WW2 Book of Remembrance - Surnames S

Index

Click on the name to jump to the relevant entry
[Content]

SALT, Gordon Geoffrey (New 30/10/2017)
SALT, Lionel Eric Sydney (New 30/10/2017)
SALTER, Henry * (Revised 27/03/2018)
SANDALL, Jack Francis (New 20/12/2014)
SAUNDERS, Alfred (New 30/10/2017)
SAUNDERS, Bertram Eric (Revised 19/01/2018)
SAUNDERS, Charles Henry (Revised 15/02/2018)
SAUNDERS, Glyn Tremlett (New 30/10/2017)
SAUNDERS, Victor Lewis (Revised 27/03/2018)
SAVAGE, Basil Oswald (Revised 26/11/2017)
SAVAGE, Eric John (New 02/09/203317)
SCOFFIN, John Sidney (Revised 19/01/2018)
SELBY, William Edward (New 08/01/2018)
SELMAN, Harry William (New 02/09/2017)
SEXTONE, Mary * (New 30/10/2017)
SEYMOUR, Noel Arthur (Revised 21/01/2018)
SEYMOUR, Stanley (New 08/01/2018)
SHAW, Charles * (New 30/10/2017)
SHEPPARD, Leslie Bernard (New 30/10/2017)
SHERRIFF, James Thomas Roy (Revised 28/03/2018)
SHORT, Eric (Revised 18/02/2018)
SHORT, Harold Edgar (Revised 18/02/2018)
SHRUBB, Leonard Charles (New 08/01/2018)
SIMMONDS, Hunter Edward (Revised 22/01/2018)
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 (Revised 11/02/2018)
SNEATH, Ronald Ernest (Revised 29/11/2017)
SNELLING, Alfred Victor (Revised 22/01/2018)
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 * (Revised 03/03/2018)
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 (Revised 20/02/2018)
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

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

Back to the index


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

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

Back to the index


SALTER (born Smuklerz) Henry. Ordinary Seaman (P/JX 276570.)

Royal Navy - HMS Jaguar
Died 26 March 1942, aged 36

Harry's inscription on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
Harry's inscription on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

The term "pogrom" became commonly used in English after a large-scale wave of anti-Jewish riots swept through south-western Imperial Russia (present-day Ukraine and Poland) from 1881 to 1884.

A family headed by Michel Smuklerz (b.c. 1845) and his wife Rebecca fled to England. A son, Adolph, had born 13 November 1877 in 'Nowykorczin Kele Powiat Stopnie', elsewhere stated to be Kielce, Kielce County, Swietokrzyskie, Poland.

About 1899, Adolph took a wife called Rose and fathered six children. The birth of Henry, 25 May 1905 in Rochester Road, London, NW1, came to be registered at St Pancras for the September Quarter of 1905.

For the 1911 Census they were enumerated in St Pancras at 117 Brecknock Road, Camden Road, London NW. Adolph was then trading on his own account as a Costume Manufacturer. On 22 December 1912 he made an oath of allegience under the name by which he had become commonly known, 'Adolph Salter', and was granted naturalisation by Certificate No. 21344.

Michel Smuklerz, otherwise Salter, died on 7 December 1927.

Henry Salter's marriage to Eileen Caroline Hart was recorded at Marylebone, 3/1933. This couple appear in the 1939 Register at 35 Hillside Gardens, Esher, Surrey, with Henry described as a 'Commercial Traveller'.

Evidently he entered the Royal Navy to fight as a British Jew under the white ensign. Henry was aboard HMS Jaguar which was torpedoed and sunk by the German submarine U-652 northeast of Sidi Barrani, Egypt with the loss of 193 lives.

HMS Jaguar taking up her station.
HMS Jaguar taking up her station.
IWM Photograph (A 696) - Public Domain.

He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 66, Column 1, described by CWGC as the son of Adolph and Rose Salter; husband of Eileen Caroline Salter (nee Hart, later Kempner), of Epsom.

Adolph Salter of 182 High Street Bromley, Kent, died on 17 March 1945 at 119 Hayes Lane, Bromley.

Eileen C Salter married secondly Herbert Kempner, reg. Hampstead, 9/1945. She subsequently took up residence with her new husband at 13 Maidenshaw Road, Epsom. Herbert died during 1989 and Eileen Caroline Kempner on 31 October 1999.

Brian Bouchard © 2018

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

Back to the index


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.

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

Back to the index


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.

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

Back to the index


SAUNDERS, Bertram Eric. Sergeant (943666)

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 15 November 1944 Age 26

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance.

The marriage of Bertram L Saunders to Mabel M Ward was registered at St Geo. Hanover Sq. For the September Quarter of 1917. Birth of their son, Bertram Saunders came to be recorded at Lambeth, 9/1918.

Bertram, junior, married Winifred E Howard, reg. Streatham 6/1938.

Bertram Eric Saunders enlisted with the Royal Air Force at Cardington in September 1939.

