THE  DOVER WAR MEMORIAL  PROJECT

 

war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper
 

 

Dover Cemeteries

"Jottings" - spotted by volunteers as they visit the cemeteries (Index). 

SERVICE MEDAL WINNERS

1. GEORGE CROSS WINNERS

Cross, from the gravestone of Reginald Maltby, by Joyce BanksReginald Harry Maltby died on 17th December 1943, a month before his 62nd birthday, after a very short illness. He is buried in Charlton Cemetery, 14 SJ. In the Great War headstone of Reginald Maltby, by Joyce Bankshe was a Motor Engineer, and became WOII in the Royal Tank Corps, from which Corps he retired in 1939. He then became the landlord of the Five Alls in Market Street, and later the Dewdrop Inn at Tower Hamlets.

He was awarded an Empire Gallantry Medal in 1926. Serving in India, he had climbed down a 40 feet well in Lahore to rescue a little girl who had fallen in. After Mr Maltby's death, the medal was exchanged for the George Cross. He had also been awarded the Territorial Efficiency Medal in 1922, while serving in Kirkee.

Funds for his headstone were raised by donations from the Royal Tank Regiment Association, and the stone was placed in 1998. At the bottom are the words, "Fear naught but to fall from Thy favour, dear Lord. Remembered by his comrades"

He was the dearly-loved husband of Beatrice Maltby, and father of Reginald Charles, b 1903, and Freda May, b 1906. Mourners at his funeral with his family included friends, the president and secretary of the Dover and District Licensed Victuallers Association, and Freemasons from the Peace and Harmony and Military Jubilee Lodges.

with thanks to Joyce Banks and Tony Belsey


2. DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS WINNERS

gravestone of Roger Hall, by Simon ChambersRoger Montague Dickenson Hall ("Sam") now lies at rest in St James cemetery near the World War II Commonwealth War Graves. He was one of "The Few". During the Battle of Britain he flew Spitfires with No 152 Squadron, based at Warmwell in Dorset. They were defending the Portland area.

He was gazetted on Tuesday, 24th November 1942, with the citation, "Flight Lieutenant Roger Montagu Dickinson Hall (43009), No 91 Squadron. This officer has completed a large number of sorties, including sweeps, shipping reconnaissances, and many air-sea operations. He has always displayed great keenness to engage the enemy."

Born on 12 August 1917, in Lincolnshire, he attended Haileybury College between 1931 and 1935, and then went to Sandhurst as an Officer Cadet. He became a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Tank Regiment in 1938

In March 1940 he applied to the RAF, and in August, after completing his training, he went to No 1 School of Army Co-operation at Old Sarum. He volunteered for Fighter Command and went to Warmwell on 1st September 1940. Fighter pilots were needed urgently, so Mr Hall had just four days training before he was in action with his Squadron, No 152. He recalled, in an interview in 1985, that the need to survive in combat was when a pilot really learnt to fly, achieving the previously unimaginable with the plane.  Mr Hall even survived being shot down, picked up by a trawler from the sea by Folkestone.

In December he joined 255 Squadron, and gained the first victory for the squadron when he brought down a He111 over the Humber in February 1941. In September that year he became a Flight Commander with No. 72 Squadron at Gravesend, and in April 1942 he went to No 91 Squadron at Hawkinge. He left this squadron in October, and transferred to Administration.

He left the RAF in 1944, with the rank of Flight Lieutenant. As an administrator with British European Airways he helped organise the Berlin Airlift. Thereafter he worked for thirty years for the RAC, including as a motorcycle patrolman, until he retired.

He came to Dover in 1952, and joined the RAFVR in July 1960. He became Commanding Officer at Dover and Sandwich for the Air Training Corps, and later chairman of the Dover ATC management committee, also being elected President.

He never forgot his Battle of Britain days. He wrote a book, "Clouds of Fear", about that heady summer. He attended reunions at Bentley Priory, the former Fighter Command Headquarters, and the yearly Remembrance at the Battle of Britain memorial at Capel in July. He was present there even in the year he died. In the 1980s he featured in a "Songs of Praise" from Dover, and in May 2000 he was one of twenty-five presented with a specially-commissioned Battle of Britain Pilots' watch 

On 19th December 2002, after having become increasingly frail, Mr Hall was found dead at his home in Camden Crescent. He was 83. His funeral was held on 2nd January 2003.

*

This is an extract from "Clouds of Fear", a moving book to read, referring to one of Roger Hall's operational sorties when he was based at Manston, Kent.

About three miles off the French coast we were attacked again by nine 109s who had been waiting for our return ..... When they had finished their dive they were on the same level as we were, and coming into us almost head-on at a phenomenal rate. Black and Yellow sections on our right and nearest to the 109's pulled to starboard a bit to engage them, and fired at them as they approached. The leading 109 was hit somewhere in the engine and flames started to come away from its nose. I think the pilot must also have been hit, for the 109 continued to come straight at Black and Yellow sections as though intent upon ramming into them. The leader, now a mass of flames, came straight into the section and hit Yellow two about his port win with its starboard wing. It was a fantastic sight. Yellow two's wing came clear off and was thrown high into the air above. The remainder of the machine spun round like a catherine wheel in a horizontal plane at an incredible speed but seemed to lose no altitude at all. The 109 lost its starboard wing and, on fire, proceeded towards the sea like a rocket. Its other wing came off before it hit the sea. Yellow two, or the remains of it, spun more slowly until it in turn went into the water. The pilot never got out.

After this incident we remained unmolested for the rest of our channel crossing. The white cliffs of Dover became something more than just a symbol of our ultimate safety when we were half way across the straits. they appeared to embody all that had ever been written about them. They had been called, among other things, silent sentinels, bastions of freedom and white bulwarks. As we swept over them to the sanctuary of the Kentish fields beyond they seemed all that and much more.

information supplied by Dean Sumner
also from article in the Kentish Express, 1st January 2003

thanks also to Joyce Banks

 

Edmund Frank Grover was 23 when he died on 23 June 1947. He is buried at Charlton, QL 12. He was awarded the DFC.


3. DISTINGUISHED FLYING MEDAL WINNER

Rex Ronald Boyce Durtnall, buried at St Mary's, who died aged 21 in 1941.


4. DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT MEDAL WINNER

Henry Horn gravestone, by Joyce Banks Henry Augustus Horn died on 24th November 1926, at his home at 43 Lowther Road. He was buried at Charlton on Saturday, 27th November. Amongst the floral tributes were those from his "broken-hearted wife", Elsie,  and his shipmates, the greasers, and firemen, on the ss Riviera.

He had served during the Great War from 1914 to 1918, and had won the DCM in the retreat from Mons in the Battle of Landrecies. He was then in the 1st Loyal Lancashires. Mr Horn had also been a POW for eight months. 

In civilian life he had been for 12 years a foreman on the Cross Channel Ferries. He was the son of Mr James Horn, a dairyman from Townwall Street, and his wife, Agnes. The headstone reads: "In loving memory of my devoted husband, Henry Augustus Horn, DCM, who died 24th November 1926, aged 36 years. At rest."

with thanks to Joyce Banks


Copyright 2007-12 Marilyn Stephenson-Knight. All Rights Reserved