World War II
SERVICE CASUALTIES IN THE BOOK OF
Back, L. J. R.
Joseph Ronald Back, 121432, born in 1916, was the
"dearly loved youngest son" of William James and Ethel Back, from 113
Priory Hill, Dover, youngest brother to Harold, Cecil, and Ivy, and
brother-in-law to Edith. In 1911 the family had been living at 38 Tower
Leslie was a member of the Dover Cycling Club, and
had worked at Messrs T. Francis as a signwriter and engraver
He served as a Pilot Officer (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) in the Royal
Air Force Volunteer Reserve and a member of 223 Squadron. He received
his commission in January 1942
On 23 May 1942 he was on a raid to Derna, Libya. He
took off from Landing Ground LG167 (Bir
el Baheira No.2) near Bardia, Libya at 10.32
in Martin Baltimore AG708, to attack an enemy
main landing ground at Derna near the
northernmost coastline of Libya. At around midday near Ras el Tin the
formation was attacked by Luftwaffe Messerschmitts.
Three Baltimores were shot down including
AG708, which was possibly the victim of the famed 'Star of Africa'
Oberleutnant Hans-Joachim Marseille from Jagdgeschwader 27, the top
German air 'ace' of the North Africa conflict. (He himself died on 30th
September 1942, bailing out over Sidi from his smoke-filled plane)
None of the crew of AG708 survived, but Pilot
Officer Back is buried in Tobruk War Cemetery, Libya, 1 B 11. On his
gravestone are the words, "In loving memory of our dear son. Earth's
"Last Post" is Heaven's "Reveille"". the other members of the crew are
commemorated on Special Memorial C at Tobruk
The crew were:
Flying Officer Leonard William Bangley
Flight Sergeant Reginald Earnest Richard
Pilot Officer Leslie Joseph Ronald Back
Wireless operator/Air gunner
Pilot Officer David Laird Muir
"He has made the supreme sacrifice.
In death a hero"
Ethel Back was the sister of
Frederick Robus. She died on 19 March 1951, her
address then being 113 Priory Hill, Dover.
RAF and incident
information with thanks to Dean
*Bailey, L. J.
Probably Leonard John Bailey, 518453, who was a
Flight Sergeant in the RAF, and who was killed by enemy action on 24
October 1942, aged 28, on the East Coast. He was probably attending an
Officers' Training School
He was the son of Frederick John Bailey, and Amy his wife, nee Robinson,
and the "dearly beloved husband" of Eileen Louise Bailey (née Moor), of
King's Heath, Birmingham, and father of little Gary John
His body was taken to Birmingham and buried on Saturday, 31 October,
at Brandwood End Cemetery, Section B13 FC Grave 453. Mourners present
included his widow, his father and step-mother Mr and Mrs F J Bailey,
his father-in- law Mr S F Moor, Mr and Mrs C Brown, sister and
brother-in-law, and Private E Bailey, ATS, his sister. Friends and
representatives of the Officers' Training School were also there,
many tributes laid
The headstone on his grave reads: In treasured memory of my dearly loved
husband, Sergt Leonard John "Billy" Bailey, RAF, killed on active
service Oct 2? 1942, aged 28 years. He lives in the garden of happy
memories." The flower-holder is inscribed "My darling Daddy"
The grave is in the centre of the picture, right
Possibly Leslie Joseph Knott Bailey, R/KX 117355, who was a
Stoker, 2nd class, in the Royal Navy, with the H.M.S. Tonbridge. He died
on 22 August 1941, and is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
Panel 56, Column 1
1949 - In ever loving memory of my brother, Leslie Joseph Bailey ...
From his sister Kitty
Baldwin, F. S.
Sydney Bertie Baldwin BEM was born on 12 June
1897. He had 12 years service and was a Seaman Cable Hand,
Merchant Navy aboard the Cable Ship Alert. Previously
he had served in the Royal Navy, during the Great War in Russia
September 1943 he, along with Chief Officer Charles Evans and Third
Engineer Eric Prince was gazetted for
"courage and devotion to duty, which he displayed during operations to
salvage an abandoned ship". The Alert had been repairing cables when
they were told of the abandoned ship and were put aboard with a salvage
party. Unfortunately the weather became very bad, and after three days
the tow rope broke and the ship began to drift into a minefield. They
abandoned the ship, but two days later were able to resume salvage when
the weather eased, and towed it into port
He was 47 when he died on 24 February 1945. He is commemorated on the
Tower Hill Memorial, London. Panel 4
His parents were William and
Elizabeth Baldwin, and his wife was Julia Edith Baldwin,
from 46 Odo Road, Dover
"Silent thoughts and treasured
memories of my dear husband and Mary's dad"
Notes on Alert
Balfour, R. D.
