People

Bakewell, Vernon

1919

1943
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Vernon Joseph
Bakewell

Gateway School 1929-33.

In October 1941 the 135th Field Regiment travelled to Canada on the Polish ship Sobieski. On arrival in Halifax, the regiment transferred to the American troopship USS Mount Vernon, which departed on the 10th November 1941 for the Middle East. While in a stopover at Capetown, South Africa, the final destination was changed and the Mount Vernon arrived in Singapore on the13th January 1942, during a Japanese air raid. There then followed four weeks of intense fighting, before the British surrendered on the 15th February 1942.

Gunner Bakewell became a prisoner-of-war, and after being held in Singapore he was sent to the notorious Burma-Thailand Railway. Work on the 265 mile long railway began in October 1942 and was completed a year later. Gunner Bakewell was among the almost 7,000 British prisoners-of-war who died during its construction.

He is buried in Chungkai War Cemetery, Thailand, Grave 3. N.12.

History information

The notorious Burma-Siam railway, built by Commonwealth, Dutch and American prisoners of war, was a Japanese project driven by the need for improved communications to support the large Japanese army in Burma. During its construction, approximately 13,000 prisoners of war died and were buried along the railway. An estimated

80,000 to 100,000 civilians also died in the course of the project, chiefly forced labour brought from Malaya and the Dutch East Indies or conscripted in Siam (Thailand) and Burma (Myanmar).

Two labour forces, one based in Siam and the other in Burma worked from opposite ends of the line towards the centre. The Japanese aimed at completing the railway in 14 months and work began in June 1942. The two sections of the line finally met near Konkoita towards the end of October 1943 and the completed line, 424 kilometres long, was operational by December 1943.

The graves of most of those who died during the construction and maintenance of the Burma-Siam railway (except for the Americans, whose remains were repatriated) were transferred from camp burial grounds and isolated sites along the railway into three cemeteries at Chungkai and Kanchanaburi in Thailand and Thanbyuzayat in Myanmar.

The cemetery was designed by Colin St Clair Oakes.

Barnacle, Walter Ronald

1919

1942
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Walter Ronald
Barnacle

Son of David and Maud Barnacle. Gateway School 1930.

Walter Barnacle enlisted on the 15th November 1939, and served in India before his battalion was posted to Malaya. In December 1941 the battalion was attempting to slow down the Japanese invasion of that country. Because of the heavy casualties it had sustained during the early stages of the fighting, it was amalgamated with the 2nd Battalion East Surrey Regiment on the 20th December to form the “ The British Battalion”. This new battalion was involved in the fierce fighting during the Battle of Kampar between the 30th December 1941 and 2nd January 1942, during which time Lance Corporal Barnacle was killed. He is buried in Taiping War Cemetery, Malaysia, Special Memorial, 2. A. 18.

History information

At the time of the Japanese invasion of Malaya, Taiping was on the British line of retreat down the west coast. Its normal garrison of one Indian Infantry Battalion had been augmented, a casualty reception station organised, arrangements made with the civilian authorities for the provision of 500 beds for military patients, and 20 Combined General Hospital (Indian Army) had been posted there.

During the fighting the Indian 6th and 15th Brigades used Taiping as a rest and re-fitment centre for a few days; and, as the withdrawal southwards developed, numerous Indian Army medical units worked there for short periods before each in turn had to move towards Singapore with the fighting forces.

Taiping War Cemetery was created by the Army after the defeat of Japan for the reception of graves brought from the battlefields, from numerous temporary burial grounds, and from village and other civil cemeteries where permanent maintenance would not be possible.

There are separate entrances to the two parts, the plots of Christian graves lying on the south-eastern side of the road and the Muslim and Gurkha graves on the opposite side. In the Muslim and Gurkha section the Stone of Remembrance stands in front of a high bank which forms the north-western boundary. The two small shelters in the cemetery have been constructed of local stone, and a low stone wall flanks the road on each side. There are now 864, 1939-1945 war Commonwealth casualties and 1 Dutch casualty commemorated in this site, more than 500 of whom are unidentified.

Barratt, Arthur

1922

1944
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Arthur
Barratt

Son of Nellie Elizabeth Barratt and Stepson of Bertie Simpson. Gateway School 1934-38.

