This blog is a joint venture between both Jackie Ramsbottom of (Haslingden Roots) myself Bryan Yorke of (Haslingden Old and New).
The men who died in the 1st and 2nd World Wars have already been researched by the late William Turner and this information is now published and included within this site.
And here is the introduction to William Turner's fabulous record with some additions:
|Anti Gas Training at Haslingden during 1937|
|Evacuees came to "Turfcote" on Helmshore Road (photo 2003)|
|Wartime Identity Card|
|Wings for Victory Week|
|Haslingden's Epitaph in Greenfield Gardens|
|Nicholas Worsley Ltd - Roll Of Honour World War II 1935- 1945|
If you do wish to see some of our photos, with some which are slightly enlarged viewing, then Click here, then click again over photo to enlarge, and sometimes you can even click again to enlarge further.
Some of the following "portrait" photos are very poor and grainy, but at the moment they are the only photos we have at our disposal which we have managed to take from a "memorial postcard". Obviously if we are fortunate to get better quality photos we will replace them immediately.
World War I (1914-1918)
|Pte John G. Ainsworth|
|Pte Joseph Altham|
Joseph Altham was born in Haslingden in 1879. He was the son of John and Ellen Altham of 13, Stonefold, Haslingden. In 1901 Joseph was living at 11, Stonefold with his widowed mother, brother Wilfred and sisters Martha, May and Ellen. He was 21 years old and was employed as a cotton weaver. On 4 March 1905 he married Sarah Hannah Grime at St. Stephen’s Church, Grane. They had one son, Vernon, born in 1905. Joseph was a member of Stonefold Church and at the time of his death, his son, Vernon, was a member of the choir there. Prior to joining the army he worked as a cotton weaver at Nicholas Worsley’s Mill, Rising Bridge. He joined up on September 2nd 1916, and went to the front on December 28th of that year. In May 1917 his wife was officially informed that he had been killed, by a bursting shell, whilst leaving the trenches on April 11th 1917. He was 38 years old and his name was listed on the Stonefold Church Roll of Honour.
|Pte Enoch Edward Bentley|
|Cpl Robert Bridge|
|Pte William Burgess|
Clegg, Richard Pte 9127, 1st Battalion of the Border Regiment
Cumming, William Allan Pte 241307, lst/5th Battalion, The East Lancashire Regiment
Davison, Harry Pte (Reg No: 50234), 17th Battalion the Kings Liverpool Regiment
Dearden, Robin 7th East Lancs Regt. Aged 26. Died of Wounds 3rd February 1917. He lived at 25 Syke Street, Haslingden. He had been a cotton mill worker.
Dixon, Joshua Pte 269266, lst/7th Battalion King's Liverpool Regiment
Dixon, William - Marine Fireman - Merchant Navy.
|Dvr. Holden Duckworth|
|Pte Joseph Entwistle|
|Pte William Entwistle|
|Pte William Greenwood|
Gregson, James Taylor Pte 282468, 2nd/7th Battalion, The Lancashire Fusiliers
|Pte John Grimshaw|
Grimshaw, John Pte (Reg No:242182) Private John Grimshaw 242182 of the 2nd/5th Battalion Kings Own (Royal Lancasaster) Regiment, died of wounds sustained near Armentieres in France on 13 September 1917. Formerly a weaver at Nicholas Tomlinson & Sons Ltd., Plantation Mill, Haslingden, he lived with his parents, Mr & Mrs Tom and Ellen Grimshaw, at 3 Whittaker Terrace. He was thirty - one years old and engaged to be married. He was a member of Grane Church Institute. His family were closely connected with St Stephen’s Church from the time it was built. On 13 September 1917 Pte. Grimshaw’s battalion was resting behind the lines after an eight day period of action in the trenches at Houplines, near Armentieres. Whilst he and his elder brother Tom were on sentry duty together a stray German shell burst overhead. John was badly wounded by a splinter and died in hospital shortly afterwards. His brother was unhurt. A memorial service was held in St Stephen’s Church on Sunday 30 September 1917, the Revd. Edward Murdoch presiding.
|Lance Corporal Fred Harrison|
|Pte Ernest Haworth|
Haworth, Ernest Pte (Reg No: 31814)
10th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment - Age 20 - Killed in action on
15th November 1916. Died in France. Cemetery or Memorial No: - Pier and Face 11A Thiepval Memorial, France.
Haworth, Harry Pte (Reg No: 43056), lst/6th Battalion Manchester Regiment
|Pte James Clayton Haworth|
|Pte John Thomas Haworth|
Haworth, John William Pte 50246, 17th Battalion The King's Liverpool Regiment
|Pte Riley Haworth|
|Pte William Haworth|
Heaton, Croysdale Pte 16843, 10th Battalion Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)
Heys, James Edward Pte 17173, 8th Battalion The East Lancashire Regiment
|Pte John James Holden|
John James Holden was born on 13 August 1890 at Higher Hollin Gate, Rising Bridge. He was the son of Ralph and Mary Holden and was baptised at St. John’s Church, Stonefold on 5 October 1890. In 1901 John was living at 636, Prospect Terrace, Blackburn Road, Haslingden with his parents and brothers Harry, Abraham, George and Thomas and sisters Alice, Roberta and Ann. He was a member of St. John’s Church, Stonefold where he was a choir member and secretary of the Church Institute. He was killed in action at Ginchy on September 15th 1916 and was 26 years of age. His brother, Private Thomas E. Holden, was wounded in the last attempt to relieve Kut, in Mesopotamia.
John James Holden’s name is commemorated on Thiepval Memorial to the Missing, France.
|Pte Walter Holden|
|Pte John Henry Horner|
Hornung, Albert Gunner with the Royal Garrison Artillery - 321st Siege Battery.
Albert Hornung who died in action in the Great War. His parents, William and Barbara were Germans born around 1866 in Southern Germany. They came over to this country before their children were born and lived in Manchester. They had four sons: George William (1887), my Grandfather, Albert (1889), George (1890) and Albert (1891). All the sons were born in Prestwich. They must have moved to Haslingden in the early 1890s as their daughter Rosa was born in Haslingden in 1894.
The 1911 census shows the family living in 9/11 Church Street where the family ran a pork butchers shop. Before the war they opened another shop in Bank Street, Rawtenstall.
In 1912 William was naturalised, but had to report to the police station daily throughout the war.
All four sons served in the British Army. Albert was a gunner in the Royal Garrison Artillery, 321st Siege Battery. On 7 August 1917 he was killed when he was hit by a shell near the village of Voormezeele in Belgium. He is buried there in Enclosure No 3 Grave XIV. B. 1.
Early on in the war due to the anti German feeling the family were forced to close the shops after windows had been broken. However after Albert's death I know that the Bank Street shop was reopened.
Albert worked in the Bank Street shop and prior to the war had moved to Edenfield. He maybe unique in that he appears on the Haslingden Municipal War Memorial in Haslingden Library, the Rawtenstall Memorial in the Cemetery and the Edenfield Memorial. He is also on the Manchester Road Methodist Memorial. (information kindly supplied by Paul Schofield - Great Nephew to Albert)
Jackson, Robert Who died in Gallipoli on 28th June 1915 aged 19. He is buried in East Mudros Military Cemetry on Limnos. He was the great uncle to Fiona Balchin and she has some letters that he sent to his mother from when he was stationed in Hull at the beginning of that war and it is so sad to think that by June he was gone.
|Pte John Edmund Kirkbirde|
Knowles Daniel Pte (Reg No: 17019 2nd Battalion The King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment)
"On the night of 7 May two men of the Battalion crept out of their trench in search of a gate which they had seen in the daytime and had thought it would be useful in shoring up their trench. In the darkness they overshot their mark and reached a little wood where they heard the sound of German voices.
Daniel Knowles's body was never found. His name is commemorated on Menin Gate, Memorial to the Missing, at Ypres, Belgium.
Knowles, Ralph Pte 84184, Royal Army Medical Corps
|Cpl Rostron Lacey MM|
Mead, John Robert Shuttleworth, Able Seaman (London Z/1581), Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, Hawke Battalion, Royal Naval Division
Nuttall, Tom Lacey Pte S/8331, 1st Battalion The Black Watch (The Royal Highlanders)
|Pte William Pickard|
|Pte Kenyon Pilkington|
Ralph, Craven, Saddler 147616, 341st Bty., Royal Field Artillery.
He was injured in Mesopotamia and taken to the Coloba War Hospital in Bombay to recuperate. In July 1919 he sent his parents (Luke and Emma) a telegram saying he would be home soon. The next telegram they received soon after told them of his death from pneumonia. (this information is from a Haslingden newspaper of the day). His young wife was Mary formerly Kelly.
He was 27 years old when he died on the 10th July 1919. He was an apprentice sadder to John Holt whose shop was at the bottom of Chapel Street off Bury Road (now a butchers shop) across from his father's workshop at the opposite side of Chapel Street were his four other brothers worked. He was the youngest member of the family.
|Pte Robert Revens|
|Pte Thomas Robinson|
|Pte Henry John Rushton|
Rushton, Henry John Pte (Reg No: 6919)
|Pte Ralph Rushton|
|Pte John Sibbering|
|Pte Hartley Smithson|
Smithson, Hartley Pte (Reg No: 491418) Private Hartley Smithson 491418 of the Labour Corps, died in hospital in Ripon, Yorkshire, of pneumonia on 12 January 1918. He was thirty three and a single man. Before he enlisted in June 1917 Pte Smithson was a loom overlooker at L Whittaker and Sons Ltd, Grane Road Mill. He was the third son of Christopher and Ann Smithson of 177 Grane Road. He was a regular attender at St Stephens Church.
|Pte Joshua Smithson|
|Pte Thomas Tasker|
Taylor, Arnold, 24299 East Lancashire Regiment, 6th Service Battalion
Arnold was born in Haslingden in 1893 and was killed in action 9th March 1917 aged 24 years.
His name is on a grave in New Street Cemetery, Haslingden, but he his buried at Baghdad North Gate Cemetery, Grave plot XX G8.
|Sgt Charles Henry Taylor|
Taylor, George Richard - Ordinary Seaman J/57669, Royal Navy, serving on H.M.S. "Vehement"
|Private John Taylor|
|Bmdr Lawrence Lund Taylor|
|Gunner Robert Taylor|
|Private William Taylor|
|Pte Robert Turner|
|Pte James Tomlinson|
Tomlinson, James Pte (Reg No: 19905)
3rd Grenadier Guards - Age 29 - Killed in Action in Belgium. Memorial No: Panel 9 and 11 at Menin Gate, Ypres.
|Pte James Henry Trickett|
Trickett, James Henry Pte (Reg No: 17471)
7th East Lancashire Regiment - Age 30 - Died of wounds on 25th November 1916 in France. He is buried at St. Sever Extension Cemetery. Rouen, France. (Grave No: O.II.N.7)
Westwell, Albert, Cpl (M2/150786) No.1 Reserve Motor Transport Depot, Army Service Corps.
Westwell, Wilkinson Pte 17014, 2nd Battalion The King's Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment)
Whittaker, Richard Pte 34082, 2nd/5th Battalion The Lancashire Fusiliers
|Pte Thomas Worsley|
12th Lancashire Fusiliers - Age 41 - Killed in action on 13th January 1918 in Greece. He is buried at the Karasouli Military Cemetery in Greece. (Grave No: E1026)
|55 Members of the United Irish League Club who died in World War I|
Ashworth, Roland Flt Sgt 609 Squadron Royal Air Force - Died 29th July 1944
Beverley, William - Flight Sergeant - 45 Sqdn. Royal Air Force - Died 22nd April 1941.
Flight Sergeant William Beverley was the pilot in the three man crew of a Blenheim light bomber which took off from its base at Fuka, Egypt, in company with three others, to bomb targets in Benghazi, Libya. The targets were located, the bombs dropped, and the four aircraft got away safely. On the return back to base, however, William's plane disappeared. It was presumed to have gone into the sea as there was heavy cloud in the area.
William is named on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt. The Memorial forms the entrance to the El Alamein War Cemetery. The Land Forces panels commemorate more than 8,500 Commonwealth soldiers who died in the area campaigns and have no known grave. The Air Forces panels commemorate more than 3,000 airmen whose remains were never found. William's name is on Column 242.
Bordycott, Harold - Lce Cpl, 5 Bomb Disposal Company, Royal Engineers, - Died October 1944
Bury, John Richard Pte - 7th Bn. Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry - Died 4th September 1944.
On 31st August 1944 the Battalion joined the Eighth Army on the Gothic Line, the German defensive position across Italy. On 3rd September they were ordered to attack the mountain village of Montefiore. This entailed advancing over three miles over mountain tracks in pitch darkness. The Battalion came under heavy fire as it grew light. From then on it was subjected to accurate and intense shell fire, which caused many casualties. Attacks by German infantry were, however, driven off. After a long day of attack and counter-attack Montefiore was captured on 4th September. Private John Bury lost his life during this gallant action.
John was the son of Thomas and Mary Esther Bury and the husband of Alice. He was 31. They had two children, John and Joyce. He attended St.Peter's, Ewood Bridge. He worked at Porritt Bros. and Austin's Stubbins Vale Mill, and later for 'Betterware', before going into the Army in 1940.
Butler, Joseph Pte 5th Bn. South Staffordshire Regiment - Died 28th July 1944
The 5th Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment landed in Normandy some three weeks after the D-Day landings of 6 June. They were part of the 59th Division. The task of the Division was to capture the fortified town of Caen and the surrounding villages. The task given to the 5th Battalion was the capture of the village of Noyers. This was deep in the 'bocage' area of small fields, high hedges and sunken lanes - easy to defend and difficult to attack. Minefields and German mortar and machine gun fire added to the difficulties. On 17 July the Battalion attacked Noyers but, although the attack was pressed with great vigour and courage, the Germans would not yield. The village was attacked again and again until the Germans withdrew at the end of July. The capture of Noyers and other villages in the area cost the Division over 1,250 casualties. Pte. Joseph Butler was one of these.
Joseph was the son of Mr. and Mrs. S.H. Butler. he was aged 19.
Joseph lies in Fonteney-le-Pesnel War Cemetery, France. The cemetery contains the graves of men who died in the fighting in the area in June and July 1944. There are 460 Commonwealth graves as well as 65 German. Joseph is buried in Plot 3, Row B, Grave 14.