Raymonde Derek Balfour,
1396828, was a Sergeant (Bomb Aimer) in
the RAFVR and a member of 101 Squadron. The son of Mr
and Mrs Balfour of 81 Balfour Road, he was the nephew of Mrs Amy W. Pike
of 28 Minerva Avenue, Dover
Raymonde was educated at Barton Road School. After leaving school he got
a job as a clerk in the Borough Treasurer's office at Brook House, later
transferring to the Borough Engineer's Department
On service during the war, Raymonde took off
on 27 April 1943 at
21:45 hours. Flying in Avro
Lancaster ED728 SR-Y, their mission was mine-laying
in the 'Elderberry' region (Bayonne, France). 160 aircraft took part in
this, the largest mine-laying operation of the RAF in the war so far,
where 458 mines were laid off the Biscay and Brittany ports and the
Just one plane was lost - Sergeant Balfour's. It was presumed crashed in
the target area in the early hours of 28 April 1943. They had flown
their first operational flight only 25 days previously
None of the crew survived, and they are all buried in the
Biarritz (Du Saboau) Communal Cemetery, France. Div 9,
Collective grave 6730
The crew were:
Sergeant Charles Alfred Margerum
(son of Mrs E V Margerum, Erith, Kent)
Sergeant Herbert Clegg
Sergeant Richard Norman Dixon
Sergeant Raymonde Derek Balfour
Sergeant Donald Jasper Park
Wireless Operator/Air gunner
Sergeant Joseph William Stotter
Sergeant Johannes Jacobus Veldsman
(from Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia)
1949 - "Treasured are the memories of our dearly loved
nephew" From his loving Auntie Amy and Uncle Ernie
with thanks to Gordon
with thanks to Dean Sumner
illustration (right) by Keith Skinner
Barron, A. V. M
Alfred Victor MartinBarron, 1813827,
was the son of John Thomas and Elizabeth Barron, from
Dover, and was aged 19.
He was a Sergeant in the RAFVR and a member of
On 16 September 1943, he took off from Lisset,
Yorkshire at 19:33 hours in Handley Page Halifax JN904 NP-K. They were to raid on the
railway yards at Modane, France
In the early hours of 17 September,
the plane crashed into a wood called le Bois due Rivoireau about 10
miles east of Vienne in France. Alfred
Barron was 19. There were no survivors, and the crew are all
buried in Lyon (La Douva) French National Cemetery. Row K, Grave 4
The crew were:
|Sergeant Eric Le Huray
|Sergeant Harold Pennell
|Sergeant Francis Graham Shaw
|Sergeant Thomas Ainslie Roberts
|Sergeant Colin Anthony Budd
|Sergeant Alfred Victor Martin Barron
|Sergeant Victor George Edward Briant
with thanks to Dean Sumner
Left Behind of
Sgt A/G Alfred V.M.
Barron Killed flying over
France 17th September 1943.
Also John T. Barron, Father of the
above, Died 18th April 1956.
Also Elsie Violet
Law, Daughter of the
above Died 18th November 1952.
|The stone has been replaced and a new name added.
daughter, Jacqueline Anne Hood, died 24th April 1997, aged 50
"The years roll by but memory clings of our dear son and brother" - 1949
- Always remembered by his loving Mum, Dad, Brothers and Sisters
photo of original headstone by Joyce Banks
Baston, R. G.
George Baston, 943422, was a Lance Bombardier in the 118
Field Regiment of the Royal Artillery. He was 25 when he died on 12
September 1944. He is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial. Column 9
His parents were
Sidney Lewis and Daisy Marion Baston, from Dover
Harry Bates was a Chief Steward on the Cable Ship
"Alert". It was lost in the Channel on 24 February 1945. Harry was 47,
born on 14 November 1987, and the son of James and Elizabeth Bates and the husband of Alice. He is
commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London. Panel 4
Note: An Alice Emily Bates (née Thompson), youngest
daughter of Mr and Mrs H Thompson of 11 Wyndham Road, loving wife of
Harry Bates of 20 Winchelsea Terrace, died on 8 May 1942, aged 42
years. "The sun doth but set to rise again"
(We Remember 06) (brother George
Bates) (Notes on Alert)
John Beal, listed as Henry John Thomas
Beal, 14398586, on the CWGC. He was the "beloved elder son" of Henry
George Beal and his wife Louisa Olive Beal, who had married on 28 August
1922 at Holy Trinity. In 1939 the family were living at 96 Markland
Road, and at home were Mr Beal, born 16 November 1898, a railway dock
porter, and Mrs Beal, born 11 March 1899. They had four children; John,
born 1923, Olive M J, born 1925, Reginald M G, born 1928, and Marion G L
born 1930. Also there were Elizabeth Wright, Mrs Beal's mother, and
Grace Wright, Mrs Beal's aunt. Mr and Mrs Beal would be at 8 Winchester
Street, Whitchurch, Hampshire in 1944.
John Beal was killed whilst serving in the 8th battaliion, Durham Light
Infantry, in Normandy, France. He and his battalion landed at midday on
6 June 1944, acting as reserve battalion of 151 (Durham) Brigade, which
was the divisional reserve. The landing was made on Gold Beach at La
Rivière and within an hour the battalion had passed through Ver Sur Mer and were re-organising in the
assembly area some two miles inland. The battalion had a fairly
uneventful landing with only a few wounded as they moved inland and that
would be the case up until 8 June. However, things changed drastically
for the battalion after it assaulted and captured the village of
Saint Pierre on 9 June (to the west of Tilly Sur Seulles). Unfortunately
for the Durham Light Infantry they had run into a well-equipped and
highly motivated enemy formation (one of the best in Normandy - the
Panzer Lehr). It seems certain that John Beal and many of his comrades
died repelling a fierce counterattack from Panzer Grenadier units
of the Panzer Lehr Division on 10 and 11 June; at one stage the
battalion was being fired on from three directions and one company position
was overrun. However, the situation was stabilised and the
John was 21 when he died in Normandy on 11 June 1944. He is
buried at Tilly Sur Seulles War Cemetery, France. II E 9. At the foot of
his headstone are the words, "In proud loving memory of our very dear
son. We oft recall memories of love & tenderness".
