war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper

World War II



Surnames E and F


Ellis, P.W.
Percy William Ellis was a Seaman, Merchant Navy. Born on 6 December 1907, he was lost with the Cable Ship Alert on 24 February 1945, when he was 38.  He is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London. Panel 5

He was the son of Thomas George Ellis, a welder in 1911, and his wife Ellen. The family were at Erith Road, Dover in 1911, and at home were Percy, his older sister Rosa (Rose Elizabeth) born 1903, and older brother Tom (Thomas George), born 1905, and his younger sister Lizzy (Elizabeth), born 1910. Living at 44 George Street, Mr Ellis died from a heart condition about 10.00 on 23 November 1941 at the allotments at Prospect Place. He is buried at Buckland.

On Christmas Day 1937 at St Andrews, Buckland, Percy married Ruby Dorothy Crofts, born 29 November 1916.  In 1939 the family were living at 25 Randolph Road and Percy was working with the SR Engine Department, Repair. They had a son, Malcolm, born that year. Malcolm was often told he had his first birthday on the Alert. Mrs Ellis later lived at 6 Glenfield Road.

The telegram, dated 26 February 1945, that Mrs Ellis received stated, "Regret to inform you that Alert in which your husband (Percy William Ellis) was serving is missing and there is no knowledge of survivors - Ramsay, staff controller engineering department Post Office".

"Silent thoughts and sweet memories of a dear husband and Daddy" (February 1946).

Right - Percy Ellis in front and on his left his good friend Albert (Bert) Victor Godden, also lost on the Alert.

with thanks to Malcolm Ellis
with thanks for Joyce Banks for information supplied in a newspaper cutting (source uncertain - identification welcomed)

Notes on Alert

Elworthy, B. P.
Bernard Patrick ("Pat") Elworthy, EC/7103, was the son of Henry Albert and Hilda Mary Elworthy, of Dover, with an address in 1944 of 35 Station Road, Herne Bay, and brother to Pamela and Audrey.

He attended the County (now Grammar) School between 1931 and 1938, where he was a keen swimmer, winning in 1938 the senior swimming championship cup. He also was in the officers' training corps. He became a  Lieutenant in the 14th Prince of Wales's Own Cavalry (Scinde Horse), Indian Army Corps, and in 1942 wrote from India to his school with a tale of how he had shot a tiger with a .303 rifle. He had the skin sent home as proof of his story.

In August 1943 in India he was promoted to Captain. On 22 June 1944, aged 22, he was killed, and is buried in the Sidon War Cemetery, Lebanese Republic. 3 G 12. His parents gave a prize, the Patrick Elworthy Memorial prize, to be awarded annually for French, in memory of their son.

Emery, F. P.
Francis Patrick Emery, 2325293, was a Corporal in the Royal Corps of Signals. He had gained an entry into the Corps when a boy.  He was 22 when he drowned at sea on 12 February 1944, and is commemorated on the East Africa Memorial, Kenya. Column 5

He was an old boy of St Martin's. His mother was from 25 Belgrave Flats/Road, Dover, and was at 88 Station Road, Impington, Cambridge when she heard that he was missing.

Everall, F. J.
Freeman James Everall was born on 24 February 1893 at Dundalk, Louth, Ireland. He joined the RN on 24 February 1911, for a period of 12 years. He had grey eyes and brown hair, and grew to 5'5½". He eventually gained tattoos on both forearms. He served throughout the Great War, and ended with 22 years service.

In 1939 he was living at his parents' home, 19 Vale View Road. Also there were his mother, Ellen Elizabeth, born 19 April 1859, his sister Caroline, born 9 May 1891, both incapacitated, and his brother Robert John, born 25 September 1895, who was working on the boom defence. A nurse, Lilian Parsons, was also there, having been so since 1935.

 Freeman became a Seaman Cable Hand, probably about 1936. He was serving on HMT Alert in 1939, and was lost with that ship on 24 February 1945. He is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London, panel 5. His effects were left to his brother Robert, then a second officer in the merchant navy, and to Agnes Mary Napier, wife of Stanley Napier, his sister.

"In loving memory of dear Free, who lost his life ... on his 52nd birthday" from Lily (February 1946)

Freeman was the brother of Edward Henry Everall.

Notes on Alert


Fisher, H. C.
Herbert Charles Fisher was born on 13 August 1898 in the Poplar area. In 1901 his family was probably living at 170 Abbott Road, Poplar. His father, George, was a journeyman baker; his mother was named Jane. Then there were four sons at home, George Arthur, born 1881, a lighterman, William Robert, born about 1883, a journeyman butcher, Walter Henry, born 1889, Herbert, and twins Edith Clara and Jennie May, born 1900. The family were at Findhorn Street, Poplar, in 1911, with Mr Fisher working as a labourer and both Walter and William as shop assistants.