Cartin, James - Gunner - 5 Searchlight Regiment, Royal Artillery - Died 20th July 1942.
The Japanese invaded Malaya (now Malaysia) on 8 December 1941. They crossed the Straits of Johore onto Singapore Island on 8 February 1942. One week later Singapore capitulated. Over 130,000 British, Indian and Australian troops became prisoners of war. Gunner James Cartin was one of these. Sometime later, James was transferred by the Japanese to work in Siam (now Thailand) in preparation for the construction of the Burma to Siam railway. This commenced in October 1942. James died as a result of malnutrition, disease and cruel treatment.
James was the husband of Mrs. E. Cartin. He was aged 33. Before he went into the Army, James attended St.James' Church.
James is buried in Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Thailand. Kanchanaburi is 130 kilometres northwest of Bangkok.The cemetery is only a short distance from the site of the former prisoner of war base camp through which most of the prisoners passed on their way to the railway camps. It was created by the Army Graves Service after the war. There are now 5,084 Commonwealth casualties buried or commemorated in the cemetery. James lies in Plot 2, Row G, Grave 42.
Clarke, James - Rank Unknown - Date of death unknown.
James Clarke is named on St.James' Church War Memorial. However, despite extensive enquiries, no further information about him has come to light.The website of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists 158 men named Clarke, with their initial letter beginning with 'J', who died in the 1939-1945 War. Fifty two men have 'James' as either their first or only forename. None of these show a connection with Haslingden. Because of this, it is impossible to verify which one is James.
It is with great regret, therefore, that I am unable to record the sacrifice that James made for his country during the course of the war.
Coates, William Henry Roy Addison - Flying Officer (Navigator) - 603 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Died 28th August 1944 - Flying Officer William Coates was the navigator of a Mosquito fighter-bomber of the 2nd Tactical Air Force, based at Picauville, France, which was on a night patrol north of Paris. At 2330 hours, whilst it was over Corbeau, the Mosquito engaged a Junkers 88 night-fighter. It was hit by the Junker's return fire and broke up in the air and crashed. The pilot was thrown clear but William was killed.
William was the son of William Robert Addison and Eleanor Anne Coates. He was aged 35. Before he enlisted in the R.A.F. he attended Manchester University where he gained a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Degree.
William is buried in Villeneuve-St-Georges Old Communal Cemetery, France. Villeneuve-StGeorges is a town 18 kilometres southeast of Paris. The old and the new communal cemeteries are close together on the southeast edge of the town. In the old cemetery are the graves of 18 British soldiers of the 1914-1918 War as well as 48 graves of soldiers and airmen of the 1939-1945 War. William lies in Grave 142.
Cockerill, James - Pte - 6th Bn. The Green Howards (Yorkshire Regiment). Died on 11th June 1944.
The 6th Battalion, The Green Howards, landed at La Riviere on 'Gold Beach', Normandy, on 6 June 1944. They quickly advanced inland. On 11 June they were ordered to attack, with tank support, a fortified farm near the village of Cristot. The area was known as the 'bocage' - small fields and orchards with high hedges and sunken lanes. This was ideal for the Germans to defend. As the Green Howards advanced, the Germans waited until the tanks had passed, then opened up on the Green Howards with heavy machine gun fire from the farm and its surrouncing orchards. They fought bravely, although at a heavy price in casualties, until they captured the farm, killing many Germans in the process. They later had to withdraw, bringing their wounded away on the tanks. Pte. James (Jim) Cockerill was one of over 200 casualties suffered by the Battalion in this brave action.
Jim was the son of Walter and Robertha Ellen Cockerill. He was aged 19. He attended St.John's, Stonefold, Church and School and was a member of the choir. Before he enlisted he worked in a local cotton mill.
Jim is buried in Bayeux War Cemetery, France. There are 4,663 Commonwealth graves in the cemetery. Jim lies in Plot X1, Row K, Grave 16.
Coxhill, Walter - Sgt - 1st Airborne Bn. Border Regiment - Died 9th July 1943.
Walter's name is on the Casino Memorial, Italy.
The Memorial is situated within Casino War Cemetery, above which is the hill on which stands the Abbey of Monte Casino. The site for the cemetery was originally selected in January 1944, but it was impossible to use until the Germans were cleared from the area. The Memorial commemorates over 4,000 Commonwealth servicemen who took part in the Italian campaign and whose graves are not known. Walter is commemorated on Panel 7.
Cross, William Godfrey - Pte - 78th. Company, Pioneer Corps - Died 1st May 1945.
Private William (Bill) Cross's unit was with the first troops of the British Expeditionary Force which went to France in September 1939. He went through the whole campaign which ended with the evacuation of the British forces from Dunkirk in June 1940. Bill was captured by the Germans after a hard-fought rearguard action outside the town. He was, with thousands of others, forced-marched to a prisoner of war camp, Stalag V111B, near Lamsdorf, in Upper Silesia. He was also later in Stalag XX1B and Stalag XX1D. In April 1945, as Russian forces approached, the prioners were marched westward by the Germans. They were just south of Munich when they were liberated by the Americans. However, on 1st May their camp was mistakenly bombed by the R.A.F. and Bill was one of several men killed.
Bill was the son of James and Mary Cross. He was 40. He married Kathleen (nee Leonard) in 1930. They had one son. After the death of his wife in 1937, Bill joined the regular army.
Bill is buried in Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany. Most of the graves are of R.A.F. men shot down in the area, whilst the remainder are of prisoners of war. There are 2,934 graves. Bill lies in Plot 3, Row J, Grave 11.
Cryer, Thomas - Driver - 5 Corps Signals, Royal Corps of Signals - Died 15th September 1944.
Coriano Ridge was the last important ridge in the way of the Allied force's advance in the Adriatic sector of the Italian campaign. German tanks and paratroops, aided by very severe weather conc_itions, resisted all the attacks on their positions until reinforced British and Canadian divisions launched a successful attack on 12 September 1944. However, this attack marked the beginning of a week of very heavy fighting which cost the Allied forces some 150 men killed each day. Driver Thomas Cryer was one who lost his life at this time.
Darwen - Harold Pte - 6th. Bn. Lincolnshire Regiment - Died 8 March 1943
The Battalion arrived in Algiers on 17 January 1943 and on 28 February they were placed to defend the village of Sedjenane, which lay in a gap in the hills on the main road from the southwest to Tunis. The village was not favourable for defence because the Germans held the surrounding hills. On 3 March German armoured cars and infantry attacked with 'skill and determination' and captured the village. After four days of heavy fighting, the Battalion was forced to retire and regroup until they were relieved by paratroops. During the battle the Battalion lost 21 men killed, 46 wounded and 98 missing. Pte. Harold Darwen lost his life in this most courageous of actions.
Harold was the son of Mr. and Mrs. J Darwen and the nephew of Mr. A Darwen. He was aged 20. He attended St.James' Church and School.
Harold's name is on the Medjez-el-Bab Memorial, Tunisia. Medjez-el-Bab is 60 kilometres west of Tunis. The Memorial commemorates almost 2,000 servicemen who died in the area between 8 November 1942 and 13 May 1943 and have no known grave. Harold is named on Face 16.
Davies, Albert Ernest - Flight Sergeant (Pilot) - Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve - Died 27 September 1944
Flight Sergeant Albert Davies lost his life in an accident whilst serving in Egypt.
Albert was the son of Ernest Sydney and Jessie Mary Davies. He was aged 23. He was employed as a Civil Servant until he joined the RAFVR in 1941. He was selected for flight training and went to Canada under the auspices of the Empire Training Scheme. He gained his 'wings' at the conclusion of the course. Albert had been a prominent member of St.Mary's Church, Rawtenstall, troop of scouts. He was also a former member of the congregation of St.Peter's, Laneside, Church.
Albert's body lies in Suez War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt. The cemetery is situated on the western outskirts of the town, about three kilometres from the town centre towards the main Cairo to Suez road. Suez was an important hospital centre during the 1914-1918 War. In 1918 graves in other, smaller, cemeteries in the area were transferred to the new War Memorial Cemetery. The 1939-1945 War burials were from the large garrison hospitals based in and around Suez. There are now 513 Commonwealth casualties of the 1914-1918 War and 377 from the 1939-1945 War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. Albert's remains are in Plot 4, Row A, Grave 3.
Dickinson, Richard Harland - Staff Quartermaster Sergeant (WO11) Royal Army Ordnance Corps - Died 25 January 1944
Staff Quartermaster Sergeant Richard Dickinson was killed in a an accident at Shane's Castle, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
Richard was the son of John and Alice Dickinson and the husband of Freda. They had a son and a daughter. He was aged 26. He attended Accrington Grammar School until 1935 when he started work with Accrington Corporation as a clerk in the Transport Department. He joined the RAOC in October 1939. He went with the British Expeditionary Force to France and was evacuated from Dunkirk in May 1940.
Richard's body was brought home and he was interred in Accrington Cemetery on Monday 31 January. Amongst the many floral tributes from family and friends were wreaths from Accrington Corporation Transport Department, and the officers, NCO's and men of 26 Ammunition SubDepot, RAOC. Richard lies in Section D, Plot J, Grave 155.
N.B. Richard's brother John also died on active service in October 1944.
Dickinson, John - Pte - 5th. Bn. Northamptonshire Regiment - Died 14 October 1944
On 12 October Pte. John Dickinson's battalion was given the task of capturing the rocky height of Monte Le Piere (Point 508), south of Bologna, Italy. The first attack failed, and 0420 hours on 14 October was set as zero hour for a second attack. At 0405 a supporting artillery barrage opened up. Unfortunately, shells from the barrage fell amongst the British troops. At the same time there was heavy fire from German artillery, mortars and machine guns. After sustaining many casualties, it was clearly impossible to advance. It was also impossible to execute the original plan because of the approaching daylight, so they were ordered to withdraw. John lost his life at this time.
John was the son of John and Alice Dickinson of Rising Bridge. He was 20. As a boy he attended St.Peter's School, Accrington. Before he enlisted in 1940 he worked as a window cleaner for a local man, Mr. Todd. N.B. John's brother, S.Q.M.S. Richard Dickinson, died in an accident in January 1944.
John lies in Santerno Valley War Cemetery, Italy. Almost 300 men who died in the battles in the surrounding area are buried in the cemetery. John is buried in Plot 1, Row C, Grave 10.
Duckett, Roland - Inspector - Grimsby Special Constabulary - Died 15 June 1943
Mr Roland Duckett was an Inspector in the Special Constables at Grimsby,
Lincolnshire. On 13 June 1943 he was out on duty with a police sergeant during an airraid. Both were riding motor-cycles when a land-mine exploded nearby. Both men were blown off their motor-cycles by the blast. The police sergeant was killed instantly and Roland died in hospital from his injuries.
Roland was aged 37. He was married with one child. He was a native of Haslingden and before he left the town he attended Manchester Road Methodist Church and Sunday School. He worked for the Haslingden Union Gas Company and trained in gas distribution. In 1930 he took up a position with the Grimsby Gas Company. In Grimsby, Roland was a valued member of George Street Methodist Church.
Roland was buried on Saturday 19 June in Scartho Road Cemetery, Grimsby.He lies in Section 94, Row G, Grave 29. Roland's name is on the Roll of Honour of the 60,000 civilians, killed in the United Kingdom during the 1939-1945 War, which is kept in Westminster Abbey.
Emison, Edmund - Leading Sick Berth Attendant - H.M. Hospital Ship Vira, Royal Navy - Died 21 January 1943
Leading Sick Berth Attendant Edmund Emison of the Royal Naval Auxiliary Sick Berth Reserve, became ill and died aboard the Hospital Ship Vira whilst she was berthed at the naval base at Mombasa, Kenya.
Edmund was the son of John Edmund and Bertha Emison and the husband of Elsie. He was aged 31. He had been a member of Haslingden St.John's Ambulance Brigade for several years. He was in the Royal Naval Reserve for seven years before his call-up in September 1939 at the outbreak of war. He worked in a hospital in the south of England for a year before his transfer to a hospital ship. Edmund formerly worked at Messrs. L. Whittaker's, Albion Mill, Helmshore. He worshipped at Haslingden Congregational Church.
Edmund lies in Mombasa (Mbaraki) Cemetery , Kenya. Mombasa is an island off the Kenyan coast. The cemetery contains war grave plots as well as scattered war graves. There are 51 Commonwealth burials of the 1914-1918 War and a further 146 Commonwealth burials of the 19391945 War. Edmund is in the 'Protected Service Plot', Row H, Grave 58.
Entwistle, Leonard Whitworth - Second Lieutenant - Royal Indian Engineers - Died 10 October 1941
Second Lieutenant Leonard Entwistle died whilst serving with the Royal Indian Engineers at their depot in the Lahore Cantonment in the North West Frontier Department of India (now Pakistan).
Leonard was the son of Leonard and Ellen Entwistle of Erith, Kent, formerly of Haslingden. Leonard Entwistle (senior) was a Local Government Officer. Leonard was aged 28. He studied Chemistry and Pure Mathematics at the University of London, gaining his B.Sc.in 1935.
Leonard is buried in Karachi War Cemetery, Pakistan. The cemetery is a few miles from the city centre on National Stadium Road, near the airport. It was created to receive 1939-1945 War graves from civil and cantonment cemeteries scattered throughout northern Pakistan where their permanent maintenance could not be assured. The cemetery contains 642 burials. Leonard lies in Plot 3, Row A, Grave 5.
Evans, Alfred Cooper - Pte - Royal Army Ordnance Corps - Died 3 June 1942
Private Alfred Evans was stationed at an RAOC depot in the northwestern outskirts of Derby. He worked as a radio mechanic. He contracted pneumonia and, as a result, was placed in Derby City Hospital, where he died shortly afterwards. A post-mortem was held in which it was established that the cause of Alfred's death was Empyema(a type of abcess which releases pus into the pleural cavity). This was a result of the initial pneumonia. There was no inquest.
Alfred was the son of William and Lizzie Evans of Haslingden and the husband of Mabel Alice of Cleveleys, Blackpool. He was aged 35.
Alfred's body was brought to his home and, after a short service, he was cremated at Blackpool (Carleton) Crematorium, Poulton-leFylde. Fifty-one 1939-1945 War casualties are commemorated at the Crematorium. Alfred's name is on Panel 2.