1949 - "In proud and ever loving memory of our dear
son and brother", from Mum, Dad, Joan, Reg and
Grandma and Grandpa.
details of action by courtesy Chris Tomlinson
Beeston, W. R. H.
William Ralph Humphrey Beeston, 307780, was a
Lieutenant in the Royal Armoured Corps, attached to the Army Air Corps.
Pictured left in 1939 when he was in the Canterbury King's School
cricket team. William was 21 when he died on 19 November 1944.
He is buried at Shaftesbury
Borough Cemetery, Dorset. Grave 820. The words on the bottom of his
headstone read, "At the
going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them".
His parents were Humphrey Albert Beeston and his wife
Audrey Muriel (née Swannell), from Temple Ewell, Kent.
More about William Beeston is here -
King's School, Canterbury, Roll of Honour
photo of Lt Beeston by courtesy of John Hamblin
The lychgate is at the entrance to the cemetery where
William is buried. It bears a plaque, "This gate, the gift of the
Shaftesbury and District British Legion, Women's Section, is placed here
in proud and loving memory of those who gave their lives in the service
of their country, 1939-1945".
Frederick Bell, C/KX 599223,
was a 1st Class Stoker. He
was killed whilst
serving on the frigate HMS Bullen (a former US warship passed to the UK
under the 'Lend Lease' programme). The German submarine U-775 torpedoed
HMS Bullen, striking her amidships. HMS Bullen broke in to and sank
rapidly. This incident happened northwest of Strathy Point, Scotland on
6 December 1944. Of the crew of HMS Bullen, 71 died and 97 survived. The
U-boat was destroyed in a subsequent counter-attack by HMS Goodall and
HMS Loch Insh.
Stoker Bell was 23. He is
commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, panel 77.3
In 1942 in the Bedford area
Frederick Bell had married Josephine Emily Terry. She was born on 21
August 1921 and in 1939 was living with her parents, George and Minnie,
and her twin brother George Henry, at 49 Pioneer Road, Dover. At that
time Josephine was a paper sorter at the mill while her father was an
engine tender and fireman and her brother a cutter boy, also both at the
On 9 July 1945, seven months
after her husband's death, at the Royal Victoria Hospital, then at
Waldershare, Mrs Bell had a little boy, Peter Frederick. On 18 October
1947 she was a matron of honour when her brother married Margaret
Ratcliffe at St Martin's, Dover. Mrs Bell remarried in 1954 to Donald G
Lomax. Mrs Lomax died on 7 February 1971 in the Sutton Coldfield area.
Her brother died in 1993.
"Treasured memories of my husband Fred"
Benbow, C. A.
Cecil Anthony ("Tony") Benbow was born on 14
October 1922, and was 18 when he lost his
life in the sinking of SS Tahoma Star on 1 February 1942. He was a cadet
in the Merchant Navy and is commemorated on the Tower Hill memorial,
Between 1930 and 1933, he was a pupil in the
junior school of Dover College. He was the son of John Norman Benbow OBE and his wife, Joan H, née Stokes, who
were married in Plymouth in 1914. His siblings were John, born 1915, Shelagh, born 1930, and probably Biddy. The family lived at 11 Laureston
Place, Dover, from where Shelagh enjoyed breeding and showing dogs.
Commander Benbow was Master in Charge of the Junior
School at the College between 1924 and 1933, and at prize day 1933 he
received grateful thanks and high praise for his work. He was himself an
old boy of the College. Born on 2 August 1883 and christened
at Meerut, Bengal, India, on 13 November 1883, he was the son of Lieut-Colonel John Edward and Mabel Christina Benbow and brother to
Charles Tytler Benbow. In
1891 he was at Rathaspeck House, Park Road, Uxbridge, Hillingdon, with
his grandparents John, a mealman born in Maidenhead, and Adela, born in
London. Also there was their son, Arthur, a civil engineer.
John Benbow came to Dover College as a pupil in 1895 and entered
the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, in 1898. There he played
in the first teams for rugby, cricket, and hockey. He is recorded as
a midshipman in 1901. He went on to the Royal Naval College at
Greenwich, in 1903, again playing for the first teams in cricket and
rubgy. Following was a spell at the Royal United Services Institution,
where he played cricket and rugby, again in the first teams. He also
played county cricket, for Devon. In 1911 he was
a Lieutenant for HMS Albemarle at Portland, Dorset. He saw action at the
Battle of Jutland, and commanded destroyers HMS Thorn and HMS Laverock
in the North Sea fleet, including when HMS Laverock was in collision
with HMS Medusa on 25 March 1916 while under attack from enemy aircraft.
