war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper

World War II



Surnames M

MacDonald, D. 
Donald MacDonald was a Trinity House Pilot, with S.S. Stokesley. He lived at 9 Red Lodge, Park Avenue. Born on 23 September 1898, he was 41 when he died on 24 April 1940 after the ship he was piloting struck an enemy magnetic mine in the North Sea near the Thames Estuary. He was cremated at Charing on 29 April.

He had been apprenticed to J Hardie and Co of Glasgow. On his first voyage in January 1915, his first ship, the Kildalton, was sunk in the Pacific by an enemy raider. The crew came ashore at Easter Island, remaining there for six months before being taken to Panama by a Swedish steamer. Mr Macdonald then finished his apprenticeship on the Archibald Russell.

Having served on barques Vimeira and Calcutta as second mate, he gained his first mate's ticket and was employed by the Anglo-American Oil Company. He then gained his Master's ticket, joining the Coast Lines as second and first mate to build up his coastline experience to joine the Trinity House Pilots. He became a Pilot in 1927, and was often employed by the Blue Funnel Line.

A memorial service was held for him the the Congregational Church, which he used to attend. In his spare time he was a member of the church Tennis and Badminton Club, St Margaret's Golf Club, and of the Dover and East Kent Scottish Society.

Amongst the many wreaths at his funeral was one from "To darling Donald, from Bessie", his wife, and one from "Mary and John", his children.

His parents were John and Christina Howat MacDonald (née Anderson), and his wife was Bessie A L MacDonald, from Glasgow.

Service people cremated at Charing are commemorated on a Portland stone in a recess in a pavilion on the west of the crematorium building. Pilot Macdonald is also commemorated on  the Cinque Ports Pilots memorial in St Mary's church, Biggin Street. 

Macdonnell, P.
Percy Macdonnell was a Regimental Sergeant Major, 6280472, serving in 4th Battalion, The Buffs. He was born in Dover on 14 September 1903, and brought up in that town. He lived in Randolph Road and went to Buckland School. There he met Emily Thomas. They were married on 22 June 1929 at St Andrew's Church, Buckland.

Percy joined the army aged 18, owing to unemployment. He was later posted to India, and Emily travelled with him. They were there for six years, and in that time had three daughters: Betty, Daphne, and Kathleen. They returned to England in January 1936, and lived for a while in Canterbury, Kent. Percy was then sent to Shorncliffe, Folkestone. When war broke out he was sent to France, and in retreat was rescued from the beaches of France.

Percy was then, with his battalion, sent to Malta, where they stayed for the three years during the siege of Malta. During that time he, with Sergeant C. Cook, supervised a very efficient corps of drums and they beat the retreat on many evenings in numerous villages, so doing much to keep up the morale of the inhabitants of Malta. In recognition of their tenacity, the George Cross was bestowed on the island by His Majesty The King. (Left, RMS Macdonnell leading the drums)

When Malta was liberated the battalion was sent to Egypt for a brief break. Following this they were sent to the islands of Leros and Cos. Near to Cos their ship, HMS Eclipse, struck a mine and sank in three minutes. A hundred and twenty eight other ranks, seven officers and 11 non-commissioned officers were lost. Percy was reported missing, and two years later confirmed as having died on HMS Eclipse on the night of 23 October 1943. His name is recorded on the Athens memorial.

Percy was a very good swimmer and often swam from Dover beach to the breakwater - which was why he was last seen handing his life jacket to a young soldier who could not swim.

Emily Macdonnell, née Thomas, was of a Dover family descended from Thomas Thomas, who, with his son and wife, fled from France during the St Bartholomew uprising in the 17th century. Thomas was believed to be a stonemason and was in due course naturalised and became a British citizen, and some of the family have resided in Dover ever since.

RMS Macdonnell's daughters still live in Kent - two in Hawkinge and one in Dover. His wife Emily died in Dover on 22 January 1974, and is buried at St Mary's cemetery.










Others lost with HMS Eclipse were Alfred Ward, Robert Patrick Bean, and Charles Edward Cock

with thanks to Daphne Sayer
gravestone by Joyce Banks

Marks, R. E. bombed out Maid of Kent, courtesy Dover Express (and Joyce Banks)   
Robert Edward Marks was a Second Engineer Officer in the Merchant Navy. He died on the SS Maid of Kent when, in use as a hospital ship, she was bombed on 21 May 1940. He was 40, and is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London. Panel 66 

He was the third son of the late Robert James Marks of Ramsgate, and Mrs Weston, of the Railway Hotel, Kearsney, and the "dearly beloved husband" of Florence Gertrude Marks, born 29 March 1890, from 45 Cherry Garden Lane, Folkestone.

