War Memorials -
WW2 Casualties - Surnames I

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IEVERS, Eyre Osbourne (Revised 28/08/2018)
IMPEY, Harry * (Revised 28/08/2018)
INGRAM, Rex Sidney Anthony (Revised 28/08/2018)
IRISH, Cyril Vivian (Revised 28/08/2018)

* = Not included in the Book of Remembrance for reasons unknown.
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IEVERS, Eyre Osbourne. Flying Officer (81827)

15 Bomb Disposal Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 29 April 1942, aged 39.

Eyre's headstone in the St John the Baptist Churchyard Extension, Kirkby Wharfe, Yorkshire.
Eyre's headstone in the St John the Baptist Churchyard Extension,
Kirkby Wharfe, Yorkshire
Photograph with thanks to www.militaryhistories.co.uk

Eyre Osbourne Ievers was born on 29 June 1903. He was reportedly the oldest son of Eyre Francis Wall Ievers and his wife Catherine Lilian (née N/K). The parents have left little trace on the readily available records. This is mainly because they spent a lot of time abroad at the family business in Buenos Aires, Argentina - but also because their unusual Irish surname was frequently mis-transcribed.

Eyre junior's birth was registered in Tonbridge Kent in Q3 1903 - interestingly, being a manuscript addition to the printed record. Tonbridge is the town to which his the Irish Grandfather, a medical doctor (and also "Eyre Ievers"), had moved from Ireland in the 1870s.

After Eyre junior's early education at Yardley Court, Somerhill, he followed his father to Tonbridge School from 1917 to 1920. He then trained as an Accountant before joining a family business in Buenos Aires, Argentina, during 1928. At about that time, his parents were resident at "Croft House", Epsom. In 1936, Eyre returned to England to take employment with Eyre Smelting Co - of which his father, Eyre Francis Ievers, was Managing Director.

The September 1939 Register records the 66 year old Eyre Francis living at "Campana" (later 12), Lynwood Road, Epsom. No trace has yet been found of Catherine at the time - but Eyre senior is listed as "married" rather than widowed. Living with him were the also married 62 year old Ellen Strickland - listed as "Companion" - and their 42 year old cook, Mary Tout. (In Q2 1944, Eyre senior and Ellen got married, registered the local Surrey Mid Eastern District.)

The 26 year old Eyre junior was recorded in the 1939 Register living in lodgings at 15 Collingham Gardens, South Kensington. His surname is currently mis-transcribed as "Levers", but he is listed as "Sales Manager Metal Manufacturer".

Eyre junior become a member of the Royal Air force Volunteer Reserve - gazetted on 30 July 1940 with the surname "Levers" (corrected to "Ievers" on 22 October 1940). He was appointed Flying Officer in 1941 and Officer Commanding No 15 Bomb Disposal Squad, with headquarters at Ulleskelf near RAF Church Fenton and a few miles southwest of York.

On 28/29 April 1942 there was a "Baedeker Raid" on the City of York. These raids were the Luftwaffe's retaliation for the increasing effectiveness of the RAF's new campaign that had begun with the mass bombing of Lübeck on 28 March 1942. To increase the impact on civilian life, targets were chosen for their cultural and historical significance, rather than for any military value. The raids were referred to on both sides as "Baedeker raids" following the reported comment by spokesman for the German Foreign Office that, "We shall go out and bomb every building in Britain marked with three stars in the Baedeker Guide" - a reference to the popular German travel guides of that name.

The raid had left two unexploded bombs close to RAF Clifton, just over a mile northwest of York. (It is estimated that between 5% and 15% of the many, many WW2 bombs did not detonate as planned.) Eyre's unit was alerted at about 0800 hours on 29 April and, accompanied by Sergeant H Phoenix and Corporals Bonner and Williams, he travelled the few miles to the site for a reconnaissance to assess the resources needed. The reconnaissance crew found the two German 250kg unexploded bombs and had just examined the size of the holes of entry, when one bomb exploded, setting off the other. A rescue party raced to the site. Eyre was mortally injured and died on the way to hospital. (The other three eventually recovered from their injuries and trauma, and returned to duty with the Bomb Disposal Squadron.)

In a list of casualties, Eyre's address was given as his father's "Campana", Lynwood Road, Epsom. RAF Records again showed his name incorrectly as "Levers" and that he had died of wounds or injuries received on active service.

A week after the incident, Eyre was buried in the nearby St John the Baptist Churchyard Extension, Kirkby Wharfe - one of the 24 WW2 casuakties there. His father took the option of adding a personal inscription to his headstone on Grave B.O.
Eyre senior, retired Company Director, died at 12 Lynwood Road, Epsom, on 8 December 1958 - and his second wife, Ellen, also died there on 11 May 1951.