Sergeant (Navigator/Bomb Aimer)

13 Squadron gave air support to the American 5th Army and British 8th Army fighting in the Italian campaign. It was engaged mainly on night operations intended to hinder, and as far as possible prevent, the movement of reinforcements and supplies to the enemy front-line. Flares were dropped to identify targets when there was no moon, and bombs were released at heights generally below 2000 feet making the aircraft vulnerable to ground fire.

Sergeant Barratt was one of the crew of Baltimore FW358 that crashed at Pontemoli, Italy, during a night operation. He is buried in Staglieno Cemetery, Genoa, Italy, Grave III. A. 11.

Crew members:

Baltimore Bomber

Pilot- Flt. Lt. William Lawrence Saunders-Knox-Gore, 128927, aged
Navigater/Bomb aimer – Sgt. Arthur Barratt, 1579787, aged 21
Wireless Op. – Sgt. Joseph William Lenton, 1615679, aged
Wireless Op. – Sgt. Norman Lewis Young, 1238128, aged

History information

The Italians entered the war on the Allied side, declaring war on Austria, in May 1915. Commonwealth forces were at the Italian front between November 1917 and November 1918, and rest camps and medical units were established at various locations in northern

Italy behind the front, some of them remaining until 1919. From November 1917 to the end of the war, Genoa was a base for commonwealth forces and the 11th General, and 38th and 51st Stationary Hospitals, were posted in the city. Staglieno Cemetery contains 230 Commonwealth burials of the First World War. There are also 122 Second World War graves, most of them garrison burials, whilst others were brought in from the surrounding country.

The 1939-45 plot was designed by Louis de Soissons.

Bentley, Alan Frank

1920

1942
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Alan Frank
Bentley

Son of Frederick and Emmie Bentley. Gateway School 1931-34.

Wireless Operator/Air Gunner

In addition to bombing targets in Germany and occupied Europe, Bomber Command aircraft also carried out mine-laying operations in coastal waters. These were referred to as ‘gardening’ operations by the aircrews. Sergeant Bentley was one of the crew of Lancaster W4177 that failed to return from a mine-laying operation off the coast of the Frisian Islands. He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 78.

Overlooking the River Thames on Cooper’s Hill in Runnymede, Surrey, is Runnymede Memorial, sometimes known as the Air Forces Memorial. The memorial commemorates more than 20,000 airmen and women who were lost in the Second World War during operations from bases in the United Kingdom and North and Western Europe who have no known grave.

KEY FEATURES

  • The memorial commemorates the men and women of the air forces of the Commonwealth who were lost in air and other operations over western Europe during the Second World War
  • Designed by Sir Edward Maufe, it is made of Portland stone and consists of a shrine embraced by a cloister
  • The shrine is adorned with three stone figures by Vernon Hill representing Justice, Victory and Courage
  • The engraved glass and painted ceilings were designed by John Hutton and the poem engraved on the gallery window was written by Paul H Scott
  • The memorial was unveiled on 17 October 1953 by Queen Elizabeth II.

 

Bentley, George Arthur

1918

1945
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George Arthur
Bentley

Son of Charles and Bertha Bentley. Husband of Margaret Bentley. Gateway School 1929-34

Operation Varsity was designed to gain a foothold across the River Rhine in western Germany. It began on the 24th March 1945, led by the British 6th Airborne Division (which, at the time, included the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion), and the US 17th Airborne Division, in addition to ground offensive operations. In all 4,978 British and 9,387 American troops were flown in by glider or dropped by parachute.

The 4th Airlanding Anti-Tank Battery R.A. began forming up on 9 May 1943, at Marlborough Barracks, Bulford, Wiltshire under the command of Major T.H.P. Dixon, M.C., R.A. The nucleus for the unit came from ‘D’ Battery, 103rd Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery.

This battery, along with the 3rd Airlanding Anti-Tank Battery, was formed to provide the anti-tank defence for the two parachute brigade’s of the 6th Airborne Division. It was officially taken on the strength of the 6th Airborne Division on 9 July 1943.

By May 1944 the Battery had completed all their training, had been on extensive exercise with the units they were to support, and had carried

out practice ‘shoots’ with the new ‘Sabot’ ammunition. They had also carried out training and practice ‘shoots’ with the glider pilots who would fly them into action.

Sergeant Bentley was killed during the the first day of the operation. He is buried in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany, Grave 39. A. 8.

