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Another Dozen

p.

*SAME VILLAGE *

  • SAME MEMORIAL *

  • ANOTHER WAR*

  • ANOTHER DOZEN’ *

  • FROM *

  • MOULTON *

  • *

  • *

*COMPILED AND WRITTEN *

*BY *

*GEOFF CROMPTON *

  • *

  • *

*IN MEMORY OF THE 12 MEN OF MOULTON *

*VILLAGE WHO MARCHED ALONG MAIN ROAD AND *

[* INTO OBLIVION BETWEEN 1939 -1945 *]

  • *

*A SEQUEL TO ’34 MEN’ BY THE SAME AUTHOR. *

*WRITTEN IN MEMORY OF THE MEN OF MOULTON *

*WHO DIED FOR OUR FREEDOM IN WORLD WAR *

ONE

*Edited by Phil Ashton and Les Burgess *

  • *

*ANOTHER DOZEN *

  • *

*A STUDY OF THE MEN OF MOULTON VILLAGE WHO DIED *

[*SERVING HUMANITY IN THE SECOND WORLD WAR 1939 – *]

*1945. *

  • *

  • *

  • *

*Compiled and written *

*by Geoff Crompton *

  • *

[*e-mail: [email protected] *]

*Telephone Contact 01606 76818 *

  • *

  • *

  • *

DEDICATION

  • *

*THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF MY WIFE *

*LOIS WHO DIED IN JUNE 2004 AS I WAS FINALISING MY *

*RESEARCH FOR THIS MANUSCRIPT. *

*WE WERE MARRIED FOR 47 YEARS AND I MISS HER. *

i

  • *

*First published in 2005 by *

  • *

[* Contents © Geoffrey A Crompton *]

  • *

[*Forward © Joy Bratherton *]

  • *

[*ISBN NUMBER 0-955136-0-7 *]

  • *

  • *

  • *

*All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, *

*stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any *

*means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, *

*without the prior permission of the copyright owner. *

  • *

  • *

*A CIP catalogue for this book is available from the British Library *

  • *

[*Printed by: Prontoprint Halton / Northwich *]

ii

*FOREWORD *

  • *

Glorious. A word used so often to describe the dead of the two World Wars. Our Glorious

Dead…..

Over ten years ago I was hawking a copy of my first book from publisher to publisher and

being told time and time again there was no market for a book about the men from a

Cheshire village who died in the Great War. I decided to publish it myself and since then

have written a further three books with colleagues who felt the stories should be told.

From towns and villages the length and breadth of the Empire young men have flocked to

the colours to take part in these great adventures. They proved not to be glorious. They

were horrendous and bloody and very frightening. In this super little book Geoff

Crompton tells the story of “Another dozen.” He tells of their lives, their deaths and where

they lay. He resurrects their names and prints them indelibly on our consciousness.

There is a market for these stories. There has to be. We owe them their memory and their

constant presence in the history of our land. They went, most without hesitation, they gave

all they had. People like Geoff and his projects ensure that we will remember them. Our

glorious dead.

Joy Bratherton:

Joy Bratherton is a Primary Schoolteacher and lives with her family in Crewe, Cheshire.

She is the dynamic Branch Chairman of the South Cheshire branch of the Western Front

Association. For many years she served in various capacities on the National Committee

of the WFA, including Deputy Chairman. She is the author of four books on the subject of

WW1:

„Where are the lads of the village tonight?”

„For those who lie in foreign fields”

„Never to return”

„Dear Mrs Jones”

iii

INTRODUCTION

  • *

I watched my mother and her friend Mrs Murray crying in our kitchen. They had just listened to the

Prime Minister on the wireless. He had informed the country that we were now at war with

Germany. I decided to beat a hasty retreat, away from the tears, and into the yard at the back of our

house – I was six years old. Over the next six years I experienced many emotions from excitement to

fear. I collected and swapped shrapnel, as the young boys today would collect posters of David

Beckham. I saw a balloon barrage, Ack-Ack gun, EWS reservoir and air raid shelter assembled on

the big field in front of our house in Brunner Road, Widnes. My dad, having served at Ypres

(Wipers) and Italy in WW1, enlisted in the Home Guard. After a days work and a quick meal, he

would cycle up to the barracks in Peelhouse Lane, or report for fire watching duties back at the ICI

factory where he worked. Although I much enjoyed the TV programme ‘Dad’s Army’ I do think, in

some ways, that it does a disservice to the men of the Home Guard – certainly my Dad was no

bumbling idiot!! I saw the graves of two German airmen, whose aircraft had crashed onto the ICI

recreation ground in Liverpool Road, and felt sorry that their graves were isolated from the rest, as

though contaminated in some way. I sat with my parents and brothers, night after night, in the air

raid shelter close to our home. I sang carols on Christmas Eve with our church choir to the service

men and women manning the guns and balloon barrage sites around the town. Eventually, and in

company with my mother and middle brother Len, we sought sanctuary for a few years with my

Aunt and Uncle in the relative safety of their home in North Wales. Later in the war my elder

brother John responded to the call and found himself, a Lancastrian, serving in the Black Watch!

In December 2001, I published a fully illustrated tribute to the men of Moulton Village, Northwich,

Cheshire who died in World War One*. The book, entitled ’34 MEN’, was well received, both

within the village of Moulton and in the surrounding area. It has been distributed further afield to

those with a special interest in keeping alive the sacrifice of the men who fought and died for the

freedoms we enjoy today. The book tells the story of the men of the village, their lives up to

enlistment and, finally, the circumstances of their deaths. Each year of the war is described along

with a thumbnail of life in the village during the conflict.

During the writing of the book I began to feel a little uneasy at the fact that in addition to the men

who died in WW1 another 12 names were etched into the Yorkshire stone of the village War

Memorial. These were, of course, the names of the lads who followed the example of their forebears

a decade or so before and who, once again, were not backward in coming forward to challenge the

might and evil of Germany, Japan and their acolytes. I decided that I could do no less than to

research these men also and to write a dedication to their memory. Aside from a basic first hand

knowledge of WW2, I had little in depth information of that conflict, particularly, the happenings in

the Middle and Far East. It was going to be a hard slog to acquire this knowledge and to write

anything with any vestige of authority. Nevertheless, I resolved to do the best I could and what

follows is my effort at honouring ‘Another Dozen’ from the village. In the research and preparation

of this tribute I have tried to ensure that all details are correct. I am sure, however, that my eagle

eyed friends in the village, particularly the lads of the British Legion, will catch me out on a number

of points of detail. If they do then I apologise in advance!

Geoff Crompton – March 2005

  • *

  • Since the publication, more facts on three of the servicemen of WW1 have come to light.

These can be found in appendix 2 at the back of this book.

iv

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

  • *

There is no doubt that it would have been extremely difficult, if not impossible, to have

put this tribute together without the help, support and understanding of many people and

organisations, some of whom are listed below:

Relatives of the 12; the villagers of Moulton and in particular Jack & Elsie Booth;

Moulton Village News (Appeals For Information); librarians at Northwich and Winsford;

Rev.Andy Greenhough, Vicar of Moulton, for his help in locating the burial details of

John H Eyres; Archivists at Cheshire Records Office; the Editors of Northwich/Winsford

Chronicles and Northwich Guardian for allowing the publication of photographs and for

printing appeals for information; the copyright owners of ‘Tommy’ by Rudyard Kipling;

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission for providing photographs of distant

graves/memorials; The Imperial War Museum for use of the picture of a Vickers

Wellington Bomber and various other action photographs; Edward Davidson and Dale

Manning for the use of their WW2 chronology; Plymouth City Museum & Art Gallery

for the photograph of the Plymouth Naval Memorial; Robert Owen, Official Historian to

617 Sqn. Aircrew Ass., for providing details of the deaths of the two RAF lads; Melanie

Wright-Cooper of the RAF Historical Branch for information on RAF servicemen;

Community Internet Services; Portsmouth, for the photograph of Portsmouth Naval

Memorial; Brunner Mond Ltd for the use of photographs of their Memorials and in

particular Mary Morrison their archivist for providing details of the servicemen listed on

the Winnington Memorial; The Naval and Military Press for permission to print

illustrations of WW2 campaign medals from their book ‘The Medals Year Book”; John

Anderson of the Coldstream Guards Association for the illustration of their cap badge;

George Vaughan of the RASC Association for the illustration of their cap badge; Ray

Westlake for further badge illustrations; Gary Godel for his photograph of the

Runnymede Memorial; Ted Finch, Kate Tildesley, Carol Cooper, Roger Mansell and Joe

McMillan for supplying information on ships lost by enemy/friendly fire; Mrs Jean

Billington of Anderton, Northwich, for the photograph of the Cheshire Regiments graves

in Sfax War Cemetery, Tunisia; The Regimental Records Officers of the Regiments

served by the 12 and for their help and advice on Regimental war diaries, histories,

photographs and badge illustrations; Graham Scott for his photograph of the „Moulton

Crows”; Alan Ravenscroft, for his photographs of Winsford and Whitegate War

Memorials; David Coulbeck, Headmaster of Moulton County Primary School, for

allowing me sight of old school records; Alan Edwards for the loan of his panoramic

photograph of Moulton Village; Peter Brydon of South Cheshire WFA for help with

WW2 Medals; my friends Les Burgess and Phil Ashton for both editing and proof reading

the finished manuscript; to Lois, my wife, whilst she lived, for yet again tolerating my

time away from home and the hours spent in front of my PC putting this tribute together;

and finally, to all those unnamed friends and acquaintances who listened, helped, advised

and encouraged.

v

*CONTENTS *

Opening Page

i

Publishing details

ii

Foreword by Joy Bratherton

iii

Introduction

iv

Acknowledgements

v

Contents

vi

Illustrations

vii

The Village

viii

The 12 Men

1

The history of Moulton Village War Memorial

3

‘Tommy’ – Poem

5

Build up to WW2

8

1940 Chronology

11

Dedication to Frederick Wright

14

1941 Chronology

16

Dedication to John Henry Eyres

19

1942 Chronology

21

Dedication to Harold Brookes

26

Dedication to William Gordon Kennerley

30

Dedication to James Eric Kendrick

34

1943 Chronology

37

Dedication to George Miles

42

Dedication to Stanley Goulding

46

1944 Chronology

53

Dedication to George Dickens

60

Dedication to George Shannon

64

Dedication to Albert Edward Stockall

67

Dedication to Ralph Latham

71

1945 Chronology

73

Dedication to Frank Felix Buckley

78

Casualties

85

„Visitors” – Blank verse

86

Appendix 1 – The Moulton Crows

89

Appendix 2 – 34 Men Update

90

Bibliography

94

Index

95

vi

*ILLUSTRATIONS *

The Liverpool Blitz

x

Moulton Village War Memorial

2

Window and Tablet – St Stephen’s Church, Moulton

4

Rededication Of Moulton Village Cenotaph After

6

WW2

Main Road, Moulton Today (2005)

6

Village Map (c. 1900)

7

Village Aerial Photograph (c.2000)

7

Two Spitfires On Patrol

13

Artillery Firing At El Alamein

25

„Oerlikon” Anti-Aircraft Gun

28

Vickers Wellington Bomber

33

RAF Lancaster Bomber

41

Moulton Council School Football Team

50

River Crossing In Burma

51

Machine Gun Team, Western Desert 1943

51

Bomb Disposal Unit At Work

52

Normandy Landings – 6th June 1944

52

British POWs

59

Anzio Landings

62

Memorials and Tablets

82

The Cross of Sacrifice

84

Campaign, Defence And War Medals

87

vii

*THE VILLAGE *

  • *

Moulton Village stands in the heart of the Cheshire countryside between the towns of

Northwich and Winsford. It runs more or less parallel with the River Weaver and is

located on a ridge overlooking the vale. The 1086 Domesday Book mentions that

‘Moletune’ was part of the estate of The Baron Richard de Vernon of Shipbrook. Roughly

translated from the old English the entry reads:

“Moulton. Leofnorth held it – he was a freeman. There is one hide paying tax. There

is land for 2 ploughs.

There is one villager and one smallholder who have 1/2 plough.

There is 1 acre of meadow; Woodland 1 league long and 1 wide; 1 enclosure.

Value was and is 5 shillings (25p)”.

In the middle of the 18th century Moulton and the surrounding area was purchased by the

France-Hayhurst family who took up residence in nearby Bostock Hall. The estate was

sold off during the 1950s. Bostock Hall was converted into flats in the late 90s.

Today (2005) the village boasts two places of worship; The Methodist Chapel dating from

1875 and The Parish Church of St Stephen the Martyr built in 1876. It has two pubs, The

Lion and the Travellers Rest. It has a County Primary School (built in 1894); Village Hall;

British Legion Club; the Verdin Institute and the Moulton Adventure Groups HQ in

School Lane.

In 1801, the population of the village stood at 103. Since that time numbers have steadily

increased. In 1851 the population had risen to 328; in 1901 to 1004; in 1951 to 1218 and

in 1997 to 2330. In this current year the figure is in excess of 3000. The heart of the old

village, comprising Main Road, Regent Street, Church Street, Chapel Lane and Chapel

Street is now surrounded by new estates of houses, bungalows and flats.

Employment in the 19th and early 20th century was dominated by the salt industry and the

houses in Regent Street and Church Street were built to house the workers in this industry.

At dawn, salt workers would trudge up „the bank” from their homes, along the path past

the sand pit and down through the railway tunnels to the Newbridge Salt Works. Some

would walk even further and cross the River Weaver via the bridge to clock on at Falk’s

Salt Works. When Sir John Brunner and Ludwig Mond established their chemical plants

in Northwich, towards the end of the 19th century, men from Moulton sought jobs in their

factories at Winnington and Lostock.

During the early part of the 20th century life in Moulton was typical of a country village.

Men worked on the land and at various trades in and beyond the village. Their wives

brought up large families in small houses – three children to a bed, not uncommon! The

1891 Census repeatedly lists the occupation of the head of the household as ‘Salt Boiler’.

The job of a ‘Salt Boiler’ was to look after large open pans filled with salt brine. He tended

the fires under the pans and regulated the flow of brine into them until a combination of

viii

time and heat produced the required crystal size. Various grades of salt from ‘block’

through to very fine granular were made. The process could take up to a week after which

time the pans would be emptied, cleaned and the cycle repeated. It was hot, steamy,

sweaty, labour intensive work with the men stripped to the waist and wearing clogs to

keep their feet dry.

Between the two World Wars life in the village continued much as it had before the 1914 -

1918 conflict. Men returned home from their military service and attempted to pick up

their lives as best they could. They tried to put behind them the horror of the trenches, the

mud and that all pervading smell of death that had been their companion for four long

years. Some would never be able to forget, for they were scarred both in body and in

mind. Some had lost limbs, been disfigured by bullet or shell, gassed or shell-shocked.

The population of the village increased slightly from 1100 in 1914 to 1150 or so in 1939.

In 1926 and later on, in 1932, new houses were built at the entrance to the village. A new

numbering system was introduced affecting most of the properties in Main Road.

Although new people arrived they had little effect on the overall size of the village

population for by this time families had stabilised at approximately seven or below. Large

families of twelve or more were a thing of the past and women, in particular, were glad of

it!!

1926 was a momentous year, for this was the year of the General Strike. It was also a red-

letter year for Northwich and the surrounding area. Brunner Mond and Salt Union, the

main employers of labour in the district, merged with other large chemical companies

throughout the land to form Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd (ICI) – a new dawn had

begun.

Sometime during the early 1920s at the height of the Depression, many men employed in

the salt industry in factories along the banks of the River Weaver were laid off. Being

desperately poor, they spent hours each week searching for coal on the local ash/ cinder

tips. They would return to their houses covered in coal dust & looking like „crows” – see

Appendix 1 entitled “The Moulton Crows”.

The Village War Memorial stands at the side of Main Road on land donated by the Salt

Union Ltd after the Great War. On a raised plinth, the figure of a soldier with his rifle in

the ‘at ease’ position faces Regent Street, and surveys the houses from which many of the

46 men who died in the two World Wars made their last journey. The Memorial was

vandalised by mindless idiots in 1998 but has now been fully restored. It is a credit to the

Parish Council who oversee its maintenance and keep it in such fine condition. May they

be permitted to carry on their good work into eternity.

ix

1491

Y

MA –ZTILB

POOLR

VEIL

x

*THE TWELVE MEN *

  • *

*HAROLD BROOKES *

*Royal Artillery *

  • *

*FELIX FRANK BUCKLEY *

*Royal Engineers *

  • *

*GEORGE DICKENS *

*Irish Guards *

  • *

*JOHN HENRY EYRES *

*Royal Artillery *

  • *

*STANLEY GOULDING *

*Royal Navy *

  • *

*JAMES ERIC KENDRICK *

*RASC *

  • *

*WILLIAM GORDON *

*RAFVR *

*KENNERLEY *

  • *

  • *

*RALPH LATHAM *

*RAF *

  • *

*GEORGE MILES *

*Cheshire Reg. *

  • *

*GEORGE SHANNON *

*Royal Artillery *

  • *

*ALBERT EDWARD *

*Coldstream *

*STOCKALL *

*Guards *

  • *

*FREDERICK WRIGHT *

*Royal Engineers *

  • *

*They gave all that they had to save us from oppression, the threat of *

*the concentration camp and gas chamber. May God welcome them *

*into his kingdom and grant them eternal happiness in his house of *

*many mansions. *

1

*MOULTON VILLAGE WAR MEMORIAL *

  • *

  • *

  • *

2

*THE VILLAGE WAR MEMORIAL *

  • *

*WORLD WAR ONE *

On 25th April 1919 a public meeting was held in the Verdin Institute to consider the question of a

memorial to the men of the village who had given their lives during the struggle. The Rev. J T Vale

presided. It was agreed that a committee be formed to raise funds by public subscription for a stone

monument, bearing the names of those who had fallen. This was to be erected on a suitable site close to

the heart of the village. It was estimated that a sum of £350 would be required to complete the work and

that £40 had already been subscribed.

By August 19th 1919 the design and site for the Memorial was agreed. The Memorial would be in the form

of a soldier of the Cheshires, with rifle, and set on a raised plinth of Yorkshire stone. The figure would be

sculpted in Italian marble by Mr Samuel Welsby, of Mossley Hill and Widnes. The names of the 34 men

would be deeply inscribed on the face and infilled with lead. Salt Union Ltd, having been approached,

donated a plot of land at the side of Main Road and more or less opposite the lower entrance to Regent

Street. The Subscription Fund was growing, but slowly. It was hoped that the final figure would be

reached in the last quarter of 1919.

On Saturday 18th December 1920 a large gathering of villagers and their guests formed into a procession

at the Verdin Institute. Headed by the village band, under the direction of Mr Hitchinson, the procession

paraded the village before halting at the Memorial. Members of the Hartford Church Lads Brigade formed

the Guard of Honour. Many ex Servicemen were present to pay their respects to those of their fallen

comrades who didn’t make it home. There were signs of deep mourning as Rev. J T Vale read out the

names of the fallen. After hymns, led by the Memorial Choir, Captain W H France-Hayhurst gave the

address. He went on to say that he could do no better than to quote the words of the King written on the

scrolls presented to the next of kin “See to it that their names are not forgotten”. The unveiling service ended with the sound of reveille.

