World War II
CASUALTIES ON THE
Surnames E to L
Frederick William Ealden,
1397129, was the elder son of Mr William and Mrs Selena Ealden, from 10
Widred Road, Dover. He became an Air Gunner Sergeant in
Squadron of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
He married Jean Marion
Hibbert at River Church on 19 October 1942. She was the youngest daughter of Mr
and Mrs T Hibbert, from 6 Bushy Ruff, Kearsney, near Dover
They had been
married less than a year when Frederick was reported missing from air
operations. At 23.29 hours on the night of 25 June 1943, Short
Stirling EH900 WP-Y had taken off from West Wickham in Cambridgeshire to attack oil targets at Gelsenkirchen in the Ruhr. During the early hours of 26 June 1943, Stirling EH900 crashed at Legden, about 6 miles southeast of Ahaus
All of the crew were killed and subsequently buried at Legden. After the war their remains were exhumed and
re-buried at the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany. Frederick is
buried with two of his crewmates in Collective Grave 23 E 6-8
473 RAF bombers took
part in the raid, and 30 were lost, including EH900. The raid was not
deemed a success as the target had been obscured by cloud
The crew of EH900 that
|Flight Lieutenant Frederick Charles McKENZIE - RAAF
||grave 23 E 18
|Sergeant Ernest WILSON
||grave 23 E 10
|Flying Officer Alec Victor Ibbetson COOK
||grave 23 E 5
|Sergeant William Edward WALTER
||grave 23 E 6-8
|Sergeant Colin Desmond Harry CAMPBELL
||Wireless Operator/Air Gunner
||grave 23 E 6-8
|Sergeant Frederick William EALDEN
||grave 23 E 6-8
|Sergeant John Charles DAVIDSON
||grave 23 E 9
Flt/Lt McKenzie was the son of Nathaniel and Hilda Muriel McKenzie, of
Three Springs, Western Australia
Sgt Walter was the son of Edward
George and Caroline Emma Walter, of Bexleyheath, Kent
F/O Cook was
the son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Victor Cook, of New Malden, Surrey
In June 1945, an in
memoriam announcement in the Dover Express read:
"In loving memory of our dear son, Fred, Sergt Air Gunner RAF. Who gave
his life June 25-26 1943. From his loving Mum and Dad, brother Ron, and
(picture right) Frederick as a lad, with his younger brother Ron, outside the family home
at 13 Tower Hamlets Street
with thanks to
with thanks to Joyce Banks
RAF information with thanks to Dean Sumner
Ealden, W. J. S.
Walter James Sidney Ealden, 6286257. He was a Lance Serjeant in the
44th, Reconnaissance Corps (7th Battalion, The Queen's Own Royal West
Kent Regiment. He died, aged 25, on 14 September 1943 and is buried at
the Salerno War Cemetery, Italy. II D 10
He was the
"dearly loved eldest son"
of William and Ethel Ealden, née Sisley; husband of Madge Grace Ealden, of Cranbrook,
Kent, and had three brothers and three sisters. The family lived at 3
Percival Terrace in Dover, which is atop one of the steepest hills, and
Walter once drove his tank up to visit them all
After Walter died Major Norman Edelshain wrote to Mrs Ealden, saying,
"As your husband's senior commander I knew him well and liked him
greatly. His men were very fond of him and he was setting them a fine
example of courage and tenacity in a very tight corner when he was
killed, and we are all very proud to have served with him"
His troop commander wrote, "He was
always a good and cheerful fellow and inspired his men with his courage
and lack of fear on many occasions. I feel it is a personal loss
to have lost him".
(We Remember 06)
with thanks to Mrs Vera Wright
Notes - Walter's father, William, died suddenly on 6
August 1944 at home. He is buried in St Mary's cemetery, in the grave of
his son Raymond, who died in September 1938. Mr Ealden had been employed
by the Dover Harbour Board.
Walter was a cousin of Jack
Pulham; their mothers were sisters. He was also a cousin to
Robert Sisley, whose father was
his mother's brother.
Ellis, P. W.|
Percy William Ellis was added to the Memorial on 29 June
2013. See this page
F - none
James Douglas Gibbens, 872949. Born at Peter Street,
Dover, he was the son of
William George, born 24 February 1876, and Tryphena Barbara Gibbens,
born 9 June 1882, who had married in 1912 in Dover. Their firstborn was
Frederick William J, in 1913, followed probably by Stephen, 1914,
Josephine F T, 1915, then James in 1918, and finally Doreen, in 1921. In
1939 Mr and Mrs Gibbens were living at 21 Peter Street, with Mr Gibbens
working as a labourer for the corporation.