Fenton, Alfred - Pte - Pioneer Corps - Died 29 June 1945
Private Alfred Fenton was, with several others, dismantling a German ammunition dump when it blew up, killing and injuring several men. The dump had been booby-trapped. Alfred was seriously injured and he was brought from Germany to Barnsley Hall Hospital, Bromsgrove, where he subsequently died.
Alfred was the son of Robert and Ellen Fenton. He was married to Winifred. They had a son, Brian, aged seven. Alfred was 34. He attended Helmshore Council School and worshipped at St.Andrew's Mission Church. He formerly worked at Lambert Haworth's slipper works, Waterfoot. Whilst serving in Italy he took part in a B.B.C. radio programme in which he described how the Pioneer Corps cleared the Salerno beachhead under constant German artillery fire. The work they did enabled the Allied infantry to break out of the beachhead and push on towards Casino.
Alfred's body was brought home and his funeral took place in St.James' Churchyard on Tuesday 4 July. The burial service was conducted by the Revd. C.C. Greenwood. Amongst the many floral tributes was one from his former colleagues at Lambert Haworth's and one from Haslingden British Legion. Alfred's resting place is on the West Side.
Ford, Leslie Roy - Pte - 2nd. Bn. The Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey) - Died 2 July 1941
On 8 June 1941 a British, Australian and Free French army invaded Syria to remove the proGerman Vichy French forces holding the country. By 22 June the Vichy troops were retiring towards Beirut after the capture of Damascus. On 27 June the 2nd. Queen's attacked 'Point 1634' on a steep hill, Jebel Mazar, but were pushed back to the lower slopes by heavy shelling and sniper fire. In a later attack they reached the summit but were surrounded and forced to fight their way out. They were again under constant artillery and mortar fire. After their gallant action they were relieved by the King's Own. The whole period had been spent in bare, rocky, country which gave every advantage to the defenders. Eleven men including Private Leslie Ford, were killed.
Leslie was the son of Frederick and Rose Ford. He was 22. He attended St.James' Church and School. On 5 October 1941 a service was held in St.James' Church to commemorate his life. The vicar, the Revd. G.C. Greenwood, was the preacher.
Leslie lies in Damascus Commonwealth War Cemetery, Syria. There are 504 1939-1945 War graves in the cemetery. Leslie is buried in Row H, Grave 12.
Frohock, John - Air Mechanic 2nd Class - H.M.S. Nabob, Royal Navy - Died 22 August 1944
On 22 August 1944 three fleet carriers and two escort carriers (one of which was H.M.S. Nabob) of the British Home Fleet, carried out an attack on the German battleship Tirpitz which was sheltering in Kaafiord, Norway. The attack was driven off by the German anti-aircraft barrage and the defending fighters. H.M.S. Nabob's four 'Wildcat' and 14 'Avenger' planes had just returned to her when a torpedo fired by U-boat U354 struck her on the starboard beam. Many men in the naval airmen's berthing space were killed. Air Mechanic John Frohock was one who lost his life. The Nabob was able to limp back to Scapa Flow naval base but was beyond repair and so was scrapped.
John was the son of William James and Mary Elizabeth Frohock.He was aged 20. Before John joined the Royal Navy he attended Ebenezer Baptist Church and Sunday School.
John is commemorated on Lee-on-Solent Memorial, Hampshire. The Memorial is on Marine Parade West, about half a mile from the town centre. It consists of a rectangular column of Portland stone bearing the inscription: 'These officers and men of the Fleet Air Arm died in the service of their country and have no grave but the sea. 1939-1945' There are almost 2,000 names. John's name is on Bay 5, Panel 3.
Gavin, John James - Chief Petty Officer - H.M.S. Itchen, Royal Naval Reserve - Died 23 September 1943
H.M.S. Itchen, a 1,445 ton frigate, built in 1941, was escorting an Atlantic, westbound, convoy in company with the Canadian destroyer St. Croix, and the corvette Polyanthus. An intensive attack by German U-boats, which lasted for four days, started on 20 September. During the attack the St.Croix was torpedoed and sunk. Five officers and 75 ratings were picked up by the Itchen. Later, the Itchen herself was sunk with the loss of 14 officers and 134 ratings, together with all the officers and ratings picked up previously from the St. Croix. Chief Petty Officer John Gavin was one of the officers lost. (The Polyanthus was also sunk with 84 of her complement, together with six merchant ships).
John was the son of John and Louise Gavin and the husband of Florence of Blackpool. He was aged 35. John's name is on Helmshore War Memorial.
John is also commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon. The Memorial is situated on the Hoe, which looks directly towards Plymouth Sound. The Memorial bears the names of more than 7,000 sailors of the 1914-1918 War and almost 16,000 from the 1939-1945 War who have no grave but the sea. John's name is on Panel 84, Column 1.
Gill, Christopher - Fusilier - 1st. Bn. Royal Irish Fusiliers - Died 5 August 1943
Although Sicily was invaded by Allied forces on 10 July 1943, the Royal Irish Fusiliers did not land until 28 July. However, they went into action against the German defenders on 2 August. The Germans were in strongpoints in mountainous country bisected by fast-flowing rivers. In heavy fighting, the Fusiliers drove the Germans back over the River Salso on 4 August. The following day, with great difficulty, they crossed the River Simeto. This was deeper, wider and faster-flowing than the Salso. The Fusiliers were soon engaged in house-to-house fighting in a cliff-top village and also suffered heavy casualties from machine-gun fire from houses on their flanks. Fusilier Christopher Gill died during these gallant actions.
Christopher was the son of Michael and Laura Gill. He was aged 27. He attended St.Mary's R.C. Church, where a Requiem Mass was held for him when the news of his death was received. Before he enlisted he worked at Warburton's Flash Mill.
Christopher lies in Catania War Cemetery, Sicily, Italy. The cemetery contains many burials from the heavy fighting in the area. It contains 2,135 Commonwealth graves. Christopher is in Plot 3, Row F, Grave 34.
Greenwood, Edward - Leading Aircraftman - Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 15 April 1945
Leading Aircraftman Edward Greenwood died whilst on duty on a ship anchored in the Outer Harbour at Holyhead Anglesey, north Wales. An aircraft that was being hoisted off the ship turned and struck Edward when a guide rope gave way. He suffered a fracture at the base of his skull and died almost at once. An inquest held in Holyhead on 18 April gave the cause of death as an accident.
Edward was the son of Fred and Fraser Greenwood of Haslingden. His home address was given as 275 Rochdale Road, Shaw, near Oldham. Edward was aged 44. He was the oldest of Haslingden's war casualties.
Edward's body was brought to his home in Shaw. After a family funeral service he was laid to rest in Shaw Cemetery in Plot 41, Joint Grave 6377.
Greenwood, James Hoyle - Leading Motor Mechanic - H.M. Landing Ship Tank 404, Royal Navy - Died 13 April 1943
LST 404 was built in Baltimore, Maryland, United States, and set sail in convoy from Norfolk, Virginia, for the Mediterranean via Bermuda, on 9 April 1943. As the ship neared Bermuda, Leading Motor Mechanic James Greenwood was reported missing believed drowned, following a boat accident. His death was later confirmed to his wife when his body was recovered from the sea.
James was the son of Emily and the late Charles William Greenwood. He was aged 34 and married with four small children. His home was in Clayton-le-Moors. (In due course his widow remarried and moved to London). James a native of Haslingden, formerly worked in the Haslingden Corporation Transport Depot and also at the Dunkenhalgh Printworks. He joined the Royal Navy in 1941.
James is buried in Bermuda Royal Naval Cemetery, Ireland Island, Bermuda. The cemetery dates from the year 1800 and contains over 1,600 graves. It lies between Lodge Point and the West coast, near the North side of the lagoon. It has 34 1939-1945 War graves. James lies in Grave number 417.
Greenwood, Ronald - Aircraftman, 1st Class - 605 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve - Died 8th September 1943
Aircraftman 1st. Class, Ronald Greenwood's squadron arrived by sea at Palembang, Sumatra, from the United Kingdom in mid-January 1942. On 14 February Japanese paratroops landed at Palembang and with sea-borne reinforcements, attacked the British and Dutch defenders. The squadron's Hurricane fighters helped in the fighting until most of the planes were destroyed. The surviving defenders escaped to Java, but after more fierce fighting, they were taken prisoners of war. They were first held on Java and then transferred to the notorious Changi Jail in Singapore. Ronald died eighteen months later, a victim of sickness and malnutrition.
Ronald was the son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Greenwood. He had six brothers and two sisters. He attended St.Stephen's Church, Grane. Ronald was in the R.A.F.V.R. before enlistment. His father, a retired police sergeant, and former landlord of the Robin Hood Inn, Helmshore, died in June 1944.
Ronald is buried in Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore. The cemetery was begun by prisoners of war and in 1946 it was enlarged into a permanent war cemetery with the graves from the cemetery at Changi. Ronald's would be one of these. There are 3,595 Commonwealth war graves. Ronald lies in Plot 13, Row C, Grave 12.
Gudgeon, Benjamin - Private- 1st. Bn. Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)
Died 22 May 1944
On 23 May the American VI Corps were to break out from the Anzio beach-head, south of Rome, and link up with other Allied forces. The Duke of Wellington's Regiment attacked the hamlet of Pantoni on 22 May to deceive the Germans concerning the direction of the main assault. Although their attack was pressed home with the utmost vigour, during which intense hand-tohand fighting took place, they could not gain their objective and had to dig in about 100 yards from the German lines. This proved untenable so they were forced to withdraw before dawn. Twelve men were killed and 74 were wounded or missing. It is believed Private Benjamin Gudgeon was wounded and died in the care of the Germans. In 1998 Benjamin's paybook was returned to his son when the Russians handed over British documents later captured by them from the Germans.
Benjamin was the son of Adam and Sarah Elizabeth Gudgeon. He was aged 35. He was the husband of Edith Mary. They had a son, Bryan. Benjamin attended St.James' Church. He was a butcher until he was called up on 2 February 1943
Benjamin was buried in Beach Head War Cemetery, Anzio, Italy. The cemetery contains many bodies brought in from the surrounding battlefields. He lies in Plot 1, Row H, Grave 10.
Halstead, Philip Edmundson - Lieutenant - No.7 Bomb Disposal Company, Royal Engineers - Died 27 November 1944
Lieutenant Philip Halstead and a colleague had been clearing a beach near Bridlington, Yorkshire, of mines, and were returning with them to Hornsea in a 13cwt. vehicle, when it was in collision with another Army vehicle. Philip's vehicle overturned and caught fire. Philip was trapped inside and died immediately. His colleague suffered severe burns and so was unable to help him.
Philip was the youngest son of William Arthur and Emma Halstead. Philip was the husband of Joan. He was aged 23. On leaving Haslingden Mixed School, he went to Haslingden Grammar School. He then worked in the Surveyor's Department of Ramsbottom District Council. Philip was a member of Manchester Road Methodist Church. He joined the Royal Engineers on 1 December 1942.
Philip was buried in Stubbins Congregational Churchyard on Friday 1 December 1944, after a service conducted by the Revd. J.A. Waites. Six men from No.7 Company acted as bearers. Amongst the many floral tributes from family and friends, were wreaths from the Officers, N.C.O.'s and men of No.7 Company and also No.3 Bomb Disposal Company. Philip lies in a family grave, Grave 4, in the North Plot. N.B. Philip's brother, Derek, died in August 1944.
Halstead, William Derek Taylor - Warrant Officer (Pilot) - 90 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve - Died 27 August 1944
Warrant Officer Derek (as he was known) Halstead was the pilot of a Lancaster bomber which took off from Tuddenham, Suffolk, at 2015 hours as part of a force of 382 planes detailed to attack Kiel, Germany. Derek's aircraft was at first reporteG missing, but it was later known to have crashed into the North Sea with the loss of the entire crew. Three bodies, of which Derek's was one, were washed ashore on the German island of Sylt.
Derek was the second son of William Arthur and Emma Halstead. He was married to Mary Elizabeth. He was 26. After leaving Haslingden Council Mixed School (where his father was headmaster), he went to Haslingden Grammar School. He was at York Teacher Training College when he enlisted. In May 1943 he took part in Haslingden's 'Wings for Victory Week' and showed himself as an accomplished public speaker.
Derek's body, with those of his comrades, was originally buried in the public cemetery in Westerland, Sylt. All were re-interred in Kiel War Cemetery after the war. The cemetery contains 983 Commonwealth graves, mostly airmen lost in bombing raids over northern Europe. Derek lies in Plot 3, Row C, Grave 14. N.B. Derek's brother, Philip, died in November 1944.
Haslam, Walter Philip - Dvr - Royal Army Service Corps -Died 31 August 1943
The Japanese invaded Malaya (now Malaysia) on 8 December 1941. On 15 February 1942, on the island of Singapore, the British forces capitulated and the campaign ended. Over 130,000 British, Indian and Australian troops became prisoners of war. Driver Walter Haslam was one of these. Sometime later, Walter was transferred to Burma (now Myanmar) to work on the Burma to Siam (now Thailand) railway. Walter later died as a result of over-work, malnutrition and cruel treatment.
Walter was the son of Mrs. Haslam and the late Mr. Walter Haslam. He was aged 30. He was married two days before he joined the Army in 1941. His wife lived in Accrington. Walter attended Musbury (St. Thomas') Church and Sunday School and was employed at Messrs. Porritt's and Spencer's Woollen Mill, Sunnybank Works, Helmshore, before he went into the Army.
Walter lies in Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery, Myanmar. The cemetery lies at the foot of the hills which form the border between Myanmar and Thailand. Thanbyuzayat began as a prisoner of war administration headquarters and base camp. The cemetery was created by transferring to it all the graves along that section of the railway. There are now 3,149 Commonwealth war graves. Walter's remains are in Plot B6, Row R, Grave 18.
Haworth, Herbert Hawkins - Driver - Royal Army Service Corps - Died 14 February 1942
Driver Herbert Haworth died in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Royal Hospital, Chesterfield, from Rheumatic Fever, Endocarditis and Pneumonia. His death was brought on by his war service. Herbert's brother, Frank, was present at his becsice.
