WW2 Book of Remembrance - Surnames S

Index

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[Content]

SALT, Gordon Geoffrey (New 30/10/2017)
SALT, Lionel Eric Sydney (New 30/10/2017)
SALTER, Henry * (New 30/10/2017)
SANDALL, Jack Francis (New 20/12/2014)
SAUNDERS, Alfred (New 30/10/2017)
SAUNDERS, Bertram Eric (New 08/01/2018)
SAUNDERS, Charles Henry (New 30/10/2017)
SAUNDERS, Glyn Tremlett (New 30/10/2017)
SAUNDERS, Victor Lewis (New 30/10/2017)
SAVAGE, Basil Oswald (Revised 26/11/2017)
SAVAGE, Eric John (New 02/09/2017)
SCOFFIN, John Sidney (New 08/01/2018)
SELBY, William Edward (New 08/01/2018)
SELMAN, Harry William (New 02/09/2017)
SEXTONE, Mary * (New 30/10/2017)
SEYMOUR, Noel Arthur (New 30/10/2017)
SEYMOUR, Stanley (New 08/01/2018)
SHARDLOW, Charles Edward (New 08/01/2018)
SHAW, Charles * (New 30/10/2017)
SHEPPARD, Leslie Bernard (New 30/10/2017)
SHERRIFF, James Thomas Roy (New 30/10/2017)
SHORT, Eric (New 08/01/2018)
SHRUBB, Leonard Charles (New 08/01/2018)
SHORT, Harold Edgar (New 30/10/2017)
SIMMONDS, Hunter Edward (New 30/10/2017)
SIMNER, Kenneth Nugent (New 08/01/2018)
SIMONS, John Frederick (New 30/10/2017)
SIMPSON, Lancelot (New 30/10/2017)
SISSON, William * (New 30/10/2017)
SKELTON, Walter Allen (New 29/08/2017)
SMEDLEY, Denis Edward (New 30/10/2017)
SMITH, A .H.C. (New 08/01/2018)
SMITH, George Albert * (New 30/10/2017)
SMITH, George Bainbridge (New 30/10/2017)
SMITH, John Arthur (New 07/12/2014)
SMITH, James Bruce (New 29/08/2017)
SMITH, John Frederick (New 11/12/2014)
SMITH, Michael Arnold (New 30/10/2017)
SNEATH, Ronald Ernest (Revised 29/11/2017)
SNELLING, Alfred Victor (New 08/01/2018)
SPARK, Basil Douglas (New 30/10/2017)
SPARKE, Philip Donald Julian * (New 30/10/2017)
STANLEY, George Haynes (New 08/01/2018)
STEEL, George Robert (New 29/08/2017)
STEELE, Frederick Robert Ellis (New 30/10/2017)
STEPHENS, Geoffrey John * (New 30/10/2017)
STEPHENSON, Thomas (New 29/08/2017)
STEVENS, James William (New 30/10/2017)
STEVENSON, Ada Mary Pat * (New 30/10/2017)
STEWART, Donald John (New 30/10/2017)
STONE, Arthur John * (New 30/10/2017)
STONE, Frank James (New 29/08/2017)
STONE, Lewis Oliver * (New 30/10/2017)
STONE, Reginald (New 30/10/2017)
STURT, George Stanford (New 30/10/2017)
STURT, John Edward (New 30/10/2017)
SUTTON, Frank Charles (New 30/10/2017)
SUTTON, George Frederick Thomas (New 30/10/2017)
SWAINSTON, William Hopper * (New 30/10/2017)
SWAN, Mrs Annie Elizabeth (New 30/10/2017)

* = 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


SALT, Gordon Geoffrey. Pilot Officer/Air Bomber (149344)

619 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 27 November 1943, aged 30

Son of Charles Henry and Amy Salt, of Epsom, Surrey - and thus brother of Lionel Salt, who had been killed in June 1941.

Gordon served in 619 Squadron, part of the RAF's Bomber Command. He was part of the seven-strong crew of Lancaster DV336 which, at 1710 hours on 26 November 1943, took off from RAF Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, to participate in a bombing raid on Berlin.

While they were away, the weather and visibility over Lincolnshire deteriorated badly. After a few crashes among the early returners, Lincolnshire-based squadrons instructed their returning aircraft to divert north to land in Yorkshire. However, the visibility over Yorkshire was not much better and a number of the bombers would also crashed there. One of these was Gordon's Lancaster DV336, piloted by 22 year old Pilot Officer Kenneth James Mears (156086).

The aircraft made two attempts at landing at RAF Elvington (about 80 miles north of Woodhall Spa). The second was made on completely the wrong line and at low altitude. The pilot opened up the throttles to try to fly another circuit of the airfield but, as it turned left, the aircraft lost height and crashed at around 0150 hours near Noah's Ark Farm, between Elvington and Wheldrake.

It appears that there were still bombs on board when it crashed as witnesses stated that the hole made by the crashing aircraft was "as big as a house". Unsurprisingly, there were no survivors among the seven-strong crew. An investigation believed that fatigue of the crew was a contributory cause of the crash: the aircraft had been in the air for over eight and a half hours - for most of the time flying through poor weather.

Gordon was buried Harrogate Stonefall Cemetery, Yorkshire.

[With thanks to http://www.yorkshire-aircraft.co.uk for the mission information above.]

Roger Morgan © 2017

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SALT, Lionel Eric Sydney. Sergeant/Pilot (902909)

603 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 30 June, 1941, aged 20

Son of Charles Henry Salt and of Amy Salt (nee Montgomery), of Epsom, Surrey - and thus brother of Gordon Salt who was killed in November 1943.

Lionel served in fighter 603 Squadron. On 30 June 1941, he (flying his Spitfire R7270) and others took off from RAF Hornchurch, Essex to form part of a "Big Wing" sweep over France. 603 Squadron was assigned to "top cover" for the wing. Five miles after crossing the French coast, flying at 18,000 feet, the Squadron was attached from above by enemy fighters. In the ensuing dogfight, they lost contact with the overall formation. It was not long before others registered that Lionel was missing, and it was later confirmed that he had been killed.

He is buried in Pihen-les-Guines Communal Cemetery, Calais.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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SALTER Henry. Ordinary Seaman P/JX 276570.

Royal Navy - HMS Jaguar
Died 26/03/1942, aged 36

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Son of Adolph and Rose Salter; husband of Eileen Caroline Salter (nee Hart, later Kempner), of Epsom.

Served aboard HMS Jaguar which was torpedod and sunk by the German submarine U-652 northest of Sidi Barrani, Egypt with the losss of 193 lives.

Commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 66, Column 1.

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SANDALL, Jack Francis, Flying Officer, Sergeant, 516159

Royal Air Force, 44 Squadron
Died 12 June 1940, aged 28.