History Information Reichswald Forest War Cemetery was created after the Second World War when burials were brought in from all over western Germany and is the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the country. Some of those members of the land forces buried there died in the advance through Reichswald Forest in February 1945. Others died crossing the Rhine, among them members of the airborne forces whose bodies were brought from Hamminkeln, where landings were made by the 6th Airborne Division from bases in England. Some of the airmen buried in the cemetery lost their lives in supporting the advance into Germany, but most died earlier in the war in the intensive air attacks over Germany. Their graves were brought in from cemeteries and isolated sites in the surrounding area. There are now 7,594 Commonwealth servicemen of the Second World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. 176 of the burials are unidentified.

There are also 78 war graves of other nationalities, most of them Polish. Special Memorials to 9 airmen are located at the East boundary wall, near Plot 10. Further Special Memorials to 7 airmen are located within Plot 31, near the Cross of Sacrifice. The cemetery was designed by Philip Hepworth.

Beresford, Eric Stanton

1917

1940
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Eric Stanton
Beresford

Son of Daniel and Alice Beresford. Gateway School 1930-33.

There 80 CWGC graves in Saffron Hill Cemetery.

Aircraftman Beresford died of natural causes at Cardiff Royal Infirmary. He is buried in Saffron Hill Cemetery, Leicester, Section D. Grave 96.

Bilney, Dennis Champness

1920

1944
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Dennis Champness
Bilney

Son of Mrs F. S. Champness. Gateway School 1932-36.

Corporal Bilney’s battalion was part of the 1st Airborne Division during Operation Market Garden, the attempt to seize the bridges over the major rivers in the Netherlands. On the 17th September 1944, the battalion was transported to Arnhem over two days in Horsa gliders from RAF Manston and RAF Broadwell. Larger pieces of equipment were carried in a Hamilcar glider from RAF Tarrant Rushton. German resistance, bad weather and problems with supplies and reinforcements led to heavy losses, and the objectives were not taken. The 1st Airborne Division was forced to form a perimeter at Oosterbeek which they held stubbornly until the 25th September, when it was decided to withdraw the remnants of the division across the lower Rhine. Of the 767 men of the 2nd (Airborne) Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment who landed at Arnhem, 124 were evacuated and 558 were reported missing. Those missing were mainly men who became prisoners-of-war. The remaining 85 men of the battalion were killed during the fighting, including Corporal Bilney. He is buried in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Netherlands, Grave 18. A. 7.

History Information

Following the Normandy landings of June 1944, the Allied advance through northern Europe was extraordinarily rapid and on

11 September 1944, the Second Army entered the Netherlands just south of Eindhoven, the first Allied troops to set foot in the country since its fall in May 1940. Their next aim was to cross the Rhine before the Germans had time to

reorganise after their recent setbacks, securing crossings over the rivers and canals that stood in their path at Grave, Nijmegen and Arnhem. 'Operation Market Garden' would involve the United States 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions, the Commonwealth 1st Airborne Division and the Polish Parachute Brigade. On 17 September 1944, the 1st Airborne Division began landing west of Arnhem, but German resistance, bad weather and problems with supplies and reinforcements led to heavy losses, and their objectives were not taken. They were forced to form a perimeter at Oosterbeek which they held stubbornly until 25 September, when it was decided to withdraw the remnants of the division across the lower Rhine. Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery contains the graves of most of those killed during the September landings, and many of those killed in later fighting in the area. There are now 1,684 Commonwealth servicemen of the Second World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. 243 of the burials are unidentified and two casualties are commemorated by special memorials. There are also 79 Polish, three Dutch and four non-war (including three former Commission employees) graves in the cemetery. The cemetery was designed by P.D. Hepworth.

Bonner, Frederick Raymond

1921

1944
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Frederick Raymond
Bonner

Son of Harry and Mabel Bonner. Gateway School 1932-37.