*WORLD WAR TWO *

On 2nd November 1947 a large throng of people from the village and surrounding area gathered at the

bottom of Regent Street on Main Road around the War Memorial. Councillor George A Risley, Chairman

of the Parish Council unveiled the dedication to the men from the village that had perished for the cause of

freedom. The face of the Memorial was newly inscribed:

*ALSO *

*IN MEMORY OF *

*THE MOULTON MEN *

*WHO MADE *

*THE SUPREME SACRIFICE *

*IN THE GREAT WAR *

[*1939 – 1945 *]

(THEN FOLLOWS THEIR NAMES)

*‘THEY GAVE THEIR ALL’ *

*UNVEILED BY *

[* GEORGE A RISLEY esq.* *]

*Chairman of the parish council *

*November 2ND 1947 *

*George Risley was a long standing Village Councillor. He was a local Insurance Agent and lived in one

of the terraced houses at the bottom of Regent Street and only 20 metres from the Memorial.

3

*THE WEST WINDOW AND TABLET *

*IN ST. STEPHEN’S CHURCH, MOULTON *

  • *

THE WEST WINDOW IN ST. STEPHEN“S CHURCH

  • *

  • *

THE TABLET IN ST. STEPHEN“S CHURCH

4

*‘TOMMY’ *

  • *

I went into a public-‘ouse to get a pint of beer,

The publican ‘e up an’ sez, “We serve no red-coats here.”

The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,

I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:

O it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, go away”;

But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play--

The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,

O it’s “Thank you, Mister Atkins,” when the band begins to play _. _

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,

They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;

They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls,

But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! They’ll shove me in the stalls!

For it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, wait outside”;

But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide--

The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide.

O it’s “Special train for Atkins” when the trooper’s on the tide.

Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep

Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;

An’ hustlin drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit

Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.

Then it’s Tommy this an’ Tommy that, an’ “Tommy, ow’s yer soul?”

But it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll,

The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,

O it’s “Thin red line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll.

We aren’t no thin red ‘eroes. Nor we aren’t no blackguards too,

But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you,

An’ if sometimes our conduct isn’t all your fancy paints,

Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;

While it’s Tommy this, an Tommy that, an “Tommy, fall be’ind,”

But it's "Please to walk in front ,sir" when there's trouble in the wind--

O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir,” when there’s trouble in the wind.

You talk o’better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires. An’ all:

We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.

Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face

The Widow’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.

For it’s Tommy this an’ Tommy that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”

But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;

An’ it’s Tommy this, an’ Tommy that, an’ anything you please;

An’ Tommy ain’t a bloomin’ fool—-you bet that Tommy sees!

Rudyard Kipling

5

  • *

REDEDICATION OF THE CENOTAPH AFTER WW2

PHOTOGRAPH OF MAIN ROAD, MOULTON TODAY (2005)

  • *

6

  • *

MOULTON c. 1900

AERIAL VIEW OF MOULTON c.2000

7

*BUILD UP TO WW2 *

  • *

  • *

From August to November 1918, Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig, in a brilliantly planned

campaign, both outflanked and breached the Hindenburg line with his British 1st, 3rd and

4th Armies. Discredited, dispirited and weary, after 4 years of war, the German C in C,

General Erich Von Ludendorff, offered his resignation to The Kaiser but this was refused.

However, ‘Kaiser Bill’, knowing the war was lost, decided to sue for a negotiated and

‘honourable’ settlement.

When the German front line troops on the Western Front, some having fought throughout

the conflict, learned that their leaders were suing for peace, they were mightily angry.

Their confidence in their fighting ability was undiminished and they refused to believe

that they were beaten. After all, they said, “Here we are, still confronting the enemy on

their soil with not one yard of our Fatherland in their hands”. The logic of this thinking

was true, but what was not taken into account, was that their reserves were completely

exhausted and that the Americans were in the process of committing millions of men to

the fray. The German Army and their people at home took the capitulation so badly that

the humiliation and resentment of it all festered and corroded their thinking as the years

went by.

To compound the ignominy of their disgrace, the Treaties of Versailles and St-Germain,

signed in 1919, were designed to bring Germany to its knees. Alsace-Lorraine was given

to France with many other tracts of territory going to Belgium, Denmark, Czechoslovakia

Poland and Russia. The League of Nations, formed in April 1919, took control of her

overseas possessions. The German Army was reduced to 100,000 men and forbidden to

have an air force or tanks. Her Navy was reduced to six capital ships and no submarines.

Reparations to the Allies of £6.5 billion (£175 billion in 2005 terms), combined with the

loss of their coal producing regions of Saar and Upper Silesia, was a recipe for bankruptcy

and clearly this was the wish of many countries! When the terms of the Versailles Treaty

were made known, public anger throughout Germany knew no bounds. In a grand gesture

of defiance, the German Fleet, held by Britain in Scapa Flow, was scuttled by the skeleton

crews left on board. The dye was cast for a dynamic leader to take control and to restore

honour and stability to a Germany devoid of both. Cue, one Adolf Hitler – enter world

stage, far right!

Hitler served in the trenches of the Western Front in the Great War having enlisted at the

outbreak of the conflict. He was an Austrian and served with the 16th Bavarian Reserve

Infantry Regiment attaining the rank of Corporal. He was gassed in 1918 and awarded two

Iron Crosses for bravery, one ironically, on the recommendation of his Jewish company

commander!

In the early 20s Hitler became the leader of the renamed National Socialist German

Workers (Nazi) Party. His attempt, in November 1923, to seize power in the now

infamous ‘Beer Hall Putsch’ failed and he was imprisoned. Whilst in jail he wrote

8

‘Mein Kampf’ (My Struggle), a book that was to become the Holy Grail of the Third

Reich. 1929 saw the Wall Street crash and in 1930 the Nazis become the second largest

political grouping in Germany. On his release from prison, Hitler again took up the baton

of the leadership of the Nazi Party and was elected Chancellor in January 1933. By the

end of 1933 Japan had quit the League of Nations because of the criticism for her policy

towards Manchuria. Germany followed suit soon after. In June 1934, Hitler, in what was

to become known as the ‘Night of the Long Knives’, assassinated more than 1000 of his

political opponents, removing many more from their sphere of influence. In August Hitler

declared himself Fuhrer and Chancellor. In 1935 Hitler tore up the Treaty of Versailles

and introduced military conscription. Later on he stripped the Jews of their rights and

placed the Gestapo above the law.

From mid 1936, Germany and her Allies began their relentless march towards their

ultimate destiny – World War Two. In March 1936 German troops re-occupied the

Rhineland. Italy, under Mussolini, invaded Ethiopia and in July a civil war started in

Spain. In the 1936 Olympic Games, American black athletes, including the great Jessie

Owens, incensed Hitler and his racist Nazi Party, by beating his white, ‘master race’

athletes in major field and track events. In October General Franco was declared head of

the Spanish state. By mid 1937 the world powder keg of unrest was well alight with Stalin

purging his Red Army generals in Russia.

  • *

In the spring of 1938 Hitler invaded Austria and announced a union between the two

countries. In August, Germany mobilised and a month later the British Prime Minister,

Neville Chamberlain, returned to Britain thinking that he had appeased Hitler at Munich -

how wrong he was! By October German troops occupied the Sudetenland and the

Czechoslovakian government resigned. Over the night of the 9/10 November -

‘Kristallnacht’ (The Night of Broken Glass), German mobs went on the rampage in an

orgy of destruction against Jews and their property[*. *]

  • *

[*1939 – CHRONOLOGY *]

  • *

If the Jews had not got the message that they were in for special treatment at the hands of

the Nazis by the end of 1938, then the speech by Hitler, during his Reichstag rally, at the

end of January 1939, left them with no room for doubt as to his intentions. By mid March

Germany had fully occupied Czechoslovakia and by the end of the month resistance to

General Franco in Spain was at an end. To protect their backs, whilst pursuing other

conquests, the Nazis signed a non-aggression pact in August with the Russians. Two days

later Britain and Poland agreed and signed a Mutual Assistance Treaty. Cocking a snoop

at this, Germany invaded Poland on 1st September. Without hesitation, Britain, France,

Australia and New Zealand declared war on Germany. The Americans decide to stay out

of it and proclaimed their neutrality.

A British Expeditionary Force under the command of Field Marshal Gort, set off for

France on 10th September. Just 25 years earlier, 100,000 men of a similar Expeditionary

Force, and under the command of Field Marshal Sir John French, had marched into

9

France and Belgium with flags flying, arms swinging and drums beating. They were, as

the German Kaiser had described them with a sneer, a ‘contemptible little Army’ or, as

they fondly called themselves thereafter – ‘The Old Contemptibles’. In that war to end all

wars, they were going to be home by Christmas, and would give the Hun a bloody nose.

Such was/is the confidence of youth!

Canada then joined the Allied cause and on September 17th Russia, not to be outdone by

Germany also attacked Poland. Warsaw fell to the Nazis at the end of the month.

Germany and Russia reached an amicable agreement over the division of Poland. Back in

Germany the Nazis began their policy of ridding the country of their long-term sick and

disabled citizens. In mid October U47, under the command of Leutnant Gunther Prien and

with great skill, navigated his submarine through the boom and into the British anchorage

at Scapa Flow. He there sank the battleship HMS Royal Oak with the loss of nearly 900

seamen. Prien then made good his escape into the open sea. Russia invaded Finland at the

end of November bombing Helsinki on the last day.

At the start of December three British cruisers based in the Falklands received a radio

message from the Doric Star, a merchantman, in distress in the South Atlantic. The ship

was about to fall into the hands of the German pocket battleship, Graf Spee. The three

cruisers, HMS Ajax, Achilles and Exeter, under the command of Commodore Harwood,

started to hunt down the German ship and to get to grips with both her and her skipper,

Captain Langsdorff. On 13th December they tracked down their quarry and in an intense

battle, inflicted sufficient damage on the bigger ship to force her to run for cover in

Montevideo harbour on the River Plate. Short on ammunition and fooled into thinking that

a larger fleet of British warships was waiting for her over the horizon, Captain Lansdorff

scuttled his ship at the mouth of the river. Three days later he committed suicide in

Buenos Aires – an honourable man, who treated our captured seamen well and with

dignity.

The year closed with the introduction of meat rationing in Britain, the arrival of the first

Canadian troops and the expelling of Russia from the League of Nations.

[*MOULTON: The Verdin Institute Minute Book for 1939 includes the following *]

[*items: *]

Free membership of the Club for all members of HM Forces was agreed. A Forces Fund

to be set up with a handsome donation from the Club. Any serviceman or women acting

as a pianist in the Club to be allowed 2 shillings & 6 pence towards free drinks for their

services. A „Christmas” cigarette fund to be set up for village lads and lasses. A Whist

Drive to be organised for the Forces Fund on 16th November. Invitations to be sent out to

local Pubs, Clubs, Churches, School and Parish Council inviting them to nominate[* *]

representatives for service on the Forces Fund Committee.

10

[*1940 – CHRONOLOGY *]

  • *

Food rationing was introduced into Britain in January. Today, nutritionists are keen to say

that the people of Britain were never healthier than they were during the 1940s. Certainly,

the rations were small but adequate and people filled up with whatever they could lay their

hands on. In this respect vegetables were a great ‘filler’. Lawns rose gardens and

flowerbeds were turned into vegetable plots overnight as the people began to ‘Dig for

Victory’. The keeping of poultry in back gardens and allotments became popular. Hens

were fed on boiled potato peelings and bran plus anything else that could be found.

Ration books, full of tiny coupons, were issued – light brown books for adults, blue for

school children and green for the under 5s. Each person received a weekly allowance of 4

to 8 oz of bacon, 2 to 4 oz of tea, 1 to 8 oz of cheese, 8 oz of meat, 8 oz of sugar, 2 oz of

butter, 4 oz of margarine and 1 egg (unless you kept your own hens!). A small bar of

chocolate was allowed every two weeks and fruit was purchased whenever and wherever

it could be found. Queues quickly formed outside butchers, grocers and green grocers

shops whenever ‘off the ration’ food arrived. When the grapevine whispered that the local

green grocer had over ripe bananas on ‘blue books’, housewives would rush to queue for

their share of these brown and sometimes, partially decomposed, exotic fruits. Food and

clothes rationing lasted until well after the war. It was finally abolished in the early 50s

when the man in the street began to question why it was that, although food was freely

available in liberated Europe, it was still rationed in Britain. The cry went up “who won

the ****** war anyway?”'

In February, Germany began to actively engage in their ‘Final Solution’ to the ‘Jewish

problem’, when they laid the first bricks of the now notorious Auschwitz concentration

camp. Over the next 5 years six million Jews would be murdered in one of the world“s

greatest inhumanities. The spring saw the end of the short Russo-Finnish War, when the

Finns, having fought valiantly in defence of their homeland, ceded some of their land to

Russia in a treaty which ended the conflict. The cost to this small nation was 65,000 men

killed. Britain’s Grand Fleet’s anchorage at Scapa Flow was bombed by the Luftwaffe,

resulting in the loss of the first British civilian war casualties. Germany invaded Denmark,

Norway, France, Belgium and Luxembourg in that order and it was at this time that

Winston Churchill replaced Neville Chamberlain as Prime Minister. He immediately

asked President Roosevelt for the use of 40 old US destroyers, but his plea fell on deaf

ears. On 15th May, Holland surrendered and by the end of the month Belgium also. The

evacuation of our forces from the beaches at Dunkirk by the Royal Navy, aided by those

magnificent civilians in their little pleasure boats, ended in early June. By mid June

Norway had surrendered, Italy had declared war on Britain and France and the German

Army had entered Paris. To round off a disastrous half year for the Allies, France

capitulated and signed an armistice with Hitler.

Determined that the French Fleet should not fight on the side of the Axis Powers.

Churchill agreed with Vice-Admiral Somerville, commander of Force H, that the French

naval command should either respond to the orders of the Royal Navy or be immobilised.

11

Somerville, commanding his ships off the French naval base of Oran, Algeria, gave the

French the ultimatum. The French reject both suggestions and were then subjected to

heavy gunfire from the British Fleet. The battleship Bretagne and other lesser known

ships were sunk with the loss of many men. Some ships escaped but were later bombed

from the air as they fled to the port of Toulon. At the time of these actions the Royal Navy

was in the process of seizing over 100 French vessels and 5000 seamen in the Channel

ports. Over the next week or so operations against the French Navy continued with vessels

either sunk or severely mauled. Marshal Petain and his Vichy Government broke off

diplomatic relations with Britain in protest.

By mid July the Luftwaffe were hitting airfields and other military targets on the South

coast of England and Hitler was planning his ‘Operation Sea lion’ – the invasion of Britain.

At the same time his thoughts had turned to Russia and he began planning the campaign

to attack that country in the spring of 1941. British aircraft production was now in full

flow with 400 planes rolling off the assembly lines each month. July ended with the

Russian Armies marching into Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.

  • *

August 2nd saw Hitler issuing orders to Reichsmarshal Goring for the destruction of the

RAF and the British aircraft industry. Throughout the rest of August and September the

Luftwaffe flew thousands of sorties over Britain in an attempt to achieve their objectives.

The young men of the RAF, to their everlasting glory, rose to the challenge and daily shot

down ever increasing numbers of enemy fighters and bombers.

Helped by radar, the RAF directed their Spitfires and Hurricanes onto the German planes

without them having to waste effort in scouring the skies for the enemy. In a rousing

speech, Churchill paid tribute to the ‘Few’ with words that would immortalise their

sacrifice for ever “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to

so few” he said. Over the 23/24 August the Luftwaffe made the very grave error of

bombing London. Two days later, and in retaliation, the RAF mounted their first air raids

over Berlin. Having ‘sown the wind’ Germany would, in the years to come, ‘reap the

whirlwind’. On 15th September, the turning point of the Battle of Britain was reached

when the Luftwaffe heavily bombed many major cities in England and Wales. However,

the tide was on the turn, for Germany lost 56 aircraft to the RAF’s 26 on that day. On

learning of these figures, the Luftwaffe High Command were finally convinced that they

could not win the air war against Britain. By mid October Hitler made the momentous

decision to postpone ‘Operation Sea Lion’ until the spring of 1941.

By early November General Wavell and his Commonwealth force were shaping up to

drive the Italians out of Sidi Barrani in North Africa. One week later the Fleet Air Arm

created mayhem when it torpedoed the Italian Fleet in their harbour at Taranto. Many

ships were sunk, including three battleships. However, it was not all ‘good news’. The

industrial city of Coventry in the East Midlands, came under repeated attack from the

Luftwaffe and took a mighty pounding. Hungary and Rumania entered the war on the side

of the Axis Powers. The persecution of the Jews gathered pace when a ghetto was

established in Warsaw.

12

In early December, General Wavell began his desert offensive against the Italian 10th

Army at Sidi Barrani. The Italians were well beaten after only two days of fighting and

more than 40,000 Italian troops surrendered to the Allies. As Christmas approached,

Hitler let it be known to his general staff that he intended to invade Russia in the new-year

- code name for his new campaign – ‘Barbarossa’. Italy appealed to Hitler to send troops

and armour to North Africa without delay.

The year ended with Anthony Eden becoming British Foreign Secretary, President

Roosevelt stating that America would become ‘the arsenal of democracy’. London came

under very heavy attack from German aircraft loaded with tons of incendiary bombs.

These ‘fires from hell’ set the centre of the capital ablaze and killed scores of civilians.

[*MOULTON: The Verdin Institute Minute Book for 1940 includes the following *]

[*items: *]

It was agreed that a grant of 5 shillings (2005 = £10) be allocated to each new member of

the Forces Fund and that travel assistance be given to family members travelling distances

to visit their wounded relatives in hospital. The purchase of fire fighting equipment, to

protect the Institute in the event of air raids, was discussed and agreed. A dance and hot

pot supper were arranged for October to swell the coffers of the Forces Comforts Fund.

Mr A Darlington donated a 10 shillings (2005 – £20) prize for a Christmas draw for the

Forces Fund. The committee agreed that each member of the armed forces should be

given a 5 shillings postal order as a Christmas box.

  • *

TWO SPITFIRES ON PATROL

13

Dedicated to the memory of Frederick Wright

*FREDERICK WRIGHT *

Sapper

4124550

Royal Engineers

Killed in action on Sunday 17 November 1940. Aged 26

He is buried in OVER (ST JOHN) CHURCHYARD, Winsford, Cheshire

Grave 1195

Other Memorials: Christ Church, Winsford, Cheshire – Memorial Tablet

Awards to Frederick Wright (See pages 87 & 88)

14

Dedicated to the memory of Frederick Wright

Frederick Wright was indeed a man with courage as his watchword. He enlisted in the

Royal Engineers as soon as war was declared in September 1939. He then volunteered for

that most hazardous of jobs – Bomb Disposal. This was a task that required nerves of steel,

and the kind of heroism that we lesser mortals can only gasp at! He died with several of

his unit in 1940 whilst trying to defuse a German time bomb in the Nuffield Ammunition

Factory at Coventry. He was 26 years old.