Francis John Sandall (b. reg. St Olave, Bermondsey,12/1865) joined the Metropolitan Police as Police Constable 76216 on 18 June 1888. He married Amelia Simmonds at Epsom, 2 January 1890, but she appears to have died in Chelsea during the summer of 1910. They had become parents to three children.

A second marriage of Francis, to Louise Kate Cane, was registered at Fulham for the September Quarter of 1911followed by the arrival of their son, Jack Francis Sandall, in the same District, 6/1912. The family's address was then 76 Sandilands Road, Fulham.

PC Francis John Sandall left the Force on 23 June 1913 before the birth of his daughter was registered in Epsom, 12/1913. She had been born on 25 November 1913 and was baptised at St Barnabas' Church from 114 Hook Road, Epsom. A brother, Ronald Ernest also appears in Epsom, 3/1921.

'John' Francis Sandall , born Fulham in 1912, signed up at Avonmouth on 3 May 1930 as a Deck Boy aboard an Elders and Fyffes' banana boat, S S Greenbrier. He was described as being 5ft. 8ins. tall with blue eyes, light brown hair and a fair complexion. There is no evidence that he sailed on more than one voyage but not long afterwards joined the Royal Air Force.

Francis John Sandall died on 18 September 1933, in the Metropolitan Free Hospital, 376 Kingsland Road, Hackney, which had developed specialist services, including expertise in treating tuberculosis. He was was brought back to Epsom Cemetery for interment in a family plot, F145A, three days later.

RAF Waddington had re-opened as a bomber base in 1937 and at the outbreak of WW2 housed Nos. 44 & 50 Squadrons equipped with Handley Page Hampden aircraft. They were in action from the first day of World War II attempting to bomb the German Navy at Keil. After Dunkirk, large numbers of support troops were mretreating to the western-most ports to find a route home. The 51st Highland Division had been fully engaged, fighting a defensive battle under French Command. Then like the main French forces, they were outflanked and they made their way to the small French port of St Valery-en-Caux where an attempt was made by the Royal Navy to evacuate these troops. However the main German force was soon on the cliffs overlooking the town and able to bring fire down on them forcing survivors to surrender on 12 June 1940. It appears that a Handley Page 52, Hampden, Mk.B1, P1325, call sign KM-?, of 44 Squadron which had taken off from Waddington 'for the Battle Area' might have been attempting to provide air cover on that day. It was brought down in the Pas de Calais.

The circumstances have not been established but National Archives, reference AIR 81/86, contains a report of deaths - Hampden P1325 crashed near Calais, France, 12 June 1940 - Sergeant W Jeffrey, Sergeant J F Sandall, Sergeant C L Sumpster and Temporary Sergeant J Simpson. Their service numbers indicate that they had all enlisted around 1930/1933 and they may have been a 'scratch crew'. Cyril Leslie Sumpster had been a Cranwell apprentice and William Jeffrey a Halton 'brat'; each of them was described as a Pilot but the roles of the other two members were unspecified.

The crew were interred together in Joint grave 2. A. 6. of a War Cemetery extension of Le Paradis Churchyard. Le Paradis is a hamlet near the village of Lestrem in the Department of the Nord, 10 kilometres north of Bethune.

The death of Mrs Louisa K Sandall was registered in Surrey Mid. E for the September Quarter of 1957.

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SAUNDERS, Alfred. Lance Corporal (K/74697)

28th Armoured Regiment, British Columbia Regiment, RCAC.
Died 21 January 1945, aged 34.

Son of Alfred Harold and Lydia Saunders, of West Ewell, Surrey, England.

Buried in the Bergen-op-Zoom Canadian War Cemetery, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands.

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SAUNDERS, Bertram Eric. Sergeant 943666

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 15 November 1944 Age 26

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Son of Bertram and Mabel Marie Saunders, of Ewell; husband of Winifred Eileen Saunders.

Buried: Streatham Park Cemetery, Square 21. Grave 26045.

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SAUNDERS, Charles Henry. Flying Officer/Navigator (154588)

61 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 21 March 1945, aged 32

Husband of Queenie Saunders. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission's post-war records refer to her being "of West Chiltington Common, Sussex". However the Probate 3 September 1945 record of administration of Charles's estate being granted to her notes that his address (and presumably hers) was 32 Salisbury Road, Worcester Park.

Charles was buried in the Durnbach War Cemetery, Bayern, Germany.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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SAUNDERS, Glyn Tremlett. Gunner (1144026)

140 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery.
Died 7 March 1943, aged 37.

Son of William Henry and Edith Jane Saunders; husband of Lilian Agnes Saunders, of Carshalton Beeches, Surrey.

Buried at Massicault War Cemetery, Tunisia.

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SAUNDERS, Victor Lewis. Able Seaman (P/JX199232)

HMS Argus, Royal Navy.
Died 24 January 1942, aged 23.

Unusually, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission database does not contain the usual brief family background for Victor - nor, indeed his age when he died.

Victor's age is, however, noted in the records of Epsom Cemetery where he was buried in (Grave F178) on 30 January 1942. Those records also note that he died in the Emergency Hospital, Whitchurch, Shropshire. He had served on HMS Argus, an aircraft carrier.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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SAVAGE, Basil Oswald. Flight Sergeant/Wireless Op./Air Gunner (1393629)

158 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Died 22 March 1944, aged 20.

Basil Oswald Savage was born in 1923 in the Reigate registration district (GRO reference: Sep 1923 Reigate 2a 342), the son of Frederick Charles and Lily May Savage (nee Moss).

The birth of Basil's father was registered in the December quarter of 1899 in the Farnham registration district. His mother was born on 28 August 1901 and was baptised at Christ Church on 30 September 1901 whilst she was living at Ellison Cottage, Miles Road, Epsom.

Basil's paternal grandfather, George Frederick William Savage, was a policeman and in 1911 Basil's father was living with his parents in 2 Police Station Cottage, High Street, Dorking, Surrey. In 1919 they were living in the Reigate Police Station and by 1923 at 44 Hart Road, Dorking.

Basil's parents married on 24 January 1923 in St. Barnabas Church, Epsom, and the birth of Basil's brother Robert was registered in the June quarter of 1933 in the Epsom registration district. Electoral registers record that between 1929 and 1932 they were living, along with Lily's parents, at 94 Hook Road, Epsom. In 1939 only Lily's mother was living with them at the same address.

Sometime after August 1940, Basil Oswald Savage enlisted at Euston with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve for air crew duty and was allocated the Service No. 1393629. He would have sat an entrance exam which involved maths and english and had a thorough medical. With an interview, the process took a day and a half before he was accepted for training as wireless operator/air gunner. From induction, his training would have taken about 18 months from learning morse code (probably at Blackpool), through radio maintenance and air gunnery to the rank of Sergeant and an Operational Training Unit.