In order to meet the need for pilots for both the Royal Air Force and the Fleet Air Arm, the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP) was set up, and Leading Airman Frederick Bonner was sent to Canada. After an initial 10-week course, he was selected for pilot training and went to an Elementary Flying Training School (E.F.T.S.). Instruction normally began using the Fleet Finch trainer. During the 8-week programme, the student pilot had to complete 50

hours of flying, and was expected to be able to go solo after 8 hours dual flying with an instructor. When the student pilot had finished this course, he was sent to a Service Flying Training School (S.F.T.S.). Leading Airman Bonner was assigned to No 13 S.F.T.S. at St Eugene, Ontario. Here he

continued to fly the Fleet Finch, before progressing to an aircraft such as the North American Harvard. He was killed on a training flight crash at St. Eugene, Ontario, and is buried in Vankleek Hill (Greenwood) Cemetery, Ontario, Canada, Plot 222.

From the records it looks as if another young Fleet Air Arm trainee pilot was involved in the same crash, both men being buried in the same plot.

Bramley, Gordon Bernard

1921

1941
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Gordon Bernard
Bramley

Son of Bernard and May Bramley. Gateway School 1935-37.

Gordon Bramley joined the Royal Navy in 1939, and served on the sloop HMS Flamingo before being transferred to the corvette HMS Salvia. On the 24th December 1941 HMS Salvia was escorting convoy TA-5 from Tobruk in Libya to Alexandria in Egypt. All 106 members of the crew died when the ship was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-568. Steward Bramley is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 58, Column 1.

Standing on Southsea Common overlooking the promenade in Portsmouth, Hampshire, is the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. It commemorates nearly 10,000 naval personnel of the First World War and almost 15,000 of the Second World War who were lost or buried at sea.

Brawn, Bernard John

1924

1944
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Bernard John
Brawn

Son of Harold and Phyliss Brawn. Gateway School 1935-1940.

Flight Engineer

Sergeant Brawn was one of the crew of Halifax DT482 that took off from RAF Lindholme at 20:35 hours on the 24th March 1944. The aircraft was on a night circuits and landing exercise when it crashed near the airfield at 21:12 hours and burst into flames. All on board were killed. Sergeant Brawn is buried in All Saints Churchyard, Scraptoft, Leicester.

Crash of Halifax DT482 near Lindholme airfield.

On the evening of 24th March 1944 the crew of this 1656 Heavy Conversion Unit aircraft carried out a night circuits and landings exercise. They took off from Lindholme at around 20.35hrs and on board was an instructor with four trainee aircrew. Twenty five minutes later the aircraft made approach to land at Lindholme but then carried out an overshoot at around 300 feet off the ground. The aircraft then sank towards the ground and crashed at 21.12hrs just off the south-west side airfield and burst into flames. The crash team from Lindholme airfield would have been on the site quickly but sadly all on board were killed. The crash occurred in the area behind Boston Park on land near Cockwood and Gate Farms.

As the aircraft came in to land the undercarriage would have been lowered and locked down in preparation to land, also the flaps on the wings would have been lowered to slow the aircraft. The crash site was investigated and it was found that while the aircraft

crashed with the undercarriage still down the flaps were found to be in the up position. It was assumed that when the overshoot was made the flaps had been raised instead of the undercarriage. The levers for both were next to each other in the cockpit and this was a reasonably common mistake in training.

DT482 was built to contract B.982938/39 by English Electric Co.Ltd. at Samlesbury and was awaiting collection on 22nd August 1942. It was initially taken on charge by 103 Squadron Conversion Flight at Elsham Wolds and then transferred to the parent 103 Squadron itself. On 31st October 1942 it transferred to 1656 H.C.U. at Lindholme. As a result of the damage sustained on 11th February 1943, 10th April 1943 and then on 15th August 1943 minor Cat.A(c) damage was the damage assessment each time and it was repaired on site each time and returned to 1656 H.C.U. use. On 24th March 1944 it crashed near Lindholme and was badly damaged. Cat.E2/FA damage was recorded and the aircraft was written off.

  • Instructor Pilot - F/Lt John Edward Sanderson DFC RAFVR (142852), aged 23, of Withington, Manchester. Buried Salendine Nook Baptist Chapelyard, Huddersfield, Yorkshire.
  • Trainee Pilot - P/O Raymond Henry Gardner RAFVR (171094), aged 20, of Leeds. Buried Harrogate Stonefall Cemetery, Yorkshire (F/E/7).
  • Flight Engineer - Sgt Bernard John Brawn RAFVR (1868334), aged 19, of Leicester. Buried Scraptoft Churchyard, Leicestershire.
  • Wireless Operator / Air Gunner - Sgt Peter Dennis Newman RAFVR (1399876), aged 20, of Fulham, London. Buried Harrogate Stonefall Cemetery, Yorkshire (F/E/6).
  • Air Gunner - Sgt John Harold Gilbertson RCAF (R/214779), aged 19, of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Buried Harrogate Stonefall Cemetery, Yorkshire (F/E/5).