Original text dated March 2014
Updated by Roger Morgan © 2018

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IMPEY, Harry. 3rd Engineer Officer

SS Winamac, Merchant Navy
Died 31 August 1942, aged 32

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Harry was born in 1909, the fourth child of Harry Impey and Jenny (née Cook). The family are recorded in the 1911 Census living at 19 Acorn Place Peckham. 37 Year old Harry senior is listed as a "Carman to Corn Merchants". 2 year old Harry's three older siblings, aged 6,10 and 12, were at school.

In Q3 1937, the 28 year old Harry married Eileen Edith Ruth Mills, registered in the same Camberwell District as his childhood home. Harry was almost certainly already in the Merchant Navy, so it is no surprise that he is not found in the September 1939 Register. The now 24 year old Eileen is recorded in that Register at 99 Rosedale Road, Sutton, visiting or lodging with a Mr & Mrs Fountain - together with 58 year old Mary Mills (like Eileen, married and listed with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties") and 32 year old Doris Mills, unmarried and listed as a "Gas Burner Ganger". These were presumably Eileen's relatives - perhaps her mother and sister.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission's post-war records note that the widowed Eileen was "of Ewell" and the 1945 Electoral Roll records her at 6 Mavis Avenue, West Ewell. She may of course have been there before 1945: the Q2 1942 birth of Eric, who appears to be their only child, was registered in the local Surrey Mid Eastern District - although that included Sutton until 1949.

Harry served in the Merchant Navy as 3rd Engineer Officer on the oil tanker SS Winamac. Originally named Pulpit Point, she was built in Glasgow in 1929 SS for the Vacuum Oil Company. In 1933, she was acquired by the Standard Transportation Co., Hong Kong. In 1934, she was renamed Winamac and, in 1941, she was purchased by Socony-Vacuum Transportation Company of London.

SS Winamac under her original name Pulpit Point.
SS Winamac under her original name Pulpit Point.
Photograph courtesy of State Library of New South Wales
(via uboat.net - as is, with thanks, the incident detail below)

On 28 August, SS Winamac - with a cargo of 12,500 tons of fuel oil - sailed from Trinidad as part of Convoy TRIN-3 to the Azores. For some reason, the Convoy got dispersed. At 14:17 hours on 31 August 1942 and about 390 miles east of Trinidad, the now unescorted Winamac was hit in the engine room by one of two torpedoes from U-boat U-66. The tanker burst into flames and sank quickly. The master, 26 crew members - including Harry - and three gunners were lost. 21 crew members were later picked up and returned to Trinidad.

As one of nearly 24,000 WW2 Merchant Seamen with no known grave, Harry is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial.

The Tower Hill Memorial
The Tower Hill Memorial (the WW2 section is the sunken garden in the foreground).
Photograph with thanks to Dan Jenkins "lost at sea memorials" blog

Roger Morgan © 2018

Please contact the Webmaster if you have information or pictures that can extend this entry.

PS: The German U-boat U-66 was famously successful in its WW2 career, sinking 33 Allied ships - aggregating over 200,000 tons. She was hunted and pursued constantly, but survived until May 1944 when she encountered the escort carrier USS Block Island and the destroyer USS Buckley in the Central Atlantic. She did not go quietly. Having failed to make much impression with torpedoes and gunfire, Buckley rammed her and the two vessels locked together. U-66 then caused a diversion by boarding Buckley, whilst the rest of the crew tried to disentangle the submarine. U-66 escaped but was chased and fired upon by Buckley, whereupon the submarine turned and rammed the destroyer. The Germans then scuttled U-66. Nearly two thirds of the 70-strong crew survived and were picked up by the Americans.

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INGRAM, Rex Sidney Anthony. Lieutenant (304683)

4th County of London Yeomanry (Sharpshooters). Royal Armoured Corps
Died 13 June 1944, aged 19

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records note Rex as the "Son of Bernard William and Ada Lillian Ingram, of Epsom, Surrey", but the background is a little more complicated. His father, Bernard was born in 1882. As an 18 year old, he was recorded as the oldest of three children living with their parents (Frederick W - a "Lime & Cement Merchant", with Bernard as his "Clerk" - and Eliza A Ingram) at 18 County Grove, Camberwell, supported by a domestic servant.

In Q3 1907, Bernard married Mabel Constance Clark. The 1911 Census records the couple (with Bernard now as a "Lime & Cement Merchant") living at 35 Calais Gate, Cormont Road, Lambeth, also supported by a domestic servant. They do not appear ever to have had any children.

Rex was born Q3 1924 in Camberwell. The records list his mother's maiden name as Ingram and, in Q2 1925, the 42 year old Bernard married 25 year old Ada L Ingram in the Pancras District. (It would appear that there was a divorce: Mabel C Ingram died Q2 1964 in the Surrey SE District). The 1939 Register records Bernard and Ada living at "Daleside", Banstead Road, Sutton & Cheam MB. There is no other record at the address - not even a currently closed one as would be standard for the 15 year old Rex, probably because he was at Dauntsey's School in West Lavington, Wiltshire, where he is noted as a former pupil. As noted above, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's post-war records have the parents "of Epsom, Surrey", but their address in the Borough has yet to be established.