Eventually he was posted to 158 Squadron, Bomber Command, based at RAF Lissett, Yorkshire. He was detailed to take part in a raid against Frankfurt in Halifax Mark III, serial number, HX 342, call-sign NP-F, one of 846 aircraft to take part in the raid. The aircraft took off at 18:58hrs on 22 March 1944 from base but sadly nothing further was heard and it failed to return. The crew were: -
132792 F/Lt Kenneth Thomas Shaw Holmes - Captain
152077 F/0 John de Riemer Morgan - 2nd pilot
172995 P/0 Horace James Worthing Smith - Navigator
138895 F/0 Kenneth Alexander Leonard -Air Bomber
171684 P/0 Bernard Silverius Harrison - Flight Engineer
1393629 F/Sgt Basil Oswald Savage - Wireless Operator/Air Gunner.
2200275 F/Sgt Herbert Weston Phillips - Mid Upper Gunner
1239323 F/Sgt Leslie Victor Moran - Rear Gunner
The Gendarmes at Marbais confirmed that at about 2315 hrs on 22 March 1944 Halifax HX342 came down there and one member of the crew, who was injured (F/0 Morgan), had been taken prisoner whilst all the others were killed. Their burials took place on 25 March 1944 in the Parish Cemetery, Gosselles, near Charleroi, Belgium. Aged only 20 Basil was interred in Row 2, Grave 24, Gosselies Communal Cemetery.

Basil's Headstone in Gosselies Communal Cemetery
Basil's Headstone in Gosselies Communal Cemetery
Image source https://halifaxjd371kno.com

A tablet has been erected in the grounds of St. James of Compostela Church in Lissett Village to members of 158 Squadron, who had been based at RAF Lissett. In addition, Basil's name appears, engraved on figures of men, a memorial sculpture in steel, at former RAF Station Lissett, also commemorating the 851 men of 158 Squadron lost when flying out of the base.

Basil is commemorated in the Book of Remembrance in the foyer of the Town Hall and on the St. Barnabas Roll of Honour.

The death of Basil's father was registered in the December quarter of 1955 in the Surrey South Eastern district, and his mother's death was registered in the March quarter of 1966 in the Surrey Mid Eastern district.

Brian Bouchard & Clive Gilbert © 2017

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SAVAGE, Eric John. Lance Corporal (7686646)

Corps of Military Police
Died 21 September 1940, aged 27

The headstone of Eric Savage's (and his father's) grave in Epsom Cemetery (plot M623)
The headstone of Eric Savage's (and his father's) grave in Epsom Cemetery (plot M623)
Image courtesy of Roger Morgan ©2017.

Eric was born in Bromley, Kent Q3 1913, the only child of John Charles Savage and Rosalie Jane (née Hide - they had married in Bromley Q2 1912). The 1939 Register records the couple (and two currently closed records) living at 38a West Hill, Epsom.

The 1939 Register lists Eric's father as a Sergeant in the Metropolitan Police, so it is not a particular surprise to find that Eric's WW2 service was in the Military Police (the "Royal" prefix was not granted until November 1946). Military policemen are often known as 'Redcaps' because of the scarlet covers on their peaked caps, or scarlet coloured berets. Of the Corps' various branches, Eric was - according to Epsom Cemetery records - in the Provost Wing (responsible for general policing) and, specifically, the 103 Provosts Company.

The readily available records provide no information about Eric's particular work. His Death Certificate records him as "A Lance Corporal in the Corps of Military police stationed at Townsend Cottages, Cambridge Road, Dullingham." The two Townsend Cottages are, in fact, about three miles north of the centre of the small village of Dullingham (sufficiently remote to have their own postcode), and about four miles from the centre of Newmarket and about eight to Cambridge on a straight line in the opposite direction.

Eric's Death Certificate also records that died on the evening of 21 September at "The White Lodge, Exning Road, Newmarket" - being the former workhouse, set up as an emergency hospital in 1939. (It then became Newmarket General Hospital - a Grade II listed building, now converted to apartments having been replaced by the modern Newmarket Community Hospital built next door.)

The cause of his death is described as "injuries received when the motor bicycle which was riding accidentally collided with a motor car on the highway at Dullingham there on that day." (His headstone says that he was "Killed on military duty".) As illustrated below, Townsend Cottages are situated on an arrow-straight section of Cambridge Road (the A1303). The modern warning sign across the road about "Hidden Dips" may offer a clue as to the cause of Eric's fatal accident.


Townsend Cottages, Cambrige Road, Dullingham
Image © Google Street View

Eric was brought back to Epsom for burial in Cemetery on 26 September 1940. His father was buried alongside him in 1953.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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SCOFFIN, John Sidney. Leading Aircraftman 1811330

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 24 June 1944 Age 19

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Son of Sidney North and Kathleen Annie Scoffin, of East Ewell, Surrey.

Buried: Harare (Pioneer) Cemetery, Eur. War Graves Plot. Grave 137.

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SELBY, William Edward. Gunner 974252

11 Field Regt. Royal Artillery
Died 20 July 1942 Age 22

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Son of Walter George and Elizabeth Selby, of Epsom, Surrey.

Buried: El Alamein War Cemetery, XXI. F. 19.

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SELMAN, Harry William. Leading Aircraftman (330930)

Royal Air Force
Died 20 June 1941, aged 39

The headstone of Harry Selman's grave in Epsom Cemetery (plot F410A)
The headstone of Harry Selman's grave in Epsom Cemetery (plot F410A)
Image courtesy of Roger Morgan ©2017.

Harry was born on 15 May 1902, the third child of William Henry Selman (a carpenter) and Louisa (née Jeffries - they married in Merstham, Surrey on 19 March 1891). After various addresses in the Brentford area, the 1911 Census finds the couple - and Harry - living in College Road Epsom.

In Q2 1932, Harry married Enid E Leyshon, in Epsom. The 1939 Register finds this couple - and their nearly five year old son, Brian - living at 36 Wheelers Lane, Epsom. (That was also where he was "of" in the September 1941 Probate records.) In 1939, Harry was recorded as a "Mental Nurse (LCC)", doubtless at one of Epsom's cluster of mental hospitals (but not Horton or Manor, as he is not mentioned on their WW2 memorials).

Sadly, the readily available records provide no information about Harry's posting in the RAF or the particular circumstances of his death.

Harry was buried in Epsom Cemetery on 25 June 1941, where the records note that he died in Surrey County Hospital, Redhill. His Death Certificate states that, as informed by "C H Grey, Commanding Officer", the cause of death was the somewhat cryptic "Due to War Operations" - so at least one can infer that it was the result of injuries rather than illness.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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SEYMOUR, Stanley. Gunner 1801673

49 Bty., 48 Lt. A.A. Regt. Royal Artillery
Died 29 November 1942 Age 26

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Son of Sidney and Eliza Seymour, of Ewell, Epsom, Surrey.

Buried: Sai Wan War Cemetery, Coll. grave IV. A. 9-11.