James became a Gunner in the
Royal Artillery, 157 Field Regiment, and was 23 when he was killed by
enemy air action on 1 July
1941. He is commemorated on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, Column 232
Doreen, could never hear the song "The White Cliffs of Dover" without breaking down. The
song contains the words:
"And Jimmy will go to sleep
In his own little room again"
Of course, Jimmy
never did. Nor was his body was never found.
His mother died on 1 May 1947 at the County Hospital,
Dover. Her home was then 20 Granville Street. She is buried at Charlton.
Mr Gibbens probably died in 1953.
The medals are the 1939-45 star, the defence medal and
the 1939-45 war medal. The set was made up by James' nephew, who was
named "Douglas" after his uncle. James is related by marriage
to Henry Richard Atkins.
with thanks to Mr D Atkins
(We Remember 06)
Gillman. Born in Dover on 4 March 1903, he was a Fireman in the Merchant Navy, aboard the S.S. Maid of
Orleans (London). He died on 28 June 1944, aged 41, and is commemorated
on the Tower Hill Memorial, Panel 66.
He was the
"beloved husband" of Beatrice
Mary Gillman, of Harwich, Essex (previously of Limekiln Street, Dover), and the
fourth son of Martha
Gillman and her late husband Thomas, of 46 Ropewalk, Dover.
Gillman, K. R.
Gillman, 42053. Born at 22 Leighton Road, Dover, on 16 December 1920, he
was the son of Richard Gordon Gillman, a dock porter and ex soldier, and Gladys Annie,
née Williams. He had a younger brother, Jeffrey Richard, born in 1927.
Keith was an Old Boy
of the County (now Grammar) School, attending from 1933 to 1938. In
March 1939 he joined the RAF on a Short Service Commission and began his
flying training at 22E and RFTS Cambridge. On 20 June he was posted to
15 FTS Lossiemouth. He earned his "wings" on 6 October, and by
November had attained the rank of Pilot Officer
He converted to
Hurricanes and on 21 December 1939 went to
the No 11 Group Pool at St Athan in South Wales, and in November was
made a reserve pilot for service in France. On 1 January 1940 he
was however sent to RAF Manby in Lincolnshire, to attend an armament
course. After completion, he was posted on 10 May 1940 to No 32 Squadron, Biggin Hill
He flew his first operational sortie on 7
June 1940, when he took part in an escort of Bristol Blenheim bombers
for an attack across the English Channel on the enemy aerodrome at
4 July Pilot Officer Gillman paid a surprise visit to his parents. The tale
published in a local newspaper on 14 November 1980,
was that he landed his
Spitfire in Lewisham Road, River.
However, Pilot Officer Gillman flew Hawker Hurricanes, not Spitfires,
and the factual
account is that during an evening patrol off
Dungeness on 4 July
Hawker Hurricane N2724 was
his squadron encountered Messerschmitt Me 109's. Pilot Officer Gillman
force-landed at 19.00, some half an hour after take off, at RAF Hawkinge.
It was then by road that he went to visit his parents in River, Dover
later, on 19 July, PO Gillman claimed a Messerschmitt Me109 destroyed.
On 24 August he attacked an Me109 over Folkestone; this blew up and
fell into the sea. The next day, 25 August 1940, again at 18.30, he
took off in Hawker Hurricane P2755, and at 18.50 he was seen some six
miles off the Dover coast. He failed to return from this combat over
English Channel, and was reported as "missing". He was 19 years
Pilot Officer Gillman is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial,
Panel 8, on the
memorial at River, and on the Battle of Britain Memorials in London and
at Capel-le-Ferne, amongst others.