In the village of Morchard Bishop, Devon, next to the war memorial, is a memorial to the 13 men who died in a mid-air collision between two Handley Page Halifax aircraft over the Parish, on the 15 November 1944. Following the collision, JP201 crashed at Crookstock Farm, approx 2 km. east of Morchard Bishop village. The only survivor was Plt Off Pugh, the pilot of JP201.

Crew of Halifax Mk II JP201, 1666 HCU, Wombleton: -
Flt. Sgt. Ian O'Connor RAAF
Sgt. Peter Straiton RAFVR
Sgt. Alfred Edwin Ackcral RAFVR
Sgt. Bertram Eric Saunders RAFVR
Sgt. John Edward Loos Sherwin RAFVR
Plt Off. Harold Kenneth Pugh RAAF (Initials shown as H. R. on memorial)
Halifax Mk 5 LL137, was from 1664 HCU, Dishforth.

In RAF Bomber Command losses of the Second World War, 1939-1947, W R Chorley, page 147, Volume 8 it is recorded:-
"On the 15th November 1944, Halifax JP201 took off from RAF Wombleton at 1730 hours, together with four aircraft from the station, to carry out a night cross-country and bombing exercise. While flying at 18,000 feet, JP201 and Halifax LL137 of 1664 HCU collided, and both aircraft crashed. JP201 crashed at Crookstock Farm, Devon and the crew in both aircraft were killed with the exception of PO Pugh (RAAF) who was uninjured.
In a later statement PO Pugh is reported to have testified:-
"An aircraft collided with our aircraft at approx 2145 hours at 18,000 feet. At the time of the collision the Navigator was standing by me, and the others were in their positions. The aircraft appeared to strike my aircraft underneath the nose on the starboard side. It shuddered badly and started to turn to starboard in a flat spiral attitude. Thinking the aircraft was stalled, I pushed the nose forward to try and regain flying speed. This had zero effect on the aircraft. With the collision, all the lights went out and the intercom cut. I called to the navigator to put on his chute, and warn the crew in the nose to jump. He told me the crew in the nose had already jumped, and he was going back for his chute. The Engineer asked if I was OK and I gave him the same order as the navigator. At the time of the accident the windscreen had iced up on the inside, and I could not see out. A fire started in the starboard side of the fuselage. I think the starboard inner fell off in the crash. The aircraft did not explode, but was burning badly when I left."
It was subsequently considered that Halifax LL137 might have been dog legging in order to lose time, and that the accident was due to poor visibility from the aircraft due to frost and possibly the lack of alertness by the crews concerned.

Further details and image at www.devonheritage.org

Sgt. Bertram Eric Saunders, RAFVR, was taken for burial at Streatham Park Cemetery, Square 21. Grave 26045.

He has been described by CWGC as the son of Bertram and Mabel Marie Saunders, of Ewell; husband of Winifred Eileen Saunders.

The senior Saunders appear to have arrived locally about 1945 to reside at 50 Manor Drive, Ewell. That address was given for Mrs Mabel Marie Saunders who died on 9 March 1954 in Kingston Hospital; probate to Bertram Lewis Saunders, company director.

Brian Bouchard © 2018

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

Back to the index


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

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

The marriage of Frederick Saunders to Maud Saunders was registered in Fulham for the September Quarter pf 1904. They appear to have been the parents of Charles H Saunders, born 4 August 1913, reg. Camberwell 9/1913

Charles married Queenie Saunders, born 9 October1914, an event recorded at Lewisham 9/1937.

They appear in the 1939 Register for Epsom and Ewell at 32 Salisbury Road, Worcester Park, with Charles described as a Commercial Artist, Design Creation Draughtsman and Queenie formerly a Commercial Artist.

Charles enlisted with the Royal Air Force, probably at Uxbridge, during May 1940 with a Service Number 1283809. As a Leading Aircraftman he was commisssioned Pilot Officer with effect from 10 December 1943 and promoted to Flying Officer on10 June 1944.

Lancaster RA560 of 61 Squadron took off from RAF Skellingthorpe at 23.34 hours on the night of 20/21st March 1945, detailed to bomb a synthetic oil plant at Bohlen, Germany. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base.

Crew:-
RAAF 422989 FO Swales, J F Captain (Pilot)
RAF Sgt A J M Davies, (Flight Engineer)
RAF FO Saunders,. C H (Navigator)
RAF Flt Sgt R Taylor, (Air Bomber)
RAAF 432498 Flt Sgt D M Easton, (Wireless Operator Air)
RAF Sgt W Lane, (Mid Upper Gunner)
RAF Sgt T Torney, (Rear Gunner).
The aircraft had exploded in the air and crashed near Kirch-Goens, approx 7 miles south of Giessen, Germany. All the crew were killed and initially they were buried in Kirch-Goens Civilian Cemetery but re-interred at the Durnbach War Cemetery,Bad Tolz, Bayern, Germany, 27 September 1947. Durnbach is a village 16kms east of Bad Tolz, a town 48kms south of Munich.

Charles was buried in Grave 5 C 20 in the Durnbach War Cemetery, his headstone inscribed
'HE COMBATS NO MORE, STRIVES NOR WEEPS; ALL IS AS BEFORE, ONLY HE SLEEPS'.
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.