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SEXTONE Mary

Civilian
Died 26/09/1940, aged 64

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Of 36 Shere Road, Deptford, London. Injured at Deptford Methodist Central Hall, Deptford; died at Horton Emergency Hospital, Epsom.

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SEYMOUR, Noel Arthur. Corporal (552186)

Royal Air Force.
Died 14 October 1943, aged 21.

Son of James and Margaret Seymour, of Epsom, Surrey.

Buried at Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Thailand.

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SHARDLOW, Charles Edward.

Civilian
Died 20 November 1945 Age 61

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

of 58 Merland Rise, Epsom Downs, Surrey. Husband of Winifred Mary Shardlow. Injured 4 November 1940, at 52 Merland Rise; died at Middleton Sanatorium.

Buried: Ilkley, Urban District,

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SHAW Charles

Civilian
Died 11/07/1944, aged 53

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Son of Mary Shaw, of 31 Tate Street, Vauxhall, London; husband of S. Shaw, of 36 Geneva Road, Brixton, London. Injured 28 June 1944, at Acre Lane, Brixton; died at Horton Emergency Hospital, Epsom. Buried Epsom Cemetery, Grave O395.

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SHEPPARD, Leslie Bernard. Gunner (1462619)

11 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery.
Died 30 June 1942, aged 22.

Son of James and Ada Sheppard, of Worcester Park, Surrey.

Buried at El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt.

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SHERRIFF, James Thomas Roy. Acting Lieutenant.

Royal Navy
Died 8 June 1942, aged 24

Son of James and May Olive Sherriff, of Liverpool; husband of Violet Eugenie Sherriff.

Buried in Epsom Cemetery (Grave O243) where the records note that he served in the Fleet Air Arm and died at Bootle, Cumberland, Milborn R.D.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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SHORT, Eric. Sergeant 1319336

100 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 28 May 1943 Age 20

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Son of Bertie Charles and Mabel Edith Short, of Epsom, Surrey.

Buried: Wonseradeel (Witmarsum) Protestant Churchyard, Row 36. Grave 19.

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SHORT, Harold Edgar. Sergeant (1806043)

61 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Died 24 March 1944, aged 19

Son of Henry George and Lucy Henrietta Short, of Ewell, Surrey.

Buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany

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SHRUBB, Leonard Charles. Private 13112572

Royal Army Ordnance Corps
Died 13 March 1947 Age 40

Leonard's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Leonard's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2018

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Son of Arthur and Louisa Shrubb; husband of Mary Frances Shrubb, of Epsom.

Buried: Epsom Cemetery, Sec. G. Grave 28.

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SIMMONDS, Hunter Edward. Flying Officer/Pilot (180156)

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Died 6 September 1945, aged 22.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records provide no family background for this airman - indeed, do not even give his age.

That is, however, noted in the records of Epsom Cemetery where Hunter is buried (in Grave K123), which also note that he died at Aconbury, Hereford.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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SIMNER, Kenneth Nugent. O.B.E. Brigadier

Royal Engineers
Died 27 December 1946 Age 48

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Son of Nugent Charles Simner and Alice Maud Simner (nee Simons); husband of Hazel Laura May Simner (nee Lillie), of Epsom, Surrey.

Buried: Brookwood Military Cemetery, 34A. D. 10.

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SIMONS, John Frederick. Able Seaman (P/JX 337513)

SS Vojvoda Putnik, Royal Navy
Died 8 March 1943, aged 31.

John was born in Epsom Q3 1912, the son of John and Elizabeth (née Warwick) Simons.

In Q2 1936 (registered in Surrey Mid Easter), he married Phyllis Winifred Barker. They lived at 37A Upper High Street, Epsom.

John is recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's as serving on HMS President III, a shore establishment. Actually, he was a DEMS gunner on the SS Vojvoda Putnik, a Yugoslavian steam merchant of 5,900 tons.

The SS Vojvoda Putnik
The SS Vojvoda Putnik
Image courtesy of the Paul Johnson Collection,
via uboat.net - as is, with thanks, the mission information belowl

In March 1943, the Vojvoda Putnik was part of Convoy 121S from New York to London. Her cargo was 7,900 tons of wheat and, as deck cargo, tanks. On the morning of 8 March, she had straggled from the convoy with steering trouble and, by afternoon was alone and stationary in mid-Atlantic. In the early evening she was hit by torpedoes fired by U-boat U-591. She radioed that she was sinking. The 44 on board were never seen again.

John is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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SIMPSON, Lancelot. Guardsman (2610918)

5th Battalion, Grenadier Guards.
Died 27 April 1943, aged 37

Lancelot was born in Basford Nottinghamshire Q1 1908, the son of Samuel and Annie Simpson.

In Q2 1934 (registered in Surrey Mid Eastern), he married Letitia Lily Osborne, who had been born in Epsom on 21 November 1909. The 1939 Register records the married Letitia living alone at 31 College Road, Epsom with the conventional "unpaid domestic duties".

Lancelot was buried at Massicault War Cemetery, Tunisia.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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SISSON William - Fire Guard

Lewisham Fire Guards
Died 17/04/1941, aged 32

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Son of Mr. T. Sisson, of 19 Westfield Road, Birchington-On-Sea, Kent; husband of M. G. Sisson, of 197 Dartmouth Road, Sydenham, Kent. Injured 16 April 1941, at Sydenham; died at Horton Emergency Hospital, Epsom.

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SKELTON, Walter Allen. Flying Officer (45435)

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 115 Squadron
Died 28 August 1942, aged 23

Walter was born on 22 September 1918, to Harry Skelton and his second wife, Annie (née Rhodes - they married Q3 1913 in Horsham). (His first wife, Isabel Agnes - née Foster - had died in 1911). Like his two significantly older half-brothers, Walter was baptised at Christ Church Epsom Common, where the records list Harry as a builder and their home as "Clematis", South Street, Epsom - probably 44 South Street, which is where the couple were recorded in the 1939 Register.

Walter was a pilot in 115 Squadron - a typical WW2 Bomber Command squadron which operated from various airfields in East Anglia. At 20:38 on 27 August 1942, he took off from RAF Marham (just outside King's Lynn) in a Wellington Mk III (JB710 / KO-L) to join a major attack (involving a total of 306 aircraft from various squadrons) on Kassel, in central Germany. The city was home to a number of important military-industrial sites: the Fieseler aircraft plant, the Henschel tank-making facilities, railway works and engine works were all based there. These attracted Allied bombing raids from early in 1942 until almost the end of the war.

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

The particular target on 27/28 August 1942 was the Henschel tank plant, and the attack was held to be a success. Almost inevitably, a number of aircraft were lost, mainly as a result of night fighter action. The losses included Walter's aircraft, in which he and three of his crew were killed. (One of the gunners survived and was taken prisoner of war.)