His picture appeared on the front
cover of Picture
Post (above) on
31 August 1940, a week after his
Later, Mr and
Mrs Gillman gave a cup, the
Memorial Cup, to the Dover Lifeguards,
to be given as an annual award in his
first competition, a swimming race between Folkestone, Maidstone, Herne
Bay and Dover Clubs, took place on 8 September 1956, from the Prince of
Wales Pier in Dover Harbour
Mr King, Chairman of the
Dover Lifeguards Club, said that the cup was a fine way to keep Keith
Gillman's memory fresh. The cup was presented to the winners, Maidstone,
by Flt Lt R E Jones, from RAF Hawkinge, himself one of The Few, a
fighter pilot during the Battle of Britain
with thanks to Mijail Navarro
with thanks to Dean Sumner of the
Museum, contacted through the
Britain Historical Society forum, for information on PO Gillman's
visit to his parents and his RAF service.
with thanks to Graham Booker,
Hurricane Society, for extra information
Picture Post image from the collection of Joyce Banks
Keith Gillman's name on the Battle of Britain memorial, London, by
image above: part of the Battle of Britain memorial, at Capel-le-Ferne,
right: Keith Gillman's
name on the Runnymede
Dean Sumner. Left: Keith's name is fifth from the bottom
note: a caption from beneath one
use of the Picture Post portrait reads: "R.A.F.
Will Decided our Fate. This smiling young airman and his fellow pilots,
whose superiority over the enemy in proportion to their numbers has
become significant in the recent campaign. Wherever they have appeared
they have easily driven off the enemy dive bombers" From the book, Battle
of Britain, by Len Deighton
Above, the Battle of Britain
memorial window at St Luke's Church, Hawkinge
The Pilots of 32 Squadron at Hawkinge in July 1940. Left to right are
P/O R F Smythe, P/O J E Proctor, P/O P M Gardner, P/O K R Gillman, Fl/Lt
P M Brothers, P/O D H Grice, P/O A F Eckford. The window was unveiled in
October 2004 by Air Commodore Peter Brothers. He was a pilot of
Hurricanes during the Battle of Britain, and was then the only survivor of
the seven men in the picture. It was painted by George Campbell.
Gillman, Keith's great-uncle, died from influenza on 14 February
William Lacey Goldfinch, 954859. Serjeant
in the 76 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery. He was the husband of Gladys
Eileen (née Hartley) of Dover, and the son of William Lacey Goldfinch, a
butcher, and Ellen Charlotte (née Wright) of Whitfield
died on 26
July 1944, aged 26, leaving his wife and his year old son Trevor.
He is buried at
La Delivrande War Cemetery, Douvres, France. IV E 7. The words at the
foot of his headstone read, "The call was sudden, the Blow severe to
part with one we loved so dear".
gravestone with thanks to Bev Keene
picture: Trevor Goldfinch, son
with thanks to Mrs Jacky Hartley
Reginald Grey, 2059828, Sapper with 579 Field Company, Royal
Engineers. He died on 10 October 1944, aged 22. He was the husband of
Emily Grey, of Buckland, Dover, and the son of Reginald and Winifred
Grey, of Dover. He is buried at the Phaleron War Cemetery, Greece. 18 F 1
Halke, D. J.
Donald John Halke
was added to the Memorial on 11 November 2009 See
Hammond, A. E. J.
Arthur Edward James Hammond, 6288453. Private in the 4th Battalion, The
Buffs (East Kent Regiment). He died of wounds on 18 November 1943, aged 23. He was
the son of Emily Hammond, of Dover. His grave is in the Leros War
Cemetery, Greece. 1 B 3
"In loving memory" - 1949 - From his loving Mum. (Always in my
Hopper, D. A.
Dennis Albert Hopper
was added to the Memorial on 29 June 2013. See
Hulse, J. L. J.
John Leonard James
Hulse was added to the Memorial on 29 June 2013. See
Reginald James (Reg) Humphreys, 6286030, was the eldest son of Mrs M W
Longley of 4 Alfred Road, Dover, and the husband of Mrs
Rose Humphreys of 46 Wyndham
had been originally a Territorial Army soldier in the 4th battalion of
the Buffs, meeting at the drill hall on the seafront at Dover. He joined
The Buffs as a volunteer around 1936, and went to France in late
1939/40. He was evacuated during Operation Ariel on HMT Lancastria and
survived the sinking of the ship by enemy bombers on 17 June 1940.
Later in 1940 the 4th battalion of The Buffs went to
Malta. Reginald was unable to go with them, having been injured in a
motorcycle accident. He was transferred to become a Trooper in the Royal Armoured Corps, 3rd County of London Yeomanry
(Sharpshooters), and his unit then transferred to the
4th Armoured Division (22nd Armoured Brigade) in November 1941. They
fought throughout the desert until the fall of Tunis in May 1943. The
3rd Sharpshooters then transferred to the 4th Armoured Brigade in Italy,
operating on the Eastern (Adriatic) Coast, while the 4th Sharpshooters
remained with 7th Armoured Division from Salerno North until December
1943. Both 3rd and 4th then returned to the UK.
Reginald was 23 when he was reported missing and then as having been killed in action on 27 September 1943.
