war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper

World War II



Surnames N and O


Nash, F.
Frederick Nash, 1387959, was a Leading Aircraftman in the RAFVR. He was 24 when he was killed as the result of an aircraft accident on 10 April 1942. He is buried in the Montgomery (Oakwood) Cemetery Annexe, USA Section N, Lot 111, Grave 2

His mother was Mrs. Herbert Nash, of, in 1939, 142 Mayfield Avenue, Dover.

1943 "At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember him" - Mother, sisters, and brothers-in-law

Frederick's brother Alfred George, the second son, also died, aged 26, on 25 July 1940. Serving in the Merchant Navy, he died suddenly through war service at Manchester Royal Infirmary. He is buried at Charlton cemetery. He had been married only the year before, on 14 June 1939,at St Mary's, to Rosina Ruth Robson, daughter of Mr and Mrs T Robson of 17 Norman Street. His widow was amongst the mourners, as were his mother, brothers F and H Nash, and sisters Mrs W Larkins and Mrs W Menpes, with her husband, from whose home the funeral left. Mr and Mrs Robson, his parents-in-law, and his brother-in-law, Mr A Robson were also present. Floral tributes included one from his broken-hearted wife and one from the Guns Crew, SS Stratheden.

Neill, W. S.
William ("Bill") Stanley Neill,  2665325, was a Guardsman in the 4th battalion of the Coldstream Guards. He was an old pupil of the County (now Grammar) School. He was 20 when he died on 31 October 1944, and is buried in the Mierlo War Cemetery, Netherlands. VII F 9

He was the "beloved eldest son" of Lt and Mrs W Neill of 34 Lascelles Road, Dover

picture with thanks to Richard Schoutissen

Nix, R. P.
Roland Percy ("Percy") Nix,  5393346, was a Private in the 9th battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment. He died on 29 September 1944, when he was 21, and was buried on 3 October in the Kirkee War Cemetery, India. 1 K 11

His parents were Roland Percy and Florence Nix, from 1 Aycliffe Cottages, Dover. The couple had married on 12 June 1920 at St Bartholomew's church. Percy had at least six brothers and sisters; Florence Ann, who married James Healey, Rose Mary, who married Edgar William Dixon,  and Edgar, Horace, William, and June.

1948 - Not just today, but everyday, in silence we remember our dearest son and brother"

Norley, R. W.
Ronald William Norley, 1386374, was a Sergeant Wireless Operator/Air Gunner in 49 Squadron of the RAFVR. With a rank cited of Flight Sergeant, he was gazetted  with the DFM on 8 May 1945, with effect from 25 November 1943. This was the day before he was reported missing and then having died, aged 23. He is buried in the Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery, Germany, with fellow crew member Sgt Wilson, Grave 9 F 14-15

He was the "dearly loved eldest son" of the late William John Norley and Alice Maud Norley, of 108 Markland Road, Dover

Ronald was in the same plane as Sgt Frederick Ashman, where further details of the loss may be found  Another Dovorian sadly killed on this raid was Sgt Wilfred Buzan

Norton, G.
Leslie George Norton, 1469218, was a Gunner in the Royal Artillery, from the 233 battery of the 75 HAA Regiment. He was 23 when he "passed to the higher life" on 5 June 1943, and is buried in the Habbaniya War Cemetery, Iraq. 2 A 4

He was the eldest son of Harold Nowill and Louisa Margaret Norton, from Montpelier, 4 Jemmet Road, Ashford, Kent, and formerly of 119 Folkestone Road, Dover, and brother of Ruby and Kenneth

"In Thy keeping, Heavenly Father, we leave him"


Oates, J. G. B.
John Gerald Beveridge Oates was born on 13 December 1907. He was the Master of the Cable Ship Alert, in the Merchant Navy. With ten years service, he had been awarded the DSC. He was lost on 24 February 1945, when he was 37, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London. Panel 4

His mother was Mrs V Oates, from Flat 31, Waterloo Mansions, Dover, who, on 13 September 1905, had married John Valentine Oates, son of the Reverend William Oates.  They had two children; sadly John's brother, Thomas Herbert Beveridge Oates, also lost his life in World War II.  He is commemorated on the Fleet Air Arm Memorial at Lee-on-Solent, Hampshire, having died on 8 December 1941, at the age of 31, while serving at a Lieutenant with the Royal Navy at H.M.S. Condor