Fred was not a Moulton man for he was born in 1914 at 174 Weaver Street, Winsford. He

was the son of Frederick and Sarah Jane Wright. His father was a Corporal in the Rifle

Brigade in WW1 and fought on the Western Front for most of that war. Fred and Sarah

had four children – 2 boys and 2 girls. On leaving school in Winsford, Fred (jnr) became a

painter and decorator for a local firm. In the mid 30s he met and married Jessie Alcock

and they set up home at „Mayfield” in Main Road, Moulton. Jessie, was a Moulton woman

who lived as a youngster with the parents of her cousin Silas (Si) Whalley at 1, Main

Road, Moulton. Later on, Fred and Jessie moved to 97, Wharton Close, Winsford. They

had two children, Beatrice and Margaret. Beatrice was born in 1937 and Margaret 3

months or so before her father died in 1940. Tragically, Beatrice died at a young age in

the mid 40s of leukaemia.

Fred liked a pint but sometimes overstayed his leave! This, sometimes, resulted in a visit

from the „Redcaps”, those „gentlemen” of the Army Police so revered by the ordinary

„squaddy”!

After his death Fred was buried in St John“s Churchyard Cemetery, Winsford. His grave

inscription includes the following:

“His life nobly given to save others – Rest in peace”

Fred was the first man from Winsford to die in WW2. He was not given a military funeral

much to the distress of his wife Jessie.

After the war Jessie moved to a „prefab”

at Kingsway, Winsford. She married

Sam Shaw and they had one child,

Susan. Alan Ravenscroft, the local

Winsford historian, managed to obtain a

War Widows Pension for Jessie in the

1990s when rules governing war widows

who had subsequently remarried were

changed. Jessie died in 2000 and both

she and her second husband Sam

occupy the same grave as Jessie“s son

97 WHARTON ROAD, WINSFORD TODAY (2005)

Sapper Fred Wright.

15

[*1941 – CHRONOLOGY *]

  • *

The end of January saw British and Australian troops take Tobruk in North Africa with

the capture of 27,000 Italian prisoners. However, ominous clouds were gathering for

Hitler had taken the decision to prop up the Italians by creating a new force – The Afrika

Korps under the command of General Erwin Rommel – the ‘Desert Fox’ In early March,

the amazingly successful U47, commanded by the very brave and bold Leutnant Gunther

Prien, was finally sunk by depth charges fired from the destroyer HMS Wolverine. On the

other side of the Atlantic, President Roosevelt signed the Lend Lease Act which, although

most welcome, placed the British in hock to the Americans for many a long year after the

war. March ended badly for the Allies with the German battle cruisers Scharnhorst and

Gneisenau returning to French waters having sunk well over 100,000 tons of Allied

shipping.

On land the ‘Desert Fox’ attacked and took El Agheila using tanks and equipment much

superior to that available to the British and Australian forces. On the 6th April German

forces invaded Yugoslavia and Greece and four days later captured Zagreb. By the end of

the month it was all over when Yugoslavia and Greece surrendered to the Nazi

steamroller.

On the 1st May Rommel committed his forces to an attack on the garrison at Tobruk but

was repulsed. Nevertheless, the siege of this beleaguered town by the Germans was about

to begin. On the 9th May a very significant event occurred at sea. U110 had been depth-

charged to the surface and captured; a complete ‘Enigma’ cipher machine and code books

were discovered during a routine search of the submarine. She later sank whilst under tow

which was fortunate, for the Germans never realised that one of their cipher machines was

in the hands of the Allies. On the following day, the deputy Fuhrer, Rudolph Hess was

captured when he flew to Scotland in the misguided belief that there was an anti

Churchill, anti communist faction in Great Britain. His plan was to use this group to

undermine the British war effort. Whilst Hess was being captured in the north of the

British Isles, the Luftwaffe and the RAF were trading blows over London and Hamburg.

However, the German air war was gradually being lost in the skies over Britain. In the

middle of May, German aircraft continuously pounded Crete ahead of a planned invasion.

The German battleship Bismarck and consort, the heavy cruiser Prince Eugen, set sail for

the Atlantic and their ultimate destiny. In the Mediterranean German forces commenced

their assault on the island of Crete where they suffered severe losses at the hands of the

British and Greek forces. However, a bad strategic decision allowed Maleme airfield to

fall into the hands of German paratroopers who then had a base for their reinforcements.

On the 23rd of the month, the cruisers HMS Norfolk and HMS Suffolk spotted Bismarck

and her consort in the Denmark Strait. The German ships immediately turned about and

headed towards the Arctic Circle. On the following day HMS Hood and HMS _Prince of _

Wales engaged the two ships but, to the dismay of Churchill and the whole of Great

Britain, HMS Hood was sunk and HMS Prince of Wales broke off the engagement having

taken some severe direct hits. Only three of HMS Hood“s 1416 crew were saved. Three

days later the British Navy took their revenge when Swordfish aircraft from HMS _Ark _

16

Royal immobilised Bismarck with torpedoes dropped by her planes. The following day

she was sent to the bottom by torpedoes from HMS Norfolk and HMS Dorsetshire. To

round off the month, British and Greek troops retreated from the island of Crete to leave

the German Army in complete command. Although 18,000 Allied troops were taken off

the island, a further 17,000 were made prisoner. The cruiser HMS Calcutta was lost

during the retreat.

In June the Allied armies invaded Syria and Lebanon. It was at this time that Hitler made

the fateful decision to attack the Soviet Union in the operation code-named, ‘Barbarossa’.

The Germans immediately made great advances and quickly captured Minsk.

On 1st July the RAF bombed the harbour at Brest. They managed to hit the heavy cruiser

Prinz _ Eugen_ causing her considerable damage and killing over 50 of her crew. Two days

later Stalin, alarmed at the advance of the German Army, called for a ‘scorched earth’

policy. It had little effect on the marauding German troops, for seven days later they

crossed the River Dnieper in the Ukraine. Later the British Army occupied Syria. On the

Russian front things were going badly for the Russians with their whole battle line in a

state of collapse. On the other side of the Atlantic, President Roosevelt took the decision

to suspend all relations with the Japanese and to freeze their assets in the United States.

The month closed with Reichsmarshal Goring issuing instructions for the ‘Final Solution’

of the Jewish problem.

  • *

August started badly for the Russians who lost Smolensk and 350,000 men when they

surrendered to Hitler’s advancing troops. However, it was not all a ‘bed of roses’ for the

Germans, who were losing more and more of their tanks and finding the weather and

terrain against them. Nevertheless, by the 20th German troops were at the gates of

Leningrad and the siege of that city then began. In an attempt to supply Russia with

armaments through the back door the brave, but very often forgotten seamen of the British

Merchant Marine, began their horrendous convoy duties to Archangel.

Ominously, on the 1st September, all Jews living in the occupied territories of the 3rd

Reich were instructed to wear prominent yellow stars on their clothing. This order

coincided with the completion of the first experimental gas chambers at Auschwitz. By

mid September the Germans had taken Kiev and by the end of the month had put to death

nearly 35,000 Jews in that city.

As October opened so did Operation ‘Typhoon’ – the German advance on Moscow. They

took Odessa on the 16th and Kharkov some days later with their troops on the outskirts of

Sevastopol by the end of the month.

Kursk fell to the Germans on the 3rd of November. Some 4/5 days later the RAF pounded

Berlin when they sent over 169 fully loaded bombers of which 21 failed to return (21×7 =

147 airmen). Two days later Yalta, in the Crimea, fell to the Germans. On the 13/14th of

November the pride of the Royal Navy, HMS Ark Royal, was badly damaged by a

German U-boat when en route to Malta. On the following day whilst under tow to

Gibraltar HMS Ark Royal gave up the ghost and sank 25 miles short of the Rock. Towards

17

the end of the month the Germans captured the Russian city of Rostov but lost it a week

later to counter attacking Russian troops. The German Army was now starting to feel the

might of the Russian forces and the German High Command decided to abandon their

advance on Moscow. In North Africa an Allied attempt to break out of Tobruk failed.

At the start of December the weather took a turn for the worse around Moscow and

Russian troops took advantage of this by launching a major counter offensive against the

Germans. In North Africa the ‘Desert Fox’ had completely encircled Tobruk but was short

of supplies. His troops were in a poor state and in no condition to press home their

advantage. In the Pacific a Japanese task force launched their infamous attack on the US

Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbour. In this surprise attack the Americans lost five battleships,

three cruisers, three destroyers and over 3,500 men killed or injured. Immediately after the

attack both America and Great Britain declared war on Japan. This was followed by a

declaration of war by Germany on the United States, a decision by Adolf Hitler that would

cost him the war. As Christmas approached Rommel decided to retreat from Tobruk and

to retire to the Gazala Line. In the Far East the Japanese mounted air attacks on the

Philippines and landed troops on Bataan Island. Other landings took place on the coast of

Malaya and Thailand. The men from Nippon were also engaged with the Chinese and

captured the city of Shanghai after fierce fighting. Their success continued when they took

Bangkok in Thailand. Having lost HMS Ark Royal in the Mediterranean in November,

Winston Churchill was devastated to learn that HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse

had been sunk by Japanese bombers in the waters off Malaya. The Japanese continued

their relentless advance and landed at three points in Burma. The year drew to a close with

the Russians on the Eastern Front in the ascendancy. The Germans having been first held

up were now being driven back and the Red Army, aided by their climate, were taking

their revenge. Deluded into thinking that he could do a better job than his generals, Hitler

took complete command of the German Army, a move that ultimately would negate any

chance of a German victory.

[*MOULTON: The Verdin Institute Minute Book for 1941 included the following *]

[*items: *]

In May it was agreed that 5 shilling (2005 – £10) be allocated to each village serviceman

or servicewoman. In July a draw was proposed for the Forces Fund – the prize, a bottle of

port or a fowl. In August the Club Committee agreed to donate 2 × 20 packets of

cigarettes as prizes for the Forces Fund draw. In December a donation of £10 (2005 -

£400) was made to the Forces Fund.

Moulton School Log for the year makes many references to children being late for school

due to warnings of impending enemy air raids. In January and May the Log records the

welcoming of 79 evacuees to the village from towns and cities under attack from enemy

aircraft.

18

Dedicated to the memory of John Henry Eyres

*JOHN HENRY EYRES *

Gunner

1691530

122 H.A.A. Regt., Royal Artillery

Who died on Friday 19th September 1941. Aged 25

He is buried in DAVENHAM (ST. WILFRID“S) CHURCHYARD, Cheshire, UK

New part. Row H. Grave 36

JOHN HENRY EYRESHEADSTONE IN

DAVENHAM CHURCHYARD

Other Memorials: Brunner Mond Memorial, Winnington, Northwich

Awards to John Henry Eyres (see pages 87 & 88)

19

Dedicated to the memory of John Henry Eyres

Jack Eyres, for that was his preferred name, was always keen on motor bikes and in the

end they were to be the death of him. Jack died in Birmingham on Friday 19th September

1941 when the Army motor cycle he was riding was in collision with a coal lorry. The

verdict by the local coroner was „Accidental Death”.

Jack Eyres was born on 5th March 1916 and was the eldest son of John and Martha Eyres

of 26 Regent Street, Moulton. He was one of nine children living in a two up and two

down terraced house – how they slept is anyone“s guess! His father John was a general

worker at Brunner Mond Ltd and later (1926) ICI Ltd. Jack attended Moulton Council

School and was a popular lad, particularly with the young ladies of the village! On leaving

school at 14, he secured a job with a local farmer and was renowned for his ploughing

ability. Indeed, he won a local ploughing competition before deciding to leave the land

and to seek his fortune with ICI Ltd.

Before war began Jack married Emma and they settled at 12 Regent Street, Moulton. They

had a little girl, Enid, who was born on 4th February 1939. Jack was a very active member

of both the Verdin Club and Moulton Liberal Club (Now Moulton British Legion).

A full military funeral for Jack Eyres was held at Davenham Parish Church on Thursday

25th September 1941. Members of his Regiment acted as pallbearers and there were many

other service men and women in the congregation. The Rev. S M Rawland, Vicar of

Moulton, officiated, assisted by an Army Padre from the Royal Engineers.

Jacks wife, Emma, who had never been a „well” woman, died in 1951. She was 33. It was

said that she never did recover from death of her dear husband Jack.

EMMA EYRES

12, REGENT STREET,

MOULTON TODAY (2005)

20

[*1942 – CHRONOLOGY *]

  • *

The birth of the new year saw the Japanese 48th Division occupy Manila in the

Philippines. British forces in North Africa reached Mersa Brega and El Agheila. In

Malaya General Wavell ordered a withdrawal of his troops to a defendable position south

of the River Muar. On the outskirts of Moscow there was fierce fighting between Russian

and German forces. The Japanese moved into the Dutch East Indies with attacks that

would ultimately see the fall of Borneo, Sarawak, Sumatra, Java, Bali and Timor. To

counter a threat from the Japanese, a decision was taken to move the Australian divisions

from North Africa to locations closer to home. Kuala Lumpur had fallen to the Japanese

on the 12th. German U-boats operating off the eastern seaboard of America began to take

their toll on shipping in that area. The Japanese moved into Burma but the Russian

counter offensive was having some success with German forces being pushed back

towards Smolensk. In Berlin, Heydrich presented his plan to Hitler for his ‘Final Solution’

which would see all European Jews sent to extermination camps. The island of Malta, in

the Mediterranean, was suffering daily bombardment by the German Luftwaffe (in April

1942, the island and her people were awarded the George Cross by King George VI for

their valiant defence against the continued onslaught of the German airforce). Singapore

was under increasing attack from Japanese Zero aircraft and further north, Allied forces

were in retreat south of the River Muar. The ‘Desert Fox’ began his counter offensive from

El Agheila. British reconnaissance aircraft spotted the battleship Tirpitz at anchor in a

fjord east of Trondheim. The 2nd British armoured brigade received a mauling from

Rommel near to Msus. In Malaya General Wavell agreed a withdrawal of British forces to

Singapore. By the end of the month American troops began to arrive at prepared bases in

Britain. Rommel then took Benghazi and the US positions on Bataan were becoming more

and more tenuous.

February saw Allied forces in North Africa in retreat from Gazala whilst US forces

attacked Japanese naval bases in the Marshall and Gilbert Islands. In Singapore General

Percival rejected Japanese proposals to surrender but by mid February Japanese forces had

gained a foothold on the island. The battle cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau sheltering

in the harbour at Brest made a run through the English Channel towards a home port. The

dash was not detected until the ships passed Le Touquet but Scharnhorst was severely

damaged by a mine at the mouth of the River Scheldt and Gneisenau was crippled by

shellfire. As soon as she docked she was further damaged in an Allied Bombing raid. On

the Eastern Front the German Army was getting their act together and were slowing the

Russian advance. The debacle of Singapore reached a conclusion when General Percival

surrendered to General Yamashita bringing to an end a very sorry episode in British

military history. It was later estimated that British losses totalled 138,000 against the

enemies less than 10,000.

March started with the evacuation of Rangoon. The repaired battleship Tirpitz left

Trondheim to mount her first raid against Allied merchant shipping. Japanese troops

landed in New Guinea and in Java 100,000 Allied troops surrendered to the rampant men

of Nippon. On 11th of March General MacArthur left the Philippines with the now famous

21

words ‘I shall return’. At the end of the month, the only dry dock capable of

accommodating the battleship _Tirpitz, _ was put out of action for the duration of the war

when the old destroyer Campbeltown, loaded with high explosives, was rammed against

the dock gates at St. Nazaire. A magnificent action carried out by those magnificent men

of the British Navy and Commandos.

April saw American and Filipino forces on the Bataan peninsula under continuous attack

from Japanese troops. Ordered to flee from Colombo because of a threat from a superior

Japanese naval force, HMS Dorsetshire and Cornwall were hunted down and sunk by

Japanese aircraft. Soon after, news was received that all resistance on the Bataan

peninsula was at an end and that 75,000 prisoners, of which 12,000 were American, had

been taken. Having achieved the majority of their objectives in the Indian Ocean Japanese

forces began to return to the Pacific sector. The British Far East Fleet withdrew to the

Persian Gulf to lick their wounds. Japanese forces were now advancing through Burma at

a rapid rate of knots. For the first time in the war Japan received a taste of its own

medicine when B25 bombers, flying from the US carrier Hornet, raided Tokyo. Until then

Japan had felt safe from such attacks but now became paranoid about their vulnerability.

Japanese fighter aircraft were ordered home from the Pacific sector to defend the home

front.

  • *

On the Eastern Front German forces began to consolidate the ground they had gained and

were cheered by the spring weather which lifted their spirits and moral. Although well

beaten in the Battle of Britain, the German airforce began night attacks on the cathedral

cities of Britain. April ended with British forces retreating in front of the Japanese in

Burma.

Early May saw the fall of Mandalay in Burma, and soon after the German summer

offensive in the Crimea began. Some days later the defence of Corregidor ended with the

surrender of 15,000 US and Filipino troops. As Japanese troopships headed for Port

Moresby in Papua they were confronted by a US naval force in what became known as

„The Battle of the Coral Sea”. This battle at sea was very much one fought by carrier

based aircraft flying into the attack from over the horizon. The Japanese aircraft losses

were huge and the advance on Port Moresby was abandoned. On the Russian Front the

Russians counter attacked near Kharkov but the Germans had some success in the Crimea

when they forced Russian troops to withdraw. Having lost two thirds of their original

force, exhausted British troops retreated from Burma into India leaving the Japanese in

complete occupation of that country. In North Africa, Rommel began his offensive against

the Gazala line, but was opposed by superior Allied troops, tanks and artillery. Towards

the end of the month good news was received confirming that Nazi terror Chief Heydrich

had been fatally wounded in Prague by Czech resistance fighters. The offensive by the

‘Desert Fox’ and his troops in North Africa was becoming unstuck due to a shortage of

supplies. May came to an end with ‘Bomber’ Harris ordering the first 1000 bomber raid

over Germany – the target Cologne. A total of 40 aircraft failed to return but German

moral was severely dented.

22

The ‘Solution to the Jewish problem’ commenced in June, when a fully operational

Auschwitz concentration camp, began the mass murder of men, women and children by

gassing. After the success of the Cologne raid, the RAF mounted a further 1000 bomber

raid on Essen. In the battle for Midway in the Pacific, aircraft from both sides were lost in

profusion as they attempted to sink each other“s aircraft carriers. In the end the Americans

gained the upper hand by sinking all four of the Japanese vessels. The action around this

tiny island, midway between Japan and Hawaii, saw the first defeat in battle of the

Japanese for 350 years. In a barbaric reprisal for the assassination of Heydrich, the

population of the small Czech village Lidice were murdered by Nazi troops. Brilliantly led

by Rommel, the Afrika Corps broke the British lines and captured El Adem, leaving

Tobruk isolated. On the 21st June, Tobruk itself succumbed to the superiority of the

German force that saw the Allies lose 30,000 men to the German POW cages. Vital

supplies were also lost. Typically, Rommel did not hang about and quickly crossed into

Egypt reaching El Alamein, by the end of the month. The month ended on the down beat

when the Russians ordered the evacuation of Sevastopol on the Crimean peninsula but

their Black Sea Fleet was too weak to supply the necessary support to take off the

soldiers.