Commander Benbow commanded also 3rd and 7th minesweeping flotillas in
1919, retiring in 1920. During WWII he was in command of a naval depot
in North Shields. He died on 18 November 1961 aged 78, at the Royal
Victoria Hospital, Dover. His effects were given to Kathleen Mary Jones.
His wife died five years later, aged 71.
On 31 January
1947, this notice was placed in the Dover Express. "In proud and ever
loving memory of Cadet Cecil Anthony (Tony)
Benbow, presumed to
have lost his life by enemy action when s.s. Tacoma Star was torpedoed
off the American coast on Ist Feb., 1942: also to the memory of all his
shipmates who lost their lives on on that occasion - Daddy, Mummy, John,
with thanks for Dover College
information to Philip Barry, Bursar
Berry, L. W. C.
This is Leonard Edward William Berry, C/SSX 28738,
who was an Able Seaman serving with HM Submarine Unbeaten. He was killed
along with all his 35 crewmates on 11 November 1942 aboard the submarine
HMS Unbeaten. Unbeaten was attacked and sunk in error by an RAF
Wellington of 172 Squadron, Coastal Command in the Bay of Biscay. The
submarine had left Holy Loch on 23 October 1942 for a special operation
(landing an intelligence agent near Vigo, Spain). Having completed her
mission she was lost on her return trip across the Bay of Biscay.
Born in 1921, Leonard was the "dearly beloved eldest son" of Leonard
William Charles Berry and Caroline Nellie, née Betts, who had married in
1920. His brother, Joseph R J Berry, was born in 1923. In 1939 Mr Berry,
born 18 March 1898, and Mrs Berry, born 4 February 1898, were at 167 St
Radigunds Road, with Mr Berry working as a coal haulage driver. They
later lived at 18 Adrian Street Flats.
Leonard is commemorated on the Chatham Naval
Memorial, panel 53.1.
memories of our loving son L. E. Berry, who gave his
life for his country on H. M. Unbeaten, November 11
1942, age 21 years. Ever in our thoughts - Loving Mum,
Dad, and Brother." - 1943
"Always remembered" - Gran, Aunts and Uncles, 1943
details of loss by courtesy Chris
William Berry, Leonard's grandfather,
died in hospital aged 64 on 22 July 1920 after a
motor accident near Tilmanstone on 18 July. He had
unfortunately stepped into the road in front of a
motorcycle; he had been picking flowers and a bush had
obscured his view. Leonard's father, was then a labourer
at Tilmanstone Colliery.
Bingham, L. C.
Leslie Charles Bingham was born in Dover in 1913.
His parents were probably Arthur William Bingham and Esmeralda Frances,
née Pilcher, who married in Dover in 1907i. Mr Bingham in 1911 was a
marine porter for the SECR, and the family were living at 35 Albany
Place, Dover. Then present were elder brother Arthur Francis, 3, and
elder sister Winifred Ellen, 1. There may have been a further brother,
Wilfred, born in 1911. Mrs Bingham probably died in May 1932.
Leslie Bingham was a former Merchant Navy Chief Engineer, and he stayed
with his relatives in Dover while on leave. He had served on the oil
tanker Cordelia, which was torpedoed in 1943. He and some 20 of the crew
got onto a raft. When the attacking u-boat surfaced they discovered that
the captain was missing, but they took Bingham on board and he became a
POW in Germany (Poland?). There had been no further news of the other
men on the raft.
At the end of the war Mr Bingham was released, half-starved and very
nervous. He found it impossible to settle and his landlord, John Francis
Bernard, said that he spent much of the time in his room with the door
locked. He was found dead on 30 July 1946, the result of an
dagger wound in his chest. The death announcement in the local paper
gave Mr Bingham's address as 25 Prioress Walk, Dover. The coroner gave a
verdict of suicide while the balance of Mr Bingham's mind was disturbed,
and added, "These were the men that protected us, and it is tragic that
the only man saved from a whole ship has carried such mental wounds that
he could not settle down to civilian life again in comfort."
He was buried at Charlton, from Melita, Valley Road, River, the home of
his brother Arthur, his body having lain overnight in Charlton Church.
Mourners included his brothers and sisters-in-law, his sister Winifred
and her husband Sydney Kelly, and aunts Mrs Pilcher, Mrs Dunsford, and
Mrs Marsh, and friends Mr Cozen and Mrs Claw. Amongst the floral
tributes was one from Lloyd's colleagues in Birmingham.
with thanks to Joyce Banks
Harry Bliss, 650927, was
the son of Mr and Mrs H Bliss, from Dover, and may have been brother to
was in 218 ("Gold Coast") Squadron of the RAF.
On 28 April 1943 at 21.05 he took off from Downham
Market, Norfolk, in
Short Stirling EF356
They were on mine-laying operations in the 'Sweet Peas' area (
Rostock, Germany). It was a large operation,
carried out by 207 aircraft. Low cloud over the German and Danish
coasts forced the minelayers to fly low to establish their positions.