Robert's parents married in 1899 in the Kensington area. Mr Marks, born about 1854 at St Margaret's, was a master butcher in 1901, living at 115 King Street, Ramsgate, with his wife Tryphena Maud, née Woollard, born 7 April 1868 at Margate. He had previously been married, in 1879, to Mary Jane Spry. She died in 1887 leaving at least four children, Florence Gertrude, born 1880, Albert William, 1882, Edith Maud, 1884, and Robert Horace E, 1886.

Mr Marks and Mrs Tryphena Marks had three sons, Charles James, about 1890, Frank, 1892, and Robert Edward, 1900, and a daughter, Tryphena Emily Maud, 1902. Sadly, Mr Marks died on 11 September 1903. Mrs Marks remarried in London, to Richard Henry Lovett; he died in 1905, aged 60.

Mrs Lovett married again to John ("Jack") Weston in 1907. In 1911 Mr and Mrs Weston were living at The Duke of Cumberland Hotel at 1 High Street, Whitstable, where their son John Henry had joined them in 1908. On 31 March 1936, Robert Edward would become John Henry's best man; he may be in the image, right. Living at the Hotel too were five servants for the hotel, of which Mrs Weston was the manageress. Mr Weston was a hairdresser. In 1919 Mr Weston became the licensee at the Railway Hotel in Kearsney, which position he held until 1948 when he was succeeded by his son.

Mrs Weston died on 28 June 1945 at the Railway Hotel; her remains were cremated at Charing. Mr Weston, a Freemason and formerly keen swimmer, died on 19 February 1950 and his body was also cremated at Charing.

Illustration top: bombed and burnt out Maid of Kent at Dieppe, the destroyed casualty carriages train beside

Note: The Maid of Kent was one of the cross channel ferries, converted to a hospital ship. See here for more information

Martin, L.
Leonard Martin, Royal Army Service Corps, died on 27 October 1942 on the motor launch Greydame. He was an old St Mary's school boy.

Martin, V. D.
Victor Douglas Martin was a sergeant who died at the age of 36 as the result of an accident on 6 April 1942/3. He was the son of Mrs V Martin, late of 36 Eaton Road, Dover

supplied by Dean SumnerMarshall, J. E.
James Eglington Marshall, 70809, was a Pilot and Squadron Leader in the RAF. Winner of the DFC, he was the son of Engineer-Commander Hugh Haddow Marshall, RNR, and Daisy Miriam Marshall, and was brought up in West Africa. He started his flying training in September 1937 after gaining a short service commission with the RAF and later in the year was commissioned into the RAFO (Reserve of Air Force Officers). In early 1939 he joined 79 Squadron to undergo 'Fighter Command Training' and then in June he relinquished his RAFO commission to take up his short service commission and later joined 85 Squadron

He claimed his first combat success on 18 August 1940 when he shot down a Heinkel He111 bomber over the Thames Estuary. Soon after he collided with another He111 and lost a wingtip of his Hawker Hurricane fighter, but managed to land safely back at Debden

On 29th August Flying Officer Marshall shot down a Messerschmitt Me109 along the Sussex coast, but the next day was himself shot down whilst attacking a formation of He111's and baled out unhurt. He got his revenge on 27 October when he shot down another He111

He often flew as wingman to Squadron Leader Peter Townsend and in April 1941, Marshall was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross for supplied by Dean Sumner"... gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations"

In July 1941, Marshall was posted to Command 1452 Flight at West Malling in Kent, equipped with experimental Turbinlite Havocs, aircraft that mounted searchlights to illuminate enemy aircraft in the air at night to allow other aircraft to shoot them down (not a great success)

On 18 April 1942, 23 years old Squadron Leader Marshall and his two crewmen were killed when their Havoc crashed at Widford in Essex., He is buried at Maidstone, plot CC1, grave 44. His grave is in the second row, second from left in the picture below.

The words at the foot of his gravestone read: "Eldest son of Engineer Commander and Mrs H H Marshall".

pictures and words with thanks to Dean Sumner

Maton, R. H. S.
Ronald Hazeldine Septimus Maton, 581235, was a Sergeant in the RAF, 53 Squadron. He was Observer when his plane, Ocean Blenheim IV P4850 Coded PZ-U, was lost over Brest on 11 March 1941. He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, Panel 48.

He was born in Bideford, Devon, the son of George and Mary Elizabeth Maton, née Hazeldine, who married in 1912. He had three sisters, Margaret, born in 1913, Joan, born in 1917, who became a deputy Mayor of Dover, and Peggie, born in 1923. Peggie was born in Dover, where the family moved during the Great War. The family lived at Liverpool Street and also Marine House and Guildford Lawn, and Mr Maton was the manager of a jeweller's shop in London Road. Mrs Maton ran a boarding house; many naval people stayed there during WWII.

Sergeant Maton was a pupil of St Martin's School, Markland Road, and then of the County (now Grammar) School, playing cricket for the school. On leaving school he joined the Merchant Navy, encouraged and helped by a captain who had stayed at the boarding house with the family. He then transferred to the RAF.

