CWGC Cemeteries **updated 28/06/2020**

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SuffolkBlue
Posts: 1183
Joined: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 7:31 pm
Location: Bury St. Edmunds

Re: CWGC Cemeteries **updated 24/02/2020**

Post by SuffolkBlue »

There are 57 casualties buried in Warwick Cemetery from the First and Second World Wars. Most of these are scattered across the site but there is a small war grave plot located here.

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CWGC Warwick Cemetery - Warwick, Warwickshire, Monday 21st October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Warwick Cemetery - Warwick, Warwickshire, Monday 21st October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 11th April 1943, the crew of Vickers Wellington III BJ786 took off from RAF Atherstone, Warwickshire, at 21.15hrs to undertake a night-navigation training exercise.

The route the crew were instructed to fly would include navigating to various towns in England and use them as turning points before returning to base. The turning points to be used were, from take off at Stratford to navigate to Wallingford (near Newbury), then Peterborough, Hexham, Pocklington, Leighton Buzzard, Hereford and then return to base. In total five aircraft and crews of 23 OTU undertook the same navigation exercise on this night flying the same route. On their route north the crew of BJ786 successfully reached Peterborough and headed north towards Hexham, flying slightly west of their intended track by the time they reached the Ripon area. The aircraft was heard to be flying normally just before it entered a steep dive without warning and struck the ground at 01.30hrs in Fountains Park, near the villages of Sawley and Markington, North Yorkshire. The aircraft struck a fairly substantial tree just prior to hitting the ground and then exploded and all those on the aircraft died as a result the crash. The cause was never discovered.
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CWGC Warwick Cemetery - Warwick, Warwickshire, Monday 21st October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth II R4955 spun into the ground on the 21st June 1941 killing Flight Lieutenant T E Wesson and injuring his passenger Leading Aircraftman F J Jackson.
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CWGC Warwick Cemetery - Warwick, Warwickshire, Monday 21st October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Janet Greatorex joined the Territorial Nursing Service as a sister at the outbreak of First World War. On the 2nd April 1916 she died of ‘phyhisis’ – an old name for pulmonary tuberculosis, almost certainly contracted when treating sick soldiers.
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CWGC Warwick Cemetery - Warwick, Warwickshire, Monday 21st October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Bristol Blenheim IV L4853 lost height on a night take-off RAF Andover on the 6th August 1940 and struck ground 1 mile from airfield and was destroyed by fire. 2 of the crew survived but Observer Ronald Douglas Bailey was killed in the crash.
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CWGC Warwick Cemetery - Warwick, Warwickshire, Monday 21st October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Located nearby is the village of Budbrooke, home to the former Budbrooke Barracks. The barracks were established as the depot in 1877. Their creation took place as part of the Cardwell Reforms which encouraged the localisation of British military forces. The barracks became the depot for the two battalions of the 6th (1st Warwickshire) Regiment of Foot. Following the Childers Reforms, the regiment evolved to become the Royal Warwickshire Regiment with its depot in the barracks in 1881. St Michael's Church became the battalion church at that time.

The barracks were demoted to the status of out-station to the Forester Brigade depot at Glen Parva Barracks in 1958, the last recruits were accepted in March 1960 and the barracks closed later that year. The site has since been developed as the village of Hampton Magna.

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CWGC Budbrooke (St. Michael) Churchyard - Budbrooke, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Budbrooke (St. Michael) Churchyard - Budbrooke, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Budbrooke (St. Michael) Churchyard - Budbrooke, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Budbrooke (St. Michael) Churchyard - Budbrooke, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Budbrooke (St. Michael) Churchyard - Budbrooke, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Budbrooke (St. Michael) Churchyard - Budbrooke, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Budbrooke (St. Michael) Churchyard - Budbrooke, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Budbrooke (St. Michael) Churchyard - Budbrooke, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Budbrooke (St. Michael) Churchyard - Budbrooke, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

With 173 casualties buried here, CWGC Stratford-upon-Avon is one of the largest sites in Warwickshire. It contains 22 scattered First World War burials.

During the Second World War, there was a unit of the Royal Canadian Air Force based at nearby RAF Wellesbourne Mountford and of the 137 Second World War burials (most of them forming a war grave plot), 97 are of Canadian airmen. The cemetery also contains 15 war graves of other nationalities.

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CWGC Stratford-upon-Avon Cemetery - Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Stratford-upon-Avon Cemetery - Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Air Bomber Gordon Brassett Stevens of Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada was killed at RAF Wellesbourne Mountford on the 4th April 1945 when he accidentally walked into the rotating propeller after alighting the aircraft.
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CWGC Stratford-upon-Avon Cemetery - Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 13th February 1943, Vickers Wellington X HF759 crashed on approach to RAF Wellesbourne Mountford after a pin snapped on one of the flaps. There were 9 crew members on board, who were all sadly killed.
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CWGC Stratford-upon-Avon Cemetery - Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Stratford-upon-Avon Cemetery - Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

While on a Cine gun exercise from RAF Wellesbourne Mountford on the 26th May 1944, Pilot Donald George Frederick Parker DFM, crashed during a 'dog fight' near the airfield in Miles Martinet I JN428.
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CWGC Stratford-upon-Avon Cemetery - Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Vickers Wellington X HE217 stalled and crashed at RAF Wellesbourne Mountford after a training flight on the 4th May 1943. 3 of the 5 man crew that were killed in the accident are buried here.
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CWGC Stratford-upon-Avon Cemetery - Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Air Observer Michael William Fedirchyk and Wireless Operator Charles Douglas Haig Archer were on board Vickers Wellington IC R1036 when it crashed on returning to RAF Wellesbourne Mountford after a night time training exercise. Two other crew members were also killed.
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CWGC Stratford-upon-Avon Cemetery - Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 25th February 1942, whilst awaiting clearance to take-off for a night time training exercise from RAF Wellesbourne Mountford, Vickers Wellington IC AD625 was struck at 02.40 hrs by another of the unit's aircraft (DV480) and totally destroyed. Wireless Operator Douglass Callaghan of Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand and all of his crew were killed.
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CWGC Stratford-upon-Avon Cemetery - Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

At 19:24hrs on the 30th January 1944, while on a bombing practice run, Vickers Wellington III DF566 was reported to be on fire in the air before it dived, steeply, and exploded at North Farm, Ladbroke, eight miles from Royal Leamington Spa.

All 7 of the crew were killed.
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CWGC Stratford-upon-Avon Cemetery - Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The crew of Vickers Wellington III HZ110 were on night training circuits and landings at RAF Wellesbourne Mountford when they undershot and crashed at 22:26hrs near Cornyns Farm and caught fire on the 14th February 1944. All of the crew were killed
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CWGC Stratford-upon-Avon Cemetery - Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 30th July 1944, the crew of Vickers Wellington X LN869 had been given permission to land at RAF Wellesbourne Mountford when, at 03:40hrs, it crashed into a wood at Coombe Farm, about 3 miles from the airfield. The cause of the accident was attributed to an engine bursting into flames at a critical stage of the approach. Four of the five man crew are buried here.
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CWGC Stratford-upon-Avon Cemetery - Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Stratford-upon-Avon Cemetery - Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Stratford-upon-Avon Cemetery - Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Stratford-upon-Avon Cemetery - Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 7th August 1943, the crew of Vickers Wellington III HF612 were tasked with night time training circuits and landings at RAF Wellesbourne Mountford. They completed one successful circuit but the starboard engine suffered a magneto failure as the aircraft pulled away for the second circuit. They soon crashed into farmland a mile from the runway before bursting into flames. All 5 crew members were killed.
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CWGC Stratford-upon-Avon Cemetery - Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Armstrong Whitworth Whitley V Z9229 crashed near Warwick while returning to RAF Leeming after a mission to St. Nazaire on the 16th February 1942, after losing height due to running on only one engine.

Three of the four man crew to lose their lives are buried here.
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CWGC Stratford-upon-Avon Cemetery - Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Handley Page Hampden I P5303 was on a night time navigation exercise from RAF Upper Heywood when after receiving the recall signal, it dived & crashed into the ground near Leamington. Pilot John Maurice Butterworth and Wireless Operator Raymond Charles Hollingworth lost their lives, along with 2 other crew members.
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CWGC Stratford-upon-Avon Cemetery - Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Pilot George Milburn Bigglestone and Wireless Operator Hilbert Alexander McLennan were on board Vickers Wellington IC X9640 when it came down after hitting power lines and finally came to rest on a river bank on the 3rd January 1942. Pilot Chester Thomas Martin also lost his life in the crash.
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CWGC Stratford-upon-Avon Cemetery - Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Vickers Wellington IC DV490 crashed 2 minutes after taking off from RAF Wellsbourne Mountford after losing an engine on the 13th October 1942. The Pilot William Robert Campbell Sinclair and Wireless Operator Ernest Page Hunt were 2 of the 3 crew members killed.
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CWGC Stratford-upon-Avon Cemetery - Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The crew of Vickers Wellington IC R1586 were practicing night circuits at RAF Wellesbourne Mountford on the 26th June 1941 when they lost power and it is believed the bomber stalled while trying to avoid trees, crashing at 02:10hrs near Loxley, 4 miles from Stratford-upon-Avon. 5 crew were all killed.
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CWGC Stratford-upon-Avon Cemetery - Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 8th November 1943, Vickers Wellington III DF742 crashed near the village of Harbury, Warwickshire, on a training flight from RAF Gaydon. Air Gunner Carl William Milton of Edgett's Landing, Albert Co., New Brunswick, Canada, lost his life in the crash.
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CWGC Stratford-upon-Avon Cemetery - Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Vickers Wellington IC X9929 crashed onto the banks of the River Avon for unknown reasons during a night time training flight from RAF Wellesbourne Mountford, Warwickshire, on the 25th August 1942, killing all four crew members who are buried side by side here.
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CWGC Stratford-upon-Avon Cemetery - Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

There are 9 CWGC site across the city of Coventry, of which CWGC London Road Cemetery contains the largest number of casualties at 221. Despite this high number, only a few are collected together in a war grave plot, which took some investigating to find!

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CWGC Coventry (London Road) Cemetery - Coventry, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 24th May 1940, the crew of Handley Page Hampden I P1336 took off from RAF Finningley, Yorkshire on a night flight to RAF Abingdon, Oxfordshire.

Residents in Coventry heard the engines misfiring and flares were fired as the pilot looked for a suitable place to land. While making a turn at low level, the aircraft hit a barrage balloon and crashed into the grounds of The Coventry and North Warwickshire Cricket Club.

All three crew members were killed with the Pilot James Melville Dundas Irvine and Observer John Raymond Collingham buried here.
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CWGC Coventry (London Road) Cemetery - Coventry, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Alexander Fraser Campbell known as Sandy Campbell, was a British Army officer of the Royal Engineers

On the 14th October 1940 at Chapel Street, Coventry, Second Lieutenant Campbell along with Sergeant Michael Gibson and Sappers W. Gibson, R. Gilchrest, A. Plumb, R.W. Skelton and Driver E.F.G. Taylor were tasked to deal with a 250 kilograms unexploded bomb.

The sappers spent almost four days uncovering the bomb which was found to contain a very damaged delayed-action fuse mechanism which could not be removed in situ. Though any electrical charge within the fuse was thought to have dissipated, Campbell still applied a discharge tool.

On the 17th October 1940, Campbell, believing the bomb to be inert ordered it to be moved. It was loaded onto a lorry and taken to Whitley Common where it could be detonated safely. Campbell positioned himself next to the bomb on this journey listening for any timer mechanism that might have been activated by the bomb's removal. The bomb was remotely detonated.

He and Sergeant Michael Gibson were awarded the George Cross for this action.

On the next day, 18th October 1940, Campbell and his squad were attempting to complete an identical procedure on another bomb. However, after arriving at Whitley Common, the bomb exploded during unloading, killing the entire bomb squad.

Following a funeral service at Coventry Cathedral on the 25th October 1940, the squad were buried in a collective grave here in Coventry's London Road Cemetery. The squad comprised 2nd Lt. Alexander Fraser Campbell, Sergeant Michael Gibson, Sappers William Gibson, Richard Gilchrest, Jack Plumb, Ronald William Skelton and Driver E. F. Taylor.

Campbell's posthumous George Cross citation appeared in the London Gazette on the 22nd January 1941:

For most conspicuous gallantry in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner, to 2nd Lieutenant A. F. Campbell, R.E. (since deceased). Second Lieutenant Campbell was called upon to deal with an unexploded bomb in the Triumph Engineering Company's works in Coventry. This bomb had halted war production in two factories involving over 1,000 workers and evacuation of local residents. He found it to be fitted with a delayed action fuse which was impossible to remove. He decided to remove the bomb to a safe place. This was done by lorry with Second Lieutenant Campbell lying alongside the bomb to enable him to hear if it started ticking so he could warn the driver to escape. Having got it to a safe place he successfully disposed of it. Unfortunately, he was killed the next day whilst dealing with another unexploded bomb.

The posthumous award of the George Cross to Michael Gibson appeared in the London Gazette on the 21st January 1941:

On 14 September 1940 a large unexploded bomb fell in an important factory. Excavation supervised by Sergeant Gibson was begun, during which time another bomb which had dropped nearby exploded. Despite the knowledge that the bomb on which he was engaged was of a similar type the N.C.O persevered and eventually the bomb was uncovered. On uncovering it an unusual hissing noise was heard coming from the bomb, whereupon Sergeant Gibson sent his men away and immediately set to work on the fuse. This he extracted safely and the bomb was eventually removed. His prompt and courageous action saved a very dangerous situation.
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CWGC Coventry (London Road) Cemetery - Coventry, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the night of 10th / 11th April 1940, about 451 people were killed and over 700 seriously injured when Coventry was bombed, during the "Coventry Blitz". Damage was caused to many buildings including some factories, the central police station, the Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital, King Henry VIII School and St. Mary's Hall.
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CWGC Coventry (London Road) Cemetery - Coventry, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Airspeed Oxford I R6100 of 6 FTS flew off track and hit a balloon cable at Walsgrave near Coventry on the 7th October 1941. The Pilot LAC Royden Marshall and also LAC Douglas Thomas Foulger were both killed.
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CWGC Coventry (London Road) Cemetery - Coventry, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The Coventry Blitz was a series of bombing raids that took place on the city.

There were 17 small raids on Coventry by the Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain between August and October 1940 during which around 198 tons of bombs fell. Together, the raids killed 176 people and injured around 680. The most notable damage was to the new Rex Cinema which had been opened in February 1937 and had already been closed by an earlier bombing raid in September.

The raid that began on the evening of 14th November 1940 was the most severe to hit Coventry during the war. It was carried out by 515 German bombers, from Luftflotte 3 and from the pathfinders of Kampfgruppe 100. The attack, code-named Operation Mondscheinsonate (Moonlight Sonata), was intended to destroy Coventry's factories and industrial infrastructure, although it was clear that damage to the rest of the city, including monuments and residential areas, would be considerable. The initial wave of 13 specially modified Heinkel He 111 aircraft of Kampfgruppe 100, which were equipped with X-Gerät navigational devices, accurately dropped marker flares at 19:20. The British and the Germans were fighting the Battle of the Beams and on this night the British failed to disrupt the X-Gerät signals.

The first wave of follow-up bombers dropped high explosive bombs, knocking out the utilities (the water supply, electricity network, telephones and gas mains) and cratering the roads, making it difficult for the fire engines to reach fires started by the later waves of bombers. These later waves dropped a combination of high explosive and incendiary bombs. There were two types of incendiary bomb: Those made of magnesium and those made of petroleum. The high explosive bombs and the larger air-mines were not only designed to hamper the Coventry fire brigade, they were also intended to damage roofs, making it easier for the incendiary bombs to fall into buildings and ignite them.

Coventry's air defences consisted of twenty-four 3.7 inch AA guns and twelve 40 mm Bofors. The AA Defence Commander of 95th (Birmingham) Heavy Anti–Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery, had prepared a series of concentrations to be fired using sound-locators and GL Mk. I gun-laying radar, and 128 concentrations were fired before the bombing severed all lines of communication and the noise drowned out sound-location. The anti-aircraft batteries then fought on in isolation. Some gun positions were able to fire at searchlight beam intersections, glimpsed through the smoke and guessing the range. Although the Coventry guns fired 10 rounds a minute for the whole 10 hour raid (a total of over 6,700 rounds), only one German bomber was shot down.[3]:156[7][8]

At around 20:00, Coventry Cathedral (dedicated to Saint Michael), was set on fire by incendiaries for the first time. The volunteer fire-fighters managed to put out the first fire but other direct hits followed and soon new fires broke out in the cathedral; accelerated by a firestorm, the flames quickly spread out of control. During the same period, more than 200 other fires were started across the city, most of which were concentrated in the city-centre area, setting the area ablaze and overwhelming the fire-fighters. The telephone network was crippled, hampering the fire service's command and control and making it difficult to send fire-fighters to the most dangerous blazes first; as the Germans had intended, the water mains were damaged by high explosives, meaning there was not enough water available to tackle many of the fires.[9] The raid reached its climax around midnight with the final all clear sounding at 06:15 on the morning of the 15th November.

In one night, more than 4,300 homes in Coventry were destroyed and around two-thirds of the city's buildings were damaged. The raid was heavily concentrated on the city centre, most of which was destroyed. Two hospitals, two churches and a police station were also damaged. The local police force lost no fewer than nine constables or messengers in the blitz.Approximately one third of the city's factories were completely destroyed or severely damaged, another third were badly damaged, and the rest suffered slight damage. Among the destroyed factories were the main Daimler factory, the Humber Hillman factory, the Alfred Herbert Ltd machine tool works, nine aircraft factories, and two naval ordnance stores. However, the effects on war production were only temporary, as much essential war production had already been moved to 'shadow factories' on the city outskirts. Also, many of the damaged factories were quickly repaired and had recovered to full production within a few months.

An estimated 568 people were killed in the raid (the exact figure was never precisely confirmed), with another 863 badly injured and 393 sustaining lesser injuries. Given the intensity of the raid, casualties were limited by the fact that a large number of Coventrians "trekked" out of the city at night to sleep in nearby towns or villages following the earlier air raids. Also, people who took to air raid shelters suffered very little death or injury. Out of 79 public air raid shelters holding 33,000 people, very few had been destroyed.

The raid reached such a new and severe level of destruction that Joseph Goebbels later used the term coventriert ("coventried") when describing similar levels of destruction of other enemy towns. During the raid, the Germans dropped about 500 tonnes of high explosives, including 50 parachute air-mines, of which 20 were incendiary petroleum mines, and 36,000 incendiary bombs.

On the night of the 8th / 9th April 1941 Coventry was subject to another large air raid when 230 bombers attacked the city, dropping 315 tons of high explosive and 25,000 incendiaries. In this and another raid two nights later on the 10th / 11th April about 451 people were killed and over 700 seriously injured. Damage was caused to many buildings including some factories, the central police station, the Coventry & Warwickshire Hospital, King Henry VIII School, and St. Mary's Hall. The main architectural casualty of the raid was Christ Church, most of which was destroyed, leaving only the spire. It was after this raid that the then-Mayor of Coventry, Alfred Robert Grindlay, led the early reconstruction of much of the city centre.

The final air raid on Coventry came on the 3rd August 1942, in the Stoke Heath district approximately one mile to the east of the city centre. Six people were killed. By the time of this air raid, some 1,236 people had been killed by air raids on Coventry; of these, 808 rest in the mass grave here in London Road Cemetery. Around 80 per cent of them had been killed in the raids of 14th / 15th November 1940 and the 8th–10th April 1941

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CWGC Coventry (London Road) Cemetery - Coventry, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Coventry (London Road) Cemetery - Coventry, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Coventry (London Road) Cemetery - Coventry, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Coventry (London Road) Cemetery - Coventry, Warwickshire, Tuesday 22nd October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

User avatar
SuffolkBlue
Posts: 1183
Joined: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 7:31 pm
Location: Bury St. Edmunds

Re: CWGC Cemeteries **updated 02/03/2020**

Post by SuffolkBlue »

The First World War saw four important hospitals - besides many smaller - posted at Birmingham: the 1st Southern General (3,500 beds) was in the university and other buildings, with a section at Stourbridge; the 2nd/1st Southern General (1,800 beds) in the Dudley Road Infirmary and in billets; the 1st Birmingham War Hospital (1,000 beds) at Rubery Hill Asylum and the 2nd Birmingham War Hospital (900 beds) at Hollymoor Asylum.

Military hospitals were at Birmingham again during the Second World War, including No 7 Canadian Hospital at Marston Green. Birmingham and Coventry were among the chief manufacturing areas producing materials for the war effort and were subjected to many devastating air raids during the Blitz of 1940-41. CWGC Birmingham (Yardley) Cemetery contains 262 First World War burials. 62 of these First World War burials are in a war graves plot and are commemorated on the Screen Wall at the head of this plot. In addition, a Screen Wall commemorates those buried in graves elsewhere in the cemetery not marked by headstones. Second World War burials number 250, 31 of them forming a small plot towards the centre of the cemetery, the rest scattered. The names of six men buried in graves not marked by headstones have been added to the existing Screen Wall.

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CWGC Yardley Cemetery - Birmingham, Sunday 1st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Yardley Cemetery - Birmingham, Sunday 1st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Yardley Cemetery - Birmingham, Sunday 1st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Yardley Cemetery - Birmingham, Sunday 1st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Yardley Cemetery - Birmingham, Sunday 1st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Yardley Cemetery - Birmingham, Sunday 1st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

A short drive across the city is CWGC Lodge Hill Cemetery, which contains 499 First World War burials, most of them in a war graves plot in Section B10. The names of those buried in the plot, or in graves elsewhere in the cemetery which could not be individually marked, are inscribed on a Screen Wall.

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CWGC Lodge Hill Cemetery - Birmingham, Sunday 1st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Lodge Hill Cemetery - Birmingham, Sunday 1st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Lodge Hill Cemetery - Birmingham, Sunday 1st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Lodge Hill Cemetery - Birmingham, Sunday 1st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Lodge Hill Cemetery - Birmingham, Sunday 1st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Lodge Hill Cemetery - Birmingham, Sunday 1st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Second World War burials number 125, most of them scattered throughout the cemetery, although there is a small plot in Section 2E. BIRMINGHAM MUNICIPAL CREMATORIUM stands within the cemetery. In the chapel, there is a bronze plaque commemorating 48 servicemen of the Second World War whose remains were cremated there.
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CWGC Lodge Hill Cemetery - Birmingham, Sunday 1st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Avro Lancaster III NE132 took off from RAF North Luffenham, Rutland, on the 6th February 1945 for a cross-country flying exercise. During the flight they entered cumulus nimbus clouds and the aircraft iced up, dived out of control and broke apart as it fell. The debris fell over a particularly large area but the main concentration was at Rhinog Fawr, Snowdonia.

Charles William Souden, from Birmingham, was one of 7 crew members to lose their lives.
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CWGC Lodge Hill Cemetery - Birmingham, Sunday 1st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Lodge Hill Cemetery - Birmingham, Sunday 1st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Lodge Hill Cemetery - Birmingham, Sunday 1st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Lodge Hill Cemetery - Birmingham, Sunday 1st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CJS
Posts: 7329
Joined: Thu 15 Jul 2010, 3:30 pm
Location: Hogwarts

Re: CWGC Cemeteries **updated 02/03/2020**

Post by CJS »

Thank you, again, Chris for spending the time to put this thread together. It continues to be in equal measures sobering and fascinating.

I actually wonder if you are creating the most comprehensive document of war graves and their stories that have been collated in one place (certainly in terms of the detail behind the stories).

Would it be worth contacting the IWM or the CWGC to see if they are interested in doing something with all the work you have done?

Again, thank you :up:
"Forewarned is forearmed"
How do you know I didn't?

User avatar
SuffolkBlue
Posts: 1183
Joined: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 7:31 pm
Location: Bury St. Edmunds

Re: CWGC Cemeteries **updated 02/03/2020**

Post by SuffolkBlue »

CJS wrote:Thank you, again, Chris for spending the time to put this thread together. It continues to be in equal measures sobering and fascinating.

I actually wonder if you are creating the most comprehensive document of war graves and their stories that have been collated in one place (certainly in terms of the detail behind the stories).

Would it be worth contacting the IWM or the CWGC to see if they are interested in doing something with all the work you have done?

Again, thank you :up:


Thanks for the kind comments. I never thought I would end up visiting so many places when I started the thread, with a lot more to upload on here too. Funnily enough I recently sent the commission an email to see if any of my research would be of interest, so I'll see what comes back :smile:

Just a small update from last year when I visited the Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome near Maldon, Essex, and the CWGC plot in the village churchyard.

The site was first surveyed as a possible aerodrome in August 1916, but it was not ready to accept aircraft until May 1917. The aerodrome was built as a direct response to the threat of German Zeppelin and Gotha bomber raids on the London area. It was built as part of a plan to site airfields from Dover to Edinburgh to prevent inland penetration of hostile forces. Each base was to be sited 10 miles to 30 miles apart from the other.

In April 1918, the aerodrome was handed over to the newly formed Royal Air Force, who instituted a survey in October of the same year which determined that the base had a complement of 219 personnel and 16 Sopwith Camel aircraft assigned to No. 37 Squadron (Home Defence). Some of the buildings were not yet finished, and it is thought that after the armistice in November 1918, works may have been halted, but some buildings were completed in December 1918. The domestic accommodation was furnished with enough space for 204 men and 15 women. By the time of the abandonment of the base in 1919, it had over 500 personnel and 36 aircraft based there. Originally the aircraft were housed in two Bessonneau Hangars, but these were replaced with two permanent structures in 1917.

A gap in the hedge surrounding the airfield is known as Milburn's Gap. On the 22nd April 1918, Lieutenant Cyril Milburns' Sopwith Camel aircraft went through the gap after it stalled on take-off, killing the pilot. The aircraft were known to be unreliable and of the ten pilots killed operating from Stow Maries, eight died in accidents whilst two were shot down by the Royal Navy. Milburn is buried here in the graveyard of the Church of Saint Mary and Saint Maragaret.
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CWGC Stow Maries (SS. Mary & Margaret) -Stow Maries, Essex, Saturday 26th October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Stow Maries (SS. Mary & Margaret) -Stow Maries, Essex, Saturday 26th October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Stow Maries (SS. Mary & Margaret) -Stow Maries, Essex, Saturday 26th October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The base was not re-used during the Second World War, although it was surveyed twice, bombed by the enemy (as it was left looking like an airfield) and saw at least one Hurricane from 242 Squadron land there after it was damaged during an aerial battle in 1940. The buildings, grassed fields and most of the surrounding area were returned to agriculture. In 1997, the Royal Commission for Historical Monuments in England (RCHME), surveyed the site and found evidence of 47 buildings. At least twenty-four of the original buildings have survived (and these have all been given grade II* listed status). In 2009, efforts were made by a group of enthusiasts to return the base to use as a light aerodrome and museum as it was the most complete World War I era aerodrome left in England. In 2017, the Duke of Gloucester formally opened the second museum building on the site.

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Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome - Stow Maries, Essex, Saturday 26th October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome - Stow Maries, Essex, Saturday 26th October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome - Stow Maries, Essex, Saturday 26th October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Stow Maries Great War Aerodrome - Stow Maries, Essex, Saturday 26th October 2019s Great War Aerodrome,Stow Maries, Essex, Saturday 26th October 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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SuffolkBlue
Posts: 1183
Joined: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 7:31 pm
Location: Bury St. Edmunds

Re: CWGC Cemeteries **updated 07/03/2020**

Post by SuffolkBlue »

My 2 day trip down to the South East began with a very early start to reach my first location just after sunrise (plus I got ahead of the traffic at the Dartford crossing!). The village of Lenham is located just off the M20 between Maidstone and Ashford. The cemetery here has 36 First World War burials, almost all of them from the Canadian Special Hospital which was established in Lenham at the time.

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CWGC Lenham Cemetery - Lenham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Lenham Cemetery - Lenham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Shortly after 6am on the 24th June 1944, 46 soldiers of the 6 Guards Tank Brigade workshop R.E.M.E who were stationed near Charing in Kent, were killed by a V1 flying bomb after it was shot down by a fighter, bounced off the flat roof of the riding school and landed amongst the Nissan huts.

These men are buried together here in Lenham Cemetery. Six men died later that day from their injuries and are buried elsewhere. These 46 casualties make up the 49 Second World War burials here.
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CWGC Lenham Cemetery - Lenham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Lenham Cemetery - Lenham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Lenham Cemetery - Lenham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Franz Maierl held the rank of Unteroffizier. On the 20th October 1940, he was flying Messerschmitt Bf 109E-7 2059 of 3/LG2 when he was shot down by Flying Officer Mungo-Park of No. 74 Squadron during a fighter-bomber sortie on London. His aircraft crashed on Chapel Farm, Lenham Heath. He baled out but his parachute caught fire and he fell to his death,
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CWGC Lenham Cemetery - Lenham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

It was back onto the motorway to the Shorncliffe Military Cemetery.

Shorncliffe Army Camp is a large military camp near Cheriton, Folkestone. It was established in 1794, when the British Army bought over 229 acres of land at Shorncliffe. In 1803 Sir John Moore trained the Light Division here, which went on to fight under the Duke of Wellington in the Napoleonic Wars.

Shorncliffe Military Cemetery is thought to have been established in the early 1850’s, with the first recorded burial taking place in August 1856. The records held by the MOD suggest that the site was created with the sole purpose of the interment of military casualties, and their family, at this time.
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CWGC Shorncliffe Military Cemetery - Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Shorncliffe Military Cemetery - Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

At the outbreak of the First World War the Cemetery was extended down the hill. Shorncliffe was used as a staging post for troops destined for the Western Front during the First World War. In April 1915 a Canadian Training Division was formed there and a number of Canadian military establishments were centred on Shorncliffe. There were camps and a Machine Gun School which were served by the Shorncliffe Military Hospital (later No. 9 Canadian General), the Moore Barracks Military Hospital (later No. 11 Canadian General), and other Canadian hospitals.

The Canadian Army Medical Corps Training Depot was at or near Shorncliffe during almost the whole of the war. On three occasions Canadian soldiers were killed during air raids on Shorncliffe.

In April 1917 a camp for Chinese labourers opened in Folkestone and over 94,000 men passed through the town on their way to France to help the Allies on the Western Front. Around 2,000 Chinese labourers remained at Shorncliffe however, working at the Army Camp and the various military hospitals.

Many soldiers of the Chinese Labour Corps fell victim to respiratory diseases on their long journey to the battlefields of Europe, and were treated at hospitals in Shorncliffe, Plymouth and Liverpool.
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CWGC Shorncliffe Military Cemetery - Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Shorncliffe Military Cemetery - Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

In 1917 a Belgian mausoleum was erected (through funds raised by Belgian refugees in the UK), it was built over the graves of 18 Belgian soldiers who had died at Shorncliffe Military Hospital. Sadly by 1959, the mausoleum had fallen into disrepair and it was demolished, being replaced with a screen wall.
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CWGC Shorncliffe Military Cemetery - Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Shorncliffe Military Cemetery - Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Shorncliffe Military Cemetery - Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Shorncliffe Military Cemetery contains a total of 471 First World War burials, more than 300 of which are Canadian, and 6 are Chinese Labour Corps. During the Second World War Shorncliffe was again used as a staging post. There is evidence of shrapnel damage to the headstones and Private Memorials in Plots P & R from various air attacks between August and October 1940.

During the Battle of Britain the cemetery was below the direct flight path from France to Hawkinge Aerodrome. There are 81 burials from the Second World War, including 1 unidentified British soldier from 1940 and 1 Polish soldier. Since the Second World War the MOD have used Shorncliffe Military Cemetery for further burials and cremations. In 1995, Plot M was extended and then in 2016 the site was extended again with the creation of Plot AA. There are around 350 non-war MOD graves in cemetery.

Private Edward Thomas Froud died at 12.25 pm on the 13th July,1917 at York House Hospital, Folkestone, Kent from wounds received in action in the Battle of Messines, France – gunshot wounds to back and buttock & fractured pelvis.
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CWGC Shorncliffe Military Cemetery - Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Shorncliffe Military Cemetery - Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Shorncliffe Military Cemetery - Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Shorncliffe Military Cemetery - Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

I think this area must be the steepest CWGC plot in the country...if not the world?!
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CWGC Shorncliffe Military Cemetery - Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Shorncliffe Military Cemetery - Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Shorncliffe Military Cemetery - Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Shorncliffe Military Cemetery - Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Victoria Belle Hennan of Elkhorn, Manitoba, Canada had been working for a year as a staff nurse with the QAIMNSR at Trent Bridge Military Hospital, Nottingham. She was then posted to the 9 Canadian General Hospital on the 2nd January 1918 and died there of influenza following pneumonia on the 23rd October 1918.
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CWGC Shorncliffe Military Cemetery - Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Shorncliffe Military Cemetery - Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Cecil K Wilson was one of the first airmen to lose their life with the RAF when he was killed on the 1st April 1918 in a flying accident, the same day the RAF was formed.
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CWGC Shorncliffe Military Cemetery - Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald - Saturday 18 December 1915

CANADIAN OFFICER DROWNED AT FOLKESTONE.

The circumstances attending the death of Lieutenant G. F. Franklin (sic), aged 41, of the Canadian Army Service Corps, formed the subject of a coroner's inquest at the Folkestone Town Hall on Thursday.

Private James Wilkinson, of the 4th Kings Own, on duty at Folkestone Harbour, stated that on Tuesday night he went on duty at nine o'clock, his sentry-post being at the gate adjoining the swing-bridge. The platform led right up to the gate, and late at night passengers had to pass through this gate. There was very little light. On the left-hand side there was a wall, and on the other side there were the chains and stanchions of the inner harbour. On the night in question, about ten o'clock, a few persons passed through the gate. These he warned to keep well to the left. He heard nothing during the night. The weather was rough, and it was raining. On the following morning, at 6.50, he looked over into the harbour, as he usually did, to see if there were any soldiers caps in the water. The tide was then out. He noticed what he supposed to be the body of a man in the harbour, the position being opposite the spot where the brick wall on the left "broke round" towards the station master's house. He noticed that there was one stanchion down, this being opposite to the place where the body was lying.

Thomas Sayer, labourer in the Engineer's department, S.E. Railway, living at 66, Sydney Street, said on Wednesday morning, about seven, the body of a man was pointed out to him by a sentry. It was lying at the bottom of the harbour. Witness was responsible for the stanchions and the chains, and before going off duty on the previous night, between 4.30 and 5 o'clock, he went round and saw that all the stanchions and chains were in proper position. When he arrived on Wednesday morning the chain at the particular point where the body was lying was hanging over the quayside.

The jury returned a verdict of "Found drowned."
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CWGC Shorncliffe Military Cemetery - Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Walter Wake McKenzie was born in Point Edward, Ontario on the 28th April 28 1891.

He signed his Attestation Paper with the 83rd Infantry Battalion (Queen's Own Rifles) on the 8th September 1915 at Niagara Camp, enlisting with the 83rd Infantry Battalion, naming his next-of-kin as his mother, Mrs. Thomas (Alice) McKenzie of Toronto, Ontario, stating that he has no previous military service, that he was not married and that his trade was that of Physician.

The following Spring he signed his Officers' Declaration Paper on the 1st April 1916 at Riverdale Barracks in Toronto, stating similar information.

The Battalion was raised and mobilized in Toronto, Ontario under the authority of G.O. 103A sailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard the S.S. Olympic on the 28th April 1916 and disembarked at Liverpool on the 7th May 1916.

He had been experiencing fainting spells while in England and was admitted to Helena Hospital Shorncliffe on the 6th September with "Syncopal attacks". In his Medical Case Sheet, upon his admission to Helena Hospital, it was noted that "This officer admitted to Hospital in fainting attack, the exact cause of which is not known. History shows one other attack under very similar circumstances 4 months ago. This attack came on after rising from dinner following a heavy meal." He would remain in hospital for eleven days before being discharged on the 16th. McKenzie was declared fit for service, returning to the 12th Reserve Battalion before being transferred to the Canadian Army Medical Corps Training School at Cheriton on the 10th October 1916.

Seven weeks later, he was re-admitted to the Helena Officers' Hospital on the 28th November with "Tonsilitis", hospitalized for fourteen days, then transferred on the 12th December to Westcliffe Canadian Eye and Ear Hospital at Folkestone, where he was to continue his recuperation for the next nine days, before being discharged on the 20th. His health began deteriorating in the new year, with McKenzie being re-admitted to Helena Officers' Hospital for Officers at Shorncliffe on the 17th February 1917 "Seriously Ill". He was becoming epileptic and died two days later of Cerebro-Spinal Meningitis on the 19th February 1917, at the age of 25. His mother, Alice, received his British War Medal, Victory Medal and Memorial Cross, while his father, Thomas, received his Memorial Plaque and Scroll.
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CWGC Shorncliffe Military Cemetery - Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Shorncliffe Military Cemetery - Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Mohawk was one of 27 Tribal-class destroyers, of which 16 were built for the British Royal Navy, during the late 1930s.

On the 16th October 1939, in the Firth of Forth, she came under air attack by Junkers Ju88 and straddled by two bombs which on explosion scattered splinters causing casualties to personnel on the bridge and upper decks. 15 of ship’s company were killed and 30 were injured.
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CWGC Shorncliffe Military Cemetery - Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Handley Page Halifax III W7823 took off from RAF Upwood, Huntingdonshire on the 25th January 1944 on a Target Indicator training exercise.

It failed to climb and struck trees before coming down in the middle of Upwood village nearby and catching fire.

Nine of the ten airmen on board died in the crash, including Pilot B F McSorley DFC, and the tenth died from his injuries the following day.

No one in the village was reported to have been killed or injured.
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CWGC Shorncliffe Military Cemetery - Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Shorncliffe Military Cemetery - Shorncliffe, Folkestone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr
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User avatar
SuffolkBlue
Posts: 1183
Joined: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 7:31 pm
Location: Bury St. Edmunds

Re: CWGC Cemeteries **updated 12/03/2020**

Post by SuffolkBlue »

Dover has a number of CWGC located across the town, with it's strong military links that date back centenaries. The largest of these is at St James's Cemetery, located in the shadows of Dover Castle. Across the cemetery, there are numerous plots from both world wars

During the First World War, Dover was a port of embarkation for troops bound for the Western Front and between August 1914 and August 1919 some 1,300,000 Commonwealth sick and wounded were landed there. The port was bombed in 1915 and again in August 1916. There are 387 identified burials of the First World War here. In addition there are 19 unidentified burials, 9 of whom can be named as victims of the Zeebrugge Raid, and these 9 are inscribed on a Special Memorial on the Cross of Sacrifice in the Zeebrugge Plot.

The British raid on Zeebrugge and Ostend on the 23rd April 1918 was intended to block the entrances to the canals linking the German destroyer and U-boat base at Bruges to the sea. The failure at Ostend led Vice Admiral Roger Keyes, commander of the Dover Patrol, to plan another attack on Ostend. He planned to use the old cruiser HMS Vindictive, which had carried assault marines and sailors to Zeebrugge, as a blockship. She was captained by Commander Alfred E. Godal, who had captained the blockship HMS Brilliant during the previous attempt to block Ostend. She was ready to go on 27 April, but the weather was too bad to proceed.
It was decided, with advice from captains of Dover to Ostend steam packets, that the tides would be ideal on 10th-13th May and almost so on the 9th May. The 14th May was a possible date but more doubtful. The delay allowed another old cruiser, HMS Sappho, to also be used as a blockship.

The two blockships were accompanied by 18 motor launches and 10 coastal motor boats (CMBs, an early form of MTB/PT Boat). Fire support would come from seven monitors escorted by eight destroyers, five of them French, two motor launches and two French motor boats. The Allies did not know if the German destroyers of the Flanders Flotilla, which had returned to Germany in mid February, had returned to Zeebrugge, so another 12 British destroyers were deployed in three groups of 4 to cover against a German attack on the raiding force. Keyes commanded the northern group from HMS Warwick but Commodore Hubert Lynes commanded the expedition, known as Operation V.S., from HMS Faulknor.

Aerial reconnaissance revealed that the Germans had removed all the buoys in the approaches to Ostend. The British had allowed for this and HMS Faulknor carried an illuminated buoy to be positioned at the point where the attacking ships had to turn. To obtain surprise, the main bombardment from shore based guns, naval monitors and Handley-Page bombers would not start until the last moment.

Vindictive and Sappho arrived at Dunkirk at 10:45 pm. The expedition sailed 45 minutes later but a boiler problem forced Sappho to drop out just before midnight. Lynes decided to go ahead with only Vindictive since she had been the only blockship available when V.S. was first planned.

Faulknor dropped her buoy at 01:25 am on the 10th May, with Vindictive passing it 12 minutes later. The British ships were covered by a smoke screen, and the only sign of enemy action until then was a single searchlight. At 01:43 am the British bombardment began. Five minutes later a mist descended, reducing visibility to a few yards and dividing the attacking force into a number of small, uncoordinated units. Vindictive was then about 12 minutes from her target. The destroyers outside the harbour and mist started firing star shells in order to illuminate the canal mouth.

CMB 24 (Lieutenant A. Dayrell-Reed) and CMB 30 (Lieutenant A. L. Poland) fired torpedoes at the eastern pier head, damaging it. However, it is doubtful whether these brave attacks succeeded in reducing the German fire.

Vindictive was finding it difficult to find the harbour mouth because of the mist. Godsal turned his ship in the hope of finding it. CMB 26 (Lieutenant C. F. B. Bowlby) did manage to identify the eastern pier head and fire a torpedo at it, but it hit the bottom and exploded so close to CMB 26 that she was badly damaged. Godsal was forced to order CMB 23 (Lieutenant the Hon. C. E. R. Spencer) to light a powerful flare in order to illuminate the harbour mouth. This showed Godsal the target but also showed his ship to the Germans. CMB 25 (Lieutenant R. H. MacBean) fired two torpedoes at the pier heads, which hit them but did not stop the fire that was raining down on Vindictive.

Vindictive had to steer a course towards the western bank and then manoeuvre across the channel with the help of the east flowing tide in order to block the channel. As she began this manoeuvre, Godsal stepped out of the conning tower for a better view. A shell then hit it, killing him and knocking the navigator, Lieutenant Sir John Alleyne, unconscious. Vindictive remained on her existing course and had run aground by the time that Lieutenant Victor Crutchley was able to take command. He tried unsuccessfully to move Vindictive before ordering her crew to abandon ship and setting the sinking charges. She was lying at an oblique angle and did not block the channel.

The survivors of Vindictive were picked up by motor launches 254 (Lieutenant Commander Geoffrey Drummond), which took off two officers and 38 men and 276 (Lieutenant Rowland Bourke), which rescued Alleyne and two ratings from the water. Both launches were badly damaged, and Crutchley had to take command of 254 after Drummond was wounded and Lieutenant Gordon Ross killed.

Three men were found alive on board Vindictive by the Germans, despite Crutchley searching her before leaving. Odsal, another officer and a petty officer were amongst the 16 British sailors killed in Operation V.S.: all are listed on Naval-History.net.

Shortly after Crutchley informed Keyes onboard HMS Warwick that the mission had failed she struck a mine. The enemy destroyers were absent and the mist was now protecting the British from German shore batteries. She was towed back to port.

Keyes wanted to make a third attempt, which was in initially approved. By the end of May, however, the situation had changed with the result that the potential benefits would not justify the risks involved.

The Dover Straits Barrage meant that U-boats could no longer travel through the English Channel to the Atlantic, reducing the effectiveness of boats based in Flanders. The Flanders torpedo boats and destroyers were by this stage of the war restricted to a defensive role.

Crutchley, Drummond and Bourke were all awarded the Victoria Cross and a large number of other men were also decorated.
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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Lieutenant-Colonel Geoffrey Charles Tasker Keyes, VC, MC was the oldest son of Admiral of the Fleet Roger Keyes, 1st Baron Keyes, a British naval hero of the First World War and the first Director of Combined Operations during the Second World War.

Geoffrey Keyes was commissioned into the Royal Scots Greys. He saw action at Narvik and was later attached to No. 11 (Scottish) Commando, which was sent to the Middle East as part of Layforce.

Following the allied invasion of Syria on the 8th June 1941, No. 11 Commando was sent to successfully lead the crossing of the Litani River in Lebanon, fighting against troops of the French Vichy régime, during which Keyes played a leading part. In this operation, Keyes earned the Military Cross.

Following the action, 11 Commando returned to Cyprus, then to Egypt in August 1941, where the unit was left in limbo. Keyes, who had assumed command of the unit after his commanding officer, Colonel Richard Pedder, was killed during the Litani River offensive, was authorized to retain 110 volunteers as a troop in the Middle East Commando.

In October–November 1941, a plan was formulated at Eighth Army headquarters to attack Axis headquarters, base installations and communications. One objective was the assassination by a Commando team of Erwin Rommel, the commander of the Axis forces in North Africa. The raid was intended to disrupt enemy organisation before the start of Operation Crusader. Operation Flipper was led by the acting Lieutenant Colonel Keyes with his superior, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Laycock, joining as an observer. Keyes, who had been present throughout the planning stage, selected the most hazardous task for himself: the assault on the supposed headquarters of the Afrika Korps in a house near Beda Littoria.
On the 18th November 1941, following a botched landing by submarine, where over half the raiding party and their equipment failed to get ashore, the men endured an exhausting approach in torrential rain.