Carter, Gordon William

1919

1939
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Gordon William
Carter

Gateway School 1933-36

Son of William and Lilian Carter. Husband of Mary Carter.

On the night of the 14th October 1939, the German submarine U-47 commanded by Gunther Prien, managed to evade the anti-submarine defences of Scapa Flow. Prien found the battleship Royal Oak at anchor and fired two salvoes of torpedoes, ripping out the bottom out of the ship which sank in ten minutes. Among the 833 members of her crew who died was Able Seaman Carter. He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 33, Column 2. Prien returned to a hero's welcome in Germany, which included a triumphal procession through Berlin. He died on the 7th March 1941, when U-47 was sunk with all hands in the North Atlantic.

History information

After the First World War, an appropriate way had to be found of commemorating those members of the Royal Navy who had no known grave, the majority of deaths having occurred at sea where no permanent memorial could be provided.

An Admiralty committee recommended that the three manning ports in Great Britain - Chatham, Plymouth and Portsmouth - should each have an identical memorial of unmistakable naval form, an obelisk, which would serve as a leading mark for shipping. The memorials were designed by Sir Robert Lorimer, who had already carried out a considerable amount of work for the Commission, with sculpture by Henry Poole. The Portsmouth Naval Memorial was unveiled by the Duke of York (the future George VI) on 15 October 1924.

After the Second World War it was decided that the naval memorials should be extended to provide space for commemorating the naval dead without graves of that war, but since the three sites were dissimilar, a different architectural treatment was required for each. The architect for the Second World War extension at Portsmouth was Sir Edward Maufe (who also designed the Air Forces memorial at Runnymede) and the additional sculpture was by Charles Wheeler, William McMillan, and Esmond Burton. The Extension was unveiled by the Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother on 29 April 1953.

Portsmouth Naval Memorial commemorates around 10,000 sailors of the First World War and almost 15,000 of the Second World War.

Carter, Keith

1920

1941
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Keith
Carter

Wireless Operator/Air Gunner

Gateway School 1931-36

Son of Herbert and Lily Carter. Husband of Ethel Carter.

Sergeant Carter was one of the crew of Wellington T2967 that took off from RAF Snaith at 18:15 hours on the 22nd October 1941. The aircraft was on an operation to Mannheim in Germany, and failed to return as aircraft was shot down and crashed at Wiesbaden Rambach. Sergeant Carter is buried in Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany, Joint Grave 5. C. 15-16.

History Information

Crew members were:-

  • Sergeant A L Bradshaw, Sergeant P P F Du Pre
  • Pilot Officer G C O'Neill (RCAF) Sergeant K Carter
  • Sergeant H I S Arme Sergeant R L Hunt

Keith Carter is also remembered on the Roll of Honour and war memorial from the now closed United Reform Church of Christ, Evington Road. Both items are in the care of Leicester City, County & Rutland At Risk War Memorials Project at All Saints Church, Leicester LE1 4PH.

The site for Durnbach War Cemetery was chosen, shortly after hostilities had ceased, by officers of the British Army and Air Force, in conjunction with officers of the American Occupation Forces in whose zone Durnbach lay. The great majority of those buried here are airmen shot down over Bavaria, Wurtemberg, Austria, Hessen and Thuringia, brought from their scattered graves by the Army Graves Service. The remainder are men who were killed while escaping from prisoner of war camps in the same areas, or who died towards the end of the War on forced marches from the camps to more remote areas. DURNBACH WAR CEMETERY contains 2,934 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 93 of which are unidentified. One grave in the cemetery (III. C.22.) contains the ashes of an unknown number of unidentified war casualties recovered from Flossenburg. Also, one grave (IV. A. 21.) contains the remains of 6 unidentified U.K.

airmen. There are also 30 war graves of other nationalities, most of them Polish. Within the Indian section of the cemetery will be found the DURNBACH CREMATION MEMORIAL, commemorating 23 servicemen of the army of undivided India who died while prisoners of war in various places in France and Germany, and who were cremated in accordance with their religion.