Around Helogiland, the approaches to the River Elbe, and other sea
areas, 593 mines were laid . This was the highest number of mines laid
in one night, but the mission was also the most costly mine-laying
mission of the war, as 22 RAF bombers were lost
One was Stirling EF356, which, at around 00:35 hours
on 29 April, was shot down by a Luftwaffe
night-fighter. It crashed at Oddum, to the north of
Denmark. All of the crew were killed
except Sergeant Bliss, who survived to become PoW 1119. He went to Camp
357. otherwise known as Stalag 'Kopernikus' at Thorn (Torun)
in Poland, about 80 miles northwest of Warsaw
In late 1944 Russian forces advanced into Poland, and Camp 357 was
relocated near to the
existing Stalag XIB camp at
Fallingbostal, about 50 miles
north of Hanover. Conditions in the camp were bad; reprisals had removed
from all British prisoners much of their furniture, their palliasses,
and many of their blankets, and recreation was forbidden. Many prisoners
suffered from bronchitis and chilblains
It was in that camp that Harry Bliss died on 30 March 1945, just six
weeks before the enemy surrender on 7 May. It was fewer than four weeks
before repatriation of prisoners had begun. He was 25
Harry Bliss is buried at Becklingen
War Cemetery southeast of Soltau, Germany. 16
The crew were:
|Sergeant Kenneth Sidney
|Sergeant Andrew George
|Sergeant Arthur George
|Flying Officer Sidney
|Sergeant Ronald James
|Sergeant Harry BLISS
|Sergeant James Alfred
with thanks to Dean Sumner
There is a report from the Dover
Express, dated 18 May 1945, entitled "Dover Prisoner of
"[the conditions are] shown to be responsible for the
death at a prisoner of war camp of W.O. Harry Bliss,
RAF. Son of Mr and Mrs R. Bliss, 46, Maison Dieu Road,
Dover, which reported in the Express of May 4
In a letter to his
parents, a comrade E. Hunnable describes how W.O. Bliss
was made to travel for 36 hours in a cattle truck so
tightly packed that he, an ill man, could not lie down,
and was kept without water
At the destination
he was taken to hospital and operated upon, but never
recovered. The origin of his illness was when changing
camps they had to move two miles, and the German guards
made them run all the way carrying full kit. The Germans
prodded the men with bayonets to make them hurry, and
set dogs on them with the same objective. W.O. Bliss
received three bayonet wounds in the thigh. He had to be
admitted to hospital, and was never the same[...]"
The transcription is with thanks to Joyce
Edits by Maggie S-K
Bocutt, A. A.
Alfred Arthur ("Artie") Bocutt, PO/21632,
joined the Royal
Marines on 7 June 1920 and had served on the battle cruiser HMS Hood for
four years; he was one of the 1,415 who went down with Hood in the
Denmark Strait on 24 May 1941. The Hood and the battleship
HMS Prince of
Wales were attempting to intercept the German battleship Bismarck and
the heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen, which were en route to the Atlantic to
attack Allied convoys. HMS Hood was struck by several German shells, her
magazines exploded and she sank.
Marine Bocutt is
commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. Panel 58, Column 3
Born in 1903, he was the son of Alfred Arthur and the late Jessie Bocutt
(of 30 Longfield Road), and the husband of
Dorothy Ada Emily Bocutt, née McMillan, born 19 August 1904, of Southsea, Hampshire,
who had married in 1934. In 1939 Mrs Bocutt was at Underhill, Hambridge,
Langport, Somerset; she was
living in Taunton when her husband died and later at Southsea in
Hampshire. They had a daughter, Heather J M, born in 1937 in the
The grave right is in St Mary's. The
headstone reads, "In loving memory of a dear wife and mother Jessie
Bocutt who fell asleep 6th January 1941 aged 64 years. Also her eldest
son on Empire Day 24th May 1941 PO 21632 Marine Alfred Arthur Bocutt
aged 38 years lost when HMS Hood was sunk off Greenland. Peace perfect
peace. Also Alfred Arthur husband of the above died 28th April 1958 aged
His brother, Alexander Herbert Bocutt also died, as a
civilian away from home
action by Chris Tomlinson
Taunton and evacuation, a letter in the Dover Express in 1941 from
a "Dover Reader in Somerset" read, "I am a Dover resident, now evacuated
to Taunton, Somerset, with my two children. Whilst I am here with the
kiddies in comparative safety, my husband is living on his own in our
house at Dover. Realising this must be very miserable for him after
being out all day to come home to an empty house I was sorely tempted to
come home but as I have one daughter of school age I think it would be
very unfair to bring my children back to Dover, and, besides exposing
them to the danger of bombs or shells, make the girl lose her schooling.
I know I have been called different names for leaving my husband on his
own and, in fact, I feel selfish at times, but he realises the same as I
do, the children have to be studied. The general feeling amongst the
mothers who have been evacuated once, but have since returned, is "If
one goes, we might just as well all go together", which to my idea is
more selfish than staying away with the children. It is not all honey
being evacuated, especially when one gets billeted with difficult
people, and with the extra expense, etc, but I consider by my being
evacuated with my children I am doing my bit, as I would give anything
to return to Dover, my home town. There is one thing, though, I do think
would help - that is if there were some sort of club for the men
who are on their own where they could go to for company. I know that
this would mean expense, which, under the present circumstances, would
have to be considered, but do you not think that this would be well
worth it, if it were the means of keeping the wives and children
evacuated to the safe area? I am not just speaking for myself, as I feel
sure if there were only something got up for the men who have had to
stay behind to carry on, the wives would be able to settle down a bit
more. I miss Dover very much and will be glad when the war is over, so
that I can return.