Herbert was the son of George Edward and Gertrude Haworth. He was aged 35. He attended Musbury (St.Thomas') Church and School and he had been employed at Messrs. Porritt's and Spencer's Woollen Mill, Sunnybank Works, since leaving school. At the time of his enlistment he worker as a wool-washer. Herbert had two brothers serving in the Forces.
Herbert's body was brought to his parent's home for burial. After a service at his home and in church, he was laid to rest in St.Thomas' Churchyard on 21 February. He lies in Grave A 1022.
Haworth, Robert - Able Seaman - H.M.S. Beaufort, Royal Navy - Died 12 July 1943
H.M.S. Beaufort was a 1,050 ton destroyer of the 'Hunt' class, built at Birkenhead in 1941. In a letter to his parents, Able Seaman Robert Haworth said, "Great news is about to break". The 'great news' was the long-awaited invasion of Sicily, the first Allied landings in Europe. During the invasion 182 ships of the Royal Navy provided protection from German and Italian air attacks and also supported the advancing Allied troops by shelling enemy positions. Several ships were sunk by bombs and many others were damaged. Robert lost his life when H.M.S. Beaufort was damaged.
Robert was the son of Bennett and Susannah Haworth. He was aged 20. He attended St.John's, Stonefold, Day School, then Baxenden Wesleyan Senior School. He played football for the school. He was a weaver at Irwell Vale Mill until he went to work at the munitions factory at Wavell Works, Helmshore. He joined the Royal Navy in February 1942.
Robert is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire. The memorial is on Southsea Common and bears the names of almost 10,000 sailors of the 1914-1918 War and almost 15,000 from the 1939-1945 War who have no grave but the sea. Robert is named on Panel 74, Column 3.
Haworth, Robert - Gnr - 240 Bty. 77 H.A.A. Regiment, Royal Artillery - Died 20 May 1944
Many British troops and airmen escaped to Java, in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), in February 1942 from Singapore and Sumatra shortly before the Japanese forces captured those islands. Gunner Robert Haworth's battery of the Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment was employed in the defence of Java's capital, Batavia, (now Jakarta). On 1 March 1942 Japanese forces landed near Batavia and occupied the town on 5 March. Robert, with the survivors of his regiment, became a prisoner of war. It was only in January 1946 that his parents were officially informed of his death from Beri Beri and chronic inflammation in a Batavia prison camp two years after his capture.
Robert was the son of Ernest and Betsy Jane Haworth. He was agec 33. He was the husband of Louie. They had one child. (Mrs Haworth, a Chesterfield girl, returned with her child, to her home town). Robert attended St.James' Church and School. Before he joined the Army in May 1941, he worked at Glendale Works, CloughfolG.
Robert lies in Jakarta War Cemetery, Java, Indonesia. The war-time cemetery held 474 graves, but in 1961 over 600 graves were brought from Sumatra. Robert' remains are in Plot 5, Row C, Grave 14.
Hayhurst, Joseph - Flight Sergeant - 7 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 25 May 1944
Flight Sergeant Joseph Hayhurst was the wireless-operator/gunner in a Lancaster bomber which took off at 22-56 hours from Oakington, Cambridgeshire, on a path-finding mission to Aachen, Germany. (N.B. Pathfinders preceded the main bomber force to indicate the target with flares). The aircraft later crashed at Schophoven, Germany. All seven of the crew were killed. The crew had completed over half of the projected sorties, after which they would have been rested.
Joseph was the son of Robert and Anne Hayhurst. He was married to Marjorie, of Helmshore. He was aged 29. He attended St.Oswald's School and worked as a butcher for the Wholesale Meat Association in Accrington before he joinec the R.A.F.V.R.
Joseph's remains are in Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany. The cemetery is situated between Krefeld and Wesel. The site was chosen in 1946 for the concentration of graves moved from many smaller cemeteries in that part of the country. There are now 3,326 Commonwealth servicemen buried or commemorated in the cemetery. Joseph lies in a Collective Grave in Plot 7, Row A, Grave 1-6.
Hoare, William Patrick - Sergeant - 15 O.T.U., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 21 April 1943
Sergeant William Hoare was attached to No.15 O.T.U. (Operational Training Unit) at Harwell, Oxfordshire, six miles south of Abingdon. On Good Friday, 21 April, he was taking part in a flying formation exercise in a Wellington bomber, when there occurred a complete fracture of the starboard engine cylinder block. The aircraft crashed. at Wychbold, near Droitwich, Worcestershire, and completely burnt out. All the six crew, including William, were killed instantly.
William was the son of David and Susan Hoare of Haslingden. He was 20. He attended St.James the Less Roman Catholic Day School and Church, Rawtenstall. He joined the R.A.F.V.R. in 1941 and trained in Canada under the Empire Air Training Agreement.
William's body was brought to his home in Rawtenstall for burial. His funeral took place on Tuesday 27 April in Rawtenstall Borough Cemetery. Services at the cemetery church, and by the graveside, were conductecd by the Revd. Father McGinnell. Amongst the many floral tributes from family and friends, was one from No.15 O.T.U. An officer from the unit was also present. There are 20 1914-1918 War graves and 18 from the 1939-1945 War in the cemetery. William lies in the R.C. Plot, Grave 928.
Hobson, Kenneth - Trooper - 59th. Training Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps - Died 9 October 1946
Trooper Kenneth Hobson was one of a group of learner-drivers aboard a 15cwt. Army lorry when it collided with a civilian lorry on the West Aukland to Darlington road in County Durham. The Army vehicle was travelling downhill on a bend when it struck the civilian lorry coming up the hill. The Army vehicle continued down the hill for some yards before going through a hedge. It came to rest in a field after knocking down twenty yards of fencing. Two troopers were killed outright and Kenneth died later in Bishop Aukland Hospital.
Kenneth was the only son of Mr. and Mrs. George Hobson. He was 18. He had one sister. Kenneth attended St.John's, Stonefold, Church and School. He was an active member of Haslingden Youth Club and the Weaver's Institute. He formerly worked at Messrs Luke Ralph's as a sheet-metal worker.
Kenneth's body was brought home and he was buried in St.John's, Stonefold, Churchyard on Monday 14 October. The Revd. J. Read conducted the burial service. Representatives of his regiment were in attendance. Kenneth lies in Grave Number 76.
Holden, John - Sergeant - 49 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve - Died 10 June 1944
Sergeant John (Jack) Holders was the wireless operator/Air Gunner on a Lancasterr bomber which took off at 21.36 hours from Fiskerton, Lincolnshire, to take part in a bombing raid on the railway junction at Etampes, east of Rouen, France. Six aircraft, including Jack's, were shot down by German night-fighters. The Lancaster crashed two kilometres north of Rosay-sur-Lieure, which itself is nine kilometres north of Ecouis. Six of the seven crew, including Jack, were killed.
Jack was the son of Thomas Edward and Mary Holders. He was aged 18. He first attended St.John's, Stonefold, School, and then went to Haslingden Grammar School. He was a choirboy at St.John's Church.
Jack is buried, with four of his comrades, in Bayeaux War Cemetery, France. One man lies in a French municipal cemetery in Beauvais. Flying Officer P.D. Hemmens became a prisoner of war and died on 18 October 1944 whilst incarcerated in the notorious Buchenwald Concentration Camp. Jack lies in Plot 16, Row C, Grave 10.
Holden, Richard - Pte - 1st. Bn. North Stafforcshire Regiment - Died 17 July 1943
The 1st. Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment arrived in the Maungdaw area of the Arakan front in Burma (now Myanmar) on 24 April 1943. On 16 July 1943 'Operation Polecat' was launched. The objective was for a company to ambush the Japanese forces on the Maungdaw to Buthidaung road. They were to eliminate any troops found, destroy any vehicles seen and to capture prisoners. All taking part were volunteers. Throughout the operation, the rain was extremely heavy. Movement was only possible at night, and the going so difficult through thick jungle, the Burmese guides soon became lost. At dawn on 17 July, the Japanese made a surprise attack with mortar and machine-gun fire. The company sustained many casualties and were forced to withdraw. It was not possible to evacuate the wounded and the Japanese took them prisoner. Private Richard Holden lost his life in this action.
Richard was the son of Joseph and Jane Holden. He was aged 23.
Richard's body was never found so he is commemorated on the Rangoon Memorial, Yangon, (formerly Rangoon), Myanmar. The Memorial bears the names of almost 27,000 men of the Commonwealth land forces who died in the country and have no known grave. Richard's name is on Face 17.
Holgate, Deryk - Petty Officer Radio Mechanic - H.M.S. Asphodel, Royal Navy
Died 9 March 1944
The 925 ton corvette, H.M.S. Asphodel was part of the escort of a convoy of merchant ships sailing up the English Channel. As the convoy was passing Cape Finisterre, France, it was attacked by German U-boats. As the Asphodel manoeuvered to engage a U-boat, its commander forgot to release the 'foxer' device which deflected the German's new acoustic torpedoes. One struck the Asphodel, and she sank in three minutes with the loss of over 70 men. Petty Officer Deryk Holgate was one who lost his life.
Deryk was the son of John William and Gwendoline Bessie Holgate. He was 21. Deryk attended Helmshore Council School, of which his father was the headmaster, and then Haslingden Grammar School. He worked at William Robinson's Union Mill with the intention of learning the cotton trade before going to university. He joined the Royal Navy in 1941. Deryk was strongly connected with King Street Methodist Church.
Deryk's name is on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire. The Memorial is an obelisk on Southsea Common and commemorates almost 10,000 sailors of the 1914-1918 War and almost 15,000 from the 1939-1945 War who have no grave but the sea. Deryk is on Panel 86, Column 3.
Holmes, Clifford - Pte - 9th. Bn. Durham Light Infantry - Died 21 January 1945
The 9th. Durham Light Infantry landed in France on D-Day, June 1944. By January 1945 they were advancing towards the River Roer and Germany itself. As they reached the village of St Joost, 13 Platoon came under exeptionally heavy shelling and mortar fire. A few survivors, including Private Clifford Holmes, sheltered in a building. Pte. Webster later described how German civilians spotted them. "Within half an hour a German tank came. Our artillery started firing. A shell hit the roof - I heard groans each side of me - Holmes and Clarke. Cliff Holmes asked me for water. The Germans then opened up with tracers and in this loft, full of flames and smoke, Holmes and Clarke passed
Clifford was the elder son of Maria and the late John William Holmes. He was aged 24. He attended George Street Mission Church, where he was Sunday School Secretary. Before he joined the Army in May 1940, he worked for Mr. J. McIntyre, Painter and Decorator.
Clifford's remains were buried in Nederweert War Cemetery, Holland. The cemetery contains 362 casualties from the battlefields in the area. Clifford lies in Plot 3, Row B, Grave 9.
Hopkins, Harold - Pte - 4th. Bn. East Lancashire Regiment - Died 30 May 1940
The outbreak of war on 3 September 1939 found the 4th. Battalion East Lancashire Regiment in Blackburn under the command of Lt.Col. G.N. Robinson. It is to their credit that every man who received his notice calling him up for mobilisation answered the call. After many false alarms, the Battalion went to France on 23 April 1940. On 27 May they were ordered to withdraw from Armentieres towards Dunkirk. On 30 May, German tanks attacked the Battalion at a point near Oost-Chapelle. The tanks were supported by artillery and small-arms fire. The Battalion inflicted casualties on the attacking German infantry and knocked out several light tanks in what was later described as 'brief but brisk' action. The Battalion, however, suffered many casualties in an action fought after a march of some 70 miles in 4 days. Private Harold Hopkins lost his life on that day.
Harold was one of three brothers. He was aged 23. He attended St.James' Church and School. He was a member of the Haslingden company of the Battalion and was an officer's servant.
Harold is buried in Warhem Communal Cemetery, France. The village of Warhem is 12 kilometres southeast of Dunkirk and about five kilometres east of Berques. The cemetery holds 90 19391945 War casualties, of which 30 are unidentified. Harold lies in Row B, Grave 12.
Horrocks, Jack - (Rank not known) - Royal Corps Of Signals - Died 1 May 1944
Jack Horrocks died at his home in Haslingden from Hodgkin's Disease (a form of cancer). Jack was discharged from the Army because of his illness and was unable to return to his civilian job as a bus-conductor for Haslingden Transport Department.
Jack was the son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Horrocks and the husband of Elizabeth. He had a sister, Maggie. Jack was aged 30. He attenc_ed St.James' Church and School and played cricket and football for the Church Institute. He was also an expert billiards player. He was a member of Haslingden Conservative Club and Haslingden British Legion.
On 5 May Jack was laid to rest in Holders Hall Cemetery after a service conducted by the Revd. C.C. Greenwood. In addition to family and friends, representatives from Haslingden Transport Department, Haslingden Conservative Club, Haslingden British Legion and St.James' Church Institute were present. Amongst the many floral tributes was one from 'his old friends at Hazel Mill, Acre.' Holders Hall Cemetery is now owned by Rossendale Borough Council. There are 32 C.W.G.C. (Commonwealth War Graves Commission) graves from the 1914-1918 War and four from the 1939-1945 War. Jack lies in a family grave in Plot G, Grave 353, C of E Section.
Hulme, Herbert Henry - Pte - 1st. (Airborne) Bn. Border Regiment - Died 10 July 1943
Private Herbert Hulme was a member of the airborne force taking part in the invasion of Sicily from Tunisia on the night of 9/10 July 1943. As the Dakota planes towing the Waco gliders bearing the troops of the Border Regiment neared the coast, a combination of bad weather, intense darkness, anti-aircraft fire and the inexperience of the Dakota's American pilots, caused many of the gliders to be released too early. The result was that over 60 per cent landed in the sea, causing the deaths of over 120 men. Herbert was one of these men.
Herbert was the son of Robert and Hilda Hulme and the husband of Ellen Mary. He was aged 24.
Herbert lies in Syracuse War Cemetery,Sicily.
It is three kilometres west of the city. The majority of the men buried in the cemetery died during the landings or in the early stages of the campaign. Many graves are of men of the airborne forces, such as Herbert, who lost their lives in the attempted landings or over the sea. The cemetery contains 1,059 Commonwealth burials, 134 of which are unidentified. Herbert's grave is in Plot 2, Row F, Grave 5.
