WW2 Book of Remembrance - Surnames G

Index

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[Content]

GADSBY, Albert Edwin (Revised 24/12/2017)
GARDINER, Edward Ambrose Norman * (Revised 01/01/2018)
GARDNER, Michael John (Revised 14/01/2018)
GARDNER, Walter Henry (Revised 08/02/2018)
GARRARD, Vivian George (Revised 08/02/2018)
GARROD, Robert Stanley (New 08/01/2018)
GAVED, Frederick Charles (Revised 31/12/2017)
GEEN, Henry (properly Harry) Ernest (New 28/11/2014)
GIBSON, Michael Charles (Revised 12/04/2018)
GILES, Geoffrey Albert (Revised 03/01/2018)
GILLMAN, Alice Maud Mary Millie * (Revised 03/01/2018)
GLADMAN, Charles Clifford (Revised 23/09/2017)
GLASER, Keith James (Revised 09/02/2018)
GODDING, Walter Frank (Revised 03/01/2018)
GODWARD, John Sidney (Revised 10/02/2018)
GOODMAN, George William * (Revised 03/01/2018)
GOODWIN, Arthur Frederick * (Revised 15/04/2018)
GOODWIN, Leonard John (Revised 10/02/2018)
GORARD, Leslie Edward (New 10/08/2017)
GORDON, Ronald (Revised 23/09/2017)
GOTOBED, Ellen Florence Clemens * (Revised 03/01/2018)
GOULDING, Stanley Thomas (Revised 10/02/2018)
GOWLLAND, Peter (Revised 09/01/2018)
GRANT, Philip (Revised 23/09/2017)
GRAY, Edwin John * (Revised 03/01/2018)
GREENFIELD, Alfred Charles Allwood (Revised 18/12/2017)
GREENLY-JONES Llewelyn - see JONES Llewellyn Greenly
GREENSLADE, Charles William P (Revised 03/01/2018)
GREENSLADE, John Leonard (New 28/01/2016)
GRIFFITH, Keith James see GLASER, Keith James (Revised 09/02/2018)
GRIFFITHS, Thomas John * (Revised 03/01/2018)
GURNEY, William John (Revised 03/01/2018)

* = Not included in the Book of Remembrance for reasons unknown.
If you are looking for someone whose name starts with a different letter please try:



Content


GADSBY, Albert Edwin. Sergeant (1576049)

97 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Died 8 October 1943, aged 21

The marriage of Charles Edwin Gadsby (b. Kettering, Northants, 1890, d. Epsom 17 November 1961) to Lilian Brannagan (b. 1894, d. 1977, Bromley, Kent) was registered in Kettering for the December Quarter of 1919. Birth of their son, Albert E Gadsby, followed in the same District, 3/1922.

The family came to live locally by 1935 to reside at Cytringham, 34 Hamilton Close, Epsom.

A Service Number 1576049 indictes that Albert enlisted with the RAF in or after June 1941 at Birmingham.

In April 1943, 97 Squadron moved to RAF Bourn, and joined No. 8 (PFF) Group to became a "marker" unit. Albert was on the establisment no later than the beginning of September 1943.

Bomber Command War Diary 8 October 1943
"Hannover: 504 aircraft - 282 Lancasters, 188 Halifaxes, 26 Wellingtons, 8 Mosquitos. This was the last Bomber Command raid in which Wellingtons took part. 300 (Polish) and 432 (Canadian) Squadrons provided the 26 Wellingtons which operated on this night; they all returned safely. The German controller guessed correctly that Hannover was the target and many night fighters arrived before the attack was over. 27 aircraft - 14 Lancasters and 13 Halifaxes - were lost, 5.4 per cent of the force. Conditions over Hannover were clear and the Pathfinders were finally able to mark the centre of the city accurately; a most concentrated attack followed with a creepback of only 2 miles, all within the built-up area. This was probably Hannover's worst attack of the war."
On 8 October 1943 a Lancaster JB174 of 97 Squadron took off from Bourn at 23.00 hours to bomb Hannover. It was crewed by P/O G.D.Nicholl, Sgts P. Cassidy & A.E.Gadsby, P/O R.Baht and Sgts H.J.Lewis, H.T.Finch & J.Brown.

Over the target Lancaster JB174 suffered a direct hit from flak, which destroyed the nose of the plane also an outer part of the port wing. A fierce fire broke out in the fuselage resulting in a loss off control. The captain, P/O G D Nicholl was unable to communicate with the rest of his crew because his flying helmet had been blown away. Only the pilot managed to escape by parachute to be taken Prisoner of War. Administration of Albert's Estate was granted to Charles Edwin Gadsby, Local Government Official.

Remembered as a son of Charles Edwin and Lilian Gadsby of Epsom, Surrey, on the RAF's Runnymede memorial which commemorates more than 20,000 airmen and women who were lost in WW2 during operations from bases in the United Kingdom and North and Western Europe who have no known grave.

Plot 2D, 1-4A, of Hannover War Cemetery is reported to contain three missing members from the crew of Lancaster JB174, including F/O Ralph Edmund Baht, RCAF, initially interred at Limmer Civil Cemetery.

Brian Bouchard © 2017

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GARDINER Edward Ambrose Norman. Lieutenant-Commander

Royal Navy - HMS Hermes
Died 9 April 1942, aged 38

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance, but commemorated on the Epsom Golf Club memorial.

Edward was born on 23 February 1904 in Epsom, the fourth and apparently last child of Edward Norman Gardiner and Hilda (née Cornish-Bowden - they had married on 20 April 1892 in St Mary's, Wolborough, Newton Abbot, Devon). His father was an assistant master at Epsom College - and had been so since at least the 1891 Census. The 1911 Census records the parents and their two youngest children living at No 2 The College with three live-in servants: a domestic cook; a domestic housemaid; and a nursery governess.

Following in the footsteps of his maternal grandfather (Rear Admiral William Bowden 1826-1896) and his 23 year old brother Lieutenant William Norman Gardiner (who, as described in the article at that link, had been killed in WW1 action aboard HMS Defence) ,Young Edward embarked on a naval career. In September 1917, aged 13, he was admitted to the Royal Naval College. After training, he was commissioned as a Lieutenant on 15 July 1926, and then saw service on a number of ships. In 1933, he was admitted to Corpus Christi College, Oxford as a Service student to study mathematics. He gained his BA in 1936 and was also active in the sporting side of university life - initially as an oarsman and then in both swimming and water polo, for both of which he became College Captain.

It appears that he was uncertain about returning to the Navy and, in 1937, became an assistant at Farnborough's Royal Aircraft Establishment. On the outbreak of WW2, however, he returned to the Navy and was promoted to Lieutenant-Commander, serving on board HMS Hermes - the world's first ship to be designed as an aircraft carrier (although the Imperial Japanese Navy's Hosho was the first to be launched and commissioned). Ordered in April 1917, it was commissioned in February 1924. After service in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and the China Station, she was brought back to home waters and, in 1938, became a training ship. When WW2 began, HMS Hermes was brought back into active service, initially assigned to the Home Fleet for anti-submarine patrols in the Western Approaches.

HMS Hermes (and, behind, HMS Dorsetshire) escorting a convoy in June 1940
HMS Hermes (and, behind, HMS Dorsetshire) escorting a convoy in June 1940
Public domain photograph via Wikimedia

HMS Hermes then saw service off West Africa helping to hunt down German commerce raiders and blockade runners before being sent to East Africa. In February 1941, she supported Commonwealth forces in Italian Somaliland during the East African Campaign and did much the same two months later in the Persian Gulf during the Anglo-Iraqi War. After that, HMS Hermes spent most of the rest of the year patrolling the Indian Ocean. After a refit in South Africa between November 1941 and February 1942, she joined the Eastern Fleet at Ceylon (modern-day Sri Lanka).

On 8 April 1942, HMS Hermes was berthed in Trincomalee when a warning of an approaching Japanese fleet was received and, with the destroyer HMS Vampire, she sailed that day for the Maldives with no aircraft on board. The following day, 9 April 1942, a Japanese scout plane spotted her near Batticaloa and, shortly afterwards, she was attacked by some 85 dive bombers. With no air cover, the carrier was quickly sunk by the Japanese aircraft with the loss of 307 men - including Edward - about two thirds of its complement.

HHMS Hermes as she sank
HMS Hermes as she sank
Public domain photograph via Wikimedia

(After re-arming, the Japanese dive bombers returned and also sank HMS Vampire, although with a much smaller loss of life. The survivors from both vessels were rescued by a nearby hospital ship.)

