war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper

World War II



Surnames E to L


F Ealden, courtesy Ron EaldenEalden, F.W.
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 No 90 Squadron of the Royal Air Force Volunteer ReserveF Ealden and his brother, on a bike, courtesy Ron Ealden

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 in Germany

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 night were:

Flight Lieutenant Frederick Charles McKENZIE - RAAF Captain (Pilot) aged 27 grave 23 E 18
Sergeant Ernest WILSON Flight Engineer aged 30 grave 23 E 10
Flying Officer Alec Victor Ibbetson COOK Navigator aged 20 grave 23 E 5
Sergeant William Edward WALTER Bomb Aimer aged 22 grave 23 E 6-8
Sergeant Colin Desmond Harry CAMPBELL Wireless Operator/Air Gunner aged 21 grave 23 E 6-8
Sergeant Frederick William EALDEN Air Gunner aged 21 grave 23 E 6-8
Sergeant John Charles DAVIDSON Air Gunner aged 22 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 sisters"


(picture right) Frederick as a lad, with his younger brother Ron, outside the family home at 13 Tower Hamlets Street

with thanks to Ron Ealden
with thanks to Joyce Banks
RAF information with thanks to Dean Sumner

Ealden, W. J. S.
Walter and Madge Ealden, courtesy Vera WrightWalter 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 

Walter Ealden's grave, courtesy Mrs WrightHe 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


Gibbens, J. D.
James' medals, by Simon Chambers
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

His sister, 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, E. E.
Ernest Edward 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.

Keith Gillman, in flying helmet, sent by Dean SumnerBattle of Britain clasp, courtesy Dean SumnerGillman, K. R.
Keith 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

 restored Hurricane, image in public domain, source Wikipedia commons

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 Abbeville

War Ace dropped in by Spitfire to see mum - says readerOn 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 Keith Gillman on Picture Post, from collection of Joyce Banksaccount is that during an evening  patrol off Dungeness on 4 July 1940 his Hawker Hurricane N2724 was damaged when 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

name on BoB memorial, London, by Trevor BanksA fortnight 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 the English Channel, and was reported as "missing".  He was 19 years old

battle of Britain clasp close up, courtesy Dean Sumner

Mr and Mrs Gillman and the cup, courtesy Dover Express

Above, Keith's birthplace.

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 death 

Later, Mr and Mrs Gillman gave a cup, the Keith Gillman Memorial Cup, to the Dover Lifeguards, to be given as an annual award in his memory. The 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

part of the Battle of Britain memorial, seated airman looking out to sea, by Simon Chambers

with thanks to Mijail Navarro
with thanks to Dean Sumner of the
Shoreham Aircraft Museum, contacted through the Battle of Britain Historical Society forum, for information on PO Gillman's visit to his parents and his RAF service.
with thanks to Graham Booker, Hawker 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 Trevor Banks
image above: part of the Battle of Britain memorial, at Capel-le-Ferne, Kent

image right: Keith Gillman's name on the Runnymede memorial by 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.

William Gillman, Keith's great-uncle, died from influenza on 14 February 1919.

Goldfinch, W. L.
Trevor Lacy Goldfinsh, William and Gladys' son, courtesy Mrs HartleyWilliam 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

William 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".


(Exhibition 06)
gravestone with thanks to Bev Keene
picture: Trevor Goldfinch, son
with thanks to Mrs Jacky Hartley

Grey, R.
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 this page

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 thoughts).

Hopper, D. A.
Dennis Albert Hopper was added to the Memorial on 29 June 2013. See this page
Hulse, J. L. J.
John Leonard James Hulse was added to the Memorial on 29 June 2013. See this page

Humphreys, R. J.
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 Road.

He 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 destruction
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 this page


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. Then Private 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" (in French)
with thanks to Mr and Mrs Edwards
card above, signing-on card for colliery worker, signed by William Leighton

Below - a plaque for the Lancastria, situated at the Liverpool Naval Memorial

It reads:

"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"."

Copyright 2006-17 © Marilyn Stephenson-Knight. All Rights Reserved