Booker, F. J.
Frederick Joseph Booker, C/KX
90859, was a Leading Stoker
with HMS Lynx. He died on 28 July 1941, when
he was 24. His coffin was Union Flag draped, and borne
by members of the Royal Navy. A naval chaplain
officiated at his burial at St Mary's cemetery, Dover.
Section JKX, Grave 8
His parents were
Alfred Edwin and Millicent Florence Booker, from the
"New Mogul", Chapel Place, Dover, who laid a
wreath "from his broken-hearted Mum and Dad". He was the youngest
son, and he was brother to Robert, below. They were
nephews of Millicent's brother,
Booker, R. E.
Robert Ernest Booker was a Stoker, Merchant Navy serving aboard the Cable Ship Alert.
Born on 18 April 1915, he was 29 when he died on 24
February 1945. He is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London.
His parents were Alfred Edwin and
Millicent Florence Booker, and his wife was Joyce
Booker, from Dover. He was brother to Frederick, above.
they were both St Mary's old boys.
Notes on Alert
Booth, F. R.
Frank Robert Booth, T/1024189, was a Driver in
the 2nd Division of the Petrol Company, Royal Army Service Corps. He
died at the age of 40 on 25 May 1940, and is commemorated on the Dunkirk
Memorial, France. Column 135
He was the son of John Luke and Margaret Booth, and the " dearly
beloved" husband of Mary Adelaide Rosina Booth, from Noah's Ark Road, Dover.
The couple married on Christmas Day 1927 at St Bartholomew's, Dover.
Frank's address was then 1 Coombe Cottage, Union Road, Buckland, and he
was working as a labourer. Mary then lived at 20 Noah's Ark Road; she
was the daughter of Herbert George King and the sister of
Thomas Edward King. She was also the
sister-in-law of Alfred Clarke.
|In ever loving memory of my dear husband
and our Daddy, Frank Robert Booth, who was killed in France,
May 25, 1940
His cheering ways, his smiling face,
Are Pleasures to recall;
But there's nothing left to comfort us
But his photo on the wall.
His loving Wife, Son and Daughter
(Dover and South Wales)
John Booth was killed in an accident on 1
September 1942. His father, also John, died on 5 November 1934.
(in memorium 1944)
Bradbury, H. T.
Horace Thomas Bradbury, born in 1915 in the West
Bromwich area, was the son of Thomas Augustus Bradbury and his wife
Annie Elizabeth, née Smith. The couple had married in 1897. In
1911 they were living at 44 Foley Street, Wednesbury, Staffordshire,
with Mr Bradbury working as a bricklayer. They had then two children,
George, born 1899, and Annie May, born 1907. A third child had died
In 1941 in Staffordshire Horace married Elsie Smith. He became
2665175, a Guardsman
in the Coldstream Guards, 1st battalion. He was killed in action on 1
April 1945 when he was 29; he was reburied after concentrationede at Enschede Eastern General Cemetery, The Netherlands,
grave 199A. The words at the foot of his headstone read, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my
course, I have kept the faith".
On 3 Jan 1936
a Horace Thomas Bradbury and four others from Adisham were charged with
disorderly conduct at Wingham quarter sessions. They had tied the inner
and outer doors of the church, thus preventing the choir from exiting
after their practice. They had also placed a 15 foot scaffolding or flag pole against a
door of the school; Rev Jackman was conducting the women's Bible class,
and on hearing a knock on the door opened it. The pole fell although it
did not strike him. The lads also accidentally broke a
small pane of glass in the church. Rev Jackman
saw these things as a joke but which had gone too far and could have had serious
consequences. The magistrates agreed to treat all five leniently as a
warning; they had to pay four shillings each as the costs of prosecution and
were bound over for two years. On 1 December 1932 this Horace had also
been fined half a crown for letting off fireworks in the street.
gravestone by Wendy Lensink
Brading, C. F.
Charles Frederick Brading,
6286740, was in the 4th battalion of The Buffs (East Kent Regiment). He
died on the night of 23-24 October 1943, at the age of 24 (his
brother says "23"). He was the son of Bert and Catherine Brading. He is
commemorated on the Cassino Memorial, Italy,
Barrington ("Barry") Bradish was a Greaser, Merchant
Navy serving aboard the SS Maid of Kent (below), then a
hospital ship. He was 57
when he died on 21 May 1940, and is commemorated at
Tower Hill, London. Panel 66.
He was the son of Stephen, a fireman
on the mail boats, and
Caroline Bradish. In 1891 the family were at Castle
Place, St James, Eastry, and at home were Mary, 19, a
housemaid, born in Eastbourne, Henry, 17, a potman, born
in Shoeburyness, Priscilla, 13, and John, 11, both
born in Gibraltar, Barrington, 9, and Caroline, 7, both
born in Ireland, and Stephen, 3, born in Dover. John
died at the age of 13 in 1893.