After local burials, Walter and his fellow crew members were later re-interred in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery in the extreme north-west of Germany, just south of Arnhem in The Netherlands. The Cemetery was created after WW2 when burials were brought in from all over western Germany. With some 7,600 Commonwealth servicemen of the Second World War buried or commemorated there, it is the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the country.

The Probate records note that Walter was "of 44 South Street, Epsom" - his parents' address - and that administration of his estate was awarded to his father, Harry.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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SMEDLEY, Denis Edward. Sub-Lieutenant

HMS Dunvegan Castle, Royal Naval Reserve.
Died 28 August 1940, aged 26.

[This is the only seaman with the surname Smedley in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's database.]

Son of Edward Postill and Susan Edith Smedley; husband of Elizabeth Mary Smedley, of New Malden, Surrey.

Denis served aboard HMS Dunvegan Castle. This 15,000 ton vessel had been completed (in the yards of Harland & Wolff Ltd, Belfast) in August 1936 as motor passenger ship for Union-Castle Mail SS Co Ltd, London. She was requisitioned by the Admiralty on 7 September 1939, and converted to Armed Merchant Cruiser.

HMS Dunvegan Castle
HMS Dunvegan Castle
Image and the details below courtesy of uboat.net

On 11 August, HMS Dunvegan Castle left Freetown, Sierra Leone, part of the escorting for convoy SL-43 to Belfast. At 2147 hours on 27 August, nearing home off northwest Ireland, the ship was hit aft of the bridge by one torpedo from U-boat U-46. As the ship continued, the U-boat fired two further torpedoes at 2212 and 2251 hours, which hit the engine room and just before the bridge. The vessel stopped, caught fire and foundered the next day, 250 of those on board were rescued. The remaining 27 had either been killed (such as Denis) or were lost at sea.

Denis is buried in the Chapel Strand Cemetery, Arranmore Island, County Donegal, Ireland.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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SMITH, A .H.C.. Rifleman 14359742

2nd Bn. The London Irish Rifles, Royal Ulster Rifles
Died 23 May 1944 Age 19

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Son of John Clifford and Alice Lilian Smith, of Epsom, Surrey.

Buried: Cassino War Cemetery, I. E. 3.

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SMITH George Albert

Civilian
Died 17/01/1941, aged 30

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Son of Mr. and Mrs. G. J. Smith, of 21 Netherby House, Clapham, London. Injured 12 November 1940, at Wandsworth Road Shelter; died at Horton Emergency Hospital, Epsom. Buried Epsom Cemetery, Grave M422.

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SMITH, George Bainbridge. Sapper (1991023)

505 Field Company, Royal Engineers.
Died 3 November 1942, aged 29.

Son of George and Mary Smith; husband of Edith Mary Smith, of Taibach, Port Talbot, Glamorgan.

Buried in the El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt.

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SMITH, John Arthur, Flying Officer, Air Bomber,153826,

RAFVR (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve) 106 Squadron.
Died 1 November 1944, aged 20.

John Smith
John Smith
Image courtesy of late Gordon Smith and Ben Goossens

The marriage of Arthur Patrick Smith to Lilian Bandy was registered at Barnet for the June Quarter of 1920. Their son John A Smith's arrival came to be recorded in Edmonton, 6/1924.

The family had taken up residence at 18 Corbet Road, Ewell, by 1935 but moved to 59 Sunnymede Avenue, West Ewell, for 1938.

John enlisted in the RAFVR and was inducted at Euston with a Service Number 1803953 in 1942 about the time of his 18th birthday. He rose from the rank of LAC to Pilot Officer on probation (emergency), 153826, by 15 October 1943 and Flying Officer (war sub.) on 15 April 1944.

After training he was assigned to 106 Squadron as an Air Bomber and then became a member of the crew on an Avro Lancaster PB303, call sign ZN-R which had been delivered to the squadron on 18 July 1944. At 14.05 hours on 1November 1944 this bomber with a seven man crew, took off from Metheringham Airfield near Lincoln, together with 19 other aircraft, for a raid on Homburg in Germany. It crashed close to a small village called Lepelstraat in the Southern part of the Netherlands at about 17.00 hrs. local time. Particulars may be found at www.bomber-command.info, thanks to Ben Goossens.

All aboard were killed to be interred in Collective grave 6. G. 5-9. of Bergen op Zoom Canadian War Cemetery. Mrs Jane Goossens was one of the many locals who adopted several of the graves as shown by the following certificate.

Certificate of Adoption of John Smith's Grave
Certificate of Adoption of John Smith's Grave
Image courtesy of Ben Goossens

Arthur Patrick Smith passed away at St Ebba's Hospital, Epsom, on 9 March 1962 survived by his wife Lilian.

Brian Bouchard

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SMITH, James Bruce. Petty Officer Stoker (P/K 18322)

Royal Navy H.M.S. Medway
Died 30 June 1942, aged 48

James was born Q4 1894 in Sunderland, the fifth child - of an eventual at least nine children - of William and Mary Ellen Smith. The 1911 Census records William as a "Deputy Overman Miner" and the 16 year old James as working in a shipyard.

On 29 October, James married Mary Rogerson Jones in South Hetton, County Durham. The readily available records provide no clues about either when the couple moved to Epsom or whether they had any children. The January 1943 Probate records state that James was "of 97 Church Side, Epsom Common", and that administration of his estate was awarded to the widowed Mary Rogerson Smith. (However, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission post-war records list Mary as being "of Toronto, Ontario, Canada".)

HMS Medway, on which James served, was completed in 1929 as the Royal Navy's first purpose-built submarine depot ship. With a crew of 400 and space for just over 1,300 additional men, the ship was designed to support up to 21 submarines. Following pre-war service in the China Station and a refit in Singapore, the ship arrived in Alexandria, Egypt in May 1940 May and thereafter supported the 1st Submarine Flotilla, which operated in the Eastern Mediterranean.

HMS Medway
HMS Medway
Picture (Q65758) courtesy of the Imperial War Museum

In June 1942, Vice-Admiral Henry Harwood, Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Fleet, ordered all non-essential ships to leave Alexandria as he was preparing to demolish its port facilities to prevent their capture by the Axis forces advancing eastwards along the North African coast. (That advance was halted by the first Battle of El Alamein - some 50 miles from Alexandria - in July, and then reversed in the October/November Second Battle.) HMS Medway loaded stores and 1,135 personnel to establish a new base at Beirut, and sailed later on 29 June that day for The Lebanon escorted by a light cruiser and seven destroyers. Notwithstanding that escort, the German U-372 targeted and sank HMS Medway with two torpedoes off Port Said the next day. 30 men - including James - were lost.

James is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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SMITH, John Frederick, Sergeant, Flight Sergeant, Navigator,1161856,

RAFVR (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve), 487 (R.N.Z.A.F.) Squadron.
Died 12/06/1943, aged 22.

The marriage of Frederick Smith to Margaret G Allen was registered in Croydon for the September Quarter of 1915. Their son John appears to have arrived about five years later. By WW2 the family had taken up residence at 2 The Warren, Worcester Park, Surrey.