Queenie (known as 'Annie') Saunders had in fact contracted a second marriage to John H Shennan, Worthing 9/1959: her death was registered in Chichester, West Sussex, 12/1990.

Roger Morgan © 2017
with additional material provided by Brian Bouchard

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

Back to the index


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.

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

Back to the index


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

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

Victor's grave marker and his grandparents' headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Victor's grave marker and his grandparents' headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Photographs (158740797) by Lawrence Hennessy via findagrave.com

Victor was born on 16 April 1918, the first child of Joseph William Saunders and Elizabeth Lewin (née Waters - marriage not found in the readily available records). Joseph was a Londoner: the 1911 Census records him, then aged 24, as the oldest of six children living with their mother at 40 North Street, Hackney. His occupation was listed as a "Warehouseman". Elizabeth - the third of nine children - had been born in Ewell on 19 October 1887 (baptised in St Mary's on 4 December that year) and, until the family moved to New Malden for a spell, spent her early years there. More of her family background is set out in the article about immediately older brother Albert, a WW1 soldier who died of influenza in 1918. (Her immediately younger brother Lewis had been killed in action in the early days of WW1.)

Joseph and Elizabeth set up home in Epsom: Victor's birth and that of his three siblings (Doris in Q4 1919, Joan on 2 June 1922 and Mary on 5 February 1930) were all registered locally. Their address may well have been in Middle Lane Epsom from the outset: this is where Elizabeth's parents were (at No. 29) when her mother, Grace Waters (née Martin), died in 1925. (Her father, George Waters, had been living at Middle House, Dorking Road - Epsom Workhouse - when he died the following year.)

It is certainly known that, by 1932, Victor's family lived at 35 Middle Lane, Epsom and then, between 1935 and 1938, at No. 34. By the time of the 1939 Register, they had moved to 25 Oakhill Road, Ashtead. Joseph (now aged 52) and 21 year old Victor are both listed as Builders Labourers. 49 year old Elizabeth is listed with the conventional "Unpaid Domestic Duties". Also recorded at the address were 17 year old Joan (a "Laundry Maid") and 9 year old schoolgirl Mary. (The currently closed record between Victor and Joan seems certain to be the other sister, 19/20 year old Doris.)

Victor's WW2 service was as an Able Seaman aboard HMS Argus. This was one of the Royal Navy's earliest aircraft carriers which, other than a period out of commission between 1929 and 1938, saw service from 1918 until being scrapped in 1946. Like her contemporaries, she was converted from an ocean liner that, in her case, was under construction when the First World War began. She became the first example of what is now the standard pattern of aircraft carrier, with a full-length flight deck that allowed wheeled aircraft to take off and land - which earned her the nickname "Flatiron". After her commissioning in 1918, HMS Argus was heavily involved for several years in the development of the optimum design for other aircraft carriers and was also the test bed for developing equipment, general procedures and fleet tactics.

HMS Argus in action (during Operation Torch) off North Africa in November 1942.
HMS Argus in action (during Operation Torch) off North Africa in November 1942.
IWM Photograph (A 12882) - Public Domain.

After her 1938 recommissioning, Argus first served as a training carrier to allow pilots to practice their deck-landing skills. After WW2 hostilities began, she was active in convoy escort duty, ferrying aircraft (including the first consignment of part-assembled fighters to Takoradi in the then Gold Coast - as described in the article about Roy Hutchings, the starting point for the Allies' crucial West African Reinforcement Route), and supporting various operations.

It is not currently known when Victor joined HMS Argus, but he must have been involved in at least some of these various operations. His death, however, was not the result of enemy action but of acute meningitis and osteomyelitis of the frontal bone. He died on 24 January 1942 in the EMS Hospital, Whitchurch, Cardiff, Glamorgan, Wales. This was part of Cardiff City Asylum turned over to the military to become the largest emergency service hospital in South Wales.

His body was brought home. On 30 January 1942, he was buried in Epsom Cemetery in the same grave (F178) as his maternal grandparents.

In addition to his entry in Epsom & Ewell's WW2 Book of Remembrance, Victor is commemorated (as "V F Saunders") on the War Memorial outside St George's, Ashtead.

Roger Morgan © 2018
with additional material supplied by Brian Bouchard.

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

Back to the index


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

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

Back to the index


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

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

Back to the index


SCOFFIN, John Sidney. Leading Aircraftman (1811330)

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 24 June 1944 Age 19

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance.

Sidney N Scoffin was on the clerical staff of the Cunard Shipping Company in Liverpool and served with the Royal Fying Corps as an Air Mechanic 2nd Class in the Great War. His marrriage to Kathleen A Mann was registered at Romford for the June Quarter of 1923. Birth of their son John S Scoffin followed in the same District, 9/1924.

John Sidney Scoffin enlisted in the Royal Air Force at Euston in December 1941.

A war-time Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) gave a recruit 50 hours of basic aviation instruction on a simple trainer like the Tiger Moth. Pilots who showed promise went on to training at a Service Flying Training School (SFTS). John appears to have been sent to No 20 Service Flying Training School at Cranborne, Harare, Southern Rhodesia.