Illingworth, John - Sergeant - 158 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve - Died 13 April 1944
Sergeant John Illingworth was the flight engineer on board a Halifax bomber which crashed soon after take-off from No. 1663 Heavy Conversion Unit at Rufforth, Yorkshire. The aircraft, which was taking part in a night exercise, came down on farmland near Healaugh, seven miles from York. There were no survivors.
John was the son of John and Elizabeth Jane Illingworth. He was aged 22. He attended Baxenden Methodist School and later was a member of the Young Men's Institute. Prior to joining the R.A.F.V.R. in 1941, he worked at Messrs. Waddington's Hazel Mill, Acre.
John's body was brought home, and after a memorial service at Baxenden Methodist Church, he was laid to rest in St.John's, Stonefold, Churchyard. The coffin was draped with the R.A.F. station flag and representatives from his squadron were present. Amongst the many floral tributes from his family and friends were wreaths from his Commanding Officer and all ranks at his station and also one from his squadron. John lies in Grave No. 90B.
Ireland, Frank - Bombardier - 155 Bty., 52 L.A.A. Regiment, Royal Artillery - Died 20 April 1941
On 6 April 1941 a strong German force invaded Greece. On 18 April, British, Greek, Australian and New Zealand troops began a fighting withdrawal from the Mount Olympus area to a defensive line at Thermopylae. However, the German Luftwaffe had complete control of the air and made devastating attacks on the Allied forces. The following day, it was decided that the situation was untenable and the Allied troops were to be evacuated to Crete. By 29 April, over 50,000 troops left Greece, after destroying all their guns and vehicles. Bombardier Frank Ireland was one who lost his life during this disastrous campaign.
Frank was the son of William and Ellen Ireland. He was aged 21.
Frank's name is on the Athens Memorial. The Memorial is insic_e the Phaleron War Cemetery, which lies a few kilometres southeast of Athens, near the international airport. It commemorates almost 3,000 members of the land forces of the Commonwealth who lost their lives in Greece and Crete in 1941 and in later campaigns in 1944-1945, and who have no known grave. Frank, with several of his comrades, is named on Face 2.
Jump, James Hilton - Pilot Officer - Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve - Died 4 August 1942
Pilot Officer James Jump was attached to No. 21, Personnel Transit Centre at Kasfareet, Egypt, when, on 18 July 1942, he was taken ill with Typhoid Fever. He was admittec_ to No. 19 General Hospital, where he died on 4 August.
James was the son of Albert Edward and Alice Jump. He was aged 25. He was educated at a public school in Southport. He joined the R.A.F.V.R. in September 1939 and trained in Rhoc_esia under the Empire Training Agreement. He later flew fighter planes in India. He had also seen action in the recent operations against German and Italian forces in Libya and Egypt. Before James joined the R.A.F.V.R. he was the office manager for Messrs. William Redfearn, Iron and Steel Merchants, of Manchester. His father was the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages for Haslingden and Bury.
James lies in Fayic War Cemetery, Egypt. Fayid is a small town 20 kilometres south of Ismailia on the western shore of the Great Bitter Lake, which is at the mid-point of the Suez Canal. The cemetery was opened in June 1941 for burials from military hospitals. It contains 765 Commonwealth burials from the 1939-1945 War. James is buried in Plot 2, Row F, Grave 18.
Kavanagh, Wilfred Henry - Corporal - 16th./5th. Lancers - Died 11 August 1946
Corporal Wilfred Kavanagh was the commander/observer of a Daimler 'Dingo' scoutcar as it was on a routine trip to Klagenfurt, Austria. Because vision for the driver was restricted through a rather narrow visor, the commander needed to stand in the turret to advise the driver, if necessary, of any hazards. As the scout-car approached an unmanned railway crossing near St. Veit, a small town near Klagenfurt, a train travelling at high speed came into view, forcing the scoutcar driver to brake sharply. This caused it to run off the road and overturn. The impact killed Wilfred outright.
Wilfred was the son of Elizabeth (Bessie) and the late Thomas Kavanagh. He was aged 24. He went to St.John's, Stonefold, Church and School. He was also, for some time, the organist at St.John's Church at Baxenden. Before joining the Army in 1941, he worked as an accountant in Manchester. Wilfrec_ had survived all the heavy fighting in which his regiment was engaged during the 1944/1945 campaigns in Italy.
Wilfred was laid to rest in Klagenfurt War Cemetery, Austria. It is the only British War Cemetery in Austria and holds 589 graves. Wilfred lies in Plot 6, Row F, Grave 14.
Kerron, John - Pte - 5th. Battalion, Manchester Regiment - Died 31 May 1940
On 16 May 1940 the British Expeditionary Force started to fall back towards Dunkirk under heavy pressure from vastly superior German forces. On that day the Battalion was near Tournai, Belgium. By 27 May, as the Battalion neared Dunkirk on the coast road from the Belgian frontier, the Germans strove to prevent the disembarkation of troops from the town of De Panne. They reached De Panne on 31 May and after much heavy fighting, they had occupies the town by about nine a.m. on 1 June. Private John Kerron lost his life during this heavy fighting. He was posted 'missing' when the remnants of the Battalion arrived in England from Dunkirk on 2 June.
John was the son of John and Margaret Kerron. He was aged 21. He attended St.Mary's R.C. Church and School. In February 1941, his mother advertised in the 'Haslingden Observer' for anyone who had information about him to contact her.
John lies in De Panne Communal Cemetery, Belgium. The Commonwealth plot in the cemetery was constructed by the local authority in August 1940. More than 200 graves were moved by the Belgians from battlefield burials on the roads and beaches in the area. There are 259 burials, of which 79 are unidentified. John is in Plot 1, Row A, Grave 16.
Lambert, Jack - Lance Corporal - 8th. (Ardwick) Bn. Manchester Regiment - Died 28 July 1944
The 8th. Battalion, Manchester Regiment, took part in the defence of Malta from May 1940 until August 1943. As Malta was no longer under siege, it then served in Egypt, Palestine anc Syria, until February 1944, when it went to Italy. The Battalion's first action was to capture the mountain village of Piccione, against strong opposition. In July 1944 there was heavy fighting on both sides of the Chiana valley leading to the town of Arezzo. The Germans mace a stand in front of the town, and there was fierce fighting before they were driven out. Lance Corporal Jack Lambert lost his life during this period.
Jack was the son of John James anc Maggie Lambert. He was aged 25. He attended St.John's, Stonefold, Church and School. He worked at Stonefold Mill before he joined the Army in 1939. He had served in Belgium, Malta and Sicily.
Jack is buried in Arezzo War Cemetery, Italy. The Cemetery lies on the main road from Rome to Florence, about eight kilometres west of Arezzo. The site was chosen in November 1944, and graves were brought in from the surrounding battlefields. There are 1,268 war graves, of which there are 40 of men who are unidentified. Jack lies in Plot 1, Row A, Grave 30.
Lane, Wilfred - Battery Quartermaster Sergeant - 51 Light Anti-Aircraft Regt. Royal Artillery Died between 27 May and 2 June 1940
The German offensive to drive the British Expeditionary Force from the Continent began on 10 May 1940. The first British withdrawal began in Belgium on 16 May. They then made a fighting retreat towards the port of Dunkirk. The evacuation of the British and French forces from Dunkirk was ordered on 26 May. By 4 June over 338,000 Allied troops were in England. Battery Quartermaster Sergeant Wilfred Lane was a member of a Territorial unit which took part in the campaign. Nothing was ever discovered of his fate, not even the date of his death.
Wilfred was the husband of Gladys Matilda. He was aged 29. Both were associated with St.James' Church.
Wilfred is commemorated on the Dunkirk Memorial, France. It stands at the entrance to the British War Graves Section of Dunkirk Town Cemetery. On entering the cemetery through the columns of the Dunkirk Memorial, 450 graves from the 1914-1918 War and 800 from the 19391945 War can be seen. The Dunkirk Memorial itself commemorates more than 4,500 casualties of the 1939-1940 campaign who have no known grave. Wilfred's name is on Column 7.
Lyons, Austin - Corporal - 13th. Bn. Parachute Regiment - Died 19 August 1944
On 15 August, the Battle of Normandy was regarded by the British High Command as over when the German forces trapped in the 'Falaise Pocket', surrendered or retreated. On 17 August, the 13th. Battalion, Parachute Regiment, was part of the advance from Falaise, moving towards the River Seine. Whilst the Battalion was advancing towards a defensive feature known as Hill 13, near the village of Putot-en-Auge, they had to wait in the open, under heavy fire, before crossing 1,000 yards of open terrain. They then moved at speed before the Germans realized the danger. As the paratroops reached the top of Hill 13, the Germans counter-attacked. They were beaten off but the paratroops sustained heavy losses. Corporal Austin Lyons lost his life at this time.
Austin was the only son of John and Emma Jane Lyons. He was 23. He attended St.Mary's Church and was a member of their football team. He was a bricklayer before he joined the Army. He landed in Normandy on D-Day, 6 June 1944.
Austin was laid to rest in Putot-en-Auge Communal Churchyard, France. Putot-en-Auge is 22 kilometres northeast of Caen. There are 32 Commonwealth burials in the cemetery. Austin lies in Row C, Grave 15.
Maden, Harry - Pte - 5th. Bn. Border Regiment - Died 1 June 1940
The 5th. Battalion, Border Regiment, landed at Le Havre, France, on 18 April 1940 and moved to Lille. On 10 May, the Germans invaded Belgium and France. The Battalion, together with the rest of the British Expeditionary Force then began a fighting withdrawal towards Dunkirk. In a confused situation, with very little information as to what was happening elsewhere, the Battalion fell back to Cysoing, where they spent three days under constant shell-fire. On 29 May they moved to the banks of the 'Canal des Chats' and dug in. After suffering many attacks from 'Stuka' dive-bombers, they were ordered to the beach at Dunkirk. Private Harry Maden was last seen, with a friend from Rawtenstall, wading in the sea in order to get into a rescue boat. He was at first reported as 'missing', but later his death was confirmed.
Harry was the son of Mr. and Mrs. J.W. Maden. He was aged 21. He attended St.Peter's Mission Church at Ewood Bridge, where he was in the choir.
Harry is buried in Warhem Communal Cemetery, France. The village of Warhem is 12 kilometres southeast of Dunkirk. The cemetery holds 90 1939-1945 War casualties, of which 30 are unidentified. Harry lies in Row A, Grave 9.
Marsden, John - Pte - 2nd. Bn. The Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) - Died 19 October 1943
In September 1939 the 2nd. Battalion, The Loyal Regiment, was part of the garrison of Malaya (now Malaysia). On 8 December 1941, Japanese forces invaded Malaya at Khota Bharu, on the northwest coast. The Loyal Regiment was part of the British forces which made a fighting withdrawal as the Japanese advanced towards Singapore. On 15 February 1942, the British forces capitulated, and the survivors of the Loyal Regiment laid down their arms and marched into captivity. In July 1942 many of the Regiment moved to Korea to work in mines and factories. However, in November 1942, others were sent to work on the Burma to Siam railway. Private John Marsden was one of this group. John worked on the railway for almost twelve months until he died from the effects of malnutrition, overwork and disease.
John was the son of Joseph and the late Mrs. Marsden. He was 23. He attended Beaconsfield Street Independent Methodist Church. At the time of his enlistment in October 1940, he worked for Messrs. J and E Transport. John joined the Regiment in Malaya in February 1941.
John lies in Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery, which is on the Myanmar (formerly Burma), side of the Thailand (formerly Siam), border. Thanbyuzayat was a prisoner of war administration centre, base camp and hospital. The cemetery holds 3,149 Commonwealth graves. John is buried in Plot B 3, Row X, Grave 8.
Marsden, John - Sapper - 860 Mechanical Equipment Coy. Royal Engineers - Died 28 June 1942
Sapper John Marsden died in a Field Dressing Station in Syria from injuries sustained in a vehicle accident during Army manoeuvres.
John was the son of Arthur and Beatrice Marscen of Accrington and the husbanc_ of Margaret of Haslingden. He was aged 26. Before John joined the Army he worked as a butcher in Accrington, but later worked at Messrs. Lang Bridges engineering works in Accrington.
John is buried in Aleppo War Cemetery, Syria. The cemetery was created in 1941 by the British military authorities. In.addition to the original burials, more were brought in from scattered graves in areas where fighting had occurred, and from two French cemeteries. There are now 114 war graves. John lies in Plot 2, Row A, Grave 4.
N.B. In 1941 Syria was controlled by a French government which sympathised with the proGerman French regime based at Vichy, France. On 8 June 1941 Syria was invaded by a combined force of British, Australian and 'Free French' troops. The Vichy French surrendered on 11 July 1941. There were 2,500 Allied and 3,500 Vichy French casualties.
Martin, Edward Jones - Fusilier - 2/5th. Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers - Died 17 July 1944
The 2/5th. Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers, landec_ on the Normandy beaches on 26 June 1944. On 16 July the supported the 5th. East Lancashire Regiment in an attack on the German held village of Landet, in the 'bocage' country near Vipers Bocage. Both battalions came under heavy fire from German tanks. The positions of Fusilier Edward Martin's company, in particular, were saturated with artillery and mortar fire from well concealed posts in the hedgerows. The company tried to advance, but failed, and they had to retire. In four days of fighting, two officers and 12 men were killed, Edward being one, and 152 men were wounded.
Edward was the son of Beatrice Martin and the stepson of Albert Walton. He was the husband of Mary. Edward was 28. As a child he went to St.Michael's Church and School in Lumb-inRossendale. He worked at Shawclough Dyeworks, Scoutbottom, until he joiner the Army in 1943. He moved to Haslingden when he got married. He then attended Beaconsfield Street Independent Methodist Church.
Edward is buried in Fontenay-le-Pesnel War Cemetery, France. The cemetery contains 460 Commonwealth burials from the fighting in the area. Edward lies in Plot 5, Row A, Grave20.
McWade, Francis - Civilian War Worker - Died 21 March 1945
Mr. Francis McWade worked at Messrs. Packard Ltd. on the Great West Road, Isleworth, Middlesex. He was engaged in the overhaul of Motor Gun Boat and Torpedo Boat engines. At 9.39am, a German Long Range Rocket (known as a V2) fell on the works without warning and exploded. A severe fire followed and the whole building was completely destroyed. Damage was also caused to many nearby factories and to 662 houses in the area. Rescue operations by the police, Civil Defence and the Army, went on for over three days and nights in an attempt to find persons still missing. The total casualties were later numbered as 33 killed, 102 seriously injured and 390 slightly injures Francis' bony was never found.