The second half of 1942 began with German troops closing on El Alamein. Sevastopol

fell and Russian resistance in the Crimea came to an end. Convoy PQ 17 en route from

Iceland to Archangel was located by German reconnaissance aircraft which summoned U-

boats into the area. They, along with land based aircraft, created havoc with the convoy

which was then ordered to scatter. As the surviving vessels reached their destinations the

enormity of the losses became apparent. A total of 24 ships had been lost carrying nearly

4000 tanks and other vehicles as well as 200 aircraft – 96,000 tones of supplies in all.

Hitler ordered his Army Group ‘B’ to take Stalingrad without first making sure that they

had the means and ability to do so. In North Africa fighting between the Afrika Corps and

the Desert Rats reached stalemate. After heavy street fighting Rostov fell to the advancing

German troops. On 7th August, whilst en route to take charge of the 8th Army, General

Gott was killed in an air crash and General Bernard Montgomery was selected to replace

him. American troops began landing in the Solomon Islands and gained footholds on

Guadalcanal and other smaller islands. The Russians sustained a heavy defeat when

General Paulus outflanked them and captured 270 tanks and 35,000 prisoners. A large

convoy bound for Malta was attacked by Axis aircraft and submarines. In this engagement

the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle was lost and other escorts damaged. The armies of Nippon

did not intend to give up Guadalcanal easily and landed reinforcements to confront the

American troops. A commando raid on Dieppe proved to be a disaster with 3,350 British

troops either killed or captured. In addition a destroyer and 100 aircraft were lost. On

Guadalcanal the Japanese forces were annihilated when they attempted to take the

American base. Off the Eastern Solomons in a fierce battle, the Japanese carrier Ryujo

was sunk and the US carrier Enterprise damaged.

  • *

23

By the end of August, the Russian forces around Stalingrad were shrinking as the

Germans started to increase the pressure. More Japanese reinforcements were landed on

Guadalcanal in an attempt to remove the Americans from their foothold.

At the beginning of September German troops had reached the suburbs of Stalingrad and

Rommel’s forces were being driven back by Monty and his men in the battle of Alam

Halfa. The liner Laconia, transporting troops, their families and Italian prisoners of war,

was sunk by a U-boat off the Ascension Islands. Whilst attempting to pick up survivors

this U-boat was itself sunk by a US Liberator. After this action Admiral Doenitz ordered

his U-boat commanders to make no future attempts to rescue people from the sea. In New

Guinea the Australian defenders were being pushed back towards Port Moresby and off

the coast of Guadalcanal the US carrier Wasp was sunk by a Japanese submarine. In a

dramatic change of fortune, the Aussies in New Guinea halted the Japanese advance and

started to push the little men from Nippon back towards their start line.

Over the month of October fierce fighting continued on all fronts with advancing British

forces in Burma making their first contact with the Japanese Army. In a demonstration of

his gross inhumanity and vindictiveness, Adolf Hitler ordered the execution of all

captured British commandos. At the end of October General Montgomery launched the

battle of El Alamein. A night attack by Japanese forces on Guadalcanal resulted in heavy

losses when their efforts were thwarted by the defending Americans.

In North Africa Rommel put two fingers up to the order from Hitler instructing him and

his men to ‘stand and die’. Instead, he continued his retreat to Fuqa. On the 8th November

operation ‘Torch’ began when US troops landed in North Africa. By the middle of the

month the Allies had retaken Tobruk and the Japanese were still attempting to dislodge

the Americans from Guadalcanal. All was not lost on the Eastern Front either for the

Russians had started a counter offensive at Stalingrad. The severe Russian winter was now

creating misery for the poorly clad German forces. British troops took Benghazi in Libya

as the Russians began to encircle the Germans at Stalingrad. At the French port of Toulon

Admiral La Borde took the decision to scuttle the remainder of his French Fleet including

3 battleships and 7 cruisers. In Tunisia German troops counter attacked and retook

Djedeida and Tebourba. In New Guinea the Japanese counter attacked the Australians

who had by then reached the beaches at Buna. German forces entered Bizerte in Tunisia

and captured 16 French ships including 9 submarines.

By mid December winter again decided to come to the aid of the Russians when the Volga

froze over. This good fortune allowed supplies to be sent over the ice to troops on the west

side of Stalingrad. With fresh tank support the Aussie troops in New Guinea started to

take the initiative. General Paulus was having a torrid time in Stalingrad and asked Hitler

for permission to break out: Hitler refused saying the 6th Army will do its historic duty and

fight to the last. At home Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden told the House of Commons of

the mass executions of Jews by the Nazis. As the year closed, British forces were repelled

by the Japanese when they tried to take Rathedaung in Burma. At Guadalcanal the

Japanese Commanders received orders from Tokyo to evacuate the island and to cede it to

the Americans.

24

  • *

[*MOULTON: The Verdin Institute Minute Book for 1942 includes the following *]

[*items: *]

  • *

In addition to other previously agreed initiatives the club committee decide to support Mrs

Churchill’s ‘Russian Fund’. In August it was resolved to send a 10 shillings (2005 – £20)

Christmas gift to each of the village service men and women. In September there was a

debate to decide who was entitled to be included in the ‘Comforts Fund’ list. This resulted

in 15 names being deleted including the name of George Shannon who would later die in

a Japanese POW camp. Thankfully, there was very strong resistance in the club to this

action with the result that all 15 names were reinstated in October. To close the year, the

committee gave both the Secretary and Treasurer a gift of £3 – 3 shillings (2005 – £125)

each plus a pipe in recognition of their hard work for the ‘Forces Fund’ over the year.

In July, the Northwich Guardian reported that the Verdin Institute of Moulton had donated

the following from their ‘Forces Fund’: Merchant Navy Benevolent Fund £25; Manchester

Royal Infirmary £3 – 3shillings; Winsford Albert Infirmary and Northwich Victoria

Infirmary £2 – 2 shillings each; National Institute for the Blind £2 – 2shillings ; Winsford

and Moulton District Nursing Association £3. Gifts to men and women serving in HM

Forces £140.

ARTILLERY FIRING AT EL ALAMEIN

25

Dedicated to the memory of Harold Brookes

  • *

  • *

*HAROLD BROOKES *

Lance Bombardier

3535752

4/2 Maritime Regt., Royal Artillery

Killed in action on Monday 12 January 1942. Aged 28

His name is commemorated on the PORTSMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL

Panel 72, Column 1.

PORTSMOUTH NAVAL

MEMORIAL

Other Memorials: Winsford Town Memorial; St Mary’s Memorial, Whitegate,

Winsford; Salt Union Memorial, Winsford; Family Grave Stone, Whitegate Churchyard

Cemetery, Winsford; Memorial Tablet, St Stephen“s Church, Moulton; Meadow Bank

Methodist Chapel, Winsford (now closed)

Awards to Harold Brooks (See pages 87 & 88)

The wall plaque originating from this Chapel can now be found (2005) on the wall of

the Winsford Sea Cadets HQ.

26

Dedicated to the memory of Harold Brookes

Jim Buckley of 7 Church Street, Moulton worked with and became a good friend of

Harold Brookes when they were thrown together at ICI“s Salt Works, Winsford. They

were both general workers and each day had the unenviable job of sorting through the

thousands of hessian sacks returned from customers for reuse. The work was dusty, dirty

and hard. Jim was probably the last person from Moulton to see Harold alive, when he

spotted him waiting for a bus at the „Beehive” corner at the end of Main Road, at 3.0pm

one day in May 1941. Harold was not in uniform but told Jim that he was about to report

for duty to his new ship berthed in Manchester docks. This was to be Harold“s last home

leave.

He was a Winsford lad and was born at the outbreak of WW1. He was the son of Thomas

and Emily Brookes of 2 Meadow Grove, Meadow Bank, Winsford. He had two sisters,

Jessie, the eldest, and Margaret. He attended Meadow Bank Council School and also

Meadow Bank Methodist Church where he later became a Sunday school teacher. He was

a quiet, well liked and decent man.

In November 1939 Harold married his sweetheart Dora Brooks who lived at 78 Regent

Street, Moulton and they settled in the village at „Treetops” 37, Niddries Lane. Dora was

aged 27 and Harold 25. Dora also worked for ICI Salt at Winsford as a packer.

It is not altogether clear if Harold and Dora married before or after he enlisted in the

Army. Nonetheless, he was called forward to serve in the Royal Artillery and eventually

passed out as a gunner to serve with the 4/2 Maritime Regiment. This Regiment was

trained to operate „Oerlikon” anti-aircraft guns (and the like) on board merchant ships.

Harold“s first posting was to a ship scheduled to sail for Brazil to pick up foodstuffs for

the UK. His first port of call was Rio de Janeiro and it was here that he purchased a

decorated tray for his sister Jessie. The tray shows an illustration of Christ the Redeemer,

that famous statue of which overlooks the city of Rio from the hills above. It is inlaid with

butterfly wings under varnish and is now treasured by Jessie“s daughter, Gillian Benbow,

who lives in Sandbach.

On Harold“s third and last voyage he was ordered to report to SS „ Quickstep”, a coastal

collier lying in ballast at Southend. „ Quickstep” was to form part of a small coastal

convoy, FN3, sailing to Methil on the Firth of Forth in Fife. The ship was built in 1928 on

the east coast of England by Smith Dick and Company. The ships company totalled 28

including 2 Army gunners and 4 Naval gunners (DEMS – Defence of Merchant Ships). At

09.00 hours on 12th January 1942 convoy FN3 set sail for the Firth of Forth. At 13.10

hours, and just East of Clacton on the Essex coast, disaster struck when the ship

Ariadne”, directly ahead of „ Quickstep”, passed over a mine, which bobbled to the surface

and exploded against the hull of „ Quickstep”. Damage was extensive and the funnel

quickly collapsed before the ship sank. Two Army gunners, three Naval gunners and eight

27

Dedicated to the memory of Harold Brookes

crew were killed. The survivors were taken ashore at Harwich. Harold Brookes was 28

years old.

In October 1942 a memorial service was held for Harold at Meadow Bank Methodist

Church. The church was packed with relatives, friends and workmates. Some time after

Harold“s death Dora married George Aspinal from Cuddington. They had one daughter,

Marilyn who later went to live in South Shields.

Ironically, the only sailor from Moulton to lose his life in WW1, Leading Seaman Bill

Cookson, was killed in the same neck of the woods as Harold Brooks. Bill“s ship, HMS

Mechanician” was struck by a torpedo fired from a German U-Boat off the Isle of Wight.

  • *

  • *

„2 GUNNERS MANNING AN „OERLIKON” ANTI-AIRCRAFT GUN ON

BOARD SHIP

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

28

Dedicated to the memory of Harold Brookes

  • *

HAROLD BEFORE THE WAR

HAROLD WITH HIS NEPHEW

ANTHONY WHO DIED AT 15

(HOLE IN THE HEART)

TREETOPS” 37, NIDDRIES LANE, MOULTON TODAY (2005)

29

Dedicated to the memory of William Gordon Kennerley

*WILLIAM GORDON KENNERLEY *

Sergeant

1060557

150 Sqdn. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Killed in action on Tuesday 5 May 1942. Aged 21

His name is commemorated on the RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL, Surrey, UK

Panel 87

RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

Awards to William Gordon Kennerley (See pages 87 & 88)

30

Dedicated to the memory of William Gordon Kennerley

On one of his leaves, Tom Ashton recalled that he and Gordon (for this was the name he

liked to be known by) along with Teddy Berry and Enoch (Knocker) Hough went on a bit

of a pub-crawl around the local hostelries in Winsford. This would not have gone down

very well with his father, Walter, who was a staunch Methodist, and much against the

evils of drink! During his youth, Gordon, who was a liberal Methodist, attended church

three times each Sunday at the Methodist Church in Chapel Street.

A true born and bread Moultoner, Gordon lived at „Fox Cottage”, 113 (number 57 prior to

renumbering in the 1930s) Main Road, Moulton. He was born on 3rd January 1921 the

younger of two sons of Walter and Annie Kennerley. He was a very likeable lad and

always full of life. Ralph, his elder brother by 18 months, lives at Broxton, Chester (2005)

and served in the RASC during the war. He escaped from France via St. Nazaire in 1940,

and then fought as a „Desert Rat” in East Africa against Rommel and his Africa Korps.

Gordon“s father, Walter, worked as a train guard on the railways. At weekends he insisted

that Gordon complete his household chores – shopping, cleaning the chicken coup,

brushing paths etc, before being allowed out to play. Fred Hickson, one of Gordon“s best

friends, remembers spending hours with Gordon and his brother Ralph walking the

countryside around the village. Gordon was a crack shot and often bagged a rabbit or two

on Whitby“s Farm with his air rifle. Although a fair footballer, Gordon was not in the

same league as his pal Fred Hickson or indeed, another one of his school chums, Jack

Booth.

On leaving Moulton Council School, Gordon was employed in the Revenue Office at

Northwich. Sometime before he was 18, he met and fell very much in love with Kathleen

Edwards who worked in a bank in Northwich. In the early days Kathleen“s father was

employed as a gamekeeper at Bostock Hall and the family lived at Oak Tree Farm. Later,

Mr Edwards took over Moulton Post Office and it was at this time that the two young

people met. Before Gordon departed for his RAF training he asked Kathleen to marry

him. She said yes, and they became „unofficially” engaged.

On completion of his recruit training, Gordon volunteered for flight duties and was trained

as a rear gunner in bomber aircraft. At this point it should be noted that the men, who

manned Lancasters, Wellingtons, Liberators, Stirlings, Halifaxs and the like, were the

bravest of the brave. In particular, the rear gunners, whose trip life average was only 4 or

5 „sorties” over enemy occupied Europe. Gordon was posted to No. 150 Squadron at RAF

Snaith, Nr Selby, East Yorkshire and from there flew a number of bombing missions over

Hamburg, Essen, Stuttgart and the Ruhr. He was one of a six man crew of a Vickers

Wellington III Bomber number X340, code named JN-A.

31

Dedicated to the memory of William Gordon Kennerley

On the last night of his final leave home, Gordon met up with his pal Fred Hickson, who

was on leave from the Royal Engineers at the time. They sank a few pints and said their

farewells.

At 22.25 hours on the night of 5th May 1942 Wellington X340, commanded by Flight

Sergeant Ron Bell, took off from RAF Snaith. The Wellington cruised at 12,000 feet as it

made its way towards the target area. It was in good company, for in the same formation

were 49 other Wellingtons, 4 Avro Lancasters, 13 Stirlings and 11 Halifaxs. They were to

attack Stuttgart, targeting both the city itself and the Robert Bosch factory that made

dynamos, injection pumps and magnetos. This factory was judged to be one of the most

important targets in Germany.

It is not possible to say whether F/Sgt Bell and his

crew of five were shot down on the outward or

inward leg of their flight. What is known is that the

aircraft came down into the sea off the Dutch coast.

All six of the crew perished but only two bodies,

those of F/Sgt Bell and his Co-pilot Sgt. Stan

Heslop, were recovered. As these two airmen were

in the cockpit of the plane it can be assumed that

they were thrown into the sea on impact. The other

4 lads must have been trapped in the body of the

Wellington as she sank.

F/Sgt Bell is buried at Den Burg General Cemetery

and Sgt. Heslop at Bergen General Cemetery.

Interestingly, in this same Cemetery lie the remains

of S/Leader H M „Dinghy” Young and his crew who

were shot down returning from the „Dambusters”

raid twelve months later. Losses that night from 150

Squadron were 3 Wellingtons.

After the war ended Kathleen Edwards moved to

Canada and married a Hungarian man whilst over

there. Later she moved back to the UK with her

husband. Kathleen died in 2000. * *

  • *

  • *

„FOX COTTAGE” 112 MAIN

ROAD, MOULTON TODAY

(2005)

32

Dedicated to the memory of William Gordon Kennerley

REB

OMB

ON

NGTILLE

S WR

KEC

VI

33

Dedicated to the memory of James Eric Kendrick

*JAMES ERIC KENDRICK *

Lieutenant

143230

Royal Army Service Corps

Who died on Thursday 8 October 1942. Aged 27

He is buried in KIRKEE WAR CEMETERY, India

Grave 7. F. 10.

Awards to James Eric Kendrick (See pages 87 & 88)

34

Dedicated to the memory of James Eric Kendrick

Eric, for this was how he was known, was born on 19th September 1915 at Kirkdale,

Liverpool. His parents were William and Mary Jane Kendrick who originated from

Manchester. When they first moved to Moulton village they lived at 92 Main Road.

William, who was a mounted police sergeant, stabled his horse at the back of his house

in School Lane. Some time later the family moved to 69 Main Road – the „posh” end of

the village! Number 69 was more or less opposite Togo Villas where Felix Buckley and

George Dickens lived. Eric was the eighth of nine children (5 boys and 4 girls). They all

made it to adulthood with the exception of Doris, the youngest, who died in infancy.

As a youngster Eric attended Moulton Council School and was a member of the

congregation at St Stephen“s Church. He was a bright lad and at eleven passed the

examination allowing him to attend the Verdin County Grammar School, Winsford. On

leaving the Verdin he applied and was accepted for the post of clerk in the Civil Service.

He attended night school, sat the Civil Service examinations, and passed with flying

colours. Prior to enlisting in HM Forces, Eric was sweet on a young lady named Bessie!

On 2ndOctober 1939 Eric enlisted in the Royal Army Service Corps at Edgware,

Middlesex. He then went to Aldershot for his recruit training and after just four weeks

was posted to GHQ 2nd Echelon, BEF La Baule, France. Six months later he returned to

Ramsgate to attend an OTC (Officers Training Course). On passing out, 2nd Lieutenant

Eric Kendrick was despatched to 931 Company, RASC, Tewkesbury to begin his duties

as a leader of men. At the end of January 1942 he received orders to report to Kakul in

India (now Pakistan). He then moved two or three times to other places on the sub-

continent including Rawlpindi. Members of the RASC tended to be scattered around the

British Army and attached to Regiments or placed wherever they were needed.

Accordingly, there is little information on Eric“s service in the field. From his Army

records all that could be uncovered was the fact that he died of wounds on board HMT

_Lancashire _ in the harbour at Bombay. He was 27 years old.

Eric was the apple of his mother“s eye and she never recovered from the death of her last

born son. Indeed, it is said, that she turned to drink in her utter despair.

In a monumental twist of fate Eric was buried in a small cemetery at Kirkee, India.

Some 24 years earlier, Horace Hitchinson, from the same little village in Cheshire was

also put to rest there after he had died in WW1. So, two men of Moulton, share the same

plot of land on the other side of the world. When Eric“s gravestone was erected his

parents paid for a special inscription as follows:

„In life dearly loved

In death sadly missed

Loving Mam, Dad and Family”.

35

Dedicated to the memory of James Eric Kendrick

69, MAIN ROAD,

ERIC AND HIS SISTER IN MOULTON

MOULTON TODAY (2005)

SCHOOLYARD c. 1923

KIRKEE CEMETERY, INDIA

36

[*1943 – CHRONOLOGY *]

  • *

As the New Year dawned, German troops on the Eastern Front began to retreat from the

Caucasus. In New Guinea British forces started to pressurise the Japanese at Buna and

Sanananda. At Stalingrad, Russian troops were fighting hard to try and recapture the City.