Keyes tried to enter the house but was confronted by a sentry. Keyes struggled in the doorway with the sentry until the guard was shot by his second-in-command. Surprise lost, Keyes, his second-in-command and a sergeant entered the building. Keyes felt faint and collapsed. Shortly after a confused period inside the house Keyes's body was carried outside by his men and left. The best explanation for this was that he was shot in the back by his second-in-command. The men retreated to a position from which they were later taken prisoner. The second-in-command also had to be left since he was shot in the leg by one of his own men. On Rommel's orders, Keyes was buried with full military honours in a local Catholic cemetery. It was later ascertained that the house was not Rommel's HQ but a supply center that he seldom if ever visited; he had been in Italy at the time of the attack. Despite the debacle, Keyes was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross.
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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Second Lieutenant Alan Alexander Wilson-Walker was attached to No. 13 Reserve Squadron, Royal Flying Corps located at Dover.

He died on the 20th March 1916 near Dover in a flying accident.

Newspaper Report of Accident from Dover Express, Dover, Kent, England – 24 March, 1916:
AUSTRALIAN FLYING OFFICER KILLED
The inquest on Lieut. A. Wilson Walker, who was killed near Dover in an aeroplane accident on Monday at 11.30 a.m., was held on Wednesday afternoon by the County Coroner (Mr R. Mowll).
The evidence was that the deceased officer was returning from a cross-country flight, and was seen near the Dover end of the Guston tunnel to be flying at a dangerously slow speed and then to turn. The machine sideslipped and
nose-dived 1,500 feet, striking the ground and smashing to pieces. The deceased was found strapped in the
machine dead, his spine being fractured, skull fractured, and both legs and one arm broken.
It was stated that he was an Australian, 22 years of age, and had served all through the Gallipoli affair, taking his ticket January 10th, and had done sixteen hours' flying. The elevator, which was the only way of getting a machine out of a nose-dive, was in good order after the accident.
The Coroner expressed their sorrow at this gallant young officer's death; and the jury returned a verdict of accidental death.
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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Glatton and her sister ship Gorgon were originally built as coastal defence ships for the Royal Norwegian Navy, as Bjørgvin and Nidaros respectively. She was requisitioned from Norway at the beginning of World War I, but was not completed until 1918 although she had been launched over three years earlier.

After completion, Glatton sailed for Dover on the 11th September 1918 to prepare for the offensive planned for later that month. At 6:15 on the evening of the 16 September, Glatton's midships 6-inch magazine had a low-order explosion that ignited the cordite stored there. Flames shot through the roof of 'Q' turret, starboard midside, and started to spread aft. The ship's captain—Commander N. W. Diggle—ordered the forward magazines flooded, but the crew were unable to flood the rear magazines as the flames blocked access to the magazine flooding controls. The presence of the ammunition ship Gransha only 150 yards may risked a massive explosion that would devastate Dover if Glatton's rear magazine exploded and set off Gransha's ammunition. Vice-Admiral Keyes—who had been walking with Commander Diggle when Glatton's magazine exploded—boarded the recently arrived destroyer Cossack once apprised of the danger. He ordered Cossack to torpedo Glatton in an attempt to flood the magazine before it detonated. Cossack's first 18-inch torpedo struck the anti-torpedo bulge amidships, but failed to explode because it had been fired too close to Glatton. Her second torpedo blew a hole in Glatton at 7:40, but the torpedo's 200-pound warhead was too small to penetrate through her bulge and Glatton remained afloat, still burning. Keyes transferred to the destroyer Myngs and ordered her to fire on Glatton with her 21-inch torpedoes at 8:15. They were aimed at the hole blown in Glatton's starboard side by Cossack's second torpedo and succeeded in causing Glatton to capsize until her masts and superstructure rested on the harbour bottom and dousing the fire. Casualties were heavy: 60 men were killed outright and 124 were injured of whom 19 later died of their burns.

A Court of Enquiry held immediately afterwards found that the explosion had occurred in the midships 6-inch magazine situated between the boiler and engine rooms. The cause was more difficult to establish, but the Court did note that the stokers were in the habit of piling the red-hot clinker and ashes from the boilers against the bulkhead directly adjoining the magazine to cool down before they were sent up the ash ejector. The magazine was well insulated with 5 inches of cork, covered by wood planking .75 inches ( thick and provided with special cooling equipment so it was not likely that the cordite had spontaneously combusted. The magazine of Glatton's sister ship Gorgon was emptied and examined. The red lead paint on the bulkhead was blistered beneath the lagging and tests at the National Physical Laboratory demonstrated that it had been subject to temperatures of at least 400 °F (204 °C). Recorded temperatures inside the magazine did not exceed 83 °F (28 °C) and a test of red-hot ashes was inconclusive as the temperature in the lagging only reached 70 °F (21 °C) with occasional hot spots of 150 °F (66 °C). Other tests did reveal that the cork could give off flammable fumes under high heat and pressurized air. While not entirely satisfied with this conclusion it found in April 1919 that "The slow combustion of the cork lagging of the 6-inch midship magazine of the Glatton led to the ignition of the magazine and then to the ignition of the cordite in it and so caused the explosion.

As a precaution, Gorgon's lagging was stripped out and replaced with silicate wool, revealing the real cause. Part of the cork was missing and folded newspapers were found in the empty space which were left there by the dockyard workers during construction. Furthermore, a number of rivets were entirely missing which meant that 0.5 inches holes were present, which could have allowed the hot ashes to ignite the newspapers. The forced-draught pressure in the boiler room would have supplied air through the rivet holes, causing the cork to give off flammable gases, and eventually ignite the cordite charges.

Glatton remained in Dover Harbour, an obstruction to shipping, with her hull visible at low tide as the Harbour Board could not afford the £45,000 quoted on average by salvage companies. Finally they asked the Harbourmaster, Captain John Iron, if he could do it for less. He estimated it would cost about £5,000 if he was granted use of the salvage craft already at Dover. The Board accepted his offer and work began in May 1925. Some 12,000 short tons of silt were removed from underneath Glatton and her mainmast and superstructure were blasted away from the wreck. Four lifting lighters, with a capacity of 1,000 long tons, were hired, but they would not suffice to lift a water-logged 5,000 long tons ship. It was necessary to seal all of the holes on her topside and pump air into each compartment at a rate of 70,000 cubic feet per minute to restore her buoyancy. The first attempt to lift her began on the 2nd December 1925 and was successful in breaking the suction holding her to the bottom in combination with the rising tide. That was enough for the first try and the major lifting effort began the following day. Slowly she was moved, taking advantage of the tides, until on the 16th March 1926 she was moved to a deep gully next to the western pier of the submarine harbour, close by the shore. The total cost was considerably more than originally estimated, but still far less than that quoted by the salvage companies, at no more than £12,000. There she remains, buried by landfill underneath the current car ferry terminal.
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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS T.G.Thompson sank on the 29th March 1918 off Beachy Head following a torpedo attack.
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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 15th February 1918, an Imperial German destroyer squadron and the lightly armed ships of the Dover Patrol fought in the Strait of Dover.

By the beginning of 1918 a deep mine barrage across the Dover Strait from Folkestone to Cape Gris Nez, on the French coast was in place. The Germans didn't know of its existence as any U-boats that came across it were destroyed. The minefield worked in combination with a squadron of Royal Navy trawlers who, upon sighting a submarine, would drive it into the minefield by means of gunfire and flares. Between the 18th December 1917 and 9thFebruary 1918, five German submarines had been sunk in the minefield. The Germans didn't know about the minefield and thought the Royal Navy ships were sinking the submarines. The Imperial German Naval command decided to send a Destroyer unit to attack the Royal Navy ships

British forces in the Channel sighted a submarine around 1:00 AM on the 15th February 1918. As drifters attempted to force the submarine into the minefield in the usual manner, they were attacked by a force of German destroyers. The German ships appeared to use one destroyer to illuminate the target with a searchlight long enough for the other ships to get the range at which point the entire group would fire. The German destroyers enjoyed a considerable advantage in firepower over the smaller and scattered enemy craft and moved from one British vessel to the next, destroying each in turn.

10 ships were lost in total, including HMT W. Elliott.
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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

William Smith Oliver was a Canadian born on the 26th July 1891 in Toronto. Although living in Calgary, Alberta at the time, he travelled all the way to St Antonio in Texas to qualify as a pilot, crossing into America on the 16th January 1916.

He travelled across the country and attended the Stinson Aviation School and learnt how to fly, passing out on the 22nd March 1916. Some time later after this William travelled to England and enlisted in the Royal Naval Air Service as a pilot with the rank of flight sub-lieutenant and was stationed at Dunkirk. He was killed in a flying accident on the 24th March 1917.
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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Laforey was the lead ship of her class of destroyer built for the Royal Navy. Launched a year before the First World War began, she was attached to the Dover Patrol. Laforey saw action in several engagements with German torpedo boats, including the Battle off Noordhinder Bank and the Action of 17 March 1917.

On the 23rd March 1917, Laforey, together with sister ships Laertes, Lark and the destroyer Melpomene, were escorting several cargo ships to France, using the Folkestone to Dieppe route. The merchant ships arrived safely, but at around 16:30, after the destroyers had begun the return trip, a large explosion occurred amidships on Laforey. The ship immediately broke in half, and the stern sank rapidly. The bow remained afloat for a short time before sinking, during which Laertes struggled to rescue survivors. Laforey had been sunk by a British-laid mine. Only 18 of the 76 aboard survived. The wreck lies about 10 miles south off Shoreham-by-Sea and is a recreational dive site.
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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Paragon was an Acasta-class destroyer that served in the Royal Navy during the First World War. She was launched in 1913, and joined the 4th Destroyer Flotilla upon completion. Serving with the Grand Fleet in August 1914, Paragon moved to the Humber in the summer of 1916, then to Portsmouth, then to Devonport by 1917.

Lt. Bowyer was in command of the destroyer Paragon patrolling the submarine barrage in the Straits on the night of the 17th March 1917 along with Laertes, Laforey, Llewelly, when a German destroyer force steamed into the Dover Straits to break the barrage. The Paragon was torpedoed and overwhelmed by the German destroyer’s gunfire that she broke on half within eight minutes and sank. Some of Paragon's own depth charges exploded killing some of the survivors from the attack from the German destroyers attack. All of HMS Paragon 76 crew members were lost, a rescue attempt to save the few survivors of HMS Paragon was made by HMS Llewellyn during the battle with the German destroyers she was also torpedoed, but was able to remain afloat.
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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

David Ian Kirton was born in Dover on the 2nd June 1919 and educated at St James School and the County School for Boys locally. He left in 1935 and joined the RAF as a Boy Entrant. He was engaged in photography before applying, and being accepted for, pilot training.

On the 12th June 1939 he commenced training at 22 E&RFTS Cambridge, going on to 6 FTS at Little Rissington in August. On the 23rd March 1940 he was posted to 5 OTU Aston Down to convert to Hawker Hurricanes.

His first squadron posting was to 501 at RAF Tangmere on the 27th April but this proved a short stay as he went to 65 Squadron, equipped with Spitfires, at RAF Hornchurch on the 5th May.

Kirton was killed in action aged 21 when his Supermarine Spitfire IK9911 was shot down by Me109's over RAF Manston on the 8th August 1940.
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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Nubian was a Royal Navy Tribal-class destroyer. She was launched in 1909 and torpedoed in 1916. With her bow blown off, the wreck was used to create a new ship by joining the bow of another destroyer of the same class, HMS Zulu. The resulting ship was given the portmanteau name HMS Zubian. She went on to sink the U-boat SM UC-50 in 1918 and was scrapped in 1919.

During the Battle of Dover Strait, on the night of the 26th / 27th October 1916 off Folkestone, Nubian's bow was almost severed by a German torpedo that exploded almost under her bridge. She was taken in tow but the tow-ropes severed in the bad weather conditions and she ran aground on the South Foreland, near Dover. The bow then parted completely on a chalk reef and the remainder of the ship was driven under a cliff. Two of the crew of Nubian died and a further thirteen were missing, believed killed.
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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Mohawk was a Tribal class destroyer of the Royal Navy launched in 1907 and sold for scrap in 1919.

During the First World War she served in the North Sea and the English Channel with the 6th Destroyer Flotilla, being damaged by a mine in 1915 and fighting in the Battle of Dover Strait in 1916.

On the night of the 26th/27th October 1916, German torpedo boats of their Flanders Flotilla carried out a large scale raid into the English Channel, hoping to attack the drifters watching the anti-submarine nets of the Dover Barrage, and to sink Allied shipping in the Channel. Mohawk was one of six Tribal-class destroyers waiting at readiness in Dover harbour, and when the Germans attacked the drifters and sank the supporting destroyer HMS Flirt, they were ordered to intervene.

The destroyers split up as they left Dover harbour, with Viking leading Mohawk and Tartar from the Western entrance to the port, while the other three destroyers (Nubian, Amazon and Cossack) left by the other entrance and failed to join up with Viking's group. Nubian and Amazon separately ran into the German 17th Half Flotilla, with Nubian first being badly damaged by a torpedo and Amazon then heavily hit by German shells. The group led by Viking then encountered another German formation, the 18th Half Flotilla.

German shells killed four aboard Mohawk and caused her steering to jam, blocking the course of Viking when she attempted to pursue the German torpedo boats, that escaped unharmed.
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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

In 1940, Dover was the headquarters for the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk and nearly 200,000 of the 366,000 British and Allied troops brought back during the operation were landed there.Throughout the war Dover was a particular target for the long range guns on the French coast and between September 1939 and May 1945 there were no less than 742 attacks by air raid and shelling.

Most of the 356 Second World War burials are contained in a special war graves plot at the far end of the cemetery. The plot, know as the Dunkirk plot, contains many graves from the Dunkirk operation. 22 of these burials are unidentified.
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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Boreas was a B-class destroyer built for the Royal Navy around 1930. Initially assigned to the Mediterranean Fleet, she was transferred to the Home Fleet in 1936. The ship then patrolled Spanish waters enforcing the arms blockade during the first year of the Spanish Civil War of 1936–39.

The ship was assigned to the 19th Destroyer Flotilla on the start of the war and spent the first six months on escort and patrol duties in the English Channel and North Sea. While assisting the damaged minesweeper

Sphinx on the 4th February 1940 in the Moray Firth, Boreas's stern was damaged and she required repairs that lasted until the following month. The ship was attached to the 12th Destroyer Flotilla on the 29th March until she was damaged in a collision with her sister ship Brilliant on the 15th May. Her repairs lasted until the 19th June and Boreas was assigned to the 1st Destroyer Flotilla at

Dover upon their completion. On the 25th July, the ship engaged German E-boats off Dover Harbour together with Brilliant and was badly damaged by German Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers after she was ordered to withdraw. Her bridge was hit twice by bombs that killed one officer and twenty crewmen.

Boreas was under repair at Millwall Dock until the 23rd January 1941.
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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Bideford was a Royal Navy Shoreham-class sloop. She was named after the town of Bideford in Devon and was launched on the 1st April 1931.

In August 1938, Bideford started a more extensive refit at Malta Dockyard, where she was re-armed, this refit continuing until December 1938, when she returned to the Gulf. In May 1939, Bideford transferred to the China Station, based at Hong Kong.

Bideford was still part of the China Station on the outbreak of the Second World War in September 1939, continuing to carry out patrols until being ordered to return to Britain in December 1939.] On her journey back to home waters, Bideford formed part of the escort of Convoy HGF 14 from Gibraltar to the UK, attacking a suspected submarine contact off Cape Finisterre on the 9th January 1940.

In February 1940, Bideford joined the 1st Escort Vessel Division of the Western Approaches Command, and was deployed on escorting convoys between Gibraltar
and the United Kingdom. While escorting one such convoy, the Britain-bound HG 19, on the 23rd February, Bideford attacked another suspected submarine contact. She attacked another submarine contact on the 18th March, while escorting Convoy OG 22F.

In May 1940 she took part in the Dunkirk evacuation. On her first evacuation trip, on the evening of the 29th May, Bideford was struck by a German bomb, which set off one of Bideford's depth charges, badly damaging the ship, and killing 28, 16 from the ship's crew and 12 passengers. The aft 40 feet of the ship's stern was blown off and the ship's mainmast collapsed, with Bideford having to be grounded to avoid sinking.

The minesweeper Kellett took off the surviving troops from Bideford, but despite the damage to the sloop, other troops later boarded Bideford. The Dragonfly-class river gunboat Locust towed Bideford back to Dover, the journey taking 32 hours and ending on the 31st May.
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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

TSS (RMS) Fenella (II) No. 145310 was a pre-Second World War passenger steamer built by Vickers Armstrong at Barrow-in-Furness in 1936, for service with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.

Requisitioned in the first week of the war as a personnel carrier, Fenella's first few months were relatively uneventful. Then, on the 28th May 1940, Fenella joined no less than seven of her steam packet sisters and made passage to Dunkirk.

The next day, under the command of her Master, Captain W. Cubbon, Fenella made her first trip into the evacuation area. She started to embark troops from the East Pier, and had 650 on board when she came under heavy fire in the third massed air attack of that day. She was hit by three bombs in quick succession, the first bomb hitting her directly on the promenade deck, the second bomb hitting the pier, blowing lumps of concrete through the ship's side below the waterline, and the third exploded between the pier and the ship's side, wrecking the engine room.

The Fenella was abandoned and later sank. The troops were disembarked onto the pier, where they were picked up by the famous old London pleasure steamer, the Crested Eagle. This too, was subsequently bombed and beached.

The survivors of the Fenella's crew were later picked up by the Dutch skoot, the Patria, which was under Royal Navy command. Others of the crew had succeeded in getting ashore via the pier and had been taken on to the Crested Eagle, only to receive a direct hit.

The Fenella had gone into the harbour with a crew of 48, all Steam Packet men and most of them Manxmen. Four men had been left behind on leave. In all, 33 men got back to Dover, where Greaser W A Cubbon died of his wounds. Many had been wounded, some seriously.
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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

H.M. Trawler Botanic was damaged by enemy action in Dover Harbour on the 15th September 1940. There were six fatal casualties as a result of this bombing, including Skipper Andrew Robertson Lees.
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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The eighth HMS Worcester (D96, later I96), was a Modified W-class destroyer of the British Royal Navy that saw service in World War II.

Following an extensive refit Worcester recommissioned on the 9th May 1940 and after working up at Portland took up her duties with the 11th. Destroyer Flotilla in the Western Approaches. When some 120 miles north of Lands End she received a signal to proceed to Dover where she arrived at 07.15 on May 28th. and immediately set off for Dunkirk albeit at reduced speed owing to a lack of fuel. Arriving at Dunkirk she took 509 troops on board and attempted to refuel from HMS Anthony but could only get 10 tons so the return journey was made at a more economical speed (18 knots). A possible submarine was detected near West Hinder so a pattern of depth charges was dropped resulting in wreckage but no oil.

After unloading her passengers and refuelling it was back to Dunkirk to load 800 troops during a heavy bombing attack; Worcester escaped unscathed but HMS Grenade was sunk. Worcester returned to Dover, unloaded and set off again, this time to Bray beaches to embark troops from small boats, a slow process during which German aircraft approached but were driven off by the ship’s guns. Back to Dover to unload and collect Rear Admiral Dover and his staff and ferry them across before collecting 800 troops from boats at La Panne and Bray beaches. On her return journey at low water Worcester rounded a buoy in Dunkirk Roads a bit too close and went aground for a while before being refloated. Back at Dover she unloaded, refuelled, had her propellers examined by divers and then set off for the beaches again, reaching them at dusk on May 31st. The mole at Dunkirk was full and Worcester visited each of the beaches in turn. The minesweepers with their shallow draught were able to get closer inshore and the small boats took the troops to them instead of Worcester. When dawn came shore batteries began to fire at her so she moved to the East Pier which by now was less congested, embarked 750 troops and returned to Dover.

The next journey almost ended in disaster. On approaching Dunkirk she had to weave around wrecks and pick up survivors from sunk transports. A signal was received instructing them to return to Dover immediately but Cdr. Allinson thought that having got this close it wasn’t worth going back empty handed so took the ship into Dunkirk, berthed at the East Pier and took 900 troops aboard before obeying his instructions and setting off to Dover. En route the ship was attacked by successive waves of dive bombers and as the attacks were pressed home down to a couple of hundred feet it seemed that only a miracle prevented the ship from being sunk. The raids resulted in 46 dead and 180 injured and splinter holes all over the ship; oil tanks were ruptured, electrical circuits disrupted (including the gyro compass). Holes in the oil tanks allowed water to enter the tanks, Worcester lost steam and her engines stopped near the Goodwin Sands. A tug was sent to tow her in but hard work by the engineers got her going again and she continued to Dover. The damage done to engines, rudder and propellers made manouvering to enter the inner harbour difficult and Worcester collided with the ferry Maid of Orleans suffering further damage which put an end to her part in the evacuation from Dunkirk. On securing Worcester alongside Commander Allinson was heard to remark ‘Well, that finishes me with this ship!’

Worcester made six trips to Dunkirk and brought back 4,350 troops, expended 266 rounds of 4.7” ammunition, 360 rounds pom-pom and over 10,000 rounds .303. The majority of the dead and injured were army personnel, the ship’s crew lost 6 dead and suffered 40 injured. After patching up Worcester went to Tilbury for repairs.
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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

There are also a number of smaller plots located across the site.

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Charles Wooden VC was a German-born soldier in the British Army and a recipient of the Victoria Cross

He was awarded the Victoria Cross for acts of gallantry during the Crimean War. He was 25 years old, and a sergeant-major in the 17th Lancers (Duke of Cambridge's Own), British Army. On the 26th October 1854, in the Crimea, at Balaklava, Sergeant-Major Wooden went out with surgeon James Mouat to the assistance of an officer who was lying seriously wounded in an exposed position, after the retreat of the Light Cavalry. He helped to dress the officer's wounds under heavy fire from the enemy.

"Lord Raglan wishes the cavalry to advance rapidly to the front, follow the enemy, and try to prevent the enemy carrying away the guns. Troop Horse Artillery may accompany. French cavalry is on your left. Immediate. (signed) R. Airey"

This order, carried by the young Captain Louis Nolan and misinterpreted by Lord Lucan, began one of the most famous of all military engagements – The Charge of the Light Brigade – on the 25th October 1854. Charles Wooden rode in this action.

Captain William Morris of the 17th Lancers, with about 20 men as yet comparatively unscathed, came upon a squadron of Russian Hussars. Ordering his men to keep together, he rode straight at the Russian leader, running him through with his sword with such force that he toppled him over the side of his horse, and, unable to disengage his hand from his sword, fell with him. The Russians closed on Morris and slashed at him with their sabres, cutting through his forage cap until he lost consciousness. He was taken prisoner but, in the confusion of the field, managed to slip away, capture a horse and make a dash for freedom, only to fall from his horse due to his wounds. Pursued by the Russians through the thick smoke of the battlefield, he caught another horse, but fell again when the horse was shot. This time the horse fell on him, trapping his leg. When he came to, in agony from a broken right arm, broken ribs and three deep head wounds, he managed to free his leg and stagger towards the British lines. By a strange coincidence he came across the body of his good friend Captain Nolan; and lay down beside it. (Morris and Nolan had earlier exchanged the letters customary between friends before battle, promising to inform the other's loved ones should anything happen to them.) Once again, Morris lapsed into unconsciousness.

An attempt was made by Turkish troops to recover the two men; but, as Russian fire rained down upon them, they abandoned it. A message was then sent to the 17th Lancers; and Sergeant-Major Charles Wooden of the 17th Lancers (who had ridden in the charge, and had had his horse shot from under him) and Surgeon Mouat of the 6th Dragoons, set out under heavy fire to rescue the stricken Morris. After roughly dressing his wounds, they succeeded in returning to their lines. For this action both were to be awarded Britain's highest military honour, the Victoria Cross. Morris survived his wounds, and died four years later in India.

Wooden, was not a popular man in the regiment possibly because of his odd demeanour and strong German accent. Even the award of his VC was controversial. At first he was not entered for the award although Dr Mouat was. Wooden wrote to Dr Mouat saying that if Mouat was to receive a VC then so should he as he had been at Mouat's side during the rescue of Lt Col Morris. Dr Mouat agreed, and wrote to the Horse Guards supporting Wooden's claim.

The reply to his letter reads: "His Royal Highness feels very unwilling to bring any further claim for the Victoria Cross for an act performed at so distant a period but as the decoration has been conferred on Dr James Mouat for the part he took in the rescue of Lt. Col. Morris and Sergeant-Major Wooden appears to have acted in a manner very honourable to him on the occasion and, by his gallantry, been equally instrumental in saving the life of this officer, His Royal Highness is induced to submit the case."[citation needed] Wooden's VC was gazetted on 26 October 1858.

His VC citation reads:

HER Majesty has also been graciously pleased to confer the Decoration of the Victoria Cross on the undermentioned Non-commissioned Officer of Her Majesty's Army, who has been recommended to Her Majesty for that Decoration, on account of an Act of Bravery performed by him in the Crimea, during the late War, as recorded against his name; viz.:

On the 14th April 1876, Wooden shot himself following a drinking session, having complained of severe head pains the previous week. An inquest recorded death by suicide due to temporary insanity. He was 47 years old and had served 30 years with the army.
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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The Second Battle of Dover Strait was a naval battle of the First World War, fought in the Dover Strait in April 1917 and should not be confused with the major Battle of Dover Strait in 1916. Two Royal Navy destroyers defeated a superior force of German Kaiserliche Marine torpedo boats.

On the 20th April 1917, two groups of torpedo boats of the German Navy raided the Dover Strait to bombard Allied positions on shore and to engage warships patrolling the Dover Barrage—the field of floating mines that prevented German ships from getting into the English Channel. Six torpedo boats bombarded Calais and another six bombarded Dover just before midnight.

Two flotilla leaders of the Royal Navy — HMS Broke and Swift — were on patrol near Dover and engaged six of the German ships early on the 21th April near the Goodwin Sands. In a confusing action, Swift torpedoed SMS G85. Broke rammed SMS G42, and the two ships became locked together. For a while, there was close-quarters fighting between the crews, as the German sailors tried to board the British ship, before Broke got free and G42 sank.

HMS Swift was slightly damaged, but Broke was heavily damaged and had to be towed back to port.

22 British and 71 German sailors lost their lives.
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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

SS Maloja was an M-class passenger steamship of the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company. She was completed in 1911 and worked a regular route between Great Britain and India.

At 15:00 hrs on the 26th February 1916, Maloja sailed from Tilbury for Bombay carrying 122 passengers (less than a fifth of her capacity) and a general cargo. Her passengers were a mixture of military and government personnel, and civilians including women and children. Following normal P&O practice, her complement of 301 comprised British officers and Lascar crew.

The next morning, Maloja approached the Strait of Dover at full speed and overtook a Canadian collier, Empress of Fort William. Under wartime conditions each ship would have to be examined by a patrol boat before being allowed to proceed.

The German Type UC I submarine SM UC-6 had recently mined the strait. At about 10:30 hrs Maloja was about 2 nautical miles off Dover when her starboard quarter struck one of UC-6's mines. There was a large explosion, and the bulkheads of the second saloon were blown in. Empress of Fort William was still in sight and immediately went full ahead to assist, but while still 1 nautical mile astern the collier also struck one of UC-6's mines and began to sink.

As a precaution against enemy attack, Maloja was steaming with her lifeboats already swung out on their davits so that they could be lowered more quickly. Her Master, Captain C.D. Irving, RNR, immediately had her engines stopped and then put astern to stop her so that her boats could be lowered. She also sounded her whistle as a signal to prepare to abandon ship.

Irving then tried to order her engines be stopped again for the ship to be evacuated, but flooding in her engine room prevented the engines from being stopped and she started to make way astern at about 8 to 9 knots. She also developed a list to starboard which steepened to 75 degrees. Passengers started to board the starboard lifeboats but the ship's speed and list prevented all but three or four of them from being launched.

Small vessels headed to assist her including the Port of Dover tugs Lady Brassey and Lady Crundall, trawlers, dredgers and a destroyer. As Maloja steamed astern and unable to stop, the rescue vessels were unable to get alongside to take off survivors. A heavy sea was running and the hundreds who crowded her decks could only don a cork lifejacket, jump overboard and try to swim clear. A number of her rafts either were launched or floated clear, and some of her survivors managed to board them. Maloja sank 24 minutes after being mined, followed by Empress of Fort William which sank about 40 minutes after being mined.

Many of the deaths were from hypothermia, either in the water or after being rescued. Most of the people who survived were recovered from the water. Several survivors, including Captain Irving, had been immersed for half an hour. The Second Officer, Lieutenant C Vincent, was in the water for an hour but survived. The small vessels taking part in the rescue took many of the survivors to the hospital ships Dieppe and St David. Others were brought ashore and Royal Navy ambulances took them to the Lord Warden Hotel. Survivors were later taken by special train to London Victoria.

At about 11:30 hrs vessels started to bring bodies ashore. The chief constable of Kent took charge of the dead and designated the Market Hall below Dover Museum as a temporary mortuary. 45 bodies were recovered but about another 100 people were unaccounted for.

Maloja's wreck lies in 80 to 100 feet of water but was a navigation hazard, so in 1964 she was blown up. This left the wreck considerably dispersed and flattened, but what remains is substantial enough to have become a destination for wreck diving when underwater visibility is good enough.
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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Dover (St. James's) Cemetery - Dover, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

If you’re ever heading over to mainland Europe and have an hour or so free before catching the ferry, it is definitely well worth a visit here. I haven’t been anywhere that has some many burials from various major conflicts from both world wars.

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SuffolkBlue
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Re: CWGC Cemeteries **updated 12/03/2020**

Post by SuffolkBlue »

I then made my way up the coastline to Deal. There is a war grave plot in the towns cemetery but also burials scattered around the site,

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CWGC Deal Cemetery - Deal, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Deal Cemetery - Deal, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Deal Cemetery - Deal, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HM Trawler Equinox was damaged by bombs dropped by a Zeppelin over Dover harbour on the 10th August 1915. Trimmer William D Boyle was the only casualty to lose their life on the boat.
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CWGC Deal Cemetery - Deal, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Deal Cemetery - Deal, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Niger was a torpedo gunboat launched in 1892 and converted to a minesweeper in 1909.

On the morning of the 11th November 1914 a U-boat attack occurred off Deal. Around noon there was an explosion and black smoke rose from HMS Niger. Niger was at anchor about two milesoff the pier at Deal when she was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine SM U-12.

Niger was the first ship sunk by U-boat commander Walther Forstmann. Forstmann was one of the most successful commanders of the Imperial German Navy in the First World War. She was also the first Allied ship to be sunk by German submarines based at the newly captured Belgian naval bases.

Many who were tracking the fighting from onshore saw the explosion and the smoke. Even though there were high winds and huge waves, boats went to the sinking ship and were able to take the crew off. Some of Niger's sailors were eating lunch when the torpedo hit and so were only lightly dressed. All officers, but only 77 men of Niger's crew survived the sinking, four people were injured.

Lieutenant-Commander Arthur Thomas Muir, who commanded the ship remained on the bridge until the rest of the crew had left. He suffered serious injuries in the explosion. The injured were taken to the nearby Royal Naval Hospital.

When HMS Niger was attacked there were about 100 other ships nearby. One of these had a Dutch flag and was moored very close to Niger and then suspiciously disappeared after the attack. The British Admiralty suspected it to be a German spy ship.

The commander of the naval squadron, that HMS Niger was a member of, was Geoffrey Spicer-Simson who would later become famous for commanding a small flotilla which defeated a superior German force during the Battle for Lake Tanganyika.
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CWGC Deal Cemetery - Deal, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Formidable, the third of four ships of that name to serve in the Royal Navy, was the lead ship of her class of pre-dreadnought battleships. The ship was laid down in March 1898, was launched in November that year, and was completed in September 1901. Formidable served initially with the Mediterranean Fleet, transferring to the Channel Fleet in 1908. In 1912, she was assigned to the 5th Battle Squadron, which was stationed at Nore.

Following the outbreak of World War I in August 1914, the squadron conducted operations in the English Channel, and was based at Sheerness to guard against a possible German invasion. In the first days of the war, the 5th Battle Squadron covered the crossing of the British Expeditionary Force to France.

Under the command of Vice-Admiral Commanding, Channel Fleet, Sir Lewis Bayly, the 5th Battle Squadron spent the 31st December participating in gunnery exercises off the Isle of Portland, supported by the light cruisers Topaze and Diamond. The squadron received no escort of destroyers for the operation. After the exercises, that night the fleet remained at sea on patrol even though submarine activity had been reported in the area. Visibility that night was good, though the sea was rough enough to make detection of a submarine difficult.

Bayly suspected no danger from submarines, and so steamed his ships in line ahead formation at a speed of 10 knots. Formidable was the last battleship in the line, followed only by the two cruisers. Unknown to the British, the German submarine U-24 stalked the squadron while it was exercising all afternoon, trying to find a suitable attack position

At around 02:20 on the 1st January 1915, U-24 launched a torpedo at Formidable, striking her on the starboard side abreast of the forward funnel. Formidable's commander, Captain Loxley, hoped to save the ship by bringing her close to shore; the other British ships were at that point unaware of what had happened, but after Formidable turned out of line, Topaze increased speed to determine what she was doing.

By the time Topaze closed with Formidable twenty minutes later, the latter vessel had already taken on a list of 20 degrees to starboard, and Loxley had issued the order to abandon ship. Men attempting to save the vessel remained aboard and through counter-flooding reduced the list, though Formidable was by then very low in the water.

At around 03:05, U-24 launched another torpedo at the stricken Formidable, hitting her again on the starboard side close to her bow. Topaze, joined by Diamond, began the rescue effort, but the heavy seas made it very difficult to bring men aboard.

Formidable remained afloat for another hour and forty minutes, and at 04:45 began to capsize and sink by the bow. She remained afloat, with her stern in the air, for a few minutes before sinking. Loxley was last seen on the bridge calmly overseeing the evacuation of the ship.
Diamond picked up thirty-seven officers and crew from the water. The Brixham trawler Provident picked up 73 members of Formidable's crew from the battleship's launch at around midday, while Formidable's pinnace managed to reach Lyme Regis after 22 hours at sea, saving another 47 men. A total of 35 officers and 512 men were killed in the sinking.

An inquiry from the Admiralty into the sinking determined that the risk of conducting training exercises in the Channel without destroyer protection was excessive and should not be continued. Bayly was relieved of command for failing to take adequate precautions against submarine attack.

W Bennett is buried here in his home town.
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CWGC Deal Cemetery - Deal, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Deal Cemetery - Deal, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The Deal barracks bombing was an attack by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) on the Royal Marine Depot, Deal, England.

At 8:22am on the 22nd September 1989, a 15 lb time bomb detonated in the recreational centre changing room at the Royal Marines School of Music. The blast destroyed the recreational centre, levelled the three-storey accommodation building next to it and caused extensive damage to the rest of the base and nearby civilian homes. The blast was heard several kilometres away, shaking windows in the centre of Deal, and created a large pall of smoke over the town. Most of the personnel who used the building as a barracks had already risen and were practising marching on the parade ground when the blast occurred. These marines witnessed the buildings collapse, and many of the teenaged personnel were in a state of shock for days afterwards.

Some marines had remained behind in the building, and thus received the full force of the explosion. Many were trapped in the rubble for hours and military heavy lifting equipment was needed to clear much of it. Kent Ambulance Service voluntarily agreed to end its industrial strike action to aid those wounded by the blast. Ten marines died at the scene with most trapped in the collapsed building, although one body was later found on the roof of a nearby house. Another 21 were seriously injured and received treatment at hospitals in Dover, Deal and Canterbury. One of these men, 21-year-old Christopher Nolan, died of his injuries on the 18th October 1989.

No one has ever been arrested or convicted in connection with the Deal bombing.
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CWGC Deal Cemetery - Deal, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Deal Cemetery - Deal, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

During the morning of the 20th December 1942 the crew of 77 Squadron Handley Page Halifax III DT625 were undertaking a circuit training exercise which included practicing flying on three engines and took off from RAF Elvington at 09.59hrs. The aircraft broke up in the air with the wreckage falling around a mile south east of Wheldrake village at 10:30hrs. This was the first 77 Squadron loss since rejoining Bomber Command from their time with Coastal Command.

Sgt Henry Spinner died of his injuries later the same day in Fulford Military Hospital, York and was buried here in his home town.
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CWGC Deal Cemetery - Deal, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Dornier Do 17, 3495 U5+DM from Kampfgeschwader 4, crashed into the sea at 20:40 hours on the 9th November 1940, of unknown causes, off the coast of Kingsdown, Kent.

Their bodies were washed up on the beach nearby, although the circumstances of their burial indicate that only body parts were found for two of the crew, a third was found more or less intact, and the fourth's remains were, he claims, never recovered.

3 of the 4 man crew buried here are

a) Unteroffizier Leopold Kaluza, aged 23, from Klausberg (originally in Austria, now in Italy, in the South Tyrol area).

b) Heinz Fischer, aged 25, from Dresden

c) Unteroffizier Herbert Reinsch, aged 20, also from Dresden

Leutnant Mollenhauer, who, because of his rank was probably the pilot, was believed missing in action by some historians. However, the records of the Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge e. V. (VDK), Dover District Council, and the Deutsche Dienststelle (WASt) indicate that his body was found on the foreshore of the old Parish of Sholden, on the dunes between Sandown Castle, Kent and the Royal Cinque Ports Golf Club on the 15th November 1940, three days after his comrades had been buried in the Hamilton Road Cemetery, and six days after the crash.

The date of death of all four of the crew is wrongly listed on their graves as being the 12th and 15th November respectively. This is because the date used is the day they were found washed up on the beach.

Leutnant Mollenhauer was not buried in Deal Cemetery however, and was instead buried in Aylesham cemetery on the 18th November 1940. The reason why he was buried at Aylesham cemetery is unknown. The Hamilton Road cemetery is the closest, Aylesham is around 8 miles from Deal even by the most direct route, and Dover is half that distance, and has many more cemeteries.

One reason could be that the British authorities at the time were aware that Leutnant Mollenhauer was from the same plane as Fischer, Reinsch and Kaluza. This might explain why some sources believed Leutnant Mollenhauer was MIA.
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CWGC Deal Cemetery - Deal, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The third HMS Windsor (D42) was a W-class destroyer of the British Royal Navy that saw service in the final months of World War I and in World War II.

On the 26th May 1940, Windsor was assigned to Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of Allied troops from Dunkirk, France. She began support operations on the 27th May 1940, patrolling off the Dunkirk beachhead and escorting ships engaged in evacuating personnel from it. That day she came to the assistance of the passenger ship Mona's Isle, which had come under German air attack with 1,000 troops from Dunkirk on board, suffering 23 dead and 60 wounded; after rendering medical assistance to Mona's Isle, then Windsor escorted her to Dover.

On the 28th May, Windsor herself came under a heavy and sustained attack by 15 German aircraft, which bombed and strafed her, inflicting 30 casualties on her crew and causing significant damage, forcing her to return to Dover. Despite her damage, however, she remained in action. She made her final evacuation trip on the 3rd June, transporting 1,022 troops and bringing to 3,991 the number of troops she had evacuated from Dunkirk.
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CWGC Deal Cemetery - Deal, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Mosquito was a Dragonfly class river gunboat that was fatally bombed at Dunkirk on the 1st June 1940 Junkers Ju87 Stukas.
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CWGC Deal Cemetery - Deal, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Deal Cemetery - Deal, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

During the First World War, Ramsgate was the base of armed drifters and held a Canadian Special Hospital. The town was bombed in March 1916. Ramsgate Cemetery contains 102 First World War burials, almost half of them forming a war graves plot. Six of the burials are unidentified.

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CWGC Ramsgate Cemetery - Ramsgate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Ramsgate Cemetery - Ramsgate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Around 8:15hrs on the 26th May 1917, an explosion ripped through HMTB4 which was moored in the inner basin at Ramsgate harbour. The blast was so large that 400 houses were damaged. Fourteen ratings lost their lives in this tragic accident.

The chief officer of the fire brigade was in a small boat near the mouth of the harbour at the time of the explosion (just setting out on a fishing trip) and managed to be landed and raced to the ship, and with his men, fought back the flames and managed to submerge the forward magazine, preventing further explosions.

A funeral service was held in the town that was attended by thousands with 13 men buried together here in Ramsgate cemetery and one in Great Yarmouth.
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CWGC Ramsgate Cemetery - Ramsgate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Ramsgate was a naval station during the Second World War and one of the ports controlling the initial despatch of volunteer vessels for the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk in 1940. The cemetery was used for casualties from nearby RAF Manston and by Ramsgate General Hospital. Second World War burials in the cemetery number 88, six of them unidentified. Most of these graves form a second plot which also contains eleven German and one Dutch grave.
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CWGC Ramsgate Cemetery - Ramsgate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Ramsgate Cemetery - Ramsgate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Air Gunner Ronald Ernest Herbert Bushell was killed by V-1 while on leave at Ilford, Essex on the 26th November 1944.
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CWGC Ramsgate Cemetery - Ramsgate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Ramsgate Cemetery - Ramsgate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Ramsgate Cemetery - Ramsgate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Heinkel He111H-2 (2782) of KG53 was attacked by fighters during a sortie to bomb RAF Radlett on the 30th August 1940. The pilot, Fritz Eckert, was killed in the attack.

The Observer took control, dumped bombs in the sea and belly-landed on Goodman’s Farm near Manston airfield 16.35hrs.

FF Fw Fritz Eckert killed
BF Gefr Hans-Georg Köhler captured severely wounded - admitted to Ramsgate Hospital where died three days later
BO Gefr Albert Klapp and BS Gefr Friedrich Glück both captured wounded
BM Fw Kurt Stockl captured unhurt.

Fritz Eckert was buried at St John’s Cemetery in Margate, Hans-Georg Köhler here at St Lawrence’s Churchyard in Ramsgate.
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CWGC Ramsgate Cemetery - Ramsgate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

As dawn broke on the Morning of the 1st of June the German air raids started over Dunkirk. At five o’clock heavy bombing and strafing attacks developed over the whole area from La Penne to Dunkirk. The RAF arrived but found themselves vastly outnumbered.

At 7.20 a very large force of Junkers Ju87 Stukas and Junkers Ju88’s with a large fighter force attacked the evacuation fleet. In a few hours four Destroyers had been seriously damaged, two cross channel steamers and a paddle-minesweeper had been lost and all around small ships were on fire and sinking.

At midday, HMSMosquito arrived off the Dunkirk beaches and began to load Belgium troops. Overhead twenty-four Stuka dive bombers circled and attacked in waves out of the sun.

In a screaming dive the Stuka’s attacked dropping their bombs and machine-gunning the Mosquito. The anti-aircraft guns of the Mosquito and surrounding ships couldn’t cope with the number of enemy planes, even so, it is thought that two were shot down.
A bomb struck the Mosquito damaging her beyond repair, setting her on fire, killing and wounding a number of her crew. The crew of the Anti-aircraft pom-pom gun were all killed or badly wounded. Leading Seaman Ronald Thirwall although badly wounded continued return fire at the enemy. The aft gun had also been put out of action with all its crew wounded. Able Seaman C. Hirschfield made his way to the gun and single handed fired at the enemy.

The Mosquitoes days at Dunkirk had come to a sudden end. The Officers and crew were rescued by another ship and passing their sister ship HMS Locust, a message was sent to it asking where it had been.

The reply was, “In and out of Hell”
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CWGC Ramsgate Cemetery - Ramsgate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Ramsgate Cemetery - Ramsgate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 15th August 1940, Oskar Rohleder of 6 Staffel Kampfgeschwader died on a mission against targets in the Thames Estuary when his aircraft Dornier Do17Z-2 5K+LP) was shot down, probably by a Hawker Hurricane of 111 Squadron RAF piloted by Squadron Leader Ernest Archibald McNab RCAF, and crashed into sea off the coast by Reculvers, Kent. Leutnant Heinz Kringler and Unteroffizier Herbert Depenheuer also died in the crash.”
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CWGC Ramsgate Cemetery - Ramsgate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Ramsgate Cemetery - Ramsgate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the night of the 4th/5th April 1943, three MGBs met four German armed trawlers off Dunkirk, sinking one of them. 27 Germans were killed, but 13 were picked out of the sea and taken prisoner. Heinrich Vidner, one of the prisoners, was seriously injured. On the return to Ramsgate at daybreak he was quickly transferred to the local hospital.

Sadly Heinrich did not survive his injuries
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CWGC Ramsgate Cemetery - Ramsgate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

CWGC Margate Cemetery is located on the outskirts of the town, just a few miles from the former Battle of Britain airfield, Manston Airport. The cemetery contains 83 Second World War burials, 3 of which are unidentified. A number of these are casualties from the evacuation of Dunkirk. More than half of the graves form a war graves plot in Section 50, which also contains the graves of 18 German airmen, 1 of which is unidentified. The rest of the graves are scattered throughout the cemetery, as are the 53 burials from the First World War, 2 of which are unidentified.

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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The German war grave plot
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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

JG54 Messerschmitt Bf109E-4 was shot down in combat with Supermarine Spitfires of No.603 Squadron during a free-lance sortie over Thanet and broke up over Barham. The pilot, Oberfw Helmut Knippscheer baled out into the Channel off Dover but drowned.

His body was washed ashore at Reculver on the 27th October 1940.
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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 1st June 1943, two Hawker Typhoons of 609 Sqn scrambled from RAF Manston to investigate shipping in the channel. They soon spotted three Fw190s, part of twelve attacking Margate to Broadstairs. Flt Lt Wells shot down two & F/O Idwal Davies three. One Fw190A - 5, WerkNummer 52529 of Unteroffizzier Otto Zugenrucker, fell near Manston at Lydden and buried here in Margate Cemetery.
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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the night of 15th October 1943, Junkers Ju 188s of I/KG6 were tasked with their first major operational sortie against the British mainland. The plan was to mount a nuisance raid against London in retaliation for recent attacks on German cities.