Clarke, Hilary Laurence

1918

1943
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Hilary Laurence
Clarke

Gateway School 1929-34

Son of Ralph and Mahalah Clarke. Husband of Evelyn Clarke.

No 3 Commando was one of the units that took part in the invasion of Sicily (Operation Husky) in July 1943. It was tasked with capturing the Malati Bridge on the main route north to Catania. The bridge was successfully captured from the Italians and after removing the demolitions which had been laid, held the bridge until reinforcements arrived under a heavy counter attack by Germans supported by Tiger tanks, which inflicted heavy casualties on the exposed men of No.3 Commando. Eventually they were ordered to withdraw but the bridge was saved from the demolition that the Germans had planned. After the operation, 153 men of 3 Commando were reported as killed wounded or missing. Among them was Fusilier Clarke who is buried in Syracuse War Cemetery, Sicily. Grave VI. D. 16. After the fall of Catania, General Montgomery ordered that the words “ 3 Commando Bridge” were to be carved into a stone which was cemented into the Malati Bridge.

History Information

On 10 July 1943, following the successful conclusion of the north African campaign in mid May, a combined allied force of 160,000 Commonwealth and American troops invaded Sicily as a prelude to
the assault on mainland Italy. The Italians, who would shortly make peace with the Allies and re-enter the war on their side, offered little determined resistance but German opposition was vigorous
and stubborn. The campaign in Sicily came to an end on 17 August when the two allied forces came together at Messina, but failed to cut off the retreating Axis lines. Commonwealth forces made their
landings in the south-east corner of the island between Pachina and Syracuse, and the majority of those buried in Syracuse War Cemetery died during those landings or in the early stages of the
campaign. Many graves belong to men of the airborne force that attempted landings west of the town on the night of 9-10 July, when gale force winds forced 60 of the 140 gliders used into the sea and blew others wide of their objectives. Syracuse War Cemetery contains 1,059 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 134 of them unidentified. There is also one First World War burial, that of a merchant seaman whose grave was brought to the cemetery from Marsala British Cemetery.

Davies, Roy Joseph

1923

1944
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Roy Joseph
Davies

Gateway School 1934-38.

Son of Thomas and Mary Davies.

Sergeant Davies was one of the crew of Lancaster LM714 that took off from RAF Kelstern at 23:03 hours on the 23rd July 1944. The aircraft was on an operation to Kiel in Germany, and failed to return. Sergeant Davies is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 228.

Crew members:

  • Flight Lieutant Hugh Raymond Harrison, 110412
  • Pilot Officer Harold Alexander Smith, J/89897
  • Flight Sergeant Kenneth Welland Dewey, R/210865
  • Sergeant Roy Joseph Davies, 575723Flight
  • Sergeant Lorne Albert Morfoot, R/210350
  • Sergeant Alfred James Newell, 1565600
  • Sergeant Frank Alfred Powell, 1603981

Overlooking the River Thames on Cooper’s Hill in Runnymede, Surrey, is Runnymede Memorial, sometimes known as the Air Forces Memorial. The memorial commemorates more than 20,000 airmen and women who were lost in the Second World War during operations from bases in the United Kingdom and North and Western Europe who have no known grave.

Designed by Sir Edward Maufe, it is made of Portland stone and consists of a shrine embraced by a cloister

  • The shrine is adorned with three stone figures by Vernon Hill representing Justice, Victory and Courage

  • The engraved glass and painted ceilings were designed by John Hutton and the poem engraved on the gallery window was written by Paul H Scott

RAF Kelstern Memorial

Diaper, Frederick Thomas William

1919

1940
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Frederick Thomas William
Diaper

Gateway School 1929-34

Son of Frederick and Coyler Diaper. Husband of Nellie E. Diaper (nee Granger).

Private Diaper’s battalion was sent to France with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). By the 25th May 1940 it was one of the units defending the crossing points on the Canal de la Haute Deûle, in the areas of Pont-a-Vendin, Carvin and Oignies, south-west of Lille. Private Diaper was killed when the British defensive positions were overwhelmed by the German advance.

He is commemorated on the Dunkirk Memorial, France, Column 49.

