Beyond the World Wars
1948 and after.
Ash, B. M.
Bernal Malcolm Ash was born in Dover on 3 November 1930 at the Belgrave
Road Private Nursing Home, Dover. He was the son of Bernal Ash and his
wife Doris, née Binnie, of 45 Clarendon Street. The couple had married
in Dover early that year.
Bernal was serving as
22264804 in the Royal Leicestershire Regiment when he died in Korea on 5
November 1951. He is buried at the UN Memorial Cemetery, Busan, Korea,
in Section 23, Grave 4, Number 1595, and is commemorated on the Armed
Forces Memorial at Alrewas, Staffordshire.
Bartholomew, H. R.
Henry Reginald Bartholomew MBE, is recorded in the St Mary's School Book
of Remembrance as having died on 15 September 1954 as a result of war service, aged 58.
Born on 27 June 1896, he
was the youngest son of Henry Finnis Bartholomew and Elizabeth Jane, née
Beer; his brothers were Ernest Finnis (born 1881), Wallis or Walter
Henry (born 1887), and Arthur William (born 1891). One other son had
Henry was christened
at St Mary's on 23 August, when his parents were living at 5 Townwall
Street, and his father was working as an upholsterer. In 1901 the family
were living at 46 St James Street and, still at the same address ten
years later, Henry had become an apprentice house painter. On on 2
November 1914, for an initial period of 12 years, Henry joined the Navy.
On 3 August 1918, he Miss Alice Maud Bwy at St James church,
Dover, by which time Henry's parents were living at "Cremona", Liverpool
Street. In 1922 Henry and Alice Bartholomew had a daughter,
Daphne. In March 1947 she became engaged to Ronald Sherhod RN, eldest
son of Mr and Mrs J Sherhod (RN Retd) of Gillingham. At that time Mr and
Mrs Bartholomew were living in Limington, Somerset.
November 1927 Henry, a Chief Petty Officer Writer, was elected to serve
for a year as the lower deck representative at the HQ of the NAAFI in
the home ports; he was then at the Chatham Naval Barracks. He was again
elected to the role in November 1930. The role involved liaising between
the Navy and the canteen service, ensuring stocks, services, and welfare
ran smoothly. On 4 May 1943 (third supplement of 30 April) Henry, then a
Warrant Writer, was Gazetted as MBE for his "bravery in saving the life
of an airman".
Corporal James Bryant, 22846799, was serving in the Royal Engineers, 8
Railway Squadron, when he and five others lost their lives in a railway
accident at around 08.45 on 13 October 1956.
The accident occurred on
the Longmoor Military Railway in Hampshire, which was used to train
servicemen for railway operations. The section involved was
single-track, and a steam passenger train from Liss travelling towards
Longmore collided head-on in foggy weather with a special works train
travelling in the opposite direction from Longmore. None in the
passenger train, carrying around 20 soldiers and civil staff, were
injured but on impact the rear of diesel pulling the permanent way train
rose up and fell back onto the box van travelling behind it, into which
the following waggon also ran. There were 19 soldiers travelling;
six were killed and eight were injured. James survived the
crash, but, without regaining consciousness, died from a fractured skill
in Cambridge Hospital, Aldershot - the same hospital where he had been
born on 6 March 1935.
James was the son of Mrs Hamerton,
from 4 Saxon Street, left, and Sergeant D A Bryant of the West Yorkshire
Regiment. His two older brothers were also serving; Sergeant Ronnie
Bryant in the West Yorkshires, who was injured the same year, and Sergeant Peter Bryant in the Royal
A former Duke of York's School boy,
James was in sports teams at school and continued his interest
afterwards, being a member of the Railway Training Squadron
team and also participating in the Army Rifle Shooting
Championships. He had joined the Royal Engineers in 1953, after having
served for three years on the Trinity House Pilot Cutters at Dover. He
gained training as a railway surveyor at Chatham and then served for
seven months in Egypt with the 10th Railway Squadron before returning to
the UK in the May before his death.
James was 21 when he died. His
funeral service was held at the chapel of the Duke of York's School, and
he is now buried at St James cemetery, Dover. James' grave is close to
the World War II service burials.
The words on his headstone read,
"Treasured memories of a devoted son, James Bryant, called to rest 13th
Oct 1956, aged 21 years".