On Guadalcanal, the strength of the American force began to erode all Japanese

resistance. Papua was retaken on the 22nd of January and the following day, in East

Africa, Montgomery’s Eighth Army took Tripoli. At Stalingrad, Field Marshal Paulus

surrendered his southern unit (6th Army). German U-boats claimed to have sunk 200,000

tons of shipping during the month.

At the beginning of February the remaining German troops in Stalingrad surrendered.

Later the Russians claimed to have found 150,000 dead Germans in the ruins. Their defeat

at Stalingrad was the first major setback for Hitler and his Generals. Some days later the

Russians took Kursk. In Burma the first ‘Chindit’ operation, under the command of

General Orde Wingate, went into action. This force, comprising British, Gurkha and

Burmese troops, was designed to fight covertly behind enemy lines. It was most

successful, and gained the respect of all who came into contact with it. For 10 days

towards the end February the inexperienced US 1st Armoured Division fought and tried to

cut their milk teeth on the German Panzers in North Africa. However, they were up

against hardened, experienced troops, and received a severe mauling. The seesaw, which

was the Russian front, saw the Russians re-take Kharkov. In the Pacific the Americans

landed 9,000 troops on the Russell Islands. A counter offensive by Field Marshal Von

Manstein’s troops on the Eastern Front created a huge gap of 120 miles in the Russian

line. Norwegian soldiers, trained in the UK, parachuted into Norway and attacked the

Norsk Hydro ‘heavy water’ plant near Ryukan. This raid struck a blow at the heart of the

German atomic research programme.

In the Battle of the Bismarck Sea in the Pacific, a Japanese troop convoy en route for New

Guinea was severely damaged by US aircraft. The Japanese lost 3,500 troops as well as

four destroyers and 25 aircraft. In Burma the Chindits were successful in cutting the

Mandalay – Kyitkyina rail link. The RAF began bombing the Ruhr and the Germans

began to withdraw from Tunisia. The end of an era arrived when Rommel withdrew from

North Africa. Things appeared a little brighter for the Germans in Russia when they re-

captured Kharkov. A total of 98 ships in two convoys sailing from New York and Nova

Scotia were attacked by 37 U-boats. Twenty-seven ships were lost for the price of one U-

boat sunk. In Russia Von Manstein’s counter-offensive was going well with Russian

losses running at 40,000 casualties and 600 tanks. In Tunisia the Eighth Army broke

through the Mareth Line and Gafsa was retaken by Patton’s US Corps. In the Battle of the

Bering Sea, a US force of cruisers and destroyers intercepted a superior force of Japanese

ships heading for the Aleutians. The Americans gave the Japanese a bloody nose and saw

the enemy turn for home. The Axis infantry was badly mauled in the battle for the Mareth

Line and some Italian units were so demoralised that they lost all will to fight on.

37

Early April saw the Japanese embark on a plan to build a new railway in Northern Burma.

To achieve their ends they forced 60,000 Allied POWs to labour on the project. Of these

15,000 would die of exhaustion, starvation and inhumane treatment. The Allies continued

their advance in Tunisia when they took Sfax, 150 miles from Tunis. The Japanese

Admiral, Yamamoto was killed when his aircraft was shot down by American Lightnings.

In the Warsaw ghetto, Waffen SS troops attacked Jewish resistance fighters and shot out

of hand any they captured. The slaughter was horrific as the Nazis attempted to pound the

Jews into submission. As the month ended one of the greatest deceptions of the war was

perpetrated when the body of a Royal Marine Officer was washed ashore in Spain. On the

body were faked documents referring to the planned invasion of Sardinia and a feint

attack on Sicily. It was, of course, a very clever trick that hoodwinked the Germans who

began to transfer huge numbers of troops to Sardinia and Northern Italy. The story of this

ruse was brilliantly told in the film ‘The Man Who Never Was’, starring Clifton Webb.

On 7th May the Allies took Tunis and Bizerte. By the 13th all resistance had ended when

German and Italian troops surrendered to the victorious Allies. The final prisoner count

was 250,000. In Warsaw the uprising was finally crushed when German troops blew up

the synagogue there. The final death roll showed that some 14,000 Jews had been killed in

the fighting and another 40,000 transported to the Treblinka extermination camp.

  • *

Allied successes in North Africa were enhanced when news was received that RAF 617

(Dambusters) Squadron, led by Wing Commander Guy Gibson, had successfully attacked

dams on the Mohne and Eder rivers in Germany. Colossal flooding occurred which played

havoc with Germany’s industrial heart. Eight of the 19 aircraft (56 men) failed to return.

Guy Gibson was awarded the Victoria Cross but was later killed during a reconnaissance

flight over Europe.

To compound the German atrocity in Warsaw, Heinrich Himmler ordered the liquidation

of all Jewish ghettos in Poland. June 10th saw the first combined bombing raids with US

aircraft flying during the day and the RAF at night. Two days later, Dusseldorf was

bombed by 693 planes which dropped a total of 2000 tons of bombs within 45 minutes of

reaching their target. German fighters shot down 27 of the planes as they attempted to

return to the sanctuary of their airfields in England. Aerial reconnaissance aircraft over

Peenemunde brought back photographs of a new rocket site with rockets sitting on

launching ramps ready to be launched against targets in Southern England. At the end of

June 500 British bombers hit Cologne inflicting severe damage. In the Pacific US forces

established a bridgehead at Nassau Bay, New Guinea.

As the second half of 1943 dawned the greatest tank battle in history was about to take

place at Kursk on the Russian Front. After dark on 9th July the Allied invasion of Sicily

began with gliders landing airborne troops to create a bridgehead for the main sea borne

elements the next day. Because of high winds and faulty navigation many gliders fell into

the sea but sufficient men were landed to disrupt enemy coastal defences. By the end of

38

the day British and US troops occupied four towns including Syracuse. At the battle of

Kursk on the Eastern Front things were not going too well for the German tanks and they

began to fall back to their start line. As the Americans took control of Palermo, cutting

off thousands of Italian troops, Churchill and Roosevelt called on the Italians to surrender.

Mussolini and his government fell on 25th/26th and Marshal Badoglio took control. In

Germany the first of four raids on Hamburg, designed to destroy the city, was carried out

by over 3000 RAF bombers – 87 (87 × 7 = 609 airmen) of which failed to return.

Hamburg was flattened and 40,000 inhabitants killed by the huge firestorm created by the

incendiary bombs. Back in Britain all fit men, regardless of age, were told that they would

now be eligible for service and that all women, under the age of 50, were instructed to

register for work.

On the Eastern Front the Russians began the month of August with successes at Orel (to

the north of Kursk) and Belgorod. The German 2nd Panzer Army was decimated with the

remnants joining the 9th Army. In Sicily things were also going very well for the British

and the Americans. By the 17th Messina was in their hands and it was then that the

Germans decided to give up the fight and evacuate the island. Although 100,000 Italian

troops were captured the bulk of the German force escaped to the mainland with their

tanks and guns intact. Allied losses were recorded as 7,000 killed with 14,000 wounded.

Axis losses were much heavier. British bombers targeted the German rocket installation at

Peenemunde and succeeded in delaying the work there for several weeks. The Russians

captured Kharkov and by the end of the month were closing in on Smolensk.

On 3rd September Montgomery’s 8th Army were the first troops to land in Europe when

they went ashore at Reggio on the mainland of Italy. At sea, the battleships _Tirpitz _ and

_Scharnhorst _ with supporting craft attacked Allied bases at Spitsbergen. On the 8th Italy

surrendered and the following day the 1st Airborne Division took the port of Taranto. At

Salerno the Allies were not having things all their own way as German troops fought like

the devil. Whilst en route to Malta to surrender, the Italian battleship Roma was sunk by

German aircraft equipped with their new 3000-pound glide bombs. German troops took

control of Rome and on the following day rescued Mussolini from his prison in the

Abruzzi Mountains. In Sardinia the Germans began to pull out and at the same time their

17th Army started its withdrawal from the Kuban peninsula. Having been rescued,

Mussolini quickly re-established a Fascist government. Whilst Allied troops were winning

the battle of Salerno the Russians were advancing towards Kiev. The RAF raided Hanover

on the 22nd of September with 650 aircraft and dropped in excess of 2,300 tons of bombs.

On the same day in Alt-Fjord two British midget submarines attached mines to the hull of

the _Tirpitz _ and cripple her for six months. Defending German troops halted the British

advance in front of Naples. Some days later the Red Army captured Smolensk and

Roslavl. On the 1st October Naples fell to the Allies and three days later the Free French

liberated Corsica. In the Pacific, Wake Island was attacked by US ships and aircraft. The

new official Italian Government at Brindisi declared war on Germany. September ended

with British troops knocking on the door of Naples.

39

A total of 291 US aircraft bombed the German ball-bearing works at Schweinfurt and

inflicted much damage. However, the Americans, who lost nearly 60 aircraft on this raid,

were prompted to discontinue unescorted daylight flights over Europe thereafter. In a raid

involving 486 aircraft, the RAF delayed production of V-1 flying bombs for many months

when they decimated the factory making them at Kassel. In the English Channel the

cruiser HMS Charbydis _ and the destroyer HMS[* ] [_Limbourne[ ]] were sunk by[ *]torpedoes fired

from German surface ships. [* Serving on the [_Charbydis _]when she went down was a *]

[*young man from Moulton – Telegraphist Stanley Goulding. He has no known grave. *]

  • *

November 1st saw the Russians capture Kiev in the Ukraine. The Pacific island of

Bougainville, occupied by 40,000 Japanese troops and 20,000 naval personnel, was

assaulted by the Americans. A Japanese naval force sent from Rabaul to engage the US

support ships including the aircraft carriers _Lexington _ and _Saratoga, _ was badly mauled

and forced to retire. However, on land the Japanese forces put up fierce resistance in the

jungle. In the Mediterranean, German troops took the Greek island of Leros and captured

9,000 British and Italian prisoners. In Italy the battle for Monte Cassino began. It would

be six months before Polish troops would, heroically, prise the Germans from the ruins of

the monastery on top of the mountain. RAF bombers dropped 1,600 tons of bombs on

Berlin. The Gilbert Islands were invaded by American troops but in the Mediterranean the

Greek island of Samos was evacuated by the British. The Americans succeeded with their

attack on Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands but paid a very heavy price, losing 1000 men dead

and 2000 wounded. Japanese troops, as always, fought to the death and at the end of the

day, only a handful were taken prisoner. In Germany Hitler watched a demonstration of

the new Me 262 jet fighter but, in an error of judgement, delayed production until mid

1944 whilst the designers converted the plane into a light bomber. In the Mediterranean

another glide bomb dropped from a German bomber sank a British troopship off Bougie

with the loss of 1000 lives. The month ended with the Germans in Russia having some

success when the Russians withdrew from Korosten just 12 days after having taken the

town.

At the beginning of December Allied bombers mounted raids on V-1 rocket sites in

northern France. In fierce fighting in Italy, British troops took Monte Camino. Later some

British troops were pulled out of the fighting in Italy to prepare for Operation ‘Overlord’ -

the invasion of France. British forces were replaced by Canadian, French and Italians

troops. Before Christmas the RAF were kept busy raiding Frankfurt, Mannheim and the

V-1 rocket ramps in France. At sea, _Scharnhorst, _ the only operational German battleship,

sailed in pursuit of a British convoy. She was, however unaware that the battleship _Duke _

_of York _ was shadowing over the horizon! On Boxing Day, in what has now become know

as the Battle of the North Cape, the British cruiser squadron opened fire on the German

battleship and scored two hits. The _Duke of York _ then spotted her and after a three hour

battle sent her to bottom. There were but 36 survivors plucked from the sea. In Russia the

Red Army launched an offensive on the Ukrainian Front. 1943 ended with the command

structure for ‘Overlord’ in place and a huge bombing raid over Berlin. _ _

40

  • *

[*MOULTON: The Verdin Institute Minute Book for 1943 includes the following *]

[*items: *]

  • *

Throughout 1943 the Committee of the Institute were again busy organising raffles and

functions to raise funds for village lads and lasses serving in the armed forces. Prizes

ranged from a pair of spectacles, donated by a Northwich oculist, to free tickets for the

Regal cinema. Each serving member of the forces was given a total of 15 shillings over

the year (2005 – £30.00). In June a member complained that another member had

introduced an Italian POW into the bar. The committee resolved that in no circumstances

must this happen again.*

At the AGM in March tributes were paid to members who had died during the past year.

These included: Lt. Eric Kendrick, Sgt. Gordon Kennerley and Cpl Harold Brooks.

The local press reported the following: 1) Although the Moulton Council School Savings

Group had set a target of £100 to purchase two parachutes and a rubber dinghy for the

RAF, they managed to raise £500 and instead purchased two 8000-lb bombs! 2) Pte Harry

Adams of 110, Main Road was missing in Italy. 3) Local Red Cross collections raised

nearly £15 for the POW Fund and £2 – 12 shillings for the Russian Fund. 4) Davenham

Church Players gave a performance of ‘Busman’s Honeymoon’ in aid of the Moulton

Forces Fund.

  • Four months later the Italians were on the side of the Allies!

R.A.F. LANCASTER BOMBER

41

Dedicated to the memory of George Miles

*GEORGE MILES *

Private

4129686

2nd Btn. Cheshire Regiment

Killed in action on Tuesday 6 April 1943. Aged 26

He is buried in SFAX WAR CEMETERY, Tunisia

Grave VII. E. 2.

Other Memorials: Brunner Mond Memorial, Winnington, Northwich

Awards to George Miles (See pages 87 & 88)

42

Dedicated to the memory of George Miles

Over 60 years after WW2 ended, relatives and friends in Moulton Village and beyond still

remember George Miles with affection. George lived with his parents and his two older

brothers John (Jack – ‘Smiler’) and James (Jim) at 35 Regent Street, Moulton. Both his

mother Annie (nee Eaton) and his father John originated from Meadow Bank, Winsford,

which lies on the other side of the River Weaver from Moulton. George was born in 1917

and was educated at Moulton Council School. He was outwardly reserved but a very

caring boy who thought the world of his parents and brothers. He regularly attended the

Methodist Church in Chapel Street. George’s mother was a very kindly lady who always

made her son“s friends welcome when they called at her little terraced house. In

December 1931 George was elected ‘Most popular boy in school’ by his fellow scholars.

As boys, George and his pals would play football for hours on the Regent Street ‘backs’

(waste land to the rear of the terraced houses in Regent Street). Chasing a ball around on

the ‘backs’ was good training for George, for he became a very good amateur footballer,

playing for a number of teams in the locality including ICI Ltd. He is said to have had a

style of play not unlike that of Vinney Jones and Norman Hunter – hard in the tackle and

not to be messed with! He was always considered to be a good loser and played the game

for the fun of it rather than the result; unlike today, when the result is everything and the

means of achieving it very often suspect! As with Felix Buckley and his dad Tom

Buckley, George’s father John was a very well known and respected pigeon fancier. His

loft was on the Regent Street ‘backs’. On race days, or ‘flying days’ as they were known,

all three sons Jack, Jim and George, were used in their turn to run the pigeon rings to the

Red Lion and to the „man with the clock’.

As he grew into manhood George, in addition to his football, took to crown green

bowling, snooker and billiards that he played at the village Liberal Club (now Moulton

British Legion). He liked a pint as most young men of his age did, this taking preference

to his pursuing girls! He joined ICI Ltd., as a drum maker at their Winnington Drum Plant

where the continuous cacophony of sound, when newly made empty chemical drums were

tossed about, had to be heard to be believed.

Jack Miles, George’s older brother was also a very fine local footballer who won many

medals and trophies. George was very proud of his brother and threaded his medals on a

chain which he treasured. He took them with him to Tunisia but when be was killed there

the medals, although handed in, were ‘lost’ to the family.

Vic Booth, became a very good friend of George, and remembers with affection his

kindness to him when he secured a job in the Drum Plant at ICI Winnington. George took

Vic in hand on his first working day at the plant and from then on guided him through his

early working life there. When they both enlisted in the forces they went their separate

ways but met for the last time in 1942 when George was on embarkation leave. They had

43

Dedicated to the memory of George Miles

a few drinks and a game of snooker at the Talbot Hotel, Northwich. They never saw each

other again.

Jim Buckley, who lived at 7 Church Street, Moulton before he died in 2004, was also a

long-standing pal of George. Together they enlisted in the Cheshires at Chester Castle and

were posted to the 2nd Battalion. They both did their recruit training at Chester before

being selected for training as Machine Gunners. George, was also trained as an Army

despatch rider. On passing out Jim was posted to ‘A’ Company whilst George went to ‘B’

Company. The 2nd Cheshires were part of the 50th Northumbrian Division, 30 Corps

Commanded by Major General Brian Horrocks (Later Major General Sir Brian Horrocks

of Arnhem and TV fame). Their Company Commander was Major ‘Mad Manki’ Miller.

Other Battalions serving alongside the 2nd Cheshires included The Durham Light

Infantry, Green Howards and East Yorkshires. By coincidence, another Moulton lad,

Walter 0akes who had lived in Regent Street in his youth, but who had moved away from

the village to live at Anderton, Northwich, also joined the 2nd Cheshires and ‘B’

Company’s Machine Gun team. George had been in the Territorial Army before hostilities

began so he was no stranger to spit and polish!

Sad to record that before he enlisted in the Army at the outbreak of war, both of George’s

parents had died at an early age. His mother Annie died in 1934 having been bedridden

for over two years. His father, who was a shift worker on the Sodium Carbonate Plant at

ICI Winnington, Northwich died a few years later.

All three brothers served in the war. Jack (‘Smiler’) saw service in the Fleet Air Arm as a

flight deck attendant. James (Jim), who had had a chequered career before the war

working as a butcher, lorry driver, crane driver and engine driver for ICI at Lostock

Works, also saw service in the Army.

Sometime in 1942 George was posted to North Africa and became a ‘Desert Rat’, fighting

there until, in the spring of 1943, he found himself at Wadi Akarit, 40 miles from Tunis.

On lst April the 2nd Battalion were concentrated near Mareth and made ready for what

was to become know as the ‘Battle of Akarit”. On the night of 5th April Jim Buckley met

up with George and they brewed a cup of tea in the way of the ‘Desert Rats’. A biscuit tin

was first filled with sand and liberally doused with petrol; this was then set alight, the

kettle boiled and the tea ‘mashed’. It was the last mug of tea Jim and George would share

together.

On the following morning 6th April……. now follows an extract from the War

Diary of the 2nd Cheshires: “Having reached point 85, Mellor saw Lieutenant D. Cox

moving forward with No. 8 Platoon and went to assist him in getting into position

forward of Point 85 to fire in support of the assault of the 6th Green Howards. Meantime,

44

Dedicated to the memory of George Miles

No. 3 Section moved up into the position chosen for them, led by Private B. Dumbill

through a veritable cascade of shelling. Cox’s other section ran into a chance burst of

shelling just at the moment that the men had left the trucks and were carrying their kit up

to the forward rendezvous that their platoon commander had found for them. Lance

Corporal R.Reynolds, Private G Q Gill, Private G Miles and Private W Oakes were

killed outright, whilst both the Section Commander, Sergeant Liptrott and the Section

Corporal, Corporal R McDonald, were wounded, as was Privates J G Carter and

Pountley” (Private Carter later died of his wounds). George was 26 and is buried in a

grave next but one to his fellow Moultoner and pal George Oakes, aged 22, in Sfax

Cemetery, Tunisia. He is in good company!