KEY FEATURES

  • Dunkirk Memorial stands at the entrance to the British War Graves Section of Dunkirk Town Cemetery in France

  • It commemorates those of the British Expeditionary Force who died or were captured there and have no known grave

  • It was unveiled on 29 June 1957 by Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother

  • The memorial was designed by Philip Hepworth and takes the form of an avenue of pylons on which the names are engraved

  • The great engraved window, depicting the evacuation, was designed and engraved by New Zealand-born John Hutton
  • The memorial was completed some 17 years after the events it marks
  • Canal de la Haute Deûle

Dilley, Dennis Arthur

1920

1944
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Dennis Arthur
Dilley

Gateway School 1931-35

Son of Mr. A.S. Dilley

Sergeant Dilley was one of the crew of Halifax BB254 that took off from RAF Lindholme at 20:51 hours on the 20th November 1944. The aircraft, on a night training flight, failed to gain sufficient height and hit the roof of a house in Hatfield before crashing near Dale Pit Farm and catching fire. Among those who died was Sergeant Dilley. He is buried in St Peter’s Churchyard, Braunstone, Leicester. Halifax BB254 near Dunscroft, Doncaster.

At 20.51hrs on 20th November 1944 the crew of this 1656 Heavy Conversion Unit aircraft took off from Lindholme airfield to undertake a night training flight. As the aircraft left the ground it failed to climb away properly and struck the gable end of a house in Coppice Avenue, Hatfield, the aircraft then crashed at or close to Dalepit Farm. The wreckage caught fire and sadly five of the crew were killed. Two other members of the crew survived and two girls asleep in the bedroom of the house the aircraft struck were injured by falling debris. It was thought that the aircraft had lost what height it had gained after taking off because the flaps were raised instead of undercarriage allowing aircraft to sink towards the ground, the levers were next to each other in the cockpit. The crash site may have been built over in the years after the war. The crew of the second aircraft, Halifax HR794, escaped with their lives but six of the crew of the third, Halifax W7875 were killed when the aircraft struck Lings Farm, Dunsville which was around half a mile nearer the airfield. Built to contract B.124357/40 by the London Passenger Transport Board Ltd. at Leavesden and was awaiting collection on 27th May 1942. The date it was taken on charge by 1656 Heavy Conversion Unit at Lindholme is not yet known. As a result of an unspecified mishap at Lindholme on 27th February 1943 minor Cat.A(c)/FA damage was the damage assessment and it was repaired on site. It remained at 1656 H.C.U. until crashing at Dunscroft on 20th November 1944. Cat.E2/FA Burnt damage was the damage assessment after this incident and it was written off.

  • Pilot - F/O Michael Arnold Gleason RCAF (J/27667), aged 26, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Buried Harrogate Stonefall Cemetery, Yorkshire (H/C/2).

  • Flight Engineer - Sgt Dennis Arthur Dilley RAFVR (1583059), aged 24. Buried Braunstone Churchyard, Leicestershire.

  • Navigator- F/O Derek John Povey RAFVR (164204), aged 31. Buried Hatfield Woodhouse Cemetery, Yorkshire.

  • Wireless Operator / Air Gunner - Sgt Ronald Thompson RAFVR (1866655), aged 19, of Watford. Buried Watford North Cemetery, Hertfordshire.

  • Air Gunner - Sgt Horace Samuel Emery RAFVR (3040593), aged 19, of South Hetton. Buried South Hetton Churchyard, Durham.

  • Bomb Aimer - F/O Peter Donald Rowland Senn RAFVR (164821). Slightly injured.

  • Air Gunner - Sgt A Blanchard. Seriously injured.

  • 2 Civilians - Names unknown. Slightly injured.

Field, Charles Stanley

1916

1943
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Charles Stanley
Field

Gateway School 1929-32

Son of Arthur and Emily Field.

Flight Sergeant Field was one of the crew of Wellington HF688 that failed to return from an operation to Italy, having probably crashed into the Mediterranean Sea. He is commemorated on the Malta War Memorial, Panel 7, Column 1.

History Information about image two

The Malta Memorial commemorates almost 2,300 airmen who lost their lives during the Second World War whilst serving with the Commonwealth Air Forces flying from bases in Austria, Italy, Sicily, islands of the Adriatic and Mediterranean, Malta, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco, West Africa, Yugoslavia and Gibraltar, and who have no known grave. The Memorial was unveiled by The Queen on 3 May 1954. The memorial was designed by Sir Hubert Worthington, R.A., while the eagle which surmounts the column is the work of the sculptor Charles Wheeler, R.A.

