may have been discharged in advance of the cessation of hostilities in WW2. On 5 August 1945 he died at St Helier County Hospital, Carshalton before being interred in Plot O177 of Epsom and Ewell Cemetery on the following 9 August, described as a 'joiner'.

As his demise occurred before 31 December 1947 he was eligible for commemoration in a Commonwealth War Grave: -
Those still in military service at the time of death qualified automatically. The location of their death and the cause of death were immaterial and they could have been killed in action, died of wounds, died of illness or by accident, died due to suicide or homicide or suffered judicial execution. CWGC treats all casualties equally and all must be commemorated under the terms of their Royal Charter. Under Category Two, personnel who had been discharged from or retired from the military before their deaths during the same qualifying periods of an injury or illness caused by or exacerbated by their service during the same qualifying period. These cases qualified only if it was proven to the authorities' satisfaction that death was service attributable.
At time of his passing, Eric had been resident in 17 Bradstock Road, Stoneleigh, Surrey, and administration of his estate was granted to the relict, Mrs Margaret Ruth Todd - Effects £568.8.4. His widow remarried in 1950. Violet E Todd died locally in 1968 and Joseph ten tears later.

Eric's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Eric's headstone in the CWGC section of Epsom Cemetery
Image courtesy of Brian Bouchard ©2016

Brian Bouchard

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Underwood, Paul Derek, Leading Aircraftman,1331732

RAFVR (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve)
Died 3 February 1942, aged 20

The marriage of Paul James Underwood to Gertrude Margaret Edwards was registered at Fulham for the March Quarter of 1920. They resided at 97 Edith Road Fulham and the birth their son, Paul Derek Underwood on 24 March 1921 may be found recorded in the same District, 3/1921.

The family moved to Osmington, 7 Shaldeford Road, Ewell. [This address cannot be traced immediately and may have become Shawford Road.]

After November 1940, Paul Derek joined the RAFVR and was inducted for service at Uxbridge or Weston Super Mare. On 16 August 1941 he arrived in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to train as an RAF pilot in the USA, under the 'Arnold Scheme' for three and a half years. He was then aged 20 years & 5 months and described as 5' 11" in height with a fresh complexion, fair hair, blue eyes, and a neck scar. Having been at No 1 'M' Depot, RCAF, Toronto, Canada, he entered America at the Detroit Michigan crossing en route for Darr Aero Institution, Albany Georgia. In Class 42C, he trained at Cochran Field, Ga., and Craig Field, Selma, Alabama, also Maxwell Force Base, Alabama - [LINK http://www.arnold-scheme.org/bases.htm].

On 3 February 1942, Paul was aboard a North American AT-6A, TEXAN, 41-756, of 92nd School Squadron USAAF, which took off from Craig Field, Selma, Alabama. It is reported to have flown into the terrain near Rehoboth, Alabama, whilst flying at low altitude to allow the passenger to take photographs. The Anniston Star of 5 February 1942 quoted the public relations office of Craig Field writing that 'Two RAF cadets were found dead in the wreckage of their training plane near Miller's Ferry, Ala., approximately 70 miles south of here..' - LAC Paul Derek Underwood, RAFVR, LAC David William Turner, RAFVR. It remains unclear who had actually been flying the aircraft.

Paul Derek, son of Paul James and Gertrude Margaret Underwood, of West Ewell, Surrey, England was interred in Montgomery (Oakwood) Cemetery Annexe Sec. N. Lot 109. Grave 2, next to David William Turner in Grave 1.

A letter written by Paul's father to the Town Clerk of Montgomery, Alabama, in August 1942 mentioned that he had merely seen 'Our only child, the sunshine of our lives' for 48 hours in the eight months preceding his death.

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Williams, Herbert Charles, Warrant Officer 17003

Royal Air Force
Died 21 April 1945, aged 63

The marriage of Thomas Williams to Priscilla Dawkins was registered at Lambeth for the December Quarter of 1873. Arrival of their son Herbert Charles, born Kennington 8 July 1881, may be found recorded in the same district, 9/1881.

On 9 August 1912, Herbert married Hilda Mary Brown in Chigwell. Essex, Their son Charles Edward Williams, born 23 August 1913, came to be baptised at Chigwell on 5 October 1913.

Aged 34, Herbert Charles Williams, in civilian life a Driver Salesman (Lorry), enlisted to serve with the Royal Flying Corps as a Motor Driver for the duration of WW1. He became a member of 40 Squadron RFC on 1 August 1916 to serve with it on the Western Front until the Armistice, and rising through the ranks:-
1 September 1916 Corporal
1 January 1918 Acting Sergeant
1 February 1918 Sergeant
He transferred on formation of the Royal Air Force, 1 April 1918, as a Sergeant Mechanic but was re-classified Sergeant on 1 January 1919. 40 Squadron disbanded and Herbert joined G Reserve, RAF [Airman released from service after WW1, liable for recall whilst on the reserve. Class disbanded and all airman in the class discharged from 30 April 1920. As an ex-regular airman, however, Herbert eventually found himself in E Reserve.]

The Williams family then turn up in Epsom, living at 57 Albert Road from no later than 1919.

Herbert re-mustered as an A/C 2 on 19 January 1939 - E Reserve, 12 PTC, at Old Sarum airfield. By 27 August 1939 he was on the complement of 9 Armament Training School at Porthcawl - RAF Newton Down otherwise known as Stormy Down - with the rank of Sergeant. Promotion to Temporary Flight Sergeant followed a posting to No 7 Air Gunnery School on 9 April 1942. He served in 57 Operational Training Unit, RAF Hawarden, from 23 November 1942 and with 58 OTU at RAF Grangemouth, 2 February 1943, latterly as Warrant Officer, Acting/Unpaid. Detached with 2 Tactical Exercise Unit to RAF Aston Down, 6 June 1944, he became a Temporary WO. A move to 3 TEU, RAF Chedworth followed from 28 July 1944.

55 Maintenance Repair Unit (MRU) had been formed at RAF Hornchurch to help clear bomb sites and repair V1 damaged properties. RAF Hornchurch personnel were also regularly deployed to aid in rescue and relief operations. Herbert joined 55 MRU on 5 December 1944: the unit had a depot at Kew [National Archives AIR 29/285] where it appears WO Williams was serving when admitted to the Royal Hospital, Richmond. He died there on 21 April 1945 (reg. Surrey N E 6/1945), presumably from natural causes, before being brought to Epsom Cemetery for interment in Plot M131 on the 27th of that month.

Herbert's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Herbert's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Image courtesy of Brian Bouchard ©2014

Administration of his Estate, net effects £350:1:9, was granted to the widowed Mrs Hilda Mary Williams. The death of Hilda M Williams, aged 73, was registered Surrey Mid E, 12/1961.

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