The soldiers who died were:
|L/Corporal Victor Charles Bowers
||buried at Erith, Kent
|Corporal James Bryant
||buried at St James, Dover
|Sapper James Edward Coates
||buried at South Yardley Cemetery, Birmingham
|Sergeant Brian Jones
||buried at St Peter's Cemetery, Warmsworth, Doncaster
|Corporal William Emrys Lewis
||buried at Aldershot Military Cemetery
|Corporal Albert Edward Smith
||buried at Aldershot Military Cemetery
Brian Jones, left, was 45, and one of five brothers in the Army. During
World War II he had been evacuated from Dunkirk, and subsequently served
in the Middle East. He was from Doncaster, and the family had already
had one tragedy when brother Christopher was killed in action in Italy
during World War II.
The soldiers are all remembered at
The Wall, in the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas, Staffordshire.
They were also commemorated on 1 October 2011 by a plaque erected at The
Engine House, Highley Station, Shropshire at the 25th Anniversary of the
Dedication of the Royal Engineers Memorial Locomotive No 48773 (see
From the Front,
with thanks to Brian
Whitworth and Jeff Ryan
Patrick Donnelly, C/MX855629 was an Engineering Mechanic in the Royal
Navy. He and 63 others lost their lives on 12 January 1950 when their
submarine, HMS Truculent, collided in the Thames Estuary with a Swedish
tanker, Divina. Seventy-nine men were on board; five were swept
from the conning tower at the collision and rescued. Ten bodies were
found in the submarine, and a further ten men were picked up from the
water. The remainder had escaped from the sunken submarine, but
were swept away by the tides or died from exposure.
Patrick Donnelly was an electrician's mate,
and on 11 January, just a week after his 27th birthday, he had reported
at Chatham to join HMS Truculent. The first communication from the
Admiralty received by his parents, Mr and Mrs J P Donnelly, from 86
Priory Hill, stated he was believed to have been in the after part of
the submarine and to have escaped after the sinking. Later, when he
could not be found, he was presumed drowned
Born in Dover, Patrick attended St Paul's
RC school before he joined the navy at the age of 15.He was already a
veteran of the Russian convoys but had spoken little of his war-time
experiences. On 22nd October 1946 he had been presumed lost when the
destroyer Saumarez was mined in the Corfu Straits; an Admiralty
communication said he was amongst the casualties, having been seen
disappearing in a sea of blazing oil. He was, however, very fortunately
rescued by a passing French vessel.
David and Danny, had also served in the Navy, like their father, who
later became a cross-channel seaman on the Hampton Ferry.
On 19 January 1950 the bells at St Mary's
church, Dover, were rung half-muffled in memory of the 64 lives lost in
the sinking of HMS Truculent
Anthony (Ant) Downing, aged 34, was a Squadron Leader and an Engineering
Officer in the RAF. He was seriously wounded on 22 December 2011 when
the vehicle in which he was travelling was blown up by a bomb close to
Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Air-lifted back to the Queen
Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, he died from his wounds the next day.
Squadron Leader Downing
was a former pupil of the Dover Grammar School for Boys, and a member of
their Cadet Force. From a young
child he had expressed a wish to join
the RAF; he gained a sixth form RAF scholarship when he was 17, and when
attending Bath University to study aeronautical engineering gained RAF
sponsorship for his second and third years. Also when he was 17 he
joined an athletic club in Deal, and from then on took part in many
endurance events, including Ironman. He was planning the Enduroman Arch
to Arc in 2013. While serving at RAF Kinloss he maintained and
sustained the Nimrod Force, and for three years was part of a mountain
rescue team. He had raised thousands of pounds for charity and also had
volunteered for the Samaritans. A veteran of Iraq, he had trained in the
Dari language and was acting as an interpreter when he was fatally
wounded. His funeral was held at Kingsdown on 13 January 2012.
Squadron Leader Downing
is buried at St John the Evangelist churchyard, Kingsdown, Kent
Royal Marine Captain Tom
Jennings, aged 29, was killed instantly in the same incident.
compiled from various news sources, picture via the MOD
For Remembrance 2016 St John the
Evangelist church at Kingsdown was filled by over 2,500
poppies commemorating the Fallen.
Large poppies adorned the pews and
walls, while schoochildren's poppies covered the font.