He is thought to have been killed whilst flying in either Harvard IIA, EX490 or EX512 of No 20 SFTS, which collided with each other near Inkomo in Southern Rhodesia.

Interred Harare (Pioneer) Cemetery, Eur. War Graves Plot. Grave 137. Headstone inscribed
'IN PROUD AND GLORIOUS MEMORY'.
Described by CWGC as the son of Sidney North and Kathleen Annie Scoffin, of East Ewell, Surrey.

Probate gave their address as Hillside Road, East Ewell: Admin. Sidney North Scoffin, Shipowner's Accountant.

Brian Bouchard © 2018

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

Back to the index


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.

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

Back to the index


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

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

Back to the index


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.

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

Back to the index


SEYMOUR, Noel Arthur. Corporal (552186)

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

The marrriage of James Seymour to Margaret Widnall was registered at Tonbridge for the September Quarter of 1908. Birth of their son Noel A Seymour came to be recorded in the same District, 3/ 1922 - he became known in the family as 'Nobby'.

The RAF boy entrant scheme which ran from the mid-1930s provided for boys to enlist between the ages of 15 to 17 for training in various occupations or trades which fitted them for service in the Royal Air Force. Noel joined the scheme at RAF Cranwell in 1938 to become a Wireless Operator under instruction in No 2 Wing of the Electrical & Wireless School.

Having attained the rank of Corporal he appears to have been captured by the Japanese following the fall of Singapore on 15 February 1942. He was interned at the Changi prison and may be found rostered on Cards V9569 & J9952 as 'Norman' Arthur Seymour. He was subsequently sent to Thailand in 'F' (Death) Force which comprised 7,000 POWs, 3,400 British and 3,600 Australians On 16 April 1943, the group set off for Thailand in about 10 train loads, 30 men crammed into the steel rail trucks which measured about 18 feet by 7 feet. The journey took 4 nights, 5 days with spasmodic meal and toilet stops. On arrival at Banpong (the disembarkation point in Thailand) 'F' Force was then force-marched 300 kilometres over 18 nights to northern Thailand where they were put to work building the railway and an adjacent service road. They had arrived at Kanchanaburi Base.

Reportedly, Kanchanaburi was regarded as one of the better camps, where there was a relatively regular supply of food although drinking water had to be purchased from a privately owned well. Malnourishment and associated diseases were still common here but most men eked out a living. In the hospital, however, deaths between August and December 1943 averaged 30 each day one of victims was Noel.

After the cessation of hostilities, on 20 April 1946, Administration of the deceased's estate was granted to his widowed mother, Margaret Seymour, resident at 5 Grove Road, Epsom

Kanchanaburi War Cemetery
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Buried at Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Thailand, Grave 2 A40 - son of James and Margaret Seymour, of Epsom, Surrey.


Brian Bouchard © 2018

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

Back to the index


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.

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

Back to the index


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.

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

Back to the index


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.

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

Back to the index


SHERRIFF, James Thomas Roy. Acting Lieutenant.

Royal Navy
Died 8 June 1942, aged 24

The marriage of James Sherriff (born 6 May 1986) to May Olive Terry (born 1 July 1889) was registered in Medway for the September Quarter of 1909. Birth of their son James T R Sherriff came to be recorded in the same District, 3/1918.

By 1927 the family had arrived locally to live at 39 Church Street, Epsom, then 44 Worple Road between 1928 and 1930. From 1931they resided at Romahla, 19 Dorking Road, at least intil 1956.

The younger James may have entered an apprenticeship to train as a Merchant Navy officer with the Commonwealth and Dominion Line. An 18 year old James Sherriff served in the crew of SS Port Brisbane in 1936, described as 5' 11'' in height and weighing 145 lb.

SS Port Brisbane
SS Port Brisbane
Source not known

He entered the Royal Navy as a probationary Sub-lieutenant and was confirmed in the rank with effect from 9 March 1939. James was promoted Lieutenant a year later.

For the 1939 Register his father had been described as a Ship Surveyor, Board of Trade.

The marriage of James T R Sherriff to Violet E Murdock (born 1917) was registered in Yeovil. 3/1941.

On 8 June 1942 James T R Sherriff, Lt. (A) , RN, died folowing a flying accident at sea 'off Burnow [?] Head, Cumberland'. A report on this incident is held by the National Archives under reference ADM358/749.

James could have been training at RNAS Inskip (HMS Nightjar) but was recovered injured from the sea to a camp for 500 imported munitions workers built at Wellbank near Bootle Station which later became HMS Macaw, RNAS Bootle, and he expired there.

His burial took place in Epsom Cemetery, on 13 June 1942, in Grave O243 purchased by his father James Sherriff, a Surveyor of Transport, from 31 Rangemoor Road. Liverpool 18. The records note that he served in the Fleet Air Arm and died at Bootle, Cumberland, Milborn R.D.