As night fell, five aircraft departed Handorf airfield and headed for London. The first off was Hauptmann Helmuth Waldecker in 3E+BL closely followed by Leutnant Karl Geyr in 3E+HH.

Geyr and his crew, Feldwebel Walter Flessner (observer), Obergefrieter Dietram Kretzschmar (radio operator) and Obergefrieter Otto Schmidt (flight engineer) flew low level to the Dutch coast and then climbed to 20,000ft to follow a Knickebein beam towards Harwich. After following a deliberately erratic course to confuse night fighters, they dropped their bombs on London and headed for home.

Within minutes of dropping their bombs however, their Ju188 was hit by flak, an ominous warning that they weren't safe yet. Ten minutes later one of the crew spotted the dark shape of a Mosquito night fighter moving across the night sky. Immediately four bursts of cannon fire ripped into their aircraft and their fate was sealed. With the fuel tanks on fire and all but the pilot wounded, the aircraft spun out of control and crashed near Birchington, Kent at
2318 hrs.

Although two crew members managed to bale out in time, sadly only the pilot, Karl Geyr, survived. It had been a grim night for I/KG6, the first Ju188 to take off had been shot down twenty minutes earlier, near Harwich, and a third was shot into the sea off Clacton at 23.10hrs.

All three aircraft were claimed by Mosquitoes of 85 Squadron, the second two by one crew, Flying Officer Hugh Thomas and Warrant Officer C B Hamilton.

These aircraft were the first Junkers 188s to fall upon British soil during World War Two.
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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr


The grave of FF Fw Fritz Eckert, who lost his life in the same crash in Heinkel He111H-2 (2782) as Hans-Georg Köhler, who is buried in Ramsgate.
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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Dornier Do-17Z-3 of Kampfgeschwader 3 was shot down by a RAF Hawker Hurricane and crash landed on the beach at Foreness Point, Isle of Thanet at 12.55hrs on the 26th August 1940 whilst on a raid on RAF West Malling.

The crew was:
Uffz R Haupt survived
Pilot-Lt Karl Eggert survived the crash but died 2 says later
Obergefr Walter Knochenmuss died in the crash
K Kamm survived.
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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Heinkel He111H of 6./KG4 was badly damaged over Colchester by F/O G.E. Ball of No.19 Squadron during night sortie to attack RAF Honington on the 19th June 1940. The crew jettisonned the bombs and headed for home but crashed in the sea off Sackets Gap, Margate at 02.15hrs. FF Lt Hans-Jürgen Bachaus, BF Uffz Theodor Kühn, and BM Uffz Fritz Boeck were all captured unhurt, HB Fw Alfred Reitzig attempted to bale out but his parachute snagged on the tailplane and was killed.
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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The S.S. Scotia was built by William Denny and Brothers Ltd in Dumbarton, launched in 1921 she was 3441 tons. She was owned by the London & North Western Railway (L. & N.W.R.) and operated as a ferry between Holyhead and Dublin with a crew predominantly from Anglesey.

The Scotia was commandeered by the Admiralty during World War Two as a transport ship (with the crew remaining the same, but with the addition of some men from the Royal Navy) and was known as either H.M.S. Scotia or H.M. Transport Scotia .

With the very experienced Captain William Henry Hughes at the helm (later awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (D.S.C.) for his actions at Dunkirk), and having already successfully carried two cargoes of troops from Dunkirk, the Scotia returned and embarked another load of troops, and began the journey to Dover.

On the morning of the 1st of June 1940, H.M. Transport ship Scotia was attacked in waves of four Junkers Ju87 Stukas, using both dive-bombing and machine-gun fire to try to destroy their target. Of at least four bombs that hit the Scotia, one went down the funnel before exploding, and soon the ship was listing astern.

The order was soon given to abandon ship, but that was by no means the end of the ordeal for the crew and the thousands of troops on board. More waves of enemy aircraft attacked again, killing many in the water by machine-gun fire and dropping more bombs onto the ship.

It was estimated that up to 330 onboard the Scotia had lost their lives, 28 of them being the crew of the Scotia.
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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Pilot Officer J W Garton got airborne from RAF Manston for a combat air patrol over the South Foreland, Kent on the 9th July 1940 at 18:55 hours.

He was one of two 54 Squadron Spitfires shot down in the combat engagement. It is believed his Supermarine Spitfire I R6705 was shot down by a Bf 109 of 3./JG 51 and crashed near RAF Manston.
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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

John Laurance Allen was born on the 3rd July 1916 in the Mission Hospital at Kijabe, outside Nairobi in what was then British East Africa, now Kenya.

His father was Kenneth Watson Allen, a 'Medical Missionary' and Canadian, his mother Ruth Ellis Allen (nee Schneider), an American.
Presumably Allen was British by birth in a British Protectorate as it was called.
His arrival in the UK is currently undocumented but at some time he was studying at Battersea Polytechnic in London.

Allen joined the RAF in June 1937. He went to 8 FTS Montrose on the 21st August. He was on a training flight on the 18th January 1938 when he disappeared in fog over Forfarshire. Search parties failed to find him. Early the next morning an RAF search plane spotted wreckage on Glen Dye moor, Kincardineshire.
Beside the wreck was a rescue party, laying down, spelling out the word ALIVE.

An ambulance plane picked up Allen, badly injured. After a long stay in hospital he finished his training and joined 54 Squadron at Hornchurch on the 5th December 1938.

On the 21st May 1940 between Dunkirk and Calais Allen probably destroyed a Ju88, 54 Squadron's first victory.

Two days later he and Alan Deere escorted S/Ldr. J Leathart, in a Miles Master, to Calais-Marck airfield to pick up the CO of 74 Squadron, who was stranded there. Twelve Me109’s attacked the Master but were engaged by Allen and Deere, who between them shot three down and badly damaged three more. Allen destroyed one and damaged two others.

On the 24th May Allen shot down a Me109 in the Calais area, on the 25th he destroyed two Me110's and on the 26th another Me110 with another probable. In the last engagement his engine was hit by a cannon shell and he baled out over the Channel near a destroyer. He returned to the squadron that evening dressed in a naval officer's uniform, carrying a kitbag.
On the 27th May he shared a Ju88 over Dunkirk.

Allen was awarded the DFC (gazetted 11th June 1940) and received it from the King in a ceremony at Hornchurch on the 27th June in company with Deere and Leathart, who were awarded the DFC and DSO respectively.

His engine was damaged in a combat with Me109’s over Margate on the 24th July 1940. He stalled while trying to reach Manston. He was then seen making for Foreness in a controlled descent with a dead engine, which suddenly restarted, causing him to again make for Manston.
The engine stopped again and trying to turn for Foreness a second time he stalled and spun in and was killed when his Spitfire, R6812, crashed and burned out near the Old Charles Inn at Cliftonville.
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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Archibald Finnie joined the RAFVR in November 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot. Called up on the 1st September 1939, he went to 10 FTS Tern Hill in early November where he completed his training, being commissioned in early May 1940.

Finnie arrived at 5 OTU Aston Down on the 23rd June 1940 for a conversion course on Spitfires. He joined 54 Squadron at Rochford on the 8th July 1940.

On the 24th he made a forced-landing at Great Bainden Farm, Mayfield after sustaining damage attacking Do17’s bombing a convoy in the Channel off Dover.

He later returned to Rochford. Finnie was shot down and killed the next day in Spitfire I R6816 during combat with Me109’s off Dover.
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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Rodney Levett Wilkinson was born in Shrewsbury on the 23rd May 1910.

His father, Clement Arthur Wilkinson, was serving with the 2nd Battalion, Kings Shropshire Light Infantry in the Ypres Salient when the Battalion HQ at Railway Wood came under sustained shelling on the 12th May 1915. The HQ was evacuated until the shelling ceased later that day. Wilkinson and some other officers returned to retrieve their kit but were then all killed by a direct hit.

He is buried in Sanctuary Wood Cemetery east of Ypres.

Wilkinson was educated at Wellington College. He entered the RAF College, Cranwell in January 1929 as a flight cadet. On graduation in December 1930 he joined 3 Squadron at Upavon.

On the 1st October 1932, Wilkinson was posted to the staff of HQ Transjordan and Palestine in Jerusalem where he was personal assistant to the AOC, Sir Wilfrid Freeman. In January 1934 he was made PA to the AOC Middle East, AVM Newall.

He returned to the UK in 1934 and joined the Station Flight at Duxford on the 22nd October, operating as an instructor to Cambridge University Air Squadron. He moved to the staff of CFS, Upavon on the 19th April 1937. He then took up an Air Ministry post in January 1939.

After a refresher course at 5 OTU Aston Down in June 1940 where he converted to Spitfires, Wilkinson was given command of 266 Squadron at Wittering on the 6th July 1940.

He claimed a Do17 destroyed on the 12th August and a Ju88 on the 15th. On the 16th in combat over Deal it is believed that he collided with a Me109, possibly that flown by Uffz. Bruder of 4/JG51 who baled out.

Wilkinson was killed when his Spitfire I, R6768, crashed and burned out at Eastry Court.
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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Robert Wilfred Garth Beley was born in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada on the 13th December 1919 and moved to Rossland, British Columbia with his parents and three siblings in 1923. He was educated there, being known to his friends as ‘Bunny’ and was known for his prowess in skiing and tennis.

In August 1939 he travelled to England where he joined the Royal Air Force. He trained at 2 FTS, Brize Norton and was commissioned as a Pilot Officer in March 1940. He was posted to 151 Squadron, flying Hawker Hurricanes from RAF North Weald, on the 14th July 1940.

On the 12th August 1940, the squadron was engaged with Me109’s over the Channel. Beley was shot down in Hurricane I P3304. Though badly injured he baled out and was rescued from the sea, taken to hospital at RAF Manston where he died from his injuries later that day.
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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Vickers Wellington III BK438 from RAF Kirmington crashed while attempting an emergency landing at RAF Manston from a raid on Turin on the 20th November 1942.

Wireless Operator Harris Mansel Lisson & Air Gunner Leslie John Sommerville were 2 of 4 crew members to lose their lives.
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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Air Gunner Frederick Henry King was on board Short Stirling I BF334 from RAF Bourn on a raid to Munich on the 19th September 1942. On the return journey, the aircraft ditched off Ramsgate due to engine failure, breaking into four sections as it crashed. Two survivors swam for shore pulling Sgt King in the dinghy while another stayed with Sgt Davies, who was also badly injured. They were found some 4 hours later by a passing trawler but sadly Sgt King had not survived.
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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

During a fighter sweep operation on the 3rd September 1942, Pilot Officer Noel Rees MacQueen was flying Supermarine Spitfire Vb 73312 from RAF Tangmere when it suffered an engine failure west of Deal. The pilot bailed out too low for the parachute to open and the aircraft crashed onto the Goodwin Sands
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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

James Lloyd Darby, born in Bella Bella, BC, was the son of Dr. George Elias and Enda Howard Matthews Darby of Vancouver, BC. He had two brothers, George and Gordon, and one sister, Mrs. H. T. Ramsden. Dr. Darby, a medical missionary, was listed as living in Bella Bella, BC with the rest of family residing in Vancouver. The family attended the United Church.

Darby was a university student prior to enlistment at UBC from 1937-1940, studying chemistry, physics, advanced maths, English and French. He worked at F. W. Stone Canadian Fishing Co. as Captain, engineer and cook, at their Goose Bay Cannery Rivers Inlet location during the summers of 1935 through 1940. He was also working at C. E. Webb, Department of Mines and Resources, Vancouver, BC as a civil engineering assistant in 1941. He enjoyed swimming, skiing, badminton, rugby, basketball and track. He mentioned that he had taken courses in both Morse and Sinaphone, built small sailing craft and model airplanes and ships.

Darby was sent to Trenton to become an instructor in early 1942. "Pupil should become a good instructor with experience. He has shown marked keenness throughout the course. Knowledge of patter fair. Flying ability high average, but could become smoother. Requires practice in precautionary landings."

At No. 10 SFTS, Dauphin, Manitoba, he was an instructor from April 1942 until the 15th January 15 1943. He was sent overseas in March 1943. He was at 56 OTU by May 1943. He was posted to 198 Squadron on the 14th August 1943.

Darby only had 35 minutes of flying a Hawker Typhoon in the short time he was with 198 Squadron before he was killed on the 5th September 1943. He had been a passenger in de Havilland Tiger Moth DE765, piloted by F/O Jonas, both from 198 Squadron. They were flying from RAF Manston to RAF Martlesham. At 1558, the aircraft took off from Martlesham, on the return trip, piloted by Darby, with no passengers. The Tiger Moth was plotted flying over the Thames Estuary from Clacton, at at about 1635 hours, was seen to be approaching Margate at a height of 800-1000 feet. Just beyond the pier, the engine appeared to cut out and the aircraft dived into the sea. Darby baled out at the last moment, but his parachute failed to open and he was killed. It was determined that Darby attempted to stretch out the glide to reach land and stalled the aircraft which dived from a low height without sufficient room to recover. There was a possiblity that some luggage had been put into the unoccupied cockpit, shifting, jamming controls, but evidence did not bear this out.
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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Ernest Scott was born in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire on the 30th December 1917. He was educated at St Peter's School, Mansfield and St John's College, York. After leaving he worked as a fitter in an engineering works. Scott joined the RAF in 1935. He later trained as a pilot and received his wings at 15 FTS, Lossiemouth in 1938.

On the 24th February 1940 Scott arrived at 12 Group Pool, Aston Down. After converting to Spitfires, he was posted to 222 Squadron at Duxford on the 23rd March. He was still with the squadron at the start of the Battle of Britain. On the 3rd September 1940 Scott claimed a Do17 and a Me109 destroyed, on the 5th a probable Me110 and Me109, on the 7th he destroyed a Me109, on the 9th probably destroyed another and on the 11th shot down a He111. After this engagement, Scott returned to Hornchurch with his hood shattered after an attack by a Me109.

On the 27th September, Scott claimed a Me109 destroyed but he himself failed to return from an operational sortie in the afternoon and was reported 'Missing'. His Spitfire, P9364, could have been that which crashed at Greenway Court Road, Hollingbourne, possibly shot down by Major Molders of JG51. Scott's name was put on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 19, as having no known grave.

In 1975 a group of aviation archaeologists applied for permission from the Ministry of Defence to excavate the aircraft but it was refused on the grounds that the dead pilot's parents wished his body to remain with the aircraft. Further requests for permission over the years were refused. In 1990 Scott's sister and other relatives were traced. A request by them to the Ministry of Defence for a formal burial for Scott was turned down. His sister wrote to Prince Charles, asking him to intervene. A few days later the excavation was authorised and a Ministry team recovered the aircraft and Scott's remains, still in the cockpit, were positively identified.

He was buried with full military honours in Margate Cemetery, Kent on the 1st February 1991.
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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Pilot James Athol Gunn, RNZAF, lost his life on the 15th September 1943 from return fire from a Heinkel He111 while flying de Havilland Mosquito NF XII of 488 (NZ) Squadron Royal Air Force.
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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Flight Lieutenant Cyril B. Thornton was awarded the O.B.E. in March 1943 for his part in rescuing the crew from a burning aircraft. His elder brother, Lieutenant Desmond B. Thornton, was killed in Normandy in June 1944. Flight Lieutenant Thornton was educated at King Edward School, Stratford-on-Avon, and joined the Army in June, 1939. He was gazetted second lieutenant in the Worcestershire Regiment in June, 1940, and transferred to the Royal Air Force in 1942. He lost his life on the 20th August 1944.
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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Margate Cemetery - Margate, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

User avatar
SuffolkBlue
Posts: 1183
Joined: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 7:31 pm
Location: Bury St. Edmunds

Re: CWGC Cemeteries **updated 12/03/2020**

Post by SuffolkBlue »

Just a few miles down the road is CWGC Minster (Thanet) Cemetery, which contains 70 First World War burials, most of which are in a war graves plot. All but two of the 14 Second World War graves form another small group to the north of the First World War plot.

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CWGC Minster (Thanet) Cemetery - Minster, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Minster (Thanet) Cemetery - Minster, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Minster (Thanet) Cemetery - Minster, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Baron Jean Michel P.M.G. de Selys Longchamps DFC was a Belgian cavalry officer with the 1er Régiment des Guides and escaped with the BEF from Dunkirk returning to France before it finally fell.

Trying to join the allies again he was interned by the Vichy authorities but escaped to Britain and was accepted for flight training with the RAF. He was posted to No. 609 Squadron RAF and flew Hawker Typhoons.

He is remembered for his airstrike on the Gestapo headquarters located at 453 Avenue Louise in Brussels on the 20th January 1943, which led to his demotion (to Pilot Officer) for acting without orders, but he was also awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for his actions. He also dropped a Belgian flag.

After the attack, the Nazis admitted four fatalities and five serious injuries.
The fatalities included a high-ranking Gestapo officer, Commander Müller, and the Chief of the SD, SS-Sturmbannführer Alfred Thomas.

A bust commemorating Longchamps's actions now stands near the site.

He was killed on the 16th August 1943 when his Hawker Typhoon crashed on landing at RAF Manston after a sortie over Ostend.
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CWGC Minster (Thanet) Cemetery - Minster, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Bristol Blenheim V5515, of No.59 Squadron took off from RAF Thorney Island, West Sussex on the afternoon of the 25th March 1941 to carry out a patrol over the Channel and French coast. On board were the pilot, Flight Lieutenant G. Palmer, the Observer, Sergeant West, and the Wireless Op/Air Gunner, Sergeant Buckley.

The Blenheim was attacked over Calais by two German fighters, evasive action was taken and Sergeant Buckley returned fire.

As they headed for the relative safety of a cloud, a burst of fire hit them and Sergeant Buckley was seen by Sergeant West to be lying in a pool of blood. An emergency landing was made at Manston to seek medical attention for the stricken gunner, but it was discovered that he had been killed almost instantaneously by a cannon shell.

Sergeant Buckley's body was left at Manston, while the Blenheim returned to its base at Thorney. He was buried here Minster Cemetery.
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CWGC Minster (Thanet) Cemetery - Minster, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Sergeant N B Cartwright, Sergeant F C Benbow, Sergeant P Crawford all lost their lives on the 5th December 1941 when their Bristol Blenheim T2151 crashed on return from operational flight.
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CWGC Minster (Thanet) Cemetery - Minster, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Bristol Blenheim Mk IV V5371 from 53 Sqn was shot down off coast near Ghent by flak on the 26th November 1940, P/O R.Maurer, Sgt.I.Macaulay and Sgt.B.Bembridge all lost their lives.
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CWGC Minster (Thanet) Cemetery - Minster, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Minster (Thanet) Cemetery - Minster, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Minster (Thanet) Cemetery - Minster, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 24th August 1940, RAF Manston was bombed 6 times.

The living quarters were now badly damaged, hardly any buildings remained intact, all telephone and teleprinter lines were cut and the field was littered with unexploded bombs.

As soon as word got through of the state of the station Fighter Command decided to evacuate it, except as an emergency airfield. Administrative personnel were transferred permanently to RAF Westgate while the remainder of No. 600 Squadron’s Blenheims were moved to Hornchurch.

During the day, Aircraftman A Kirk, Leading Aircraftman H A Shackleton, Aircraftman W Farfield, Aircraftman F Walker, Aircraftman H L Burridge were killed and multiple personnel injured.
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CWGC Minster (Thanet) Cemetery - Minster, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On 5th December 1940 at 11:25hrs, Pilot Officer Cecil Reginald Young was shot in the back of the head while patrolling over the Maidstone Line in Hawker Hurricane I V7617. It is believed that 46 Squadron was chasing a German formation out to sea and upon returning a Me109 dived out of the clouds and shot Cecil’s aircraft down, came down at Daughton House near Wrotham in Kent.
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CWGC Minster (Thanet) Cemetery - Minster, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Minster (Thanet) Cemetery - Minster, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

A short drive along the North Kent coast brought me to my next location at CWGC Herne Bay Cemetery.

The cemetery contains war graves of both World Wars. During the early months of the Second World Wat, the ground was set aside by the local authorities about 40 yards north of the First World War plot for service war graves. This was not generally used, and the majority of the graves are in various parts of the cemetery, in positions chosen by those responsible for the interments.

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CWGC Herne Bay Cemetery - Herne Bay, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Herne Bay Cemetery - Herne Bay, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 26th February 1944, F/Lt.. E. V. Turner, who had been in charge of the M.T. sub section of No. 105 Beach Section, died at the R.A.F. Hospital, Rauceby. Flight Lieutenant Eric Vincent Turner was 42 years old and married. He had been in the hospital since the 10th December 1943 when he was admitted during a Battle Inoculation Course at the R.A.F. Regiment Depot, Grantham.
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CWGC Herne Bay Cemetery - Herne Bay, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 18th October 1939, No.41 Sqn was moving from RAF Catterick to RAF Wick. Their 12 Supermarine Spitfires took off, to be followed by Armstromg Whitworth Whitley III K8996 of 102 Sqn carrying the ground party of five 41 Sqn personnel. The Whitley had a crew of four.

Stores were also being transported to Wick in the bomber. The Whitley took off and after climbing to about 10ft, pitched up into an extreme climb, stalled at about 100ft, and dived into the aerodrome, exploding. All 4 crew members died as well as 3 of the 41 Sqn passengers. Two of the passengers survived with serious injuries.

Pilot Officer Reginald Arthur Morton Luckman lost his life in the accident.
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CWGC Herne Bay Cemetery - Herne Bay, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Herne Bay Cemetery - Herne Bay, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Hawke, launched in 1891, was the seventh British warship to be named Hawke. She was an Edgar-class protected cruiser.
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CWGC Herne Bay Cemetery - Herne Bay, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Herne Bay Cemetery - Herne Bay, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Herne Bay Cemetery - Herne Bay, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Herne Bay Cemetery - Herne Bay, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Staff Nurse Caroline Amelia Robinette died on the 30th March 1917 at the
Queen Alexandra's Imperial Military Nursing Service from an illness.
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CWGC Herne Bay Cemetery - Herne Bay, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Sister Eileen Margaret Spellen was killed at Bishopstone Range on the 5th November 1944 aged 26. In this joint grave is also her father 2nd Lieutenant John Neville Spellen 25th Kent (Post Office) Battalion Home Guard who was killed on the same day aged 51 years. They and 2 others were killed when a dud hand grenade exploded.

Also killed in the same incident was Lt Lewin Alfred Palmer aged 51 and Lt John Robert Garrod aged 42.
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CWGC Herne Bay Cemetery - Herne Bay, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

During both wars, there were extensive army barracks in Canterbury, which included the regimental depot of The Buffs. The 146 First World War burials in CWGC Canterbury Cemetery are scattered in various parts of the cemetery grounds. Of the 54 Second World War graves, 28 form a small group in Plot XM and the rest are scattered.

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CWGC Canterbury Cemetery - Canterbury, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Canterbury Cemetery - Canterbury, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Canterbury Cemetery - Canterbury, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Canterbury Cemetery - Canterbury, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Canterbury Cemetery - Canterbury, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Canterbury Cemetery - Canterbury, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 5th September 1942, Short Sunderland W4032 ran out of fuel due to weather conditions on the return from convoy escort to PQ.18 and ditched near Tiree at 20:38 hrs.

Shortly after becoming waterborne the Sunderland hit a rock in Vane Bay and sank 5.2 miles, 359 degrees Scurnish Point. The Tobermory life-boat was immediately launched and searched the area of the crash but only found clothing. Later Hudson V/279 sighted a dinghy with one occupant off the north coast of Coll and directed a Pinnace from Tiree to the scene the following day.
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CWGC Canterbury Cemetery - Canterbury, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On Monday 22nd June 1953, the crew of Handley Page Hastings C2 WJ335 of 53 Squadron was one of several taking part in an air transport exercie from RAF Abingdon and all lined up for a stream take off. The aircraft took off after a very short run and climbed steeply to about 300 feet, at which point it stalled and struck the ground before it could recover. The cause of the accident was that the elevator control locks had been left engaged or reapplied after release, despite the application of a modification to prevent this.
The Pilot F/Lt J. Dodds, DFC, Sgt J.W. Mead, the co-pilot and 4 others died.
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CWGC Canterbury Cemetery - Canterbury, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Canterbury Cemetery - Canterbury, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

I then continued to make my way across North Kent to CWGC Faversham Borough Cemetery, which
contains 32 war graves of the First World War and 32 war graves of the Second World War.

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CWGC Faversham Borough Cemetery - Faversham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Kenneth Victor Wendel was born in Auckland, New Zealand on the 8th May 1916 and educated at Kings College there. After school he worked for an accountant but in 1934 he joined the RNZAF as a stores accounting clerk. Whilst stationed at Hobsonville, Wendel joined the Auckland Aero Club and obtained his 'A' Licence. He applied for a short service commission in the RAF in May 1937, was accepted and sailed for the UK on the 1st December in RMS Ruahine.

Wendel began his initial training course at 13 E&RFTS White Waltham on the 17th January 1938. After a short induction course at Uxbridge he went to 8 FTS Montrose on the 9th April.

After completing his flying training on the 29th October 1938 he was posted to No. 1 Electrical and Wireless School, Cranwell as a pilot. He left on the 10th December 1939, going then to 12 Group Pool for advanced flying training.
Wendel joined 504 Squadron at RAF Debden on the 23rd January 1940. He went with it to France on the 12th May and returned to England when it was withdrawn to Filton on the 22nd after suffering severe losses.

The squadron went north to RAF Wick to reform and was assigned the defence of Scapa Flow. On the 5th September the squadron went south to RAF Hendon.
On the 7th September 1940 it began operations. Wendel was leading the rear section on a patrol south of the Thames Estuary when it was jumped by five Me109’s out of the sun. After firing short bursts they made off before the remainder of the squadron turned to meet them.
No-one saw Wendel go down but witnesses on the ground reported that his Hawker Hurricane L1615, went down completely out of control and crashed at Sandbanks Farm, Graveney, near Faversham.

Wendel was badly burned and died of his injuries the same day.
ImageCWGC Faversham Borough Cemetery - Faversham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Armstrong Whitworth Whitley V P5041 of No.502 Squadron flew into high ground above the long abandoned settlement at Balmavicar on the Mull of Kintyre on the 23rd January 1941.


The aircraft had taken off from RAF Aldergrove in Northern Ireland on convoy escort duties, the crew became lost in bad weather (most likely while returning to Aldergrove) and flew too far east with fatal consequences for all on board.

Alec Raymond Hooker was one of 5 crew members to lose their life.
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CWGC Faversham Borough Cemetery - Faversham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Air Bomber Donald William Miles lost his life on the 23rd January 1943 when his Vickers Wellington IC R1799 crashed near Ilchester, Somerset after experiencing engine problems on a navigation exercise training exercise from RAF Harwell, Oxfordshire. He is buried here in his home town.
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CWGC Faversham Borough Cemetery - Faversham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 18th July 1944, Wireless Operator Gordon Frederick Emery was on board Handley Page Halifax III MZ286 that took off from RAF Lissett, Yorkshire to Caen as part of Operation Goodwood. His aircraft crashed into the sea two minutes after takeoff near Bridlington.

A Court of Enquiry was held and determined that the pilot carried out his usual practice of holding his aircraft close to the ground after take-off and two minutes after becoming airborne struck the sea with its port wing first and broke up. The primary cause of the accident was considered to be the temporary loss of control of the aircraft by the pilot shortly after take-off as a result of his holding the aircraft at low altitude in peculiar conditions of air turbulence in the vicinity of the coast. These conditions of air turbulence may have been contributed to, in some measure, by the slipstream of other aircraft which had taken off previously.
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CWGC Faversham Borough Cemetery - Faversham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Wireless Operator George Cornelius Wilkinson was on board Armstrong Whitworth Whitley V BD276 when it took off from RAF St. Ival for a anti-submarine sweep.

On return, The Whitley came in to land slightly higher and faster than normal and appeared to be about to overshoot the runaway. The aircraft bounced and on the second bounce the pilot appeared to open the throttles to go around again but the aircraft stalled and veered off, narrowly missing a hangar, then continued on until it collided with a stationary Hampden and exploded, killing all on board.
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CWGC Faversham Borough Cemetery - Faversham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Faversham has claims to be the birthplace of the UK's explosives industry The first gunpowder plant in the UK was established in the 16th century, possibly at the instigation of
Faversham Abbey. With their estates and endowments, monasteries were keen to invest in promising technology.

The 1916 explosion at Faversham was the worst in the history of the British explosives industry. At 14:20hrs on Sunday 2 April 1916, a huge explosion ripped through the gunpowder mill at Uplees, near Faversham, when a store of 200 tons of Trinitrotoluene (TNT) was detonated following some empty sacks catching fire. The TNT and ammonium nitrate (used to manufacture amatol) had exploded. The weather might have contributed to the start of the fire. The previous month had been wet but had ended with a short dry spell so that by that weekend the weather was "glorious" ... providing perfect conditions for heat-generated combustion.

As it was a Sunday, no women were at work. There were 115 deaths of men and boys, including all the Works Fire Brigade, in the explosion and in subsequent sympathetic detonations. The bodies of seven victims were never found; 108 corpses were buried here in a mass grave at Faversham Cemetery on the 6th April.

The munitions factory was in a remote spot in the middle of the open marshes of North Kent, next to the Thames coastline, hence the explosion was heard across the Thames estuary and as far away as Norwich and Great Yarmouth.

In Southend-on-Sea domestic windows and two large plate-glass shop windows were broken.
The East Kent Gazette published in Sittingbourne, did not report the explosion until the 29th April. Although recognising the need for some censorship, it referred to the reply given in Parliament to an appropriate question as "mystifying and ambiguous" and called for the fullest precautions to be implemented to "prevent another calamity of the kind" occurring again.
Although not the first such disaster at Faversham’s historic munitions works, the April 1916 blast is recorded as "the worst ever in the history of the UK explosives industry", and yet the full picture is still somewhat confused. The reason for the fire is uncertain. And considering the quantity of explosive chemicals stored at the works — with one report indicating that a further 3,000 tons remained in nearby sheds unaffected — it is remarkable, and a tribute to those who struggled against the fire, that so much of the nation's munitions were prevented from contributing further to the catastrophe.
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CWGC Faversham Borough Cemetery - Faversham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Faversham Borough Cemetery - Faversham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Faversham Borough Cemetery - Faversham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Faversham Borough Cemetery - Faversham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Faversham Borough Cemetery - Faversham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Faversham Borough Cemetery - Faversham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Faversham Borough Cemetery - Faversham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

At Oak Lane, Upchurch (between Rainham and Sittingbourne) at 16:50 hours on Wednesday 16th August 1944, the 15.35 Victoria to Ramsgate train was derailed, resulting in 9 fatalities and many casualties. This was due to the flipping of a V-1 ‘Doodlebug’ flying bomb by bomb by the pilot Flight Lieutenant John Alfred Malloy, Royal Canadian Air Force, in a Hawker Tempest V.

He was from 274 Squadron, based at RAF West Malling. When the Doodlebug was flipped it exploded under the bridge leaving a gap on the line.

The ‘Doodlebug’ had been approaching Rainham and had been pursued by the Royal Air Force fighter which had been employed in disrupting V-1 terror weapons. This procedure was part of the Operation Diver tactics employed by the Royal Air Force to combat the V-1 flying bomb during the summer of 1944.

The aim was to disrupt the airflow across the top surface of the flying bomb wings. The oscillating upset the V-1’s autogyro, hopefully causing the bomb to fall harmlessly away from urban areas. Although ‘flipping’ was a common tactic utilised, it was a particularly hazardous manoeuvre to execute by the pilots of pursuing aircraft.

The official report into the derailment was as a result of ‘enemy action’ and could have been much worse. No fault was attributed to the pilot, and there were a number of people commended for their actions including the Driver and Fireman of the train.

Able Seaman Albert Edward Eley of the HMS Queen of Kent, died on the train.
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CWGC Faversham Borough Cemetery - Faversham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

At 13:30hrs on the 25th June 1946, Vickers Wellington X NC661 took off from RAF Shawbury, Shropshire, on a cross country navigation training exercise and air experience flight.

After only 40 minutes in the air the aircraft suffered failure of the starboard engine and was unable to maintain height or airspeed on the port engine alone. The pilot attempted to make a wheels down forced landing in a corn field Trusley, near Burnaston, Derbyshire, but had to overshoot, however he did not have sufficient power to recover the airspeed lost in the attempted landing. While attempting to overshoot the aircraft struck a large tree and crashed into the field beyond bursting into flames, the aircraft came to rest in a pit which at the time was surrounded by trees.

All on board - four crew plus two ATC Cadet passengers - were killed.
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CWGC Faversham Borough Cemetery - Faversham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The crew of Short Stirling I BF357 took off from RAF Bourn for an operation to Dusseldorf on the 10th September 1942. Observer Henry Eric Williams was one of the 7 crew members on board.

They returned from the raid having suffered damage from flak and night fighters and tried to make an emergency landing at RAF West Malling, Kent. Their aircraft crashed during the attempt and all on board lost their lives.
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CWGC Faversham Borough Cemetery - Faversham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr
There is a small war grave located in CWGC Sittingbourne Cemetery, which took quite a while for me to finally locate.

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CWGC Sittingbourne Cemetery - Sittingbourne, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Joseph Brimble, from Knowle, Bristol, was born on the 25th November 1915 and joined the RAFVR in May 1938 as an Airman u/t Pilot. He was called to full-time service on the 1st September 1939 and posted, after training, to No 4 Ferry Pilot Pool on the 16th May 1940.
He was then posted to 73 Squadron in France on the 31st May.


Still serving with 73 Squadron, Brimble was shot down in combat over Tonbridge on the 4th September 1940. His Hawker Hurricane I P2542 came down at Parkhouse Farm, Chart Sutton near Maidstone. The aircraft was not identified at the time and partial remains were buried at Bell Road cemetery, Sittingbourne as an Unknown Airman.

Brimble was commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. Postwar research led to the realisation that the remains were of Brimble and a named headstone was installed.

The crash site was excavated on the 14th September 1980 and more substantial remains were found, still in the cockpit.

His parents had passed away by this time and his only living relative, his brother Donald William Brimble (who also served in the RAF in WW2), in consultation with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission decided that the original grave and remains should be left undisturbed.

The 1980 remains were buried with full military honours at Brookwood on 16th October 1980 with his brother present
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CWGC Sittingbourne Cemetery - Sittingbourne, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Aircraftsman J Mansell was killed on the 15th October 1940 when at 21:37hrs, a German bomber dropped 16 sticks of high explosives on the village of Wrotham Heath, Kent, after failing to drop its bombs over London.
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CWGC Sittingbourne Cemetery - Sittingbourne, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

John Wintringham Cutts of Felpham, Sussex, was born in June 1920 in Westhampnett, Hampshire and joined the RAF in April 1938 on a short service commission.

He was serving with 222 Squadron in July 1940.

On the 25th July he made a forced-landing four miles north of Kirton-in-Lindsey after a combat with a He111 off Mabelthorpe.

The squadron moved to Hornchurch on the 29th August and on the 30th Cutts shared in the destruction of a He111.

On the 4th September 1940, Cutts was shot down by Me109's over Maidstone. His Supernarine Spitfire X4278, crashed and burned out on Amberfield Farm, Chart Sutton and Cutts was reported 'Missing'.

He was 20 years old and is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 5.

In the summer of 1972, Cutts crash site was excavated but no human remains were found. Then in 1999 from a reappraisal of written records it was discovered that the body of an unknown airman had been discovered at Amberley Farm on the 14th September 1940 and buried as such in Sittingbourne cemetery on the 28th September 1940. The evidence was strong enough for the authorities to erect a new headstone bearing Cutts name.
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CWGC Sittingbourne Cemetery - Sittingbourne, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Alan Leslie Ricalton was born on the 21st January 1914 in Hazelrigg, Northumberland and joined the RAF in 1938. After training at 8 FTS Montrose he passed out as a bomber pilot in October that year.

His first posting was to 142 Squadron at Andover which was re-equipping with Fairey Battles, these replacing their Hawker Hinds. With war now almost certain, the squadron was deployed to Berry-au-Bac with the AASF on the 2nd September 1939. The ‘Phoney War’ ensued and the squadron endured the very harsh winter of 1939/40 in rough and ready accomodation.

The German attack in the West on the 10th May 1940 saw 142 engaged from first light in attacks on the advancing columns and the bridges at Sedan.

Like all Battle squadrons they suffered heavy losses from ground fire and fighters and had to move from airfield to airfield to keep ahead of the enemy. They were ordered to withdraw from France on the 15th June and re-assembled at RAF Waddington, mounting raids over Occupied France after Dunkirk. In July 1940 Fighter Command sought volunteers from other commands to replace the losses incurred in France and Ricalton was one of those who came forward, he was accepted and posted to 74 squadron at RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey on the 21st August.

There is no record of him converting to Spitfires at an O.T.U and it seems that he familiarised himself with the aircraft in the first few days with 74.

The squadron moved to Coltishall on the 9th September and Ricalton engaged the enemy for the first time on the 14th, two Me110’s being damaged by his flight.

74 was sent ‘down South’ on the 15th October, relieving 72 Squadron at Biggin Hill. On the 17th the squadron was scrambled at 15:00hrs to intercept a high-level raid and, led by F/Lt. Malan, was able to gain enough height to ‘bounce’ some Me109’s over the Thames Estuary. In the ensuing battle Ricalton’s Spitfire P7360, was seen to fall away. It came down near Hollingbourne, Kent.

Ricalton was killed, aged 26.
ImageCWGC Sittingbourne Cemetery - Sittingbourne, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Vilem Goth was born on the 22nd April 1915 in Brno, Czechoslovakia. In June 1934 he graduated from high school and volunteered for military service, reporting for basic training in October 1934. He then went to the Military Aviation School after which he was commissioned and went on to the Military Academy.

Here, in June 1935 while flying as Observer in an Avia A-11, he was badly injured when the aircraft crashed at Medlánky. He spent three months in hospital.

After the annexation of Czechoslovakia by the Germans he made his way in June 1939 to Gdynia in Poland from where he sailed in the 'Castelholm' to Calais in France, intending to join the French Air Force. The French intended that exiled foreign airmen should serve in the Foreign Legion but following the declaration of war he was enrolled in the operational flying school CIC/6 at Chartres. After the French capitulation he escaped to England, sailing from Bordeaux in the 'Karanan' and landing at Falmouth.

Goth was accepted into the RAF and joined 310 Squadron at Duxford on the 10th July 1940. On 7th September he claimed two Me110's destroyed over Southend but his Hawker Hurricane V6643, was damaged by return fire and he made a forced-landing at Whitmans Farm, Purleigh near Chelmsford.

He was posted to 501 Squadron at Kenley on the 17th October and was killed on the 25th when he collided with P/O KW MacKenzie during combat over Tenterden. His Hurricane P2903, crashed in Bridgehurst Wood, Marden. MacKenzie, in V6806, was able to bale out without injury.

On 31st August 1947 a commemorative plaque was unveiled at his home in Dacice, now in the Czech Republic.
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CWGC Sittingbourne Cemetery - Sittingbourne, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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SuffolkBlue
Posts: 1183
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Location: Bury St. Edmunds

Re: CWGC Cemeteries **updated 12/03/2020**

Post by SuffolkBlue »

The depot of the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment was at the barracks at Maidstone during both wars and during the Second World War numerous units of the armed forces were grouped in this part of Kent when it was expected that the Germans would attempt an invasion. Nearby Detling aerodrome was one of the RAF's fighter airfields as was West Malling aerodrome. Both were put out of action for short periods during the Battle of Britain.

CWGC Maidstone Cemetery contains 176 burials of the Second World War, more than half of them in a war graves plot in Section CC. The plot also contains 17 German and 1 Dutch grave. Special memorials commemorate 7 men who were among 16 killed by a bomb at Detling aerodrome in August 1940. They are buried in adjacent graves but could not be individually identified. The 52 First World War burials are scattered throughout the cemetery.

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CWGC Maidstone Cemetery - Maidstone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Grenade (H86) was a G-class destroyer built for the Royal Navy during the 1930s. She was transferred from the Mediterranean Fleet shortly after the beginning of World War II for service in home waters. The ship participated in the early stages of the Norwegian Campaign in April 1940.

Grenade was then transferred to the English Channel and collided with the anti-submarine trawler Clayton Wyke on the 14th May in heavy fog. Her repairs were completed at Sheerness Dockyard on the 25th May. During the initial stages of the evacuation from Dunkirk the ship provided cover in the northern part of the Channel to the evacuation forces and took part in the rescue of 33 survivors on 28th May from the coaster SS Abukir, which had been torpedoed by an E-boat.

She made one trip to Dunkirk during the night of the 28th/29th May and was caught in Dunkirk harbour by German Stukas during the following day. Grenade was hit by two bombs which set her afire and killed 14 sailors and mortally wounded another four men. The ship was cast off from her berth, in case she sank there, and then drifted into the harbour channel. The trawler John Cattling towed
Grenade over to the west side of the outer harbour where her magazines exploded later that evening.
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CWGC Maidstone Cemetery - Maidstone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Victor John Wingfield was born in October 1915 in West Ham, London and joined 601 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force as an Aircrafthand.

Called up on the 24th August 1939, he retrained as an Air Gunner and after training joined 29 Squadron at RAF Digby in late July 1940.

He was killed on the 11th May 1941 flying with another Battle of Britain veteran, P/O PF Freer, when their Bristol Beaufighter IF R2245 of 29 Squadron, crashed on the approach to RAF West Malling, having been damaged by return fire from an enemy bomber.
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CWGC Maidstone Cemetery - Maidstone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Consolidated Liberator V BZ716 flown by J F Handasyde was on patrol in the Bay of Biscay on the 8th July 1943 when, at 16.00 hrs, they were attacked by seven Ju 88s. During the ensuing battle, which lasted for 45minutes,one of the beam gunners Jack Witts was killed and the other F/S H A Pomeroy was seriously injured.
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CWGC Maidstone Cemetery - Maidstone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Maidstone Cemetery - Maidstone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 8th September 1940, Dornier Do 17Z-3 (3415) of 5./KG2 was engaged by Hawker Hurricanes of Nos. 46 and 605 Squadrons during a sortie to the London Docks and exploded shortly after crash-landing at Rose Farm, Broomfield at 12.40hrs. FF Oberlt Martin Ziems believed baled out but killed, BO Uffz Heino Flick, BF Uffz Wilhelm Trost, and BS Uffz Wilhelm Selter were also killed.

Two crewmen are believed to have baled out prior to the crash, one falling dead at Clarks Hill, the other falling in the River Len off Broomfield Road. Due to the nature of this crash and the wide area over which wreckage was strewn, the authorities were only able to identify the remains of Martin Ziems who was buried here in Maidstone Cemetery. What little was found of the rest of the crew was buried as two ‘Unknown German Airmen’ in St Margaret’s churchyard at Broomfield.
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CWGC Maidstone Cemetery - Maidstone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the night of the 17th September 1940, Ju 88 A-1 Werke Nr 2152, Code B3+OL of the 3rd Staffel, No1 Gruppe Kampfgeschwader 54 and took off from Evreux airfield at 22.21 hrs as one of 268 enemy bombers deployed against London that night.

They were shot down by a Boulton Paul Defiant L6988, piloted by Sgt G L Laurance with Sgt W T Chard as air gunner. This aircraft was operating out of Biggin Hill as part of B Flight, 141 Squadron.

Most of the aircraft fell in the area of St Andrews Close just off the Tonbridge Road between Barming and the outskirts of Maidstone. The cockpit and wing sections falling on 1, 2 and 3, St Andrews Close, the rear section of the fuselage fell in the front garden of 410 and 412, Tonbridge Road whilst the tail section fell at No 477. One of the Jumo engines came to rest at No 8, Fountain Lane. Rescue workers found three crew members in the wreckage and the fourth member was found on the rear lawn of 3, St Andrews Close. The occupant of No 1, St Andrews Close, Mrs Bridgland, was also sadly killed in the incident. The wreckage of the aircraft was moved to Detling for examination by RAF Intelligence.

Ltn Ganslmayr and his crew were buried with full military honours on the Friday 20th Sept 1940 here at the Maidstone Borough Cemetery, Sutton Road.
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CWGC Maidstone Cemetery - Maidstone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Maidstone Cemetery - Maidstone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Junkers Ju88A-4 4D+EP WNr 550414 of 6/KG30 took off from Eindhoven airfield in Holland at 02.20hrs on the 22nd January 1944, with Leutnant Hans-Joachim Petzinna at the controls. Accompanying him were the observer/navigator, Feldwebel Conrad Scherer and gunners, Gefreiter Gunther Lotz and Obergefreiter Oswald Schweigel. At the briefing that afternoon, crews were informed that their target would be the Charing Cross district of London and to reach it they would initially fly to Beauvais, north of Paris, pick up a radio signal from a ground beacon and proceed to St.Valery, which they would pass at 04.29hrs. From here they would climb, making landfall near Eastbourne and then set course for London, arriving over the target at 05.00hrs.