35, REGENT STREET

MOULTON TODAY

(2005)

JACK, JIM AND GEORGE

(SEATED) IN MOULTON

COUNCIL SCHOOL

PLAYGROUND c. 1923

ORIGINAL GRAVE

MARKER

SFAX WAR CEMETERY, TUNISIA

45

Dedicated to the memory of Stanley Goulding

*STANLEY GOULDING *

Ordinary Telegraphist

D/JX 361561

H.M.S. Charybdis, Royal Navy

Killed in action on Saturday 23 October 1943. Aged 19

His name is commemorated on the PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL

Panel 81, Column 2.

PLYMOUTH NAVAL MEMORIAL

Other Memorials: Brunner Mond Memorial, Winnington, Northwich

Awards to Stanley Goulding (See pages 87 & 88)

46

Dedicated to the memory of Stanley Goulding

Stanley Goulding was a Moultoner who lived with his parents Henry and Beatrice

Goulding at No.6 School Lane, Moulton. He attended the local Council School just across

from his home and was a very popular scholar. Stanley was born in 1924 and was one of

three children. He was a very fit and active youngster who swam, ran well and played

football for Moulton Schoolboys. He enjoyed bird watching and spent many hours lying

in the fields and hedgerows around the village identifying the different species of bird,

both in flight and on their nests. He attended the local Methodist Church in Chapel Street.

On leaving school Stanley joined ICI Ltd at Wallescote Works, Winnington. He was a

bright lad and quickly secured a position in the Shipping and Distribution Office.

Nevertheless, it was always his secret ambition to transfer to one of the many ICI cargo

ships employed in the movement of Alkali products from the River Weaver to Liverpool

and beyond. Regrettably, this was not to be, for in 1942, at 18 years of age, he was called

forward to serve his country in WW2.

Stanley“s mother Beatrice tried to persuade him to join the RAF but he would have none

of it. It was the Navy for him, and in the end he had his way. He was instructed to report

to HMS Arthur, a shore based training establishment, located at the Butlins Holiday

Camp at Skegness. He was one of over 50 recruits in his class and he made many friends

during his stay there. Stanley passed out of HMS Arthur as an Ordinary Telegraphist and

was ordered to report on board HMS Charybdis at Devonport.

HMS Charybdis was a new „Dido” class Light Cruiser built and commissioned at

Cammell Lairds, Birkenhead in November 1941. She had four props and was turbo driven

developing 62,000 HP. The ship displaced 5770 tons, was 512 ft. long and 50.5 ft. across

the beam. Her top speed was 33 knots and her ships company totalled 535. Her armament

consisted of 8 × 4.5” guns, 6 × 21” torpedo tubes, 4 Bofors guns and 24 light Anti Aircraft

guns.

After joining his ship, young Stanley experienced many adventures, including escorting

convoys to Malta, supporting the Allied landings off Algiers and Bizerta and on one

occasion transporting General Eisenhower, the Supreme Commander, to the Salerno

landings in Italy. Whilst off Salerno Charybdis was engaged in landing support and air

defence duties. In October 1943 the ship returned to Devonport and the crew returned

home for a well earned leave.

It is not clear if, during this leave, Stanley met his elder brother Harry, who, by this time,

was serving as a navigator in RAF Bomber Command. However, it is for sure that he did

meet his cousin Fred Hickson, who at the time, was home on leave from his unit in the

Royal Engineers. Fred recalls that on the very last day of Stanley“s leave he arrived home

to be told by his mother that she had seen Stanley, dressed in uniform, and carrying his

47

Dedicated to the memory of Stanley Goulding

kitbag, walking down Main Road towards the Beehive Corner. Fred caught Stanley up at

the Beehive and chatted to him whilst he waited for his bus. He asked him for his address

and promised to write, which he did. Regrettably, he never received a reply! Knowing

that Stanley was taking the bus to catch his train Beatrice and her daughter Brenda

walked to the top of the Old Newbridge Road and, as the train passed Stanley waved to

them. It was the last time they would see their son and brother alive.

On arrival back at Devonport, Stanley reported for duty in the radio room and was later

told that the Charybdis, in company with a number of other ships was to take part in

„Operation Tunnel”, an action to engage German convoys proceeding along the French

coast between Brest and St Malo. The British ships set sail on 22nd October and the

following day encountered a German convoy somewhere between the Channel Islands

and the French coast. The German ships were escorted by four „Elbing Class” Destroyers

who immediately rounded on the British ships. A fierce battle then took place in which

the Royal Navy received a bloody nose. Torpedoes from the German destroyers hit both

Charybdis and her sister ship Limbourne causing severe damage. Charybdis was hit by

two torpedoes one of which struck the ship in the area of the boiler room. She

immediately began to sink by the stern and was very quickly lying on her port side in 83

metres of water.

HMS Charybdis lost 460 of its ship“s company that day including Telegraphist Stanley

Goulding who was 19 and had served for just over one year in the Royal Navy. A total of

107 sailors were rescued from the sea. Because of tidal surges in the waters off the

Channel Islands, the sea gave

up many bodies over the next

few weeks. They were washed

ashore on Guernsey, Jersey and

the French coast. Some bodies

were identified and buried in

marked graves. Many, that

couldn“t be identified, were

interred in graves marked

„Unknown Sailor”. Stanley may

well rest in one of these plots.

Limbourne remained afloat for

a number of hours but finally

gave up the ghost and joined

her sister ship at the bottom of

HMS CHARYBDIS

the English Channel.

48

Dedicated to the memory of Stanley Goulding

HMS ARTHUR TRAINING CAMPSTANLEY STANDING BACK ROW

-EXTREME LEFT

6 SCHOOL LANE,

MEDAL ENTITLEMENT RECORD

MOULTON TODAY (2005)

49

Dedicated to the memory of Stanley Goulding

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BURMA 1943 – RIVER CROSSING

MACHINE GUN TEAMWESTERN DESERT 1943

51

BOMB DISPOSAL UNIT AT WORK

NORMANDY LANDINGS – 6TH JUNE 1944

52

1944 – CHRONOLOGY

As the penultimate year of the war began 2400 Allied troops landed on Saidor in New Guinea,

quickly taking the harbour and airfield. In an attempt to confuse German administrators, the

RAF dropped millions of counterfeit food coupons over cities in the Third Reich. Russian

troops advanced into Poland and went on the offensive at Leningrad, breaking through the

German lines on the outskirts of the city. In Italy Allied units cleared the way for an advance

on Cassino. On 21st of the month an Anzio assault force sailed from Naples and on the

following day 36,000 troops and 3,200 vehicles landed virtually unopposed on the beaches.

They quickly captured the port of Anzio, established a beachhead and started to move slowly

forward against little opposition. With the benefit of hindsight, it is regrettable that US General

Lucas did not push forward at greater speed and before Kesselring had time to muster his

reserve divisions and surround the beachhead. This error, created by the timidity of Lucas,

would cost British and American forces dear in the days to come. By the time Allied troops

broke out of the beachhead four months later they had lost 29,000 casualties. General Lucas

was later relieved of his command and replaced by General Truscott. As the month closed

Russian forces relieved Leningrad after a siege lasting 900 days.

At the beginning of February, Japanese troops began an offensive in western Burma to envelop

British forces at Imphal and Kohima*. At the same time American troops captured Kwajalein

Atoll for the loss of 370 men against Japanese losses of 8,500. In New Guinea US and

Australian forces captured most of the Huon Peninsula. American troops at Cassino made an

unsuccessful attempt to reach the monastery from the north. Russian aircraft caused little

damage when they tried to bomb _Tirpitz _ in Alt-Fjord. The beachhead at Anzio was now under

constant attack and US General Mark Clark was very close to calling it a day and evacuating

his troops. However, on the other side of the fence, Field Marshal Kesselring concluded,

thankfully, that Allied opposition was too strong and decided to back off. At Amiens, in

France, British Mosquito aircraft carried out a precision bombing attack on a prison holding

700 French Resistance prisoners. Some 280 escaped but over 80 were killed. To round off the

month American forces landed on the Admiralty Islands in the Pacific.

The beginning of March saw heavy fighting on most fronts including Burma, Italy, Russia and

the Pacific. The first large scale daylight bombing of Berlin, by planes of the US 8th Army Air

Force, began. Although the Americans lost one in ten of their aircraft the Luftwaffe took a

severe mauling from supporting fighters. Later in the month nearly 2000 American bombers

escorted by over 1000 fighter aircraft paid a return visit to the German capital. At this time

Hamburg also came under attack when the RAF dropped 3000 tons of bombs on the city. In

Burma, Japanese forces began their assault against British forces at Imphal and Kohima. In

their advance through Poland, Russian forces reached the banks of the River Bug. By mid

March British troops in Burma were fighting desperately to hold their lines as Japanese forces

crossed the Chindwin River. In Italy, the town of Cassino was subjected to assault by 1,400

tons of bombs and nearly 2000 shells. Having arrested the Regent of Hungary, Hitler instructed

53

his Generals to occupy the country and to set up a new military government there. News of the

death in a car crash of General Orde Wingate, the commander of the „Chindits” in Burma, was

received back in Britain with much grief. In the Pacific, Japanese resistance at Bougainville

ceased. They had lost a total of 8000 men in their efforts to deny the American forces victory.

At the end of the month a desperate situation was building in Burma when Japanese troops cut

the Imphal – Kohima road. This left the garrison at Imphal isolated and reliant on supplies from

the air. En-route to Nuremberg the RAF suffered the loss of 96 aircraft out of 795 when they

were attacked by German night fighters as they neared their target. Some good news was

received by the Allies as the month closed when they learned that the Japanese Fleet C-in-C,

Admiral Koga, had been killed in an air crash.

  • *

On 3rd April, aircraft from carriers HMS Victorious and Furious, achieved 14 direct hits on the

German battleship Tirpitz, killing 122 and wounding 316 members of crew. This raid

effectively put the Tirpitz out of action for a further three months. On the Eastern Front

Russian forces began an offensive to liberate the Crimea. In Burma, a strategy to break through

to the garrison at Kohima was devised by General Slim. The strategy worked and on 14th the

Japanese lines were breached to the west of Kohima at Jotsoma. In the Pacific the Americans

attacked Hollandia in New Guinea with a force of 84,000 troops and quickly won the day. On

the south Devon coast of England a training exercise for D-Day ended with the loss of 749 US

troops when their landing craft were attacked by German E-boats.

During early May, Russian troops liberated the city of Sevastopol. However, 85,000 German

troops managed to escape by sea before the Russians could cut them off from the ports. Off

Norway the British Home Fleet began a series of operations in an attempt to mislead the

Germans into thinking that the expected Allied invasion would be in that neck of the woods. In

Italy the Gustav Line was breached in a number of places but at Cassino Polish troops were

having a rough time at the hands of the German defenders. Although Kesselring had brought in

three more divisions, he knew that these were insufficient to stem the tide. With the Poles now

making headway, Kesselring ordered a general retreat of his forces. His decision allowed the

Poles, at long last, to claim the prize of Monte Cassino. In preparation for the expected

invasion of Europe Hitler made F/M von Rundstedt C-in-C, with F/M Rommel and General

Blaskowitz his subordinates. At Anzio, Allied forces started to gain the upper hand and

reached the coastal highway at Latina. At this news Hitler agreed to a withdrawal to the Caesar

Line. American forces landed in strength at Biak Island, New Guinea but came under pressure

from Japanese troops equipped with tanks. The US destroyer England sank a Japanese

submarine in the Bismarck Sea bringing to six the number sank in the latter half of May.

June began with the Americans hell bent on reaching Rome ahead of any other Allied troops (a

tactical mistake by General Mark Clarke, who could have cut off the bulk of the German forces

from south of Rome). They quickly punched a hole in the Caesar Line and attacked through the

Alban Hills. Kesselring was forced to retreat to new defensive positions to the north of Rome.

54

His retreat allowed the Americans to liberate the city and to claim the honours! On the south

coast of England D-Day arrived on 6th June when Allied forces sailed for Normandy in the

early hours. Craft of every conceivable ilk was included in the armada including a complete set

of „Mulberry” floating harbours. British and Canadian forces took their beaches „Gold”, „Juno”

and „Sword” after some resistance. However, having taken „Utah” Beach in some style the

Americans came unstuck in their efforts to take their second objective – „Omaha” Beach. The

decision to drop their amphibious tanks some three miles from the beach in rough seas proved

a disaster. Some 34,000 men managed to struggle ashore but more than 1500 died before could

reach the relative safety of the cliffs. By the end of the day 150,000 Allied troops were camped

on their respective beaches, only ninety days away from liberating Paris. On the island of Biak

in the Pacific, US forces captured Mokmer airfield whilst on the Eastern Front Russian troops

began to assault the Finnish positions. In the Pacific, fifteen aircraft carriers with close

battleship support deployed aircraft against Saipan and other islands in the Marianas Group.

The first ten V-1 flying bombs were launched against England from the Pas-de-Calais; only

four hit their targets on the mainland. A force of 67,500 American troops forced their way

ashore on the Marianas Islands but met with fierce resistance from the little men of Nippon.

US battleships shelled Guam whilst on the Eastern Front Russian forces broke the main

Finnish positions at the Mannerheim Line. Freak weather in the English Channel saw both

„Mulberry” harbours damaged by storms. In Italy Allied forces north of Rome approached the

new German defence positions on the Albert Line. In the battle of the Philippine Sea Japanese

aircraft attempted to assault the US Fleet. They lost more than 300 aircraft to less than 30 by

the Americans. The sad story worsened for the Japanese when US submarines sank their prize

carriers Tiko and Shokaku. Back in Britain RAF fighter aircraft were beginning to get to grips

with the new flying bombs and in some instances used their wing-tips to tip the rockets off

their set course – what brave men they were! More than 1000 US bombers with a similar

number of fighter escorts bombed Berlin but encountered heavy resistance from anti-aircraft

guns encircling the city. In Burma, the siege of Imphal ended when Indian Divisions linked on

the Imphal-Kohima road. On the Eastern Front Marshal Zhukov began his summer offensive.

On 27th June, the major port of Cherbourg was liberated by Allied troops and two days later

Hitler sacked F/M Busch and replaced him with F/M Model. The month ended with things

going badly for the German Army on the Eastern Front where they lost 70,000 men in a futile

battle for Bobruisk.

Early July saw Allied armour struggling to overcome the difficulties encountered by narrow

roads and high hedges in bocage country in France. Conversely, Allied forces in Italy were

advancing at a huge rate of knots with the Germans retreating before them to their next

substantial defensive barrier – the River Arno, running through Florence. In the Pacific US and

Australian units landed on Numfoor island off New Guinea and two days later captured the

airfield there. On the Eastern Front the Russians captured Minsk and created chaos in the

German command structure. To place the V-1 flying bomb menace in prospective Winston

Churchill reported to Parliament that 3745 V-1s had breached our defenses with the loss of

2750 civilians – less than one civilian per very expensive flying bomb!

55

American troops in the Pacific advanced across Saipan much to the consternation of Admiral

Nagumo and General Salto who promptly committed suicide in their dishonour. Despite very

heroic resistance by the defending Japanese the island fell to the Americans on 9th July. During

the battle, the Japanese lost 27,000 men against 3000 by the Americans with 12,000 wounded.

With their tails up, Allied units closed in on Florence whilst the Russians captured Pinsk. In

Normandy as US forces entered St-Lo, Erwin Rommel was severely wounded when his car

was strafed by Allied fighters. On the 20th July, and in an attempt to bring the war to a close,

the very brave Colonel Count von Stauffenberg placed his briefcase containing a bomb under

the conference table at which Hitler was speaking. Regrettably, the bomb was on the wrong

side of a very substantial table support and Hitler, although injured, was spared to carry on his

hopeless task. Americans landed 55,000 troops on the island of Guam and were opposed by

20,000 Japanese defenders. On the Eastern Front Russian troops took Lublin and saw for the

first time the horrors of a concentration camp at Majdeneck. In the Indian Ocean the British

Eastern Fleet attacked Subang off the northern tip of Sumatra. July ended with US troops

securing Avranches in France.

At the beginning of August the German Kriegsmarine started to employ „Linsen” radio

controlled assault boats, packed with high explosives, to attack British shipping engaged in the

supply of armaments and materials to their land forces in Europe. Various vessels were sunk

by these floating bombs including the destroyer HMS _Quorn. _ As the Russians approached

Warsaw, a Polish uprising against the Nazis began. In the Pacific, the island of Tinian, in the

Marianas Group, fell to American troops. Allied forces entered Florence and occupied the city

south of the River Arno. In Amsterdam, the secret hiding place of the family Frank was

betrayed to the Gestapo. The family was deported to Auschwitz concentration camp where

Anne later died in captivity. Thankfully, her diary survived and was published after the war, to

be read by millions of people around the world. Although Allied forces were slowly advancing

through France, they were being fought at every turn by desperate German troops. Whilst

Allied troops pushed forward towards the Falaise Gap, American and French troops landed on

the beaches between Toulon and Cannes in the south of the country. At Falaise, Allied troops

met with very heavy resistance in their efforts to deny the „Gap” to the retreating German

armour and troops[*. It was here during heavy fighting, that Guardsmen Albert Stockall of *]

[*the 5th Btn. Coldstream Guards and of Moulton Village, Cheshire lost his life. *]In Poland,

Russian[* *]troops were knocking on the door of the capital. After very fierce fighting the Falaise

Gap was finally closed and tens of thousands of German troops were trapped in the pocket.

The drive to reach Paris was going well with the US 3rd Army at the outskirts of Versailles. As

the Allies approached Bordeaux and Lorient the German Navy began to scuttle their U-boats

off the coast. With Allied troops nearing Paris, French Resistance fighters began to harass the

retreating German forces at every opportunity. To save the city from destruction and, in

contravention of the orders from Hitler, General von Choltitz surrendered Paris on the 23rd

August to the liberating Allied forces. Things were also going well for the Allies in Italy who

had crossed the River Metauro. * *

  • *

56

By the end of the month the Allied drive across France continued with the crossing of the

Marne, that river much associated with the early battles of WW1, leaving Reims and Amiens

within reach of the advancing troops. British defences now had the measure of the German V-1

flying bombs and were shooting down nine out of every ten launched against England. With

Russian troops by-passing Warsaw the fighting between the German occupiers and the Polish

Resistance became brutal and unyielding. The Gothic Line in Northern Italy, south of Bologna,

was attacked for the first time by Allied forces. The month ended with Bucharest, the capital of

Rumania, falling to the Russians.