Crew were:

  • Sergeant Bernard Charles Louis Boyd, 338360
  • Sergeant Ronald Sidney Facey, 1271386 Flight Sergeant Charles Stanley Field, 1245817
  • Flight Sergeant Bryant Frederick Sedgley, 416618
  • Sergeant Clive George Taylor, 1579604

Grace, Raymond Archibald

1919

1943
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Raymond Archibald
Grace

Air Gunner

Gateway School 1931-34

Died Sergeant Grace was one of the crew of Lancaster ED979 that took off from RAF Woodhall Spa at 22:58 hours on the 28th June 1943. The aircraft, on an operation to Cologne in Germany, was shot down by a German night-fighter piloted by Major Guenther Radusch and crashed at 02:14 hours on the 29th June near Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Sergeant Grace is buried in Eindhoven General Cemetery, Netherlands, Plot E.E., Grave 41.

History Information

Almost four-fifths of the men buried here belonged to the air forces, and lost their lives in raids over this part of Holland or in returning from Germany, between 1941 and 1944. Men of the land forces who are buried here died between September 1944 and May 1945. The 79th and 86th British General Hospitals were located at. Eindhoven during almost all that period. There are now nearly 700, 1939-45 war casualties commemorated in this site.

Hardy, James

1920

1942
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James
Hardy

Gateway School 1932-36.

Son of Frank and Margaret Hardy.

Sergeant Hardy was one of the crew of Hampden AT216 that took off from RAF Skellingthorpe at 00:29 hours on the 6th April 1942. The aircraft, on an operation to bomb the city centre of Cologne in Germany, crashed at Thorpe-on-the-Hill five minutes after take-off. All four members of the crew were killed. Sergeant Hardy is buried in Gilroes Cemetery, Leicester, Section U.U., Grave 740.

Other crew members:

  • Pilot - 89084, F/O Ronald Seeley-King, buried-Thurlby St. Germain, Swinderby.
  • WOP/AG – 115866 Sgt. Gerald Colin Stewart Skelton, buried Nottingham Northern Cemetery.
  • Observer – 924588 Sgt Gilber Lewis Quincy, buried at Greenwich.

This would appear to be the Squadron’s last loss of life in the Hampden aircraft. Hampden bomber

Hewkin, Norman

1924

1945
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Norman
Hewkin

Gateway School 1936-40.

Son of Orlando and Elsie Hewkin.

At the end of March 1945, the aircraft carrier HMS Victorious was operating against Japanese forces in the area between the islands of Okinawa and Formosa (Taiwan). Leading Airman Hewkin was one of the three crew- members of a Grumman Avenger torpedo bomber that failed to return to the ship following an attack. He is commemorated on the Lee-on-Solent Memorial, Bay 6, Panel 1.

History Information

During the Second World War the Fleet Air Arm served in almost every theatre. In a reconnaissance role they supported land operations in France, the Netherlands, North Africa, Italy, and the Far East. Operating from aircraft carriers (seven of which were lost during the war), they were one of the chief weapons against the U- boats in the Atlantic and in support of the Russian convoys. In November 1940, Fleet Air Arm Swordfish biplanes carrying torpedoes undertook a night raid on the harbour at Taranto, resulting in disaster for the Italian navy. Aircraft from HMS Victorious and Ark Royal took part

in the sinking of the German battleship Bismark in May 1941 and in February 1942, when the Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen attempted a daring dash along the English Channel from the Altlantic to the relative safety of the North Sea, they were attacked by Swordfish of the Fleet Air Arm. The principal base of the Fleet Air Arm, Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, was chosen as the site for the memorial to almost 2,000 men of that service who died during the Second World War and who have no known grave.

All of the service men displayed on this page are from the following memorial:

Gateway School, Word War 2 Memorial

The Newarke Houses Museum, The Newarke, Leicester LE2 7BY

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The memorials of Leicester City, County and Rutland.

All of the service men displayed on this page are from the following memorial:

Gateway School, Word War 2 Memorial

The Newarke Houses Museum, The Newarke, Leicester LE2 7BY

You can find more people and memorials on our research pages.