As Edward has no known grave, he is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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GARDNER, Michael John. Sergeant 1335878

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 15 October 1942 Age 19

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

The marriage of William J Gardner to Florence M Nicholls was registered at Lambeth for the December Quarter of 1920. Birth of their son Michael J Gardner came to be recorded in Croydon. 6/1923.

Michael enlisted with Royal Air Force in Blackpool during September 1940.

It appears that he lost his life under pilot training in North America.

Commemorated on Ottawa Memorial, Panel 1. Column 4, noted to have been the son of William John and Florence May Gardner, of Epsom, Surrey, England.

His father was a Company Director and the family lived at 355 Reigate Road, Epsom.

Brian Bouchard © 2018

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GARDNER, Walter Henry. Gunner (11060610)

491 Battery, 24 Light Anti-Aircraft/Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery
Died 6 December 1943, aged 39

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Walter was born in Islington on 1 February 1905, the fourth child of James and Alice Gardner. The 1911 Census records the family (now with a fifth child - born in 1910) living in a two room tenement at 9 Mildmay Avenue, Islington. The 39 year old father (recorded in this Census as "Andreven") is listed as a Painter/Labourer.

In Q1 1926, Walter married Leah Eleanor George, registered in Shoreditch. The couple had at least five children: the births of the first four (between 1926 and 1938) were registered in the Stepney District. The fifth, born Q3 1940 was registered in the Surrey Mid Eastern District - consistent with the family being recorded in the 1939 Register living at 17 Beech Road, Epsom (and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's post-war records noting that the widowed Leah was "of Epsom, Surrey"). The 1939 Register lists the 34 year old Walter as a "French Polisher" and Leah with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties".

The readily available records provide no useful information about Walter's time in the Royal Artillery. From his burial in modern day Bangladesh, it is clear that his battery was posted to then north east India to help resist Japanese incursions from Burma (modern day Myanmar). The actual location of his posting is not currently known, since graves were concentrated into the Maynamati Cemetery from a wide area.

It seems more than like that Walter saw some action, but Casualty List No 1326 states simply that "died" in 6 December 1943, indicating that the cause was (in those climes, less than rare) illness or disease.

Walter is buried in the Maynamati War Cemetery at Comilla about halfway between Dhaka to Chittagong and near the border with Myanmar. His widow took the option of adding a personal inscription to his headstone,
"A dear husband and daddy. Some may forget you but we will remember you always."
Roger Morgan © 2018

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GARRARD, Vivian ("Tony") George. Lance Corporal (6141882)

2nd Battalion, East Surrey Regiment
Died 23 August 1943, aged 25

Vivian's grave marker in the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery
Vivian's grave marker in the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery
Photograph by "GulfportBob" via findagrave.com

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission notes that Vivian was the "son of Horace and Elizabeth Ellen Garrard, of Epsom, Surrey". The family background is actually rather more complicated.

Elizabeth was Horace's second wife. His first was Annie Silburn. Like Horace Annie was from Ipswich which is where their Q3 1889 marriage - when Horace was aged 24 and Annie 19 - was registered. The 1901 Census records the couple (with Horace as a "Bricklayer") and their 10 year old son Bertie living at 24, Kenneth Road, Chadwell Heath, Dagenham. By the time of the 1911 Census the couple were living at 1 St John's Cottages, College Road, Epsom, and Bertie had left home.

Vivian's birth is not found in the readily available records (perhaps because of a transcription error) but, to have been aged 25 in 1943, this must have been in 1917/18 when Annie was 49 or 50 - unusually (but not impossibly) late for childbearing. Annie died in late 1918, aged 50, and was buried in Epsom Cemetery on 12 October. Could this have been from complications of Vivian's birth?

In Q2 1919, 54 year old Horace got remarried - to 30 year old Elizabeth Penny, registered in Epsom. (Another possibility - given force by the dedication on the grave marker - is that she was Vivian's mother.) The 1939 Register records the couple still in College Road - now numbered 25. The 75 year old Horace is listed as "Bricklayer (Retired)" and 50 year old Elizabeth as a "Cleaner at Hospital". Horace died at Epsom County Hospital in 1943, and buried in Epsom Cemetery on 14 May. (Vivian - apparently also known as "Tony" - was not at home at the time of the 1939 Register. He was presumably already in uniform, but there are Forces records noting that he had been a bricklayer in civilian life - his father's trade.)

Vivian's WW2 service was with the 2nd Battalion, East Surrey Regiment. At the outbreak of hostilities, the Battalion was in China helping guard the British enclaves there during the continuing Sino-Japanese war. In 1940, the Battalion was shipped Malaya where it was attached to 11th Indian Infantry Division based in North West Malaya. At about the same time as its 7 December attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese Army landed in southern Thailand and invaded the British possession of Malaya. The 2nd East Surreys were among the first troops to face the invaders and suffered tremendous casualties during the defence and retreat from NE Malaya. On 19 December 1941, the Battalion was amalgamated with the 1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment to form the British Battalion which fought gallantly throughout the rest of the short campaign until the surrender of the British Army at Singapore on 15 February 1942.

Vivian was one of the many Commonwealth soldiers then taken prisoner. He was doubtless then used as forced labour on the notorious "Death Railway" to provide better support for the large Japanese army in Burma. His death on 23 August 1943 in the Malai 4 PoW camp was recorded to be the result of cholera.

After the war, Vivian was reinterred in the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery - about 80 miles north east of Bangkok. Elizabeth took the option of adding a personal inscription to his grave marker,
"In loving memory of my dear son Vivian, 'Tony', sadly missed by all. R.I.P. Mum."
Roger Morgan © 2018

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GARROD, Robert Stanley. Flight Sergeant 1324243

50 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 4 May 1944 Age 22

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

The marriage of Robert W Garrod (b. 17 June 1895) to Florence Murton (b. 5 October 1895) was registered at Camberwell for the September Quarter of 1919. Birth of their son Robert S Garrod followed in Lambeth, 3/1922.

By 1939, the family had taken up residence locally at 10 Dirdene Gardens, Epsom, and Robert, senior was described as 'Proprietor of a Catering Establishment'. Charles William Grenslade lived nearby at No. 11.

With a Service number 1324243 Robert, junior, enlisted with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, at Oxford, in or after November 1940.

Operation Mailly-Le-Camp, 3/4 May 1944, was launched against a Panzer tank depot and military barracks in preparation for the D-Day landings, and resulted in heavy losses

No. 50 Squadron, Lancaster III, ED870 Code: VN-J
Pilot: P/O. Albert Handley 173341 RAFVR Age 28. Killed
Fl/Eng: Sgt. Charles Thomas Brown 1867213 RAFVR Age ? Killed
Nav: F/O. Theodore Edward Archard 135740 RAFVR Age 32. Killed
Air/Bmr: Fl/Sgt. Robert Stanley Garrod 1324243 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
W/Op/Air/Gnr: Sgt. Cyril Whitelock 1146149 RAFVR Age 22. Killed
Air/Gnr: Fl/Sgt. James Walker White R/193905 RCAF Age 20. Killed<
br> Air/Gnr: Sgt. David Bisset 650022 RAF Age 22. Killed
Air/Gnr: Sgt. George Edward Gilpin 610020 RAF Age ? Killed
This aircraft took off at 21:58 hrs from RAF Skellingthorpe to bomb Mailly-Le-Camp, a German military camp situated close to the French village of Mailly some 140 km east of Paris.

The stream of 346 Lancaster bomber crossed the French coast at around 23.15 hrs and the initial low level marking by 2 pathfinder Mosquitoes was accurate, backed up by Lancaster marker aircraft. Initiitially, however, the signal from the Marker Leader, W/Cdr. Cheshire, to come in and bomb was lost because the Main Force Controller W/Cdr. Deane's radio set was being drowned by an American forces broadcast since his transmitter had been incorrectly tuned.

The main force circled until eventually the Deputy Controller ordered the attack to commence.Over 1,500 tons of bombs were dropped on the target area with great accuracy for 114 barrack buildings to be destroyed; 47 transport sheds and some ammunition buildings were also hit.

Some 42 Lancasters, including four from 50 Squadron. were downed over this night under assault from Luftwaffe night fighters.

ED870 had been shot down nearing the aiming point to crash close to the village of Poivres, Aube, some 45 kilometres north of Troyes, and 5 kilometres north-west of Mailly-le-Camp, France . All the crew had been killed and were interred in the local churchyard.

