war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper

World War II



Surnames I and J


Insole, A.
Alec Insole was born on 3 March 1905. In 1911 he was living at 15 Little Ilford Lane with his parents, Harry, a clerk for an insurance company, and Elizabeth Jane. Also there were his brothers, John Harry Bond, 8, born in Hull, Harry Albert, 3, born in Wapping like Alec, and Edwin Frances, 1, born in Bermondsey. The family suffered a tragedy when Mr Insole was killed in Belgium on 31 July 1917; he is commemorated on the Menin Gate, Ypres. Probate was granted to his wife at 25 Raines Mansions, Old Gravel Lane, Wapping.

In 1928 Alec married Frances Matilda Tucker. The couple had three children, Alic, born 1828, Harry, born 1929, and Malcolm, born 1938. Sadly, their "darling baby" Malcolm died on 16 January 1942.

Alec lost his life with the Cabel Ship Alert on 24 February 1945. He was 39, with 9 years service, and was a Cable Jointer, Merchant Navy. He was 39. He is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London. Panel 5. When probate was given Mrs Insole was living at 132 Clarendon Place, Dover.

"Silent thoughts and loving memories of my darling husband"

Notes on Alert


James, A
Anthony (Tony) Langford James, 1801848, was an Air Bomber Flight Sergeant in 189 Squadron of the RAFVR. He was the son of William Edgar Robert and Doris Gertrude James, of Dover

On the night of 2nd/3rd February 1945, Avro Lancaster MkI serial PB840, coded CA-K of 189 Squadron took  off at 20:18 hours from RAF Fulbeck in Lincolnshire to attack Karlsruhe in Germany. For reasons not known the Lancaster crashed at Unteröwisheim, about 15 miles to the northeast of the target area. Six of the seven crewmembers were killed including Flt/Sgt James, aged 21, who was buried locally on 9th February 1945. After the war he and the other crewmembers killed were re-interred at Dürnbach War Cemetery.


The other members of the crew were:
Flying Officer William Desmond KELLY RAAF Captain (pilot) aged 21
Sergeant John HOWARTH   Flight Engineer aged 27
Flying Officer Roger Jack WEBB RCAF Navigator aged 28
Flight Sergeant Anthony Langford JAMES Bomb Aimer aged 21
Warrant Officer James Harold GRUBB RNZAF Wireless Operator aged 22
Flight Sergeant Frank Albert FOX   Air Gunner aged 21
Sergeant Richard Frederick DYSON   Air Gunner PoW

A total of 250 Lancasters took part in the raid with 14 being lost, 4 of the losses being suffered by 189 Squadron including PB840. The raid failed due to cloud cover over the target and there was minimal damage and no reported casualties on the ground. This was the last major raid the RAF made on Karlsruhe before the war ended.

F/O Kelly was the son of William and Kathleen Mary Kelly, of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
F/O Webb was the son of John Arthur Webb, and of Mary Webb (nee Rodgers); husband of Eleanor Emily Webb, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
W/O Grubb was the Son of Harold George Grubb, and of Annie Evans Grubb (nee Blyth), of Wanganui, Wellington, New Zealand; husband of Annie Grubb, of Walesby, Nottinghamshire, England.

Sgt Dyson was awarded a George Medal in April 1945, the citation stating:-

"One night in November 1944, Sergeant Dyson was rear gunner of an aircraft detailed for a bombing attack and carrying a load of incendiaries, including those of an explosive type. Shortly after taking off, the aircraft crashed, broke up and burst into flames. On impact Sergeant Dyson was thrown, whilst still in the rear turret, 50 yards from the aircraft and, although badly shaken, was able to release himself with an axe. On hearing cries for help Sergeant Dyson at once went to the aid of his fellow crew-members, despite the fact that the aircraft wreckage was scattered over the area, and burning furiously, with incendiaries exploding and unexploded bombs lying both in and about the wreckage. He first went to the mid-upper gunner, who had been thrown clear of the aircraft in his turret. Sergeant Dyson was able to assure himself that this gunner was in no immediate danger. Sergeant Dyson next turned his attention to those of his comrades who were nearer the fuselage. He dragged the pilot from the immediate danger area around the aircraft and then ran back to continue the search for other members of the crew. He found the navigator, who was seriously injured and with his clothing on fire, about 15 yards from the aircraft, Sergeant Dyson put out the fire with his hands receiving burns to both hands whilst doing so. Seeing assistance coming, he called out to attract attention to the navigator and himself. He was later found by rescue parties wandering around, suffering from shock. It was eventually found that more than half the bomb load had ignited. The danger was at times so great that members of the rescue parties were obliged to park vehicles 200 yards away and wait until the explosions and fires had moderated. Sergeant Dyson showed outstanding gallantry by his persistent efforts to help his comrades and undoubtedly saved the life of his pilot".

(The incident occurred on the night of 26th/27th November 1944, when tragically three of the crew died in the crash of the Lancaster; but the pilot Flt/Sgt D S Presland and the mid-upper gunner Sgt I S Fender, rescued by Sgt Dyson, recovered from their injuries. The navigator, 21 years old Flt/Sgt Alan Charles Probert, also pulled clear by Sgt Dyson, sadly succumbed to his serious injuries soon after).

information with thanks to Dean Sumner
illustration: Avro Lancaster from Wikimedia Commons

Jenkins, N. W.
Norman William Eric Jenkins, 1871032, was a Warrant Officer, Class II (QMS) in the Royal Engineers. He had been educated at the Dover County (now Grammar) School between 1927-1933, and joined the Engineers when he was 18. He served in France between September 1939 and June 1940, and then went to the Middle East in February 1941 

From Crete, he was posted as missing, and then as presumed to have died between 28-29 May 1941, when he was 24. He is commemorated on the Athens Memorial, Greece. Face 4

He was the son of George Henry Jenkins and of Florence Norah Jenkins, of 2 Neville Way, Rusthall, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, previously at 11 Knight's Way, Dover

Johncock, V. J.
Verdun James Johncock, 6290542, was a Private in the Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment. He was 27 when he died on 22 January 1944, and is buried at the Anzio War Cemetery, Italy. I M 1

He was the youngest son of William James and Frances Louisa Johncock, from 8 Alfred Road, Buckland, Dover.

He was a first cousin once removed of Florence Minnie Johncock as his grandfather was a brother of Florence's father.

Jones, G. H.
George Henry Jones, was a Seaman on the Cable Ship Alert, Merchant Navy. He was lost on 24 February 1945, when he was 30. He is commemorated on the Tower Hill memorial, London. Panel 5

Born on 3 June 1911, he was the son of George and Rose Jones, and the husband of E R Jones, from 6 De Burgh Street, Dover

Notes on Alert

Jones, J. R. B.
Jeffrey Russell Bavington-Jones, 129445, the son of Russell Francis Bavington-Jones and grandson of John Bavington-Jones, who owned the Dover Express newspaper, was born in 1911 in Dover. A Captain in the Lincolnshire Regiment, attached to the Durham Light Infantry, 16 battalion, he died while a POW.  He is buried at Massicault War Cemetery, Tunisia, VI A 7.

He lived at 47 Aldenham Avenue, Radlett, Hertfordshire, and left 302 8s 0d to his widow, Joan Mary.

More information about Jeffrey Bavington-Jones is here - King's School, Canterbury, Roll of Honour

photo of Captain Bavington-Jones by courtesy of John Hamblin

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