war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper

World War II



Surnames W


detail from panel on Runnymede, by Dean SumnerWalker, P. T. W.
Percy Thomas Walter Walker, R.78239, was a Sergeant in the Royal Canadian Air Force, 405 Squadron. Born on 9 May 1922 in Toronto, he was 19 when he was reported missing in operations on 22 October 1941, and (left) is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. Panel 62.

When he attested he lived at 203 Fern Avenue, Toronto and was an employee in a radio valve company. His father was an old  County (now Grammar) School boy, born in Dover in 1889. He was the son of Percy and Frances Emily (née Hambrook) Walker, who in 1891 were living in Snargate Street; Mr Walker was then a mate mariner.

His mother was Mary Catherine, née Walsh; the couple had married in the Fulham area in 1909. His grandfather, Captain Walker, was employed by the Southern Railway. Percy was the first cousin once removed of William John Hambrook; Percy's grandmother Frances was the sister of William's father, also William John Hambrook.

Waters, A. D.
Arthur David Waters was born in Dover on 29 May 1905, the son of Wilmott Randall Waters and his wife Alice Mary, formerly Baxter, who had lived at "Strathmore" or 281 Folkestone Road, Dover. He was christened at St Andrew's Buckland, on 27 July 1905, and was the eldest son of six children. He grew up to be five feet nine inches and had blue eyes and dark brown hair.

On 11 September 1934, at St Martin's church, Dover, he married Louisa Lilian Rosie Hogben, born in Dover on 3 June 1910. She was the daughter of Albert Edward, a mariner, and Rosie Hogben, who in 1910 lived at 10 Winchelsea Cottages, Hougham. Mr and Mrs Waters had two children, Jean and Brian.

David became the Chief Officer of SS Suva, which was a trader requisitioned in April 1943 to carry war supplies from Australia to the Pacific islands.

Chief Officer Waters died from smallpox on 1 April 1943 at Woodman Point quarantine station, having contracted the disease when caring for the ship's crew en route to Fremantle, Western Australia. His remains were cremated and his ashes buried in the Military Cemetery there. 15 years later with others, his ashes were reburied at Karrakatta Cemetery, Perth, Western Australia.



with thanks to Val Nice
with thanks to Earle Seubert

Left - the plaque in situ, dedicated at the Anchor Memorial site, Woodman Point. It was donated by Mr Jack Edwards, Allied Merchant  Seamen's Association Inc

Woodman Point would like very much to have a photograph of CO Waters for their memorial. Please contact us if you have one they could usee.

Watt, E. R.
Edgar Rupert Watt, 7575576, was a Serjeant in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps. He died suddenly on 16th May 1940. He was buried at Fowey Cemetery, Cornwall. Grave W C 1

In memoriam announcement, courtesy Dover Express
May  1941
In loving memory of my dear son, Sergeant E R Watt, RAOC, who died very suddenly at Fowey, Cornwall, May 16th 1940, aged 37 years. His Loving Mother Peace, perfect peace

In loving memory of my dear brother, Sergeant E R Watt, RAOC, who died suddenly at Fowery, Cornwall, May 16th 1940, aged 37 years. His loving brother, Lieut D M Watt RA (Lincoln) His call came suddenly RIP

Welham, L. C.
Leonard Charles Welham, 1396473, was a Flight Sergeant/Air Bomber in the RAFVR, 97 Squadron.

On the evening of 10th November 1944, Avro Lancaster MkIII PB200 coded OF-G of 97 Squadron took off from RAF Coningsby for a night training sortie over France to gain experience in the use of the LORAN navigation system.

The crew were:

Flying Officer Cyril Edwin Thomas PETERS Pilot (Captain) aged 21
Sergeant John Henry ACE Flight engineer aged 20
Sergeant George Maurice SAUNDERS Navigator age not known
Pilot Officer Fraser FARISH Bomb aimer aged 21
Flight Sergeant Leonard Charles WELHAM Bomb aimer aged 22
Sergeant Patrick Michael PIPER Wireless operator aged 23
Sergeant Leonard WORLEY Air gunner age not known
Flying Officer John NEGUS Air gunner aged 23

For reasons not known, the Lancaster dived into marshy ground near Cernay-en-Dormois at 22:25 hours. All of the crew were killed and are buried in Clichy Northern Cemetery. Flight Sergeant Welham's grave is at Plot 16, Row 13, Grave 3.