R S Garrod, son of Robert William and Florence Garrod, of Epsom, Surrey, lies in Grave 8, inscribed:
'YOU ARE GONE FROM ME BUT IN MY MEMORY WE ALWAYS WILL BE TOGETHER'
His parents were subsequently laid rest in Grave Q 201 at Epsom Cemetery - Robert William Garrod, Caterer, buried 5 January 1946 and Florence, 5 May 1952

Brian Bouchard © 2018

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GAVED, Frederick Charles. Driver (2007432)

Royal Engineers
Died 18 August 1940, aged 22

Frederick's headstone in Aldershot Military Cemetery
Frederick's headstone in Aldershot Military Cemetery
Photograph © "red-eye" 2011

Frederick (known as "Fred") was born in Battle, Sussex on 30 September 1917, apparently the last of at least four children born to Samuel Drew Gaved and Frances Caroline (née Harmer - they had married in Battle Q4 1902). Notwithstanding that Battle connection, the 1911 Census records the parents and two children living at 27 Moreland Street in Clerkenwell, London where the 33 year old Samuel is listed as an LCC School Keeper. He died in Q1 1923, the death being registered in Lambeth.

Frances never remarried, and the 1939 Register records her (aged 58, with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties) living at 18 Lansdowne Gardens, Lambeth, with her two youngest children: 23 year old Doris (a "Bookkeeper Accountant"); and 22 year old Fred (a "hairdresser"). Also there, probably as a lodger, was 72 year old "General Dealer" Austin Brady.

(The Commonwealth War Graves Commission's post-war records note that Fred was the "son of Samuel Drew Gaved, and of Frances Caroline Gaved, of Ewell, Surrey". However, that Borough connection has yet to be established - and, as noted above, Samuel died in 1923.)

Fred's WW2 service was as a Driver in the Royal Engineers where he was in the 6th section of the 48th Bomb Disposal Company. On the morning of 18 August 1940, Fred was among those sent to deal with an unexploded German bomb near Hook railway station in Hampshire. (It is estimated that between 5% and 15% of the many, many WW2 bombs did not detonate as planned.)

This had fallen overnight into a brickyard in Crown Lane, about a mile from the station but next to the tracks. As a threat to the crucial main line, it had to be dealt with quickly. Six young engineers - including Fred - began to dig down to the bomb that had buried itself deep in the ground. During the excavation, the bomb exploded and killed the 6 soldiers, namely: Fred (aged 22); Arthur Hill (aged 20); Ralph Moxon (aged 21); Douglas Vince (aged 23); Fred Warner (aged 23); and Arthur White (aged 23). There is a memorial to these brave young men in Hook Railway Station.

All six are buried in the Aldershot Military Cemetery, Hampshire. Fred's family took the option of adding a personal inscription to the headstone: "Father, in thy gracious keeping leave we now thy servant sleeping."

Roger Morgan © 2017
With thanks to "red-eye" for the incident details

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GEEN, Henry (properly Harry) Ernest, Sergeant, Observer, 744982

RAFVR (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve) 101 Squadron
Died 28/11/1940, aged 33

Henry's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Henry's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Image courtesy of Brian Bouchard ©2014.

The marriage of Charles Geen (b. reg. Fulham 12/1876) to Elizabeth Maud Eves (b. Cheltenham 1884) was registered at Cheltenham for the September Quarter of 1905. Their second son, Harry Ernest, was baptised at St Paul's Kingston Hill on 15 December 1907 (reg. Kingston 12/1907).

For the 1911 Census the family were enumerated at Amesbury, 72 Park Road, Kingston Hill but by 1915 had come to live in Mayfield, 25 Links Road, Epsom. Charles Geen was an estate agent and auctioneer in partnership, trading as Philip and George Geen, at 57 Waterloo Road, Lambeth.

Harry obtained his education at Epsom College, leaving in 1925. By 1928 he had taken up farming in South Africa but returned to England from Montreal, Canada, during 1929. It appears that he subsequently joined his father in business as a surveyor.

His service number suggests enlistment for training as an RAFVR pilot after January 1937.

Evidently he was diverted into training as an Air Observer and turns up in that role at 17 Operational Training Unit (formed in April 1940 as part of No 6 Group. Bomber Command, at RAF Upwood to train light bomber crews using the Bristol Blenheim). He was posted with a crew led by Sgt Pilot B J Redmond to 101 Squadron on 14 November 1940. They were aboard Blenheim Mk. IV, N6236, SR- ? Airborne 17.18 from West Raynham. During the operation against Wanne Eickel the locknut on the spider in the starboard propeller reduction gear became loose, causing the reduction gear casing to be churned away. Consequently the airscrew shaft and propeller fell off during the return flight over the North Sea. With commendable skill Sgt Redmond succeeded in getting his aircraft back to base with only one engine but crashed, on circuit of the aerodrome whilst trying to land, at 22.58 into West Raynham village.

The pilot Sgt B. J. Redmond and rear gunner Sgt A. G. Woodruff suffered only minor head injuries but the air observer Sgt H. E. Geen was left critically ill with a fractured skull.

Harry Geen succumbed to his injuries. The Squadron Operation Record Book mentioned that Sgt A/Obs.H E Geen died Tuesday 26 November 1940 at 11.40. CWGC, however, show the date of his demise to have been 28 November 1940 and that is what appears on his gravestone. His parents announced in the Daily Telegraph of 3 December 1940, the day of his funeral, only that their 'dearly beloved second son' Sergt Harry Ernest (Bob) Geen had died in November.

His mother, father and married sister later joined him in Plot M403 of Epsom Cemetery. Charles Geen had passed away at The Little House, 38 Downswood, Epsom.

Brian Bouchard ©2014

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GIBSON, Michael Charles. Lieutenant (186637)

2nd Anti-aircraft Regiment, Hong Kong and Singapore Royal Artillery.
Died 5 March 1943 (but see below), aged 22

Michael was born in Epsom on 26 January 1921, the first child of Thomas George Gibson and Betty/Beatrice (née Cousins - they had married in Kensington Q1 1917). The couple had settled in Epsom, perhaps consequent on Thomas having been a pupil at Epsom College in the early 1900s before returning home to Harrogate where (as a 24 year old articled law student) he was recorded in the 1911 Census. Their only other child, Margaret, was also born in Epsom Q4 1924.

The 1939 Register records the parents living at "Newlands", Ashley Road, Epsom. Thomas - now aged 52 - is listed as "Solicitor & Civil Servant at HM Customs & Excise" and 47 year old Betty with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties". 18 year old Michael is listed as "Student for Regular Army Commission. Enrolled H.A.C. Officers Training" (HAC being the abbreviation for the Honourable Artillery Company). 14/15 year old Margaret was not at home - perhaps being away at school. The family were supported by two live-in domestic servants.

Commissioned as a Lieutenant, Michael was assigned to the 2nd Anti-aircraft Regiment, Hong Kong and Singapore Royal Artillery. Part of the Army's Malaya Command, the Regiment was stationed at "Fortress Singapore". As is well-known, Singapore was captured by Japanese forces in early February 1942. That was immediately followed by the negotiated mass surrender of the surviving Commonwealth forces - including Michael.

After processing in the Changi PoW camp, Michael was one of the 600 or so prisoners - all artillerymen or "Gunners" - loaded into the Kenkon Maru, one of the prisoner ships justifiably called "hell ships" by the prisoners. This left Singapore on 18 October and, after a number of intermediate stops, arrived at Rabaul (on New Britain, one of the Solomon Islands) on 5 November 1942. The prisoners were disembarked and marched to the Kokopo Camp where, as for other Japanese PoW camps, the regime and conditions were extremely harsh. On 15 November, the prisoners were paraded. About 80 were already too weak from hunger and disease to work, but the fittest 517 were sent - via another "hellship" - to build an airstrip on Ballali (one of the Shortland group of islands just south of Bougainville). Not one of them survived, but their story can be told thanks to native islanders briefing the Australian forces when the islands were subsequently liberated.

The extremely harsh treatment and conditions continued. Over the next few months, a good number of prisoners died from beatings, illness and from Allied bombing. In April 1943, the Japanese on Ballali were told by their headquarters that the US Navy was preparing for an attack and that, if this happened, all prisoners were to be disposed of by whatever means was available.