Ronald, in cricket whites,
 with his mother

Margaret and Ron, and, in front,
Joan and Peggie Maton

Ronald outside Marine House

Sgt Maton married Phyllis Pole in 1940, and their son, Rodney, was born six months after his father was killed.

Above, Sgt Maton's signature, from a letter to his brother-in-law

Lost with Sergeant Maton were the pilot, Douglas Keith Plumb, aged 22, and Charles MacLean Calder, aged 19.

pictures and information with thanks to Peggie Johns

Maxted, W. C.
Walter Charles Maxted, 6297545, was a Gunner in the Royal Artillery, 2 Maritime Regiment. He was 28 when he died on 6th May 1941. He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire. Panel 61, Column 3

He was the son of Walter George and Frances Maxted, and the husband of Hilda Doris Maxted, from Guston, by Dover . He was brother to William, below; their father Walter George Maxted was killed in 1918 and is buried at Nine Elms Cemetery, Belgium

In Memoriam 1942

In memoriam, courtesy Dover Express

May 1942

Maxted, W. H. 
William Henry Maxted, 175237, was a Gunner in the Royal Artillery, 89 HAA. He was 32 when he died on 5th July 1943, and is buried in Benghazi War Cemetery, Libya. 3 D 15

He was the son of Walter George Maxted and his wife Frances Emily (Emily Frances), née Baldwin, later Mrs G Terry, who were married in Dover in 1907, and the brother of Walter, above. William was the "beloved husband" of Hilda May Swinerd, born in Dover in 1909, and who was later living in Finchley, Middlesex, and father of Brenda  

In Charlton cemetery is a headstone for Hilda May Maxted, which states "Now re-united with her husband Bill, buried in Libya", and on which are also commemorated her parents

left - 1944

McGah, J. E.
John Edward McGah, 125487, was a Diesel Greaser and Fireman. With the Naval Auxiliary Personnel (Merchant Navy) he was serving on HMS Avenger (aircraft carrier) when she was sunk by enemy submarine off Gibraltar on 15 November 1942. He is commemorated on the Liverpool Naval memorial. Panel 7, Column 1

He was the "dearly loved husband"  of Rose Gertrude McGah (née Banks) of 48 Noah's Ark Road, Dover, and father to Jeannie, Clive, little Marian, and baby Johnnie. The couple had married on 2 February 1926 at Charlton church, Dover.

"Although gone from our sight he will always live in our hearts. Beloved by all who knew him"

Mills, S. H.
Sidney Harold Mills, 749135, was a Sergeant in the Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment), 20th battalion. He died on 20 September 1941, shortly after his promotion to RSM, through enemy action on the Isle of Wight. He was 37

He lived at 4 Brook Street, Dover. The funeral took place from 6 Peter Street, the home of his mother, Mrs Susannah (or Anna, Annie, or Hannah) Wetherly, and his stepfather, William Wetherly (or Weatherby or Weatherley), whom his mother had married in 1935. The coffin was draped with the Royal Fusiliers colours, and was borne by his brothers, Bert, Len, and Ron, his brothers-in-law Joe and Steve, and his old pal Sergeant Taylor. He is buried at Charlton, Dover, 3 D grave 29. Mourners included his wife and his parents, his brothers, sisters, and in-laws. Amongst the floral tributes was one from his "broken-hearted wife and babies, Jean and Shirley" and one "in memory of a comrade, from Gunner Phipps (school pal)"

He was brother to Walter Mills, who died in 1922, brother-in-law to Ellen and Yvonne Mills, who were killed by enemy action in 1944, and the "beloved husband" of Mrs M Mills (late of Dover) "RIP"

"Always remembered"

extra details with thanks to Joyce Banks and Bob Hollingsbee

Mitchell, G. F.
George Forsyth Mitchell, 2821364, was a Private in the Seaforth Highlanders, 2nd battalion. He was 27 when he died on 27 April 1940, and is buried at the Chambieres French National Cemetery, Metz, France. Grave 19

He left three children and a wife, who was then living in Canterbury. Before he had joined the army, thirteen months before he died, he had been a miner at Snowdown. He came originally from Glasgow

Mockeridge, P. R.
Percival Robert Mockeridge, 10575766, was born in Dover on 21 August 1915, and was the youngest son of Henry George Mockeridge from Dover and Sarah Ellen, his wife, née Crompton. He was a Corporal in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, and was 28 when he died on 12 May 1944. He is buried in the Cassino War Cemetery, Italy, grave XVI E 21.

He left a widow, Dorothy Emma, née Hutchings, whom he had married in the Eastry area in 1937, and a daughter, Muriel, born 1940. At St Leonard's church in Deal there is a processional cross said to be dedicated to him (right), as he was once a Sunday School teacher there. 

with thanks to Valerie Nice
with thanks to Muriel Pierce
with thanks to June Trollope (above)

Copyright 2006-15 © Marilyn Stephenson-Knight. All Rights Reserved