Forty five minutes before Petzinna and his crew passed the radio beacon at Beauvais, a de Havilland Mosquito Mk.XIII of No.96 Squadron, Royal Air Force, had taken off from RAF West Malling on a night patrol. At the controls was Sub.Lt. J.A.Lawley-Wakelin of the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve accompanied by his navigator Flt.Sgt.Williams. Once airborne the sector controller instructed him to fly south and climb to 20,000ft. At 04.25hrs Williams reported a blip on his radar screen heading in a north westerly direction at about 19.000ft. Pursuing this target, Wakeling suddenly made visual contact with an aircraft, which he identified as a Junkers Ju88. He noted that the enemy aircraft was carrying out a weaving manoeuvre, no doubt as a precautionary measure by the pilot to reduce the chances of an unseen attack. Wakeling was approaching the target too quickly and to avoid overshooting, took up a more favourable position about 700ft away. After opening fire, strikes were seen on the starboard engine of the Ju88, which immediately caught fire and exploded, causing the wing section to disintegrate and the aircraft to heel over and start to go down. Without waiting for any orders from Petzinna,, Fw.Conrad Scherer, immediately baled out whilst the remainder of the crew fought against the centrifugal forces that were pinning them to the interior of the bomber as it fell with ever increasing speed. There were no survivors when the bomber struck the ground near the Hop Pocket Pub, Paddock Wood, Kent 04.32hrs. Scherer meanwhile, landing by parachute, managed to break a leg and was subsequently captured.
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CWGC Maidstone Cemetery - Maidstone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Corporal John Embury died when Bristol Beaufighter IIF V8380 of No. 29 squadron crashed at Halstead, Essex, on the 17th November 1942. It seems that, as the boyhood friend of the pilot, he had been invited along for the ride during a test flight from RAF Detling.
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CWGC Maidstone Cemetery - Maidstone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 18th April 1942, Squadorn Leader James Eglington Marshall was at RAF Hunsdon, visiting former colleagues of 85 Squadron and his girlfriend Susan. After taking off in Douglas Boston III W8276 to return to RAF West Malling, Marshall began an aerobatic 'beat up' of his girlfriend's home, during which his aircraft was seen to flip over onto its back and dive into the ground at Priory Farm, Widford, Hertfordshire.

Two passengers on the aircraft were also killed.
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CWGC Maidstone Cemetery - Maidstone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Wireless Operator / Air Gunner S G Hagell was killed in the crash of Lockheed Hudson V AM845 on the 8th February 1942. The aircraft had taken off from RAF Bircham Newton at 16.29hrs and was returning from a shipping strike. After a bad approach to RAF Docking and attempting an overshoot, the aircraft stalled and dived into the ground near the airfield at 19.28hrs, killing all 4 crew members
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CWGC Maidstone Cemetery - Maidstone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 7th April 1941, Avro Anson I N5203 took off from RAF Detling, Kent. It was a Coastal Artillery Co-operation Flight to escort convoy Usage. Two minutes after take off the aircraft crashed at Scragged Oak, Detling at 13:10hs. The aircraft exploded. On board was the pilot - Flight Sergeant Cyril H Blake , Flight Sergeant Robert J Fryer, Sergeant Harold L Beach and Sergeant Wood. Blake, Pryer and Beach all died in the explosion. Wood survived but was badly hurt.
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CWGC Maidstone Cemetery - Maidstone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 24th February 1941, Blackburn Botha I L6262 of 2 BGS RAF (Bombing and Gunnery School) was flying from RAF Millom, near Haverigg, in Cumberland, to RAF Detling, in Kent.

En route, the twin engine aircraft went out of control, dove into the ground and crashed in a huge explosion at Ensfield Bridge, Leigh, Kent. All four occupants were killed. The aircraft was completely wrecked and burnt out.

Plt Off Sidney Guy Rodd
Sgt Geoffrey Leo Pitman
LAC Phillip Leslie Jackson
AC1 Harold Davenport
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CWGC Maidstone Cemetery - Maidstone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Maidstone Cemetery - Maidstone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Dennis Thomas Parrott was born on the 10th September 1917 in Islington, London and joined the RAF on a short service commission in June 1937. Parrott was posted to 8 FTS Montrose on the 21st August 1937 and with training completed he joined 9 Squadron at Stradishall on the 11th July 1938.

He was then posted to 19 Squadron at RAF Fowlmere on the 31st July 1940 and on tge 27th September claimed a Me109 destroyed. In early October he joined the newly-formed 421 Flight at Hawkinge. He was slightly injured on the 19th, when he made a forced landing at Clement Street, Old Swanley in Hawker Hurricane Z2352.

On the 22nd June 1941 he was killed as a Flight Lieutenant with 29 Squadron. His Bristol Beaufighter 1F, R2240, cart-wheeled on making a forced landing in Kent following an engine failure. His crew member, Sgt. Stanley Booth, was also killed.
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CWGC Maidstone Cemetery - Maidstone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The 13th August 1940, Adlertag ("Eagle Day") was the first day of Unternehmen
Adlerangriff ("Operation Eagle Attack"), the Luftwaffe operation to destroy the RAF.

II./StG 1 was sent to bomb airfields near Rochester. It failed to find the target and returned without incident. IV./LG 1, also with Junkers Ju 87s, was sent after RAF Detling. JG 26 went out on a fighter sweep to clear the skies in advance of the attack. JG 26 lost one Bf 109 over Folkestone from an unknown cause. The Ju 87s bombed the station and 40 Bf 109s strafed it, killing the commander. The operations block was hit, causing high casualties. The losses were disastrous for No. 53 Squadron RAF, which lost a number of Blenheims on the ground. The commander killed was Group Captain E P Meggs-Davis. Squadron Leader Denis Clare Oliver was killed a further two were wounded. One of the wounded men was a First World War ace Robert J. O. Compston. The station's casualties amounted to 24 killed and 42 wounded.
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CWGC Maidstone Cemetery - Maidstone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Maidstone Cemetery - Maidstone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Maidstone Cemetery - Maidstone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Maidstone Cemetery - Maidstone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The Helmore/GEC Turbinlite was a 2,700 million candela searchlight fitted in the nose of a number of British Douglas Havoc night fighters during the early part of the Second World War and around the time of The Blitz. The Havoc was guided to enemy aircraft by ground radar and its own radar. The searchlight would then be used to illuminate attacking enemy bombers for defending fighters accompanying the Havoc to shoot down. In practice the Turbinlite was not a success and the introduction of higher performance night fighters with their own radar meant they were withdrawn from service in early 1943.

Wireless Operator Gordon Richard Fennell was part of a two man crew on board Douglas Havoc W8257 on the 2nd June 1942 during a Turbinlite training mission when it collided with a night fighter Hawker Hurricane.

The Hurricane pilot managed to successfully crash land his aircraft but the Havoc came down near Fant Farm, Farleigh, Kent, killing both crew members.
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CWGC Maidstone Cemetery - Maidstone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The 6 man crew of Vickers Wellington X HE740 boarded their aircraft at RAF Westcott, Buckinghamshire, for a training flight on the 4th January 1945.

Taking off at 19.10hrs, only 15 minutes later their aircraft dived into the ground from 5,000ft near the village of North Marston, Buckinghamshire, killing all on board.

Air Gunner John Arthur Wenham is buried here in his home town.
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CWGC Maidstone Cemetery - Maidstone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Air Bomber Leonard Keith Tyalor boarded Vickers Wellington X HE159 at RAF Topcliffe, North Yorkshire on the 10th April 1943 in preparation for a raid to Frankfurt.

502 aircraft took part with high losses of 21 aircraft (4.2%). Complete cloud cover lead to a failed operation. No deaths in the city were reported itself but 18 were in the surrounding areas. 108 aircrew lost their lives.

HE159 developed severe engine difficulties on outbound leg. The order to bale out was given but only Sgt A G Lees was able to before the aircraft crashed at Rolvenden, Kent, whereupon it burst into flames.
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CWGC Maidstone Cemetery - Maidstone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 17th November 1942, Pilot Officer was the Navigator in Bristol Beaufighter IIF V8380 when it emerged from 9/10 cloud at 1,500ft in a spiral dive. It soon crashed at Halstead,Kent, killing him and Pilot Officer O.G. Pepper P/O.J.H.Toone.
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CWGC Maidstone Cemetery - Maidstone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Lieutenant Patrick Noel Humphreys was serving on board H.M.S. Hunter on the 13th May 1937, when it was mined off Almeira. This caused an explosion underneath the Stoker Petty Officers' and Torpedomens' Mess Decks, and the ladder was blown away. In order to reach the ratings on these decks, Lieutenant Humphreys and four others under his command had to jump down eight feet, into three feet of oil fuel. Although Humphreys and the other four
were in danger of falling through the shattered mess decks, they dragged both living and dead out from the wreckage and the oil fuel. Some of the rescued had swallowed oil fuel, others were severely burned, and all would have died if they had not been rescued so quickly. Lieutenant Humphreys was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal for this deed. When the George Cross was inaugurated, on the 24th September 1940, his E.G.M. was exchanged for the new medal. Before the Second World War broke out, Humphreys joined the Fleet Air Arm. He took part in the raid
on the Italian fleet at Taranto, and was mentioned in dispatches. In 1942, he was appointed to form and command the first Fleet Air Arm night fighter squadron.

He lost his life on the 26th November 1943 during aN accident on takeoff from RAF West Malling.
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CWGC Maidstone Cemetery - Maidstone, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr
On the outskirts of Maidstone is the small town of Aylesford, which has a war grave plot in the towns cemetery.
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CWGC Aylesford Cemetery - Aylesford, Kent Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

During a violent storm around 14:35hrs on the 17th November 1943, Armstrong Whitworth Whitley V LA882 dived and crashed into the ground at New Inn Farm, near Tenby Pembrokeshire during a training flight from RAF Abingdon. All 6 crew members were killed, including Air Bomber Michael Hilary Watson.
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CWGC Aylesford Cemetery - Aylesford, Kent Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 14th April 1944, Avro Lancaster I W4103 took off from RAF Syerston for a general flying practice at 15:50hrs. Whilst flying over the village of Screverton, Northants, at 1,000ft, it collided with Airspeed Oxford LB415. All on board the Lancaster, including Air Gunner Victor Charles William Arras Gouldstone and the two crew members on the Oxford were killed.
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CWGC Aylesford Cemetery - Aylesford, Kent Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The crew of Avro Lancaster III NE132 took off from RAF Luffenham, Rutland for a cross-country flying exercise on the 6th February 1945.

Their aircraft nntered cumulus nimbus clouds and iced up, diving out of control and breaking apart as it fell. The debris fell over a particularly large area but the main concentration was at Rhinog Fawr, Snowdonia.

Flight Engineer George Edward William Hodge was one of the entire crew of 8 to be killed.
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CWGC Aylesford Cemetery - Aylesford, Kent Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Aylesford Cemetery - Aylesford, Kent Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Aylesford Cemetery - Aylesford, Kent Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Aylesford Cemetery - Aylesford, Kent Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

CWGC Fort Pitt Military Cemetery in Rochester appears to date from the opening of the hospital at Fort Pitt in the 1840’s. The oldest surviving memorial is to John Potter, who died 5th January 1847, two other memorials date from the same year, and the absence of earlier memorials, suggests that the cemetery was operational from c. 1846. Expansion to the north eventually followed, and the northern-most part is in use today. In 1909 a large monument to casualties of the Crimea War and Indian Mutiny was built, close to the present entrance; a small weather-boarded chapel is positioned about the middle of the cemetery.
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CWGC Fort Pitt Military Cemetery - Rochester, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Lieutenant Colonel Edward Hawthorn was awarded the Military Cross for gallantry and devotion to duty in the action near Beaucourt-en-Santerre on the 18th August, 1918 when in command of a tank carrying infantry. His car received two direct hits which wounded most of his crew. He continued to fight his tank to the end, destroying the anti-tank gun and numerous machine-gun posts.

He died in Kent on the 24th December 1943.
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CWGC Fort Pitt Military Cemetery - Rochester, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Fort Pitt Military Cemetery - Rochester, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Fort Pitt Military Cemetery - Rochester, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Fort Pitt Military Cemetery - Rochester, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Fort Pitt Military Cemetery - Rochester, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Fort Pitt Military Cemetery - Rochester, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Fort Pitt Military Cemetery - Rochester, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Fort Pitt Military Cemetery - Rochester, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Fort Pitt Military Cemetery - Rochester, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr
Last edited by SuffolkBlue on Thu 12 Mar 2020, 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
SuffolkBlue
Posts: 1183
Joined: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 7:31 pm
Location: Bury St. Edmunds

Re: CWGC Cemeteries **updated 12/03/2020**

Post by SuffolkBlue »

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 memorial was unveiled at Chatham by The Prince of Wales, the future Edward VIII, on the 26th April 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 extension was unveiled by the Duke of Edinburgh on the 15th October 1952.
Of the three memorials, Chatham's is the only one sited on a hill, making it visible over a wide area.
It commemorates more than 8,500 Royal Navy personnel of the First World War and over 10,000 of the Second World War who were lost or buried at sea.

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CWGC Chatham Naval Memorial - Chatham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Chatham Naval Memorial - Chatham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Chatham Naval Memorial - Chatham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Chatham Naval Memorial - Chatham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Chatham Naval Memorial - Chatham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Chatham Naval Memorial - Chatham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Natal was a Warrior-class armoured cruiser built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. She escorted the royal yacht in 1911–1912 for the newly crowned King George V's trip to India to attend the Delhi Durbar. During World War I the ship was assigned to the 2nd Cruiser Squadron of the Grand Fleet, but did not participate in any battles.

On the 30th December 1915, Natal was lying in the Cromarty Firth with her squadron, under the command of Captain Eric Back. The captain was hosting a film party aboard and had invited the wives and children of his officers, one civilian friend and his family, and nurses from the nearby hospital ship Drina to attend. A total of seven women, one civilian male, and three children were in attendance that afternoon.

Shortly after 15:25hrs, and without warning, a series of violent explosions tore through the rear part of the ship. She capsized five minutes later. Some thought that she had been torpedoed by a German U-boat or detonated a submarine-laid mine, but examination of the wreckage revealed that the explosions were internal. The divers sent to investigate the ship reported that the explosions began in either the rear 9.2-inch shellroom or the 3-pounder and small arms magazine. The Admiralty court-martial into the causes of her loss concluded that it was caused by an internal ammunition explosion, possibly due to faulty cordite. The Admiralty issued a revised list of the dead and missing that totaled 390 in January 1916, but did not list the women and children on board that day. Losses are listed from 390 to 421.

With her hull still visible at low water, it was Royal Navy practice on entering and leaving Cromarty right up to World War II for every warship to sound "Still", and for officers and men to come to attention as they passed the wreck. After numerous attempts, much of the ship was salvaged. The remainder was blown up in the 1970s to level the wreck so that it would not be a hazard to navigation.

QARNNS Sisters Caroline Maud Edwards, Olive K Rowlett & Eliza Evans all lost their lives on the ship.
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CWGC Chatham Naval Memorial - Chatham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Chatham Naval Memorial - Chatham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Chatham Naval Memorial - Chatham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Chatham Naval Memorial - Chatham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Chatham Naval Memorial - Chatham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Chatham Naval Memorial - Chatham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Chatham Naval Memorial - Chatham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Chatham Naval Memorial - Chatham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Henry Percy Douglas was educated at Eastman's Royal Naval Academy, Southsea before entering the Royal Navy training ship HMS Britannia as a cadet in 1890. In 1892 he was appointed to HMS Cleopatra as a midshipman. In 1894 he was part of a landing party at Bluefields during the Nicaraguan campaign to annex the Mosquito Coast. In 1895 he was transferred to the newly launched Majestic as acting sub-lieutenant; his promotion was confirmed in March 1896 and he was appointed to HMS Stork, the first of the many surveying ships in which he served at various times all over the world. In 1898 he was promoted to lieutenant.

In 1908, still with the rank of lieutenant, he was given his first command, the surveying ship Waterwitch. From 1910 to 1914 he was Superintendent of Charts in the Hydrographic Department of the Admiralty. He was promoted to Commander on the 31st December 1910.

In February 1915, at the beginning of the Dardanelles Campaign, Admiral John de Robeck asked the Admiralty for a good surveying officer and Douglas was sent out to join the flagship Inflexible. Later he transferred to Queen Elizabeth and Lord Nelson. De Robeck's dispatches contain several mentions of Douglas' "work of inestimable value to the fleet". His expertise was in fact indispensable for successful landing operations. His zeal and ability were recognized by promotion to acting captain in October 1915, confirmed at the end of the year. After the evacuation of the Gallipoli peninsula in January 1916 Douglas returned to the Admiralty and served as Director of the Naval Meteorological Service. Then in 1918 Admiral Roger Keyes, commanding the Dover Patrol, who had been with de Robeck in the Dardanelles campaign, asked for Douglas to join his staff at Dover to prepare for the Zeebrugge Raid and the First Ostend Raid in April 1918. After the raids Douglas was appointed CMG "in recognition of distinguished services during the operations against Zeebrugge and Ostend on the night of the 22nd–23rd April 1918." He was also awarded the Belgian Order of Leopold and the Italian Medal of Military Valor.

After the war Douglas served as Assistant Hydrographer of the Navy 1919–21, then commanded HMS Mutine 1921–23 and, briefly, HMS Ormonde in 1924 for surveys in British Guiana and the West Indies. He was appointed Hydrographer of the Navy in October 1924. About this time he devised the Douglas Sea Scale. He was promoted to Rear-Admiral in 1927. In 1929, after the normal five years as Hydrographer, he was offered an extension of three years and accepted it on condition of being placed on the Retired List. He was promoted to vice-admiral in 1931. From 1928 to 1932 he was the Navy's representative on the Discovery Committee for exploration in Antarctica.

After finally retiring in 1932, Douglas was Acting Conservator of the River Mersey and Nautical Assessor to the House of Lords. From 1934 until 1939 he was chairman of the Dover Harbour Board. He was chairman of the British Graham Land Expedition Advisory Committee. On the outbreak of World War II in September 1939 he returned to the Navy and was appointed commodore superintendent of Dover, but he died there on the 4th November of the same year.

He was buried at sea on the 7th November 1939 at his own wish in the Strait of Dover.
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CWGC Chatham Naval Memorial - Chatham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Chatham Naval Memorial - Chatham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Vanguard was one of three St Vincent-class dreadnought battleships built for the Royal Navy in the first decade of the 20th century. She spent her career assigned to the Home and Grand Fleets. Aside from participating in the Battle of Jutland in May 1916 and the inconclusive Action of 19 August several months later, her service during World War I mostly consisted of routine patrols and training in the North Sea.,

The ship was anchored in the northern part of Scapa Flow at about 18:30hrs on the 9th July 1917 after having spent the afternoon practising the routine for abandoning ship. There is no record of anyone detecting anything amiss until the first explosion at 23:20hrs. Vanguard sank almost instantly, with only three of the crew surviving, one of whom died soon afterwards. A total of 843 men were lost, including two Australian stokers from the light cruiser HMAS Sydney who were serving time in the battleship's brig. Another casualty was Captain Kyōsuke Eto, a military observer from the Imperial Japanese Navy, which was allied with the Royal Navy at the time through the Anglo-Japanese Alliance. The bodies of 17 of the 22 men recovered after the explosion, plus that of Lieutenant Commander Alan Duke, who died after being rescued, were buried at the Royal Naval Cemetery at Lyness, not far from the site of the explosion. The others are commemorated here on the Chatham Naval Memorial, including her Captain, James Douglas Dick.
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CWGC Chatham Naval Memorial - Chatham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Aboukir was a Cressy-class armoured cruiser built for the Royal Navy around 1900. Upon completion she was assigned to the Mediterranean Fleet and spent most of her career there. Upon returning home in 1912, she was placed in reserve. Recommissioned at the start of the First World War, she played a minor role in the Battle of Heligoland Bight a few weeks after the beginning of the war.

On the morning of the 22nd September 1941, Aboukir and her sister ships, Cressy and Hogue, were on patrol without any escorting destroyers as they had been forced to seek shelter from bad weather.

They were not expecting submarine attack, but they had lookouts posted and had one gun manned on each side to attack any submarines sighted. The weather had moderated earlier that morning and Commodore Reginald Tyrwhitt, commander of the Harwich Force, was en route to reinforce the cruisers with eight destroyers.

SM U-9, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Otto Weddigen, had been ordered to attack British transports at Ostend, but had been forced to dive and take shelter from the storm. On surfacing, she spotted the British ships and moved to attack. She fired one torpedo at 06:20hrs at Aboukir that struck her on the port side; Captain John Drummond thought he had struck a mine and ordered the other two ships to close to transfer his wounded men. Aboukir quickly began listing and capsized around 06:55hrs despite counterflooding compartments on the opposite side to right her. By the time that Drummond ordered "abandon ship" only one boat was available because the others had either been smashed or could not be lowered as no steam was available to power the winches for the boats.

As Hogue approached her sinking sister, the ship's captain, Wilmot Nicholson, realized that it had been a submarine attack and signalled Cressy to look for a periscope although his ship continued to close on Aboukir as her crew threw overboard anything that would float to aid the survivors in the water. Having stopped and lowered all her boats, Hogue was struck by two torpedoes around 06:55hrs. The sudden weight loss of the two torpedoes caused U-9 to broach the surface and Hogue's gunners opened fire without effect before the submarine could submerge again. The cruiser capsized about ten minutes after being torpedoed as all of her watertight doors had been open, and she sank at 07:15. hrs


Cressy attempted to ram the submarine, but did not hit anything and resumed her rescue efforts until she too was torpedoed at 07:20hrs. She too took on a heavy list and then capsized, before sinking at 07:55hrs. Several Dutch ships began rescuing survivors at 08:30hrs and were joined by British fishing trawlers before Tyrwhitt and his ships arrived at 10:45hrs. The combined total from all three ships was 837 men rescued and 62 officers and 1,397 enlisted men lost.

Of these, Aboukir lost a total of 527 men.

In 1954 the British government sold the salvage rights to all three ships to a German company and they were subsequently sold again to a Dutch company which began salvaging the wrecks' metal in 2011.

Captain Robert Warren Johnson was lost with H.M.S. Aboukir.


HMS Hawke, launched in 1891, was the seventh British warship to be named Hawke. She was an Edgar-class protected cruiser. On the 20th September 1911, Hawke, under command of Commander W.F. Blunt, collided in the Solent with the White Star ocean liner RMS Olympic. In the course of the collision, Hawke lost her bow.

In February 1913, Hawke joined the training squadron based at Queenstown, Ireland, where she served along with most of the rest of the Edgar class. In August 1914, on the outbreak of the First World War, Hawke, together with the other Edgars from Queenstown, formed the 10th Cruiser Squadron, operating on blockade duties between the Shetland Islands and Norway.

In October 1914, the 10th Cruiser Squadron was deployed further south in the North Sea as part of efforts to stop German warships from attacking a troop convoy from Canada. On the 15th October, the squadron was on patrol off Aberdeen, deployed in line abreast at intervals of about 10 miles. Hawke stopped at 9:30hrs to pick up mail from sister ship Endymion. After recovering her boat with the mail, Hawke proceeded at 13 knots without zig-zagging to regain her station, and was out of sight of the rest of the Squadron when at 10:30hrs a single torpedo from the German submarine U-9 (which had sunk three British cruisers on 22 September), struck Hawke, which quickly capsized. The remainder of the squadron only realised anything was amiss, when, after a further, unsuccessful attack on Theseus, the squadron was ordered to retreat at high speed to the northwest, and no response to the order was received from Hawke. The destroyer Swift was dispatched from Scapa Flow to search for Hawke and found a raft carrying one officer and twenty-one men, while a boat with a further forty-nine survivors was rescued by a Norwegian steamer. 524 officers and men died, including the ship's captain, Hugh P. E. T. Williams, with only 70 survivors (one man died of his wounds on the 16th October)
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CWGC Chatham Naval Memorial - Chatham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Aboukir was a Cressy-class armoured cruiser built for the Royal Navy around 1900. Upon completion she was assigned to the Mediterranean Fleet and spent most of her career there. Upon returning home in 1912, she was placed in reserve. Recommissioned at the start of the First World War, she played a minor role in the Battle of Heligoland Bight a few weeks after the beginning of the war.

On the morning of the 22nd September 1941, Aboukir and her sister ships, Cressy and Hogue, were on patrol without any escorting destroyers as they had been forced to seek shelter from bad weather.

They were not expecting submarine attack, but they had lookouts posted and had one gun manned on each side to attack any submarines sighted. The weather had moderated earlier that morning and Commodore Reginald Tyrwhitt, commander of the Harwich Force, was en route to reinforce the cruisers with eight destroyers.

SM U-9, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Otto Weddigen, had been ordered to attack British transports at Ostend, but had been forced to dive and take shelter from the storm. On surfacing, she spotted the British ships and moved to attack. She fired one torpedo at 06:20hrs at Aboukir that struck her on the port side; Captain John Drummond thought he had struck a mine and ordered the other two ships to close to transfer his wounded men. Aboukir quickly began listing and capsized around 06:55hrs despite counterflooding compartments on the opposite side to right her. By the time that Drummond ordered "abandon ship" only one boat was available because the others had either been smashed or could not be lowered as no steam was available to power the winches for the boats.

As Hogue approached her sinking sister, the ship's captain, Wilmot Nicholson, realized that it had been a submarine attack and signalled Cressy to look for a periscope although his ship continued to close on Aboukir as her crew threw overboard anything that would float to aid the survivors in the water. Having stopped and lowered all her boats, Hogue was struck by two torpedoes around 06:55hrs. The sudden weight loss of the two torpedoes caused U-9 to broach the surface and Hogue's gunners opened fire without effect before the submarine could submerge again. The cruiser capsized about ten minutes after being torpedoed as all of her watertight doors had been open, and she sank at 07:15. hrs


Cressy attempted to ram the submarine, but did not hit anything and resumed her rescue efforts until she too was torpedoed at 07:20hrs. She too took on a heavy list and then capsized, before sinking at 07:55hrs. Several Dutch ships began rescuing survivors at 08:30hrs and were joined by British fishing trawlers before Tyrwhitt and his ships arrived at 10:45hrs. The combined total from all three ships was 837 men rescued and 62 officers and 1,397 enlisted men lost.

Of these, Aboukir lost a total of 527 men.

In 1954 the British government sold the salvage rights to all three ships to a German company and they were subsequently sold again to a Dutch company which began salvaging the wrecks' metal in 2011.

Revd Edward Gleadall Uphill Robson was the Naval Chaplain on board H.M.S. Aboukir.
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CWGC Chatham Naval Memorial - Chatham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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SuffolkBlue
Posts: 1183
Joined: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 7:31 pm
Location: Bury St. Edmunds

Re: CWGC Cemeteries **updated 12/03/2020**

Post by SuffolkBlue »

By now the sun was setting on what had been a very long day, but I had enough to visit the last location of the day at CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery.

There is a large naval section here which was reserved by the Admiralty and served the Royal Naval Hospital in Windmill Road. The section contains most of the war graves as well as burials of the pre-war and inter-war years. Among the First World War burials in the naval section are those from HMS 'Bulwark', blown up in Sheerness Harbour in November 1914, HMS 'Princess Irene' which suffered an internal explosion in May 1915 and HMS 'Glatton' which suffered the same fate in Dover Harbour in September 1918 (the bodies were not recovered until March 1930). The plot also contains a number of graves resulting from the air raid on Chatham Naval Barracks on the 3rd September 1917. In all, Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery contains 837 burials and commemorations of the First World War. 82 of the burials are unidentified and there are special memorials commemorating a number of casualties buried in other cemeteries in the area whose graves could not be maintained. Second World War burials number 385, 21 of these burials are unidentified. Most are in the naval section.

There are 2 Foreign National war burials and 2 non war service burials.

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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The Gillingham bus disaster occurred outside Chatham Dockyard on the evening of the 4th December 1951. A double-decker bus ploughed into a company of fifty-two young members of the Royal Marines Volunteer Cadet Corps, aged between nine and thirteen.

The company was marching from Melville Barracks to the Royal Naval Barracks, Chatham, to attend a boxing tournament. It was divided into three platoons; the rear platoon consisted of new recruits who had not yet received uniforms. They were generally under the command of cadet non-commissioned officers (NCOs); the only adult present was the contingent adjutant, Lieutenant Clarence Murrayfield Carter, a regular Royal Marines officer. The column was about fifteen yards long and was marching three abreast on the left-hand side of the road. It was showing no lights, there being no official requirement to do so, and the boys in uniform were wearing Royal Marines standard-issue dark blue battledress and berets, although they had white belts and white lanyards on their shoulders.

The cadets left Melville Barracks at about 5.40 pm. At about 5.57 or 5.58 pm the column was marching down Dock Road, just past the gates of the Chatham Royal Naval Dockyard. The street lighting was very poor and it was allegedly a very dark/foggy night.

As the column passed the municipal swimming pool, a particularly dark part of the street (since a street lamp had failed), it was hit from behind by a bus belonging to the Chatham & District Traction Company. The bus was allegedly travelling at 15–20 miles per hour, although Carter and another witness estimated its speed as 40–45 miles per hour. The bus driver, John William George Samson, 57, had worked for the company for forty years, twenty-five of them as a driver. He was very familiar with the route. He had his sidelights on, but not his headlights; this was perfectly legal and considered to be normal practice at the time. Other bus drivers said that they were using headlights that night and in that location as it was particularly dark. Other drivers defended Samson's decision not to use his headlights.

Lieutenant Carter, who was moving up and down the flanks of the column, told the inquest that he saw the bus coming and told the boys to move into the kerb as far as they could, assuming the bus would move around them. Samson told the inquest that he did not see the cadets at all and was only aware he had driven into something when the bus started to wobble as though it "had run over a lot of loose stones or something", although it was also reported that he felt bumps and heard the high-pitched screams of the cadets. At that point he braked immediately. His conductress, Dorothy Dunster, called out "What's happened?", and Samson got out to see what had happened. Carter, who was knocked over and dazed but not injured, said the bus continued about fifty yards before braking and another witness said he thought about twenty-five yards.

Seventeen boys died immediately and another seven died later in hospital, all but one on the same night. Those who were uninjured were all in the front ranks. The military funeral of twenty of the boys who died was held at Rochester Cathedral on the 12th December 1951 and conducted by the Bishop of Rochester. Thousands of local people stood outside the cathedral and lined the route of the funeral procession to Gillingham Cemetery.

An inquest was held on the 14th December 1951 at the Royal Naval Hospital in Gillingham, where many of the injured were being treated, before the North-East Kent Coroner. The jury returned a verdict of accidental death. The coroner said that he believed that Lieutenant Carter and the other witness, George Thomas Dixon, were probably mistaken about the speed of the bus and accepted Samson's estimate of his speed. He did not believe that either Carter or Samson had been negligent in legal terms.
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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Adventure, pennant number M23, was a minelaying cruiser of the Royal Navy built in the 1920s that saw service during the Second World War.

On the 13th November 1939, at 05.25hrs, Adventure was badly damaged near the Tongue Light Vessel, in the Thames Estuary by an underwater explosion. 23 of her crew were killed or fatally injured. The bridge was wrecked and crew and fittings were thrown against bulkheads and down hatchways with lethal effect. She was successfully taken in tow to the Medway by tugs from Ramsgate, and later repaired at Chatham Dockyard. She had been en route from Grimsby to Portsmouth, and escorted by the Harwich-based destroyers Blanche and Basilisk. Blanche was also mined at 08:10 and sank with the loss of one man. Originally floating mines were blamed, but it soon transpired that magnetic mines laid by German destroyers a few hours before were responsible. Adventure returned to service in October 1940.
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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Sphinx (J69) was a Halcyon-class minesweeper (officially, "fleet minesweeping sloop") of the British Royal Navy, which was commissioned in 1939, just prior to World War II. During the war she served in the North Sea.

On the morning of the 2nd February 1940 the Flotilla was minesweeping in the Moray Firth, 15 miles north of Kinnaird Head, in position 57°57′N 02°00′W, when it came under attack by German aircraft. Sphinx was hit by a bomb, which penetrated the foredeck and exploded, killing five men, including the commanding officer Cdr. John Robert Newton Taylor. The crippled ship was taken under tow by Harrier, but eventually capsized, 17 hours after being bombed. Boreas rescued 46 of her crew, but 49 men were lost. The wreck later drifted ashore two miles north of Lybster, and was eventually sold for scrap.
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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Ivanhoe was an I-class destroyer built for the Royal Navy in the mid-1930s. During the Spanish Civil War of 1936–1939, the ship enforced the arms blockade imposed by Britain and France on both sides as part of the Mediterranean Fleet. Before the start of World War II, the ship was modified so that she could be used to lay mines by removing some of her armament. Ivanhoe was transferred to Western Approaches Command shortly after the war began and helped to sink one German submarine in October 1939. She was converted to a minelayer while undergoing a refit in November–December and laid minefields in German coastal waters as well as anti-submarine minefields off the British coast until she was reconverted back to her destroyer configuration in February 1940. Ivanhoe reverted to her minelaying role during the Norwegian Campaign in April 1940 and then laid a number of minefields off the Dutch coast during the Battle of the Netherlands in May.

On the 29th May, the ship was transferred to the Dunkirk evacuation effort and ferried 930 troops to Dover that day. She also took aboard the crew of the badly damaged destroyer Grafton and then scuttled Grafton. She was withdrawn from the evacuation on the 30th May as too valuable to risk, but this decision was reversed the following day and Ivanhoe evacuated 1,290 men to Dover. On the morning of the 1st June, already having loaded troops, the ship was attacked off Dunkirk harbour by German aircraft. Two bombs missed to port and starboard, but the third detonated above the upper deck and flooded the two forward boiler rooms. The bomb killed 26, including five soldiers, and wounded many others. Most of the troops and wounded were taken off by the minesweeper Speedwell and the destroyer Havant. Her No. 3 boiler room was still operable and the ship reached Dover under her own power.
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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 17th December 1940, the armed boom defence vessel, HMT Thomas Connolly, built in 1918 by Cook, Welton & Gemmell Ltd. was sunk by a mine of Sheerness.
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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the night of the 3rd September 1917, around 900 men were either asleep or resting in their hammocks in the Drill Hall, Royal Navy Barracks H.M.S. Pembroke. There was some cloud and a light wind, but generally the weather was fine as five German Gotha aeroplanes set off for Medway from Gontrode in Belgium at around 9:30 p.m. One of the Gothas later had to turn back over the Channel due to engine trouble but the remaining four continued, "each loaded with 300lbs of bombs".

At around 11:00 p.m., the four remaining Gothas flew over Eastchurch and began to follow the moonlit River Medway towards Chatham. The raiders continued their approach unchallenged and found the town fully illuminated and completely unprepared for an attack. Previously the Germans had only attacked from the air during daylight hours but took the decision to raid at night due to the increasing loss of bombers from daytime raids. The bombing raid of the 3rdSeptember 1917 was therefore the first of the ‘moonlight’ raids and took the Medway towns completely by surprise.

As a result, no anti-aircraft guns opened fire and no British fighters were sent to combat the enemy. The Gotha attack was further facilitated by a dreadful lack of communication between the key authorities: Owing to a defensive mix-up (a practice alert earlier in the evening meant that telephone warnings of a real raid, which were intended to notify the electrical department and a power station to extinguish all lights at once, were not taken seriously and ignored).
Ironically, local people had even been warned to expect the testing of the night air defences and would naturally have assumed that the actual raid was just part of the practice alert:

In one Chatham cinema, just as the raid was beginning, a notice was flashed upon the screen telling people not to be alarmed. The Gotha was equipped with only ‘primitive bomb sights and the most rudimentary of target locators’ so bombing was, to some degree, indiscriminate. The raiders would go on to drop a total of seventeen bombs in the districts of Gillingham and Chatham; the accuracy of their bombs owing as much to ‘tragic ill chance’ as the skill of the German pilots.


Two 50kg bombs made a direct hit on the Drill Hall, crashing through the glass roof and exploding on the concrete floor of the sleeping quarters. Some reports stated that the bombs did little damage to the concrete floor of the Drill Hall and thus ‘expended all their force upwards’ The hands of the clock in the tower were frozen at 11:12 p.m., giving the exact time the bombs hit the Drill Hall. What followed was truly terrible, as the quarter inch thick glass roof fell in: There were some terrific explosions, and before we knew what was happening the roof was lifted sheer off the hut, blown up in to the air, and fell into a thousand pieces on to the men. It was the falling glass, which was very thick and very heavy that did the damage. As most of the men were asleep and wearing only their ‘night attire’ they could do little to protect themselves from the lethal shards of falling glass. The result was horrific.

Ordinary Seaman Frederick W. Turpin went to the scene to help with the wounded. Officers and the surviving ratings who were able to ‘tore at the rubble with their bare hands’ in their efforts to find those lost beneath the debris of the shattered Drill Hall. The work of the rescuers continued through the night and was only completed some seventeen hours later on Tuesday afternoon.
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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Bulwark was one of five London-class pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Royal Navy at the end of the 19th century. The Londons were a sub-class of the Formidable-class pre-dreadnoughts. Completed in 1902 she was initially assigned to the Mediterranean Fleet as its flagship. The ship then served with the Channel and Home Fleets from 1907 to 1910, usually as a flagship. From 1910 to 1914, she was in reserve in the Home Fleet.

Following the start of the First World War in August 1914, Bulwark, along with the rest of the squadron, was attached to the reformed Channel Fleet to protect the British Expeditionary Force as it moved across the English Channel to France.

A powerful internal explosion ripped Bulwark apart at about 07:53hrs on the 26th November 1914 while she was moored at Number 17 buoy in Kethole Reach, 4 nautical miles west of Sheerness in the estuary of the River Medway. All the ship's officers were killed in the explosion and only a dozen ratings survived. A total of 741 men were lost, including members of the band of the gunnery school, HMS Excellent, which was playing aboard. Only about 30 bodies were recovered after the explosion. In terms of loss of life, the incident remains the second most catastrophic accidental explosion in the history of the United Kingdom, exceeded only by the explosion of the dreadnought battleship Vanguard, caused by a stokehold fire detonating a magazine, at Scapa Flow in 1917.

A naval court of enquiry into the causes of the explosion that was held on the 28th November ruled out external explosions such as a torpedo or a mine because eyewitnesses spoke of a flash of flame near the aft turret and then one or two explosions quickly following, not the towering column of water associated with explosions against the outer hull. The gunnery logbook, recovered partially intact, and the testimony of the chief gunner's clerk, as well as several other survivors, said the six-inch ammunition magazines were being restowed to keep the cordite propellant charges together in lots that morning. This meant at least 30 exposed charges had been left in the cross-passages between the ship's magazines with the magazine doors left open when the ship's company was called to breakfast at 07:45hrs. These passages were also used to stow hundreds of six-inch and twelve-pounder shells, and the board concluded that the cordite charges had been stowed against one of the boiler-room bulkheads which was increasing in temperature as the boilers were fired up. This ignited the cordite charges which detonated the nearby shells and spread to the aft twelve-inch magazine, which exploded.

The wreck is marked by the "East Bulwark" and "West Bulwark" buoys. It was designated as a controlled site in 2008 and cannot be dived upon except with permission from the Ministry of Defence.
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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Glatton and her sister ship Gorgon were originally built as coastal defence ships for the Royal Norwegian Navy, as Bjørgvin and Nidaros respectively. She was requisitioned from Norway at the beginning of World War I, but was not completed until 1918 although she had been launched over three years earlier.

After completion, Glatton sailed for Dover on the 11th September 1918 to prepare for the offensive planned for later that month. At 6:15 on the evening of the 16 September, Glatton's midships 6-inch magazine had a low-order explosion that ignited the cordite stored there. Flames shot through the roof of 'Q' turret, starboard midside, and started to spread aft. The ship's captain—Commander N. W. Diggle—ordered the forward magazines flooded, but the crew were unable to flood the rear magazines as the flames blocked access to the magazine flooding controls. The presence of the ammunition ship Gransha only 150 yards may risked a massive explosion that would devastate Dover if Glatton's rear magazine exploded and set off Gransha's ammunition. Vice-Admiral Keyes—who had been walking with Commander Diggle when Glatton's magazine exploded—boarded the recently arrived destroyer Cossack once apprised of the danger. He ordered Cossack to torpedo Glatton in an attempt to flood the magazine before it detonated. Cossack's first 18-inch torpedo struck the anti-torpedo bulge amidships, but failed to explode because it had been fired too close to Glatton. Her second torpedo blew a hole in Glatton at 7:40, but the torpedo's 200-pound warhead was too small to penetrate through her bulge and Glatton remained afloat, still burning. Keyes transferred to the destroyer Myngs and ordered her to fire on Glatton with her 21-inch torpedoes at 8:15. They were aimed at the hole blown in Glatton's starboard side by Cossack's second torpedo and succeeded in causing Glatton to capsize until her masts and superstructure rested on the harbour bottom and dousing the fire. Casualties were heavy: 60 men were killed outright and 124 were injured of whom 19 later died of their burns.

A Court of Enquiry held immediately afterwards found that the explosion had occurred in the midships 6-inch magazine situated between the boiler and engine rooms. The cause was more difficult to establish, but the Court did note that the stokers were in the habit of piling the red-hot clinker and ashes from the boilers against the bulkhead directly adjoining the magazine to cool down before they were sent up the ash ejector. The magazine was well insulated with 5 inches of cork, covered by wood planking .75 inches ( thick and provided with special cooling equipment so it was not likely that the cordite had spontaneously combusted. The magazine of Glatton's sister ship Gorgon was emptied and examined. The red lead paint on the bulkhead was blistered beneath the lagging and tests at the National Physical Laboratory demonstrated that it had been subject to temperatures of at least 400 °F (204 °C). Recorded temperatures inside the magazine did not exceed 83 °F (28 °C) and a test of red-hot ashes was inconclusive as the temperature in the lagging only reached 70 °F (21 °C) with occasional hot spots of 150 °F (66 °C). Other tests did reveal that the cork could give off flammable fumes under high heat and pressurized air. While not entirely satisfied with this conclusion it found in April 1919 that "The slow combustion of the cork lagging of the 6-inch midship magazine of the Glatton led to the ignition of the magazine and then to the ignition of the cordite in it and so caused the explosion.

As a precaution, Gorgon's lagging was stripped out and replaced with silicate wool, revealing the real cause. Part of the cork was missing and folded newspapers were found in the empty space which were left there by the dockyard workers during construction. Furthermore, a number of rivets were entirely missing which meant that 0.5 inches holes were present, which could have allowed the hot ashes to ignite the newspapers. The forced-draught pressure in the boiler room would have supplied air through the rivet holes, causing the cork to give off flammable gases, and eventually ignite the cordite charges.

Glatton remained in Dover Harbour, an obstruction to shipping, with her hull visible at low tide as the Harbour Board could not afford the £45,000 quoted on average by salvage companies. Finally they asked the Harbourmaster, Captain John Iron, if he could do it for less. He estimated it would cost about £5,000 if he was granted use of the salvage craft already at Dover. The Board accepted his offer and work began in May 1925. Some 12,000 short tons of silt were removed from underneath Glatton and her mainmast and superstructure were blasted away from the wreck. Four lifting lighters, with a capacity of 1,000 long tons, were hired, but they would not suffice to lift a water-logged 5,000 long tons ship. It was necessary to seal all of the holes on her topside and pump air into each compartment at a rate of 70,000 cubic feet per minute to restore her buoyancy. The first attempt to lift her began on the 2nd December 1925 and was successful in breaking the suction holding her to the bottom in combination with the rising tide. That was enough for the first try and the major lifting effort began the following day. Slowly she was moved, taking advantage of the tides, until on the 16th March 1926 she was moved to a deep gully next to the western pier of the submarine harbour, close by the shore. The total cost was considerably more than originally estimated, but still far less than that quoted by the salvage companies, at no more than £12,000. There she remains, buried by landfill underneath the current car ferry terminal.
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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Vindictive was a British Arrogant-class cruiser built at Chatham Dockyard. She was launched on the 9th December 1897 and completed in 1899. The vessel participated in the Zeebrugge Raid.

Early in 1918 she was fitted out for the Zeebrugge Raid. Most of her guns were replaced[citation needed] by howitzers, flame-throwers and mortars. On the 23rd April 1918 she was in fierce action at Zeebrugge when she went alongside the mole, and her upperworks were badly damaged by gunfire, her Captain, Alfred Carpenter was awarded a Victoria Cross for his actions during the raid.
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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Atherstone was a Hunt-class destroyer of the Royal Navy. She was launched in late 1939 as the first of her class but was found to be unstable, and had to undergo significant modifications before entering service in March 1940.

On the 11th September 1940, while escorting Convoy CW11 in the Channel, Atherstone was hit by two bombs and near missed by a third, sustaining serious damage and killing 5 men. After repair at Chatham Dockyard, the ship rejoined the First Destroyer Flotilla in January 1941, resuming convoy escort duty in the Channel.
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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Spey was an old River Gunboat of 363 tons built in 1876 for service in China to protect British interests. By the turn of the century those Gunboats that hadn’t been scrapped had been converted for other uses at home ports. Since 1900 the Spey had formed part of home defence forces based at Sheerness and in 1905 was converted to a diving tender. She was operating in this role in the Thames estuary between Southend and Sheerness on the 7th March 1917.

On that Wednesday afternoon, Lt Ernest Humphreys RNR was in command of the diving operations when the winds increased to gale force and the Spey lost an anchor. Humphreys decided to return to Sheerness. While still in the main Thames Channel a larger ship was seen to be coming down river, dead ahead, but not necessarily on a collision course. She was the SS Belvedere – a mud-hopper owned and operated by the London County Council. She carried 1,000 tons of sludge on regular journeys down river on the ebb tide to dump the waste at sea; she then returned to London docks on the flood tide.