The RAF's Bomber Command website page records that: -
'No. 487 Squadron was formed at Feltwell, Norfolk, on 15th August 1942, as a light day-bomber squadron equipped with Lockheed Ventura aircraft and began operations on 6th December, when it contributed sixteen Venturas to the famous low-level raid on the Philips radio and valve factory at Eindhoven. The squadron continued daylight operations with Venturas - albeit very spasmodically - until late June 1943, and on 3rd May suffered a severe blow when ten out of eleven aircraft were shot down during a raid on Amsterdam. For his outstanding leadership in this operation, Squadron Leader LH Trent, a New Zealander in the RAF, who commanded the squadron's "B" Flight (and who was shot down and captured by the enemy) was, after the war when the full story of the raid became known, awarded the Victoria Cross.

On 1st June 1943, No. 487 left Bomber Command to become part of the newly-formed Second Tactical Air Force.'
After the major attack on the Philips works at Eindhoven, 6 December 1942, 487 Squadron survivors in one of the 'flying pig' Venturas included:-
Flying Officer Brewer, DFC, Pilot,
Flight Sergeant Ron W. Secord, W/Op. - Air Gunner, who had moved from the astrodome before it had been punctured by flak in order to take up his gun position,
&
Sergeant R F (Bob) Edmonds, Air Gunner, despite having his steel helmet knocked off by shrapnel.
On 3 May 1943, a 12 aircraft Ramrod raid - one to be continued regardless of losses - against Amsterdam resulted in the loss of all but one of the squadron's Venturas. Eleven of the aircraft crossed the Dutch coast but the Venturas encountered a large group of German fighters. Bursting through the Spitfire escort, they got in amongst 487 Squadron's bombers, damaging one and forcing it to return to base. The returnee is thought to have been Ventura AE797.

According to New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force, Vol. II, by Wing Commander H L Thompson, 1956 : -
'The squadron's first mission after leaving Bomber Command was flown on 12 June when twelve Venturas attacked Caen aerodrome. Flying Officer Brewer, who had earlier won commendation while flying with No. 107 Boston Squadron, failed to return. His aircraft was hit by flak, the port engine caught fire, and the Ventura was last seen going down in what appeared to be a controlled dive; but hopes that Brewer had managed to land safely were not fulfilled and both he and two other New Zealanders in his crew were killed.'
It had been Ventura AE797 attached to 2nd Tactical Air Force shot down during the raid on Caen, 12 June 1943, with Flight Sergeant J F Smith on board as Navigator. None of the crew survived and they were taken for burial in Collective grave. XXVIII. J. 16-19. of Bayeux War Cemetery, Departement du Calvados Basse - Normandie, France :-
Pilot - F/O. 412196 Gordon William Brewer, DFC, Royal New Zealand Air Force, aged 28,
Navigator - Flt. Sgt. 1161856 John Frederick Smith, Royal Air Force, aged 22,
Wireless Operator/Air Gunner - W/O. 404098 Ronald William Secord, Royal New Zealand Air Force, aged 21 &
Air Gunner - Sgt. 413254 Robert Ferguson Edmonds, Royal New Zealand Air Force, aged 28
Brian Bouchard

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SMITH, Michael Arnold. Second Lieutenant (143725)

2nd Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment and No. 50 Commando.
Died 28 February 1941, aged 19.

Son of Harry Neville Smith and of Winifred Mary Smith, of Sutton, Surrey.

Commemorated on the Athens Memorial, Greece.

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SNEATH, Ronald Ernest. Petty Officer (P/J 112654)

HMS Culver, Royal Navy
Died 31 January 1942, aged 32.

Ronald Ernest Sneath was born on 11 September 1909 in Bourn, Lincolnshire (GRO reference: Sep 1909 Bourne 7a 359). His parents William Gordon and Clara Winifred Sneath (nee Foskett) had married at 8.30 on Wednesday 14 March 1909 at St John's Church, Walham Green. They had been living at 28 Portland Street at the time.

When the 1911 census was taken Ronald's 22 year old father filled out the form stating that he and his 21 year old wife Clara had been married for 2 years and that his 1 year old son was called Ernest and his 6 month old daughter Winifred. They were living in two rooms at 29 Elric Street, Hammersmith and he was working as a maintenance fitter to support his family.

Ronald's brother Charles William was born in 1912 followed by his sister Dorothy May in 1913 and Lilian in 1917; they were all born in the Fulham area.

By 1924 the family had moved to Great Bowden in Leicestershire. Aged 15, Ronald is reported to have trained for the Royal Navy at H.M.S. Ganges before service on H.M.S. Coventry, H.M.S. Renown & H.M.S. Dauntless before H.M.S. Culver as a Petty Officer with the Service Number P/J 112654.

Ronald's youngest sister Barbara E. was born in 1927 in the Market Harborough district in Leicestershire.

Ronald married 35 year old Agnes Louise Hayball in the March quarter of 1937 in the Bournemouth registration district. There were no children from the marriage.

At 23.31 hours on 31 January 1942, U105 fired a salvo of four torpedoes at the convoy SL-98 and observed two hits and a large explosion. Schuch thought that he had hit an ammunition freighter, but in fact it was H.M.S. Culver (Lt. Cdr. Randal Thomas Gordon-Duff, RN) that had blown up in position 48°43' N, 20°14' W with the loss of the commanding officer, seven officers and 118 ratings. Of the 140 on board; only 13 survived.

Ronald was one of the many casualties and his death is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire. He is also remembered in the Leicestershire village of Great Bowden on a memorial on the village green and within Great Bowden parish church.

In 1945 Agnes, Ronald's widow, was listed in the Surrey Electoral Registers as living at 104 Horton Hill, Epsom. She had her husband's name commemorated in the Book of Remembrance in the foyer of Epsom Town Hall and on the Roll of Honour in St. Barnabas Church, Epsom.

Ronald's father was aged 62 when he died on 11 September 1951 in Market Harborough, Leicestershire.

Ronald's widow Agnes did not remarry and died in 1967 in the Hatfield area.

Clive Gilbert & Hazel Ballan 2014

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SNELLING, Alfred Victor. Pilot Officer 89600

78 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 9 June 1941 Age Not Known

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Son of Alfred and Emma Snelling, of Epsom Downs, Surrey.

Buried: Middleton St. George (St. George) Churchyard, Grave 294.

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SPARK, Basil Douglas. Flight Lieutenant/Pilot (128904)

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Died 5 July 1945, aged 24.

Basil's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Basil's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2018

Son of Edwin Frank and Constance Alice Spark, of Epsom; husband of Shirley Phyllis Spark, of Epsom.