His parents were Wilfred Horace and Kathleen Elizabeth Welham, née Blackman, from Brighton. Mrs Welham was born in Dover, and the couple married there in 1920. In 1923 they were living at 20 Leighton Road, Dover. His brother, Wilfred, below, had been killed in 1942; both brothers were born in Dover.

with thanks to Dean Sumner

Welham, W. D.
Wilfred Deryck Welham, 751432, was brother to Leonard, above, and  was a Flight Sergeant in the RAFVR, 106 Squadron.

At 20:00 hours on 25 March1942, Avro Manchester MkI L7390 of 106 Squadron took off from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire to attack Essen.

The crew were:

Flight Lieutenant Robert J. DUNLOP-MacKENZIE Pilot (Captain) aged 23
Pilot Officer Peter Norman CANN 2nd Pilot aged 20
Sergeant Raymond Benjamin BURROWS Navigator aged 21
Sergeant Kimber HILL Bomb aimer aged 21
Flight Sergeant Wilfred Deryck WELHAM Wireless operator aged 21
Sergeant William Grant McDONALD Air gunner aged 20
Sergeant John Joseph STEWART Air gunner aged 31

L7390 was shot down by a Luftwaffe night-fighter flown by Oberleutnant Ludwig Becker of 6 Staffel, Nachtjagdgeschwader 2. The RAF bomber crashed at 22:28 hours and smashed through the ice of the Ijsselmeer in Holland. The body of the Captain was washed ashore on 7th May and was buried in Harlingen General Cemetery. The rest of the crew were listed as 'missing' and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. Flight Sergeant Welham's name is on Panel 76.

254 RAF bombers took part in the rain on Essen, which up to this point in the war, was the largest number sent out against one target. Over 180 crews claimed to have hit the target and principally the huge Krupps Works, but actual results showed most of the bombing hit a decoy fire site several miles to the west of Essen. Damage to the main target area was very light with only 5 people reported killed on the ground. The raid cost the RAF 9 bombers (5 out of 20 Manchesters including L7390) with the loss of over 40 crewmembers. Manchester L7390 was the first of its type lost on operations with 106 Squadron.

with thanks to Dean Sumner
picture - Avro Manchester from Wikimedia Commons

Edward Wells, courtesy John WellsWells, E. J.
Edward (Ted) John Wells, C/KX 82754, was a Mechanician 1st class, in the Royal Navy, with H.M.S. Curacao

He was born on 23rd December 1914, at Dover, to Robert W and Frances J Wells. When he left school he became a shop assistant, and on 18th April 1933 he signed up to the Royal Navy for 12 years

Edward Wells, courtesy John WellsHe was ashore with the Pembroke until 26 October 1933, and then, as a Stoker 2nd Class, took his first ship, the H.M.S. Sussex, until 27th April 1934. With that ship he became a Stoker, 1st Class 

When war broke out Ted was serving with H.M.S. Drake as a Stoker, Petty Officer. On 9th September 1939 he returned to shore at HMS Pembroke, and on 27th August 1940 he joined the H.M.S. Curacoa as a Mechanician, 2nd class. There he gained his 1st Class ticket

Throughout his service his character was recorded as "Very Good", and he gained Edward Wells on Curacoa, courtesy John Wellstwo Good Conduct badges. He also gained, on 24th April 1941, the Naval General Service (Palestine) Medal 

Ted was 27 when he died on 2nd October 1942. The H.M.S. Curacoa was escorting the Queen Mary, used as a troop carrier. The vessels collided and the Queen Mary cut straight through the Curacoa. Owing to the threat of U-boats the Queen Mary followed orders not to stop to rescue any survivors, though other destroyers did pick up some. Most on the Curacoa perished, however 

Ted left a wife, Doris Maud Wells, from Dover. His body was never found, and he is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial. Panel 60.3