James' headstone in Epsom Cemetery
James' headstone in Epsom Cemetery
Photographs (100825575) by Lawrence Hennessy via findagrave.com

Violet E Sherriff appears to have married secondly Alexander J Wright, reg. Newton Abbott, 3/1943.

James Sherriff died, 21 February 1972, at 400 Falmer Road, Woodingdean, Brighton, reg. Brighton 3/1972.

May Olive Sherriff of 74 Weirdale Road, London N20, died 29 June 1972, reg. Barnet 6/1972.

Brian Bouchard © 2018

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

Back to the index


SHORT, Eric. Sergeant (1319336)

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

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

A relationship between Bertie Charles Short (born 22 December 1885) and Mabel Edith Way (born 29 August 1885) was established before 1919. Birth of their son Eric came to be registered in Croydon for the June Quarter of 1923.

He enlisted with the Royal Air Force at Blackpool during June 1940.

In Leeuwarden - Royal New Zealand Air Force war graves in Fryslân appears a report: -
"Flight Sergeant Len Townrow was captain of Lancaster ED821, 'HW-A', 100 Squadron, RAF, which took off from RAF Grimby at 22.32 hrs on 27 May 1943. 'A for Able' was intercepted by a Luftwaffe night fighter and was subsequently shot down. The aircraft crashed at 01.45 hrs in the morning of 28 May in a field near the village of Witmarsum. Five crew members died in the accident: Sgt J. P. Fitchett (RAF), F/O S.A. Bishop (RCAF), Sgt E. Short (RAF), Sgt P. M. Cosgrove (RAF) and Sgt A. E. Chapman of the RAAF. They found their last resting place in the Witmarsum Protestant Churchyard.

P/O J. Bolderson was injured and was taken prisoner by the Germans. Len Townrow was severely injured and was taken to the Sint Bonifatius Hospital in Leeuwarden. He finally succumbed to his injuries on the 24th April 1944. He was laid to rest here in the Noorder Begraafplaats in Leeuwarden."
Eric lies in Wonseradeel (Witmarsum) Protestant Churchyard, Row 36. Grave 19, his headstone inscribed
'AT THE GOING DOWN OF THE SUN AND IN THE MORNING WE WILL REMEMBER'.
He has been described by CWGC as the son of Bertie Charles and Mabel Edith Short, of Epsom, Surrey. Before the War the family had lived for a time in Ashtead but they are recorded in the 1939 Register at 3 Whitehorse Drive, Epsom.

Brian Bouchard © 2018

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

Back to the index


SHORT, Harold Edgar. Sergeant (1806043)

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

The marriage of Henry G Short (born 12 August 1896) to Lucy H R Weston (born 21 October 1898) was registered in Wandsworth for the June Quarter of 1921. Birth of their son Harold E Short came to be recorded in the same District, 12/1924.

By 1936 the family had arrived to live locally at 11 Stoneleigh Park Avenue, Stoneleigh, Ewell. In 1939, Henry George Short's occupation was stated to be as a Director and Secretary, Paper Merchants.

Harold enlisted with the Royal Air Force at Euston during December 1941.

Avro Lancaster B Mark I, DV397
Avro Lancaster B Mark I, DV397 at Coningsby, Lincolnshire
Public Domain Image

Lancaster DV397 took off from RAF Coningsby at 18.27 hours on the night of 24/25th March 1944, detailed to bomb Berlin. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and it failed to return to base.

Crew : -
RAF PO Carbutt, D Captain (Pilot)
RAF Sgt J McCrevey, (Flight Engineer)
RAAF 422257 FO Palmer, J M (Navigator)
RAF Sgt A A Fulker, (Air Bomber)
RAF Sgt A W Sherwood, (Wireless Operator Air)
RAF Sgt H E Short, (Mid Upper Gunner)
RAF Sgt R N Cunningham, (Rear Gunner)
A Missing Research and Enquiry Team report stated 'The aircraft was hit by ack-ack and exploded in the air. It crashed near the village of Gehrden, which is approx 16 miles south east of Magdeburg, Germany'.

Initially Harold was buried at Gehrden but re-interred in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery, Germany, 19 July 1947, in Grave 6 H 13. His headstone was inscribed
'REMEMBERING HIS AFFECTION MAY WE BE WORTHY OF HIS GREATEST SACRIFICE'.
Harold was described by CWGC as the son of Henry George and Lucy Henrietta Short, of Ewell, Surrey.

Brian Bouchard © 2018

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

Back to the index


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.

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

Back to the index


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.

The marriage of Charles Hunter Simmonds (born 2 September 1902) to Victoria Morris was registered at Rochford for the September Quarter of 1922. Birth of their son, Hunter E Simmonds came to be recorded at Islington, 6/1923.

By 1938, C Hunter Simmonds had arrived locally to reside at 'Chasanhil', Epsom Road, Ewell.

Hunter Edward Simmonds attended Epsom College, son of C H Simmonds, bookmaker of Epsom, leaving in 1940.

In December 1941, Hunter Edward Simmonds enlisted with the Royal Air Force at Euston with a Service Number 1814142. He was commissioned from the rank of Aircraftman, Class 2, to Pilot Officer on 27 May 1944.