On 11 July 1945, Basil was buried in Epsom Cemetery (Grave N595), where the records note that he died "near Holme on Spalding Moor", Yorkshire. With that clue, internet searches find that he was killed whilst piloting Halifax VI RG651 of No 78 Squadron which landed too far up the runway at Holme on Spalding Moor (the WW2 RAF Holme) and, having swung to avoid some workmen, ran off the end and into a ditch.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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SPARKE Philip Donald Julian (DSC and 2 Bars), Pilot Lieutenant (A)

Royal Navy - HMS Formidable
Died 11/05/1941, aged 21

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Son of James Donald and Mary Virginia Sparke, of Epsom.

Served aboard HMS Formidable as Fairey Swordfish Pilot. More details at Imperial War Museum.

Commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Bay 1, Panel 7.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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STANLEY, George Haynes. Lance Serjeant 1075198

85 Anti-Tank Regt. Royal Artillery
Died 8 September 1943 Age 30

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Son of George Haynes Stanley and Mary Elizabeth Stanley; husband of Constance Marjorie Stanley, of Epsom, Surrey.

Buried: Chungkai War Cemetery, 4. C. 3.

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STEEL, George Robert. Able Seaman (P/JX 296878)

Royal Navy HMMTB 82
Died 16 July 1943, aged 21

George's parents were William Alexander Robert Steel and Edith May (née Ferris - they married Q2 1915 in Hartley Wintney, Hampshire). The couple's first child appears to be May born in Farnham Q2 1918. By the time George was born (Q2 1922), the couple were in Epsom - and this is where they were recorded in the 1939 Register, lodging with Joseph and Ellen White at "Trevarrium", Downs Way. William was listed as a retired carpenter and joiner.

Able Seaman George's WW2 service was on HM Motor Torpedo Boat 82 - a Vosper 72 foot model, two of which are illustrated below. MTBs were small and fast attack vessels, the principal armaments of which - as the name indicates - were torpedoes. They also carried some offensive guns and defensive cannons.

Two Vosper 72 foot Motor Torpedo Boats
Two Vosper 72 foot Motor Torpedo Boats
Photograph A25856 courtesy of the Imperial War Museum

In mid-1943, MTB 82 was part of the naval support for the Allies' invasion of Sicily. On 16 July, in the waters between Sicily and the "toe" of mainland Italy, some German E-Boats (their navy's fast attack boats) were sighted and engaged by four MTBs, including George's MTB 82. During the melee, the MTBs were also engaged by shore batteries, during which MTB 82 suffered a near miss. This wounded both its Commanding Officer (T/Lt R A Johnson, RNZNVR) and George - in the latter case, so severely that he died of his wounds.

George died of his wounds, so was not lost at sea. However, his final resting place is unknown since he is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial of those with no known grave.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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STEELE, Frederick Robert Ellis Signalman (2328600)

Royal Corps of Signals.
Died 13 August 1941, aged 20

Frederick's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Frederick's headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2018

Son of William Ernest and Ada Steele, of Epsom.

On 16 August 1941, Frederick was buried in Epsom Cemetery (Grave K30), where the records note that he had been "Discharged from HM Forces" and had died in the Surrey County Sanatorium (a TB hospital), Busbridge, near Godalming.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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STEPHENS Geoffrey John. Able Seaman P/JX 329166.

Royal Navy - HMS Penelope
Died 18/02/1944, aged 19

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Son of Alfred Horton Stephens and Alice Mary Stephens, of Epsom (Tattenham Corner).

Served on board HMS Penelope when it was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-410 with the loss of 417 lives.

Commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 83, Column 2.

Also see KNIGHT and MARSH

Roger Morgan © 2017

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STEPHENSON, Thomas. Gunner (1788700)

Royal Artillery 78 Battery, 35 Lt. A.A. Regiment
Died 14 March 1944, aged 39

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission's information about Thomas's family is that he was the "son of Mr and Mrs Edward Stephenson; and husband of Martha Stephenson, of Epsom, Surrey."

It is likely to be this Thomas Stephenson who married Martha A Johnson in Bradford Q3 1927. The 1939 Register recorded a Martha Stephenson at 45 Woodland Road, Epsom - noting she was born on 1 April 1906 and worked as a "Laundry Ironer". She was the third entry at that address, the first two of which are currently closed ones, so was presumably a lodger there.

Thomas served in 78 Battery of the 35th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment of the Royal Artillery. In the early days of WW2, this was stationed in the Reading area. In November 1941, the Regiment was kitted out for service in Iraq and, with others, set off in a convoy bound for Basra in the Persian Gulf. However, in view of the Japanese advances in the Far East, the Regiment and some others were diverted to Singapore. Just before Singapore fell to the Japanese on 15 February 1942, the 78 Battery and some others were withdrawn to defend the allied bases in Borneo.

Notwithstanding stout resistance there, the Japanese forces again proved unstoppable. Members of 78 Battery were among those ordered to capitulate by noon on 9 March 1942 and then taken Prisoners of War.

Understood to be 78 Battery
Understood to be 78 Battery - of which the 35 year old Thomas
would be one - before its 1941 move abroad.
Picture with thanks to Rob Baxter, via www.wartimememoriesproject.com

Thomas was probably sent to the infamous Sandakan PoW camp, on Borneo's north-east coast. As is well-known, the conditions and regime in Japanese PoW camps were extremely harsh and, like many others, Thomas succumbed to these, dying on 14 March 1944 After the war, some 2,700 burials (of which more than half were unnamed) were transferred from Sandakan - where the ground was subject to occasional flooding - to the new Labuan War Cemetery on an island off northern Borneo, which is now part of Malaysia.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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STEVENS, James William. Private (6138872)

1st Battalion, East Surrey Regiment.
Died 22 May 1940, aged 25.

Son of John and Doris Stevens.

Commemorated on the Dunkirk Memorial, Nord, France.

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STEVENSON Ada Mary Pat

Civilian
Died 22/06/1944, aged 28

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Of 19 The Drive, Ewell, Surrey. Daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Waller; Wife of Frederick Leefe Stevenson. Died at 27 Woodmansterne Road, Wandsworth.

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STEWART, Donald John. Flying Officer (172377)

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Died 23 July 1944, aged 31.

Donald was born on 14 February 1914. The 1929 Register records him and his wife, Ada Louvain Stewart (born on 9 February 1915), living alone at 13 Chessington Close, Ewell. Donald's occupation is shown as "Mental Nurse (R M P A Qualified)" - so he probably worked at one of the "Epsom Cluster" of mental hospitals - and Ada's as the conventional "unpaid domestic duties".

Internet records show that Donald died while at the 36 Service Flying Training School, Penhold, Alberta, Canada. However, it is currently unclear whether he was there as a trainee or an instructor. It is thought he may have died from injuries received in a collision between two Airspeed Oxfords (a twin-engine light transport aircraft designed for all aspects of aircrew training) three days earlier, on 20 July 1944.

