war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper

World War II



Surnames D

*Daniels, A.
Arthur Reginald Daniels, 14306104, was a Gunner in the 64th Anti-Tank Regiment (Queen's Own Royal Glasgow Yeomanry), of the Royal Artillery. He was 20 when he died on 7 October 1943, and is buried in the Sangro River War Cemetery, Italy. X B 16

He was the son of Reginald and Ethel Daniels, and the husband of Jennie Edith Daniels, from Walmer, Kent

"In loving memory of dear Arthur" - 1949 - Mum, Dad, and Pete

Davis, A. D.
Anthony David ("Tony") Davis, CH/X 107012, was a Sergeant in No 48 RM Commando, the Royal Marines. He was 21 when he died on 1 November 1944. He is buried in the Bergen-op-Zoom cemetery, Netherlands. 6 A 9

He was the "second dearly loved son" of John and Elizabeth Jane Davis, from 117 Bushey Mill Cresecent, Watford, Hertfordshire, formerly of 14 Heathfield Avenue, Dover, and "treasured brother" of Joyce, John, and Buster

Dermott, J. 
 John Dermott was a Fourth Engineer Officer aboard the SS Biela, Merchant Navy. He was 22 when he was reported missing on 14 February 1942. His death was later officially confirmed, and he is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London. Panel 17

He as the "only beloved son" of Mr and Mrs W H Dermott, of 2 Icen Road, Radipole, Weymouth, Dorsetshire, also 36 Snargate Street

Disbury, J. 
John Churton Disbury, 620637, was a Petty Officer Motor Mechanic aboard HMS Frobisher. He died on 18 July 1944, when he was 26. He is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial Panel 78.1

He was the son of William Harold and Josephine Disbury, and was married to Kathleen Disbury from Dover, Mr Disbury died on 18 August 1946

1949 - In loving memory of my dear son and our brother John, who was killed off the Normandy Coast, July 18th 1944. From his loving Mum, Sisters and Brother

Dowle, C. J. 
Charles John Dowle was a Storekeeper, with the Cable Ship Alert, Merchant Navy. Born on 17 April 1879, he was 65 when he died on 24 February 1945, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London. Panel 5

He was the husband of Mrs L Dowle, of 44 Mayfield Road, Dover.

Notes on Alert

Drayner, J. W. 
Jack William Drayner, C/LX 26693, was a Steward, Royal Navy, aboard HMS Marigold. He was 26 when he was reported as missing, presumed killed, on 9 December 1942. He is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial. Panel 64.3

His parents were Walter George and Lily Ann Drayner, of Dover, Kent, and his wife was Yvonne Drayner (née Downs) from Shandor, Lewisham Road, River, Dover. He was father to a baby, Carol

Drury, F. A.
Frank Arthur Drury, was born on 19 July 1904. With 6 years service, he was a Quartermaster, Merchant Navy. He was aboard the Cable Ship Alert. He died of wounds on 24 February 1945, when he was 40, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London. Panel 5

Born on 13 July 1904, he was the son of Walter and Emily Helen Drury. In 1911 Mr Drury was a publican and lodging house keeper at the Eight Bells Inn, New Street, Dover. With them there were four children, Walter William John, 8, Frank, 6, Jesse Thomas, 4, and Emily Ethel Frances, 2, all born in Dover. Mr Drury died in 1914.

Frank attended St Mary's school, and in 1937 married Florence Lily Olivia Pudduck. Her address afterwards was 54 Elms Vale Road, Dover.

Notes on Alert
For newspaper articles referring to Mr Walter Drury as a publican, see "By the Way"

Duncan, A. E. 
headstone, by Andy and Michelle Cooper
Alec Edward Duncan, 1398735, was an Air Gunner Sergeant in the RAFVR. He was 20 when he died on 24 August 1943, and is buried in the Heliopolis War Cemetery, Egypt. 5 J 6. cemetery, by Andy and Michelle CooperHe was formerly employed as a messenger at the Central Control Room, ARP, Dover 

An old St James schoolboy, he was the youngest son of Alfred Edward Duncan (who died in 1925 in Islington.) and Helen Mary, née Cook, who had married in 1913. Mrs Duncan remarried in 1928 to Edward Robert Pascall, a labourer, whose first marriage had been dissolved in 1927. Edward, born 5 June 1899, and Helen Pascall, born 5 June 1888, lived at 3 Redvers Cottages, Kearsney, Dover, Kent. In 1939 they were living at 17 St James Street; Mr Pascall was then a locomotive boilerman.

The words at the bottom of Alec's  headstone read: "He was fighting for something sacred and sacred his memory will remain"

1949 - In loving memory of our dear son and brother - Mum, Dad, Sisters and Brothers

Picture: view over the cemetery. AGS Duncan's grave is in the left far background. Picture by Andy and Michelle Cooper
left - in memoriam, August 1944 

Alec had probably one sister,  Ellen I, born about 1914, and two brothers, Robert Albert, born 1920, and Alfred George Charles, in 1915. He also had a half-sister and brother; Catherine M, born in 1930, and Ronald J, born on 4 August 1932. Alec was the nephew of Albert Henry Duncan; Alfred Edward Duncan was Albert's brother.