At about 3.40pm the Belvedere was seen to alter course towards the Spey and the Diving Tender, doing her maximum of 6 knots, responded with two blasts on the siren and turning to port. It was too late to avoid a collision. Although the Belvedere had her engines astern by then she struck the Spey a glancing blow on the starboard side. The forty year-old Gunboat did not recoil well from the jolt. Numerous riveted seams sprung open and the sea rushed in, sinking the ship in about three minutes. Most of the thirty-seven men on Spey knew of the impending collision just before it happened but events moved so quickly, and few could have expected their ship to sink so quickly.

Thirteen men got away quickly on the Carley raft and thirteen more managed to safely launch the cutter. The only other boat, a skiff, was the last to leave with only four men aboard. That left seven men to await rescue or take to the water, the two officers, two Royal Marine divers and three seamen. These men probably expected to be rescued by the Belvedere which had lowered one of its own sea-boats and was hove-to about half a mile away. The Second Officer of the Belvedere had been on watch during the accident and his first actions were for the safety of his ship and crew of twenty-three men. He ordered the discharge of the ship’s load and 1,000 tons of sludge and mud were dropped through the ship’s bottom into the sea. That operation took six valuable minutes during which time the wind had blown Belvedere well away from the Spey. The Belvedere’s sea-boat was lowered and rowed towards the now sunken Spey but the crew were soon exhausted in the gale. They did meet the skiff and take one man from that before returning to Belvedere, unable to find any more survivors.

Other Naval vessels were in the vicinity and a search and rescue operation was soon under way. The City of Belfast, an Armed Boarding Ship, actually saw the Spey sink and radioed the news to Sheerness Signal Station. The emergency tug immediately left for Sheerness and, from Southend pier, came a destroyer. None of these ships had any success, however, although they searched long into the evening using searchlights.

Spey’s skiff was eventually blown on to mud flats off the Isle of Grain at about 5.30pm. The three exhausted survivors waded ashore and were thankfully found by men of the nearby RN Air Station. The Carley raft also drifted on to the Grain mud flats later the same evening but all thirteen men had died. The raft must have been swamped soon after leaving the Spey but continued to float, although half submerged. The men had all succumbed to the wet and cold.

The cutter, however, was a good sea-worthy boat and the thirteen men who got away from Spey in that all survived. They had to constantly bale-out as waves broke over them but, by five o’clock, they had reached the safety of Sheerness Dockyard.

The other seven men’s bodies were found at intervals much later. A Coroner’s Inquest into the deaths of the sailors was held at the Royal Naval Hospital, Gillingham and found that death was due to drowning following a collision at sea. What the Admiralty made of it in their enquiries is not known.

Dover Express - Friday 30 March 1917

NAVAL MEN DROWNED.
The Chatham Coroner on Monday concluded his inquiry respecting thirteen naval men who lost their lives through exposure and submersion on a raft on which they took refuge when their ship, an old naval vessel, was sunk in a collision. Witnesses said the raft was not sighted until four hours after the disaster, and then it was impossible to render help. The jury returned a verdict of accidentally drowned, and tendered sympathy to the bereaved relatives. They added a rider expressing their opinion that such rafts should in future be provided with flags that can be seen in the daytime, and with lights that will burn more than an hour in the night.
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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Eugene Esmonde commissioned into the Royal Air Force as a pilot officer on probation on the 28th December 1928. During the early 1930s, Esmonde served first in the RAF, and then transferred to the Fleet Air Arm where he served in the Mediterranean when responsibility for naval aviation was returned to the Royal Navy. Upon leaving the navy in 1934, he flew for Imperial Airway and amongst other feats he flew flying boats and the first sur-charged airmail to Australia.

At the start of the Second World War, he returned to the Fleet Air Arm with the rank of lieutenant commander. His first sea posting was to HMS Courageous, which was sunk in September 1939. He returned to sea duty on board HMS Victorious after a series of postings to shore-based stations.

On the night of the 24th May 1941, Esmonde led No. 825 Naval Air Squadron's nine Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers in an attack against the German battleship Bismarck. This attack took place after the Battle of the Denmark Strait, in which HMS Hood was sunk by the Bismarck. The biplanes flying from Victorious made a 120-mile flight in foul North Atlantic weather and one torpedo hit the Bismarck amidships without effect. (The attack that disabled the ship's rudder and doomed the German battleship was caused by a Swordfish torpedo strike from HMS Ark Royal some days later.) Esmonde was decorated with the Distinguished Service Order on the 11th February 1942 for his leadership and actions.

His squadron was serving on HMS Ark Royal when she was torpedoed in November 1941. Attempts to tow her to Gibraltar were abandoned, and on the 14th November 1941 she sank. The Swordfish of the squadron ferried some of the crew off the ship before she sank; Esmonde was Mentioned in Despatches for his actions on this occasion.

He earned his Victoria Cross when he led his squadron against elements of the German fleet which were making the "Channel Dash" (Operation Cerberus) from Brest in an attempt to return to their home bases at Wilhelmshaven and Kiel through the English Channel. On the 12th February 1942 off the coast of England, 32-year-old Lieutenant Commander Esmonde led a detachment of six Fairey Swordfish in an attack on the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau and the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen. All three had left Brest unopposed, and, with a strong escort of smaller craft, were entering the Straits of Dover when Esmonde received his orders. He waited as long as he felt he could for confirmation of his fighter escort, but eventually took off without it. One of the fighter squadrons (10 Supermarine Spitfires of No. 72 Squadron RAF) did rendezvous with Esmonde's squadron; the two squadrons were later attacked by enemy fighters of JG 2 and JG 26 as part of Operation Donnerkeil, the German air superiority plan for the mission. The subsequent fighting left all of the planes in Esmonde's squadron damaged, and caused them to become separated from their fighter escort.

The torpedo bombers continued their attack, in spite of their damage and lack of fighter protection. There was heavy anti-aircraft fire from the German ships, and Esmonde's aeroplane possibly sustained a direct hit from anti-aircraft fire that destroyed most of one of the port wings of his Swordfish biplane. Esmonde led his flight through a screen of the enemy destroyers and other small vessels protecting the battleships. He was still 2,700 metres from his target when he was hit by a Focke-Wulf Fw 190, resulting in his aircraft bursting into flames and crashing into the sea. The remaining aircraft continued the attack, but all were shot down by enemy fighters; only five of the 18 crew survived the action. The four surviving officers received the Distinguished Service Order, and the enlisted survivor was awarded the Conspicuous Gallantry Medal.

The courage of the Swordfish crews was noted by friend and foe alike. Admiral Bertram Ramsay later wrote, "In my opinion the gallant sortie of these six Swordfish aircraft constitutes one of the finest exhibitions of self-sacrifice and devotion to duty the war had ever witnessed", while Admiral Otto Ciliax in the Scharnhorst described "The mothball attack of a handful of ancient planes, piloted by men whose bravery surpasses any other action by either side that day". As he watched the smoking wrecks of the Swordfish falling into the sea, Captain Hoffmann of the Scharnhorst exclaimed, "Poor fellows, they are so very slow, it is nothing but suicide for them to fly against these big ships". Willhelm Wolf aboard the Scharnhorst wrote, "What an heroic stage for them to meet their end! Behind them their homeland, which they had just left with their hearts steeled to their purpose, still in view".

The award of the VC was gazetted on the 3d March 1942, the citation read:

ADMIRALTY. Whitehall. 3rd March, 1942.

The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the grant of the VICTORIA CROSS, for valour and resolution in action against the Enemy, to:

The late Lieutenant-Commander (A) Eugene Esmonde, D.S.O., Royal Navy.

On the morning of Thursday, 12th February, 1942, Lieutenant-Commander Esmonde, in command of a Squadron of the Fleet Air Arm, was told that the German Battle-Cruisers SCHARNHORST and GNEISENAU and the Cruiser PRINZ EUGEN, strongly escorted by some thirty surface craft, were entering the Straits of Dover, and that his Squadron must attack before they reached the sand-banks North East of Calais.

Lieutenant-Commander Esmonde knew well that his enterprise was desperate. Soon after noon he and his squadron of six Swordfish set course for the Enemy, and after ten minutes flight were attacked by a strong force of Enemy fighters. Touch was lost with his fighter escort; and in the action which followed all his aircraft were damaged. He flew on, cool and resolute, serenely challenging hopeless odds, to encounter the deadly fire of the Battle-Cruisers and their Escort, which shattered the port wing of his aircraft. Undismayed, he led his Squadron on, straight through this inferno of fire, in steady flight towards their target. Almost at once he was shot down; but his Squadron went on to launch a gallant attack, in which at least one torpedo is believed to have struck the German Battle-Cruisers, and from which not one of the six aircraft returned.

His high courage and splendid resolution will live in the traditions of the Royal Navy, and remain for many generations a fine and stirring memory.

He was remembered in Winston Churchill's famous broadcast speech on 13 May 1945, "Five years of War", as having defended Ireland's honour:

When I think of these days I think also of other episodes and personalities. I do not forget Lieutenant-Commander Esmonde, V.C., D.S.O., Lance-Corporal Kenneally, V.C., Captain Fegen, V.C., and other Irish heroes that I could easily recite, and all bitterness by Britain for the Irish race dies in my heart. I can only pray that in years which I shall not see, the shame will be forgotten and the glories will endure, and that the peoples of the British Isles and of the British Commonwealth of Nations will walk together in mutual comprehension and forgiveness."

Seven weeks later Lieutenant Commander Esmonde's body, still in his lifejacket, was washed ashore in the Thames Estuary near the River Medway. Esmonde was buried here n the Woodlands Cemetery, Gillingham, Kent on the 30th April 1942.
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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Exe was a River-class destroyer ordered by the Royal Navy under the 1901–1902 Naval Estimates. Named after the River Exe in southern England flowing through Exeter in the County of Devon, she was the first ship to carry this name in the Royal Navy. She served on the china Station before World War I and in the North Sea during the war. She was sold in 1920.

On the 27th March 1918, Exe hit mines while operating off the east coast. The Exe was damaged, and lost five men.
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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

There was an experiment in early 1916 when an SS-type envelope lifted a BE.2c aircraft.

The object of the exercise was to take the aircraft up to Zeppelin operational height, then release the 'plane, enabling it to attack a Zeppelin without the difficulty and lost time of a clim'.

The first release without a crew was successful but on the 21st February 1916, Wing-Cdr N F Usborne and Squadron-Cdr de Courcy W P Ireland carried out a full-scale test and unfortunately the release mechanism became entangled and the aircraft inverted, plunging to earth from a low altitude.

The aircraft fell on its back, throwing out one of the occupants. It crashed, out of control, into the goods yard at Strood station, where Commander Usborne was found dead, strapped in his seat The body of Lieutenant Commander Ireland fell in the river and was brought ashore by lightermen. An investigation into the accident showed that a loss of pressure in the envelope resulting in the fact that the airship-plane had exceeded its equilibrium height had caused a premature release of the forward suspension. The weight of the engine had caused the aeroplane to drop nose forward, and the ensuing strain was so great that the remaining suspension wires parted. It is possible, also, that some of the controls on the aeroplane were damaged as it fell clear.”
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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Gillingham (Woodlands) Cemetery - Gillingham, Kent, Tuesday 27th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

I then had the luxury of an overnight stay at the M2 Services Travelodge (self-inflicted) before heading off the next day to finish off sites in Kent and then across the Thames Estuary to Essex.

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SuffolkBlue
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Re: CWGC Cemeteries **updated 12/03/2020**

Post by SuffolkBlue »

The majority of the 72 Second World War graves at CWGC Gravesend Cemetery are scattered throughout the cemetery in positions chosen by those responsible for the interments, but there is a small group of war graves in the south-eastern corner of the newer part of the burial ground. Three men whose graves could not be marked by headstones are commemorated by name on the screen wall in the First World War plot.

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CWGC Gravesend Cemetery - Gravesend, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Gravesend Cemetery - Gravesend, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Gravesend Cemetery - Gravesend, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Gravesend Cemetery - Gravesend, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Gravesend Cemetery - Gravesend, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 21st May 1944, Pilot George E Bailey DFM and his Navigator John V C Roberts were the crew in de Havilland Mosquito FB V. CR292 of No.21 Squadron, based at RAF Gravesend, when an engine cut out while in the RAF West Malling circuit and the aircraft flew into a hillside at May's Wood near Cuxton, Kent.

Both crew members were killed.
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CWGC Gravesend Cemetery - Gravesend, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Hugh William Reilley was born in London, Ontario, Canada and was educated at London South Collegiate from 1933-1938.

In May 1939, he joined the Royal Air Force and flew with No. 64 Squadron and No. 66 Squadron, flying Supermarine Spitfires during the Battle of Britain.

He was shot down in his Spitfire I R6800 on the 17th October 1940 by a Bf 109 of JG 51 flown by Oberstleutnant Werner Mölders over Westerham, Kent at 15:25hrs. His Spitfire crashed and burned out at Crockham Hill, Sevenoaks.
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CWGC Gravesend Cemetery - Gravesend, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

CWGC Orpington (St Mary Cray) Cemetery was used during the Second World War by the nearby RAF Biggin Hill, and the majority of its 59 war burials are of airmen. The war graves plot to the left of the entrance contains 50 of the 59 Commonwealth burials and the graves of three Polish airmen. The rest of the war graves are scattered throughout the cemetery. 2 of the burials are unidentified airman of the R.A.F.

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CWGC Orpington (St Mary Cray) Cemetery - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Stanislaw Brzezina was born in Lodz, Poland on the 5th March 1904.

He served in the Polish army before enrolling in the Infantry Officer Cadets School in 1924, moving on to the Polish Air Force Cadets School in 1925. In 1927 he was posted to 3 Air Regiment, completing his pilot's course at Deblin in 1929. He a posting to 2 Air Regiment before becoming a navigation instructor at Deblin in April 1931. He then spent three years with 4 Air Regiment until March 1938 when he took up a post at the flying school at Grudziadz. He flew operationally in the September 1939 campaign before escaping through Romania to the UK. He was commissioned in the RAF in February 1940.

After converting to Supermarine Spitfires at 5 OTU Aston Down Brzezina was posted to 74 Squadron at Hornchurch on the 5th August 1940. He served alongside another Pole, Henryk Szczesny. Because their RAF colleagues found it difficult to pronounce their names they were christened 'Breezy' and 'Sneezy'.

On the 13th August he shot down a Do17 and damaged another over the Thames Estuary but his Spitfire, N3091, was hit by return fire. There was an explosion in the cockpit and Brzezina baled out, unhurt, and landed safely.

He was posted away on 25th September to take joint command of 308 Squadron, then being formed at Baginton. Brzezina was awarded the VM (5th Class) (gazetted 1st February 1941). He took command of 317 Squadron at Colerne in June 1941. On the 10th July he destroyed a Me109.

In August 1941 he was appointed Wing Leader of No. 2 Polish Wing at Exeter, made up of 302, 316 and 317 Squadrons. Brzezina was awarded the KW (gazetted 10th September 1941). He went on a series of staff jobs. On 19th September 1945 he was posted to HQ BAFO for liaison duties, as a Group Captain.

Brzezina was killed in a flying accident en route from Germany to England on the 13th February 1946.

Douglas Dakota III KG397 was transporting personnel from Buckeburg in Germany to Croydon. In poor weather the pilot put down at Manston to check the forecast for the last leg. En route again he overshot Croydon and entered a descending turn to re-approach. The aircraft struck a ridge at 700 feet, carried on across a valley and hit the ridge on the other side at Beech Farm, Warlingham, Surrey.

Eight people, including Brzezina, were killed, fourteen seriously injured and two uninjured. Those lost were:

Fg Off AJ Clark RCAF
LAC GA Doxey
Wg Cdr. S Grodzicki
S/Ldr. R G Joyce AFC RCAF
LAC D Palmer
(Civilian) John Brittain
Driver D I Glover Royal Engineers
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CWGC Orpington (St Mary Cray) Cemetery - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Vickers Warwick III HG136 crashed on the 23rd July 1946 on boggy moorland of the Cheviot massif between Auchope Cairn and Cairn Hill, with the wreckage is spread over a wide area. The plane was part of 280 Squadron based at RAF Thornaby, Teeside, and was on its final flight to Brakla near Fife for scrapping. The crash was attributed by the authorities to the plane flying an incorrect route instead of following the coastline. It was likely to have been in an air sea rescue role and equipped with two 18-cylinder radial engines LinkExternal link either Bristol Centaurus or Pratt and Whitney Double Wasps.

All three airmen, including Pilot K E Wyett were killed in the crash and found by hillwalkers the following day.
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CWGC Orpington (St Mary Cray) Cemetery - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 6th March 1943, Pilot H R Fraser lost his life while flying in Hawker Typhoon Ib, l R8942, when his aircraft collided with another Typhoon.
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CWGC Orpington (St Mary Cray) Cemetery - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Orpington (St Mary Cray) Cemetery - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

William Charles Watling was born in Middlesborough on the 22nd February 1920 but his family later settled in Guernsey and he attended Elizabeth Colege there from 1936 to 1939. He excelled at Athletics.

He entered the RAF College, Cranwell in September 1939 as a flight cadet. The course was suspended on the outbreak of war and he was transferred to the RAFVR as an Airman u/t Pilot, but still at Cranwell.

After completing his flying training he graduated with a Permanent Commission on the 14th July 1940 and joined 92 Squadron at Pembrey on the 15th. He was then posted straight to 5 OTU Aston Down to convert to Spitfires and did not return to 92 till the 2nd August.

He claimed a share in the destruction of a Ju88 on the 14th August. He was shot down in combat with enemy aircraft over East Guldeford near Rye on 9th September in Spitfire P9372 and baled out, badly burned on his face and hands.

Returning to flying after recovering from his burns, Watling probably destroyed a Me109 on the 2nd November and damaged another on 1st December.

He was killed on 7th February 1941, still flying with 92 squadron. Two Spitfires, including Watling in R6924, took off from RAF Manston in the morning for a weather test. Visibility was extremely bad and his aircraft flew into high ground near Deal.
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CWGC Orpington (St Mary Cray) Cemetery - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Maurice Alexander William Lee was born at Maymyo, Upper Burma, on the 22nd December 1919. His father, Lt. Col. AWH Lee, was CO of the 1st/7th Gurkha Rifles which had been attached to the Burma Military Police to assist in putting down uprisings by Kachin natives in 1914/15.

In 1920 the family moved to Ireland, where they may have had a home, then returned to the East in 1921 and remained there till Lt. Col. Lee retired in 1923. They then returned to Ireland for the next four years before moving to Dorset in 1927.

When he left school he went as an Apprentice Aircraft Engineer to Vickers at Weybridge and in January 1939 he joined the RAFVR as a Sergeant. He had commenced training and attended one summer camp before being called up on the 1st September 1939.

Once qualified, he joined 72 Squadron at RAF Croydon on the 15th September 1940.

He claimed a He111 destroyed on the 27th September. He was posted to 421 Flight on the 3rd October, then forming at RAF Hawkinge. On the 15th Lee claimed a Me109 south of Maidstone but then his Spitfire, P7444, was damaged by Me109s and he was wounded. He crashed attempting a forced-landing at Blackham Farm, Broadoak and was admitted to hospital.

On the 12th December Lee's aircraft was again damaged in combat and he made a forced-landing. Later the same day the weather deteriorated and, being unable to return to Hawkinge, he wrecked his Spitfire trying to make an emergency landing at RAF Lingfield.

Despite these incidents Lee was highly regarded as a bad-weather pilot and was sent out in thick morning mist on the 22nd looking for some Vickers Wellingtons that were lost. He found two and escorted them in over the Sussex coast. One crashed, killing the crew, and the other made a forced-landing. Lee's own fuel was by then exhausted and he had to glide down through dense cloud to make a belly-landing near Pevensey.

On the 31st December 1940 he was killed when he crashed near Biggin Hill attempting to land in extremely bad weather. His Spitfire, P7497, was burned out.
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CWGC Orpington (St Mary Cray) Cemetery - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The No. 9 Squadron crew of Vickers Wellington Ic L7799 took off from RAF Honington, Suffolk, on the 21st December 1940at 20.15 hours to bomb the industrial area of Porto Marghera, Venice, Italy.

On returning to England, their aircraft crashed at Lullington, just west of Eastbourne. The cause of the crash is not known.

2nd pilot James Frederick Gapp and the rest of the crew were killed.
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CWGC Orpington (St Mary Cray) Cemetery - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Joseph Somerton O'Brien was the son of a major killed in France in 1917. He trained on HMS Conway for a career in the Merchant Navy. After spending several years at sea, he joined the RAF on a short service commission in March 1934.

He completed his flying training at 3 FTS Grantham and joined 3 Squadron at Kenley on the 16th March 1935. He went with it to the Sudan in September, during the Abyssinian crisis. Back in the UK, he joined 23 Squadron on the 9th July 1936.

After war broke out O'Brien was a Flight Commander, still serving with 23 Squadron. His promotion to Squadron Leader was gazetted on 1st June 1940.

On the night of the 18/19th June, O'Brien was captain of a Bristol Blenheim which shared in the destruction of a He111 near Cambridge with a Spitfire, flown by Petra of 19 Squadron. Both British aircraft were shot down by return fire. O'Brien baled out but his observer, P/O King-Clark, and his gunner, Corporal Little, were both killed.

O'Brien received a Mention in Despatches (gazetted 11th July 1940). He left 23 shortly after this to take charge of the Operations Room at RAF Pembrey, Carmarthenshire.

On the 1st July 1940 he joined 92 Squadron there as a supernumerary Squadron Leader. Awarded the DFC (gazetted 30th July 1940), O'Brien took command of 234 Squadron at St Eval on the 17th August. He shared in the destruction of a Ju88 on the 21st and destroyed a Me109 on the 24th. O'Brien was presented with his DFC by the King at Buckingham Palace on the 3rd September. He destroyed two more Me109’s on the 6th.

He was shot down and killed in combat over St. Mary Cray the next day. His Spitfire, P9466, crashed near Biggin Hill.
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CWGC Orpington (St Mary Cray) Cemetery - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

James Alfred Paterson was born at Chatton in the district of Gore, Southland, New Zealand on the 16th October 1919 and worked on his father's farm.

He was a trooper in the Otago Mounted Rifles, Territorial Army. In December 1937 he applied for an RNZAF short service commission and after acceptance he began flying training at the Otago Aero Club, gaining his 'A' License on the 15th August 1938. Paterson was posted to No 1 FTS, Wigram on 6th September and was awarded his flying badge on 17th December. He completed his training and sailed for the UK on the 'Waimarama' from Auckland on the 17th April 1939.

Paterson was posted to 82 Squadron at Cranfield on 3rd June. At the outbreak of war he went to 71 Wing in France, flying Magisters on reconnaissance patrols and observation flights for the BEF. In late 1939 Paterson joined 226 Squadron at Rheims. In May 1940 he was detached to special duties to supply hard-pressed squadrons with mail, medical supplies, petrol and despatches. After the French collapse in June Paterson went with 226 Squadron to Northern Ireland. He volunteered for Fighter Command and after converting to Spitfires at 7 OTU Hawarden he joined 92 Squadron at Pembrey.

On the 24th July, Paterson shared in the destruction of a Ju88. He shared another on 19th August and destroyed a Me110 on 11th September. Later the same day he was shot down by Me109’s and baled out, with his clothes on fire and badly burned about the face. His Spitfire, R6613, crashed north-east of Ashford. Paterson insisted on flying again before he could see properly. On 27th September he took off with other Spitfires of 92 to intercept enemy aircraft. He was shot down in flames by Me109’s near Maidstone. Fellow pilots saw him struggling to escape from his cockpit but he failed to do so and was killed. His Spitfire, X4422, crashed and burned out at Sparepenny Lane, Farningham.

He was made an MBE (gazetted 1st January 1941) for his outstanding services in France in May 1940.
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CWGC Orpington (St Mary Cray) Cemetery - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Orpington (St Mary Cray) Cemetery - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 30th August 1940, a small formation of less than a dozen bombers attacked RAF Biggin Hill at low level with 1,000 lb. bombs. Workshops, stores, barracks, W.A.A.F. quarters and a hangar were destroyed, and 39 were killed. The next day a high level attack did further extensive damage including a direct hit on the Ops block.

At noon on the 30th August 1940, around 300 bombers and fighters came across the Channel and over Kent towards the airfields protecting London, with RAF Biggin Hill being one of the main targets.

Spitfires from 79 and 610 Squadrons were airborne immediately.

Despite severing the German formation, several raiders managed to break through and bomb Biggin Hill and Keston. While the airfield had narrowly escaped, at 6pm the Luftwaffe would return.

This time nine Junkers 88s followed the Ashford-Reigate railway at low level before taking the airfield by surprise.

The cookhouse and workshops were destroyed. Airmen’s barracks, the sergeants’ mess and the Waafery were made uninhabitable. One hangar was blown up, two aircraft destroyed and most of the station’s transport was set on fire.

An air-raid shelter crammed with airmen received a direct hit and the death toll was more than 39. In the airwomen’s trench where steel-helmeted WAAFs were packed together, an explosion blew out the entrance and the concrete walls caved in. Those inside were buried under stones and earth. They lay in a heap in the dark waiting to be dug out.

The WAAFs were brought out one by one and all of them survived except a nursing orderly from Tasmania, Corporal Lena Button. After the women were rescued, a team of miners had to be drafted in to dig out the bodies in the airmen’s shelter.

The medical officer’s report to the station commander described the scene in horrific detail.

“An opening was found but it was plain the majority of occupants had been killed. Those who were living and within reach were given a dose of morphia, several having the injections into the face as this was the only part of them above the earth and concrete. Six living men were taken out but two died soon after. One of these had to have his wrist amputated to free him at all.”

Dr JC Colbeck of Downe and Drs Grant and Mansi of Orpington were also recognised in the report for spending hours performing amputations in cramped conditions with enemy aircraft still overhead.
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CWGC Orpington (St Mary Cray) Cemetery - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Orpington (St Mary Cray) Cemetery - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Orpington (St Mary Cray) Cemetery - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Orpington (St Mary Cray) Cemetery - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Orpington (St Mary Cray) Cemetery - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Orpington (St Mary Cray) Cemetery - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

A short drive across town is CWGC Orpington (All Saints) Churchyard Extension.

During the First World War, the Ontario Hospital was at Orpington from February 1916 to September 1917, when it became No 16 Canadian General Hospital. The hospital closed in September 1919. The hospital made a number of burials in a section of the extension to Orpington (All Saints) Churchyard, which was for may years known as Ontario Cemetery. This Extension contains 116 burials, 88 of which are Canadian. The extension as a whole contains 129 First World War burials and another 14 from the Second World War. The Commission also cares for 70 non-war service graves in the extension.

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CWGC Orpington (All Saints) Churchyard Extension - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Orpington (All Saints) Churchyard Extension - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Orpington (All Saints) Churchyard Extension - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Orpington (All Saints) Churchyard Extension - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Orpington (All Saints) Churchyard Extension - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Orpington (All Saints) Churchyard Extension - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Orpington (All Saints) Churchyard Extension - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Orpington (All Saints) Churchyard Extension - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Orpington (All Saints) Churchyard Extension - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Orpington (All Saints) Churchyard Extension - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Orpington (All Saints) Churchyard Extension - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Orpington (All Saints) Churchyard Extension - Orpington, Kent, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

It was back on the M25 and through the Dartford Tunnel to visit CWGC West Thurrock Cemetery. It's fair to say it's not the nicest location, situated in the shadows of the QE2 Bridge and Lakeside Ikea.

There is a small war grave plot located here.
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CWGC West Thurrock Cemetery - West Thurrock, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC West Thurrock Cemetery - West Thurrock, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC West Thurrock Cemetery - West Thurrock, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC West Thurrock Cemetery - West Thurrock, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Wireless Operator Sydney Ernest Arthur Carter lost his life on the 16th December 1942 when his Vickers Wellington IC T2902 crashed near RAF Harwell shortly after taking off on a night exercise. 3 of his crew were also killed. He is buried here in his home town.
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CWGC West Thurrock Cemetery - West Thurrock, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The tanker SS British Caprain struck a mine and sank in the North Sea on the 2nd December 1941. Greaser Charlie Green was the only loss of her 54 crew.
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CWGC West Thurrock Cemetery - West Thurrock, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

CWGC South Shoebury (St. Andrew) Churchyard in located in Shoeburyness, a suburb East of Southend-on-Sea.

Here there are a number of small plots scattered across the site form both world wars.

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CWGC South Shoebury (St. Andrew) Churchyard - South Shoebury, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the evening of the 7th January 1944, the crew of Handley Page Halifax V LK743, 138 Sqn, took off at 2032 hrs from RAF Tempsford, Bedforshire, for an SOE operation to Belgium (codes Tybalt 3 and Thresites 4). It returned nearly five hours later but crashed at 0115 hrs at Tetworth Hill near Bedford, killing everybody aboard.

Crew and passengers (all killed):
Wt Off Harry Murray Kennedy (pilot)
Sgt Thomas Samuel Howlett (flight engineer)
Sgt Victor Albert Edward Theedom
Sgt Stanley Whiteley
Sgt Edwin Thripp (woreless operator/air gunner)
Flt Sgt David Fisher Davies DFM
Sgt Peter Sidney Barlow
Capitaine Henri Verhaegen (passenger, Belgian SOE agent)
Sgt Hector Goffin (passenger, Belgian SOE agent)
Sgt René Philemon Michaux (passenger, Belgian SOE agent)

Victor Albert Edward Theedom is buried here in his home of Shoeburyness.
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CWGC South Shoebury (St. Andrew) Churchyard - South Shoebury, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 25th October 1944, Armstrong Whitworth Albermarle V1755 took off from RAF Keevil near Trowbridge in Wiltshire towing a Waco CG-4A glider.

Flying east in low cloud over the Vale of Pewsey, the pair had barely gone 20 miles when the pilot of the glider lost sight of the Albemarle, and began to overtake it. This meant the hemp rope yanked the tail of the Albemarle upwards, and the aircraft dived to the ground killing both crewmen.

Fortunately for the glider crew, the rope snapped and the pilot was able to land safely at a nearby airfield.

Flt. Sgt Thomas C Newton RAFVR – pilot
Sgt John A.C.Wilson RAFVR – W/Op./Air Gunner
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CWGC South Shoebury (St. Andrew) Churchyard - South Shoebury, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC South Shoebury (St. Andrew) Churchyard - South Shoebury, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 9th January 1913, an 18 pounder gun was being tested. Due to a clerical error by the officer in charge, a charge of 1lb 15oz 5 drams was used instead of 1lb 5oz. When fired the breech of the gun blew out killing gunners Walter Pearson and Harry Hubbard. An inquest was held on the 11th January 1913 which recorded a verdict of accidental death. Arrangements were subsequently made for men to be put under cover when the first round of any gun was fired.
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CWGC South Shoebury (St. Andrew) Churchyard - South Shoebury, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC South Shoebury (St. Andrew) Churchyard - South Shoebury, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC South Shoebury (St. Andrew) Churchyard - South Shoebury, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC South Shoebury (St. Andrew) Churchyard - South Shoebury, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC South Shoebury (St. Andrew) Churchyard - South Shoebury, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC South Shoebury (St. Andrew) Churchyard - South Shoebury, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery contains 127 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and 152 burials of the Second World War, including 1 unidentified seaman of the Merchant Navy. In addition there are 4 Foreign National war burials here.

A number of Commonwealth burials are located outside of the main war grave plot.
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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Air Gunner Eric Clifford Viccars and the rest of his 75 (New Zealand) Squadron crew, boarded Short Stirling III EE886 at RAF Mepal, Cambridgeshire for a night raid to Aachen on the 13th / 14th July 1943.

374 aircraft set off with 20 losses (5.3%). A strong tail wind led to the main force arriving early and when PFF marked the target, so many aircraft were waiting that the town appeared to erupt into flames. Almost 3000 buildings were destroyed including apartment blocks, so the number of dwellings destroyed was some 16828. The cathedral, the town hall and many other civic amenities were also classed as severely damaged.

They landed at RAF Oakington on return but burst a tyre and the undercarriage collapsed. The aircraft overturned before coming to rest. Eric Clifford Viccars was killed with the remainder of the crew injured.
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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The 214 Squadron crew of Vickers Wellington IC R1614 took off from RAF Stradishall, Suffolk on the 14th July 1941 at 2315 hrs for an operation to Bremen.

Over the Frisians, coned by a searchlight and hit by flak and machine gun fire from the 7./Marine-Flak-Abteilung 246 (battery Ameland), their aircraft came down in the North Sea. There were no survivors.

Plt Off Brown is buried in Holland at Bergen op Zoom War Cemetery, but the bodies of Flt Sgt Lewis and Sgt Hull were washed onto English beaches. The rest are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

Crew
Plt Off V K Brown (KIA)
Sgt M R Collins RCAF (KIA)
Sgt J Taylor (KIA)
Sgt J S Else (KIA)
Sgt RD Hull (KIA)
Flt Sgt W G Lewis (KIA)
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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

eRoylance Sydney King, of Southend, was the Flight Engineer on 466 (Australian) Squadron Handley Page Halifax III LW172 that left RAF Driffield on the 8th April 1945. Their target was the Hamburg shipyards. 440 aircraft, 6 losses. Bombing was scattered due to cloud cover. Although some damage was probably caused to the shipyards, the American 8th Air Force had attacked the target only a few hours earlier so it was impossible to differentiate the damaged caused by the two raids.

The crew encountered fog on their return and flew into trees while trying to locate the airfield, 2 miles west of Driffield. They were all killed in the crash.
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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The steamship SS Sampa was about one and a half miles north of the North Foreland No. 9 Buoy at 5.12 p.m. on the 27th February 1945, in convoy, when she struck a mine. The explosion broke the ship´s back, blowing out part of the port side, destroying the saloon and other cabins and blowing the captain from the bridge into the sea. The SAMPA carried a crew of 53 and nine passengers. Of these 12 were killed outright by the explosion and four died later. Capt. Sherwell was picked up and landed at Southend. Mr. J. Allerton, the first officer, took command of the ship and transferred the wounded to H.M. destroyer Middleton which conveyed them to Sheerness. The SAMPA sank within 15 minutes of striking the mine.
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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Vickers Wellington IC T2520 strayed off course on the return leg to RAF Marham after an operation to Bordeaux and flew into high ground near to Tredegar, Glamorgan on the 9th December 1940.

Air Gunner David Ernest Wallace and the rest of the crew were killed.
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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The naval tug HMS Sun IX sank in the Thames Estuary north of Sheerness with the loss of three crew on the 21st December 1940, after hitting a mine.
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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Pilot T P Chlopik of 302 (Polish) Squadron took off from RAF Duxford, Cambridgeshire, on the 15th September 1940 for a patrol on the south coast.

His patrols soon met Luftwaffe fighters carrying out an attack on North Weald. Not long after, he was shot down by an Me109 at 14:45hrs. He managed to bale out of his Hawker Hurricane I P2954, but was found dead near Rayleigh, Essex.

The replica Hurricane gate guardian at IWM Duxford is painted in the markings of his aircraft.
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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Pilot Officer E W S Scot was killed on the 4th June 1940 when his Supermarine Spitfire N3130 crashed near Rochford, Essex.
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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Hawker Hurricane L2083 was destroyed when it crashed at RAF Sutton Bridge, Lincolshire and burned out after catching fire in the air on the 8th October 1940.

Its pilot, Desmond Crighton Brown was killed.
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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 21st August 1941 the crew of Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Z6862, 102 Squadron, were about to undertake a day-light training flight when it climbed too steeply on take off from RAF Topcliffe at 14.45hrs, stalled and dived into the ground within the boundary of Topcliffe airfield. Sadly four of the crew were killed. A fire destroyed most of the aircraft and with it any real evidence of what might have happened. The investigation found that the elevator trimming tabs were found fully wound back but the rest of the elevator was destroyed so it could not be found why this was done prior to taking off.

Pilot - Sgt Ian Colin Hay RAFVR (748459), aged 19, of Southend on Sea. Buried Southend on Sea Cemetery, Essex.

Second Pilot - Sgt Norman George Williams RAFVR (1006119), aged 21, of Ely, Cardiff. Buried Cardiff Western Cemetery, Glamorgan.

Observer - P/O Perry Byard Detlor RCAF (J/3763), aged 28, of Brockville, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Buried Topcliffe Cemetery, Yorkshire.

Wireless Operator / Air Gunner - Sgt Derrick John McKenzie Bush RAFVR (928579), aged 19, of Westcliff-on-Sea. Buried Chingford Mount Cemetery, Essex.

Wireless Operator / Air Gunner - Sgt Charles Stacey Neveu RCAF (R/54986), of Rock Island, Quebec, Canada. Badly injured. (On 9th May 1942 he was in Wellington Z5562 which crashed into the Baltic sea. He was thirty three years old and is now buried in Berlin War Cemetery, Germany.)
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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Born on the 29th April 1919, Peter Chesters was the only son of William and Kate Chesters, the family home being in Thorpe Bay Essex.

He joined the RAFVR in June 1939 and was called up on September 1st and sent to 5 Elementary Flying School at RAF Sealand. He was then posted to 5 Service Flying Training School in Canada and finally on the 16th September 1940 to 7 OTU at Hawarden which had not long been open and with primitive facilities which necessitated their sleeping in tents.

He flew first patrol was on the 2nd October 1940.

On the 10th April 1940 he was on a fighter sweep over Kent. at 0935hrs. Then at 1125hrs he was airborne with Sgt York on a convoy patrol which lasted just under two hours, landing in time for lunch. At 1645 12 Spitfires were ordered to patrol the Folkestone area, Peter flying P7854. A number of Me109s were seen in the area, escorting bombers on their way to Canterbury and 74 dived on them. Peter engaged an Me109E, Black 8, of the 2nd Staffel of Jagdgeswader 51 piloted by Friedrich Maoller. He shot it down and it crashed at Frost Farm, St Nicholas Wade, killing the pilot. Such victories were now rare and Peter Chesters was so jubilant with this success that he attempted the forbidden victory roll over Manston aerodrome on his return. He misjudged his height and crashed on to the parade ground. He was killed instantly.

John Freeborn still recalls his friend Peter Chesters clearly.

"He was a good pilot and a good shot but subject to moments of carelessness, of disregard for his own wellbeing. One such moment was after his latest success in the air. He came back over Manston and roared across the airfield at low altitude, attempted the victory roll, stalled and ploughed in inverted. He had an element of eccentricity, even madness about him. A slow roll at low altitude in an aircraft which had possibly suffered battle damage was an extremely hazardous and silly thing to do. Only his family attended the funeral. No-one from the Squadron could bear to go as Peter was so well liked and it was very upsetting how he died."
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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The SS Bolbec collided witha Dutch vessel in the Thames Estuary on the 9th January 1943 and immediately heeled over on her port side. With only three minutes before the ship sank, the Captain gave the order to “abandon ship”. 20 of the 23 crew on board escaped in the starboard lifeboat. Three men were tragically lost. The SS Bolbec was seven and a half months on the sea bed before being salvaged by the Port of London Authority and towed 20 miles under water and on her side, to Southend, where she was beached and put upright. Temporary repairs were made and the ship floated and towed to Gravesend where she was repaired and put back into service.
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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

After taking off from RAF Disforth, North Yorkshire, Vickers Wellington III BJ894 crashed onto marsh land near Southend while taking part in a bulls-eye training exercise on the 16th / 17th November 1942. Some sources suggest that the aircraft may have been shot down by an intruder. The five 425 (Alouette) Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force crew members are buried here, side by side.
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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the night of the 5/6th March 1945, Avro Anson LV153 took off from RAF Wigtown, Wigtownshire, Scotland, at 2130 hours, to carry out a non operational night navigation exercise.

The aircraft crashed into Legnacoppage Glen, Mullaghclogha Mountain, in the Sperrin Mountains just south of Londonderry, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, at 00:30 hours. Four of the crew were killed and Sgt Shaxson was seriously injured.

Crew:
RCAF PO McFadyen I L (Pilot)
RAAF 37399 Flt Sgt R H Gilllian, (Navigator)
RAF Sgt T M D Shaxson, (Air Bomber)
RAF WOI J Pennack, (Wireless Air Gunner)
RAF Sgt R A Button, (Wireless Air Gunner)

Jack Pennack is buried here in his home town.
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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 29th March 1944, Flight Engineer William Henry Hickson boarded Handley Page Halifax II DT736 at RAF Marston Moor, North Yorkshire, for a training flight. In total, there were 6 crew members on board.

Half way through the flight, their aircraft shed a propeller blade from the starboard outer engine and crashed near Dundonald, Kilmarnock.

He is buried here near his home town of Westcliff-on-Sea.
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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Road) Cemetery - Southend-on-Sea, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

A few miles away is CWGC Rayleigh Cemetery, which contains 17 burials from both world wars, with a number of these making up a war grave plot.

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CWGC Rayleigh Cemetery - Rayleigh, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The crew of Armstrong Whitworth Whitley V EB358 took off from RAF Abingdon on the 28th August 1940 for a training light. It is thought the plane exploded at approximately 00.45, scattering debris over a wide area 2 miles S of Great Wilbraham, five miles East of Cambridge.

Air Gunner Edward William Fitch of 10 OTU Squadron, was one of 4 crew members killed in the crash.
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CWGC Rayleigh Cemetery - Rayleigh, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Pilot Officer W T Darler, Corporal H E Fortescue, Aircraftman W A Coyte & Leading Aircraftman E Halliday were all on board the supply tug 'Lion' when it hit an enemy mine in River Thames, on the 6th January 1941. All 4 of the 952 Balloon Squadron members were killed.
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CWGC Rayleigh Cemetery - Rayleigh, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Rayleigh Cemetery - Rayleigh, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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SuffolkBlue
Posts: 1183
Joined: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 7:31 pm
Location: Bury St. Edmunds

Re: CWGC Cemeteries **updated 12/03/2020**

Post by SuffolkBlue »

The 24th and final location of the two days was CWGC Chelmsford (Writtle Road) Cemetery. Here are 41 burials and commemorations of the First World War scattered throughout the cemetery. The Second World War burials number 38, of which 32 form a war graves plot in the western part of the cemetery.
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CWGC Chelmsford (Writtle Road) Cemetery - Chelmsford, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Chelmsford (Writtle Road) Cemetery - Chelmsford, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Air Gunner William Henry Wareham was on board Handley Page Halifax V DG358 during a cross country exercise from RAF Faldingworth on the 23rd January 1943 when an engine failed at 20,000 feet over Wales. The aircraft descended into thick cloud and immediately suffered severe icing which caused a wing to fold and come off, crashing into the tail-place causing the Halifax to disintegrate in the air. All on board were lost.
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CWGC Chelmsford (Writtle Road) Cemetery - Chelmsford, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The crew of Handley Page Halifax V LL178 'The Old Straw Hat' took off from RAF Croft for a mining operation off off Heligoland, Germany, on the 18th March 1944. Their aircraft crashed at Thorodale, Yorkshire, on the return leg due to poor visibility. Walter Cotton was the Wireless Operator / Air Gunner on the aircraft.
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CWGC Chelmsford (Writtle Road) Cemetery - Chelmsford, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Avro Lancaster I W4182 collided in the circuit with a 44 Squadron Avro Lancaster (W4259) shortly after takeoff from RAF Waddington to raid Duisburg, both aircraft falling out of control into Canwick Road, Bracebridge Heath, 2 miles South of Lincoln. Air Gunner Emrys Frederick Sharples and the rest of the crew of W4182 were killed. He is buried here in his home city.
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CWGC Chelmsford (Writtle Road) Cemetery - Chelmsford, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Chelmsford (Writtle Road) Cemetery - Chelmsford, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Allan Melrose Sliman was a Scottish professional football centre half who made over 370 Football League appearances for Chesterfield and Bristol City. A centre half, Sliman began his career with Scottish Second Division Arthurlie before Bristol City manager Alex Raisbeck paid a £280 fee to bring him to the Second Division club in September 1928. After making 136 league appearances for Bristol City, Sliman joined Second Division club Chesterfield for a £1,738 fee on 4 March 1932. He remained at Saltergate until October 1938 and was a part of the club's 1935–36 Third Division South title-winning team. Sliman finished his career with a spell as player-manager at Southern League club Chelmsford City during the 1938–39 season.

In 1943, during the Second World War, Sliman joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and became a flight engineer with No. 75 Squadron.

On the 15th April 1945, he as the Flight Engineer on an Avro Lancaster from RAF Mepal to bomb Potsdam. His aircraft was attacked by two Junkers Ju88s, raking the front of the fuselage with cannon shells and mortally wounding him. The aircraft otherwise made a safe return and he was rushed to hospital where he sadly died.
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CWGC Chelmsford (Writtle Road) Cemetery - Chelmsford, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Chelmsford (Writtle Road) Cemetery - Chelmsford, Essex, Wednesday 28th August 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

User avatar
SuffolkBlue
Posts: 1183
Joined: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 7:31 pm
Location: Bury St. Edmunds

Re: CWGC Cemeteries **updated 12/03/2020**

Post by SuffolkBlue »

At the turn of the year I made the 500 mile return journey down to Exeter on a football away day to see Ipswich.....lose....again.....but tied it in with a visit to Exeter Higher Cemetery, where there are two separate plots for each world war.

Of the 219 First World War burials here, more than 180 make up this plot, all without standard CWGC headstones.

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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th Janary 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Civilian casualties from the Exeter Blitz are also buried together here in the cemetery, not far from the Second World War plot.