He had been a member of a four-scout-car recce troop commanded by Lt K
Middle, who were sent to maintain contact with the enemy towards San
Severo, some five miles north of Foggia. As the patrol approached the
town it was ambushed by a 88mm gun at point-blank range. Lt Kiddle, in
the lead scout cab, was killed, and all four vehicles destroyed. There
were three survivors who returned to regimental lines, and two others,
reported missing, were reported as prisoners of war when the 3rd County
of London entered San Severo.
Two to three days later, the commanding officer
learnt from the Mayor that the bodies of Lt Kiddle and his men were in
coffins at the principal church. He was told that the townspeople wished
to give these sharpshooters a funeral with full military and municipal
honours. Thousands of people lined the route, preceded by a band and
flanked by a carabinieri contingent. The coffins were born on regimental
vehicles, followed by the colonel, the second-in-command and
sharpshooter escort, representatives of the Italian Army, the church and
municipal authorities, with numbers of the chief citizens bearing
wreaths and shields of flowers. Military honours were rendered by a
firing party and buglers from the Recce Squadron of the 1st Air Landing
Brigade. There was a monument inscribed;
To the memory of four valorous English soldiers who on
27 September 1943
by the sacrifice of their lives saved San Severo from pre-ordained
Erected in gratitude by the Municipality. !0.IV.1944
Lt K. Kiddle Tpr D. Perryman
Tpr R H Tanner Tpr R J Humphreys
It was later found that Tpr Tanner's name had been
engraved in error and he had survived, as a prisoner of war.
The remains at San Severo were removed after the war
and reburied in the Sangro River War cemetery. The memorial, however,
remains in the San Severo cemetery. Reginald's grave is IX A 23.
1943 - "Why are the best the
first to go?" - from his broken-hearted wife,Rose
1948 - "Not
just today but everyday, in silence we remember our dear
son and brother" - From Mum, Pop, Ada, Horace,
Dump, Peg and family
information by courtesy of Trevor Hocking, supplied by
his brother Lt Col W J Hocking who had served in the TA with Reginald
I, J - none
Kennedy, L. R. E.
Lewis Robert Edward Kennedy was added to the Memorial on 29
June 2013. See
Leighton, V. W. P.
Victor William Peat Leighton, 13001292, was a Private in the
Pioneer Corps, 53 company, Aux Mil. He had enlisted into the Auxiliary
Military Pioneer Corps on 30 October 1939, and embarked for the BEF in
France on 30 December 1939.
He was killed, aged 36, on 17 June 1940 by
enemy bombing of the SS Lancastria while at sea. Evacuating troops and
civilians, the Lancastria on board two or three times as many as her
official capacity of 2,200. She sank within twenty minutes; those who
did not die in the explosion and entered the water underwent strafing by
the enemy plane and choking owing to over 1,400 gallons of thick fuel
oil spilled, some of which ignited.
Many of those who lost their lives were found on the
shores of France and buried in small towns south of the River Loire..
Others, who have no known grave, are commemorated on memorials,
like William, who is named on the Dunkirk Memorial, France. Column 152
William was the "dearly loved" husband of Beatrice
Emma Leighton, daughter of William Rigden, of 35 York Street, Dover.
They had married at St James on 26 March 1932, from 9 Liverpool Street.
Leighton had been a miner,
the son of Stephen Leighton, a
retired colliery manager, and his wife Elizabeth, née Peat. He had been
born at Philadelphia, County Durham, on 1 March 1904.
William and Beatrice Leighton had two children - Margaret Rose,
baptised on 12 November 1933, when they were living at 7 Liverpool
Street, and William John, baptised 28 July 1938, when they were living
at 34a St James Street
"Always remembered by his wife and children"
www.lelancastria.com (in French)
with thanks to Mr and Mrs Edwards
card above, signing-on card for colliery worker, signed by William
Below - a plaque for the Lancastria,
situated at the Liverpool Naval Memorial
"HMT Lancastria. The Lancastria was sunk by
enemy action near the French port of St Nazaire, whilst evacuating
British servicemen, crew, and civilians on the 17th June 1940.
Considered to be the worst disaster in British maritime history. There
were just 2,477 survivors. It is thought that as many as 6,000 people
lost their lives. We will remember them. "Oh hear us when we cry to Thee
for those in peril on the sea"."