On 29 June 1943, an American warship bombarded the island. The next day, the surviving 400 or so prisoners were lined up and killed by sword or bayonet. The bodies were stripped of their identity tags and dumped in a large pit. In November 1945, this mass grave, containing 436 bodies, was uncovered. The remains of these British servicemen were recovered by 3 Division of the War Graves Unit of the Australian Army and, in December 1945, were finally interred in graves in the Port Moresby (Bomana) War Cemetery, in Papua New Guinea. As the bodies could not be identified, each one has all individual grave marked "A Soldier of the 1939-1945 War known only to God".

It is not known precisely when, in this appalling series of events, Michael died. The official records still give 5 March 1943 as the date of death for all 600 Gunners who left Singapore on 18 October aboard the Kenkon Maru - a date appearing to originate in the Japanese untruth that the PoWs were still aboard when the Kenkon Maru was sunk some time after they had been disembarked at Rabaul.

It is quite likely that Michael is one of the many "known only to God" in the Port Moresby cemetery. However, he is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial as one of the more than 24,000 casualties of the land and air forces of the Commonwealth who died during the campaigns in Malaya and Indonesia or in subsequent captivity and have no known grave.

The Singapore Memorial (rear) in the Kranji War Cemetery
The Singapore Memorial (rear) in the Kranji War Cemetery
Picture with thanks to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Roger Morgan © 2017

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GILES, Geoffrey Albert. Trooper (14220244)

"A" Squadron 24th Lancers, Royal Armoured Corps
Died 12 June 1944, aged 20.

Geoffrey's headstone in Tilly-sur-Seulles Cemetery
Geoffrey's headstone in Tilly-sur-Seulles Cemetery
Photograph by "Len" via findagrave.com

Geoffrey was born on 22 November 1923, the second and last child of Albert Charles Giles and May Ethel (née Howell - their Q4 1921 marriage was registered in the Epsom District).

The 1939 Register records the family living at 136 Kingston Road, Ewell. 44 year old Albert (who had served in France with the Royal Engineers during WW1) is listed as "Landscape and Private Gardner" and 44 year old May with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties". Both children were living with them: 17 year old Vera is listed as a Post Office Telephonist; and 16 year old Geoffrey as a shop assistant.

Geoffrey's WW2 service was in "A" Squadron 24th Lancers, Royal Armoured Corps. As part of the 8th Armoured Brigade and equipped with Sherman tanks, the regiment landed on Normandy's "Gold Beach" on 7 June 1944 (D-Day+1) in the second wave of the Operation Overlord landings, supporting the 50th (Northumbrian) Infantry Division.

While the D-Day landings quickly established the necessary beachhead, progress beyond the German stronghold at Caen - a few miles inland from the D-Day beaches - proved rather more difficult than anticipated. Geoffrey's regiment was quickly involved in the heavy and fluctuating fighting around Tilly-sur-Seulles, a few miles to the west if Caen. On 12 June - five days after landing - Geoffrey was killed in action. Tilly itself was finally captured on 18 June.

Geoffrey is one of the 990 Commonwealth troops buried in the Tilly-sur-Seulles War Cemetery. The family took the option of adding a personal inscription to his headstone: "In loving memory of our beloved son gone but not forgotten. Mum, Dad and Vera."

Roger Morgan © 2018

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GILLMAN Alice Maud Mary Millie

Civilian
Died 17 November 1940, aged 63

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

The 1939 Register records the 59 year old Alice (she was born on 6 June 1877) widowed and living alone at 7 Ady's Road, Peckham. Her occupation is listed as the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties".

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission's records note that her husband had been J Gillman. Details of their marriage (and hence Alice's maiden name) are not readily found by routinely available searches. However, the couple (and their two young children: 2 year old Dorothy; and new-born Ethel) are recorded in the 1901 census living with James's parents at 38 Somerley Street, Wandsworth.

On 7 September 1940, the first day of the Luftwaffe's eight-month "Blitz" bombing campaign, Alice was injured at her home by enemy action. She was taken to Horton Emergency Hospital (one of Epsom's cluster of mental hospitals that, as for WW1, had been taken over for dealing with wartime casualties), where she died 10 weeks later, on 17 November 1940.

Roger Morgan © 2018

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GLADMAN, Charles Clifford. Aircraftman 1st Class (842537)

Royal Air Force (Auxiliary Air Force)
Died 3 August 1941, aged 32

Charles's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Charles's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Photograph by Roger Morgan ©2017

Charles was born Q3 1909, the fifth child of John and Alice Mary Gladman. The 1911 Census records them all living at 27 Hook Road, Epsom - with John's occupation being a stoker at Epsom & Ewell Gas Works.

In Q3 1937, Charles married Margaret Mary (née Kinsella). The 1939 Register records her living at 14 The Drive (now Spa Drive), Epsom on the usual "unpaid domestic duties" of a housewife. The only other person recorded as living there is another married woman, Bridget Morley, also on "unpaid domestic duties".

Readily available records provide no information about Charles's RAF career. On 7 August 1941, four days after his death, he was buried in Epsom Cemetery (grave M.468). The Death Certificate specifies the place of death as "2 Horsham Rd, Dorking" (being the address of the Dorking County Hospital) and the cause as "Pulmonary Tuberculosis" - doubtless the reason for, as noted in the Cemetery records, Charles having been "Discharged from H.M. Forces".

Other information from the Death Certificate is that, before his RAF service, Charles had been an "Electricity Joiners Mate" - and that his widow was still living at 14 The Drive, but expanded to "Wells Estate, Epsom". That is the present day Spa Drive.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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GLASER, Keith James. Lieutenant (322333)
(served under the surname GRIFFITH)

Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment & No 10 Commando
Died 11 April 1945, aged 26

Keith's graves
On the left: The first graves of Keith (the leftmost) and comrades in the Essel Forest.
On the right: Keith's headstone in the Becklingen War Cemetery
Images © Commando Veterans Association and licensed under this Creative Commons licence

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

As described in the separate article about the extraordinary Glaser family, Keith was born (as Kurt Joachim Glaser) on 3 September 1918. This may have been in German-affiliated Schlawe, Pomerania (since the end of WW2, Sławno in Poland) which is where his half-Jewish father Willi Glaser practiced medicine after WW1 and where his younger sister, Erica, was born on 19 February 1922. Other sources suggest that Keith/Kurt had been born in Tetuan in Spanish Morocco which seems to be where his parents spent the WW1 years.

The family were strongly anti-Nazi. When Pomerania came under Nazi control in 1933, Keith/Kurt refused to join the Hitler youth, was forced to leave school and came to England to complete his education, apparently as the ward of a Mrs (later Dame) Leah Manning of Essex.

His parents and sister left for Spain in December 1935. During the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War, Willy applied his medical skills (with his wife and daughter helping as nurses) in support of the anti-Fascist Loyalists. The family could not stay in Spain when the Republicans won the Civil War and, thanks to the agency of Mrs Manning, the parents were brought to the UK. After clearing the formalities, they came to live at Woodcote House in Epsom (which had been rented by the Jewish Refugee Committee to accommodate people fleeing from continental Europe) and Willy continued to practice medicine in his surgery at 57 Church Street. (Their daughter, Erica, went to the USA.)

As WW2 began, the 21 year old Kurt Joachim Glaser - now calling himself Keith James Griffith - was just one of thousands of refugees from the Nazis who volunteered to help the Allied war effort. Technically, they were "enemy aliens" and initially were allowed only in the Pioneer Corps. Keith - known affectionately as "the German" - served in this at first.

Many of these refugees from Europe had considerable talents to offer the British Forces: they obviously spoke relevant foreign languages fluently, knew their way round in particular European countries and were hugely committed to defeating the Nazis, whatever it took. By the same token, they were in greater peril than the British, especially if they were Jewish and were captured. They were likely to be summarily executed.

In 1942, this pool of talent and commitment was tapped into by the creation of No. 10 (Inter-Allied) Commando. The troops of this unit were formed according to nationality, and Keith's No. 3 (X) Troop was chiefly Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria. Some of the Troop's training was done near Aberdovey in Wales, and the photograph below of most of the Troop was taken there.

3 Troop of 10 Inter Allied Commando in early 1943
3 Troop of 10 Inter Allied Commando in early 1943. (Keith is top right.)
Image © Commando Veterans Association and licensed under this Creative Commons licence

There is no readily available information about Keith's time in 3 Troop until the mission during which, as recorded in Casualty List No 1750, he was killed in action on 11 April 1945. Given his language skills, Keith was leading his Troop - ahead of the advancing Allied forces - on a reconnaissance patrol across the canalised River Aller near Hanover. While moving through the Essel Forest, Keith and then some others fell victim to sniper fire. The dead were later buried in situ.