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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The Exeter Blitz refers to the air raids by the Luftwaffe on Exeter, Devon, during the Second World War. The city was bombed in April and May 1942 as part of the so-called "Baedeker Raids", in which targets were chosen for their cultural and historical, rather than their strategic or military, value.

On the night of the 23rd / 24th April 1942, 49 bombers of KG2, KG106, led by the pathfinders of I/KG100 took part. However, due to heavy cloud most of the raiders missed their targets and little damage was done. Seven bombs fell on the St Thomas and Marsh Barton areas: 200 houses were damaged and 5 people were killed, with 8 injured. One raider, a Do 17, was shot down by an RAF night fighter, a Bristol Beaufighter from 604 Squadron.

The following night, the 24th / 25th April, was clear, and two waves of 20 bombers, most flying two sorties during the night, attacked again. In good visibility, and at low level in the absence of any AA defence, they hit the city, particularly the Pennsylvania area, killing 73 and injuring 54. Four raiders were shot down, three by night fighters and one over Portland by AA fire. After this the Luftwaffe switched its attention elsewhere, attacking Bath, York and Norwich, before returning to Exeter in early May.

Mollie & Eva Fennell were killed at 4 Prospect Park
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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the night of the 3rd / 4th May 1942, just after midnight, 20 bombers arrived over the town centre, and in 70 minutes devastated the town centre and Newtown area. Bombs fell in High St, Sidwell St and Fore St, starting fires in the houses and shops there, which were soon out of control. Fire brigade and emergency services struggled to tame the fires, under the threat of unexploded ordnance and despite strafing by German bombers. Reinforcements from the fire services at Torquay and Plymouth arrived to help; eventually 195 appliances and 1,080 personnel were employed to bring the fires under control, which was largely achieved by the 5th May, though sporadic outbreaks continued until mid-day of the 7th May. 30 acres of the city were devastated, 156 people were killed and 583 injured.
In the city centre, the whole of Bedford Circus, the top of High Street, and adjacent parts of Sidwell Street and Paris Street were destroyed. A second area at the top of Fore Street and much of South Street was also obliterated. Between these two areas, the Cathedral was only hit by one high explosive bomb, which demolished St James's Chapel on its southern side. The City Library, with over a million documents and books was destroyed, as was the Vicars Choral College.

One bomb fell in Hoopern Fields close to the university Washington Singer laboratories, and the crater is still visible today.

In all 1,500 of the city's 20,000 houses were completely obliterated and 2,700 badly damaged. Also 400 shops, almost 150 offices, 50 warehouses and 36 pubs were also destroyed.

Private F W Draper Members of the 1st Loyal (City of Exeter) Battalion Devon Home Guard was killed in the Drill Hall, Bedford Circus.
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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The Second World War plot contains most of the 121 Second World War burials.

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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 25th March 1945, Sergeant Ronald Mason Faulkner was flying General Aircraft Hotspur II HH248 over Honiton Clyst, Devon and was released from the tow at 2,000 feet. It turned to starboard went over onto its back and dived into the ground. It is thought that the starboard Aileron cable had been looped over the end of the operating lever and this caused a jam or a sudden release.
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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 3rd June 1945, Handley Page Halifax III NA702 collided with Vickers Wellington LP906 on a night cross country exercise over village of Werrington, north of Peterborough. Wireless Operator David John Coutts Musk was on board the Halifax when it came down.
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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The crew of Avro Lancaster I R5492 took off from RAF Winthorpe, Lincolnshire, on the 3rd September 1943 for a night time navigation exercise. Later that evening it came down near Exeter, killing all on board.
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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

George Eric Ball was born in 1919 in Tankerton, Kent, a suburb of Whitstable and lived for some time in Broadstairs.

He attended Chatham House School, Ramsgate from 1931 to 1934 and was at one time a contemporary of Edward Heath, the future British Prime Minister.

Ball was a candidate for a short service commission when he began his elementary flying training in April 1937. On the 17th July he was posted to 7 FTS Peterborough and on completion of the course he joined 19 Squadron at Duxford on the 19th February 1938. Over Dunkirk on the 26th May 1940 Ball destroyed a Me109 and was wounded himself. During the night of the 18th/19th June he shot down a He111 north of Colchester.

On the 24th June 1940 Ball joined 242 Squadron at Coltishall as 'A' Flight Commander. On the 30th August he claimed a He111 destroyed, shared another and damaged a Me110, on the 7th September he claimed a Me110 destroyed and a Me109 damaged, on the 9th a Me109 destroyed, on the 18th a Ju88 and on the 27th a Me109 damaged. Ball was awarded the DFC (gazetted 1st October 1940) as an Acting Flight Lieutenant.

Posted from 242 on the 29th January 1941, he joined 73 Squadron in the Western Desert as a Flight Commander. On the 11th April 1941, very soon after his arrival, Ball flew into a sandstorm and was forced down and taken prisoner. After his release at the end of the war Ball was given command of 222 Squadron at Fairwood Common in October 1945.

He was killed aged 27 in a flying accident on 1st February 1946 when his Gloster Meteor III EE448 failed to recover from a spiral dive during an aerobatic practice near Fairmile in Devon.
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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 21st March 1943, Wing Cdr Jan Michalowski, V.M.K.W, D.F.C., and his radio observer, Flg Off Stanislaw Szkop, were killed at 17:40 hrs when trying to land at Exeter airfield their de Havilland Mosquito II DZ261 on one engine. Although experienced as he was, Michalowski made an error on his emergency approach. The flight was non-operational flying test.
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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Witold Jander was born on the 15th December 1913 in Poznań. In 1934 he graduated from high school in one of Poznań's junior high schools, and in October this year he began a unitary course in an infantry reserve cadet. On the 15th October 1937, he was promoted to lieutenant pilot with a hunting specialty.

After a short vacation, he was assigned to the 142th Fighter Squadron III / 4 Fighter Squadron of the 4th Air Regiment in Toruń. He served there less than a year - in November 1938 he was directed to an instructor at the Pilot School in Grudziądz, where he trained pilot-fighter students from the School of Aviation Officers and the School of Aviation NCOs for Minors. In the spring of 1939, the school was moved to the Ułęż airport, and with the start of the war, its instructors created defensive keys equipped with the outdated "sevens", whose task was to combat German bombers (Jander made only one flight of this type). Starting from the 8th September, the Pilot School gradually withdrew to the south-east, and after the aggression of the Soviet Union received an order to evacuate to Romania.


By land through Yugoslavia and Italy, Jander reached France. In January 1940 he was sent to England. Initially, he stayed at the Polish Aviation Center in Eastchurch, learning English and learning the regulations.

On the 30th July 1940, he was assigned to the newly created 302 Poznań Fighter Squadron. At RAF Leconfield, where the unit was forming, it did not stay long. After a dozen or so days, he was dismissed and appointed as a pilot to the Polish transport unit to be established soon. October 30, 1940 in the group under the command of Lt. Col.
Mateusz Iżycki set off for Africa, reaching the Gold Coast (now Ghana) on the 21st November. The Polish branch in Takoradi was responsible for transporting aircraft from the west coast of Africa to Cairo, with several stopovers. The route was dangerous due to the tropical climate and weather conditions, and in the event of a plane crash the pilot was sentenced to death in the depths of the jungle or among the sands of the desert. Jander flew in this unit until the second half of 1941, when he submitted a request to be transferred to the front. He was selected to a group of 11 pilots (out of 22 volunteers) who were directed to a hunting course.
On the 1st November, he was assigned to the 71 Operational Training Unit at Gordon's Tree near Khartoum, Sudan. Then he was directed to the Central Gunnery School RAF (Middle East) Central School in Bilbeis, Egypt, and then on the 8th February 1942 he was sent to the 112 Fighter Squadron RAF (112 Squadron). It was a unit equipped with Curtiss Kittyhawks, and stationed at Gabut airport in Libya.

Jander made his first combat flight, patrol over El Adem on the 18th February. The second task flew three days later, on the 21st February 1942. During a morning flight of 11 Kittyhawks on a sweep in the Gazala region, six Messerschmitts 109F from unit I./JG 27 were fought. One Bf 109 and three planes were shot down from 112 RAF Squadron. One of them was Kittyhawk I AK814 piloted by Jander (it is assumed that he became the victim of the famous ace Luftwaffe Lt. Hans-Joachim Marseille). He managed to land forcibly, but his right leg was broken. He was taken to a British hospital in Tobruk. Some time later, he was sent to convalesce back in England to the RAF Officers' Hospital in Torquay, where he slowly recovered.

Franciszek Czajkowski was born in Poland on the 20th September 1916 and served in the Polish Air Force before the war. A graduate of the Fighter School at Deblin, on the outbreak of war he served in 141 Squadron supporting Army Group ‘Pomerania’ before escaping through Romania and France to England. He was commissioned in April 1940 and joined 151 Squadron at Martlesham Heath in early August.

On the 24th August, Czajkowski probably destroyed a Me109 and on the 31st August he claimed another probable Me109 but was himself shot down in combat over the Thames Estuary. He made a forced
-landing at Foulness, wounded in the right shoulder, and was admitted to Shoeburyness Hospital. His Hawker Hurricane, P3301, was a write-off.

Czajkowski was with 43 Squadron when he made a forced-landing at Longtown aerodrome, near Carlisle, on the 19th April 1941 after his engine blew up when he was climbing on high boost. He was badly injured on the 2nd June 1941 in another crash.

On the 25th October 1942, they were both in the hospital when at approximately 11:00hrs, two Focke-Wulfs 190 arrived over Torquay and dropped bombs directly onto the hospital and escaped without being attacked. As a result of the raid, many pilots were wounded and killed.
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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Pilot Officer Angus Stewart Robertson Mackenzie was flying Supermarine Spitfire VB BL241 on the 15th March 1942 when it crashed due to bad weather and fuel starvation, at Lower Thorn Farm near St. Neot, Cornwall, where he was killed in the crash.
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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

While returning from a mission on the 23rd October 1941, Bristol Beaufighter IIF T3025 lost one engine and crashed at the boundary of Exeter airfield, killing the pilot Jerzy Antonowicz and Observer Lech Karwowski.
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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 11th February 1942, Bristol Beaufighter IIF T3035 crashed while returning from a mission when approaching to land in thick fog. the aircraft hit trees at Sowton, near Honiton, Devon. The Pilot Kazimierz Thiesler and Observer Edward Podgajny were killed.
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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Uffz. Albert Barth was the pilot ofJunkers Ju 88 A-5, 4280, B3+DC when it was shot down and crashed near Exeter while on a raid on the city on the 15th April 1941

He and his gunner were killed and the other two crewmen bailed and became POW's.
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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Pilot Wynford Ormonde Leoni Smith & Pilot Donald Vine took off from RAF Exeter in Westland Whirlwind I's P6975 & P6978 for a three ship patrol on the 29th December 1940. They encountered low cloud over Dartmoor and their aircraft collided and both crashed in Foxtor Mires. Both pilots were killed, the first of the two bodies not being found until the 9th March 1941 by a horse patrol that came upon the crashed aircraft.
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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the night of the 3rd / 4th May 1942, just after midnight, 20 bombers arrived over the town centre, and in 70 minutes devastated the town centre and Newtown area. Bombs fell in High St, Sidwell St and Fore St, starting fires in the houses and shops there, which were soon out of control. Fire brigade and emergency services struggled to tame the fires, under the threat of unexploded ordnance and despite strafing by German bombers. Reinforcements from the fire services at Torquay and Plymouth arrived to help; eventually 195 appliances and 1,080 personnel were employed to bring the fires under control, which was largely achieved by the 5th May, though sporadic outbreaks continued until mid-day of the 7th May. 30 acres of the city were devastated, 156 people were killed and 583 injured.

These German aircrew lost their lives when their Junkers Ju88's was shot down near the city.
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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Uffz Franz Grochowski was on board Heinkel He 111H-5, 3603 1H+GT of Staffel 9, Unit KG 26, when it was attacked by fighters and crashed into the sea off Branscombe, Devon, on the 1st July 1941. He was buried here in Exeter 3 days later.
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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

At 08:00hrs on the 12th February 1942, a Dornier Do 217 E-4, 5334 U5+IR; Staffel 7; Unit KG 2 approached Rockbeare, Dartmoor, at low level shooting at a train. Over Rockbeare Nursery it dropped bombs and strafed the ground killing two nursery workers. The aircraft carried on towards RAF Exeter and was shot down by ground defences at Southwood Farm killing its crew of four.

The Pilot Rolf Guldenpfennig, and Gunner Rudolf Baron are buried here in Exeter.
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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Heinkel He 111H-5, 3983 "5J + GR" was shot down by a Bristol Beaufighter of No. 604 Sq flown by F/Lt R.A. Chisholm on the 9th July 1941, crashing at Helwell Farm, Kenton, Devon. 3 of the crew were buried here including Gefr Franz Frotzler and Uffz Johannes Arndt.
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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Pilot Robert David Wilson and his crew boarded Handley Page Hampden I X3054 at RAF Scampton on the 21st March 1944 in preparation for a mine laying operation to Brest, St-Nazaire and Lorient.

On the return to Scampton they struck ground at Hamel Down, Dartmoor, at about 1,400 feet and caught fire. Sgts Brames, Ellis and Lyon appear to have died on impact but Wilson, survived until the following day, presumably because he would have been strapped in. He and Sgt Ellis, the second pilot, lie next to one another in here in Exeter’s Higher Cemetery; the two air gunners are buried in their home towns.
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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Exeter Higher Cemetery - Exeter, Devon, Saturday 4th January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr
Last edited by SuffolkBlue on Mon 30 Mar 2020, 8:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Ant.H
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed 15 Jan 2020, 2:21 am

Re: CWGC Cemeteries **updated 30/03/2020**

Post by Ant.H »

Thanks for putting so much effort into this Chris, fascinating and sobering. I've just spent the last hour reading through the thread, so many tragic accidents and needless deaths.

User avatar
SuffolkBlue
Posts: 1183
Joined: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 7:31 pm
Location: Bury St. Edmunds

Re: CWGC Cemeteries **updated 31/03/2020**

Post by SuffolkBlue »

On New Years Day, it was another away day to Wycombe, where I was able to visit a few sites on the journey there.

First was to CWGC Halton (St. Michael) Churchyard in Halton, Buckinghamshire. Located near RAF Halton, the large churchyard contains numerous plots from the early days of the Royal Flying Corps to the present day.

RAF Halton dates from 1917 when it was opened as a training ground for the Royal Flying Corps, to become later the School of Technical Training. The 21st Division spent the winter of 1914-15 in Halton Camp. Most of the graves from the First World War are located in the North-Western part. In 1931, the Air Ministry gave to the ecclesiastical authorities, a piece of land to the east of the church so that the churchyard could be extended. It is in this part that most of the Second World War graves lie. In total, there are 104 casualties from both wars buried here.

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CWGC Halton (St. Michael) Churchyard - Halton, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Halton (St. Michael) Churchyard - Halton, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Halton (St. Michael) Churchyard - Halton, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Handley Page Hampden I L4188 crashed near Halton on the 1st September 1940 while on a training flight from RAF Finningley, Yorkshire. All four of the crew were killed and buried here.
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CWGC Halton (St. Michael) Churchyard - Halton, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Air Gunner Darwin Jackson Clark of Seattle, Washington, U.S.A., was on board Vickers Wellington X9622 when it took off from RAF Little Horwood, Buckinghamshire, for a training flight on the 11th December 1942.

At approximately 22:15hrs the bomber was seen in the circuit but as it turned towards the runway, it stalled and dived into the ground. The court of enquiry suggested that a film of rain across the windscreen may have distorted the pilots vision.

He died the next day in hospital.
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CWGC Halton (St. Michael) Churchyard - Halton, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The crew of Vickers Wellington IC X9755 took off from RAF Little Horwood for an evening exercise on the 1st February 1943. During the flight, the starboard engine caught fire and all effort to extinguish the flames failed. At 18:50 hrs, while attempting to make a forced landing the aircraft struck some trees at Beachampton Rectory near Buckingham. Air Gunner Thomas Henry Edward Henwood died 3 days later from his injuries.
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CWGC Halton (St. Michael) Churchyard - Halton, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Halton (St. Michael) Churchyard - Halton, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Halton (St. Michael) Churchyard - Halton, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The crew of Vickers Wellington III BJ892 took off at 10:21hrs from RAF Wing on the 8th August 1943 for a cross country flight. It is thought the crew were attempting to descend below the cloud base, with the engines throttled back in order to prevent over speeding when control was lost and the bomber crashed at 13:46hrs at Hiswell Farm, Icknield Way, Tring Hertfordshire. All of the crew were killed and buried here.
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CWGC Halton (St. Michael) Churchyard - Halton, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Halton (St. Michael) Churchyard - Halton, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Halton (St. Michael) Churchyard - Halton, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Halton (St. Michael) Churchyard - Halton, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Marshal of the Royal Air Force Neil Cameron, Baron Cameron of Balhousie, KT, GCB, CBE, DSO, DFC was a senior officer in the Royal Air Force. He fought in the Second World War as a fighter pilot taking part in the Battle of Britain, the Battle of Alam el Halfa, the First Battle of El Alamein and the Second Battle of El Alamein and then in operations in Burma. He served as Chief of the Air Staff in the late 1970s advising the British Government on the reinforcement of the British garrison in Belize which was under threat from Guatemala at the time. He also served as the Chief of the Defence Staff at the end of the 1970s in which role he secured pay comparability for services personnel involved in civil support during the firemen's strike, visited the People's Republic of China and lectured extensively on the Soviet air threat. He passed away on the 29th January 1985.
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CWGC Halton (St. Michael) Churchyard - Halton, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Halton (St. Michael) Churchyard - Halton, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 6th January 1954, Vickers Valetta WJ474 of No. 2 Air Navigation School Royal Air Force crashed near RAF Bovingdon, Hertfordshire, just after takeoff in bad weather.

The Valetta was authorised to carry out a pilot and navigation exercise from RAF Thorney Island to RAF Bovingdon and return. The flight was also to be used to transport a Rugby team for a match at RAF Halton.
The aircraft had completed the first leg from Thorney Island to Bovingdon with 16 passengers without incident. For the return flight an extra passenger was carried although the aircraft had only 16 passenger seats. The pilot had not played in the Rugby match but the other crew members had. The Valetta took off at 17:16hrs with a visibility of 1200 yards in snow. The Valetta was seen to climb to about 400 feet then during a turn to the left it hit a tree five miles north of the airfield and crashed near Tom's Hill, Aldbury on part of the estate of the Ashridge Park National Trust. The aircraft crashed onto a wooded slope when both engines were torn off. The fuselage continued for another 100 yards with a debris trail of wreckage and bodies.

The wreckage was spread over two miles, with a cold north wind and ice and snow on the ground combined with a narrow access road made rescue difficult. The fire brigade station officer said it had taken them half an hour to find the wreckage. The National Trust chief ranger with four of his staff were first on the scene reported "Ten bodies were scattered about and we found two men alive. One was outside the aircraft and did not seem to be very badly hurt. The other was pulled from inside the smashed fuselage and was only semi-conscious." Two passengers were rescued but one died in hospital later; all the others on board were killed. The location was close to the same spot a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress had crashed during World War II.

The cause of the accident was not established, but the extra passenger and weather at takeoff did not contribute to the crash. It was assumed that the pilot was trying to keep in eye contact with the ground in the poor visibility. Verdicts of accidental death were returned for the sixteen victims at the coroner's inquest held at Berkhamsted. The sole survivor, P/O P.D. Cliff, said at the inquest he could not remember anything after boarding the aircraft at Bovingdon. The coroner said that before the aircraft departed "certain things were not done which should have been done. But the question of taking off was entirely a matter for the pilot to decide." "For some reason height was lost – no one knows why, no one will ever know. That caused the unfortunate crash. There was nothing wrong with the engines."
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CWGC Halton (St. Michael) Churchyard - Halton, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Halton (St. Michael) Churchyard - Halton, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Halton (St. Michael) Churchyard - Halton, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

John Lennox Siesel Willox , Alec MacNaughton Christie and two other crew members boarded Handley Page Hampden I P5328 at RAF Swinderby, Lincolnshire on the 2nd January 1942. They bombed their target, La Rochelle, on the French Atlantic coast and headed for home. At 01:00hrs, their aircraft crashed at Folly Farm, Haddenham, 6 miles from Aylesbury. Upon impact the aircraft burst into flames. Due to the scattering of the wreckage, the cause of the crash was not able to be ascertained.
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CWGC Halton (St. Michael) Churchyard - Halton, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

de Havilland Mosquito XX KB233 was on a night cross-country exercise to be conducted at high-level, on the 7th May 1945 from RAF Warboys, Cambridgeshire. At 00:10 hrs the aircraft dived into the ground and disintegrated at the railway line between Lydney and Gloucester. Pilot Walter Henry Corbet and his navigator were killed.
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CWGC Halton (St. Michael) Churchyard - Halton, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Halton (St. Michael) Churchyard - Halton, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

John Vincent Clarence Badger was born in Lambeth, London in 1912. He joined the RAF as an Aircraft Apprentice in September 1928.

He passed out in August 1931 and was awarded a flight cadetship. He entered RAF College, Cranwell in September 1931 as a Flight Cadet. He graduated in July 1933, winning the Sword of Honour, and was posted to 43 Squadron on the 15th.

At this time the RAF was supplying pilots for the Fleet Air Arm and on the 3rd October 1934 Badger went to the School of Naval Co-operation, Lee-on-Solent. He joined 821 (Fleet Spotter Reconnaissance) Squadron on the 4th May 1935, shore-based at Eastleigh and at sea on the aircraft carrier HMS Courageous.

Badger was posted to the Marine Aircraft Establishment at Felixstowe on the 25th October 1937. In June 1940 he went to 43 Squadron at Tangmere as supernumerary Squadron Leader to gain operational and administrative experience.

On the 9th July the CO, S/Ldr. CG Lott, was shot down and badly wounded and Badger assumed command of the squadron. On the 12th he shared a He111 and on the 21st destroyed two Do17's. On 8th August Badger got a probable Me109, on the 13th he damaged two Ju88's, on the 14th and 15th destroyed two others, on the 16th shot down three Ju87's and on the 26th destroyed a He111 and shared a second.

Badger was shot down by Me109's on the 30th August. He baled out but was badly injured when he landed in trees. His Hakwer Hurricane V6458, crashed south of Woodchurch. He was taken to Ashford Hospital. Badger was later moved to the RAF Hospital at Halton but he died there as a result of his injuries on the 30th June 1941.
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CWGC Halton (St. Michael) Churchyard - Halton, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Cliveden House, located midway between High Wycombe and Maidenhead, is the third house to be built on the site by architecture Sir Charles Barry, famous for designing the Palace of Westminster, for the Duke and Duchess of Sutherland in the 1850s. It hit the headlines in 1963 when it became known that John Profumo, Secretary of State for War, had met call girl – Christine Keeler – by the swimming pool here. Profumo’s affair caused concern for national security as Keeler was also involved with a Soviet naval attaché. It was the end of Profumo’s career and nearly brought down the government and recently dramatised by the BBC. The property is now owned by the National Trust.

When the First World War broke out, Cliveden was a grand country estate well know for its exclusive parties and famous guests, yet within months it was offering a lifeline to Allied troops injured during the fighting. At the beginning of the war, after failing a medical assessment to join the army, Waldorf Astor (later 2nd Viscount Astor) offered part of the Cliveden estate as a hospital to the British Army. They turned down the offer after deciding it would be too difficult to adapt to their needs but, determined to help, he offered the land to the Canadian Red Cross who accepted.

As a result, the Duchess of Connaught Red Cross Hospital was opened to treat injured allied troops of the First World War.

In 1915 the hospital could hold up to 110 patients at any one time but by the end of the war this number had risen dramatically to 600. Nancy Astor was often seen helping out in the hospital and it is said that her personality and great vigour worked wonders on the patients. Many ministers and royals also visited the hospital including Winston Churchill in May 1915 and King George V in July 1915.

Of the 24,000 troops treated at the hospital only a relatively small number died. In 1918, the 1st Viscount Astor's sunken Italian garden was adapted to create a memorial garden for the deceased. A mosaic floor was replaced by turf, in which grave stones were later set and a sculpture was created especially for the garden by Australian sculptor Bertram MacKennal. He was commissioned by Nancy Astor to design and create a symbolic bronze female figure for which it is thought he used Nancy's features as inspiration for the face.

Most of the 40 First World War burials, the majority of them Canadian, are associated with the hospital. The cemetery also contains two Second World War graves and two American War Graves from the First World War.

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CWGC Cliveden Military Cemetery - Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Cliveden Military Cemetery - Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Cliveden Military Cemetery - Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Cliveden Military Cemetery - Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Cliveden Military Cemetery - Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Cliveden Military Cemetery - Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Cliveden Military Cemetery - Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Cliveden Military Cemetery - Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Cliveden Military Cemetery - Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Cliveden Military Cemetery - Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Cliveden Military Cemetery - Cliveden House, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

CWGC High Wycombe Cemetery contains burials of both wars, the 48 First World War graves being scattered throughout the cemetery. The plot set aside for service burials during the Second World War was little used, but there is a small group of 10 graves in this part of the cemetery. The rest of the 59 Second World War burials are scattered.

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CWGC High Wycombe Cemetery - High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC High Wycombe Cemetery - High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

William George Cartwright was born on the 22nd July 1889, in High Wycombe and after leaving school became a plumber and fitter for Cubbage Brothers.

Immediately after the outbreak of war in August 1914 he joined the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. He left for France at the end of March 1915, where on the 30th March landed at Boulogne.

In mid-August 1915 he moved near the front line near Ovillers. On the 15th August his units objective was the next village, which was up a small hill, called Pozieres, fighting with the Austalians. That day the battalion, the Buckinghamshire Regiment, had around 180 casualties. HeI was shot through the spine and taken to a field hospital. HeI couldn’t feel or move his legs. On the 20th August he arrived back in England and was admitted to King George’s Hospital in London. On examination it seemed his spine had been cut by the bullet and had permanently lost the use of his legs.

He spent the rest of his life in hospital died from his wounds on the 25th January 1918.
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CWGC High Wycombe Cemetery - High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC High Wycombe Cemetery - High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Although not war related, this memorial is dedicated for 6 railway workers died in the collapse of 500 metre long White House Tunnel at Loudwater, near High Wycombe, on the 6th September 1902. Almost 2,000 people were working on the project to link Wycombe and London direct by rail.
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CWGC High Wycombe Cemetery - High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC High Wycombe Cemetery - High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC High Wycombe Cemetery - High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Navigator Francis George Newell of Sands, High Wycombe, was on board Vickers Wellington X HF471 when it crashed near Skelton, Yorkshire, while on a training flight from RAF Hixon, Staffordshire. 8 crew in total were killed.
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CWGC High Wycombe Cemetery - High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC High Wycombe Cemetery - High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC High Wycombe Cemetery - High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Joseph Cyrille Buttenaere was born in July 1884 in the town of Menen, which is near Leper and the border with France.

He joined the army but married and returned to his home town.

In late July 1914 he was mobilised and some of his family escaped the approaching Germans at the start of the war and managed to get to England and finally Beaconsfield.

His regiment was sent to Namur, one of the fortified cities in Belgium. The Germans arrived on the 20th August and bombarded the forts before attacking with infantry. Most of the other Belgian soldiers withdrew to the south but his regiment were ordered to hold the city for as long as possible. They managed to hold the German advance for several days longer than they had anticipated. He managed to leave the fortress at the last moment but was captured south of Namur at a place called Bioul, around 6,700 Belgian and French prisoners were captured there.

He was taken to a Prisoner of War camp in Germany.After 21 months in Germany his health deteriorated and had a small heart attack. Because of this he was sent to a camp in Switzerland and held there for another year.

Finally in April 1917 he was liberated and sent to hospital in France. He was told that he needed to rest and was given some leave and decided to go and visit his niece, Celina, in England. After a very rough sea voyage he arrived at her house on Friday 5th October. On the Saturday evening there was a show at the Electroscope Theatre in High Wycombe and they decided to go there.

They sat down and he started feeling unwell. At about 18.15hrs, he fell forward. A soldier who was also on leave was sitting in front of them and tried to resuscitate him but he never recovered consciousness. The doctor who examined him afterwards discovered that he had valvular heart disease. He was buried with full military honours here in High Wycombe.
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CWGC High Wycombe Cemetery - High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Ada Auger lost her three sons during the First World War and her husband, all within 3 and a half years.
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CWGC High Wycombe Cemetery - High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, Wednesday 1st January 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

User avatar
SuffolkBlue
Posts: 1183
Joined: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 7:31 pm
Location: Bury St. Edmunds

Re: CWGC Cemeteries **updated 31/03/2020**

Post by SuffolkBlue »

In CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard, at the beginning of the Second World War, the 'Airman's Corner' plot was set aside for the burial of airmen from nearby RAF Kenley, who were killed in air battles or who died on other operational duties. The churchyard contains 38 Second World War burials, most of them in the plot, but there are a few privately owned war graves elsewhere in the churchyard, together with five war burials from the First World War. The war graves plot also contains six post-war service burials.

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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On a local training flight from RAF Kenley, Miles Magister I T9947 stalled whilst at low level and crashed into trees at Three Bridges, Surrey, on the 25th February 1942. The pilot Arnold George McNeil and his passenger James Joseph Burke were both killed.
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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Flight Sergeant J. R. Liken, at the time of his enlistment, was a farm manager for Powedrell Brothers in Hastings, New Zealand. He joined the RNZAF on the 23rd November 1940. On the 19th November 1941, he was assigned to the 485 Squadron. On the 26th April 1942, he was flying Supermarine Spitfire Vb, BM139-Vb when it was shot down over the English Channel. He baled out and according to one source was rescued but died that night.
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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Pilot Officer Frantisek Behal was killed on the 11th May 1941 when his Hawker Hurricane II Z2921 was shot down by enemy fighters.
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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Hawker Hurricance Z2589 of 258 Squadron, RAF Kenley, crashed near Longfield, Kent, on the 16th May 1941. The pilot Eric Mervyn Robert Fleming, was killed.
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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

RAAF Pilots J N Hanigan and K V Williams lost their lives on the 7th September 1941 when their Supermaine Spitfires P8716 (Williams) and AB874 (Hanigan) collided near Hooley, Coulsdon, in Surrey.
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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Albín Nasswetterof No. 1 Squadron was shot down near Dover while flying Hawker Hurricane II Z3460 while on a patrol. Despite surviving the crash, he passed away in Dover Hospital on the 17th June 1941.
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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Frederick Ernest Richard Shepherd was born on 31st May 1918 in Birkenhead, Cheshire and joined 611 Squadron, Auxiliary Air Force before the war as an Aircrafthand. When the Auxiliary Air Force introduced a scheme to train its own NCO pilots, he remastered as an Airman u/t Pilot, with the rank of LAC.

Called up on the 24th August 1939, Shepherd completed his training at 15 FTS RAF Lossiemouth and was reposted to 611 Squadron at RAF Digby on the 17th August 1940. He was immediately attached to 5 OTU Aston Down and after converting to Spitfires he rejoined 611 on the 1st September.

Shepherd made a forced-landing near RAF Henlow on the 9th September after running out of fuel during a routine flight from RAF Fowlmere.

On the 11th his aircraft was set alight during combat over Croydon, possibly by friendly fire AA fire. He baled out, with his parachute in flames, and fell at Frylands Wood, Farleigh. His Spitfire IIa, P7298, crashed into nos. 49 and 51 Hartland Way, Shirley, Croydon
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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Harry Cyril Grove, of Herne Hill, London, was born in April 1911 in Lambeth and joined the RAF in May 1936 as a direct-entry Airman u/t Pilot. Details of his pre-war service are not known. He joined 3 Squadron at RAF Wick in August 1940 and moved to 501 at RAF Kenley on the 29th September. He was in action near Sevenoaks on the 8th November 1940 Grove when he was shot down and killed in Hawker Hurricane V6805, which crashed and burned out at Pound Farm, Blackham.
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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 15th November 1940, Pilot Officer Czeslaw Gauze was flying Hawker Hurricane V6951 when he was shot down by Oberstlt Adolf Galland (Kommodore) of Stab JG26 in action over North Foreland at 09.28hrs.
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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 6th May 1941, Leading Aircraftman Martin Williams was on board Airspeed Oxford I L9638 when it spun and crashed into ground at Coulsdon Golf Course, Surrey, where he lost his life.
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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

'The Hardest Day' is a name given to the air battle fought on the 18th August 1940 during the Battle of Britain. The air battles that took place on this day were amongst the largest aerial engagements in history to that time. Both sides suffered heavy losses. In the air, the British shot down twice as many Luftwaffe aircraft as they lost. However, many RAF aircraft were destroyed on the ground, equalising the total losses of both sides.

The plan was, for August 18th 1940 to completely destroy both RAF Kenley and RAF Biggin Hill with a well planned attack, that once accomplished, they could duplicate the procedure at Hornchurch and other airfields important to Fighter Command. This was the plan for the day, and it was here that most of the daytime combat took place. During the afternoon there was some activity in the south near the Isle of Wight. Late afternoon saw action mainly along the east coast which kept many squadrons busy, and a few skirmishes took place in the west. But the main activity was Kenley and Biggin Hill.

The ‘early warning’ radar had picked up a lot of enemy activity across the channel that sunny Sunday lunchtime and at about 12.45pm, the perceived threat resulted in 615 and 64 Squadrons being scrambled but targets were still unclear.

At 1pm some sixty enemy aircraft crossed the coast and all the local air raid sirens were sounded, fifteen minutes later the onslaught began when some pilots were still strapping themselves into their machines. Damage to the airfield and its facilities was severe with three of the hangers alight, the equipment stores was a write off as were four Hurricanes and a Blenheim destroyed on the ground.

Damage was sustained to another four parked aircraft and the station’s medical facilities. No communications now existed and nine personnel were killed including the station’s much loved Medical officer and local GP, Flt Lt Robert Cromie, a further ten were injured. Some of the personnel that were killed on the airfield are buried together here.
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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 26th February 1941, Wing Commander Raymond Arthur Holmwood was flying in Hawker Hurricane Z2354 on a patrol when he was shot down by an Me109 of JG51 over Dover / Folkestone. It is believed that his parachute caught alight and he fell to his death.
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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On Thursday 15th August 1940, around 7pm, a number of twin-engined aircraft from Erprobungsgruppe 210 bombed Croydon Aerodrome between 5 and 10 minutes.

Nine Hurricanes from No. 111 Sqd were scrambled 30 minutes before the attack, and were therefore able to interrupt the bombers before they had a chance to line up their targets. This interruption meant that the bombers dropped the majority of their ordnance outside the aerodrome causing casualties amongst the civilian population. Six Bf 110s and one Bf 109 were shot down that day, which was a costly exercise for the Luftwaffe, especially due to the fact that the target the bombers were aiming for was RAF Kenley.

During the bombing Croydon had received a lot of damage - large potholes over the airfield, a direct hit on the armoury, and 'C' hangar used by Rollason Aircraft Services was hit with incendiary bombs and the training aircraft inside were all destroyed. The Rollason factory and workshop was also badly hit which caused many civilian casualties. 'D' hangar was raked by cannon fire and received blast damage, 'A' hangar was only affected with minor damage, but the officers' mess was reduced to rubble when hit by a bomb blast close by.

Five airmen from 111 Sqd, including Leading Aircraftman Peter Harland Halley & Aircraftman Samuel Adams, and one airmen from Station Headquarters died in the attack. But it was the civilian population that bore the brunt of the bombs dropping outside the aerodrome, with a total of 62 civilians dead. Four airmen from 111 Sqd, one officer from No. 1 (RCAF) Sqd, two civilian telephone operators and 185 civilians were injured.

No. 111 Sqd was diverted to Hawkinge whilst repairs to Croydon were underway, but it only took two days to fill in the craters on the airfield.
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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Alec Albert Gray Trueman was born in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada in 1914. He joined the RAF on a short service commission in March 1938. After completing his training at 6 FTS Netheravon he served in Bomber Command as a pilot.

In May 1940, Trueman was with 144 Squadron at RAF Hemswell. On the 27th the back of his Handley Page Hampden, L4135, broke as he was taxying with a full bomb load on a training exercise. The crew were uninjured. He volunteered to serve in Fighter Command and arrived at 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on the 24th June 1940 to convert on Hawker Hurricanes. He was then posted to 253 Squadron at Turnhouse on the 20th July and damaged a Me109 on the 2nd September.

He was shot down and killed in combat over Kenley on the 4th September. His Hawker Hurricane V6638, crashed in Tudor Close, Banstead.
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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 17th June 1940, Flying Officer Ereminsky lead a section of Hurricanes on a patrol from RAF North Weald. The weather was far from ideal with overcast skies. Not long after they got airborne, the weather closed in.

After the patrol was completed, he decided to return at low level. His aircraft struck high ground at West Horsley, Surrey and was killed.
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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Pilot Officer C D Gordon-Wilson, of 145 Squadron, was killed on the 21st April 1940 when his Hawker Hurricane I N2500 crashed at Cowfold, Haywards Heath, West Sussex.
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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 1st March 1929, Flying Officer Patrick Nelson Sealy-Allin, of No.23 squadron, lost his life when his Gloster Gamecock J8094 collided with another (J8415) flown by Ft/Sgt James Guy Freeman. The crash, together with Freeman’s dramatic escape by parachute, is described in this article from the Western Mail, Perth.

“FLYING Officer Patrick N. Sealy-Allin, of 23 (Fighter) Squadron, R.A.F., was killed and Sergeant Pilot J. G Freeman had a wonderful escape, when the aeroplanes they were piloting were in collision above Kenley aerodrome, England.
The two machines went out of control after the collision at 1,000ft. Sergeant Freeman threw himself out with his parachute and landed safely on the roof of a hangar. Mr Sealy-Allin was apparently unable to free himself, and was found dead, jammed in the cockpit of his wrecked machine. Sergeant Freeman was blown by the wind towards the hangars, and could be seen tugging at his parachute ropes in a desperate effort to steer himself clear of the obstruction. He was unsuccessful and only by desperate kicking was he able to throw himself clear of a glass roof, into which he nearly crashed. He landed on the sloping roof of the hangar and was stranded their until a number of men took a ladder across and helped him down. “I heard a crash as the two machines came together in mid-air,” said a spectator “then both machines twisted and turned as they crashed earthwards. I saw Freeman throw himself out and, for a minute or two I thought his, parachute was not going to open. It did, however and he came down safely.”
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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Arthur Dumbell Smith was born on the 3rd April 1918 in Forest Gate, London and attended Drapers School before joining the RAF in January 1936 as a Direct-Entry Airman u/t Pilot. By July 1940 he was serving with 66 Squadron at RAF Coltishall.

On the 24th July, on a convoy patrol, he came down in the sea in Supermarine Spitfire N3041, cause unknown, but escaped unhurt.

On the 30th August Smith shared in destroying Do215 G2+JH of 4/Aufkl.Gr. off the Norfolk coast. In combat over Ashford on the 4th September, Smith was shot down in Spitfire I N3048 and baled out. Badly wounded, he was taken to No. 7 Casualty Clearing station at Benenden but died from his wounds two days later. His Spitfire came down near Mersham.
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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 13th August 1938, six aircrew on board Supermarine Scapa I K7306 lost their lives when their flying boat crashed into the sea, about two miles south of the Cork Lightship, off Felixstowe, Suffolk. The flying boat belonged to No. 228 Squadron, Pembroke Dock, and was attached to the Felixstowe Marine Experimental Station. They were carrying out an experimental flight when it crashed.

Sgt David Louis Bissett Cabuzet
AC Peter E Evans
AC O T Edwards
AC Thomas E Griffiths
AC Keith C Sherwin
Mr Hunter Gray (civilian from Bawdsey research station)

The presence of a civilian observer on board indicates that the aircraft was engaged in an experimental test flight of (possibly) radar equipment, from the MAEE (Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment) at RAF Felixstowe.

The Supermarine Scapa was a general reconnaissance flying boat and used by the Royal Air Force between 1935 and 1939. It was developed from the Southampton and formed the basis of the later Stranraer flying boat.
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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 10th May 1938, a formation of No.3 Squadron Hurricanes were returning from practice flying and on final approach to land at RAF Kenley when, at 200 feet, one of them (L1579) stalled and fell to the ground. Twenty year old, Pilot Officer Hugh Henry May was killed in the crash.
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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 7th July 1925, Flying Officers Marcel Gustavo Louis Trapagna Leroy (pilot) and Flying Officer E. W. Logsdail (passenger) of No. 24 Squadron, were flying in a DH9a on an instructional flight when their aircraft crashed on a house in Kenley. They were both killed.

Flying Officer Leroy, a distinguished and experienced airman, had been at Kenley about three years but Flying Officer Logsdail had only been at the aerodrome a few days and was receiving instruction in flying. They took off shortly before ten o'clock and were noticed to be in difficulties when the tail appeared to crumple up. In its fall the machine collided with some trees and telephone wires, and finally crashed in flames onto the centre of the roof of a house named Colescroft, in the occupation of Mr and Mr Collinson.

Mr Collinson and his daughter, with the servants, managed to get out of the house in time. Mrs Collinson was out shopping.

Men from Kenley Aerodrome arrived soon afterwards and removed fragments of the machine, among which were found the two bodies.
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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Lieut. Ivor Rees Davies, R.A.M.C., was fatally injured on the 8th July 1940 when his motor cycle collided with a car in Maldon, near Colchester.

Chelmsford Chronicle - Friday 09 August 1940
OFFICER'S FATAL CRASH

A verdict of Accidental death was returned on Monday at the inquest at Colchester Lieut. Ivor Rees Davies, an Army officer, of Whyteleafe, Surrey, who while learning to drive a motor cycle was killed in collision with a car driven by Miss Ada R. Price, of Guernsey House, Maldon.

Cpl. Ronald E. Stone, who was instructing deceased, said Lieut. Davies did quite well when riding the machine at 25 to 30 miles per hour. At the time of the collision he was in the middle of the road.

Evidence that Miss Price was driving on her correct side of the road and at a normal speed was given by Mrs. Janet Balls, who was in her front garden.

Miss Price, in evidence, said she had "only vague memories of it all."

Recording the verdict, the Coroner exonerated Miss Price from all blame.
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CWGC Whyteleafe (St. Luke) Churchyard - Whyteleafe, Surrey, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

There was still enough daylight in the afternoon to take the short drive over to the airfield which is still remarkably preserved. It's definitely worth visit if you're in the local area and it's easy to image the German bombers flying over at roof top height during the Battle of Britain.

Although few of the remaining buildings survive and the control tower was demolished after a fire in 1978 along with the remaining hangar, Kenley is thought to be the best preserved of all Second World War RAF fighter stations, with the runway still in its original configuration. English Heritage identified Kenley as "The most complete fighter airfield associated with the Battle of Britain to have survived". The respective councils of Croydon and Tandridge have designated the airfield site as a Conservation Area (2006).

The south-west corner, previously occupied by married quarters, has been redeveloped with modern high-density housing directly abutting the airfield (the area was excluded from the Green Belt as part of the Tandridge District Local Plan and thus not included within the Conservation Area). In December 2005, the former Officers' Mess building and surrounding land was sold to residential building developer, Comer Homes, and its future is uncertain as is that of the Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) Portcullis Club.

Some of the original 12 E-shaped blast pens remain, as well as the shelters for the servicing personnel. One in particular — forming the background to the RAF memorial — has been fully restored. Since 2004 these structures are protected as Scheduled Monuments.

The airfield is still used today by 615 VGS (Volunteer Gliding Squadron) flying the military Viking T Mk 1 glider. They provide gliding opportunities and training to members of the Royal Air Force Air Cadets.

The land from the taxiway and inside is MOD land; however, outside this area is common land.

At the expense of starting a new thread, I thought I would share these pictures here.

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RAF Kenley - Kenley, Borough of Croydon, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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RAF Kenley - Kenley, Borough of Croydon, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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RAF Kenley - Kenley, Borough of Croydon, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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RAF Kenley - Kenley, Borough of Croydon, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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RAF Kenley - Kenley, Borough of Croydon, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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RAF Kenley - Kenley, Borough of Croydon, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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RAF Kenley - Kenley, Borough of Croydon, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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RAF Kenley - Kenley, Borough of Croydon, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

At the rifle range, airmen and infantry, who defended the airfield, practiced their shooting skills. If you visit the airfield, you will see the impressive brick wall of the rifle range in the southern part of the grounds. The brick wall is an essential safety feature designed to catch stray bullets that completely miss their target.

Those shooting here fired from this end, beneath a tin covered wooden awning, towards targets fixed to two parallel concrete walls in front of the brick wall that forms the back of the firing range. These two concrete walls and the hollow that once lay between them are now largely buried by sand, but you can still see some metal fixings on their inside faces where the targets were attached.

The brick wall has two surviving revetments, or supporting walls, at right angles to it which also help enclose sand placed here to catch bullets fired at the targets. Originally a small brick building stood on the left where people could shelter close to the back of the range protected from bullet ricochets by an angled concrete wall (now demolished).