He became attached to RAF Madley, created in late 1940 on arable land adjacent to the villages of Madley and Kingstone in Herefordshire, to accommodate an RAF radio signals training school. On 6 September 1945 he piloted a Percival Proctor Mk. 4, NP402, Radio Trainer, on an exercise from No 4 Radio School. He was accompanied by:-
Sergeant 1677707 John Robinson, WoP/AG , RAFVR
LACW 2112290 Dorothy Cowen.
RAF Percival Proctor Mk.I
A RAF Percival Proctor Mk.I (similar to the Mk.4)
Image source wikipedia

Some sources characterise this as a 'joy ride' but WAAF Aircraftwomen were training as Wireless Operators, if not Wop/Air Gunners, at RS 4. Dorothy had enlisted in August 1942 and was probaly under instruction converting from another trade.

Unfortunately the flight terminated accidentally for the aircraft to crash at Aconbury near Lower Bullingham, Herefordshire. [National Archives AVIA 5/26/W2260] All aboard were killed and their remains taken back to home locations for interment - Hunter Simmonds was buried at Epsom, 11 September 1945.

His mother, Victoria, may have pre-deceased him because Charles Hunter Dewart Simmonds (Epsom Turf Accountant) married secondly Vivienne Hedwig Lafone, otherwise Scott, nee Schotz, reg, Westminster 12/1946.


Charles Hunter Dewart Simmonds died on 14 August 1976 in the Middlesex Hospital, London. Having been cremated at Golders Green, his ashes were scattered on Grave space K123 in Epsom Cemetery.

Roger Morgan © 2018
with additional material researched by Brian Bouchard

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

Back to the index


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.

Kenneth died in Queen Alexandra Military Hospital, Millbank, lately of 70 Woodcote Hurst, Epsom.

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

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

Back to the index


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

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

Back to the index


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

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

Back to the index


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.

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

Back to the index


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

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

Back to the index


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

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

Back to the index


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.

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

Back to the index


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.

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

Back to the index


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.

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

Back to the index


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

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

Back to the index


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

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

Back to the index


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

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

Back to the index


SMITH, Michael Arnold. Second Lieutenant (143725)

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

Michael was born on 14 April 1921, at least the second child of Harry Neville Smith and of Winifred Mary (née Cooper - their Q3 1915 marriage was registered in the Blean District of Kent). The 1939 Register records the family living at 7 Higher Green, Ewell. 54 year old Harry is listed as a Bank Clerk; 55 year old Winifred with the conventional " Domestic Duties (Unpaid)"; and 18 year Michael (who had attended Epsom College, where the records describe his father as a "Bank Official") as "Clerk, Asiatic Petroleum Co". Some time over the next few years, the parents moved to Sutton - which is where the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's post-war records note them as being "of".

Michael's WW2 service was initially in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment, but he was soon recruited into No. 50 Commando, based in Egypt. After training, the Unit was ready for action. For various reasons, the first couple of missions were aborted at the last moment and the first to get under way was Operation Abstention, a combined operation with the Royal Navy aiming to seize Kastelorizzo, a small Greek island about eighty miles east of Rhodes and just three miles off the Turkish coast. The initiative for the operation came from Admiral of the Fleet, Sir Andrew Cunningham, Commander-in-Chief Mediterranean. He wanted a secure motor torpedo boat base to support future operations against the Italians (who had invaded Greece at the end of October 1940) in the rest of the Dodecanese, to the west of Kastelorizzo.

On the evening of 23/24 February 1941, 200 men set off for Kastelorizzo aboard HMS Decoy and HMS Hereward, accompanied by escorts. They took an indirect course, heading initially for the Palestinian coast before steaming on to Kastelorizzo. The aim was to reach the island by 0300 hours on 25 February, where a Royal Naval submarine would guide them into their final position south-west of the island.

Although it was a combined operation, the Commandos had not been closely involved in the planning. Things did not go well. Instead of the hoped-for surgical operation, tempo was lost in the initially successful assault and the Italians were able to respond with unanticipated vigour from their base in Rhodes - not only by bombing and shelling the invading force but also precluding the planned landing of further reinforcements. The Allies' response was hindered by various communications and supplies issues.

With fierce fighting over the next few days (during which Michael was killed on the beach during an air raid, and his body never recovered), the Allies had to accept defeat. Although many of the surviving troops were successfully evacuated, a good number were taken prisoner. One of the SOE operatives embedded with the troops called the operation "confused, incompetent, inept and a mess". The debacle brought scathing comments from Admiral Cunningham who described the operation as "A rotten business and reflected little credit to everyone".

Michael is commemorated on the Athens Memorial. This stands within Phaleron War Cemetery (on the coast a few miles to the south east of Athens) and commemorates nearly 3,000 members of the land forces of the Commonwealth who lost their lives during the campaigns in Greece and Crete in 1941 and 1944-1945, in the Dodecanese Islands in 1943-1945 and in Yugoslavia in 1943-1945, and who have no known grave.

Roger Morgan © 2018
With thanks to combinedops.com for detailed mission information summarised above.