The picture (left) is believed to be the last one ever taken of Ted. He  is aboard the Curacoa, enjoying a few moments with his pipe and his thoughts in memoriam 1943

with thanks to John Wells
pictures: Edward Wells as Stoker, 2nd Class
Edward Wells as Stoker, Petty Officer
Aboard the Curacoa, believed to be the last picture of Edward Wells
In Memoriam 1943

Wilcox, L. E.
Leonard Edward Wilcox, 6289032, was a Private in the Buffs, 5th battalion. He died at the age of 24 on 9th April 1943, and is buried in the Beja War Cemetery, Tunisia. 1 F 11

His mother was Isabel Fabian Gale, from Buckland, Dover

"in memory of Private Len Wilcox, from Mrs Burrows" - 1944

J Wilkieson, his regiment at Dover Castle, courtesy Daren WilkiesonWilkieson, J.
James Wilkieson, 2754027, came from Lochee in Dundee. He served as a Private in the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) from 1931, and on his return tour from India and the Sudan he came to Dover. In the picture (left) at Dover Castle, he is at the bottom right

There he met Ada Dawkings, and they were married on Christmas Eve 1938, at Christ Church, Folkestone Road. James worked at the Buckland Paper Mill before he Ada and James Wilkieson, courtesy Daren Wilkiesonwas recalled for Military Service in the Second World War

He was 29 when he was killed in action on 21st November 1941 during Operation Crusader, the break out from the port of Tobruk. He is buried at Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma, Libya. 3 C 5. Ada, his wife, was expecting their first baby, and was in Scotland, having moved from 26 Adrian Street, Dover, when the telegram arrived

James' parents, John and Georgina Wilkieson, had also received a telegram. It wasn't until later that day, when Ada and her parents-in-law managed to communicate, that they all realised that there had been more than one death. James' younger brother Andrew had also been killed - on the same day and in the same battle. Andrew is buried at Tobruk War Cemetery, Libya, 7 D 3

After the war, Ada returned to Dover, and finally settled with her baby son in Ramsgate. Though he spoke little about it, her father-in-law John was said never to have recovered from the loss of his sons, with each Hogmanay a particularly painful time of grief for him thereafter 

James and Ada Wilkieson marry, courtesy Daren Wilkieson

with thanks to Daren Wilkieson 
in the wedding picture above, Ada's mother is in the front row, second from left, and her husband is standing behind her. Next to Ada's mother is Ada's youngest sister, Doris, who married the day before the Blackwatch soldier behind her, Jimmy Balfour

grave and church, Simon ChambersWilliams, A. A. F.
Alan Arthur Frederick Williams, 1391272, was a Sergeant (Nav Bomber) in the RAFVR, 9th Squadron. He was an old boy of the County (now Grammar) School, where he won double colours. He joined the Metropolitan Police in July 1938, and the RAF in July 1941

He died on operations on 31st January 1943, when he was 26. He is buried at the St Alphege churchyard, Seasalter, Kent. Grave I 9

He was the elder son of Arthur Balfour and Elizabeth Mary Williams, from Whitstable, late of Deal and Dover, and brother of Harold

Willing, W. L.
William Luke Willing, 6279583, was a Colour Sergeant in the South Staffordshire Regiment, transferred there in 1940, and formerly had served 21 years in The Buffs. He had completed 25 years service with the Colours

He died on 21 July 1943 at the age of 43, at the Dorchester Country Hospital, following a car accident

He was the son of Luke and Amelia Willing, the husband of Nellie Violet Maeking Willing, of 95 Elms Vale Road, Dover, and the father of Marjorie and Dennis

He was buried in St Mary's cemetery, Dover, Grave K J 26, on 26 July, with a funeral of full military honours. The first part of his service was at St Martin's. There were many floral tributes, including those from service units, and one from the Dover Marine Station and Engineering Depot

Wright, E. J. L.
Edwin John Loftus Wright (Teddy) was a Paymaster Sub-Lieutenant (S) in the Royal Navy. He was reported as missing, and later as presumed lost, when the H.M.S. Glorious was sunk on 8 June 1940 after evacuating servicemen from Norway. He was 21 and is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial. Panel 36, Column 32

He was the elder son of John Loftus Wright and Doris Bertha Wright, from Carlyon Bay, Cornwall 

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