Hundreds of poppies, held by a camouflage net donated by the
RAF, tumbled over and around the altar. The poppies were all
made by groups in and around the village, in a community
tribute, organised by Squadron Leader Downing's mother,
poppy photos by courtesy of Rosie
gravestone photo by courtesy of Mark Chapman
Heather, K, E, C
Keith Ernest Charles
Heather, aged 17, was found a mile and a half out to sea off Sandgate on
9 September 1949. A Folkestone fisherman spotted a lifebelt in the
water, and floating some six feet beneath it was Private Heather's body,
He lived at 12 Forge
Avenue, Old Coulsdon, Surrey, and, serving in the Queen's Royal
Regiment, was billeted at Ross Barracks, Shorncliffe. In the early hours
of 8 September he had taken a boat from Dover beach belonging to Alfred
Charles Gatehouse, with the intention of going to France, perhaps to see
a Swedish girl he had met. The verdict was that Private Heather had
He was the son of Ernest
Heather and his wife Beryl, née Vigar, who married in Dover in 1930, and
the grandson of Mrs Alice Susanna Vigar of 5 Cowgate Hill, Dover, and
Robert Thomas Vigar. He had spent the night before the night he took the
boat at his grandmother's home.
Corporal Kumar Purja Pun served with the 1st Battalion, The Royal Ghurka
Rifles. He was killed on 7 May 2009 alongside Sergeant Ben Ross of the
Royal Military Police by a suicide bomber, while on patrol in Gereskh,
Helmand province, Afghanistan. Corporal
Pun's body was brought home through RAF Lyneham
He was born on 30
November 1977 in Nepal, and in 1996 followed his father into the Ghurkas.
He served in exercises in Malaysia, Kenya,
Oman, and Belize, and on operations in Kosovo and Bosnia before his
posting to Afghanistan. He lived in Dover with his wife Parbati, and
their two daughters, Klaudine, 6 when her father died, and Petrina, 18
months. Also left to mourn are his parents, Dhanbahadur and Sukmaya Pun,
and his younger sister Bindu and brother Santosh.
Corporal Pun was said to have been a respected
soldier, an athletic, intelligent and polite polyglot with a quiet but
mischievous sense of humour.
information compiled from various
news sources, inc picture
Rye, E. F. J
Edward Frederick James Rye ("Teddy") was born in Dover in 1929. Able
Seaman Rye died late in the night of 17 October 1948 with 28 others
while returning to aircraft carrier HMS Illustrious in Portland Harbour,
Dorset. The tender in which they were sailing capsized in rough seas.
He is buried at the
Royal Naval Cemetery, Portland, and named on a memorial unveiled on 17
October 2010 at Portland Marina.
"In loving memory of a
dear son and brother." 1949
Born on 3 April 1952 at Shakespeare Halt, Dover, Staff Sergeant Alison
Sybil Stryker,W437494, died in a road traffic accident on 4 June 1976, while on
service with the Royal Military Police in Northern Ireland. The daughter
of Mr and Mrs W J Barnes, she had three brothers, one of them her twin,
had been a pupil at Shatterlocks school and then at Astor Secondary
Modern, where she excelled at her studies. She worked in Dover at Avo's
and at Youden's, the estate agents, before deciding to join the
services, with a view to seeing the world.
On the right is Alison directing traffic at the
Soviet Army Parade during her two years service in Berlin; she later
served two further years in Hong Kong. Below: Alison is in the front
row, first on the left
1975 Alison returned to Dover to marry Philip Stryker, who was then
posted to Northern Ireland.
Alison had gone to hand in equipment and was on the
way to a celebratory party. They received instead the tragic news that
she had died en route.
driver suffered severe head injuries.
Alison was buried at Shorncliffe Military cemetery,
by Folkestone. Her brother Philip stands by her grave.
Alison is commemorated on the Armed Forces Memorial
at Alrewas, and in the Book of Remembrance at the Garrison Church of St
Columb, Thiepval Barracks, Lisburn.
"Sadly missed by us all"
with thanks to Mrs Barnes
Whitaker, R. J. A
1949 - "In ever loving and affectionate memory of our dear son and
brother, Staff Sgt. R. J. A. Whitaker R.E.M.E., who was accidentally
killed in Trieste, on 4th May 1948. From his loving Mum, Dad, Sisters
He was the only son of Mr and Mrs Whitaker, who
lived at 72 Westbury Road.
On 7 June 2007 Rodney Wilson ("Will") became the 150th British soldier
to die in Iraq during the war of 2003-2011. Serving with 4th Battalion,
The Rifles, he was based at Basra Palace. He was fatally wounded while
he and another man were attempting to save a colleague injured when
their search patrol near Basra City had been fired upon.
Corporal Wilson had
been born in Germany on 30 October 1976, and between 1990 and 1993 was a
pupil at The Durk of York's Royal Military School. Said to be
charismatic and an outstanding soldier - in the top 2% after gaining a
distinction on the Platoon Sergeants' Battle Course - he was described
by his men as "a legend". He was also a humourist, creating much
amusement amongst his men, and a rugby fanatic. He was engaged to be
married when he died.
body was repatriated through RAF Lyneham.