Early September saw the Allied forces advancing across France at speed. They quickly overran

towns whose names were etched into the memory of all those who, however fleetingly, had

been associated with, or read about, the battles of WW1; Verdun, Rouen, Abbeville, Arras,

Cambrai etc. On the 3rd of the month the British Guards Division liberated Brussels and in the

south Lyons was taken. In Finland the Russians and Finns agreed on a ceasefire whilst in

Northern Italy the Gothic Line was ruptured at several points. In the Pacific US Task Force 38,

including 16 aircraft carriers attacked Palau in the Carolines. On the 8th September, the first

new V-2 rockets were launched against London. The 192 mile flight from The Hague took less

than five minutes and the rockets exploded on impact before the sound of their passage could

be heard. By the middle of the month British troops entered Holland and the Americans

reached the Siegfried Line on the German border. At this point it could be readily said that

things were going very well for the Allied Armies all over the globe. However, a setback was

about to occur that would be etched into the history of the Second World War in Europe –

“Operation Market Garden” and the battle of “Arnhem”. The story of Arnhem was graphically

illustrated in the film “A Bridge too Far” when British airborne troops, having reached the

bridge at Arnhem were not reinforced by advancing Allied forces, as planned. By the 25th

September, and despite their heroic efforts, the men holding one end of the bridge were forced

to retreat to the outskirts of the town. It was here, that the decision was taken to evacuate the fit

survivors and to cross the Rhine in small boats. More than 1000 men were killed in this failed

operation with 6,400 taken prisoner. A total of 2400 troops managed to escape to fight another

day. The battle for the bridge at Arnhem was the last victory chalked up by German forces in

WW2. By the end of the month Canadian troops had liberated Calais and the Americans had

occupied the Palau Islands in the Pacific. On the Eastern Front the Russians occupied Estonia

on the Baltic Sea.

The beginning of October saw German troops smash the Home Army uprising in Warsaw.

More than 200,000 Poles died during the resistance and buildings in the centre of the city were

demolished on the orders of Hitler to “punish them for their bravado”. As Hitler“s troops

reached their own borders on the Western Front fighting from these diehard Germans became

more intense. In Greece British forces took Corinth and Samos and Finish troops fighting on

the side of the Russians captured Kemi. At a conference in Moscow attended by Stalin,

Winston Churchill and Anthony Eden, agreement was reached on the division of Eastern

Europe after the war. In the Pacific American forces were moving inexorably towards the

Japanese mainland when Task Force 38 was deployed against Okinawa.

57

German troops were forced to evacuate Piraeus as Allied paratroops landed at Athens airfield

and the British on Corfu. In the Pacific, B-29 Super Fortresses were located on the Marianas

Islands to carry the strategic aerial war to Japan. Whilst the island of Formosa was being

attacked by huge numbers of Allied aircraft, Antwerp on the other side of the world, was being

assaulted by German V-1 and V-2 flying bombs. At Riga in Latvia, the Russians were in the

process of breaking the German defences. The German Nation was informed on the radio that

their beloved Field Marshal Erwin Rommel had died of wounds suffered in battle. However,

the truth was very different, for the General was forced to commit suicide by taking poison

rather than face charges of being part of the July bomb plot to kill Hitler. On the same day that

Athens and Piraeus were liberated the US cruiser Houston was put out of action by a Japanese

torpedo.

  • *

In Latvia, Riga fell to the Russians whilst in Norway, an SOE agent notified London that the

battleship Tirpitz was in the process of being moved to another anchorage. At Aachen,

although isolated, the German garrison was fighting like terriers to hold their positions. In

Greece and Southern Yugoslavia German forces were retreating to avoid isolation and the

Russians were marching into Czechoslovakia. On the Franco – German border American

forces took Bruyeres as resistance at Aachen weakened. In a joint action between Russian and

Marshal Tito“s partisans, Belgrade was liberated. In the Philippines General MacArthur

fulfilled his promise to the Filipino people to return, when 130,000 US troops forced their way

ashore at Leyte. As Aachen finally fell to Allied troops Russian forces on the Eastern Front

reached the German border. Off the Philippines a tremendous sea battle took place when

Admiral „Bull” Halsey“s fleet of battleships, aircraft carriers and destroyers took on the might

of the Japanese Fleet commanded by Admirals Kurita and Nishimura. The Japanese Navy

received the bloodiest nose of the war and was never again a threat to the US Navy in the

Pacific. October ended with RAF Bomber Command dropping over 6,000 tons of bombs on

Cologne and the Germans evacuating Salonika. It was during this period that the notorious gas

chambers at Auschwitz were used for the last time but the murder continued until the Russians

arrived.

In the Far East the Japanese landed 2000 reinforcements on Leyte as US forces continued their

advance. As British minesweepers cleared the approaches to Antwerp, fierce fighting on the

island of Walcheren was taking place. In the Philippines Admiral McCain“s group attacked

Luzon. The US aircraft carrier Lexington was damaged by a „kamikaze” attack. American

troops finally overcome the resistance on Leyte and moved on to their next objective.

Allied troops fighting in Burma took Fort White whilst the German garrison on the island of

Walcheren off Antwerp succumbed. In the Pacific a Japanese convoy carrying reinforcements

was attacked by carrier based aircraft. Many ships were sunk including four troop transporters

carrying a total of 10,000 Japanese soldiers. „Tallboy” bombs, dropped by RAF Lancaster

bombers, finally saw the demise of Tirpitz at anchor off Haakoy Island. Tirpitz took three

direct hits and more than 1000 German sailors perished when their ship capsized.

58

On the Eastern Front Russian troops were about to reach the city limits of Budapest. In the

China Sea, the Japanese aircraft carrier Junyo was sunk by an American submarine. Advanced

units of the French forces by-passed the town of Belfort and moved on towards the Rhine. East

of the Ardennes Forest the German 7th Army began a series of counter attacks against the

Americans. Hitler had convinced his advisors that a drive at the centre of the Allied lines

would prove successful and enable him to recapture Antwerp. V-2 rockets were still falling on

London and one, which hit a Woolworth store at Deptford, in the South of the city, killed 160

civilians. Near the Philippines „kamikaze” aircraft damaged four US aircraft carriers off the

island of Luzon. RAF Bomber Command destroyed more than 600 buildings in Munich when

they dropped 12,000lb „Tallboy” bombs on the city. On the island of Leyte in the Philippines,

the Japanese defenders finished the month in a strong position and on the verge of recapturing

Burauen airfield. Whilst B29 bombers raided Tokyo by night the US submarine Archerfish

sank the Japanese carrier Shinano off Honshu.

At the beginning of December the Home Guard in Britain was

stood down. In Europe poor weather reduced operations to a

minimum but German preparations to counter-attack in the

Ardennes, continued apace. In the Pacific the US heavy

cruiser Nashville was badly damaged when attacked by

„kamikaze” aircraft. In the Ardennes German forces received

their orders from Field Marshal von Rundstedt to advance.

This battle, which lasted for over six weeks before the

BRITISH POWs IN THE

German troops were forced to retreat, became know as

HANDS OF THE JAPANESE

„The Battle of the Bulge”. On the same day that this

battle commenced, units of the Waffen SS murdered 81 American POWs at Malmedy. In the

East, Russian troops all but cut off Budapest as they by-passed the city in their advance. Back

in the Ardennes Forest Allied troops were building up their forces to counter-attack the

German forward thrust. In the Philippines heavy fighting on the island of Leyte continued.

This bloody campaign would cost the Japanese over 60,000 dead against 15,000 Americans

dead and wounded.

  • *

[*MOULTON: The Verdin Institute Minute Book for 1944 included the following items: *]

Throughout the year raffles and draws continued apace at the Verdin. Prizes ranged from

bottles of Guinness, new laid eggs, sacks of potatoes, crates of vegetables, bottles of spirits,

Port and sherry, dressed fowls and cigarettes. At one point during the year 7000 raffle tickets

were ordered for sale at 2d each (25p in today“s terms). Proceeds from these events were

channeled into either the Forces Fund or Soldiers Comforts Fund.

  • *

[***]The Kohlma exhortation: „When you go home, tell them of us and say for your tomorrow, we

gave out today”*. *

59

Dedicated to the memory of George Dickens

*GEORGE DICKENS *

Guardsman

2720446

1stBn. Irish Guards

Killed in action on Wednesday 26 January 1944. Aged 27

He is buried in ANZIO WAR CEMETERY, Italy

Grave IV. K. 11

Awards to George Dickens (See pages 87 & 88)

60

Dedicated to the memory of George Dickens

George Dickens was born at Gibb Hall Cottages, Antrobus, Northwich on 4th February

1917. He was the third son of Sam and Clara Elizabeth Dickens (nee Buckley) and was

one of six children (two brothers and three sisters). Sam originated from Wincham and

Clara from Pickmere, Northwich. At the start of their marriage they lived in Pickmere but

later moved to Antrobus. Sam was employed for 30 years as a borehole driller in the

Halford brine fields of Brunner Mond (later ICI Ltd). The family worshiped at Antrobus

Parish Church where the three lads sang in the choir. With little for energetic,

adventurous, youngsters to do in the village, George and his brothers often fished,

illegally, in Belmont Hall Pool. Belmont Hall belonged to Sir John Brunner and it is said

that when the warden saw the lads fishing in the pool he would do a „Nelson” on them!

The children attended the village school and later George, who was a fair winger, played

football for both Antrobus and Arley. George grew to be 6"- 2” in height and as well as

football became an enthusiastic crown green bowler.

On leaving school George was employed as a maintenance worker by the LMS at

Northwich. His brother Thomas also worked for the railways as a track worker. At the

outbreak of war Thomas was excused military service on the grounds that his work was

„essential” to the war effort. George, on the other hand, was not so lucky, for he was

called up when war was declared – such are the fortunes of life! George“s best pal was

Bill Plant of Comberbach. Bill was taken prisoner by the Japanese in the Far East but

survived – he died in the 1990s.

On 16th April 1938 George married his sweetheart Irene Buckley of Moulton and they

lived for a little while in Peter Street, off Manchester Road, close to Northwich railway

station. They then went to live with Irene“s parents at 116, Togo Villas, Moulton and later

moved to a small cottage in the village, at the end of School Lane. After George enlisted,

Irene, who was the sister of Felix Buckley – see separate dedication – moved back to live

with her parents at Togo Villas. George and Irene had one child, Peter, who was born in

Moulton. Peter was two years old when news was received that his father had been killed.

After George received his call up papers he was posted to the 1st Battalion Irish Guards.

He served in North Africa with the 8th Army (The Desert Rats) and fought there against

the Germans and Italians who were under the command of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel.

In 1942 George was posted to Hammamet in Tunisia for training. He then went to Bizerta

en route for Taranto in Italy. Transported on the _Llangibby Castle _ he arrived at Taranto

harbour on 7th December. The battalion then remained at a staging camp at Monte Carrafa

for Christmas and New Year. In early January 1944, the Battalion moved by road to

Gragnano where they stayed for the next two weeks. It was whilst here that they learned

that their next objective was to be Anzio, south of Rome and that they were to be part of

the 6th US Corps. The former name for Anzio was Antium and it was here that the

notorious Emperor Caligula was born. On the 20th January the Battalion embarked into

61

Dedicated to the memory of George Dickens

their landing craft and arrived at the secured bridgehead of Anzio on the 22nd. The

Battalion were then instructed to position themselves at Selva di Nettuno and to wait there

for further orders.

Shortly after they received orders to take the town of Carroceto and in particular, the

Fascist Headquarters known as the „Factory”. They were to attack alongside the Grenadier

and Scots Guards. Facing them was the 29th Panzer Grenadier Regiment. At 8.0am on 26th

January the Germans counter attacked with artillery, tanks and their Panzer Grenadiers.

The fighting was fierce but the Guards held their line. At the end of the day they had lost

20 men killed with just below 100 wounded. Among the dead was Guardsman George

Dickens of Moulton. He was 27 years old.

George“s wife, Irene, remarried Lawrence Carter in 1948. Her son Peter, a TV Engineer,

married Barbara Burrows but regrettably died of a heart attack at a very early age. Irene

did not live to see her son Peter married.

ANZIO LANDINGS

62

Dedicated to the memory of George Dickens

GEORGE WITH HIS SON PETER

116, TOGO VILLAS TODAY

(2005)

ANZIO WAR CEMETERY

ORIGINAL WAR GRAVE

63

Dedicated to the memory of George Shannon

*GEORGE SHANNON *

Gunner

1120105

Royal Artillery

Who died on Monday 26 June 1944

His name is commemorated on the SINGAPORE MEMORIAL, Singapore

Column 30

SINGAPORE MEMORIAL

Other Memorials: Brunner Mond Memorial, Winnington, Northwich

Awards to George Shannon (See pages 87 & 88)

64

Dedicated to the memory of George Shannon

When the disastrous Asian Tsunami struck Indonesia in January 2005, the huge wave

created by the undersea eruption passed over the wreck of the _Harukiku Maru _ lying in

deep water in the South China Sea. Her actual position in the Malacca Straights is

Latitude 03.15N – Longitude 99.46E., some 60 nautical miles south east of Medan the

capital of Banda Aceh Province in Northern Sumatra.

The Harukiku Maru _ was formerly the SS _Van Waerwijk built in 1909 in Amsterdam. At

the time of her launch she had accommodation for 60 passengers and was registered at

3,040 gross tons. On the 3rd March 1942 she was scuttled at Tandjong Priok, Java, prior to

the Japanese invasion. She was later salvaged by the Japanese and renamed _Harukiku _

_Maru. _

_ _

George Shannon, a prisoner of the Japanese since Singapore fell to them in February

1942, boarded the _Harukiku Maru _ at Belawan, the port for Medan. The ship was

scheduled to sail alone with 720 prisoners of war as well as 780 others to Pekanbaru in

North Central Sumatra, some 300 nautical miles from Belawan. The POWs were destined

to work on the „Death Railway of Sumatra” that would eventually stretch from Pekanbaru

to Mocra in the south of the island. On the morning of 26th June 1944 the _Harukiku Maru _

was _ _ sighted by H.M.S _Truculent, _ a British submarine, _ _ which immediately went to battle

stations and sank the vessel with torpedoes. Of the 720 POWs on board 177 died with 543

saved. George Shannon did not survive and his remains lie in the South China Sea to this

day. He was 31 years old.

George was a Moultoner, the son of Tom and Sarah Shannon. He was born in 1912 at 13,

Chapel Lane, Moulton but later, in the late 1920s, moved with his family to 36, Whitlow

Lane, Moulton. Tom and Sarah“s five children; Jack, Tom, George, Margaret and Annie

all attended Moulton Council School. The Shannon“s were a close knit family and their

grandparents, Tom and Agnes Shannon lived at 12, Regent Street in the village. The

family attended the local Primitive Methodist Chapel and all the children were expected to

help their father in growing vegetables in their large garden at Chapel Lane.

During the period of the First World War, tragedy struck the Shannon household when

Jack (12), George“s older brother, drowned whilst swimming on a very hot summers day

in the River Weaver. It is said that he was caught in the reeds after he had dived into the

water. At the time his father, Tom, was away serving with the RASC on the Western

Front. Jack was a very bright man and his brothers and sisters walked in his „academic”

shadow. His parents were broken hearted on learning of his death, for he was the apple of

their eye.

On leaving school George was employed as a fitter at ICI Winnington Works, Northwich.

Later, and before the war started, he met and married his wife Edith at Whitegate Chapel.

In the early years of their marriage George and Edith lived at 2 Chapel Lane, Moulton.

65

Dedicated to the memory of George Shannon

However, sometime after George enlisted in the Royal Artillery in February 1940, Edith,

who was pregnant at the time, moved to the home of her parents at The Hollows,

Cuddington, Northwich. Edith gave birth to her daughter Georgina Priscilla there in the

spring of 1941. By the time Georgina was born, her father had sailed for Singapore via

Simon“s Town in South Africa. He never lived to see his little girl!

After Singapore fell in early 1942 Edith received no news of George for two years until,

in January 1944, she received a card from him saying that he was well and a prisoner of

war of the Japanese in Malaya.

After the war Edith remarried and settled in Liverpool. By the year 2003 she had attained

the ripe old age of 89 years but was, once again, a widow. Her daughter, Georgina

Finning, from her first marriage to George Shannon, died in 1997 aged 56 years.

„HARUKIKU MARUFORMERLY „SS VAN WAERWIJK

36 WHITLOW LANE, MOULTON

TODAY (2005)

2, CHAPEL LANE

MOULTON TODAY (2005)

66

Dedicated to the memory of Albert Edward Stockall

*ALBERT EDWARD STOCKALL *

Guardsman

2661256

5th Bn., Coldstream Guards

Who died of wounds on Friday 11 August 1944. Aged 23

He is buried in BANNEVILLE-LA-CAMPAGNE WAR CEMETERY,

Calvados, France

Grave XV. D. 19

Other Memorials: Middlewich Memorial, Middlewich, Cheshire

Awards to Albert Edward Stockall (See pages 87 & 88)

67

Dedicated to the memory of Albert Edward Stockall

Victory at the Falaise Pocket (or Gap) in the summer of 1944 was critical to the Allied

war plans in Normandy. Falaise was the birthplace of William the Conqueror, Duke of

Normandy, who gave England such a hard time at Hastings! „Falaise” means „steep cliff”

and it was the gap between these high cliffs that the Allied Armies were determined to

close before the German panzer divisions could escape. With the Americans and British

attacking from each side of the pocket they eventually managed to cut off the retreating

German troops. Some 40,000 did manage to escape but 60,000 were trapped and captured.

The Falaise Pocket became known as the „corridor of death” and it was here that Albert

Stockall was killed. It was the first complete victory by the Allies in France and boosted

their moral tremendously.

Albert was a Moulton lad who was born in 1921 to Walter and Frances Stockall of 4

Church Street, Moulton. He was their second son from a total of ten children in all – 2

daughters and 8 sons. Walter worked as a road builder for Tarmac Ltd. On reaching

school age Albert, like most Moultoners, attended the local Council School in School

Lane where he became a good scholar who often came top of his class and won prizes for

his good work. He was a very fit young man who became proficient at gym, played

cricket and loved to cycle with his pals around the local countryside. In his early years he

collected cigarette cards and often „skinned” his young pals when they played marbles

together.

On leaving school he was employed by Ambrose Wilson who ran a smallholding at the

corner of Jack Lane, Moulton. Albert was a quiet young man who cared about people. He

was not given to bluster or showing off.

In his teens Albert had an obsession with motorbikes and could be found most weekends

tinkering with an old AJS and later a more upmarket Aerial model. With his brother

Walter and their friends they would ride the bikes on private farmland belonging to Ernie

Crimes. The old AJS bike finished up embedded in concrete with a drive belt around the

back axle. This contraption was used by Ernie Crimes to drive a machine that pulped the

turnips grown on his farm.

Every year before the war a „Fete” was held at Vale Royal Abbey. One of the attractions

was a boxing booth. Anyone who could last three rounds with the Manchester pugilist

„Nipper Plant” could pocket £5, a good deal of money in the mid thirty“s (£200 in today“s

terms). Albert and his two pals, Arthur Brereton and George Mellor, were a „rum” trio and

all over six feet tall. They devised a plan to win the money. Arthur and George would first

challenge „Nipper” and try to last out for as long as they could. When „Nipper” tired,

Albert would enter the ring to attempt to go the distance with him – this he did and the

three lads then shared the cash, somewhat bruised but happy!

68

Dedicated to the memory of Albert Edward Stockall

Just before the war started Albert and his pals: Tom Ashton, Walter Stockall, Enoch

Hough, and the two Kennerley brothers each acquired new cycles. They decided to test

them out by setting out on a big adventure to New Brighton on the Wirral (c.90 miles –

round trip). They achieved their objective, but at the expense of very sore posteriors on

their return to the village!!