An Airspeed Oxford trainer.
An Airspeed Oxford trainer.
Photograph By Bob Brown via Wikimedia Commons

Donald was buried in the Red Deer Cemetery, Alberta, Canada.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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STONE Arthur John

Civilian
Died 17/05/1941, aged 51

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Injured 16 April 1941, at Queen's Road Homes, Croydon; died at Horton Emergency Hospital, Epsom. Buried Epsom Cemetery, Grave M427.

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STONE, Frank James. Private (6147768)

East Surrey Regiment 1st Battalion
Died 24 April 1943, aged 29

Frank was the fifth child of Albert Leonard Stone and Lucy Fanny (née Bishop - they married in Christ Church Epsom Common on 14 September 1901), of Epsom, Surrey. He was born on 10 April 1914 and, like his four older sisters and one younger sister, was baptised at Christ Church - where the records list the family as living at 17 Woodlands Road, Epsom, with Albert's working as a "Platelayer".

Albert died in 1936 and the 1939 Register records the widowed Lucy (a "laundress") sharing 17 Woodlands Road with two of her children: the 25 year old Frank (a "timber stacker"); and 21 year old Bessie (a "Probation Nurse").

Frank served in the 1st Battalion of the East Surrey Regiment. It is not clear from the readily available records if he if was involved in the April 1940 deployment to France as part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), its subsequent action in the Battle of Belgium, and the evacuation of its survivors from Dunkirk in June 1940. After Dunkirk, the Battalion was reformed - and was assigned to 11th Infantry Brigade, part of 78th Infantry Division, with which it remained for the rest of the war.

However, it is certain that Frank was involved in the extensive preparations for "Operation Torch" in late 1942 - the first Anglo-American operation of the War. These Allied landings in Morocco and Algeria on 8 November 1942 aimed to move along the North African coast as a pincer movement against German forces which, thanks to Allied success at El Alamein, were held in the east. Frank's Battalion landed at Algiers, the easternmost of the three landings. (Unlike the landings at Oran in Algeria and on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, the Vichy French forces in Algiers were quickly overcome.)

The Germans responded immediately by sending a force from Sicily to northern Tunisia, which checked the Allied advance east in early December. In the south, the Axis forces that had been defeated at El Alamein withdrew into Tunisia along the coast through Libya, pursued by the Allied Eighth Army. By mid April 1943, the combined Axis force was hemmed into a small corner of north-eastern Tunisia and the Allies were grouped for their final offensive. That assault against Tunis and Medjez-el-Bab began in April 1943. It involved much fierce fighting during which Frank was killed on 24 April. The Axis forces finally surrendered in early May.

All these actions were alongside the East Surrey's 1/6th Battalion, so it may be that Frank knew fellow Christ Church parishioner Arthur Weston who was killed 10 days later, just before Tunis was finally taken.

Frank is buried in Medjez-El-Bab War Cemetery, about 35 miles west of Tunis.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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STONE Lewis Oliver

Civilian
Died 07/11/1940, aged 52

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Of 67 Cheam Common Road, Worcester Park. Son of the late William B. and Eliza Stone, Of Mill Road, The Common, Epsom; husband of Daisy Stone. Died at 67 Cheam Common Road.

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STONE, REGINALD (REG) Sergeant/Air Gunner (1585207)

106 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 31 January 1943, aged 20

Reginald - apparently always known as "Reg" - was the son of Rose Mary Stone, of West Ewell, Surrey.

He was buried in the Becklingen War Cemetery, Niedersachsen, Germany.

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STURT, George Stanford. Captain (156965)

Royal Artillery
Died 8 August 1944, aged 32

George was born in Epsom Q2 1912, the son of Frank Sturt and Zara (née Alcock) - and thus brother of John Edward Sturt who had died in August 1943.

In Q2 1939, George married Ann Watney. The marriage was registered in Surrey Mid-Eastern. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission's post-war records list Ann as being "of Leatherhead, Surrey".

George is buried in the Sai Wan War Cemetery, Hong Kong, China.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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STURT, John Edward. Lieutenant (156870)

Royal Artillery
Died 5 March 1943, aged 33

John was born in Epsom Q3 1910, the son of Frank Sturt and Zara (née Alcock) - and thus brother of George Stanford Sturt who died in August 1944.

John is commemorated on the SINGAPORE MEMORIAL.

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SUTTON, Frank Charles. Signalman (2333278)

Royal Corps of Signals
Died 16 September 1940, aged 22

Frank was the son of James and Lily Adelaide Sutton, who were recorded in the 1939 Register living at 7 Heatherside Road, West Ewell with one other in the household - a currently closed record. James's occupation is listed as "Stoker LCC service, retired" and Lily's as the conventional "unpaid domestic duties". (A subsequent annotation on the original record indicates that James served as an air raid warden during WW2.

Frank was buried in the Ewell (St. Mary) Churchyard Extension.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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SUTTON, George Frederick Thomas. Private (14215470)

5th Battalion, The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment).
Died 9 April 1943, aged 19

George was the son of George F and Jessie Sutton. The 1939 Register records the couple living at 17 Church Road, Epsom, with the father's occupation listed as "General Labourer" (and Jessie's as the conventional "unpaid domestic duties"). Also in the household is one currently closed record - perhaps their mid-teen son George - and a lodger, Mary Scotchman.

George was buried in the Oued Zarga War Cemetery, Tunisia.

Roger Morgan © 2017

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SWAINSTON William Hopper

Civilian
Died 13/10/1940, aged 81

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Of 32 South Street, Epsom. Husband of Gertrude M. Swainston. Injured 30 September 1940, at 32 South Street; died at Leatherhead Cottage Hospital.

Buried Epsom Cemetery, Grave M103 B.G.S.

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SWAN, Annie Elizabeth

Civilian
Died 1 February 1945, aged 43

Mrs Annie Elizabeth Swan (43)
Mrs Annie Elizabeth Swan
Image Source Epsom and Ewell Advertiser 08 February 1945

Annie was born in Wandsworth on 4 October 1901. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission post-war records note her asthe daughter of Mr and Mrs G H Mathews, of 113 Honeywell Road, Wandsworth Common, London.

She married George Douglas Swan in Wandsworth Q2 1927. They appear to have had two children - Alan and Margaret, both born in Croydon in, respectively, Q2 1930 and Q2 1933. However, the 1939 Register records the couple living at 22 Abbey Road, Torquay. George is listed as an Insurance Clerk and there are two currently closed records - presumably their children. At the time of her death in early 1945, Annie was living at 14 Ruxley Lane, Ewell.

Anyway, and as described in the article Tragedy on the Home Front, Edith was killed when a new variant (Mark V) of the Vickers Warwick twin-engined bomber under test crashed on her home at 14 Ruxley Lane - where she and her local friend Edith Connor (who was also killed) with whom she was about to have lunch. (Their deaths were thus not the result of "Enemy action" as attributed in the Borough's WW2 Book of Remembrance.)

Roger Morgan © 2017

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