Francis was the son of Mrs. E. McWade and the husband of Nancy, of Park Royal, London. He was 39. He attended St.Mary's R.C. Church and School. As a young man he was an enthusiastic follower of Haslingden Cricket Club first eleven team. He cared for the playing equipment for both home and away matches. In 1936 he went to live and work in London and there met his wife.
Francis was one of 293 civilians who died in air-raids on the Borough of Heston and Isleworth. His name is perpetuated on the Roll of Honour for the 60,000 civilians killed in the United Kingdom during the 1939-1945 War, which is kept in Westminster Abbey.
Metcalfe, Water - Pte - No. 6 Commando - Died 6 January 1943
On 8 November 1942 British and American troops made a series of landings in Algeria and Morocco. This was known as 'Operation Torch'. Their advance through northern Tunisia was checked by German troops early in December. On 22 December the Allies began an attack north of Medjez-el-Bab, a small town on the main road from the southwest direct to Tunis. Heavy rain and the resulting quagmires did much to hinder the attack. The attempt to capture Tunis was temporarily abandoned. During January 1943 some minor attacks were made by both sides, but Tunis was not captured until 7 May. Private Walter Metcalfe died of wounds during this period of stalemate.
Walter was the fourth son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Metcalfe. He was married to Winnie, and their home was in Bacup. Walter was aged 25. Before he joined the Army in October 1940 he was a shop assistant in Bacup.
Walter's name is on the Medjez-el-Bab Memorial, Tunisia.The town is 60 kilometres southwest of Tunis. The Memorial stands within Medjez-el-Bab War Cemetery, where 2,903 Commonwealth servicemen are buried. The Memorial commemorates almost 2,000 men who died in Algeria and Tunisia between 8 November 1942 anc 13 May 1943 and have no known grave. Walter is named on Face 25.
Mollett, Roger Pridham - Rifleman - 1st. Bn. Queen Victoria's Rifles - Died 26 May 1940
On 16 May 1940 the British Expeditionary Force started to fall back on Dunkirk before the advance of vastly superior German tanks and. infantry. Meanwhile, the 1st. Battalion, Queen Victoria's Rifles, were ordered to leave England for Calais, where they arrived on 22 May. On 22 May, the Germans attacked Calais from all three sices. The Battalion, short of ammunition and suffering heavy casualties, and under constant air attack, were pushed back into Calais where heavy street fighting ensued. The officers and men were told there would be no evacuation for them, but they were to fight to the last to enable the port at Dunkirk to be kept open. Only 30 men escaped. The rest were either killed or taken prisoner. Rifleman Roger Mollett lost his life in this gallant action.
Roger was the sonn of William James and Aurelia Edith Mollett. He was aged 22.
Roger is named on the Dunkirk Memorial, France. The Memorial stands at the entrance to the Commonwealth War Graves section of Dunkirk Town Cemetery. It commemorates more than 4,500 casualties of the British Expeditionary Force who have no known grave. Roger's name is on Column 118.
Molloy, Thomas - Fusilier - 1st. Bn. Royal. Scots Fusiliers - Died 27 November 1945
The 1st. Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, ceased operations against the Japanese in Burma and moved to Dehra Dun, India, on 27 May 1945. (The Japanese surrendered on 13 August 1945). The Battalion remained in India and spent several months in Delhi on internal security duties. This was necessary because of the increase in disorder by many Indians in their demand for independence from British rule. Fusilier Thomas Molloy died during this period.
Thomas was the son of Michael and Katherine Molloy and the husband of Lily, whom he married in 1944. He was aged 25. Thomas attended St.Mary's R.C. Church and School and before he enlisted in 1940 he worked at Messrs. Turnbull and Stockdale's works at Stubbins. Shortly before his death his parents received a letter saying he was fit anc well.
Thomas lies in Delhi War Cemetery, India. The cemetery is some 11 kilometres from New Delhi. It was created in 1951 when graves in northern India were moved into the site to ensure their permanent maintenance. There are now 1,022 Commonwealth casualties of the 1939-1945 War buried or commemorated in the cemetery. Thomas' grave is in Plot 1, Row H, Grave 15.
Monk, Kenneth - Ordinary Seaman - H.M.S. Spartan, Royal Navy - Died 29 January 1944
On 22 January 1944 British and American troops made sea-borne landings at Anzio and Nettuno, 30 miles south of Rome. The task of H.M.S. Spartan was to support the advance of the Americans at Nettuno. The landings were at first unopposed, but the Germans quickly mounted an offensive and heavy fighting ensued. H.M.S. Spartan fell victim to a glider-bomb which exploded near her magazine. She caught fire and blazed for some hours before she sank. Five officers and 59 ratings, including Ordinary Seaman Kenneth Monk, lost their lives.
Kenneth was the son of John and Harriet Monk.
At the age of 17 years and eight months he was the youngest of Haslingden's war casualties. He attended Haslingden Grammar School from September 1938 to July 1940, when he joined the Royal Navy at the age of 15. Although Kenneth was an Ordinary Seaman, he had passed his examinations for promotion to Able Seaman, but was unable to take the rank because he had not put in enough 'sea-time'.
Kenneth's name is on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon. The memorial is on the Hoe, which overlooks Plymouth Sound. It commemorates more than 7,000 sailors of the 1914-1918 War, and almost 16,000 from the 1939-1945 War who have no grave but the sea. Kenneth is named on Panel 88, Column 1.
Nuttall, James Holden - Flight Sergeant - 14 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve - Died 3 June 1943
Flight Sergeant James Nuttall was one of seven crew of a Marauder medium bomber which took off from its base in Tunisia on a reconnaissance mission in the area of the Mediterranean east of Sardinia. The aircraft was reported missing at 15-30 hours on 3 June 1943. Neither the cause, nor the location, was ever discovered.
James was the son of William Henry and Hannah Nuttall. He was aged 27. After attencing Haslingden Council School, James worked at Messrs. J.H. Birtwistle's Grane Road mill, where his father was an overlooker. James himself was an overlooker when he joined the R.A.F.V.R. in July 1941. He had been serving in North Africa for twelve months. He had been in North Africa only two weeks when he was a member of the crew of a bomber which had the unique distinction of acting as a fighter and so outfought an Italian Caprioni bomber and drove it into the sea.
James is commemorated on the Malta Memorial, Malta. The Memorial is in Floriana, just outside Valletta, the capital of Malta. It is in the form of a column 15 metres high, which is surrounded by a bronze eagle two metres high. There are almost 2,300 names on bronze panels on the circular base. James is named on Panel 7, Column 2.
Padden, Joseph - Stoker - 2nd Class - H.M.S. Northney, Royal Navy - Died 13 January 1945
Stoker Joseph Padden was accidentally drowned whilst out for a walk with a friend. The 'Haslingden Observer' states that he was "drowned at a small seaport in Scotland under circumstances impossible to clear up. Whilst his ship was making a call there, he became friendly with a man who resided there. Shortly before his ship was due to sail, both went for an evening walk. Joseph's body was recovered six weeks later, and his friend's two weeks later still. The wife of the latter expressed the conviction that, as her husband's hat was found in Joseph's hand, she was confident some accident happened and Joseph was trying to save his friend".
Joseph was one of three sons of Neil and Norah Padden. He was aged 36. He attended St.Mary's R.C. Church and School, where he played for the Church football team.
Joseph was laid to rest in Alloa (Sunnyside) Cemetery, Clackmannanshire, Scotland. (Alloa is on the east coast of Scotland, on the Firth of Forth). His grave is in Section E, Grave 122.
Parkinson, George Fielding - Captain - 5th. Bn. East Lancashire Regiment
16 July 1944
The 5th. Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment, landed on the Normandy beaches at the end of June 1944. On 16 July orders were received to attack German positions in the 'Bocage' country (an area of small fields, high hedges and deep ditches - ideal for defence) near the village of Fontenay-le-Pesnel. Opposition was heavy, but the first objective was reached. However, little progress could be made towards the second objective as German shell and mortar fire caused many casualties. A fresh assault, supported by artillery, was successful, but again at a heavy cost in casualties. The whole action cost the Battalion over 200 men killed, wounded and missing. Captain George Parkinson lost his life in this action.
George was the son of Annie Mary and the late William Parkinson and the husband of Dorothy. George was 31. George's father was formerly a doctor in Haslingden. George was employed at Barclay's Bank in Blackburn. He enlisted as a Private early in 1939 and on 3 September he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant.
George lies in Fontenay-le-Presnel War Cemetery, France. The village is 16 kilometres west of Caen. The Cemetery contains 460 Commonwealth burials from the June and July battles in the area. George's grave in in Plot 3, Row F, Grave 1.
Parkinson, John - Ordinary Seaman - H.M.S. Aldenham, Royal Navy- Died 14 December 1944
H.M.S. Aldenham was a destroyer of 1,000 tons. She was built at Cammell Laird's yard, Birkenhead, in 1941 and commissioned in 1942. She saw much active service in the Mediterranean, escorting several of the convoys which battled their way through German and Italian submarine and air attacks to get supplies to Malta. She later assisted British troops resisting the invasion by German forces of the islands of Kos, Samos and Leros, in the Dodecanese area of the Aegean Sea. She was, however, on patrol in the northeast Acriatic, off the Italian coast, when she struck a mine and sank. Five officers and 116 ratings died. Ordinary Seaman John (known as Jack) Parkinson was one who lost his life.
Jack was the son of Fred and Ethel Parkinson. He was aged 19. He attended St.James' Church and School.
Jack is named on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire. The Memorial is situated on Southsea Common, overlooking the Promenade. It is an obelisk and serves as a leading mark for shipping. It commemorates almost 10,000 sailors of the 1914-1918 War and the 1939-1945 War extension bears almost 15,000 names of those who have no grave but the sea. Jack's name is on Panel 84, Column 1.
Parkinson, Thomas - Gunner - 154 Bty. 52 L.A.A. Regiment, Royal Artillery - Died 26 April 1941
On 6 April 1941 a strong German force invaded Greece. On 18 April, British, Greek, Australian and New Zealand troops began a fighting withdrawal from the Mount Olympus area to a defence line at Thermopylae. However, the German Luftwaffe had complete control of the air and made devastating attacks on the Allied forces. The following day it was decided that the situation was untenable and the Allied troops were to be evacuated to Crete. Gunner Thomas Parkinson and some of his comrades were on a transport ship in the Aegean Sea when it was torpedoed and sunk. Some four years later, a comrade who had been a prisoner of war, wrote to Thomas' mother to say that he was drowned when the ship was sunk. It was only then that she received confirmation from the War Office that he was dead.
Thomas was the son of John and Emily Parkinson. He was 22. His regiment was mobilised on 24 August 1939 and went to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force. Thomas was evacuated from Dunkirk in May 1940.
Thomas' name is on the Athens Memorial. The Memorial is within the Phaleron War Cemetery which lies a few kilometres southeast of Athens, near the international airport. It commemorates nearly 3,000 members of the land forces of the Commonwealth who lost their lives in Greece and Crete in 1941 and 1944-1945, and have no known grave. Thomas, with his comrades, is named on Face 2.
Parlby, Thomas - Pte - 2nd. Bn. Manchester Regiment - Died 4 October 1945
In April 1945 the Battalion was flown out of Burma (now Myanmar) to Calcutta, India, where it was to train in readiness for a sea-borne operation against Rangoon (now Yangon) These plans, however, were not put into practice because the Japanese forces surrendered when the war came to an end in August. The Battalion then moved to Poona where the process of releasing men into civil life was begun. It was whilst they were at Poona that Private Thomas Parlby died in Kalgon Military Hospital, near Bombay, from injuries sustained in a train crash.
Thomas was the son of Frederick and Elizabeth Parlby of Salford and the husband of Frances. He was aged 34. There was one child. During the war Mrs. Parlby lived in Helmshore as an evacuee from Salford. Because of this connection with the village Thomas is commemmorated on both Helmshore War Memorial and St.Thomas' Church War Memorial.
Thomas was, at first, buried in a cemetery near the hospital, but when Kirkee War Cemetery was created on the outskirts of Poona his remains were transferred. The Cemetery contains 1,688 Commonwealth graves transferred from the western and central parts of India where their maintenance could not be assured. Thomas was laid to rest in Plot 5, Row F, Grave 5.
Patterson, John - Gnr - 124 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery - Died 21 March 1943
For the British Army the Tunisian campaign of March and April 1943 included some of the hardest fighting of the war. The battles started in early March with a very determined German and Italian attack at Medenine. This was beaten off by the Allied forces. On 20 March the Allies attacked the Mareth Line, the Axis defensive position, using 1,000 anti-tank guns and 850 field guns. After much savage fighting, including heavy artillery barrages, the Allies drove the Axis forces back into Tunisia. The war in North Africa came to an end on 13 May 1943. Gunner John Patterson lost his life at the Battle of the Mareth Line.
John was the son of James and Annie Patterson. He was aged 21. He attenc_ed Haslingden Council School and he was an active member of Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he was in the choir. Before he went into the Army, John worked at Lambert's cotton mill, Carrs.
John is buried in Sfax War Cemetery, Tunisia. The town of Sfax is 270 kilometres south of Tunis. Most of the men buriec_ in the cemetery died in the attacks on the Axis positions at Medenine and the Mareth Line in March and April 1943. There are 1,253 Commonwealth war graves, 52 of which are of men who could not be identified. John lies in Plot 7, Row D, Grave 24.
Pilkington, Francis Elliot - Sergeant - 214 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 4 July 1943
At 23.10 hours a Stirling bomber took off from Chedburgh, six miles south of Bury St.Edmunds, on a 'Gardening' (an R.A.F. term for minelaying) mission in the 'Nectarines' area of the North Sea. Sergeant Francis Pilkington was one of the seven crew. Nothing was ever heard of the aircraft or crew. However, at 02.20 hours that night, Hauptmann Franz Buschmann, the pilot of a German nightfighter, submitted a claim for a Stirling bomber shot down in the area that had been assignee to Francis' aircraft.