The date the range was completed was scratched in wet mortar “29-6-28” but this is now buried. The brick wall at the far end of the firing range is in good condition for its age although the bricks facing you have suffered some damage from weathering and bullets.
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RAF Kenley - Kenley, Borough of Croydon, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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RAF Kenley - Kenley, Borough of Croydon, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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RAF Kenley - Kenley, Borough of Croydon, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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RAF Kenley - Kenley, Borough of Croydon, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The former Officers Mess
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RAF Kenley - Kenley, Borough of Croydon, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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RAF Kenley - Kenley, Borough of Croydon, Tuesday 11th February 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

User avatar
SuffolkBlue
Posts: 1183
Joined: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 7:31 pm
Location: Bury St. Edmunds

Re: CWGC Cemeteries **updated 06/04/2020**

Post by SuffolkBlue »

Another away day down to Portsmouth over the Christmas holidays gave an opportunity to visit seven sites in Hampshire. The first of these was CWGC Grayshott (St. Joseph) Roman Catholic Churchyard. From the autumn of 1915 to October 1919, a Canadian Training Centre was placed in the open country on both sides of the Portsmouth Road, between the turnings to Grayshott and Bramshott. The soldiers who died in No. 12 Canadian General Hospital, which served the camp, were buried in Bramshott Churchyard (which was my next location) or (in case of the Roman Catholic soldiers) here in the Churchyard of St. Joseph's Church, at Grayshott. The churchyard now contains the graves of 95 Canadian servicemen of the First World War.

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CWGC Grayshott (St. Joseph) Roman Catholic Churchyard - Grayshott, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Grayshott (St. Joseph) Roman Catholic Churchyard - Grayshott, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Grayshott (St. Joseph) Roman Catholic Churchyard - Grayshott, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Grayshott (St. Joseph) Roman Catholic Churchyard - Grayshott, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Grayshott (St. Joseph) Roman Catholic Churchyard - Grayshott, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Grayshott (St. Joseph) Roman Catholic Churchyard - Grayshott, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Grayshott (St. Joseph) Roman Catholic Churchyard - Grayshott, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

It was then a short drive to CWGC Bramshott (St. Mary) Churchyard, where the first burials took place in the original part of the Churchyard; but in time it became necessary to enlarge the Churchyard, and an extension (Plots II and III) was formed. The original Churchyard and the Eastern side of the extension are bounded by a wall and on the same side is the War Cross which was dedicated on Sunday 24th April 1921. In all, there are 348 casualties buried here.

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CWGC Bramshott (St. Mary) Churchyard - Bramshott, Liphook, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Bramshott (St. Mary) Churchyard - Bramshott, Liphook, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Bramshott (St. Mary) Churchyard - Bramshott, Liphook, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Bramshott (St. Mary) Churchyard - Bramshott, Liphook, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Bramshott (St. Mary) Churchyard - Bramshott, Liphook, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Bramshott (St. Mary) Churchyard - Bramshott, Liphook, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Bramshott (St. Mary) Churchyard - Bramshott, Liphook, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Bramshott (St. Mary) Churchyard - Bramshott, Liphook, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Bramshott (St. Mary) Churchyard - Bramshott, Liphook, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Bramshott (St. Mary) Churchyard - Bramshott, Liphook, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Bristol Blenheim I L6601 of 604 (County of Middlesex) Squadron dived into the ground on the night of the 29th November 1939 near Epping, Essex.

The pilot on that evening, Flying Officer P C Wheeler, aged 29, was a pre-war member of the Auxiliary Air Force. Gaining his pilot's brevet in late July 1936 he had accumulated 386 hours of flying time, 59 of which were on the Blenheim.

The purpose of the evening flight was to train for night fighting. The other, rear seat, member of the two-man crew was L.A/C Vernon. The engines started normally and the Blenheim moved out and took off from RAF North Weald towards Epping town (then the runways were still grass, allowing most permutations in take off and landing direction).

The aircraft was flying at around 1,000 feet over Bell Common, to the south of Epping in a steep climb when it fell sharply into fields near the modern M11 motorway.

The subsequent Court of Enquiry found that Flying Officer Wheeler, whilst undertaking a turn in particularly dark conditions, lost sight of ground references, due partly to the surrounding bulk of the pair of engines, allowing the aircraft to enter a steeper than usual wing down attitude and lose height.
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CWGC Bramshott (St. Mary) Churchyard - Bramshott, Liphook, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 2nd March 1942, Blackburn Botha I L6539 of 10 AOS RAF flew into high ground at Cairnsmore, Kirkcudbright. One of the crew, LAC Douglas James Thom (wireless operator/air gunner under training), died from a fractured skull. Three other were injured, including the pilot, Sgt Dixon, and the navigator who were not strapped in.
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CWGC Bramshott (St. Mary) Churchyard - Bramshott, Liphook, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Bramshott (St. Mary) Churchyard - Bramshott, Liphook, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Another location just a few miles away is the CWGC Bordon Military Cemetery. Bordon and Longmoor Military Camps were British Army training camps close to the A3 and A325 roads in and around the settlements of Bordon, Longmoor, Liss and Liphook, Hampshire.

In 1863, the War Department had required additional training grounds for British Army troops. They purchased tracts of land totalling 781 acres from Her Majesty's Woods, Forests and Lands at Hogmoor Inclosure and Longmoor on the Surrey/Hampshire borders. However, the Army's main barracks were at Aldershot Garrison, requiring a 20 miles march or expensive railway journey to access the new training grounds. This distance also necessitated an overnight stay, most often accomplished by pitching tents east of the A325 road.

The decision was hence made to build two permanent camps close to Woolmer Forest.The first site was laid out in 1899 by the Highland Light Infantry, under the command of the Royal Engineers. This became Bordon Camp. With construction curtailed on the first site by the Second Boer War, the Army began work at Longmoor Camp. After being laid out by the Royal Engineers in August 1900, construction materials were transported from Bentley railway station, with the resultant damage by commercial traction engines to the public roads bringing about the first trial of pneumatic tyred lorries to the British Army.

Bordon was used by the Canadian Army as a staging post for "under-fire" troop training in the First World War. Troops were shipped into Glasgow and Liverpool Docks, and then transported by train direct to Bordon. The Canadians under Commanding Officer William Mahlon Davis used tents in their first occupation, setting up camps named after the Great Lakes in the Bramshott Camp area: Erie, Huron, Superior and Ontario. The specialty Canadian Forestry Corps set up a steam-powered saw mill near the Deer's Hut Inn, Liphook.

The British 3rd Infantry Brigade was resident in Bordon in 1939, but was dispatched in its entirety at the start of hostilities of World War II, as part of the British Expeditionary Force. The men left from Liss railway station on specially chartered trains, direct to Southampton Docks.

When the Canadian Army was looking for a European base, the British Army offered them Bordon and Longmoor Military Camps, which they took over entirely from September 1939 under a British officer commanding the local service and civilian personnel.

In the post war era, with troop training moved to Aldershot, the camps became home to various units of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, which were eventually consolidated under one unit based at the Bordon barracks from the 1960s onwards. Various motor transport divisions consolidated to the base during the 1960s, only to leave for Shrewsbury in the 1980s. This brought about the consolidation of the camps' facilities, with tracts of land occupied by old buildings and structures sold to the district council for civilian redevelopment, such as that at Pinewood Village.

After the buildings at the RASC Lines were demolished in 1973, the site was redeveloped as married quarters. Then came the building of the new Havannah barracks (renamed Prince Philip Barracks on the 27th June 1984), built to what was a standard design known as the "Sandhurst Block", laid out to house a battalion or regiment in one barracks unit. The old wooden hut Martinique barracks were renamed the San Domingo barracks. These were dismantled in 1983 by contractors for erection elsewhere.

Bordon became home to 10 Training Battalion the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, providing trade training, both basic and supplementary, supported by the School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (SEME). In July 2011 the then Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, announced that RAF Lyneham would be the new site of the Defence Technical Training Change Programme (DTTCP) centre. This would coincide with the closures of Arborfield Garrison and the School of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (SEME) at Bordon, with all posts at both bases moving to Lyneham in 2015.

Elements of Longmoor Camp remained operational for a few years to administer the training area.

In 1908, work started on a new military cemetery on Bolley Avenue. It opened in April 1910, consecrated by the chaplain-general to the forces, the Rt. Rev. Bishop I. Taylor-Smith CVO DD, with music from 3rd Battalion, the Rifle Brigade.

The grounds can be used for burial by any serving member of the armed forces, and their dependants. It hence includes both Canadian and South Africans who were camped in Bordon during the two world wars. It also acted as a temporary cemetery for nine United States Army soldiers, later returned to the United States after the end of hostilities in 1947. Separate areas are set aside for the various denominations, including one member of the Dutch Reformed Church, and one Gurkha. The sole non-military civilian burial is the grave of Mrs Alice Emily Chandler, who lived in the former stable house of the camps fire station, killed with a Canadian officer and two NCOs by a Luftwaffe bomb on the 16th August 1940.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission register and maintain the graves here of 186 Commonwealth service personnel of World War I and 8 of World War II, the nationalities being 68 British, 27 South Africans and 25 Canadians. Post war burials are also located here.

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CWGC Bordon Military Cemetery - Bordon, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Bordon Military Cemetery - Bordon, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Bordon Military Cemetery - Bordon, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Bordon Military Cemetery - Bordon, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Bordon Military Cemetery - Bordon, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Bordon Military Cemetery - Bordon, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Bordon Military Cemetery - Bordon, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Bordon Military Cemetery - Bordon, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Bordon Military Cemetery - Bordon, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

For a long time there was a solitary grave in the extreme east corner of the cemetery.

Private Jacobus Henry Darlew of the 2nd South African infantry who died on the 30th September 1918. It was long speculated as to the reasons why he was buried here when it was discovered that he belonged to the Dutch Reformed Church for which there was no reserved plot. There is now a Gurkha buried nearby so he is not alone.
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CWGC Bordon Military Cemetery - Bordon, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Bordon Military Cemetery - Bordon, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Bordon Military Cemetery - Bordon, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Bordon Military Cemetery - Bordon, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Bordon Military Cemetery - Bordon, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Bordon Military Cemetery - Bordon, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr
It then made my way back on to the A3 to the outer suburbs of Portsmouth to the CWGC Portsdown (Christ Church) Military Cemetery.
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CWGC Portsdown (Christ Church) Military Cemetery - Portsdown, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Portsdown (Christ Church) Military Cemetery - Portsdown, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Portsdown (Christ Church) Military Cemetery - Portsdown, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Portsdown (Christ Church) Military Cemetery - Portsdown, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Bridget Donovan was born on the 3rd April 1878 at Curragh Lane, Tullogher, Ireland. Her father was a Gentleman’s Tutor and she was educated at Tullogher National School. She started her three-year nurse’s training at the Oldham Union Infirmary on the 6th March 1910 after which she studied Midwifery and District Nursing for three months, was a staff nurse for 9 months, and then became a sister. Whilst nursing she lived in the Nurse’s Home on Rochdale Road.

She applied for war service in 1915 and was accepted into the Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve on the 12th November 1915. From Oldham she went to work at the Alexandra Military Hospital, Cosham, near Portsmouth having had no experience of enteric or typhoid fever. Here she treated some of the most serious army cases and her devotion to duty made her very popular. It was at Cosham that she died from cerebo-spinal fever on the 3rd April 1916.
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CWGC Portsdown (Christ Church) Military Cemetery - Portsdown, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Portsdown (Christ Church) Military Cemetery - Portsdown, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Portsdown (Christ Church) Military Cemetery - Portsdown, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Portsdown (Christ Church) Military Cemetery - Portsdown, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Portsdown (Christ Church) Military Cemetery - Portsdown, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Leonard John Wesley Shirvell boarded Handley Page Halifax II JN966 at RAF Middleton St. George on the 26th November 1943 for a raid to Stuttgart. On the return to Middleton St George, his Halifax collided with Lancaster ED417 from 103 Sqn near the airfield. He and all of his crew were killed.
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CWGC Portsdown (Christ Church) Military Cemetery - Portsdown, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Portsdown (Christ Church) Military Cemetery - Portsdown, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Portsdown (Christ Church) Military Cemetery - Portsdown, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

During both wars, Gosport was a significant sea port and Naval depot, with many government factories and installations based there, as well as the Haslar Naval Hospital. The Royal Hospital Haslar opened in 1753 and from that date all those who died either at Haslar or aboard ships in Portsmouth Harbour, Spithead or the Solent were interred in the grounds of the hospital.

The old cemetery at Haslar is situated to the south-west of the hospital. Enormous numbers were buried there. No records were preserved but, in 1780 it is known that more than 900 deaths occurred at the hospital, and in a period of three years towards the end of the 18th century 3,600 bodies were interred there.
The grounds of the cemetery were fairly open, but around 1827 a part was enclosed and this was in use until 1859 when the current Clayhall Road site was opened. Funeral processions left from Haslar Hospital for the cemetery and the road running the length of Haslar Hospital became ‘affectionately’ known as ‘Dead Man’s Lane or Mile’ because of the number of funeral processions which travelled from Haslar to Clayhall.
Because of the frequency of funeral processions and patients in the hospital becoming agitated, a ruling came into force that accompanying bands were not allowed to start playing until the procession turned into Clayhall Road.
CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery (also known as Clayhall Royal Naval Cemetery) contains 772 First World War graves, 2 of which are unidentified. The Second World War graves number 611, 36 of them unidentified. A number of the graves are scattered throughout the cemetery, but the majority lie together in one or other or five groups, the largest of which contains more than 350 burials, the smallest 25. There are also 10 Foreign National war burials and 9 non world war service burials here as well as those who lost their lives pre First World War.

HMS A8 was an early Royal Navy submarine. She was a member of Group Two of the first British A-class of submarines (a second, much different A-class submarine appeared towards the end of the Second World War). Like the other members of her class, she was built at Vickers Barrow-in-Furness.

She sank with the loss of 15 crew as a result of an accident whilst running on the surface in Plymouth Sound on the 8th June 1905. A sudden dip in the bow caused the submarine to be swamped through the hatch in the conning tower. She was salvaged four days after the accident at which point a loose rivet was found in the bow plating. The submarine was then repaired and recommissioned and used for training during the First World War along with A9 as part of the First Submarine Flotilla, operating near Devonport through early 1916. She was scrapped in October 1920 at Dartmouth.
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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS A1 was the Royal Navy's first British-designed submarine, and their first to suffer fatal casualties. She was the lead ship of the first British A-class submarines and the only one to have a single bow torpedo tube.

She was accidentally sunk in the Solent on the 18th March 1904 whilst carrying out a practice attack on the protected cruiser HMS Juno by being struck on the starboard side of the conning tower by a mail steamer, SS Berwick Castle, which was en route from Southampton to Hamburg. She sank in only 39 ft of water, but the boat flooded and the entire crew was drowned. One consequence was that all subsequent Royal Navy submarines were equipped with a watertight hatch at the bottom of the conning tower.

She was raised on the 18th April 1904 and repaired and re-entered service. Following a petrol explosion in August 1910, she was converted to a testbed for the Admiralty's Anti-Submarine Committee. She was lost a year later when running submerged but unmanned under automatic pilot. Although the position of her sinking was known at the time, all efforts to locate her were fruitless. It was not until 1989 that the wreck was discovered by a local fisherman at Bracklesham Bay, approximately 5 mi away. It is thought that she was only partially flooded when she sank, and the resulting partial buoyancy meant that the wreck moved in the strong local currents. The wreck was designated under the Protection of Wrecks Act in 1998.
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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS A5 was also an early Royal Navy submarine.

Immediately after commissioning she and her tender HMS Hazard travelled to Queenstown, (now Cobh) Ireland. On the 16th February 1905 at 10:05hrs whilst tied up alongside Hazard an explosion occurred on board, with a second explosion about 30 minutes later. Six of the crew were killed by the explosion. The captain, Lieutenant H G J Good, and the other four crew members survived.

She was returned to Barrow-in-Furness the following month for repairs and returned to service in the Home Fleet in October. She was used for training until paid off for disposal in December 1915 and was finally broken up in Portsmouth in 1920.
An enquiry into the accident concluded that petrol fumes had been ignited by an electrical spark, with the second explosion caused by smouldering debris from the first event.
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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS E13 was a British E class submarine built by HM Dockyard, Chatham. E13 was laid down on the 16th December 1912 and was commissioned on the 9th December 1914. The hull cost £101,900.

HMS E13 had a relatively short career during World War I. On the 14th August 1915, she was despatched from Harwich, accompanied by her sister vessel HMS E8. The two submarines had orders to sail to the Baltic Sea to interdict German shipping, particularly vessels carrying iron ore shipments from Sweden. At around 01:00hrs on the 18th August 1915, the submarine ran aground in shallow water near Saltholm island in the Øresund between Malmö and Copenhagen, because of a defective gyrocompass. At dawn she became clearly visible. At 05:00hrs the Royal Danish Navy torpedo boat Narhvalen appeared on the scene and hailed the E13's commander, Lt Cdr Geoffrey Layton, informing him that he had 24 hours to refloat his vessel and leave before he and his crew would be interned for violating Denmark's neutrality.

The E13's crew sought to lighten the submarine by pumping out tanks and discharging fuel, but she had grounded in only 10 feet of water and would not move. Layton realised that he would not be able to refloat the E13 before the deadline passed and sent his first lieutenant ashore to arrange a tow or, if this was impracticable, to negotiate terms for internment. He was unable to contact the Admiralty for assistance, as the Germans were jamming radio frequencies.

At 10:28hrs the German torpedo boat G132 arrived but withdrew when the Danish torpedo boats Støren and Søulven approached. A third Danish torpedo boat, the Tumleren, arrived shortly afterwards.

Meanwhile, the commander of the G132, Oberleutnant zur See Paul Graf von Montgelas, had informed Rear Admiral Robert Mischke by radio about the E13's grounding. German naval operations against the Russian-held city of Riga were at a critical stage and Mischke felt that he could not afford to let the E13 pass into the Baltic, where it could threaten the German offensive in the Gulf of Riga. He ordered G132 and another torpedo boat to destroy the submarine. The two vessels returned to Saltholm and opened fire on the E13 with torpedoes, machine-guns and shell fire from a range of 300 yards. The submarine was hit repeatedly and set on fire. Seeing this, Lt Cdr Layton ordered the submarine to be abandoned, but the firing continued while his men were in the water. The engagement ended when the Danish torpedo boat Søulven placed herself between the submarine and the two German ships, which withdrew. Fourteen of the E13's crew were killed in the attack and one was missing, presumed killed.

The E13's fifteen surviving crew members were interned at the Copenhagen Navy Yard by the Danes for the rest of the war. Layton refused to give his parole and eventually escaped along with his first officer, returning to England to continue the war. He went on to have a distinguished career and commanded the British Eastern Fleet during the Second World War.

The Danish government fitted out the mail steamer Vidar as a temporary chapel to transport the bodies of the casualties back to Hull, accompanied by the Danish torpedo boats Springeren and Støren. Notwithstanding Denmark's neutrality, the dead British sailors were given full honours when their bodies were brought ashore, as a contemporary report described:

There was a touching funeral scene to-night in the Sound. In a brilliant sunset the Danish torpedo boat Soridderen passed slowly in with her flag at half-mast. A naval squadron formed a guard of honour around the bodies of the British dead. At all the fortifications, and on the whole of the ships, flags were immediately lowered as a mark of respect. Hundreds of spectators were gathered at Langelinie, all of whom reverently saluted. On shore a naval and military salute was given.

The incident caused outrage in Britain and Denmark, since it was clearly a serious breach of international law. The Danish newspaper National Tidende published an indignant leading article protesting at the Germans' violation of Danish neutrality. Politiken reported that the Danish government had protested to Germany, pointing out that the E13 had not been destroyed in any kind of pursuit but while she was lying damaged on neutral territory. The London Times fulminated in a leading article that "the unjustifiable slaughter of the men of the E13 is one more notch in the long score we have to settle with the homicidal brood of Prussia." The German government subsequently apologised to Denmark, stating that "instructions previously given to commanders of German vessels to respect neutrality have once more been impressed upon them."

Although the E13 was refloated by the Danes and towed to Copenhagen, she was so badly damaged by the German attack that her repair was not viable. On the 6th February 1919, she was sold by the British government to a Danish company for 150,000 Danish kroner (about £8,330 at 1919 prices).
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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Melbreak was a Hunt-class destroyer of the Royal Navy. She was a member of the third subgroup of the class, and saw service in the Second World War. All the ships of this class were named after British fox hunts. She was the first Royal Navy warship with this name, after the Melbreak hunt in Cumbria. In 1942 she was adopted by the civil community of Cockermouth in Cumberland, as part of Warship Week.

On the 28th August 1944 she was attacked in the English Channel by an unknown aircraft, causing 20 casualties including five killed. She was subsequently repaired in Barry, South Wales.
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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Eurydice was a 26-gun Royal Navy corvette which was the victim of one of Britain's worst peacetime naval disasters when she sank in 1878.

After being recommissioned under the command of Captain Marcus Augustus Stanley Hare, Eurydice sailed from Portsmouth on a three-month tour of the West Indies and Bermuda on the 13th November 1877. On the 6th March 1878, she began her return voyage from Bermuda for Portsmouth. After a very fast passage across the Atlantic, on the 24th March 1878, Eurydice was caught in a heavy snow storm off the Isle of Wight, capsized and sank. Only two of the ship's 319 crew and trainees survived; most of those who were not carried down with the ship died of exposure in the freezing waters. Captain Hare, a devout Christian, after giving the order to every man to save himself, clasped his hands in prayer and went down with his ship. One of the witnesses to the disaster was a young Winston Churchill, who was living at Ventnor with his family at the time. The wreck was refloated later that same year but had been so badly damaged during her submersion that she was then subsequently broken up. Her ship's bell is preserved in St. Paul's Church, Gatten, Shanklin and the memorial here has the ship's anchor is set into it.
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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Halsted (K556), ex-Russell, was a Captain-class frigate of the Buckley class of destroyer escort, originally intended for the United States Navy. Before she was finished in 1943, she was transferred to the Royal Navy under the terms of Lend-Lease, and saw service from 1943 to 1944 during World War II.

Commissioned into service in the Royal Navy as HMS Halsted (K556) on the 3rd November 1943 simultaneously with her transfer, the ship served on patrol and escort duty. On the 11th June 1944, she was operating in the English Channel off Cherbourg, France, when German S-boats – known to the Allies as "E-boats" – and the torpedo boats Jaguar and Möwe of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine's 5th Torpedo Flotilla attacked her at about 02:00hrs. One torpedo struck her forward of her bridge, blowing off most of her bow and damaging her beyond economical repair.

Halsted was declared a constructive total loss and, instead of being returned to the U.S. Navy, was retained by the Royal Navy for spare parts.
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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Built in 1937 as the Arctic Pioneer (H462) for the Boyd Line Ltd, Hull, she was taken over by the Admiralty in August 1939 and converted into a ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) vessel. In May 1942, she was sunk by a bomb, from a Junkers Ju-87 Stuka dive bomber in Cowes Roads, outside Portsmouth Harbour. 17 killed sailors ere with sixteen survivors who were picked up.
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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Collingwood is a stone frigate (shore establishment) of the Royal Navy, in Fareham, England. It is the lead establishment of the Maritime Warfare School and the largest naval training organisation in Western Europe. The current shore establishment was commissioned as the fourth HMS Collingwood on 10 January 1940, initially to instruct "hostilities only" ratings of the seaman branch. Wireless telegraphy ratings started their training in June 1940, and a radio direction finding school was added in 1942. In 1946 Collingwood took over the training of both officers and ratings in the maintenance of all electrical and radio equipment in the fleet, except that of the Fleet Air Arm.

A sleeping hut there was bombed on the 18th June 1943 during an air raid, killing sailors who had joined up a fortnight before. The victims families were initially told the trainees died in an ammunition accident
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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Foxglove was an Acacia-class minesweeping sloop of the Royal Navy. She saw service in World War I and World War II. During World War I, Foxglove and the other Acacia-class sloops were used almost exclusively for minesweeping duties until 1917, when the Royal Navy began to use them as convoy escorts, a task to which they were well suited.

Foxglove was one of only two Acacia-class sloops to survive long enough to see service in World War II. She became a loss when she was dive-bombed and badly damaged by German aircraft off the Isle of Wight on the 9th July 1940, where Stoker S A Smith lost his life. She remained afloat, and was converted into an accommodation ship and base ship. In this new role, she became a harbour guard ship in 1941, serving at Londonderry (also known as Derry) in Northern Ireland for the remainder of World War II.
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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Thunderer was one of two Devastation-class ironclad turret ships built for the Royal Navy in the 1870's.

On the 14th July 1876, Thunderer suffered a disastrous boiler explosion which killed 45 people. One of her boilers burst as she proceeded from Portsmouth Harbour to Stokes Bay to carry out a full-power trial. The explosion killed 15 people instantly, including her commanding officer; around 70 others were injured, of whom 30 later died. This was the Royal Navy's most deadly boiler explosion through the whole century. A model representing the failed boiler was made and is now in the Science Museum, London. The explosion was caused because a pressure gauge was broken and the safety valve had corroded in place. When the steam stop valve to the engines was closed, pressure in the boiler rose and could not be released. The four box boilers were the last in service in the Navy and operated at what would even then would have been considered a relatively low pressure, for more modern boilers, of 30 psi (210 kPa). The boiler was repaired and the ship was completed on 26 May 1877 at a cost of £368,428.
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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

In November 1850, two ships of the Turkish Navy, the Mirat-i Zafer and Sirag-i Bahri anchored off the Hardway, Gosport. The visit lasted several months and during this time most of the embers of the crew contracted Cholera and were admitted to Haslar Hospital for treatment, from those who were admitted most of them died and other sailors because of training accidents. In total 26 died and were laid to rest in the grounds of Haslar.
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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS Halsted (K556), ex-Russell, was a Captain-class frigate of the Buckley class of destroyer escort, originally intended for the United States Navy. Before she was finished in 1943, she was transferred to the Royal Navy under the terms of Lend-Lease, and saw service from 1943 to 1944 during World War II.

Commissioned into service in the Royal Navy as HMS Halsted (K556) on the 3rd November 1943 simultaneously with her transfer, the ship served on patrol and escort duty. On the 11th June 1944, she was operating in the English Channel off Cherbourg, France, when German S-boats – known to the Allies as "E-boats" – and the torpedo boats Jaguar and Möwe of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine's 5th Torpedo Flotilla attacked her at about 02:00hrs. One torpedo struck her forward of her bridge, blowing off most of her bow and damaging her beyond economical repair.

Halsted was declared a constructive total loss and, instead of being returned to the U.S. Navy, was retained by the Royal Navy for spare parts.
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CWGC Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

User avatar
SuffolkBlue
Posts: 1183
Joined: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 7:31 pm
Location: Bury St. Edmunds

Re: CWGC Cemeteries **updated 01/04/2020**

Post by SuffolkBlue »

Just a couple of miles away is CWGC Gosport (Ann's Hill) Cemetery, where 104 scattered graves from the First World War are located. A number of the 144 Second World War burials form a plot at the western end of the cemetery. 1 of these is an unidentified Merchant seaman. There are also 31 German burials, including 2 unidentified, and 1 Belgian burial in the cemetery.
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Gosport (Ann's Hill) Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Walter Eckhardt was a soldier with the German Artillery, 2nd Company, 79th Regiment. He died on the 8th July 1944 in the Royal Naval Hospital, at Haslar, of wounds received during war operations in Normandy.
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Gosport (Ann's Hill) Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Corporal Willi Weinert of the 100th Panzer Regiment, 7th Company MXX Division, German Army, was badly wounded during the fighting by the allied liberating forces in Normandy, forcing inland from the beachheads, towards the major town of Caen. This town held the allies at bay, from using the roads towards Paris and central France. Willi Weinert was given emergency medical treatment, before being transferred to a hospital ship at Arromanches. The ship brought him to Portsmouth Harbour, and he was taken to the Queen Alexandria Hospital, Cosham, north of Portsmouth. His condition deteriorated, and complications set in, he died on the 14th July 1944.
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Gosport (Ann's Hill) Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Helmut Ganster was seriously wounded, during the bitter fighting in the ‘Falaise Pocket’ area of Normandy. This so-called ‘pocket’, was in fact an encirclement of the German positions, which were attempting a fighting retreat. His position being overrun and he received immediate medical attention, his condition was stabilised, but critical. Taken to the newly built artificial harbour built by the allies at Arromanches, he was transferred to a hospital ship for the voyage to this country. During the trip, his condition rapidly deteriorated, and he subsequently died.

Upon reaching Portsmouth Harbour, his body was taken to the old Isolation Hospital, at the end of Frater Lane, and which is now a gymnasium, but which at that time was used as a temporary morgue.
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Gosport (Ann's Hill) Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Gosport (Ann's Hill) Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Edwin Scholz was shot down by flak off the Normandy coast during the allied liberation of France. Badly wounded, he was rescued from the sea. He was treated for his wounds, but on the way back to this England for treatment, he died of his wounds on the 8th July 1944.
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Gosport (Ann's Hill) Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Georg Koch was a crew member on board an E-Boat which was ordered to attacked the Allied shipping off the Normandy coast. His E-Boar was attacked from the air by two allied aircraft.

Between them, the two aircraft racked the hull of the fast patrol boat. One of the torpedoes exploded and he was blown overboard by the explosion. The E-Boat sank near enough immediately afterwards, as ammunition caught fire and also started to explode. With the threat gone, the bodies of the crew were retrieved from the sea. Seaman Koch was found to be still alive although his wounds were severe.

He was transferred to a hospital ship, and brought to England for surgery. The burns and injuries he had received became infected, and he died before reaching these shore on the 14th June 1944.
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Gosport (Ann's Hill) Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Heinrich Hoeck was seriously wounded on D-Day. He was treated in one of the Emergency casualty Clearing Station’s set up for that purpose. He died of his wounds, on the 9th June 1944, on the voyage to this country.

Also a solider of the German Army, Werner Mecklerbeck was wounded and captured by the advancing allied forces. Emergency medical aid was promptly given and transfer to a hospital ship to this country. He died on the voyage here, also on the 9th June 1944.
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Gosport (Ann's Hill) Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Corporal Ernest Brotherton, 22nd Dragoons, Royal Armoured Corps, 30th Armoured Corps, 30th Armoured Brigade, 79th Armoured Division was killed on the 6th June 1944, whilst storming ashore at the Normandy beaches. He was serving with the Division nick-named ‘Hobarts Funnies’. Named after their inventor Major General Sir Percy Hobart. His armoured inventions were able to overcome many of the numerous obstacles and defensive traps encountered on the beachheads by the amphibious assault. Being one of the first to be killed he was transferred to a landing ship for the voyage home. Corporal Brotherton was buried here with full military honours.
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Gosport (Ann's Hill) Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Corporal G Atkinson was killed on the 16th August 1940 when twenty Junkers Ju87 ‘Stuka’ dive-bombers attacked RNAS Lee-on-Solent.
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Gosport (Ann's Hill) Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Pilot Officer Alfred Bailey was serving with No 22 Squadron based at RAF Gosport and engaged in flying Vickers Vildebeest K6048 on the 1st August 1940. Also on board was Aircraftsman Class 2 E.S Budd and a civilian scientist, H. Dawson.

The aircraft was part of the Torpedo Development Flight and they were scheduled to drop a torpedo on the range off Stokes Bay and then return to RAF Gosport less than a mile away.

Pilot Officer Bailey approached the range and adjusted his altitude for the optimum height of 50 feet above the waves. Observers on Ryde Pier noted that the aircraft’s nose suddenly dipped, whether as a result of the gusty wind is not known but, with no height to recover, the Vildebeest crashed into the sea.

As with all torpedo drops, the range was policed by various support boats. These boats immediately went to the aid of the sinking aircraft. A/C2 Rudd was rescued from the sea and although badly injured, after hospitalisation, he recovered. A/C2 Rudd was the only member the aircraft’s crew to survive.

The civilian scientist and Pilot Officer Alfred Bailey were dragged to the seabed with the aircraft, and were not recovered until 4 days later. The wreckage of the machine was located by divers, and hauled to the surface.
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Gosport (Ann's Hill) Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Oberleutnant Walter Klienhanns served with 3/KG55 during the Battle of Britain.

He and his crew took off in Heinkel He111, G1+FA, on the 12th July 1940 from the units airfield at Villacoublay, Northern France, on a mission to bomb the Portsmouth area and to test the response time of the defending RAF fighters.

The raid had been planned to take place when the weather was cloudy, thus affording the aircraft the opportunity to seek the cover of the high clouds. They were plotted on their course towards the mainland and RAF fighters were scrambled to intercept. ‘B’ Flight of 43 Squadron based at RAF Tangmere swooped down on the unsuspecting bombers.

Oberlt Kleinhanns was laying prone in the bomb aimers position as the Hurricane fighters riddled the aircraft with machine-gun fire when he was hit in the head, killing him instantly.

The crew of G1+FA managed to jettison the bomb load as the aircraft rapidly lost height with one engine out of action. A second attack sealed the bombers fate, the other engine stopped and it entered a shallow dive. The pilot successfully made a belly-landing, coming to stop in a field opposite the ‘Horse and Jockey’ public house on the Hipley Road, Waterlooville.

The rest of the crew, Oberfeldwebel’s Knecht and Muller, Felddwebel Kalina, were all wounded but survived and the only one to escape injury was Feldwebel Mohn, were taken prisoner. Oberleutnant Walter Klienhanns was buried on the 15th July 1940.
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Gosport (Ann's Hill) Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

James Tillett entered RAF Cranwell College as a Cadet in September 1937. The College's list of graduates records that he was of St Lawrence's College, Ramsgate, and was a Flight Cadet Sergeant, his sports being athletics, cross country and hockey. He graduated from RAF Cranwell and was promoted to Pilot Officer with effect from the 29th July 1939.

He joined 52 Squadron at RAF Upwood on the 4th August 1939, flying Fairey Battles. He was serving with 2 Coastal Patrol Flight from December 1939 to April 1940.
By August 1940. he was serving with 12 Squadron at Eastchurch, again flying Battles. His first operational sortie was attacking shipping in Boulogne harbour at nightfall on the 18th August and returned to base with a faulty aircraft.

His next sortie was on the night of the 19th/20th August, again attacking shipping at Boulogne. His aircraft gave trouble and he returned with a faulty magneto and a leaking fuel tank. His third and last operation with 12 Squadron was a successful attack on ‘E’ Boats in Boulogne harbour at first light. He must have volunteered for Fighter Command as on the 7th September 1940 he was posted to 238 Squadron at RAF St. Eval.

He was shot down and killed, possibly by Major Helmut Wick, on the 6th November 1940. His Hawker Hurricane V6814 glided down and made a wheels-up landing at White Dell Farm, North Wallington, Fareham in Hampshire.

Two boys witnessed the crash and later recorded what they saw:

'We saw him swoop down, he slid to a halt, dust and mud flew everywhere. When he did not emerge from the cockpit, we ran over to the aircraft. He was slumped forward over the controls, we banged on the cockpit canopy, but he did not answer or move. We tried to get the pilot out of the cockpit, but the canopy would not move, hard as we tried, it would not open. Whilst we did this we noticed that the smoking engine had caught alight. The only thing we could do was grab handfuls of dirt and throw that onto the engine cowling, in an attempt to smother the fire. In seconds, the fire had spread, engulfing the cockpit area. We knew we could do no more for our brave fighter pilot. The heat of the fire got so hot, we had to get back. We then thought about the ammunition, which might go up. It was awful ! We just had to stand there, whilst the flames consumed everything. It was the saddest day of our young lives '.

The 238 Squadron ORB recorded:
Of small and delicate stature, and a retiring nature, P/O Tillett was a good steady pilot of firm character, who gave all the promise of a useful and successful career. He is the first Cranwell officer lost from this squadron. Such losses are deplorable.
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Gosport (Ann's Hill) Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Gosport (Ann's Hill) Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 12th August 1940 the first daylight raid was carried out by the Luftwaffe over Britain.

At 11:51 hours, a raid of 150+ aircraft was plotted 30 miles north of Cherbourg. This raid split into a number of smaller raids which approached on a wide front. Some reached Portsmouth and Southampton, while the Luftwaffe Unit I/StG 3 attacked Gosport. St. Vincent Sports Ground in Gosport had a barrage balloon site situated on it, manned by the Barrage Balloon Squadron, as part of the anti-aircraft defence of the town. Bombs from Junkers Ju87 "Stuka" dive bombers hit the field, killing 10 servicemen.
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Gosport (Ann's Hill) Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Flight Sergeant Pilot Wilbur James Shaver came from Lancing, Michigan, USA. He crossed Lake Huron into Canada where he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Air Force at Windsor, Ontario, on the 21st November 1941. After his training, he was posted to the UK on the 30th November 1942 and posted to 1601 Flight on the 13th April 1943. He was transferred to 1622 Flight at RAF Gosport a week later.

He and Sergeant Malcolm Dobbie took off in Bolton Paul Defiant DR896 on the 16th August 1943 for target towing duties. The routine flight to the Anti Aircraft Range off Eastney, Portsmouth, was trouble free but during the exercise, the aircraft nose-dived into the sea from a height of about 200 feet, killing both crewmembers.

During the operation to locate and recover the bodies and wreckage of the aircraft, the body of another airman was found, Sgt. Moffatt, who lost his life when he baled out of Handley Page Halifax II NR721 over Selsey Bill after it was badly damaged on a raid to Nuremberg on 11th August 1943.
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Gosport (Ann's Hill) Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Sergeant Pilot Rollo William Wesley Gallie volunteered for service with the Royal New Zealand Air Force and was selected for aircrew training. He was duly awarded his wings and after serving with other units, was posted to 1622 Flight, No 2 Anti Aircraft Co operation Unit, at RAF Gosport.

On the 30th March 1943, Sgt. Gallie took off in Boulton Paul Defiant DR919 for a routine co-operation flight with the Fraser Anti Aircraft Range Eastney, Portsmouth. Also on board was Aircraftsman Class 1, E. Tate. The target towing duty was completed without incident but on the way back to base, the aircrafts engine failed and they crashed in a field at Chalk Lane, Pound Knapp (now part of the extended course of Lee-on-Solent Golf Club), Sgt. Gallie, was instantly killed but A/C1 Tate, although slightly injured, survived after hospital treatment. At the subsequent hearing, the fatal accident was put down to 'That the crash was caused by unintentional turning off of the fuel tap'.
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Gosport (Ann's Hill) Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Gosport (Ann's Hill) Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 30th September 1940, Engelbert Gotz was onboard a Heinkel He111 of 4/KG55 detailed to raid the aircraft factory at Yeovil, Somerset. The enemy formation had been detected by Ventnor radar station, and RAF Fighters were scrambled to intercept them. Contact was made southwest of the Isle of Wight which resulted in several of the raiders being shot down.

After pressing home their attack and on the return journey to their home base in northern France, his aircraft was shot down into the sea. His body was found floating in the sea between No Man’s Land and Horse Sand, sea forts in the Spithead Anchorage and buried on the 17th October 1940. At the time he was listed as an unknown German airman. but his identity was established later, and the temporary CWGC cross was amended.
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Gosport (Ann's Hill) Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Gosport (Ann's Hill) Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Feldwebel Gerhard Ebus was a Messershmitt Bf 109 pilot with 6/JG2.. With the fall of France this unit was moved to the forward base of Beaumont-le-Roger, near Caen, in the Normandy area of Northern France, and played a major part in the Battle of Britain. On 24th August 1940, he and along with his unit were tasked with providing fighter escort for the bombers on a mission to the Portsmouth area.

Hawker Hurricanes of 238 Squadron were scrambled and during the aerial combat, Gerhard Ebus’ plane was hit and he had to bale out. He came down in the sea and is thought that he became entangled in his parachute shrouds. By the time he was pulled from the water off Lee-on-Solent, he had died.
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Gosport (Ann's Hill) Cemetery by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 12th August 1940 Oberfelwebel Theodor Dickel was on board Junker’s Ju 88A-1, coded 9K+CL, serving with 3/KG51 on a bombing to Portsmouth Dockyard and the other military targets in Gosport. His aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and began to lose height. Over Fareham the crew were ordered to bale out and after heading out to the Isle of Wight the aircraft entered a steep dive. The crew abandoned the aircraft with it crashing near Godstone, on the Isle of Wight. Only one crew member survived, Gefr Flieschmann. Who was taken prisoner, the others, Oberfw Hannsmann, Gefr Czepik and Oberfw Dickel were all killed.
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Gosport (Ann's Hill) Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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Gosport (Ann's Hill) Cemetery - Gosport, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

The final location of the day was to the CWGC Portsmouth Naval Memorial on Clarence Esplanade, Southsea. This is one of three naval memorials in the UK, with the others at Plymouth and Chatham. It was unveiled on the 15th October 1924 by Prince Albert, the future King George VI. The extension was unveiled by the Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, on the 29th April 1953. It became a listed building in 1972, and was upgraded to Grade I status in May 2016 for the centenary of the Battle of Jutland. In total, 24,591 servicemen and women are commemorated here.
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CWGC Portsmouth Naval Memorial - Portsmouth, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Portsmouth Naval Memorial - Portsmouth, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Sir Christopher "Kit" George Francis Maurice Cradock KCVO CB SGM was a British Rear-Admiral of the Royal Navy.

Appointed to the royal yacht, he was close to the British royal family. Prior to the First World War, his combat service during the Mahdist War and the Boxer Rebellion was all ashore. Appointed Commander-in-Chief of the North America and West Indies Station before the war, his mission was to protect Allied merchant shipping by hunting down German commerce raiders.

By late October 1914, Cradock had reliable intelligence that the East Asia Squadron had reached the western coast of South America. Cradock's fleet was significantly weaker than Spee's, mainly consisting of elderly vessels manned by largely inexperienced crews. However, the orders he received from the Admiralty were ambiguous; although they were meant to make him concentrate his ships on the old battleship Canopus, Cradock interpreted them as instructing him to seek and engage the enemy forces. Clarifying instructions from the Admiralty were not issued until the 3rd November, by which time the battle had already been fought.

Cradock found Spee's force off Chile in the late afternoon of the 1st November 1914, and decided to engage, starting the Battle of Coronel. Useless for anything other than searching, he sent the armed merchant cruiser Otranto away. He tried to close the range immediately to engage with his shorter-ranged six-inch guns and so that the enemy would have the setting sun in their eyes, but von Spee kept the range open until dusk, when the British cruisers were silhouetted in the afterglow, while his ships were hidden by darkness. Heavily disadvantaged because the high seas had rendered the main-deck six-inch guns on Good Hope and HMS Monmouth unusable, and with partially trained crews, Cradock's two armoured cruisers were destroyed with the loss of all 1,660 lives, including his own; the light cruiser Glasgow managed to escape. This battle was the first defeat of the Royal Navy in a naval action in more than a hundred years.

Departing from Port Stanley he had left behind a letter to be forwarded to Admiral Hedworth Meux in the event of his death. In this he commented that he did not intend to suffer the fate of Rear-Admiral Ernest Troubridge, who had been court-martialled in August for failing to engage the enemy despite the odds being severely against him, during the pursuit of the German warships Goeben and Breslau. The Governor of the Falklands and the Governor's aide both reported that Cradock had not expected to survive.
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CWGC Portsmouth Naval Memorial - Portsmouth, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HMS K4 was a British K-class submarine built by Vickers in Barrow-in-Furness. She was laid down on 28 June 1915 and commissioned on 1 January 1917, one year before the end of World War I. It's Commander was David de Beauvoir Stocks

K4 was lost on the 31st January 1918 during the night time fleet exercises later known as the Battle of May Island (Operation E.C.1) when she was attached to the 13th Submarine Flotilla. While attempting to avoid a collision with K3, she became the victim of collisions with K6 and K7. She was lost with all hands, including Commander David de Beauvoir Stocks. The wreck is designated as a protected place under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986,
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CWGC Portsmouth Naval Memorial - Portsmouth, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Portsmouth Naval Memorial - Portsmouth, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Portsmouth Naval Memorial - Portsmouth, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Rear Admiral Sir Horace Lambert Alexander Hood KCB DSO MVO was a British Royal Navy admiral of the First World War, whose lengthy and distinguished service saw him engaged in operations around the world, frequently participating in land campaigns as part of a shore brigade.

Horace Hood was descended from one of the most influential and experienced navy lines, being a great-great-grandson of Admiral Samuel Hood, 1st Viscount Hood, who won numerous actions against the French in the American Revolutionary War and the French Revolutionary Wars. His father was Francis Wheler Hood, 4th Viscount Hood and his mother Edith Lydia Drummond Ward. Born in South Street, London, Hood joined the navy aged just 12, attending HMS Britannia cadet training ship at Dartmouth in 1882. Graduating top of his class in September 1885, Hood joined HMS Temeraire as a midshipman and served on her for a year in the Mediterranean Squadron before joining HMS Minotaur. In 1887 he was attached to HMS Calliope, a small cruiser which sailed for the Pacific Ocean. It was aboard her that Hood experienced the Samoan Hurricane in which Calliope was the only survivor of seven foreign warships in Apia Harbour.

Hood gained a record score in his exam for lieutenant, and qualified first time. He served in HMS Trafalgar for a time before taking three years out to study gunnery and staff duties. On his return to the sea, he spent brief periods aboard HMS Royal Sovereign, HMS Wildfire, HMS Sans Pareil and HMS Cambrian. He performed well at these duties and in 1897 was recommended to the Egyptian government who provided him with a Nile gunboat to command on the Nile Expedition of 1898 in the Mahdist War. During these operations, Hood was conspicuous in his duty as second in command to Captain David Beatty and saw action for the first time, providing artillery support at the Battle of Atbara and Battle of Omdurman. For his services in these operations, he was promoted to commander, skipping the intermediate rank.