By 1901 the family were at 1 Bowling
Green Hill, and had been joined by Sarah Rose, born on 6
June 1891. Sarah, known as Rose, became in 1916 the wife
of James Clift.
Barrington in 1901 and 1911 was away, working as a
stoker. Mrs Caroline Bradish, meanwhile had been widowed
in 1902, and, still at Bowling Green Hill, was living
with her son Henry, with Rose, and with Priscilla's
daughter Florence, or Florrie, Spink. Priscilla had
married in 1899 and was widowed shortly afterwards. Mrs
Caroline Bradish died in 1915 at the age of 69.
On 23 July 1914 at Christchurch, Hougham, and living at
140 Clarendon Place, Barrington married Matilda Crepin,
daughter of George Town Crepin, from 113 Clarendon
Street. Matilda's brother George Henry was the father of
Frederick George Thomas Crepin.
Mr Bradish, with his wife and eldest daughter Winifred
are above, left. The couple had
six children; Winifred M, born in 1915, Barrington,
1916, George W, 1919, Mary E, 1922, Henry E, 1925, and
Gladys A, 10 July 1927. Sadly little Henry died on 18
March 1926 at 113 Clarendon Street at the age of one
year and two months.
In 1939 Mrs Bradish,
born 19 July 1891, and with Gladys, was at 121 Clarendon
Street, close to her parents at 113 and probably her
brother William at 125. On 27 May 1940 Mrs Bradish was
sent a letter from the Divisional Marine
Manager, Mr H C Wood, of the Marine Department of the
Southern Railway, stating:
"It is with great regret that
I have to inform you that owing to the very inhuman
bombing by enemy aircraft on the SS "Maid of Kent"
whilst this vessel was lying in Dieppe Harbour on the
21st May, it is presumed that your husband has lost his
life. His name is amongst those reported missing, and it
is feared there is very little hope that he has
"It is difficult on such
occasions adequately to express sympathy, but in your
sorrow you have the satisfaction of knowing that your
dear lost one has given his life in the Country's
service, and it will be for those who are left to carry
on to see that he did not die in vain.
"In the loss which you have sustained, I would also say
that the Company has lost a very loyal and devoted
|In ever loving memory of
a dear husband and father, Barrington
(Barry) Bradish, who was lost in the sinking
of the hospital ship "Maid of Kent" in
Dieppe Harbour, May 21 1940.
Quickly and sudden was the call,
His sudden death surprised us all;
Only those who have lost are able to tell
The pain of a parting without a farewell.
From his loving Wife, Sons, and Daughters
Mrs Matilda Bradish died in 1985.
courtesy of Margaret Fagg
Note: George Town Crepin suffered an
accident on 9 December 1910 which fractured one
finger and necessitated two others being amputated.
He caught his hand in the cogs of the winch of the
anchor on no 6. hopper, belonging to his
Note: The Maid of Kent
was one of the cross channel ferries, converted to a
Destruction of the Maid of Kent" by Richard Thwaites
"Notes on the Hospital
Carrier Maid of Kent"
Brann, J. W.
Joseph William Brann, S/147628, who was
a Serjeant in the Royal Army Service Corps. He was captured in Italy,
and became Prisoner of War number 269626 at Stalag 4B Muhlburg, on the
Elbe. He died on 18 February 1945, and is buried at the Berlin
1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany. 10 K6
He was the son of Richard
and Nellie Brann, of Laburnum Cottage, 119 St Radigunds Road. The Branns once owned The Boar's Head, in Eaton Road,
and The Terminus, at the Western Docks. They had already suffered the
tragedy of losing two children in infancy, one being their "dearly-loved
child", Elizabeth Emma, at the age of seven months on 13 September 1901.
At that time they were living at 53 London Road with Mr Brann's Aunt
Elizabeth Filmer, a newsagent and toy-dealer. Mr Brann was working as a
porter of furniture.
with thanks to Raymond Ellis
Note: Joseph is related to Richard Prescott, died 1916. Nellie Brann was
cousin to Richard's father, Richard J. Prescott. Joseph's sister Eliza
also lost her husband, Arthur Miles, in 1945
Brett, R. W.
Raymond William Brett, 1807476, was born on 22
November 1923 in Hull, the son of William James and Lillian
Louisa Brett, formerly Harding. From 24 Buckland Avenue,
he was a former pupil of
Barton Road and then the County, now Grammar, Schools,
and had worked at the Westminster bank in Dover for
nearly two years.
In 1939 Mr Brett,
born 4 August 1895, and Mrs Brett, born 17 October 1900,
were living at 24 Buckland Avenue, with Mr Brett working
as a Master Builder. Mr Brett had in 1913 been working
as a shop boy for Igglesden and Graves, the bakers in
the Market Square. During the Great War he served in the
RAMC, and amongst his duties helped dispatch the
ambulance trains for returning wounded from the
Raymond became a Sergeant
Air Gunner, in the RAFVR, 44 Squadron. He flew on a
number of different operations, sometimes at an
intensity of one a day. On 21 May 1944 he was part of a
minelaying operation over Kiel, the following day an
operation over Brunswick during which they engaged in
combat with a night flyer, claiming its destruction. In
June he flew on 4, 5, twice on 6, then on 8, 9, 12, 14,
and on 16, which took him to Beauvoirs.