Herbert married Florence Elsie Driscoll in 1926 in the West Ham area; they probably had a daughter, Pamela E the following year. Possibly on 2 August 1939 they had a son, Dennis Herbert. They were then living at 20 Taleswood Drive, Bexley. Later Mrs Fisher lived at 36 Balfour Road and 4 East Cliff, Dover.

Herbert had ten years service in the Merchant Navy, working as a Chief Engineer Officer. He was lost with the Cable Ship Alert on 24 February 1945, when he was 46. He is buried at Oye-Plage Communal Cemetery, France. Row 5, Grave 18, having been washed ashore dead, probably from exposure, on a raft from the Alert.

Mrs Fisher may have died in the Wandsworth area in 1984.

Notes on Alert
Note: James Robert Adams, died 13 July 1917, also lived at 36 Balfour Road
headstone photo courtesy Stewart May

Fittall, R. E.
Ronald Ernest Fittall, 1897158, was the son of Edwin James and Kate Fittall, from Martin in Kent. He was an Air Gunner Sergeant in the RAFVR, serving in the 463 RAAF Squadron

He took off in Avro Lancaster DV280 JO-S from Waddington, Lincolnshire at 23:05 hours on 21 June 1944 for a raid on the synthetic-oil plant at Scholven-Buer, Germany. Lancaster DV280 was shot down by a Luftwaffe night-fighter in the early hours of 22 June and crashed in a polder area at Berghem about 3 miles northeast of Oss, Netherlands. Apart from P/O Forth who survived to become a PoW, the rest of the crew were killed and are buried in Uden War Cemetery, Netherlands (Ronald Fittall is in Grave 5 B 10)

The raid was carried out by 123 Lancaster's of which 8 were lost including DV280. The raid was moderately successful, causing a 20% loss in production at the oil plant

 The crew were:

Flight Lieutenant Eric Alfred Leith Smith RAAF

Captain (Pilot) aged 22
Flying Officer Arthur Bennett Gossip- RAAF Pilot aged 23
Sergeant Derek Colin Sykes Flight engineer aged 19
Pilot Officer K Forth Navigator Prisoner of War
Flying Officer Harry Frederick Raynham Bomb aimer aged 25
Flight Sergeant Percival Henry Minton Jones DFM Wireless operator/Air gunner aged 23
Sergeant John Henry Hollis Air gunner aged 19
Sergeant Ronald Earnest Fittall Air gunner aged 21


Flight Lieutenant Smith was the son of Horatio Joseph and Janie Parks Smith, of Mount Lawley, Western Australia
Flying Officer Gossip was the son of Harold Edwin and Millicent Gossip, of Wamberal, New South Wales, Australia
Flying Officer Raynham was the son of Harry Lucas Raynham and Johannah Louisa Raynham, of Lobatsi, Bechuanaland (Botswana)
Flight Sergeant Jones was the son of Humphrey and Hilda Alice Jones, of Welling. Kent

with thanks to Dean Sumner

Flisher, L. C.
Leonard Charles Flisher, 564186, was the son of Harry William and Rose Flisher, from Guildford, Surrey, and was a Sergeant Observer in the RAF, with the 218 ("Gold Coast") Squadron (This was part of the Advanced Air Striking Force (AASF) in France, being the RAF's reaction force to any enemy assault)

Fariey Battle plane, from Wikimedia Commons

On 12 May 1940, two days into the Wehrmachts 'Blitzkreig' upon the West, Fairey Battle K9353 took off from a landing ground at Auberive-sur-Suippes, France (about 25 miles east of Reims), for an attack on enemy forces at Bouillon, Belgium. During the course of the operation K9353 was shot down, and crashed at Sensenruth, about two miles north of Bouillon. All of the crew were killed and are buried at Sensenruth (Curfoz) Communal Cemetery, Belgium. Collective Grave 3-4

The crew were:

Flight Sergeant John Bland Horner

Pilot aged 24
Sergeant Leonard Charles Flisher Observer aged 26
Leading Aircraftman Leslie Douglas Davies Air gunner aged 21

Number 218 Squadron was formed at Dover on 24 April 1918 as a light day-bomber
squadron. It was disbanded in 1919, but reformed in 1936

with thanks to Dean Sumner

Fox, J. H. E.
John Henry Edward Fox, C/JX 149694, was a Leading Seaman on HMS Cornwall. He went missing, presumed killed, when he was 31, on 5 April 1942. He is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial. Panel 52.1

He was the only son of John Edward and Lilian Clara Rose Fox, and his wife was Freda Lilian Fox (nee Larkins), from 14 Snargate Street, Dover, Kent

courtesy Dover sxpress


courtesy Dover Express

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