During the Second Boer War, Hood was given command of transport ships taking supplies to South Africa before being transferred to Admiral Lord Charles Beresford's flagship HMS Ramillies in the Mediterranean from the 9th September 1901. In July 1903, Hood was given promotion to full captain and placed in command of HMS Hyacinth, flagship of Admiral George Atkinson-Willes on the East Indies Station. In April 1904, Hood was given his first independent command as he led a force of 754 sailors, marines and soldiers of the Hampshire Regiment against the Ilig Dervishes of Somaliland. Landing his men on an opposed beach in the dark, Hood led from the front, personally engaging in hand-to-hand combat and driving the dervishes into the hinterland, for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.

Distinguished by his action, Hood was given command of the armoured cruiser HMS Berwick in 1906 and the following year was made naval attaché to the British Embassy in Washington D.C. It was there he met Ellen Touzalin Nickerson, a widowed mother, whom he later married in 1910. The couple had two sons, Samuel Hood, 6th Viscount Hood (1910–1981) and Alexander Lambert Hood, 7th Viscount Hood (1914–1999). In 1908, Hood was given command of the pre-dreadnought battleship HMS Commonwealth, in which he served for a year before receiving a shore appointment to command the Royal Naval College, Osborne, where he stayed until 1913 when he was raised to flag rank. For three months Hood raised his flag in the dreadnought battleship HMS Centurion before becoming Naval Secretary to the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill in July 1914.

At the outbreak of the First World War, Hood's experience with coastal operations recommended him to serve with a small flotilla of Humber-class monitors on the Belgian coast, bombarding German positions and troop formations during the Siege of Antwerp and then the Battle of the Yser, assisting Belgian forces to hold the coastline during the Race for the Sea.

Later in the year, Hood became Commander-in-Chief, Dover and commander of the Dover Patrol, tasked with preventing German ships and submarines passing through. He was transferred to command of Force E at Queenstown by orders of Churchill and Fisher, for his perceived failure to do this as submarines continued to pass the Channel to threaten shipping in the Irish Sea. Force E consisted of obsolete cruisers and boarding vessels whose task was to patrol the area south west of Ireland to give instructions to arriving merchant vessels and guard against attacks by armed merchantmen. In February their operating area had been moved 200 miles further west as they were considered in themselves to be tempting targets for submarines. After his transfer, intelligence reports based on intercepted messages from German submarines showed that they had indeed had extreme difficulty passing the Channel, and as a result their orders were changed to travel around Scotland instead. Before Churchill was replaced as First Lord he corrected his mistake by appointing Hood to command of the Third Battlecruiser Squadron operating out of Rosyth in Scotland. Hood's command was the three battlecruisers of the Invincible class: HMS Indomitable, HMS Inflexible and his flagship HMS Invincible.

In late May 1916 came the only opportunity for the British battlefleet to engage the German main force at the Battle of Jutland. Hood's squadron was attached to Jellicoe's main battlefleet and thus had not witnessed the destruction of two British battlecruisers at the guns of their German counterparts. Arriving as the action was well underway but ahead of the main fleet by advantage of their greater speed, Hood's force's first action was to rescue the light cruiser HMS Chester, which had been separated from the main fleet to provide a signal relay but was then ambushed by four German cruisers and was in danger of sinking. Hood's timely arrival scattered the German ships and caused fatal damage to SMS Wiesbaden, which sank later that night with 589 of her crew.

Hood's intervention had far greater effects than were realised at the time however. In diverting his squadron to the North-West to aid Chester, Hood had inadvertently confused the German battlecruiser commander Admiral Hipper into believing that the main British force was approaching from the North-West and prompting his withdrawal to the main German fleet, an act which has been claimed saved the British battlecruiser fleet from destruction. Hood meanwhile attached his squadron to the British battlecruiser squadron of Admiral Beatty and with them formed the vanguard of the British battlefleet, which was now heading directly for the approaching Germans.

The vanguards of the battlefleets, made up of battlecruisers and smaller ships, collided just before 18.00hrs. The German fleet, possessing better gunnery and range-finding equipment, had the better of the early exchanges; HMS Defence, an old armoured cruiser which was the flagship of Rear-Admiral Sir Robert Arbuthnot, was blown up with all 903 hands, and the fast battleship HMS Warspite was badly damaged and forced to limp back to Britain. Hood's squadron was heavily engaged, Invincible facing the combined batteries of SMS Lützow and SMS Derfflinger and inflicting damage on Lützow, which would force her abandonment and scuttle during the night. Indeed, the last words we know from Admiral Hood came only moments before the explosion, as he called through the voicepipe to the spotting tower high above the ship encouraging the crew up there for faster information because every shot was counting. The combination of the two ships proved too tough for Hood's flagship however, and a shell from Derfflinger penetrated the "Q" turret of Invincible, the same mortal wound which had destroyed HMS Queen Mary a few hours before and almost claimed HMS Lion.

The unstable cordite ammunition carried by Invincible, coupled with the weakness of her turret design and armour, and bad ammunition handling practices, resulted in a catastrophic explosion from "Q" turret's magazine, which blew the ship into two halves which sank separately, each protruding from the sea as the inner end settled on the shallow bottom. Of Invincible's 1,021 crew, there were just six survivors, pulled from the water by attendant destroyers. Hood was not amongst them. The Battle of Jutland was ultimately an expensive stalemate; both sides suffered further losses during the night action but the strategic situation remained unchanged. The Royal Navy had suffered over 6,000 fatal casualties, three times the German losses, but remained in control of the North Sea while the High Seas Fleet was forced to retire to harbour.
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CWGC Portsmouth Naval Memorial - Portsmouth, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Portsmouth Naval Memorial - Portsmouth, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Portsmouth Naval Memorial - Portsmouth, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Portsmouth Naval Memorial - Portsmouth, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Portsmouth Naval Memorial - Portsmouth, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Portsmouth Naval Memorial - Portsmouth, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Rear-Admiral Henry Evelyn Charles Blagrove was the first British Royal Navy officer of flag rank to be killed in the Second World War. An experienced staff officer and veteran of several actions of the First World War aboard the battlecruiser HMS Tiger, Blagrove had only just received his appointment as commander of the 2nd Battleship Squadron of the Home Fleet when he was killed in the destruction of his flagship HMS Royal Oak by German submarine U-47.

HMS Royal Oak was sunk late on the night of the 13th October 1939 after the German submarine U-47 entered Scapa Flow by bypassing its blockship defences. Initially Kapitänleutnant Günther Prien, the commander of U-47, had been disappointed to find that the Royal Naval anchorage was largely empty; this was the result of a recent order from Admiral Charles Forbes to clear Scapa Flow in case of air attack. However Royal Oak was retained because she carried a large battery of anti-aircraft guns.

On sighting the battleship, Prien began his first attack run at 00:58hrs by firing three torpedoes. Only one caused a glancing blow on the bow of Royal Oak. An alarm was raised aboard ship, however, it was mistakenly given for "danger of a potential internal explosion" not for a submarine attack. When no explosion seemed likely, most crew members returned to their bunks. At 01:13hrs Prien began his second run. This time all three torpedoes struck Royal Oak amidships causing a huge explosion followed by a severe list to starboard. Prien used the ensuing confusion to escape from Scapa Flow.

As the crew scrambled to leave the stricken battleship, rescue boats set out from the shore as nearby ships responded. However the darkness, oil slick and low water temperature meant that many of those who did escape the ship drowned before they could be rescued. Royal Oak rolled over and sank 15 minutes after being hit.

A total of 835 crew were killed in the disaster, a further 386 were rescued. Rear-Admiral Blagrove was not among the survivors. His body was not recovered and the manner of his death is unknown. Blagrove's family became aware of the sinking from newspaper billboards in Edinburgh the following day but were not overly concerned for his safety. They were notified of his death 24 hours later.

Rear Admiral Wilfred Neville Custance CB was a senior officer in the Royal Navy. He was the Rear Admiral Commanding HM Australian Squadron from April 1938 to September 1939, however due to ill health he was forced to relinquish the command. While returning to England he died aboard ship and was buried at sea off Aden on the 13th December 1939.
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CWGC Portsmouth Naval Memorial - Portsmouth, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Vice Admiral Lancelot Ernest Holland, CB, was a British Royal Navy officer who commanded the British force in the Battle of the Denmark Strait in May 1941 against the German battleship Bismarck. Having qualified as a gunnery lieutenant and gone on to take the advanced gunnery course at Greenwich, Holland spent the First World War in a teaching role aboard HMS Excellent. After the war he was promoted to commander on the 31st December 1919 and captain on the 30th June 1926.

During the period May 1929 to February 1931, Holland was flag captain to the 2nd Cruiser Squadron, aboard HMS Hawkins. From May 1931 to September 1932, Holland headed the British Naval Mission to Greece. As a rear admiral he was flag captain aboard the battleship HMS Revenge from July 1934 to July 1935.
From July 1940, Holland commanded the 7th Cruiser Squadron, serving in the Mediterranean. During the course of this command he led his cruisers in the Battle of Cape Spartivento on the 27th November 1940.
His next assignment was in command of the Battlecruiser Squadron. Britain had only three of these ships. They were capital ships that carried heavy guns, but sacrificed armour protection for speed. They were a concept of Admiral John Fisher before the First World War. Conventional naval thinking in the 1920s and 1930s was that the battlecruiser was designed to hunt and overtake fast commerce raiders, such as a pocket battleship or another battlecruiser, a ship too powerful for a cruiser to destroy and too fast for a battleship to catch. HMS Hood was the last battlecruiser built by the Royal Navy.

Until the King George V class battleships, also at 28 knots, no British battleship was fast enough to catch the new German battleship Bismarck. Her mission was to evade action and make for the open seas to attack convoys. Hood was needed to stop her. The navy were aware that Hood needed to be rebuilt to strengthen her decks to protect the vulnerable magazines but by 1938, with war threatening, the Admiralty felt that they could not risk taking her out of commission. Britain had only three battlecruisers to match the three German pocket battleships.

In May 1941, the new German battleship Bismarck attempted to break out into the North Atlantic, accompanied by the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen. Their mission was to attack Allied convoys. Holland flew his flag aboard Hood, which was accompanied by the new battleship HMS Prince of Wales, which mounted ten 14" guns as opposed to the eight 15" on the Hood and the Bismarck. On the 22nd May, just after midnight, Electra, Achates, Antelope, Anthony, Echo, and Icarus, escorting the Hood and Prince Of Wales, sailed to cover the northern approaches. Prince of Wales had not had time to complete the training of her new crew, and was pressed into service with builders' representatives still aboard. The intention was that the force would refuel in Hvalfjord, Iceland, and then sail again to watch the Denmark Strait. On the evening of 23rd May, the weather deteriorated. At 20:55hrs, Admiral Holland aboard the Hood signalled the destroyers "If you are unable to maintain this speed I will have to go on without you. You should follow at your best speed." At 02:15hrs on the morning of 24th May, the destroyers were ordered to spread out at 15 mile intervals to search to the north.

At about 05:35hrs, the German forces were sighted by the Hood and, shortly afterwards, the Germans sighted the British ships. In the ensuing Battle of the Denmark Strait the Hood suffered a catastrophic magazine explosion at 06:01hrs that broke the ship in half; the admiral and all but three of the crew of 1,418 were lost. One of the survivors, Ted Briggs, later stated he last saw Holland sitting in his admiral's chair, making no attempt to escape from the sinking wreck.

Prince of Wales made her escape with some damage, including a hit on her bridge which killed many of her officers. One of the salvos from Prince of Wales damaged Bismarck's fuel tanks, and prompted her to make for occupied France. Holland was posthumously Mentioned in Despatches.

Captain Edward Lyon Berthon DSO, DSC, RN was in command of during the Second World War. HMS Cossack was a Tribal-class destroyer named after the Cossack people of the Russian and Ukrainian steppe. She became famous for the boarding of the German supply ship Altmark in Norwegian waters, and the associated rescue of sailors originally captured by the Admiral Graf Spee.

In May 1941, she participated in the pursuit and destruction of the German battleship Bismarck. While escorting Convoy WS-8B to the Middle East, Cossack and four other destroyers broke off on the 26th May, and headed towards the area where Bismarck had been reported. They found Bismarck that evening and made several torpedo attacks in the evening and into the next morning. No hits were scored, but they kept the Bismarck's gunners from getting any sleep, making it easier for the battleships to attack the Bismarck the next morning.

On the 23rd October 1941, Cossack was escorting a convoy from Gibraltar to the United Kingdom when she was struck by a single torpedo fired by the German submarine U-563 commanded by Klaus Bargsten. She was taken in tow by a tug from Gibraltar on the 25th October, but the weather worsened and the tow was slipped on the 26th October. Cossack sank in the Atlantic west of Gibraltar on 27th October 1941. 159 of her crew were lost, including Captain Edward Lyon Berthon.

Captain Geoffrey Cooke was in command of HMS Barham during the Second World War. She was a Queen Elizabeth-class battleship built for the Royal Navy during the early 1910s. Often used as a flagship, she participated in the Battle of Jutland during the First World War as part of the Grand Fleet. For the rest of the war her service generally consisted of routine patrols and training in the North Sea.

On the afternoon of 25 November 1941, the 1st Battle Squadron, Barham, Queen Elizabeth, and Valiant, with an escort of eight destroyers, departed Alexandria, Egypt, to cover the 7th and 15th Cruiser Squadrons as they hunted for Italian convoys in the Central Mediterranean. The following morning, the German submarine U-331, commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Hans-Diedrich von Tiesenhausen, detected the faint engine noises of the British ships and moved to intercept. By the afternoon the submarine and the 1st Battle Squadron were on reciprocal courses and von Tiesenhausen ordered his boat to battle stations around 16:00hrs. An ASDIC operator aboard one of the leading destroyers, Jervis, detected the submarine at 16:18hrs at an estimated range of 900–1,100 yards, but the contact was disregarded as it subtended an angle between 40 and 60 degrees wide, far larger than a submarine. U-331 thus passed through the screen and was only in a position to fire her torpedoes after the leading ship, Queen Elizabeth, had passed her by and the second ship, Barham, was closing rapidly. Von Tiesenhausen ordered all four bow torpedo tubes fired at a range of 375 metres at 16:25hrs. Possibly due to her closeness to Valiant's bow wave and discharging the torpedoes, the boat's conning tower broached the surface and was fruitlessly engaged by one of the battleship's "pom-pom"s at a range of about 30 yards. The boat dived out of control after she broached, reaching an indicated depth of 265 metres, well below her design depth rating of 150 metres, before she stabilised without any damage. U-331 was not attacked by the escorting destroyers and reached port on 3 December. Von Tiesenhausen was not certain of the results of his attack and radioed that he had hit a Queen Elizabeth-class battleship with one torpedo.

There was no time for evasive action, and three of the four torpedoes struck amidships so closely together as to throw up a single massive water column. Barham quickly capsized to port and was lying on her side when a massive magazine explosion occurred about four minutes after she was torpedoed and sank her. The Board of Enquiry into the sinking ascribed the final magazine explosion to a fire in the 4-inch magazines outboard of the main 15-inch magazines, which would have then spread to and detonated the contents of the main magazines. Due to the speed at which she sank, 862 officers and ratings were killed, including two who died of their wounds after being rescued. The destroyer Hotspur rescued some 337 survivors, including Vice-Admiral Henry Pridham-Wippell and the pair who later died of their wounds, while the Australian destroyer Nizam reportedly rescued some 150 men. Captain Geoffrey Cooke went down with his ship. The sinking was captured on film by a cameraman from Pathé News, aboard Valiant.

Captain Ralph Kerr CBE served in the First and Second World Wars, and was killed in the sinking of HMS Hood by the Bismarck at the Battle of the Denmark Strait.

Captain Richard Stratford Lovatt was the captain of HMS Dundein, a Danae-class light cruiser of the Royal Navy, pennant number D93. She was launched from the yards of Armstrong Whitworth, Newcastle-on-Tyne on the 19th November 1918 and commissioned on the 13th September 1919. She has been the only ship of the Royal Navy to bear the name Dunedin.

Early in the Second World War, Dunedin was involved in the hunt for the German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau after the sinking of the armed merchant cruiser Rawalpindi.

In early 1940 Dunedin was operating in the Caribbean Sea, and there she intercepted the German merchant ship Heidelberg west of the Windward Passage. Heidelberg's crew scuttled the ship before Dunedin could take her. A few days later, Dunedin, in company with the Canadian destroyer Assiniboine, intercepted and captured the German merchant ship Hannover near Jamaica. Hannover later became the first British escort carrier, Audacity. Between July and November, Dunedin, together with the cruiser Trinidad, maintained a blockade off Martinique, in part to bottle up three French warships, including the aircraft carrier Béarn.

On the 15th June 1941, Dunedin captured the German tanker Lothringen and gathered some highly classified Enigma cipher machines that she carried. The Royal Navy reused Lothringen as the fleet oiler Empire Salvage. Dunedin went on to capture three Vichy French vessels, Ville de Rouen off Natal, the merchant ship Ville de Tamatave east of the St. Paul's Rocks, and finally, D'Entrecasteaux.

Dunedin was still steaming in the Central Atlantic Ocean, just east of the St. Paul's Rocks, north east of Recife, Brazil, when on the 24th November 1941, at 15:26hrs, two torpedoes from the German submarine U-124 sank her. Only four officers and 63 men survived out of Dunedin's crew of 486 officers and men. Captain Richard Stratford Lovatt went down with his ship.
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CWGC Portsmouth Naval Memorial - Portsmouth, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Portsmouth Naval Memorial - Portsmouth, Hampshire, Saturday 21st December 2019 by Chris Day, on Flickr

User avatar
SuffolkBlue
Posts: 1183
Joined: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 7:31 pm
Location: Bury St. Edmunds

Re: CWGC Cemeteries **updated 08/04/2020**

Post by SuffolkBlue »

This is most likely to be my last update for quite some time with us all under lockdown, but the most recent location I was able to visit was the Air Force Memorial at Runnymede.

Overlooking the River Thames on Cooper’s Hill in Runnymede, Surrey, memorial commemorates 20,275 airmen and women who were lost in the Second World War during operations from bases in the United Kingdom & North and Western Europe who have no known grave. They came from all parts of the Commonwealth and served in Bomber, Fighter, Coastal, Transport, Flying Training and Maintenance Commands.

The memorial was unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II on the 17th October 1953 and the text of her dedicatory address, some of which is reproduced, is displayed inside the entrance.

Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t the best with low cloud and drizzle, so the view across the Thames valley was very bleak (and having taken part in the Hampton Court Half Marathon in the morning, it was a struggle to get up and down the shrine staircase for the view!). I will definitely make a return on a nicer day.
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CWGC Runnymede Memorial (Air Forces Memorial) - Runnymede, Surrey, Sunday 15th March 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Runnymede Memorial (Air Forces Memorial) - Runnymede, Surrey, Sunday 15th March 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Runnymede Memorial (Air Forces Memorial) - Runnymede, Surrey, Sunday 15th March 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Runnymede Memorial (Air Forces Memorial) - Runnymede, Surrey, Sunday 15th March 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Group Captain Maurice Moore, OBE, was posted as missing on the 9th June 1940 while on board HMS Glorious.

Glorious served briefly with the Mediterranean Fleet for a time after the Second World War broke out. In October 1939, she moved through the Suez Canal to the Indian Ocean where she became part of Force J which was organised to hunt for the Admiral Graf Spee in the Indian Ocean. It was not successful and Glorious remained in the Indian Ocean until December when she returned to the Mediterranean.

She was recalled to the Home Fleet in April 1940 to provide air cover for British forces landing in Norway. Eighteen Gloster Gladiators of No. 263 Squadron RAF were flown aboard to be transferred to Norwegian airbases. Eleven Blackburn Skuas of 803 Squadron, plus eighteen Sea Gladiators from 802 and 804 Squadrons were also embarked. Glorious and Ark Royal arrived off central Norway on the 24th April where 263 Squadron was flown off and their own aircraft attacked targets in and south of Trondheim before Glorious had to return to Scapa Flow late on the 27th April to refuel and embark new aircraft. Glorious's Sea Gladiators provided air cover for the two carriers. They damaged one Heinkel He 111 bomber on a reconnaissance mission. Before departing she transferred four serviceable Skuas to Ark Royal. She returned on the 1st May, but had been unable to load many new aircraft because of poor weather. Only a dozen Swordfish of 823 Squadron, three Skuas and one Blackburn Roc managed to be flown aboard. The task force was under heavy air attack by the Luftwaffe all day and was withdrawn that evening. One Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bomber was shot down after it dropped its bomb by the Sea Gladiators on patrol.

Glorious returned on the 18th May with six Supermarine Walrus amphibious flying boats of 701 Squadron and 18 Hawker Hurricanes of No. 46 Squadron RAF. The latter aircraft had been loaded aboard by crane. The Walruses were quickly flown off to Harstad, but the airfield at Skånland was not yet ready for the Hurricanes and they were still aboard when Glorious returned to Scapa on the 21st May. Glorious came back to the Narvik area on the 26th May and the Hurricanes were quickly flown off.

However, even this success proved to be ephemeral and British forces were ordered withdrawn a few days later. The evacuation (Operation Alphabet) began in the north on the night of the 3rd/4th June and Glorious arrived off the coast on 2 June to provide support although she only carried nine Sea Gladiators of 802 and six Swordfish from 823 Squadrons for self-defence as it was hoped to evacuate the RAF fighters if at all possible. Ten Gladiators of 263 Squadron were flown aboard during the afternoon of the 7th June and the Hurricanes of 46 Squadron were also flown aboard without any significant problems in the early evening despite having a much higher landing speed than the biplanes. These had been flown off from land bases to keep them from being destroyed in the evacuation after the pilots discovered that a 7-kilogram (15 lb) sandbag carried in the rear of the Hurricane allowed full brakes to be applied immediately on landing. This was the first time that high-performance monoplanes without tailhooks had been landed on an aircraft carrier.

The commanding officer of Glorious, Captain Guy D'Oyly-Hughes, was a former submariner who had been executive officer of Courageous for 10 months. He was granted permission to proceed independently to Scapa Flow in the early hours of the 8th June to hold a court-martial of his Commander (Air), J. B. Heath, who had refused an order to carry out an attack on shore targets on the grounds that the targets were at best ill-defined and his aircraft were unsuited to the task, and who had been left behind in Scapa to await trial. On the way through the Norwegian Sea the funnel smoke from Glorious and her two escorting destroyers, HMS Acasta and HMS Ardent, was spotted by the German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau (part of Operation Juno) at about 15:46hrs. The British spotted the German ships shortly after 16:00hrs and Ardent was dispatched to investigate. Glorious did not alter course or increase speed. Five Swordfish were ordered to the flight deck and Action Stations were ordered 16:20hrs. No combat air patrol was being flown, no aircraft were ready on the deck for quick take-off and there was no lookout in Glorious's crow's nest. Scharnhorst opened fire on Ardent at 16:27hrs at a range of 16,000 yards, causing the destroyer to withdraw, firing torpedoes and making a smoke screen. Ardent scored one hit with her 4.7-inch guns on Scharnhorst but was hit several times by the German ships' secondary armament and sank at 17:25hrs.

Scharnhorst switched her fire to Glorious at 16:32hrs and scored her first hit six minutes later on her third salvo, at a range of 26,000 yards, when one 28.3-centimetre hit the forward flight deck and burst in the upper hangar, starting a large fire. This hit destroyed two Swordfish being prepared for flight and the hole in the flight deck prevented any other aircraft from taking off. Splinters penetrated a boiler casing and caused a temporary drop in steam pressure. At 16:58hrs a second shell hit the homing beacon above the bridge and killed or wounded the captain and most of the personnel stationed there. Ardent's smokescreen became effective enough to impair the visibility of the Germans from about 16:58hrs to 17:20hrs so they ceased fire on Glorious.

Glorious was hit again in the centre engine room at 17:20hrs and this caused her to lose speed and commence a slow circle to port. She also developed a list to starboard. The German ships closed to within 16,000 yards and continued to fire at her until 17:40hrs, Glorious sank at 18:10hrs with 43 survivors.

As the German ships approached Glorious, Acasta, which had been trying to maintain the smokescreen, broke through her own smoke and fired two volleys of torpedoes at Scharnhorst. One of these hit the battleship at 17:34 abreast her rear turret and badly damaged her. Acasta also managed one hit from her 4.7-inch guns on Scharnhorst, but was riddled by German gunfire and sank at around 18:20hrs.

Survivors estimated that about 900 men abandoned Glorious. The German ships had suffered extensive damage themselves, and unaware that Allied ships were not in contact with Glorious, beat a hasty retreat and did not try to pick up survivors. The Royal Navy meanwhile, knew nothing of the sinking until it was announced on German radio. The Norwegian ship Borgund, on passage to the Faroe Islands, arrived late on the 10th June and picked up survivors, eventually delivering 37 alive to Thorshavn of whom two later died. Another Norwegian ship, Svalbard II, also making for the Faeroes, picked up five survivors but was sighted by a German aircraft and forced to return to Norway, where the four still alive became prisoners of war for the next five years. It is also believed that one more survivor from Glorious was rescued by a German seaplane. Therefore, the total of survivors was 40, including one each from Acasta and Ardent. The total killed or missing was 1,207 from Glorious, 160 from Acasta and 152 from Ardent, a total of 1,519.
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CWGC Runnymede Memorial (Air Forces Memorial) - Runnymede, Surrey, Sunday 15th March 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Runnymede Memorial (Air Forces Memorial) - Runnymede, Surrey, Sunday 15th March 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Runnymede Memorial (Air Forces Memorial) - Runnymede, Surrey, Sunday 15th March 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Runnymede Memorial (Air Forces Memorial) - Runnymede, Surrey, Sunday 15th March 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Runnymede Memorial (Air Forces Memorial) - Runnymede, Surrey, Sunday 15th March 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Air Vice Marshal R P M Whitham was on board Consolidated Liberator II AL587 when it was lost over the Bay of Biscay on the 23rd March 1943 while returning to RAF Lyneham from RAF Gibraltar. At 13:49hrs, an SOS was received from the aircraft but searches were unsuccessful in finding the missing aircraft. German radio stated that two four-engined aircraft, one with British markings, were shot down by Lt Ulrich Hanshen of 15,/KG40 in a Junkers Ju88.
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CWGC Runnymede Memorial (Air Forces Memorial) - Runnymede, Surrey, Sunday 15th March 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Runnymede Memorial (Air Forces Memorial) - Runnymede, Surrey, Sunday 15th March 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Runnymede Memorial (Air Forces Memorial) - Runnymede, Surrey, Sunday 15th March 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Runnymede Memorial (Air Forces Memorial) - Runnymede, Surrey, Sunday 15th March 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Group Captain William Neil McKechnie earned the Empire Gallantry Medal (later called The George Cross) for an act of bravery in saving Flight Cadet C. J. Giles after an aeroplane crash on the 20th June 1929 whilst still a Flight Cadet aged 22.

The London Gazette of the 18th October 1929, gives the following details in announcing the award to Group Captain McKechnie of the Empire Gallantry Medal:

'On 20 June 1929, an aeroplane piloted by Flight Cadet C. J. Giles crashed on landing at RAF College Cranwell and burst into flames. The pilot was stunned, but managed to release his safety belt and fall out of the machine in a dazed condition. Flight Cadet McKechnie, who had landed in another aeroplane about the same time some two hundred yards away, left his machine and ran at full speed towards the scene of the accident. The petrol had spread over an area about ten yards in diameter, in full blaze, with Giles lying in it semi-conscious. McKechnie, without hesitation, ran into the flames and pulled out Giles, who was badly burned. McKechnie, who was himself scorched and superficially burned, then proceeded to extinguish Giles's burning clothing. There is no doubt that without McKechnie's assistance Giles would have been burned to death, as he was quite incapable of moving himself. His machine was entirely destroyed, and the ground for some distance around was burned up by the spread of the ignited petrol.'

In January 1939, he was commanding No. 27 Squadron RAF at Kohat, India. During the Second World War, McKechnie was a group captain based at RAF Metheringham with No. 106 Squadron RAF from the 11th November 1943 until his death. He was involved in The Battle of Berlin in which he flew in an Avro Lancaster that completed thirteen operations against Berlin and four other operations over Germany, when his plane was lost. Their eighteenth, and final flight, on the 29th August 1944, was an operation over Königsberg where 106 Squadron lost two planes, including McKechnie's Avro Lancaster III JB593, without trace. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists McKechnie's date of death as the 30th August 1944.

Those killed in action were:

G/C W.N.McKechnie GC
Sgt R.B.Clarke
F/S H.W.T.Carter RCAF
F/O E.E.Fletcher
Sgt C.C.Jeffrey
Sgt D.Forster
F/S E.L.Collins

There is no known grave for McKechnie, or any members of his crew.


Patrick Bruce Bine Ogilvie was a talented athlete who competed in pole vault and long jump and was awarded Full Blues in 1932. He was a leading pole vaulter of his day, winning the UK (AAA) Championship in 1932 and the Scottish championship for eight consecutive years, 1929–36

He broke the Scottish pole-vault record holder for the first time in June 1929 clearing 10ft 8in/3.25m and improved to 11ft 6in/3.50m before his long-term rival and Cambridge teammate, Bernard Babbington-Smith, cleared 12 feet/3.65m in July 1930. Ogilvie equalled Smith’s record in March 1931 and by July 1934 had increased the record height to 12ft 3 in/3.73m which remained the Scottish record until July 1950.

Ogilvie was selected to represent Scotland at the 1934 British Empire Games in London where he finished in sixth place with a best height of 11ft 6 in/3.50m.

During the Second World War, he was mentioned in despatches three times and was awarded the Companion, DSO, in March 1941, and DFC in January 1942. He rose to the rank of Group Captain but died in December 1944 when his Supermarine Spitfire went missing over the North Sea
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CWGC Runnymede Memorial (Air Forces Memorial) - Runnymede, Surrey, Sunday 15th March 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Runnymede Memorial (Air Forces Memorial) - Runnymede, Surrey, Sunday 15th March 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Runnymede Memorial (Air Forces Memorial) - Runnymede, Surrey, Sunday 15th March 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Runnymede Memorial (Air Forces Memorial) - Runnymede, Surrey, Sunday 15th March 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Pilot Officer Rajender Singh Sandhu was lost on the 10th September 1944 in Supermarine Spitfire EP133.
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CWGC Runnymede Memorial (Air Forces Memorial) - Runnymede, Surrey, Sunday 15th March 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 18th April 1947, the crew of Handley Page Halifax MET6 ST807 was tasked for a routine Bismuth sortie into the Atlantic west of Ireland. ‘Bismuth’ was a meteorological reconnaissance flight along a triangular track. The first leg was flown at 1,800 feet above sea level, but dropping to 50 feet every 200 nautical miles (nm) to make a special observation. At the end of the first leg (700 nm from base) the aircraft would make a steep climb to 18,000 feet, during which temperatures and weather details would be recorded at standard levels.

At the end of the second leg, which was flown at 18,000 feet, a steep descent was made to sea level, again recording data at regular intervals. The final leg, the return to base, was completed in the same way as the outward leg. ST807 took off from RAF Aldergrove around 07:30hrs, but a signal transmitted at 08:18hrs advised it was returning to Aldergrove, as the LORAN was unserviceable. The signal gave the aircraft’s position as 55.13’N 12.00 W.

Nothing more was heard and the aircraft was posted as missing at 09:48hrs. A search was initiated immediately, the first aircraft taking off at 10:32hrs. Nothing was found that day, but on the 19th, at 12:22hrs, a Lancaster of 224 Squadron obtained a radar contact at 55.38’N 09.52’W, unfortunately contact was lost before a visual sighting could be made. During the afternoon a 202 Squadron Halifax made a brief sighting of what was thought to be a dinghy near 55.28’N 09.41’W, but could not keep this in sight due to the extremely rough conditions.

The search continued to be hampered by stormy weather through the 20th and, after a final sortie on the 21st April 1947, the search was abandoned. The search operation had been considerable, some 19 aircraft taking part on the 19th as well as two Navy vessels.

It is perhaps worth noting that Squadron Leader Douglas Leonard Bisgood was not piloting the aircraft, but was on board as the Training Captain. The 202 Sqn ORB details an extensive sea and air search in deteriorating conditions over both northwest Ireland and the track WNW from Aldergrove - not north towards the Shetlands. The crew of ST807 was:

Squadron Leader Douglas Leonard Bisgood, RAF Service Number 41896 (Pilot, aged 27)
2nd Pilot John Singer Anderson, RAF Service Number 1567951, aged 24
Flight Lieutenant Donald James McMahon, Service Number 171665, aged 25
Navigator Paul Bramall Higgins, RAF Service Number 3030088
Flight Engineer Ronald Miles, Service Number 1651815, aged 24
Flight Sergant Albert Alexander Thompson, Service Number 1592565, aged 23
Signaller III Fred Orwin ,Service Number 1452536, aged 22
2nd Flight Engineer Stanley Baldwin, Service Number 1644166, aged 25
2nd Signaller David James,Service Number 577643, aged 23
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CWGC Runnymede Memorial (Air Forces Memorial) - Runnymede, Surrey, Sunday 15th March 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Amy Johnson CBE was a pioneering English pilot who was the first woman to fly solo from London to Australia. Flying solo or with her husband, Jim Mollison, she set many long-distance records during the 1930s.

She was introduced to flying as a hobby, gaining an aviator's certificate, No.8662 on the 28th January 1929 and a pilot's "A" Licence, No. 1979, on the 6th July 1929, both at the London Aeroplane Club under the tutelage of Captain Valentine Baker. In that same year, she became the first British woman to obtain a ground engineer's "C" licence. She was a friend and collaborator of Fred Slingsby whose Yorkshire based company, Slingsby Aviation of Kirbymoorside, North Yorkshire would become the UK's most famous glider manufacturer. Slingsby helped found Yorkshire Gliding Club at Sutton Bank, close to Johnson's home town of Hull, and during the 1930s she was an early member and trainee.

Johnson obtained the funds for her first aircraft from her father, who would always be one of her strongest supporters, and Lord Wakefield. She purchased a secondhand de Havilland DH.60 Gipsy Moth G-AAAH and named it Jason after her father's business trade mark. She achieved worldwide recognition when, in 1930, she became the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia. Flying G-AAAH Jason, she left Croydon Airport, Surrey, on the 5th May and landed at Darwin, Northern Territory on the 24th May, flying 11,000 miles. Six days later she damaged her aircraft while landing downwind at Brisbane Airport and flew to Sydney with Captain Frank Follett while her plane was repaired. Jason was later flown to Mascot, Sydney, by Captain Lester Brain.

She received the Harmon Trophy as well as a CBE in George V's 1930 Birthday Honours in recognition of this achievement, and was also honoured with the No. 1 civil pilot's licence under Australia's 1921 Air Navigation Regulations. She next obtained a de Havilland DH.80 Puss Moth G-AAZV which she named Jason II. In July 1931, she and co-pilot Jack Humphreys became the first people to fly from London to Moscow in one day, completing the 1,760 miles journey in approximately 21 hours. From there, they continued across Siberia and on to Tokyo, setting a record time for Britain to Japan.

In 1932, Johnson married Scottish pilot Jim Mollison, who had proposed to her during a flight together some eight hours after they had first met. In July 1932, Johnson set a solo record for the flight from London to Cape Town, South Africa in Puss Moth G-ACAB, named Desert Cloud, breaking her new husband's record.

In July 1933, Johnson together with Mollison flew the G-ACCV, named "Seafarer," a de Havilland DH.84 Dragon I, nonstop from Pendine Sands, South Wales, heading to Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York. The aim was to take “Seafarer” to the starting point for the Mollison's attempt at achieving a world record distance flying non-stop from New York to Baghdad.

Running low on fuel and now flying in the dark of night, the pair made the decision to land short of New York. Spotting the lights of Bridgeport Municipal Airport (now Sikorsky Memorial Airport) in Stratford, Connecticut they circled it five times before crash landing some distance outside the field in a drainage ditch. Both were thrown from the aircraft but suffered only cuts and gashes. After recuperating, the pair were feted by New York society and received a ticker tape parade down Wall Street. The Mollisons also flew, in record time, from Britain to India in 1934 in G-ACSP, named "Black Magic", a de Havilland DH.88 Comet as part of the Britain to Australia MacRobertson Air Race, but were forced to retire from the race at Allahabad because of engine trouble.

In September 1934, Johnson (under her married name of Mollison) became the youngest President of the Women's Engineering Society, having been vIce-president since 1934 . In May 1936, Johnson made her last record-breaking flight, regaining her Britain to South Africa record in G-ADZO, a Percival Gull Six. The same year she was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Aero Club.In 1938, she overturned her glider when landing after a display at Walsall Aerodrome in England, but was not seriously hurt. The same year, she divorced Mollison and soon afterwards, she reverted to her maiden name.

In 1940 she joined the newly formed Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), which transported Royal Air Force aircraft around the country. She rose to First Officer. Her former husband also flew for the ATA throughout the war.

On the 5th January 1941, while flying Airspeed Oxford II V3540 for the ATA from RAF Prestwick via Blackpool to RAF Kidlington near Oxford, Johnson went off course in adverse weather conditions. Reportedly out of fuel, she bailed out as her aircraft crashed into the Thames Estuary near Herne Bay. A convoy of wartime vessels in the Thames Estuary spotted Johnson's parachute coming down and saw her alive in the water, calling for help.[ Conditions were poor and there was a heavy sea and strong tide with snow was falling and it was intensely cold. Lt Cmdr Walter Fletcher, the Captain of HMS Haslemere, navigated his ship to attempt a rescue. The crew of the vessel threw ropes out to Johnson but she was unable to reach them and was lost under the ship. A number of witnesses believed there was a second body in the water. Fletcher dived in and swam out to this, rested on it for a few minutes then let go. When the lifeboat reached him he was unconscious and as a result of the intense cold he died in hospital days later.

A memorial service was held for Johnson in the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields on the 14th January 1941. Walter Fletcher was posthumously awarded the Albert Medal in May 1941.
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CWGC Runnymede Memorial (Air Forces Memorial) - Runnymede, Surrey, Sunday 15th March 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

On the 26th September 1942, Captain Charles G.K. Browne & Radio Officer Ronald Spencer Mallett were part of a 4 man British Overseas Airways Corporation crew that took off from RAF North Front, Gibraltar in ex-RAF Armstrong Whitley Whitworth G-AGCI on a in a post maintenance air test. On the flight their aircraft crashed into the Mediterranean Sea with no trace of the ever found.

On the 29th August 1944, de Havilland Mosquito VI G-AGKR disappeared on a BOAC flight from Gothenburg, Sweden to RAF Leuchars with the loss of both crew, which included the Navigator John Conleth Gaffney.

On the 15th February 1942, Captain (Junior Captain) John Alexander Stuart Hunter, Captain Robert Humphrey Page, Flight Engineer Horace Reginald Spicer & First Officer Richard John WILLIAMSON boarded BOAC Consolidated Liberator CI G-AGDR and took off from Cairo for a non stop flight to Hurn, Bournemouth. They were 5 miles southwest of the Eddystone Lighthouse, near Plymouth, England, on Feb. 15, 1942 at about 8:50hrs when they were shot down in error by 2 Polish Spitfire pilots. The bodies of the crew were never recovered.
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CWGC Runnymede Memorial (Air Forces Memorial) - Runnymede, Surrey, Sunday 15th March 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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SuffolkBlue
Posts: 1183
Joined: Sun 31 Aug 2008, 7:31 pm
Location: Bury St. Edmunds

Re: CWGC Cemeteries **updated 08/04/2020**

Post by SuffolkBlue »

My first post-lockdown post is from a recent visit to CWGC Seaford Cemetery in East Sussex. First opened in 1897, it contains 253 burials of the First World War, almost all of which are in four separate plots across the site.

The 36th (Ulster) Division was at Seaford in July and August 1915 and the 10th Canadian Stationary Hospital was at Seaford from November 1916 to January, 1917. The town became one of the main Canadian Training Centres on the South Coast. There are 25 burials of the Second World War including 6 unidentified Merchant seamen.

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CWGC Seaford Cemetery - Seaford, East Sussex, Saturday 13th June 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Seaford Cemetery - Seaford, East Sussex, Saturday 13th June 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Seaford Cemetery - Seaford, East Sussex, Saturday 13th June 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Seaford Cemetery - Seaford, East Sussex, Saturday 13th June 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Private Joseph Topley of 8 Platoon, ‘B’ Company drowned on the 18th August 1915 while swimming in the River Cuckmere, which ran near to the 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers’ camp
at Seaford. Other soldiers swimming with him left the water but Topley said that he was going to stay in the water a little longer. Soon afterwards his friends noticed that he had
disappeared. Privates Isaac Walker and John Allen of the 9th Royal Irish Fusiliers and Private Robert Patterson of 12th Royal Irish Rifles attempted to rescue him. Patterson found Topley’s body in seven feet of water but when he brought him to the surface he was dead.

At the inquest Second Lieutenant S P Rae RAMC3 presented evidence as to how he had drowned and a verdict of accidental death by drowning was returned. Walker, Allen and
Patterson were praised by the coroner for their gallantry. Topley’s funeral took place on Saturday 21 August. The parade left camp for Seaford Cemetery at 10.30am led by the firing party and the massed bands of 108th Brigade. The coffin was borne on a gun carriage drawn by four horses, draped in the Union Flagand flower wreaths. Topley’s father and brother followed the gun carriage with all of the men of ‘B’ Company.

The graveside service was conducted by the 108th Brigade chaplain, Reverend C C Manning. Following the service three volleys were fired and the buglers of 108th Brigade played ‘The Last Post’. The wreaths had been sent by the officers’ mess, the sergeants’ mess, the officers and men of ‘B’ Company, the officers and men of 8 Platoon, Captain T J Atkinson, the Quartermaster and the Transport Section.
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CWGC Seaford Cemetery - Seaford, East Sussex, Saturday 13th June 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Seaford Cemetery - Seaford, East Sussex, Saturday 13th June 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Seaford Cemetery - Seaford, East Sussex, Saturday 13th June 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Pilot Officer Ronald Brownlie Galt took off from RAF Oulton, Norfolk in Bristol Blenheim IV V6253 on a anti-shipping patrol on the 14th July 1941. His aircraft was seen shot down by enemy fighters off the coast at Le Havre. His aircraft and two crew members were never found.

I have struggled to find out more information on how Ronald Victor Galt lost his life.
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CWGC Seaford Cemetery - Seaford, East Sussex, Saturday 13th June 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Seaford Cemetery - Seaford, East Sussex, Saturday 13th June 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

HM Drifter "Ocean Sunlight" hit a mine and sank off Newhaven, East Sussex, on the 13th June 1940.
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CWGC Seaford Cemetery - Seaford, East Sussex, Saturday 13th June 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

SS Stanwold was a steamship built in 1909 by the Stanhope Steamship Co. Built originally as Alfred Kreglinger and was sold in 1916 to Messageries Maritimes Belges and renamed Pervyse. In 1929 the vessel was purchased by Atkinson & Prickett of Hull and renamed Easingwold.

In 1937 the Easingwold was sold again to Stanhope Shipping Co Ltd of London. At the advent of the war the ships wireless was fitted and she was renamed Stanwold. On the 22nd Februay 1941, she was in convoy carrying a cargo of coal from Southend to Cowes. At 11.30hrs she reported steering problems due to a heavy list to port. At 04.20hrs the following day, she was reported as being sighted with a list to starboard. No further communication was received and some bodies were washed ashore some days later. The Captain and crew of 19 and 2 gunners were lost.
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CWGC Seaford Cemetery - Seaford, East Sussex, Saturday 13th June 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Seaford Cemetery - Seaford, East Sussex, Saturday 13th June 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Seaford Cemetery - Seaford, East Sussex, Saturday 13th June 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Navigator / Wireless Operator Kenneth Wilfred Young Fison was killed on the 8th January 1941 whilst flying in Bristol Blenheim V, BA194 of No 54 OTU from RAF Charterhall, when his aircraft flew into high ground at night near Duns, Berwickshire.
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CWGC Seaford Cemetery - Seaford, East Sussex, Saturday 13th June 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Seaford Cemetery - Seaford, East Sussex, Saturday 13th June 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Seaford Cemetery - Seaford, East Sussex, Saturday 13th June 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Seaford Cemetery - Seaford, East Sussex, Saturday 13th June 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Seaford Cemetery - Seaford, East Sussex, Saturday 13th June 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Seaford Cemetery - Seaford, East Sussex, Saturday 13th June 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Seaford Cemetery - Seaford, East Sussex, Saturday 13th June 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

Cephas Hector Abbott was born in Lakefield, Ontario on the 7th October 1890. His father, Edward, was a fruit-grower and inventor and in the early years of the 20th Century moved his family to Mission City, British Columbia where two houses of the 'Ontario Style' were built as family homes.

Cephas was a gifted musician and played several instruments. In the early years of the First World War, he worked as a plumber and tinsmith, which were then seen as reserved occupations for the war effort. However, on the 27th March 1918, he enlisted into the Canadian Engineers and soon made the long journey to England, eventually arriving at Seaford Camp. At this time the camp was suffering from a huge outbreak of influenza. On arrival in Seaford, he joined the camp band and one of his first duties would have been to attend military funerals here at Seaford Cemetery. He remained in Seaford after the war but sadly succumbed to the flu himself and died on the 18th March 1919.
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CWGC Seaford Cemetery - Seaford, East Sussex, Saturday 13th June 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr

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CWGC Seaford Cemetery - Seaford, East Sussex, Saturday 13th June 2020 by Chris Day, on Flickr