In due course, Keith and the others were reinterred in the nearby Becklingen War Cemetery. (This is on a hillside overlooking Luneburg Heath where, on 4 May 1945, Field-Marshal Montgomery accepted the German surrender from Admiral Doenitz.) It contains 2,374 Commonwealth WW2 burials of the Second World War.

His proud parents took the option of adding a personal inscription to his headstone,
"Died fighting for justice and freedom."
Roger Morgan © 2018
with special thanks to Linda Jackson

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GODDING, Walter Frank. Private (6103453)

2/5th Battalion, The Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey).
Died 29 April 1943, aged 29.

Frank's headstone in the Enfidaville War Cemetery, Tunisia
Frank's headstone in the Enfidaville War Cemetery, Tunisia
Photograph by "Charlie" via findagrave.com

Walter (who seems normally to have been called by his second name, "Frank") was born on 26 Apr 1912 , the son of John Godding and Emma (née Elliott). The birth was registered in Wantage, Berkshire.

In Q1 1937 and registered in Wallingford, Berkshire, Frank married Florence E Blake. The couple set up home at 6 Worple Road, Epsom, where they were recorded in the 1939 Register. This listed 27 year old Walter as "Gardener Handyman" and 26 year old Florence with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties". There is one currently closed record at the address, doubtless of their son Michael born Q3 1937. (Another son, Trevor, was born Q2 1942.)

Frank's WW2 service was with 2/5th Battalion of The Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey). It is not currently known when he enlisted, but this may have been in time for him to have been sent to France in 1940 when the Battalion was quickly involved in the Battle of France and, after heavy losses, the subsequent Dunkirk evacuation.

Two years later, in late 1942, Frank's Battalion was among the troops sent to North Africa to reinforce the Allied Eighth Army which, after the Axis forces' eastward advance had been checked and then reversed in the July and October/November 1942 Battles of El Alamein, was pushing Rommel's troops back though Libya and into Tunis.

By mid-April 1943, the Axis forces were hemmed into a small corner of north-eastern Tunisia and the Allies were grouped for their final offensive. Frank was killed in action on 29 April during the fierce fighting to take the enemy stronghold at Enfidaville which paved the way for the Allies' victory and the mid-May surrender of the surviving Axis forces in North Africa.

Frank is one of the 1,551 Commonwealth burials in the Enfidaville War Cemetery, Tunisia. His widow took the option of adding a personal inscription to his headstone: "He lives for ever in the hearts of those who love him so much"

Roger Morgan © 2018

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GODWARD, John Sidney. Lieutenant (227123)

Pioneer Corps
Died 27 August 1945, aged 49

John's headstone in the Kranji War Cemetery
John's headstone in the Kranji War Cemetery
Photograph by Jo Wick via findagrave.com

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

John was born Q3 1896, the second child to Londoner Alfred Godward and Margaret Louisa Turner (née Smith - they had married on 1 August 1893 in Margaret's home patch of Horbling, Lincolnshire). The 1901 Census records the 37 year old parents living at 39, Culverden Road, Streatham with their four children (aged from 0 to 6), a domestic nurse (for the children) and a general domestic servant. Alfred is listed as a "Clerk, Fire Insurance".

By the time of the 1911 Census, the family had moved to "Birthorpe", Woodcote Park Road, Epsom. The four children (now aged between 10 and 16) were at school - and it is known that John attended Epsom College. The family had a live-in domestic servant, and Alfred still worked in Insurance.

During WW1, John saw service in France, ending up an Acting Captain in the 5th (City of London) Battalion of the London Regiment. It is not currently known if John stayed in uniform between the wars. As he is not found in the 1939 Register, it would appear that he was (back) in uniform by then. His parents (and their unmarried third daughter, another Margaret) were still in Woodcote Park Road, and probably the same house - but now numbered 21). Alfred is listed as "Retired Insurance Official" and both Margarets with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties". They had a live-in domestic servant.

The readily available records provide disappointingly little information about John's WW2 service in the Pioneer Corps. He was sent to Malaya and, like many others after the Japanese invasion from the northeast in early December 1940, was caught up in the fighting retreat to Singapore and taken prisoner when the British Army there surrendered on 15 February 1942.

He was doubtless then used as forced labour on the notorious "Death Railway" to provide better support for the large Japanese army in Burma but survived that and the extremely harsh conditions of Japanese PoW camps only to die on 27 August 1945, twelve days after the Japanese surrender.

John is buried in the Kranji War Cemetery on the island of Singapore - like most of the others there, gathered in from a wide area. His parents took the option of adding a personal touch to his headstone,
"Requiescat in pace"
Roger Morgan © 2018

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GOODMAN George William

Civilian
Died 29 October 1940, aged 71

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

George was born in Bermondsey, London on 2 January 1869 - apparently the oldest of at least six children born to George and Emma Goodman. The 1891 Census records the family living at 13 Gratwick Street, Bermondsey. George senior is listed as a "Carrier" and 22 year old George junior as a "Carman".

George junior cannot be found with any confidence in the readily available records until the 1939 Register finds him widowed and living at 58 Lucey Road, Bermondsey. He is listed as "Retired Meat Carrier". Living with him was 49 year old Emma Goodwin - presumably his daughter - listed as "Kitchen Hand Hotel".

On 16 September 1940 - during the second week of the Luftwaffe's bombing "Blitz" - George was injured by enemy action in nearby Streatham. He was taken to Horton Emergency Hospital (one of Epsom's cluster of mental hospitals that, as for WW1, had been taken over for dealing with wartime casualties), where he died three weeks later, on 29 October 1940.

Roger Morgan © 2018

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GOODWIN, Arthur Frederick. Air Raid Warden

Air Raid Precautions
Died 23 September 1940, aged 36

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Arthur was born on 14 December 1903, the last of six children (one of whom had died) born to John Goodwin and Alice Laura (née Hudson). The 1911 Census records the parents - now in their mid-40s and married for 22 years - living at 11 Ravenscroft Buildings, Ravenscroft Street, Bethnal Green. John is listed as a "Picture Frame Fitter". Three of their children were still at home: 17 year old Nellie (working at a printers); 14 year old Alice (working in women's wear); and 7 year old Arthur (at school).

In Q2 1928 and registered in Southwark, Arthur married Ivy E Cattermole. The 1939 Register records the couple - both aged 35 - living at 7 Plough Way, Rotherhithe, London. Arthur is listed as "Tobacconist and General Shopkeeper" and Ivy with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties". There is one currently closed record at the address, doubtless of what appears to be their only child, Peter born Q1 1930.

Arthur was a volunteer Air Raid Warden and probably in the early days of the Luftwaffe's bombing "Blitz" (the Commonwealth War Graves Commission does not note the actual date) was injured by enemy action - the family understands that this was at a railway station. He was taken to Horton Emergency Hospital (one of Epsom's cluster of mental hospitals that, as for WW1, had been taken over for dealing with wartime casualties), where he died on 23 September 1940.

Arthur's funeral card
Arthur's funeral card
Image courtesy of his grand-niece, Jan Clark © 2018

As noted on his funeral card, Arthur was buried in Grave T.559 of the Battersea Cemetery, Morden.

Roger Morgan © 2018
With special thanks to Jan Clark

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GOODWIN, Leonard John. Major (174132)

2/5th Battalion, The Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey)
Died 24 February 1944, aged 32

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Leonard was born in the Hackney District on 12 October 1911, the third son of William Goodwin and Ada Blanche (née Croxson). The Census taken in April 1911 records the parents (with William as a "General Rate Collector, Municipal Service") and 2 boys (aged 5 and 8) living at 23 Ravensdale Road Stamford Hill N.

In Q2 1938, the 26 year old Leonard married 24 year old Audrey Beatrice Isabel (apparently known as "Susan") Braybrooke. The marriage was registered in the Surrey Mid Eastern District. Audrey had been born on 12 June 1913 in Allahabad, Bengal: her father, Harry, worked on the Indian State Railways. It is not currently known when the family returned to England. The 1939 Register records the parents (58 year old Harry, listed as "Divisional Engineer Signal Indian State Railways - Retired" and 49 year old Beatrix, listed with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties") and Audrey's 20 year old brother living at "Corner House", The Greenway, Epsom.

The 1939 Register records the relative newlywed Leonard and Audrey living alone at "Glenhurst", Stoke Road, Esher. (There is no record of the couple having any children.) Leonard is listed as "Tobacco Representative" and Audrey with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties". The Commonwealth War Graves Commission's post-war records note that the widowed Audrey was "of Epsom, Surrey", but that address has yet to be established: it may be that she moved back to her parents' home.