Francis was the son of Elliot and Helen Pilkington of Helmshore, and the husband of Ruth, of Moss, Wrexham. He was aged 39.
Francis and his fellow crew-members are named on the Runnymede Memorial. This Air Forces Memorial overlooks the River Thames at Englefield Green, between Windsor and Egham, Surrey, some four miles from Windsor. The Memorial commemorates by name over 20,000 airmen who were lost in the 1939-1945 War during operations from bases in the United Kingdom and northwest Europe and have no known grave. Francis is named on Panel 161.
Pilkington, Matthew - Pte - 1st. (Airborne) Bn, Border Regiment - Died 19 December 1941
The 1st. Battalion, Border Regiment, was formed into an Airborne Battalion (to be carried by gliders) in November 1941. Whilst stationed at Barton Stacey, Hampshire, volunteers were called for to take part in the first live glider take-off. This was to be at R.A.F. Ringway (now Manchester Airport). Eighteen men were chosen from 80 volunteers. The flight, in a Hotspur glider, was intended as a test for air-sickness. The glider crashed and six passengers, including Private Matthew Pilkington, were killed.
Matthew was the husband of Agnes. He was aged 31. He enlisted in the Army as a Regular in 1929, and later worked as a postman at Rawtenstall before returning to the Army in 1939. He attended St.James' Church and was a member of Unity Workingmen's Club.
Matthew was interred in Holden Hall Cemetery, Haslingden, on Wednesday 24 December 1941. Amongst many floral tributes from family and friends, were wreaths from the officers, N.C.O.s and men of the R.A.F., Ringway, his friends at the Post Office and from Unity Workingmen's Club. Holden Hall Cemetery is now owned by Rossendale Borough Council. There is a total of 32 graves from the 1914-1918 War and four from the 1939-1945 War. Matthew lies in Plot G, Grave 410.
Pilling, Joseph Brooks - Sub-Lieutenant (A) - 881 Sqdn. Fleet Air Arm - Died 29 July 1943
Sub-Lieutenant Joseph Pilling took off from the aircraft-carrier HMS Unicorn in a Grumman Martlet fighter on a flight to engage German forces in Norway. Sometime later his engine failed and he was forcec. to ditch into the sea. Joseph's body was never found.
Joseph was the only son of Tom and Dorothy Pilling. He was aged 20. Joseph attended Helmshore Council School and then Haslingden Grammar School. He continued his education at Bryanston Public School in Blandford, Dorset. In the interval between leaving school and joining the Fleet Air Arm, he became an apprentice with the Burnley Paper Works Company and attended Manchester College of Technology. Joseph worshipped at Helmshore Sion Methodist Church and Sunday School. He was a member of Accrington Arts Club. He gained his 'wings' after training in Canada and America and gained his commission on 27 February 1943.
Joseph is commemorated on the Lee-on-Solent Memorial, Hampshire. The Memorial is on the sea-front, on Marine Parade, West. It bears the names of almost 2,000 men of the Fleet Air Arm who have no grave but the sea. Joseph is named on Bay 4, Panel 7.
Reid, James - Trooper - 18th. Regt. (5th. Loyals), Reconnaissance Corps - Died 6 October 1943
The 18th. Regiment, Reconnaissance Corps, was part of the 18th. Division which arrivec. in Singapore on 5 February 1942, just three days before the invading Japanese forces landed on Singapore Island. Together with other troops of the Division, they defended the main road from the village of Bukit Timah to Singapore. They fought to hold the Japanese advance until 15 February, when the British Commander capitulated to the Japanese. Thousands of British and Commonwealth troops passed into captivity. Trooper James Reid was later transferred to work on the railway from Burma (now Myanmar) to Siam (now Thailand) After some time he died as a result of malnutrition, disease and cruel treatment.
James was the son of John and Jane Reic. He was 25. He attended St.Mary's R.C. Church and School. He worked at Hirst's Slipper Works, Waterfoot. James joined the Loyal Regiment
(North Lancashire) in January 1940, and later transferred to the Reconnaissance Corps.
James is buried in Chungkai War Cemetery, Thailand. Chungkai was a base camp for the railway and had a hospital and a church. James died in the hospital. There are 1,427 Commonwealth burials in the cemetery. James lies in Plot 2, Row H, Grave 5.
Riley, Maurice - Ordinary Seaman - S. S. Empire Caribou, Merchant Navy - Died 10 May 1941
The 4,861 ton steamship Empire Caribou left London and then, in convoy, left Loch Ewe, Scotland, for Portland Maine, United States, with a cargo of 2,020 tons of china clay. She was in the North Atlantic when she was caught by the German U-boat, U-556, and torpedoed. The explosion burst her cargo of china clay asunder and she plunged to the bottom in two minutes. Her master and 28 men, including Ordinary Seaman Maurice Riley, went down with her. The remainder of the crew, eleven deck-hands, who clung to life-rafts, were rescued by the destroyer Malcolm 38 hours later.
Maurice was the son of Mrs. and the late Mr. S.B. Riley. He was aged 21. He attended Rising Bridge Methodist Church, where he was a member of the choir. Maurice went to Accrington Grammar School from which he entered the Merchant Navy in 1937.
Maurice's name is on the Tower Hill Memorial, London. The Memorial commemorates the men of the Merchant Navy and the Fishing Fleets who died in both World Wars and have no grave but the sea. The 1914-1918 War section names over 12,000 men and the 1939-1945 War section bears over 24,000 names. Maurice is commemorated on Panel 38.
Riley, William - Pte - 2nd. Bn. The Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) - Died 23 January 1942
In September 1939 the 2nd. Battalion was part of the garrison of Malaya (now Malaysia). On 8 December 1941 the Japanese invaded Malaya at Khota Bharu, on the northeast coast. The Loyals were part of the force which made a fighting withdrawal as the Japanese advanced towards Singapore. As they withdrew along the road from the town of Bukit Payong, Japanese tanks and infantry suddenly emerged from a defile in the hills. They decimated the Loyals, who were manning road-blocks, and control of the situation was lost. Casualties were estimated to be over 200 men killed, wounded and missing. Private William Riley was one who lost his life in the action.
William was the son of Mr. and Mrs. B. Riley of Blackpool. He was 27. He attended St.Mary's R.C. Church and School. He married in December 1939 before he joined the Army in January 1940. At the time he worked at Hirst's Slipper Works, Waterfoot. Throughout the war, William's wife served in the Women's Land Army. It was not until March 1946 that she received confirmation of his death.
William is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial, which stands in Kranji War Cemetery, some 22 kilometres north of the city. It bears the names of over 24,000 casualties of the Commonwealth land and air forces who have no known grave. William's name is on Column 74.
Rodgers, Keith Ashworth - Sub-Lieutenant - 753 Sqdn. Fleet Air Arm - Died 18 October 1945
Sub-Lieutenant Keith Rodgers was flying a Fairey Barracuda from his base at H.M.S. Condor, Arbroath, Scotland, to Burscough, Lancashire, when he crashed in dense fog at Martin Mere, near Scarisbrick. He died shortly afterwards in Seaforth Naval Hospital. On the same evening, his parents were celebrating their Silver Wedding in the Co-operative Hall, Haslingden. It became clear that Keith was overdue, although it was not until midnight that the sad news came through. A party of his relatives went to the hospital but they were too late to see him alive.
Keith was the son of Harry and Fay Rodgers. He was 22. He had been married to Beryl for two months. He worshipped at St.John's, Stonefold, where he was in the choir. On leaving Haslingden Grammar School, Keith worked as a railway clerk until he joined the Fleet Air Arm in 1941. He was active member of Haslingden Swimming Club.
Keith was cremated at Rochdale on Monday 22 October 1945, after a service by the vicar of St.John's, Crawshawbooth, (where Beryl was a teacher at the Day School). Rochdale Crematorium is within Rochdale Cemetery. During the 1939-1945 War 55 war dead were cremated. Keith's name is Panel 6 on a memorial screen wall in the cemetery.
|Pte. Albert Rothwell|
Rothwell, Albert - Pte - 1/5th. Bn. Sherwood Foresters - Died 2 April 1943
The Japanese invaded Malaya (now Malaysia) on 8 December 1941. They crossed the Straits of Johore onto Singapore Island on 8 February 1942. The 1/5th. Battalion, Sherwood Foresters, were gradually forced back towards Singapore city by the overwhelming pressure of the Japanese advance. On 15 February, the day Singapore capitulated, the Sherwood Foresters were still fighting against all odds, to hold on. They were forced to surrender and became prisoners of war in Changi Gaol. From there, many were sent to work on the Burma (now Myanmar), to Siam railway. Private Albert Rothwell died there as a result of malnutrition, overwork and cruel treatment.
Albert was the son of David and Janie Rothwell. He was aged 28. He was connected with Trinity Baptist Church and Sunday School. After attending Haslingden Central Council School, he entered his father's business as a house furnisher.
Albert is buried in Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Thailand, (formerly Siam). The cemetery is on the site of the former base camp through which most prisoners passed on their way to other camps and the railway. There are 5,084 Commonwealth casualties buried or commemorated in the cemetery. Albert lies in Plot 8, Row K, Grave 3.
Above left photo is of Albert's temporary grave and cross. A photo of his permanent grave which is looked after by the war commission in Kanchanaburi Cemetery is shown here:
|Alberts grave in Kanchanaburi Cemetery|
|Alberts postcard to home - Bombay 29/12/41|
|Sent from the POW camp|
|Albert's dad's letter sent without the then knowledge is son being already dead.|
|Letter from Albert's dad - posted 9th May 1943|
And finally below is a letter from the War Office confirming Albert's death on the 2nd April 1943.
|Letter from War Office confirming Albert's death on 2nd April 1943|
Rushton, James - Sapper - No.28 Bomb Disposal Company, Royal Engineers - Died 23 June 1944
The port of Benghazi was an important goal for both the Allied and the Axis forces during the North African campaigns. After the Allied advance as a result of the Battle of El Alamein on 23 October 1942, the British Eighth Army captured Benghazi on 19 November 1942. Sapper James Rushton's unit was one of many which worked to clear the huge quantities of ammunition and explosive debris from the area of battle. James lost his life whilst engaged in this work.
James was the son of Charles William and Mary Alice Rushton. He was aged 28. He attended St.James' Day school as a boy and also attended St.James' Church. Before going into the Army in 1940, James worked as a loomsweeper at Messrs. J.H. Birtwistle's Grave Road mill.
James lies in Benghazi War Cemetery, Libya. The cemetery contains 1,214 Commonwealth burials, of which 163 are of men who are unidentified. James is buried in Plot 3, Row A, Grave 1.
Shackleton, William - Bombardier - 175 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery - Died 1 August 1944
Bombardier William Shackleton died in Newcastle City Hospital from Tubercular Meningitis. He was serving overseas when he became ill.
William was the husband of Mary. There were no children. He was aged 35. He attended St.Mary's R.C. Church and School. Before he joined the Army, William worked at Messrs. J. Warburton's cotton mill at Syke Side. He was well-known in the area as a fine tenor singer.
William was laid to rest in Holden Hall Cemetery, Haslingden, on Saturday 5 August 1944. The burial was preceded by a Requiem Mass at St.Mary's Church, conducted by the Revd. Father Henry. Together with the mourners from family and friends, were representatives from the Irish Democratic Club and his former workmates at Messrs. J. Warburton's mill. William lies in Section A, Grave 839.
Stott, William Gordon - Sergeant/Pilot - 13 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 4 December 1942
Sergeant/Pilot William Stott was the pilot of a Blenheim bomber which took part in an attack on a German fighter airfield near Chougui, Tunisia. On reaching the target, however, and starting the attack, the squadron was intercepted by an overwhelming force of German fighters. One by one the Blenheims were shot down until the last one went down in flames. All the crew of William's plane were killed. He was at first reported missing, because his body could not be found, and it was not until November 1944 that his death was confirmed.
William was the son of Mr. and Mrs. William Stott. He was aged 21. He attended Haslingden Central Council School and Bury Junior Technical School. He was a member of St.Peter's Church, Laneside, and was active in the Sunday School and the choir. He worked for an accountant in Manchester until he joined the R.A.F.V.R. in January 1941. Fifteen months later he became a Sergeant/Pilot.
William is buried in Beja War Cemetery, Tunisia.The cemetery contains 396 Commonwealth war graves. William lies in a joint grave in Plot 2, Row B, Grave 11.
Tapper, Francis - Petty Officer - HMS Tenedos, Royal Navy - Died 5 April 1942
In early April 1942 a Japanese aircraft carrier fleet delivered two strikes by 130 dive-bombers on British naval bases in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), attacking Colombo on the 5th and Trincomalee on the 9th. Despite a packed harbour at Colombo, only two warships were sunk, another damaged, and a merchant ship damaged, out of 34 ships present. The Armed Merchant Cruiser HMS Hector was sunk in shallow water and later raised. The destroyer HMS Tenedos was also sunk, with the loss of 33 officers and men. Petty Officer Francis (Frank) Tapper was one who lost his life.
Frank was the son of Richard John and Margaret Florence Tapper and the husband of Elsie. He was aged 34. He was in the Regular Royal Navy and he and his family lived near the naval base of Plymouth. Frank and his wife, however, were formerly associated with St.James' Church.
Frank's grave is in Colombo (Kanatte) General Cemetery, Sri Lanka. The cemetery is actually at Borella, at a junction on the Kanatte Road. Many of the burials are from the Military Hospital in Colombo and from passing ships. There are 60 1914-1918 War, and nearly 300 from the 1939-1945 War, Commonwealth casualties interred in the cemetery. Frank lies in Plot 6B, Row N, in a Joint Grave 7, with a Special Memorial.
Tattersall, Harry - Driver - 573 Army Field Company, Royal Engineers - Died 13 March 1945
German and Italian troops commanded by General Erwin Rommel counter-attacked British and Allied forces in North Africa on 21 January 1942. They reached the port of Benghazi on 29 January and advanced to within 50 miles of Tobruk. The Allies were pushed back 350 miles in two weeks. Driver Harry Tattersall was one of many captured by Italian troops at Benghazi. In September 1943 he was transferred, with others, to a German prisoner of war camp, Stalag IVB, near Leipzig. Harry died of dysentery and malnutrition only a month before the camp was liberated.