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

Back to the index


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

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

Back to the index


SNELLING, Alfred Victor. Pilot Officer (89600)

78 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Died 9 June 1941 Age 21

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

The marriage of Alfred Snelling to Emma Orton was registered in Edmonton for the June Quarter of 1901. Birth of Alfred V Snelling came to be recorded at Epsom, 9/1919. In 1920 the Snellings appear to have been resident at 69 East Street, Epsom.

During 1936 the name of A V Snelling appears in the London Gazette joining the Air Ministry to be employed as a Clerical Officer. He enlisted with the Royal Air Force at Cardington during September 1939 with a Service Number 957979 before being commissioned as a Leading Aircraftman to the rank of Pilot Officer, with effect from 15 December 1940 (later corrected to 8 January 1941).

Aircraft accidents in the Pennines area. - Yorkshire Aircraft report:-
"In the early hours of 9th June 1941 the crew of this 78 Squadron aircraft were returning to Middleton St.George after undertaking an operational flight to bomb Dortmund. The weather over North Yorkshire on this night was poor and 78 Squadron aircraft had initially been sent instructions to divert to land at Prestwick, the weather over Middleton St.George improved slightly and this diversion order was later cancelled but the weather was still poor at dawn when this aircraft was heading towards base, the aircraft appears to have drifted too far west and at the time of the crash the crew were descending through cloud probably to try and locate their position, the Whitley flew into a hilltop near Ellingstring at around 05.20hrs. Sadly all five airmen were killed but strangely three pilots* are listed on the CWGC database and no navigator.
Pilot - Sgt Dennis Russell Simm RAFVR (1150677), aged 27, of Ashbourne, Derbyshire. Buried Ashbourne Cemetery, Derbyshire.
Pilot - Sgt John Staley Tomkinson RAFVR (969697), aged 28, of Hazel Grove, Cheshire. Buried Taxal Churchyard, Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire.
Observer - P/O Alfred Victor Snelling RAFVR (89600), aged ? of Epsom Downs, Surrey. Buried Middleton St George Churchyard, Co.Durham.
Wireless Operator / Air Gunner - Sgt John Bernard Stevens RAFVR (972788), aged 21, of Hornchurch, Essex. Buried Hornchurch Cemetery, Essex.
Wireless Operator / Air Gunner - F/Sgt Gordon Elliot Chiswell Billing RAFVR (967253), aged 24, of Leyland. Buried Leyland Churchyard, Lancashire."
*and remark that Snelling was incorrectly listed as a Pilot by CWGC.

Alfred Victor Snelling was interred at Middleton St. George (St. George) Churchyard, Durham, in Grave 294, his headstone inscribed
'UNTIL THE DAWN BREAK AND WE MEET AGAIN'.
Recorded by CWGC as the son of Alfred and Emma Snelling, of Epsom Downs, Surrey, in 1945 his parents were living at 'Amethyst', Grosvenor Road, Langley Vale, Epsom.

Brian Bouchard © 2018

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

Back to the index


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

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

Back to the index


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

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

Back to the index


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.

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

Back to the index


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

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

Back to the index


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

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

Back to the index


STEPHENS Geoffrey John. Able Seaman (P/JX 329166)

Royal Navy. HMS Penelope
Died 18 February 1944, aged 19

Not listed in the Book of Remembrance

Geoffrey was born Q3 1924, the third and last child of Alfred Horton Stephens and Alice Mary (née Marfell). The parents' Q1 1914 marriage had been registered in the Hampstead District. The birth of all three children - Geoffrey and his older sisters Dorothy (born Q2 1915) and Margaret (born Q4 1920) - were registered in the Pancras District of London.

The family are, perhaps because of transcription errors, not readily found in the 1939 Register. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission notes that the parents were "of Epsom, Surrey" but there are other clues which suggest they were of Tattenham Corner, just outside the Borough. But they were certainly local: Alfred's death in Q4 1960 was registered in the lcal Surrey Mid Eastern District.

Anyway, Geoffrey's WW2 service was as a Stoker on HMS Penelope - an Arethusa-class light cruiser commissioned in November 1936. Most of this ships illustrious WW2 career is described in the article on Herbert Knight who was killed on 8 October 1943 in the aftermath of yet another successful action, this time off Rhodes.

HMS Penelope at Spithead, 23 December 1942
HMS Penelope at Spithead, 23 December 1942
IWM Photograph FL4822 - Public Domain

After the repairs (carried out in Alexandria) necessary after that action HMS Penelope was back in action by February 1944 when she was involved in helping operations at the Anzio beachhead by bombarding the enemy's positions. The Anzio landings were intended to outflank the German forces that, at their well-prepared defensive "Winter Line", were holding the Allies advancing north from the "foot" of Italy. The initial landings were the intended surprise but, instead of capitalising on this and advancing to the high ground, the local commander took time to prepare for the expected counter-attack. When this came, the Allies were pinned down in the marshy area round Anzio. The operation was nearly as disastrous as WW1's Gallipoli landings and it was only with very heavy casualties over the next four and half months that the Allies prevailed.