Leonard's WW2 service was with the 2/5th Battalion of The Queen's Royal Regiment. This was sent to France in 1940 as part of the British Expeditionary Force, and was involved in the Battle of Dunkirk where, as the men had received very little training, it suffered heavy casualties. However, Leonard survived that. The next trace of him in the readily available records is as part of the forces landing at Anzio.

The background to that is that, after the Allies' invasion of Sicily in July 1943 and its capture the following month, the Allies invaded the Italian mainland on 3 September 1943, coinciding with an armistice made with the Italians who then re-entered the war on the Allied side. Progress through southern Italy was rapid despite stiff resistance, but by the end of October 1943, the Allies were facing the German winter defensive position known as the Gustav Line, which stretched from the river Garigliano in the west to the Sangro in the east. Initial attempts to breach the western end of the line were unsuccessful - witness the four-month Battle of Monte Cassino in early 1944.

To break the deadlock, on 22 January 1944 the Allies made an amphibious landing at Anzio on the west coast of Italy. This was to outflank the German lines with the aim of capturing the key target of Rome. Leonard's 2/5th Battalion - with him now Acting Lt Colonel - were among the forces landed.

As intended, the landing took the Germans by surprise but, sadly, the Commander of the Operation did not capitalise on that by advancing rapidly for the higher ground around the marshy area. The concentration on establishing a secure beachhead gave the German forces time to react, and the fighting lasted for months until the capture of Rome on 4 June.

Leonard was killed in action on 24 February 1944, in the relatively early days of that fighting. He is one of the 2,316 Commonwealth burials in the Beach Head War Cemetery, Anzio. His widow took the option of adding a personal inscription to his headstone,
"Greater love hath no man than this."
Roger Morgan © 2018

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GORARD, Leslie Edward. Lance Serjeant (6142405)

Royal Corps of Signals 8th Armoured Brigade Signal Squadron
Died 18 July 1944, aged 24

Lesley was born in late 1920, probably the first child of Alfred Edward Gorard and Jessie Ethel (née Wyatt) who married at the beginning of that year. The 1939 Register records Alfred and Jessie, living at 88 Ebbisham Road, Epsom with four others, probably some of their children. Alfred was a "Temporary Postman"

On 22 April 1944, only a few months before his death, Leslie married Molly Kitcherside who was born on 12 April 1923. The Kitchersides were a well-established Epsom family, but the 1939 Register has the unmarried Molly as a laundry maid living/lodging with the Spikesman household at 42 Woodland Road, Epsom.

The readily available records provide no particular information about Leslie's time with the 8th Armoured Brigade Signal Squadron. In July 1944, the Brigade was engaged in heavy fighting about 10 miles to the east of Caen, not far from the D-Day beaches. (While the D-Day landings had successfully established the necessary beachhead, progress beyond that proved much harder than anticipated.)

Leslie was noted in casualty lists as "killed in action" on 18 July 1944. He was buried in the nearby Tilly-sur-Seulles cemetery, which contains 990 Commonwealth WW2 burials.

A sad postscript is that, in early 1945, Molly gave birth to Leslie's daughter, named Lesley Veronica. Even sadder is that the child died (at Epsom Hospital) only a few weeks later, and was buried in Epsom Cemetery on 22 February.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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GORDON, Ronald, Flight Sergeant/Pilot (1605275)

463 (R.A.A.F.) Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 21 March 1945, aged 20

The readily available records provide little information about Ronald's background. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission list him as aged 20 at the time of his death (so he was born in 1919/20) and that his parents "Mr and Mrs T C Gordon" were of "Epsom, Surrey".

No. 463 Squadron RAAF was a WW2 Royal Australian Air Force heavy bomber squadron formed in the United Kingdom in late 1943. The squadron was equipped with Avro Lancaster bombers.

The Avro Lancaster Mk.I heavy bomber
The Avro Lancaster Mk.I heavy bomber
Image - and mission details below - with thanks to aircrewremembered.com

At 23:15 on Tuesday 20 March 1944, an Avro Lancaster 1 (Serial PB845 and Code JO-C) of 463 Squadron took off from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire. The pilot was 20 year old Flying Officer Richard Stewart Bennet of the Royal Australian Air Force. Flight Sergeant Ronald Gordon was the flight engineer - also 20 years old, as were three other members of the crew. (Another was aged 21 and the age of the last, the Navigator, is not recorded.) The ultimately successful objective outcome of the larger operation of which this was part was to put out of use the synthetic oil refinery at Bohlen (near Leipzig and about 100 miles SSW of Berlin). The aircraft crashed at Trachenau, just south of the target, and it was reported that is had "probably" been shot down at 03:38 on Wednesday 21 March 1944.

Ronald is buried in the Berlin 1939-45 War Cemetery that was established soon after hostilities ceased. Graves were brought there from not only the Berlin area but also from eastern Germany, including Dresden. About 80% of the 3,595 now buried there were airmen who were lost in the air raids over Berlin and the towns in eastern Germany.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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GOTOBED, Ellen Florence Clemens

Civilian
Died 1 December 1940, aged 26

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Ellen was born in Camberwell on 3 March 1914, the fifth of seven children born to Richard Clemens (a "Platelayer" railway worker) and Ellen Rhoda (née Wale - they had married in Camberwell Q4 1904). The 1911 Census records the couple living at 45 Carlton Grove, Peckham with three children - the other four (including Ellen) were born between 1912 and 1922 - and Ellen senior's widowed 60 year old father, Richard Wale (a "Harness Maker").

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records (which include civilian war deaths) note that Ellen was the wife of Bombardier A E Gotobed, Royal Artillery. Forces War Records have no note of such an individual, and it seems likely that her husband was Gunner A W Gotobed who attested for the Royal Artillery in 1938 with the Service number 1508990. However, no record has yet been found of Ellen's 1930s marriage - or of their having any children.

Ellen is found, already married (and listed with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties"), in the 1939 Register living with Andrew (a "Coal Trimmer") and Caroline Lonsdale (and one currently closed record, presumably their child) at 38 Primrose Glen, Hornchurch, Essex. Her husband's Army service would seem to explain why he is not found in the Register. (As an aside, Gunner A W Gotobed was taken prisoner in France in 1940 and spent the rest of WW2 as POW No.10438 in Stalag 20b, Marienburg, Poland.)

At the time of her death, Ellen is noted in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records as being "of 8 Sugden Street, Camberwell, London" (a property that was vacant at the time of the 1939 Register) but that she was injured by enemy action at 45 Carlton Grove, Peckham, London. That - see the 1911 details above - was the long-term family home. At the time of the 1939 Register, the occupants were Ellen's now-widowed 54 year old mother ( a "Laundry Ironing Hand") and four of her children - all unmarried. These ranged from 16 year old Elsie (a "Laundry Packer") to 28 year old Edward (a "French Polisher").

So, at the time of her injury by enemy action (at the height of the Luftwaffe's "Blitz") on 16 October 1940 - which killed her sister Elsie outright - Ellen was visiting her family. (Others present may also have been injured, but not mortally.)

Ellen was taken to Horton Emergency Hospital (one of Epsom's cluster of mental hospitals that, as for WW1, had been taken over for dealing with wartime casualties), where she died some six weeks later, on 1 December 1940.

Roger Morgan © 2018

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GOULDING, Stanley Thomas. Serjeant (7653373)

Royal Army Ordnance Corps
Died 19 January 1947, aged 34

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Stanley was born on 19 March 1912, the first of at least five children - all registered in the West Ham District - born to Thomas Goulding and Alice E (née Adams - they had married in Q2 1911).

In Q3 1935, Stanley married Martha Benz, registered in the Marylebone District of London. They set up home at 2 London Road, Ewell where they were recorded in the 1939 Register. Stanley's is listed as a "Solicitors Cashier" and Martha with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties". The couple had one child, Peter: his Q3 1945 birth was registered in the local Surrey Mid Eastern District. The home address was still 2 London Road, Ewell when Probate was granted in mid-1947 jointly to the widowed Martha and Stanley's younger brother Ronald.

Sadly, the readily available records provide no clue about Stanley's WW2 service in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps or the cause of his death on 19 January 1947 - some 18 months after the end of the war. The death was registered in the local Surrey Mid Eastern District. He was then cremated at the South London Crematorium, Mitcham and is commemorated on the Forces' panel there.