Tom Oates was born in South Africa in 1910, and was a student at Kingswood College, Grahamstown, South Africa from April 1916 until June 1921, when he and John came with their mother to England.  Tom continued his education in London, and then went to sea, being later awarded the Polar Medal for his five years of work with the Antarctic. He had also survived the wreck of the Garthpool on 11 November 1929 in the Cape Verde Islands, during a voyage to Adelaide, Australia 

Mrs Oates, nee Beveridge, was born on 13 January 1867 at Portland, England, and sadly also lost her parents, who were missionaries in Madagascar, and two of her siblings, when the SS Cashmere was wrecked on 5 July 1877 near Cape Guardafui. She also lost at sea in 1894 her first husband, Captain Thomas Tillock Hunter, whom she had married on 22 August 1893 

with grateful thanks to Patricia Burgess, who in 2004 published "Bearing the Heart of a Sailor: letters from the Antarctic and other Faraway Places from Tom Oates to Elizabeth Eadie, 1936-1938"

The 1923 book, "The Story of the Beveridge Families of England and Scotland", written by their uncle, Stanley Alexander Beveridge, also refers to Tom and John Oates

Notes on Alert

RWAG O'Connor, gravestone, by Simon ChambersO' Connor, R. W. A. G.  
Robert W. A. G. O'Connor,  T/2063261, was the "dearly loved and only son" of Robert William and Eliza Emily O'Connor, of 73 Wyndham Road, and the "beloved husband" of Sarah E. O'Connor of Sandwich

He was in the Royal Army Service Corps, and he died suddenly at the age of 25 on 28 September 1940, at a hospital near Basingstoke, while undergoing an operation. His body was brought home by motor hearse, and on the day of his funeral, his Union Flag-draped coffin left from the home of his father at 73 Wyndham Road. His funeral was military, and buglers and a firing party were present when he was buried at Charlton, Dover. Section V S, Grave 32

Among the wreaths were:

"His loving Wife, Sally"
"To dear Daddy, from Bobby, David, and Raymond"
"To our dear only son, Mum and Dad"

"Ever in our thoughts"

The words at the foot of his headstone read:

Beautiful Memories
As precious as gold,
Linger with us,
As the days unfold

*O'Keefe, J. J. H.
John James Henry O' Keefe, 2756230, was Corporal in the 5th battalion of the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders). He died when he was 22 on 28 August 1944, and is buried at St Desir War Cemetery, France. I C 10

He was the son of Florence Beatrice O'Keefe, of Buckland, Dover.

In 1945 three "In Memoriam" notices were placed:

In loving memory of my dear son, Cpl J O'Keefe, of the Black Watch, killed in action 28th August 1944. From his loving Mother, Sisters Violet, Norah, Doris, and Betty
In loving memory of our brother Jim, killed on active service 28th Aug 1944. From his ever loving sister, Florence
In loving memory of my dear brother, Corpl James O'Keefe, who was killed on active service Aug 28th 1944. From brother Tom.

On 1 June 2013 a memorial was unveiled in Mauny on the Seine, France, to Corporal O'Keefe and five companions who were killed in August 1944. A seventh person also fell; he is believed to lie in an unmarked grave. 

Are you a relative? A comrade of Corporal O'Keefe would like to get in touch with you. Please contact us.  

Onslow, G. H.
Geoffrey Harold Onslow, 67120, was a temporary Captain in the 2nd battalion of the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment. He was 28 when he died in action on 1 June 1940, and is buried at the De Panne Communal Cemetery, Belgium. Plot 2, Row C, Grave 23 

He was the son of Brigadier-General Cranley Charlton Onslow, C.M.G., C.B.E., D.S.O., of the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment, and of Sydney Alice Onslow (née Franklin), from Henry VIII Gateway, Windsor Castle, formerly Leyburne Road.  General Onslow had been a member of the Dover Town Council in 1926. He was an old boy of Dover College, as had also been his son, who was born in 1912


Copyright 2006-14 © Marilyn Stephenson-Knight. All Rights Reserved