The 16 February 1945 record of Probate on Rex's estate (of some £200) states that Rex's address had been 237 Walworth Road, London SE17. Administration was granted to the apparently unrelated Frederick Charles Wood, an insurance broker.

Rex's WW2 service was in the 4th County of London Yeomanry (CLY). This played a key part in the battles of El Alamein, the advance into Tunisia and in the Italian campaign. Given his age, however, it seems likely that Rex joined the 4th CLY after its December 1943 return to the UK to prepare for the D-Day invasion of France. As part of the 7th Armoured Division, the 4th CLY landed at Gold Beach on D-Day+1, 7 June 1944.

Tanks from the 4th County of London Yeomanry moving inland from Gold Beach, 7 June 1944.
Tanks from the 4th County of London Yeomanry
moving inland from Gold Beach, 7 June 1944.
IWM photograph B 5251, public domain.

The Regiment was immediately engaged in Operation Perch, the capture of the German stronghold of Caen, a few miles inland from the Normandy beaches. This key and early objective of the invasion proved much more difficult than Allied commanders had anticipated and, after a week, Operation Perch was aborted on 14 June. (Other plans were put in place and, after much fierce fighting, Caen was finally taken on 6 August.)

On 13 June 1944, the penultimate day of Operation Perch, the 4th CLY was advancing with the 1st Battalion, Rifle Brigade (Prince Consort's Own) by road from Villers-Bocage (about 10 miles west of Caen) when it was ambushed by a detachment of German tanks. The enemy knocked out the CLY's lead Cromwell tank and then took out the rest of the column (26 tanks and four other armoured vehicles), trapped in the embanked road. There were heavy losses of men - including Rex. (This was the prelude to a German counter-attack which forced the British out of Villers-Bocage - further prolonging the battle for Caen.)

Rex is one of the 4,257 Commonwealth WW2 casualties buried in the nearby Bayeux War Cemetery. His parents took the option of adding a personal inscription to his headstone on Grave XV.M.22,
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."
The Bayeux War Cemetery
The Bayeux War Cemetery
Photograoh (96808755) by "Woose" via findagrave.com

Roger Morgan © 2018

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IRISH, Cyril Vivian. Sergeant (934541)

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 18 October 1941, aged 20

Cyril Irish in uniform and flying gear
Cyril Irish in uniform and flying gear
Copyright acknowledged

Cyril was born in Epsom on 2 December 1920, the third child of Charles George and Dora Lilian Irish. Like his siblings, Cyril was baptised at Christ Church Epsom Common.

His father had been born in Devon but moved to Epsom, where the 1911 Census recorded Charles as a 26 year-old "Clerk" lodging with Police Constable Robert Rounce and family at 57 Miles Road. The residents on Census Day did not include the family's 27 year old daughter, Dora Lilian: she was at "Pendennes", Bridge Road, Epsom working as "cook domestic" for widowed Frances Kent and his 7 year old daughter. The 1911 Census records Charles Irish as a "Clerk", probably at Epsom's Long Grove Mental Hospital. This was his place of work noted in the LCC's record of his WW1 service as a Private from 1915 to 1919 - at the beginning of which Charles and Dora married in Epsom Q3 1915.

Post WW1, the family's long-term home was 7 West Hill, Epsom. In his teens, Cyril attended Glyn School and was a member of the Scouts - almost certainly the 2nd Epsom Group, attached to Christ Church. As he is remembered on the Epsom Brotherhood's WW2 memorial, he must also have been active in that organisation.

He had attested in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, and his RAF career took him to No. 27 Operational Training Unit RAF (27 OTU). This had been formed at RAF Lichfield in April 1941 as part of No. 6 Group RAF Bomber Command with the purpose of training night bomber crews.

On 18 October 1941, Cyril (who was training as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) was one of a training crew flying a Vickers Wellington Ic (X9821). It crashed while turning to the north of the Aerodrome and all four of the crew were killed.

A Vickers Wellington
A Vickers Wellington
Picture courtesy of www.pilotfriend.com

Cyril's body was brought back to Epsom for burial. On 25 October, he joined his brother, Ernest John, who had died aged only one month in 1916 - four years before Cyril was born. In 1947, these two were joined by their father. The grave also now carries memorials to their mother (who died in 1987) and their sister, Cynthia Irish (1918-2011).

The Irish family grave (A348) in Epsom Cemetery
The Irish family grave (A348) in Epsom Cemetery
Photograph by Roger Morgan ©2017

Roger Morgan © 2018

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