Roger Morgan © 2018

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GOWLLAND, Peter. Gunner (11000114)

556 Coast Regiment, Royal Artillery.
Died 9 September 1942, aged 20.

Peter's Headstone in St Mary's Ewell
Peter's Headstone in St Mary's Ewell Churchyard Extension
Image courtesy of Bourne Hall Museum

Peter was born Q4 1921, the fourth and last child of John Leversha Gowlland and Evelyn Beatrice (née Burntt - they married Q2 1910, registered in Wandsworth). The 1911 Census records the newly-married couple - John, aged 31 (a "Silk Traveller") and Evelyn aged 22 - living at 45 Nevis Road Upper Tooting. Their first three children were: Mary (Q3 1911); Elizabeth (Q2 1914); and Richard (Q1 1919).

The 1939 Register records the parents living at 35 Cromwell Road, Hove. 60 year old John is listed as "Manufacturer Hair Canvas" (a stiffening fabric used in tailoring) and 50 year old Evelyn as "Dental Receptionist - Late Governess (France)". Living with them was their oldest child, 28 year old Mary ("Unemployed Seeking Work") and two currently closed records - presumably other children one of whom was probably the 17/18 year old Peter. At some point during WW2, they moved to Ewell - which is where the Commonwealth War Graves Commission post-war records note them as being "of". Electoral Registers shortly after the war give their address as 13 Nonsuch Walk, Cheam Road, Ewell.

Peter's WW2 service was in the Royal Artillery's 556 Coast Regiment, stationed at the Brixham Battery as part of the defences for the various naval establishments in South Devon. However, his death (in Plymouth Hospital) on 9 September 1942 was not the result of enemy action but from multiple injuries caused by the accidental explosion of a grenade.

His body was brought home for burial in the Ewell (St. Mary) Churchyard Extension (Grave C6). The family took the option of adding a personal inscription to his headstone: "Peace, perfect peace."

Roger Morgan © 2018

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GRANT, Philip. Telegraphist (P/JX 404135)

Royal Navy, HMS Hamilcar
Died 5 December 1944, aged 20

Philip was the son of Henry Grant and Matilda (née Coker), whose births (in 1898 and 1900 respectively) were registered in the Uxbridge - which is also where their marriage was registered in Q3 1920. The 1939 Register records the couple (with Henry as a paperhanger) living at "Rexall", Langley Road, Eton RD with their oldest child, Donald (a bricklayer - born on 7 October 1921), and two others whose records are currently closed, one of whom was presumably Philip, born Q3 1924 and registered in the Eton district.

Philip's connection with Epsom is not obvious. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission post-war record has his parents being "of Yiewsley, Middlesex" - about 4 miles from their pre-war address. When Philip's estate was settled until early 1946, the Probate records list him as being "of 13 Poplar Avenue, Yiewsley" - likely to be his parents' address - with administration being granted to his mother. (Henry was still around: he did not die until Q4 1970.)

The readily available records provide very little information about Philip's naval career. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records him as serving on HMS Hamilcar. However, this was not a ship but a Combined Operations/Landing Craft base. It was first established in 1943 at Djeldjelli, Algeria. However, as the Allies advanced northwards into Europe, it transferred to Messina - on the eastern tip of Sicily - in June 1944.

As Philip is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, he has no known grave. From that and the date of his death, it is therefore likely that he was one of those aboard the Mark 3 "Landing Craft, Tank" LCT 328 that hit a mine and sank off the coast of West Greece. Its operation was part of the complicated aftermath of the Allies' liberation of Greece in which British forces became involved in fighting the partisans who had previously fought against the Axis powers.

Model of a Landing Craft, Tank Mk 3
Model of a Landing Craft, Tank Mk 3
Image © IWM (MOD1033)

Commanded by Lieutenant Colin Ernest Polden RNVR, LCT 328 was ordered to take 16 vehicles, with 20 Indian soldiers, from Patras on the northeast coat of the Peloponnese northwards across the strait, to Krioneri. However, as that area was considered unsafe, the destination was altered to the port of Missolonghi, some 10 miles further west. Leaving Patras at 07:50 on 5 December 1942, the LCT sailed through a channel that had been swept for mines. The entrance to Missolonghi was taken carefully, as the transport HMS Empire Dace had been sunk there by a mine 4 days previously, and its wreck could clearly be seen. As the LCT passed that wreck, it detonated another mine which destroyed its bow section and the craft sank bows first, rolling over to starboard as it disappeared. Two members of the crew and thirteen Indian soldiers were lost.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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GRAY Edwin John

Civilian
Died 4 March 1944, aged 64

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

In addition to the details above, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records note that Edwin was "of 49 Ellerslie Square, Clapham, London". He is found there in the 1939 Register which records that he was: born on 7 June 1879; worked as "Removal Contractor's General Labourer and Packer"; and was married. His wife was doubtless the other occupant, the also-married Elizabeth Gray born on 28 November 1869 and listed with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties". Disappointingly, and not helped by their relatively common names, the usual searches of the readily available records do not provide any other information about these people's background.

Edwin was injured by enemy action while at home on 23 February 1944. (If Elizabeth was also injured, it was not mortally so.) He was taken to Horton Emergency Hospital (one of Epsom's cluster of mental hospitals that, as for WW1, had been taken over for dealing with wartime casualties), where he died two weeks later, on 1 December 1940.

He is buried in Epsom Cemetery, Grave O383.

Roger Morgan © 2018

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GREENFIELD, Alfred Charles Allwood. Flying Officer Navigator (151197)

44 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Died 7 June 1944, aged 20.

Charles Benjamin Ambrose Greenfield (19 September 1891 - 13 December 1975), a civil servant, married Beatrice Eleanor Allwood at St John's Waltham Green on 16 August 1916. Their only child, Alfred [Freddie] Charles Allwood Greenfield, born 30 July 1923, came to be registered in Kingston for the September Quarter of 1923.

Freddie was educated at St Paul's School before going up to Worcester College, Oxford.

The family took up residence in Cheswood, 46 Edenfield Gardens, Worcester Park.

Alfred volunteered for the Royal Air Force Reserve and advanced from Sergeant to Pilot Officer in December 1942, A year later he had become a Flying Officer.

Lancaster ND519 of 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron was detailed to attack Caen, France on the night of 6/7th June 1944. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base. Air Ministry later advised that the wrecked aircraft was found on 27th August 1944. It had crashed near Fresney-Le-Vieux, 11 miles south of Caen, and all the crew had been killed.

Crew:
RAF Flt Lt Stratis, W A DFC Captain (Pilot)
RAF Sgt R F E Haly (Flight Engineer)
RAF FO Greenfield, A C A (Navigator)
RAF Flt Sgt E P Hawkes, (Air Bomber)
RAAF 421601 Flt Sgt G H Knight (Wireless Air Gunner)
RAF Sgt H P Page, (Mid Upper Gunner)
RAF PO E J Roe, (Rear Gunner)
FO Greenfield, Flt Sgt Knight and PO Roe were buried in the La Deliverande War Cemetery, Douvres, Calvados, France. Douvres-La-Deliverande is a village 14kms north of Caen. The remaining four members of the crew have no known grave and their names are commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing, Runnymede, Surrey, UK.

Notices had appeared in The Times seeking information about Afred during the time he remained 'missing' and later In Memoriam decribing him as a 'verray parfit gentil knight'.

The great west window above the gallery in St Mary's, Cuddington, Worcester Park, was given by Charles Greenfield in memory of his son. It depicts Christ triunphing through suffering on the Cross.

Brian Bouchard © 2017

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GREENSLADE, Charles William. Corporal (3966698)

6th (10th Battalion The Royal Welch Fusiliers) Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, AAC
Died 10 September 1943, aged 26.

Charles was born in Croydon on 17 July 1917, the son of John Greenslade and Nora (née Donovan). The 1939 Register records the parents (with John as a "plasterer") living at 342 Chessington Road, Ewell, with four currently closed records.

In Q1 1939, the 22 year old Charles married 19 year old Teddie J Potterton. It is not clear why the marriage was registered in Bromley since Teddie was an Epsom girl, being born there Q1 1918 - the first child of Ted Potterton and Caroline Emma (née Hedges - they had married in Epsom Q2 1917). Indeed, the 1939 Register (taken in late September) records the married Charles (following his father's trade as a "Builder Plasterer") living with his widowed mother-in-law, Caroline at 11 Dirdene Gardens where there was also one currently closed record - probably his 19 year old new wife.

Charles and Caroline's son Keith was born Q1 1943, registered in the Surrey Mid-Eastern District which includes the Borough of Epsom & Ewell. However, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission post-war records note the widowed Caroline as being "of Exmouth, Devon".