However, HMS Penelope's demise was not the result of fighting in the Battle of Anzio. On 18 February 1944, she was heading for Allied-held Naples some 90 miles south of Anzio to re-stock on ammunition when, at 0658 hours, she was hit in the after engine room by a T5 acoustic torpedo fired by U-Boat U-410. (The acoustic torpedo was a fairly new development and used sophisticated electronics to home in on the distinctive noise "signature" of the selected target.) When first hit, the cruiser was making 26 knots or 30 mph - understood to be the first and only time during WW2 that a ship running at such speed was successfully attacked by a U-boat. At 0716 hours, U-410 fired another torpedo. This hit HMS Penelope in the after boiler room, causing a massive explosion and the cruiser sank immediately. She was 35 miles west of Naples.

415 of the crew, including the captain, Geoffrey and Leslie Marsh went down with the ship. There were 206 survivors.

Geoffrey is one of the nearly 15,000 Commonwealth WW2 sailors with no know grave commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

Roger Morgan © 2018

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

Back to the index


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

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

Back to the index


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.

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

Back to the index


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.

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

Back to the index


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

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

Back to the index


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.

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

Back to the index


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

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

Back to the index


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.

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

Back to the index


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

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

The marriage of Rose Fox (born 11 February 1890) to James Sullivan was registered in Wandsworth for the March Quarter of 1919. Birth of their daughter Rosemary, 25 June 1919, came to be recorded in the same District, 6/1919.

Private James Sullivan, 8649, RASC (later 301361,719 Coy., Labour Corps.) had died on 19 February 1919 in No 30 General Hospital, Calais. He was laid to rest, aged 39 in Les Baraques Military Cemetery, Sangatte - his headstone is inscribed 'DEEPLY MISSED BY HIS WIFE & DAUGHTER'. The widow's adress was stated to have been 38 Chatham Street, Orkney Street, Battersea.

A half brother to Rosemary, Reginald Stone, was born on 22 December 1922, reg. Wandsworth, 3/1923.

By 1935, Rose Mary Sullivan had entered a relationship with Geoffrey Reynolds Mason (born 19 September 1909), to take up residence at 100 Revelstoke Road, Southfields. A contracted union beteween the parties was registered in Surrey Mid E, 6/1939.

For the 1939 Register, Reginald Stone appeared with his mother and step-father at 53 Green Lanes, Ewell: his employment was described as 'Shop Asst. (Florist & Gardener)'.

During September 1941 Reginald enlisted with the Royal Air Force at Weston super Mare.

On 31 January 1943, a 106 Squadron Lancaster, W4826, ZN-D, took off from RAF Syerston at 00.10 hrs. to attack Hamburg.

The aircraft is reported to have been hit by Flak of M. Flak Abt. 222 (Flak Ugruko Süd), 1./schw. Flak Abt. 117 (o), 4./schw. Flak Abt. 531 (o), 2. & 3./schw. Flak Abt. 615 (v), 1./schw. Flak Abt. 231 (o) and 2./schw. Flak Abt. 223 to crash in flames at the railway station of Imsum at 03.20 hrs. In the Marine Flak Abschussmeldung, the time of crash was noted as 02.58 hrs, and crash location as 'near Neuenwalde'.

All the crew were killed: -
Sgt. H E Johnson
Sgt. N Marshal
P/O C J J Gill
Sgt. J Langrell
Sgt W Cotton
Sgt. D Coy
Sgt. R Stone.
Initially buried in Geestemunde Cemmetery, their remains were re-interred at the Becklingen War Cemetery, Niedersachsen, Germany. Reginald lies in Grave 20 B12, his headstone inscribed
'IN PROUD AND LOVING MEMORY OF REG, MY ONLY SON, BROTHER OF ROSEMARY. MUM'.
Reginald - apparently commonly known as 'Reg' - was described by CWGC as the son of Rose Mary Stone, of West Ewell, Surrey. No evidence has been uncovered of her taking the married name of Stone and by the War had, in fact, become Mrs Mason: her death, aged 67, was registered in Surrey Mid E, 12/1957.

Brian Bouchard © 2018

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

Back to the index


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

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

Back to the index


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.

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

Back to the index


SUTTON, Frank Charles. Signalman (2333278)

Royal Corps of Signals
Died 16 September 1940, aged 22

Frank's  headstone in St. Mary's Cemetery
Frank's headstone in St. Mary's Cemetery
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2018

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

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

Back to the index


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

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

Back to the index


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.

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

Back to the index


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

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

Back to the index




Please Note: We believe that the information on this page is accurate however users should satisfy themselves that the information is correct before incurring any expense or undertaking any journeys. This is particularly important when purchasing certificates from other bodies, for example the General Register Office. You might like to use the following links to Freebmd and Find My Past (Links open in a new window).

War Memorials
War Memorials
All Saints
All Saints
Dipping Well
Dipping Well
Ashley Road
Ashley Road
St Mary's Ewell
St Mary's Ewell
Sgt. Green and the Epsom Riot
Epsom Riot
Woodcote Camp
Woodcote Camp