Dunning, G. C. 
Geoffrey Cameron Dunning, 2328639, was a Signalman in the 1st Airborne Signals, the Royal Corps of Signals. He died on 19 September 1944, when he was 20. It was the eve of his 21st birthday. He is buried in the Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery, Netherlands. 15 C 20. The words at the foot of his headstone read:

Went the day well?
We never knew.
But went the day well or ill,
England, we died for you.

He was an ex-Dukie and the second son of the late Sub-Conductor James Cameron Dunning, DCM, Indian Army, and Margaret Louise Mary Dunning, from Dover.

"In proud and ever loving memory of my dear son ...killed in action at The Bridge, Arnhem" - Mother, Alfred, Stanley and Annie.

"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you" - Mother (1944).

headstone photo courtesy Stewart May

Durtnall, R. R. B. 
Rex Ronald Boyce Durtnall, 650617, was a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner Flight Sergeant, in the RAF, 61 Squadron. He was awarded the DFM.

On 30 July 1941 at 23:18 hours, he took off from North Luffenham, Rutland, in Handley Page Hampden AE266 for a raid on Cologne, Germany. Upon returning in the early hours of 31 July, Hampden AE266 crashed at 04:50 hours when attempting to land at RAF Upwood, Cambridgeshire. All of the crew were killed, except Flight Sergeant Scott who was injured. The raid by 116 RAF bombers on Cologne was not very successful owing to poor weather, and nine aircraft were lost, of which six, including Hampden AE2666, crashed in England

Flight Sergeant Durtnall's body was recovered and brought home for burial. His funeral left from 239 London Road. The coffin was draped with the Union Flag, and borne by members of the RAF to St Mary's, Cemetery, Dover, YGX 24

He was the youngest son of Mrs Ettie Mary Durtnall, née Driver, and her husband, whom she married in 1906, the late Charles James Durtnall, from Maidstone, and formerly of 35 Millais Road, Dover. In 1911 the couple were at 20 Cherry Tree Avenue, with Mr Durtnall working as a nurseryman clerk. They then had one son, Leonard Charles M, born in 1908. He was followed by Marjorie E M in 1918 and by Rex in 1919.

Before the war he had been an assistant at George Thomas's. He was engaged to Miss Joan Kingsmill, and amongst the floral tributes was one from "Joan's Mum and Dad and Stan". Stanley Kingsmill was also in the RAF, as was Rex's brother, Sergeant Leonard Durtnall.

The crew were:
Pilot Officer Patrick James Neil Adshead Captain (Pilot) aged 23
Flight Sergeant Scott Observer injured
Flight Sergeant Rex Ronald Boyce Durtnall DFM Wireless operator/ Air gunner aged 21
Sergeant Kenneth Marcel Fillmore Air gunner aged 23

The Distinguished Flying Medal awarded to Flight Sergeant Durtnall was gazetted on 11 February 1941. He survived a serious crash-landing on 3 January 1941 when his aircraft (also a Hampden of No.61 Squadron) crashed at RAF Hemswell after both engines of the bomber cut-out due to lack of fuel. When he was killed, Flight Sergeant Durtnall was close to completing his tour of 30 operations.

Mr Charles James Durtnall, born 26 Deptember 1883, died on 16 July 1940, aged 58, having become ill while driving a lorry for G and A Clark, for whom he had worked for forty years. He is buried at St Mary's. Mrs Durtnall, born on 21 July 1878, died in 1960.

Sergeant Ken Fillmore's brother served as a Pilot in the RAF. Flight Lieutenant Eric George  Fillmore. He was tragically killed post-war on 18 February 1946 whilst still serving. Coincidentally, he won a DFC during a raid on Cologne in October 1944.

photo - John Fagg

Dyer, J. A. C. 
James Alfred Charles Dyer, FX/94816, was a Leading Air Mechanic, Royal Navy, aboard HMS Khedive. He died on 9 April 1945, when he was 21. He is buried at the Kirkee War Cemetery, India. 10 AA 7

He was the son of James Dyer and Margaret, née Mills, who had married in Dover in 1911

courtesy Dover ExpressDyer, W. A.
William Albert Dyer, C/JX 258486, was an Able Seaman with HMS Kingston. He died at the age of 32, on 22 March 1942. He is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial. Panel 53.3

His parents were Edmund James, a crane driver, and Caroline Elston Dyer, from Dover. In 1911 they were living at 1 Lowther Road, Tower Hamlets, with two children; Herbert James, 4, and Nellie Rose, 2. Both children and Mr Dyer were born in Dover.

In memoriam 1943


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