Charles's WW2 service was with the 10th Battalion The Royal Welch Fusiliers. In mid-1942, the 10th battalion was converted into the 6th (Royal Welch) Battalion, Parachute Regiment. It was assigned a part in the September 1943 Operation Slapstick to capture the port of Taranto (on the "heel" of Italy) to complement the Allied advances at Italy's "toe" following the capture of Sicily in August 1943.

A shortage of air transport meant that the battalion was transported from its then base in North Africa by sea. Charles was among the men being carried on minelayer HMS Abdiel. Shortly after mooring in Taranto harbour, HMS Abdiel triggered two magnetic mines that had been laid just a few hours earlier by two German torpedo boats (S-54 and S-61), as they left the harbour. She sank in three minutes, with great loss of life among both sailors and soldiers - including Charles.

He has no known grave and is remembered on the Cassino Memorial, Italy.

Roger Morgan © 2018

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GREENSLADE, John Leonard, Corporal 362353

Royal Air Force
Died 25 October 1940

The marriage of Frederick George Greenslade to Frances Maria Charles was registered at Greenwich for the September Quarter of 1894. In 1897, whilst at the London County Asylum, Cane Hill, Frederick George Greenslade was awarded a Certificate of Proficiency in Mental Nursing. The couple's son Charles, born 1 July 1898 (baptised at Coulsdon, 15 April 1899) attended Ewell Infants School between 1st and 29th May 1905 when the family were living at Chessington Road, West Ewell but subsequently left the district. Nevertheless, a brother Frederick William came to be baptised at St Mary's Ewell on 9 July 1905 followed by John Leonard, 10 March 1907. On those occasions F. G. Greenslade's occupation was stated to be Attendant or Labourer but he seems to have achieved some prominence at Horton County of London War Hospital because he was mentioned by name in the Epsom Herald's report on 23 July 1915 regarding the burial of Private E. A.Riley.

In the 1911 Census the Greenslade family comprising 5 children may be found enumerated at Stoke, Upper Court Road, Epsom, where they remained until 1925.

It appeared that John Leonard Greenslade entered the Royal Air Force between January 1921 and July 1922 as a Boy Entrant with the service number 362353. In fact he was part of the RAF Apprentice Scheme, 5th Entry to Halton, No 1 School of Technical Training, during 1922.

By 1926 the Greenslades had moved to Fredonia (later 125?) East Street Epsom

John's brother, Charles Wells Greenslade, an omnibus conductor was brought from Farnborough Hospital, Kent, for burial aged 32 in Plot K688 at Epsom Cemetery on 23 July 1930. He was followed to that grave on 26 March 1932 by their father, George Frederick Greenslade, described as Clerk steward, who had died four days earlier in the Cottage Hospital, Epsom, aged 66.

John Leonard Greenslade had completed his first period of service in the Royal Air Force by 1930 and returned to live with his family. From 1933 at the latest, however, he was resident in Horton County of London Mental Hospital having followed in his father's footsteps to become a member of staff. His marriage to Alexina Florence Richards (born Alverstoke, Hants 11 October 1909) appears registered in Surrey Mid. E. for the September Quarter of 1935. The newly-weds took up residence with the bride's parents, Robert and Florence Emily Richards, at 16 Holdenby Road, Lewisham, before the birth of their daughter Barbara D. Greenslade registered at Lewisham, 6/1936. Subsequently they moved to a marital home, 11 Oakhurst Road, West Ewell, where they were living in 1939.

During 1935 the British government had decided to expand the RAF in the face of a growing threat from Germany and a key requirement was for more trained military pilots. RAF Montrose, virtually unchanged from the First World War, was re-opened on 1 January 1936 as No.8 Flying Training School. Evidently John returned to the colours at the outbreak of hostilities in WW2, either from Reserve or as a volunteer. On 25 October 1940 three German Junkers Ju 88 aircraft dropped 24 bombs on the Angus airfield killing five, injuring 18, and destroying two hangars and the officers mess. One of the fatalities was Cpl J. L. Greenslade whose remains were returned for interment in the family grave at Epsom Cemetery, Section K. Plot 688 on 1 November 1940.

John Leonard Greenslade does not appear in the Epsom and Ewell WW2 Book of Remembrance but his name is on the Horton Hospital Roll of Honour 1939-1945 plaque in Horton Chapel.

Horton Hospital Plaque
Horton Hospital Plaque
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2014

The demise of his mother the widowed Mrs Frances M. Greenslade, aged 91, is to be found registered in Surrey Mid. E., 12/1960. His relict, Alexina F. Greenslade, survived until 2002 - death registered, dying in Hertfordshire.

Brian Bouchard, Jan 2016

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GRIFFITHS Thomas John

Civilian
Died 1 December 1940, aged 51

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Thomas was born on 3 August 1888, according to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission post-war records, the son of John Griffiths, of Pontrhydyfen, Glamorgan. These common Welsh names mean that searches of the readily available records make it effectively impossible to say anything more about either the family background or his marriage (as also noted by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission) to Flora.

The 1939 Register records the couple living at 11 Hook Road, Epsom. 51 year old Thomas is listed as a "Gas Pipe Fitter" and 49 year old Flora with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties".

For some yet to be discovered reason, Thomas was at 33 Coventry Road, Southampton on 1 December 1940. Thanks to the 1939 Register, we know that this was the home of: the widowed 64 year old Grace Maria Steele ("Unpaid Domestic Duties); 42 year old (lodger?) Thomas E Livingstone ("Civil Servant Mapping Draughtsman" - doubtless with Southampton's Ordnance Survey); and 31 year old (daughter?) Phyllis M Steele ("Gramophone Department Shop Assistant").

Southampton was the Luftwaffe's target for much bombing in late 1940, with the night of 30 November / 1 December being particularly heavy (as had been the evening of 23 November). In the early hours of 1 December, a bomb fell on 33 Coventry Road killing visitor Thomas as well as residents Grace and Phyllis. (Thomas Livingstone was also killed in the same raid, but by another bomb at Southampton's Foundry Lane.)

Roger Morgan © 2018

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GURNEY, William John. Private (1678762)

Army Catering Corps, Attached to 33 Light Anti-aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery.
Died 15 January 1943, aged 31.

William's parents were William John Gurney and Lily (née Oliver). After five years of marriage, the couple were recorded by the 1911 Census living at 38 Queen Street Nantyglo, Aberystruth, Monmouthshire. They had already had four children, two of which had died - but the surviving two are not listed at the address. The other two residents were live-in servants, so this was a prosperous household - William John's Grocery/Dealer business was clearly doing well.

William John junior was born on 25 January 1912, registered in Bedwellty, Monmouthshire. (The birth of a brother Albert was registered in Monmouthshire Q4 1920. Did the parents then move to the London area? The birth of a William S Gurney, whose mother's maiden name was Oliver, was registered in Camberwell Q3 1021.)

Anyway, in Q1 1936, William John junior married Clara Zander, registered in the Surrey Mid-Eastern District. Clara had been born in Walton on the Hill on 6 September 1904. The 1911 Census records this 7 year old as the youngest of four children living with parents Albert (a 42 your old "Upholsterer Stuffer") and his 50 year old wife Florence at 7 Park Walk, Ashtead.

The 1939 Register records William John and Clara living at Briar Cottage, Rosebery Road, Langley Vale. The 27 year old William is listed as "Hospital Porter" and Clara as "Unpaid housewife". There is no record of the couple having had children. Living/lodging with them were 30 year old Walter H Johnstone (a "Gardener Boilerman") and his 39 year old wife Maria (listed as "Cook Club House" - so perhaps she and her husband worked at the nearby RAC club).

William's WW2 service was in the Army Catering Corps, attached to 33 Light Anti-aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery. In early 1943, the Regiment was in North Africa helping to push back the Axis forces' counter-attack to Allies' eastward advance following the November 1942 Allied landings in Algeria and Morocco. (Commonwealth forces were already advancing westwards following the victories at El Alamein.) Following much fierce fighting, the remaining Axis forces finally surrendered in Tunis in May 1943, a victory which gave the Allies the springboard for their invasion of Sicily.

Sadly, William did not live to see that. He died as the result of some accident on 15 January 1943, aged 31. He is buried in the Tabarka Ras Rajel War Cemetery, Tunisia where his widow took the option of adding a personal inscription to the headstone: "In memory of my dear husband, loved by all. His devoted Wife, Mum, Dad and family."

Roger Morgan © 2018

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