Harry was the husband of Ethel Tattersall. He was aged 29. He attended St.Peter's Church, Laneside, but after his marriage he worshipped at St.Stephen's Church, Grane.
Harry's name is on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt. The Memorial is within Alamein War Cemetery and names 12,547 men who lost their lives in the area and have no known grave. His name is on Panel 52. Harry's name is inscribed because he was reported missing in that theatre of war. His actual burial place in a village cemetery in Germany was never found.
Tomlinson, George Townley - Fusilier - 10th. Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers - Died 7 March 1943
Early in March 1943 the 10th. Battalion advanced towards Japanese held positions in Rathedaung, in the Arakan sector of the British advance in Burma (now Myanmar) On 6 March, the Japanese staged a counter-attack, which was driven off. In the early hours of 7 March, however, they attacked a platoon of 'B' Company, and the platoon was overrun. Soon the attack became general and the Japanese infiltrated through and around the Battalion and cut off the forward troops. A counter attack by the Battalion led to very heavy opposition and, as casualties were increasing, a gradual withdrawal was ordered. Eight men, including Fusilier George Tomlinson, were killed, with 32 wounded and four missing.
George was the son of Fred and Florence Tomlinson and the husband of Susan. He was 32. He attended St.James' Church and School and played cricket for the Church Institute. Before he enlisted he worked at Messrs. Whitehead's Higher Mill, Rawtenstall. He joined the King's Own(Royal Lancaster Regiment) on November 1941 but later transferred into the Lancashire Fusiliers.
George is commemorated on the Rangoon Memorial, Myanmar. It bears the names of almost 27,000 men of the Commonwealth land forces who died in the campaigns in Burma and have no known grave. George is named on Face 9.
Vizzard, John - Lce Corporal - Corps of Military Police - Died 18 January 1942
Lance Corporal John Vizzard served with the Corps of Military Police in the British Expeditionary Force which went to France in 1939. He was evacuated from Dunkirk in May 1940. He was then posted to a unit in East Anglia, but in June 1941 his health broke down as a result of his war service. He was then discharged from the Army. John later entered Withnell Pulmonary Hospital, near Chorley, Lancashire, where he died on 18 January 1942.
John was the son of Michael and Margaret Ellen Vizzard and the husband of Elvira, whom he married in 1939. He was aged 33. He attended St.Mary's R.C. Church and School. John was employed as a Motor-cycle Patrol-man by the Automobile Association until war was declared on 3 September 1939. He was immediately called up into the Corps of Military Police.
John's body was brought home to his family, and on Thursday 22 January 1942 he was laid to rest in Holden Hall Cemetery, Haslingden. The interment was preceded by a Requiem Mass at St.Mary's Church conducted by the Revd. Father Henry. John lies in Plot E, Grave 443.
Warburton, George Victor Cooper - Corporal - 2734 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Regiment - Died 7 July 1944
Corporal George Warburton's squadron became part of 2nd. Tactical Air Force in April 1944. It landed in Normandy on 17 June 1944 and became responsible for the defence, with 40mm Bofors guns, of the forward air bases then established. George lost his life during a German attack on his base.
George was the son of George Victor and Elizabeth Warburton. He was 23. He had a brother, Cecil, and a sister, Flora. On leaving Haslingden Grammar School, he entered the family business of cotton spinners and manufacturers at Flash Mill, Grane Road. He attended St.Stephens' Church, Grane. On 7 January 1942, as a member of the R.A.F.V.R., he joined the R.A.F. He later transferred to the R.A.F. Regiment as an Armourer/Instructor in 2734 Squadron, a Light Anti-Aircraft unit.
George is buried in Hermanville-sur-Mer War Cemetery, France. The village is less than a mile from the site of 'Sword Beach', one of the main landing places. The cemetery contains 1,003 war graves, of which 103 are of men who could not be identified. George lies in Plot 2, Row A, Grave 4.
Whittaker, Alfred Cpl 1st Bn West Yorkshire Regiment - Died 15th June 1944.
In June 1944, the Japanese forces in Burma made a determined attempt to capture the key town of Imphal (actually in India). The fighting was ferocious until the Japanese were finally beaten back, to begin their retreat from Burma (now Myanmar). On 7th June the 1st. Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment, moved to an area that was relatively quiet. Their positions were temporarily taken over by two companies of Gurkhas. On 12th June the Japanese, using tanks and artillery, attacked the Gurkha positions. The West Yorkshire Regiment, although with the exception of "C" Company, were not closely engaged, suffered a number of casualties from shell-fire. Coporal Alfred Whittaker was one of several wo died as a result.
Alfred was the son of Alfred and Elizabeth Anne Whittaker. He was aged 26. He worshipped at St. Thomas's Church, where he was a Sunday School teacher. He attended Haslingden Grammar School. He was also a sergeant in the Church Lad's Brigade. Before he enlisted, Alfred worked in the office of the Haslingden Co-operative Wholesale Society.
Alfred is buried in Imphal War Cemetery, India. The cemetery now contains 1,600 burials. Alfred lies in Plot 3, Row F, Grave 17.
Whittaker, Jack Mus H.M.S. Fiji, Royal Navy - Died 23rd May 1941.
Musician Jack Whittaker, serving with the Royal Marines, was aboard the 8,000 ton cruiser, Fiji, when she was part of a fleet of ships under attach by German forces invading Crete. When the destroyer Greyhound was sunk, Fiji stopped to pick up survivors. Fiji herself was then attacked by an overshelming force of the Luftwaffe, and after shooting down a number, she was hit by bombs and holed in the side. Just before nightfall a lone aircraft scored a further hit, and Fiji rolled over and sank. 241 of her crew were lost anf 534 were saved. Jack lost his life in this action.
Jack was the son of Robert and Elizabeth Whittaker. He was married to Amy and they had one child. Jack was aged 27. He attended St. James Church and School. Before he volunteered for service in April 1940, Jack worked at the Globe Slipper Works in Rawtenstall and he was also a member of Haslingden Borough Band.
Jack's name is on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire. It commemorates almost 10,000 sailors of the 1914-1918 War and 15,000 from the 1939-1945 War who have no grave but the sea. Jack is named on Panel 60, Column 1.
Whoan, Sydney - Gunner - 4/2 Maritime Regiment, Royal Artillery - Died 2 January 1943
The 7,040 ton steamship, Empire March, left Durban, South Africa, on 18 December 1942 for Bahia (Brazil) and England. On 2 January, about 150 miles from Tristan de Cunha, she was intercepted, and after a brief and fierce fight, she was sunk by the German surface raider Michel. (The Michel was a heavily armed naval ship disguised as a merchant ship). Thirty three of the crew of the Empire March were killed and 26 were taken aboard the Michel as prisoners of war. Gunner Sydney Whoan was one of several gunners who were killed in their gallant defence of their ship. On 17th January 1945, during the campaign to drive the Japanese forces out of Burma (Now Myanmar), the Worcestershire Regiment crossed the wide River Irrawaddy and established a bridgehead. By early March, the Regiment had advanced as far as the Mandalay Canal on the outskirts of that City. Patrols reported no Japanese troops but, on 9th March, 'C' Company was rushed by a Japanese force. After fierce hand to hand fighting, however, the company prevented the Japanese from crossing the canal. Private Eric Wilkinson was killed and two men were wounded in the attack.
Sydney was the son of Mrs. Margaret Whoan. He was 27. Sydney attended St.Peter's Church and Sunday School. In 1938 he became the youngest bowler to win the Lacey Cup in the Victoria Park bowling handicap. He worked at Messrs. Porritt's and Spencer's woollen mill at Sunnybank, Helmshore. Sydney enlisted in the Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) on 17 October 1940, but was transferred to the Royal Artillery on 6 May 1941.
Sydney is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire. The Memorial bears the names of almost 10,000 sailors of the 1914-1918 War and almost 15,000 from the 1939-1945 War who died at sea and have no known grave. Sydney is named on Panel 80, Column 3.
Wilkinson, Eric - Pte - 2nd. Bn. Worcestershire Regiment- Died 9 March 1945
On 17 January 1945, during the campaign to drive the Japanese forces out of Burma (now Myanmar), the Worcestershire Regiment crossed the wide River Irrawaddy and establishd a bridgehead. By early March, the Regiment had advanced as far as the Mandalay Canal on the outskirts of that city. Patrols reported no Japanese troops but, on 9 March, 'C' Company was rushed by a Japanese force. After fierce hand-to-hand fighting, however, the company prevented the Japanese from crossing the canal. Private Eric Wilkinson was killed and two men were wounded in the attack.
Eric was the son of Haworth and Anne Wilkinson. He was aged 33. He formerly attended Ebenezer Baptist Church and Sunday School. Before he enlisted in November 1941, he worked in the building trade in Clayton-le-Moors. Before then he was a cotton spinner. Eric was slightly wounded whilst crossing the Irrawaddy, and had been out of hospital only a month before his death.
Eric lies in Takkyan War Cemetery, Myanmar. The cemetery is on the outskirts of Rangoon (now Yangan), and contains 6,374 Commonwealth burials. Eric rests in Plot 18, Row C, Grave 4.
Wilson, George Pte 1st (Airborne) Bn. Border Regiment - Died 21 September 1944.
The airborne assault to capture the bridges over the River Rhine at Arnhem began on 17th September 1944. The 1st. Battalion, Border Regiment, was in the first wave of glider-borne troops. Almost from the beginning they met fierce resistance from the Germans and suffered many casualties. On 21st September, the Battalion, with a force of paratroops, held a bridgehead over the Lower Rhine, near the twon of Oosterbeck. Private George Wilson's company was in a position on high ground at Westerbouwing. The company was attacked by tanks, artillery and flame-throwers and eventually overwhelmed. George was reported wounded, then missing, after this gallant action. It was only in July 1945 that his parents received confirmation of his death.
George was the son of Joseph and Hettie Wilson. He was aged 22. He attended St. Jame's Church and School and was formerly employed at Longholme Mill, Rawtenstall. Also George's brother, Robert, died of wounds in France on 12th August 1944. George is commemorated on the Groesbeek Memorial, Holland. The Memorial stands within the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery and names more than a thousand members of the Commonwealth forces who died in Belgium and Holland since the end of August 1944, and have no known grave. George is named on Panel 4.
Wilson, Robert - Lce Corporal - 295 Field Company, Royal Engineers - Died 12 August 1944
Lance Corporal Robert Wilson died in a military hospital in Bayeux, Normandy, from wounds sustained in the heavy fighting in the campaign. Bayeux was the first French town of any size and importance to be liberated after the D-Day landings on 6 June 1944, although there was little actual fighting in the town Robert had taken part in the North African campaign, and had also fought in Sicily and Italy. He had been wounded four times before
Robert was the son of Joseph and Hettie Wilson. He was aged 26. He had attended St.James' Church and School, and was employed in the Haslingden area in the building trade. N.B. Robert's brother, George, was killed on 21 September 1944.
Robert lies in Bayeux War Cemetery, France. The town of Bayeux is 24 kilometres northwest of Caen and the cemetery is on the outskirts of the town. It is the largest Commonwealth cemetery of the 1939-1945 War in France and contains burials brought in from the surrounding area and the hospitals that were located nearby. There are 4,144 war graves, of which there are 338 of men who could not be identified. Robert's grave is in Plot 1, Row D, Grave 21.
Wolstenholme, James - Leading Stoker - H.M.S. Mahratta, Royal Navy - Died 25 February 1944
On 20 February 1944 a convoy of 44 merchant ships sailed from Scotland to Murnansk, north Russia. It was escorted by 22 Royal Navy ships, including H.M.S. Mahratta, a Tribal class destroyer of 1,920 tons. Five days later, the German U-boat, U-990, torpedoed the Mahratta. She radioed the escort flagship, "Have been hit by two torpedoes and am stopped". There was a pause, then, "We are abandoning ship. We are sinking". The destroyer Impulsive was sent to assist her, but could only rescue 17 of her crew. Leading Stoker James Wolstenholme was one who died in the attack.
James was the only son of Mrs. E. Wolstenholme. He was 25. He was married, and his wife was serving in the A.T.S. (Auxiliary Territorial Service) at the time of his death. He attended St.John's, Stonefold, Church where he was a former choir-boy. James worked at Paragon Chemical Works until 1939, when he joined the Royal Navy.
James is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon. The Memorial stands on the Hoe, looking towards Plymouth Sound. It bears the names of 7,000 sailors of the 1914-1918 War and almost 16,000 of the 1939-1945 War who have no grave but the sea. James' name is on Panel 89, Column 3.
Woodhouse, Arthur - Sergeant/Air Gunner - Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve - Died 2 April 1943
Sergeant Arthur Woodhouse was one of six crew of a Wellington bomber which took off from No.16 O.T.U. (Operational Training Unit) at Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire, at 20.35 hours on a high level exercise. A staff pilot also flew with them as a passenger. Before completing the duty, the pilot called the base to report the air-speed indicator was unserviceable. At 21.50 hours, the aircraft crashed at Vicarage Farm, Kirklington, nine miles from Oxford. All the crew, and the passenger died. Three men were buried in Middleton Stoney, Oxfordshire, and a fourth in Elsworth, Cambridgeshire. The remaining three men were taken to their home towns for burial.
Arthur was the son of John and Clara Woodhouse. He was the husband of Florence. They had two children. Arthur was aged 30. Before he joined the R.A.F.V.R. he was employed by Messrs. Drake, the builders and contractors, where he was known as "an industrious worker".
Arthur's coffin, draped in a Union Jack, arrived in Haslingden on Thursday, 8 April 1943, and he was interred in Holdens Hall Cemetery the following day. Amongst the many floral tributes was one from the officers and men of No. 16 O.T.U. Arthur lies in Plot C, Grave 863.
On 11 May 1944 2,000 Allied guns opened fire together to begin 'Operation Diadem', the great attack to advance towards Rome. The plan included the British Eighth Army taking Casino, crossing the River Rapido, and breaking through the 'Gustav Line', the German line of defences which stretched across Italy. After fierce battles at Casino, which completely destroyed the town and the Monte Casino Abbey, the Germans withdrew on 18 May. The German defence line, had, however, been strengthened by more artillery, and weeks of heavy fighting in mountainous ensued. Gunner James Yates lost his life at this time.