On 21 June 1944
he took off at 22.58 hours from Dunholme Lodge,
Lincolnshire, as part of a
force of 133 Lancasters detailed to attack a synthetic
oil plant at Wesseling, south of Cologne, Germany. Six
de Havilland Mosquitos also took part in the raid.
The target was obscured by 10/10ths cloud, so bombing
was carried out using the H2S radar equipment.
The Luftwaffe night-fighter force
inflicted heavy casualties on the bombers and
contributed to the loss of 37 Lancasters, with six of the losses coming from 44
Squadron. They included Sergeant Brett's Avro Lancaster
BIII ND552, coded KM-X, which crashed in the early hours of 22
June into the grounds of a coalmine between the villages
of Eisden (Limburg) and Lanklaar in Belgium.
All the crew were killed, and are buried in the local
Communal Cemetery, Collective Grave 1-7. On the right is
Raymond Brett's headstone.
pictures by courtesy of and the copyright
of The Williamson family; with thanks to Dennis Clarke
of Kimpton Village Roll of Honour
The crew were:
Neil Joseph Smith
Thomas Sawers Calder
Michael William Beevor Steele
Note: F/O Smith of the Royal Australian
Air Force was the son of Sidney and Alice Smith of
Midland Junction, Western Australia
Over 200 RAF airmen lost their lives in this raid.
Damage to the oil plant was deemed to be slight
according to the post-raid reconnaissance, but a German
report indicated a loss of 40% in production. Casualties on
the ground amounted to 20 workers
Raymond Brett is named on his father's
headstone at St Peter, Whitfield. The words on the
In loving memory of William James
Brett, died 8th Sept 1953 aged 58 years
Also his son Flt/Sgt Raymond William Brett RAF
Killed in Action 22.6.44 (Buried in Belgium)
Note: William Brett was born at Walmer in
1895 and died in 1953. His name is on the
Walmer Land and Sea Scouts Roll of Honour
with thanks to Dean Sumner for RAF
Brewster, I. J.
John Brewster, 7590648, was
a Craftsman in the 1st Airborne Division Workshop of the
REME. the announcement, right, appeared on 5 January
1945 in the Dover Express; very sadly just eleven days later Ivor died.
He was 20. He is buried at Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery,
Netherlands. 18 C 12
He was the elder son of Walter Lennos Brewster and Matilda
Caroline Brewster, of 23 Stanhope Road, Dover
In Memoriam 1948
Brewster - Fondest thoughts of our beloved Ivor John,
1st Airborne Division REME, who died of wounds whilst a
prisoner of war at Aleldoorn 16th January 1945. Now
resting in the British Cemetery, Arnhem, Holland. From
Mother, Dad, Ian, Kathleen, Gran and Granddad
Brewster. In loving memory of our
comrade (Buff) Ivor John Brewster who died of wounds
received at Arnhem, whilst P.O.W.
Always remembered by Armourers Shop, 1st
Note: a short
while before Ivor died, he was seen in the street by
Maggie S-K's aunt, Dorne Easton. She said, "He
looked so smart in his red beret. His grandparents lived
in the stone cottage between Paul's Place and Matthew's
Place. Recently, your uncle and I went out to visit his
grave, but the area was fenced off because they were
replacing the grass. So we bought a cross for
Remembrance Sunday, and put it in the Garden of
Remembrance by Dover Memorial, because we hadn't been able
to put flowers on Ivor's grave".
Right, tributes at Dover Town War
Memorial Field of Remembrance on 11 November 2012
Burdett, E. E. H.
Edgar Ernest Henry Burdett, C/JX 150678, was an
Able Seaman aboard HMS Arethusa. He was 22 when
he died ("killed by enemy action in the Eastern Mediterranean") on 18th November 1942, and is commemorated on the Chatham Naval
Memorial. Panel 53, 1.
He was the "dearly loved" son of William and Beatrice Burdett,
from 36 Chamberlain Road, Dover, brother of Den, and the dearly beloved husband of Gertrude Patricia Burdett
(née Huntley), from Enfield, in Middlesex, formerly of 4 Prioress Walk,
Dover. He was an old St Mary's school boy
"Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay
down his life for his friends."
"God be with you till we meet again." .
Buzan, C. W.
Charles Walter Buzan, 6292559, was a Bombardier
in the Royal Artillery, with 331 battery, 100 Light AA
Regiment. He died at the age of 28 on 25 February
1944. He is buried at Beach Head War Cemetery, Anzio,
Italy. VG 9
His parents were Charles Edward and
Emily (Elsie?) Buzan, of Dover, and he was married to
Frances M Buzan, from Epsom, Surrey. Flight Engineer
Wilfred Claud Buzan, 1801432, from the RAFVR
and of 103 Squadron, may have been Charles'
brother (his parents are given as Charles Edward and
Emily Florence Buzan, from Dover)
Charles Buzan, father
of Charles Edward Buzan, lived at 84 Folkestone Road,
Dover. He died aged 66 on 4 August 1933 and is buried at