Albert was a very handsome young man, well built, and 6"- 4” tall. The girls of the village

were smitten by him, but it was Winnie Gill from Middlewich who finally claimed his

heart. They eventually married and had two sons, Terrance (Terry) and Kenneth (Kenny).

One month after war was declared in September 1939 Albert volunteered for service in

the Army. He was recruited into the Coldstream Guards and posted to Salisbury Plain for

his initial training. It was during this time at Salisbury that he became a first class

marksman. His older brother, Walter, was very annoyed when he learned that Albert was

in the Guards, for he wanted him to join his outfit, the Royal Engineers; maybe he wanted

to keep a brotherly eye on him! In those days, it should be explained, the Army tried to

keep brothers together. Walter attempted to have Albert transferred without success.

After his recruit training, Albert left Salisbury for more intense battle training elsewhere.

He did a spell of guard duty at Buckingham Palace and it was during this period that he

ran foul of the notorious Regimental Sergeant Major Britton, the scourge of the Guards

Division. It was said that his voice was so powerful that he was the only man in the

British Army „who could whisper across three fields”! RSM Britton once put Albert on a

charge for allowing his hat to blow off during an inspection by the Queen! This incident,

RSM Britton“s bellowing and the Guards regime in general, soured Albert“s feeling

towards his regiment. By this time four of Albert“s siblings were serving in the armed

forces; Walter, Royal Engineers; Billy, RAF; Norman, Royal Signals; and Lillian, ATS.

In October 1941 the Regiment formed its 5th Battalion and this was destined to become a

motorised unit in the Guards Armoured Division. Albert was transferred to this new

Battalion and placed in the 2nd Company. In late spring 1944 he returned home on leave,

but had only been with his family for two days, when he received orders to report back to

barracks, to prepare for Normandy and the „D” Day landings. During his short leave

Albert found time to visit his brother Ron who was in the isolation ward at Davenham

Hospital with diphtheria.

In early August 1944 Lillian, the eldest of Albert“s two sisters, and serving in the ATS,

received a last letter from him. He chided her about her boyfriend and also mentioned that

he had not had a bath for some weeks. He went on to say that he had received a letter from

their mother and this had cheered him up „no end”.

69

Dedicated to the memory of Albert Edward Stockall

On 11th August the 5th Coldstream Guards attacked the village of Chenedolle and

sustained heavy casualties. One of these was Guardsman Albert Stockall who received a

wound to his chest. He was taken to a field hospital but died through loss of blood on the

operating table. He was 23 years old.

News of Albert“s death was received by his wife Winnie whilst she was at her parent“s

home at 95, Lewin Street, Middlewich. After the battle for Chenedolle, some of Albert“s

belongings were found in a field and returned to his wife. After the war Winnie met and

married Frank Lewis and they had two children.

95, LEWIN ST. MIDDLEWICH (END

HOUSE ON RIGHT) TODAY 2005

ALBERT & WINNIE

WINNIE WITH HER SON

4, CHURCH ST. MOULTON

TERRANCE

TODAY (2005)

70

Dedicated to the memory of Ralph Latham

*RALPH LATHAM *

Corporal

541973

Royal Air Force

Who died on Tuesday 26 December 1944. Aged 26

He is buried in LABUAN WAR CEMETERY, Malaysia

Grave U. C. 10.

RALPH LATHAM“S HEADSTONE,

LABUAN WAR CEMETERY

Awards to Ralph Latham (See pages 87 & 88)

71

Dedicated to the memory of Ralph Latham

As Ralph Latham was not born or schooled in the village of Moulton there is very little in

the way of records or anecdotes to be found. He was the youngest son of William and

Elizabeth Latham who, during the initial years of their marriage, lived at 2 Tower Place,

Rudheath. The house is now a distant memory, for it succumbed to the bulldozers, when

the new Tesco Superstore was built alongside Northwich Station.

Whilst at Tower Place, William and Elizabeth had ten children – 6 girls and 4 boys. The

family then moved to 73 Woodford Lane, Over, Winsford where Ralph was brought up.

He was born on 13th October 1918 and attended the local Council School in High Street,

Winsford. In 1931 his mother Elizabeth died and some time later his father remarried. His

new bride was Annie Hughes and they settled in Moulton at 40 Main Road.

Ralph left school at 14 in 1932. After working locally for 5 years he took the decision, in

1937, to sign on as a regular serviceman in the RAF. After his initial square bashing was

done, he trained as a Fitter (Engines) and passed out as a Leading Aircraftsman. Prior to

the commencement of hostilities he served on a number of RAF Stations in the UK. In

May 1941 he was posted to RAF Seletar, Singapore to work in the Repair and Salvage

Unit there. Ralph wrote only one letter home to his father in December 1941.

In February 1942 the garrison at Singapore surrendered to the Japanese Army and

thousands of Allied servicemen were incarcerated for the duration of the war. Ralph was

one of these men and was imprisoned in a Prisoner of War Camp in Borneo. For the next

15 months nothing was heard of him until, in March 1943, notification was received via

the Air Ministry from the International Red Cross, that Ralph was a POW.

In September 1944 Ralph was promoted Corporal but died of Malaria just two months

later. He was 26 years old. His grave is on the island of Labuan in Brunei Bay off the

coast of North East Borneo.

LABUAN WAR CEMETERY N.E.

BORNEO

40, MAIN ROAD,

MOULTON TODAY (2005)

72

[*1945 – CHRONOLOGY *]

  • *

At the beginning of the January counter attacks by the Allies in the forests of the

Ardennes gathered pace. Out in Burma, Allied troops landed on Akyab Island in the

Arakan and British troops forged forward inland towards the Irrawaddy. The German

High Command decided to withdraw units of their SS Panzer Army in the Ardennes and

send them to the Eastern Front. In the Pacific, US troops landed in the Lingayen Gulf on

Luzon, precisely where the Japanese had landed three years before. In Poland Marshal

Zhukov started a new offensive with nine armies pushing forward to the north of Warsaw.

Advancing towards Mandalay, in Burma, British forces encountered stiff resistance from

the Japanese defenders. By the middle of the month, Russian forces had completely

encircled Warsaw and took control of the city shortly afterwards. To avoid a further

encirclement, the German garrison at Krakow evacuated the town. This was good thinking

on the part of the German High Command for on the 19th Tarnow, Lodz and Krakow fell

to the advancing Russian forces. In the Far East American aircraft attacked Formosa and

Okinawa and in so doing destroyed 100 Japanese aircraft. However, it was not all „icing

on the cake”, for three of the US carriers were damaged in a retaliatory strike by Japanese

aircraft. Towards the end of the month Russian troops liberated the notorious

concentration camp at Auschwitz. In the Ardennes German forces were forced to

relinquish all territory taken since the start of the campaign. By the end of January,

Russian forces were within fifty miles of Berlin.

On Luzon American forces, struggling against fierce Japanese opposition, strengthened

their forces by sending in their 11th Airborne Division. A force of 1500 US fighters and

bombers dropped 2000 tons of bombs on Berlin in that city“s worst air raid of the war. At

Yalta the three world leaders Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin met to discuss the post war

situation. President Roosevelt, who was in very poor health, stipulated that he could only

spend six days at the conference. It is said that Winston Churchill, on hearing this news,

scribbled a note to Anthony Eden, his Foreign Secretary, which said in effect “Six days to

decide the fate of the world – even the almighty took seven!!” At Nijmegen, on the Rhine,

British and Canadian troops gained ground despite strong German resistance. In the

Pacific the Americans were also doing well and pushing forward towards Manila. On the

10th of the month a Russian submarine sank the German Hospital Ship _General von _

_Steuben _ which had sailed from Pillau in the Bay of Danzig with more than 3000

casualties, passengers and crew on board – only 300 were saved. In Burma Allied forces

crossed the Irrawaddy at several points whilst in Hungary, the city of Budapest

surrendered to the Russian when 100,000 German troops laid down their arms. On the

same day 750 RAF bombers attacked the city of Dresden with more US and RAF raids

over the following two days. The firestorm created by the bombing accounted for 70,000

lives. This raid, which is still the subject of heated debate today, severed the vital rail link

converging on the city, and indirectly saved the lives of many Allied service personnel.

US Forces in the Pacific made both seaborne and airborne landings on the island of

Corregidor. Some three days later some 30,000 US Marines landed on the south east coast

of Iwo Jima. This island was garrisoned by 20,000 Japanese defenders. Japanese

73

kamikaze aircraft sank the aircraft US carrier _Bismarck Sea _ whilst supporting the landings

on Iwo Jima. In Burma 6000 men of the British 3rd Commando Brigade landed near

Kangaw. In a US air raid on Tokyo it was estimated that a total of 27,000 buildings were

destroyed. On Corregidor the fighting ended with more than 5000 Japanese dead

including many trapped in the honeycomb of tunnels scattered throughout the island.

By early March both airfields on Iwo Jima were in the hands of American forces. The

island of Okinawa was bombarded by American aircraft. The devastated city of Manila

fell to US troops as the last of the 20,000 Japanese defenders were wiped out. In

Germany, American troops entered the Cologne and in a desperate bid to plug the gaps in

their ranks, an edict was posted to the effect that all fifteen year olds were to be recruited

for the German Army. In a swift advance allied troops reached the Ludendorff Bridge at

Remagen, where they then managed to cross the damaged structure before it could be

completely destroyed by retreating German troops. On Iwo Jima in the Pacific Japanese

defenders were pushed back into a small pocket on the northern coast. In a massive air

raid on Tokyo US B29 Super Fortresses killed 10,000 Japanese inhabitants when a fire

storm, created by the bombing, destroyed their wood and paper homes.

  • *

In Germany the RAF sent 1000 bombers on a daylight raid over Essen and effectively

destroyed the rail junction with 4700 tons of bombs. A similar attack on Dortmund

followed some days later. Despite heroic efforts by US Forces on Iwo Jima, pockets of

Japanese resistance were proving difficult to shift. By mid March Allied troops had taken

Koblenz and were using temporary bridges built by Allied engineers when the Remagen

Bridge finally succumbed to heavy German bombing. In Burma heavy fighting continued

in the area of Mandalay with the result that two days later the city fell to the 19th Indian

Division. US troops finally secured Iwo Jima when the Japanese garrison there was all but

wiped out. Of the original 20,000 Japanese troops only 200 survived to be taken prisoner.

The Americans lost nearly 6000 dead with more than 17,000 wounded in this epic battle.

Towards the end of the month the last V-2 rockets were launched at the UK and hit the

town of Orpington in Kent. The month ended with Danzig falling to Russian troops and

things going well for the Allied forces in Burma.

April 1945 was a momentous month for the Allies with successes on all fronts. In

Germany US Armies linked up to cut off more than 300,000 German troops in the Ruhr.

In the Pacific theatre of war the invasion of Okinawa began. Nearly 500,000 US troops

were ranged against 130,000 Japanese defenders. As transports ferrying the American

troops approached the island, Kamikaze aircraft inflicted severe losses on the invading

force. In Austria the Russians reached the suburbs of Vienna. In a last ditch attempt to

defend the island of Okinawa the 72,000 ton battleship _Yamato _ with a cruiser and eight

destroyers was despatched from the Inland Sea. Significantly, _Yamato _ had only sufficient

fuel for the outward passage! On the Ruhr, German troops trapped in the pocket there,

attempted to fight their way out. In Burma, British troops drove the Japanese before them

as they pushed forward through the Sittang and Irrawaddy valleys. In the harbour at Kiel

the German pocket battleship _Admiral Scheer _ was heavily bombed by the RAF. During

74

the same raid the cruiser Emden and many other vessels were critically damaged. In East

Prussia Konigsberg fell to the Russians whilst Hanover was taken by the British. In the

Philippines US forces on Luzon were steadily advancing towards Manila. On the 12th May

the free world mourned the passing of President Roosevelt. He was quickly succeeded by

Vice-President Harry S Truman. On the following day Allied troops entered the

concentration camps of Belsen Bergen and Buchenwald. These troops were then made

fully aware of the justice of their cause, when they saw the horror of Germany“s attempt

to exterminate the Jewish race. On the same day the Russian Army liberated Vienna. After

the unsuccessful attempt to take Arnhem, in Operation „Market Garden” eight months

earlier, the town finally succumbed to Canadian Forces. In what was to become East

Germany the notorious prison camp for „bad lads” – Colditz, was liberated. In the Ruhr

pocket 300,000 German troops surrendered to the Americans. In Burma the Allied push

south was proceeding apace. Russian forces commanded by General Zhukov entered the

outskirts of Berlin whilst in Italy Polish troops captured the City of Bologna. Further north

US and British troops crossed the River PO and La Spezia was taken. In Berlin the city

was finally surrounded and the noose tightened as Russian troops began to fight their way

towards the city centre. In Burma Japanese troops fleeing ahead of Allied forces tried to

escape into Thailand. In France the old WW1 general, Marshal Petain, was arrested whilst

trying to escape into Switzerland. Subsequently he was sentenced to death but his

sentence was later commuted to life imprisonment by General de Gaulle. Towards the end

of the month Mussolini, his mistress and some fascist colleagues were captured near Lake

Como as they tried to cross into Switzerland. They were quickly shot and their bodies

mutilated and hung up by their heels from meat hooks in a petrol station forecourt. In

Hitler“s bunker in Berlin Admiral Doenitz was appointed Hitler“s successor. Hitler then

married his companion Eva Braun and the following day, at 3.30pm, they committed

suicide.

When Hitler“s death was announced on German radio on 1st May it was coupled with the

news that Admiral Karl Doenitz had been elected as his successor. Knowing that the game

was up Josef Goebbels ordered that his children be murdered and then instructed a

member of his SS bodyguard to shoot both him and his wife. In Yugoslavia, partisans

under the command of General Tito, captured Trieste whilst in Italy, German troops

finally surrender to the Allies. As the monsoon broke in Burma, the Allies attacked and

took the city of Rangoon. In Borneo a mainly Australian force landed at Tarakan. The 2nd

of May was a „red letter” day for the whole of the free world, for on this day in 1945, the

German defenders in Berlin finally decided to „give up the ghost” and lay down their

arms. On the following day Hamburg and Innsbruck were taken and news was received

from the Far East that Rangoon had fallen to British and Indian forces. The German

cruiser _Admiral Hipper _ was scuttled in Kiel Bay.

  • *

On the island of Okinawa, Japanese troops mounted a massive counter attack to try to

break the American line, but failed in their endeavours. On Luneburg Heath in Germany,

Field Marshal Montgomery met with envoys of the German government to discuss their

unconditional surrender. In Denmark, Allied troops entered Copenhagen to strengthen the

75

ranks of local resistance fighters who had been fighting the Germans on their own. On the

7th May General Eisenhower accepted, from General Jodl and Admiral Freideburg, the

unconditional surrender of the German nation. The following day was declared VE Day –

Victory in Europe. Nazi hierarchy, fleeing the city of Berlin, including Reichsmarshal

Goring and Field Marshal Kesselring were caught and interned. Two weeks later Heinrich

Himmler was captured by British forces but committed suicide before they had a chance

to interrogate him. The month ended with 500 US bombers dropping 750,000 phosphorus

bombs on Tokyo which laid waste to 50% of the residential area of the city.

Despite having seen their friends defeated in Europe, Japanese forces in the Far East were

still defying the might of the American and British Armies. However, on Okinawa, a

critical point was about to be reached. Desperate fighting by the remaining Japanese units

saw mass suicides by troops serving the Empire of the Rising Sun. Realising the

hopelessness of their situation they took the decision to die, in large numbers, for their

Emperor. In Europe the Allies reached an agreement on the division of Germany and

Berlin after which they took over government operations. 21st June, General Ushijima“s

body (he had commanded the Japanese Army), was found on Hill 69, having committed

ritual suicide. After the surrender of Okinawa, it was recorded that the Japanese had lost

160,000 dead against Americans 12,500. On Luzon in the Philippines, a hopelessly

outnumbered Japanese force, was encircled in the Sierra Madre. The island finally fell at

the end of the month. General MacArthur was overjoyed at having fulfilled his promise,

made in early 1942, when he had said „I will return”.

At the beginning of July, 30,000 Australian troops landed at Balikpapan in Borneo. Two

weeks later, at Los Alamos, New Mexico, the first atomic bomb was detonated. Back in

Britain the population went to the polls and elected a Labour government under Clement

Attlee. Winston Churchill, who had rallied and led his nation throughout all the grief and

hardships of the war, was unceremoniously dumped out of office, as a big, big thank you

for his efforts! July drew to a close with two naval encounters; firstly, and in their last

naval success of the war, a Japanese submarine sank the US cruiser Indianapolis returning

to port after having delivered components for the atomic bomb. Secondly, in Singapore

harbour, a British midget submarine attached limpet mines to the hull of the Japanese

heavy cruiser Takao and crippled the beast in its lair!

In the heaviest raid of the war 800 US bombers dropped more than 6000 tons of

incendiary bombs onto Japanese cities killing more than 80,000 people*. History was

made on the 6th of August when an American B29 bomber, christened „Enola Gay”,

dropped the first atomic bomb in history on the city of Hiroshima. More than 80,000

Japanese were killed outright, with tens of thousands more burned and maimed. Three

days later, a second bomb was detonated over Nagasaki, killing another 40,000

inhabitants.

On the 2nd September the US battleship _Missouri _ played host to the final surrender of the

Japanese nation. Despite the awful death toll of Japanese civilians at Hiroshima and

76

Nagasaki, it should never be forgotten that these two events saved the lives of tens of

thousands of troops and civilians from both sides of the divide. It should also never be

forgotten that Allied POW“s, who had been grossly ill-treated by their inhuman Japanese

guards, were destined for annihilation should the Japanese Military appear in danger of

losing a conventional war.

In October the United Nations was officially born when an initial 29 members declared

their support and allegiance.

On 20th November the Nuremberg war crime trials began when 21 Nazi leaders, including

Goring, Doenitz. Raeder, Jodl, Keitel and Hess, where brought to justice. Their trials took

many months with some sentenced to death and others to long terms of imprisonment

including life. Sadly, Herman Goring, cheated the hangman when he committed suicide

just two hours before his appointed time.

In December, Japanese General Yamashita, who commanded the infamous death march of

Allied prisoners in 1942, was sentenced to death by the Americans.

[ 10,000 more than Dresden. _ _ *]

  • *

MOULTON: *The Verdin Institute Minute Book for 1945 includes the following *

[*items: *]

  • *

Once again the people of Moulton worked long and hard during the year to provide funds

for the lads and lasses serving in the armed forces. As in previous years, money making

events were varied and numerous.

In mid May an article in the Winsford Chronicle described how the village celebrated the

news of the Victory in Europe. Streets were crowded with villagers, singing, dancing and

waving flags. A service of thanksgiving was held in the Parish Church with the band of

the Air Training Corps heading a huge parade to the service. In the evening, an enormous

bonfire and firework display took place in a field alongside Whitlow Lane at which an

effigy of Hitler was burned. The Chronicle report ended by mentioning that, as in World

War One, when 230 men from the village enrolled in HM forces, in World War Two a

further 250 men and women marched forward to serve their country. VE Celebrations

continued all week and the Church Hall was packed to hear the Cesterian Band playing

uplifting tunes to their audience. This event raised £57 (2005 – £1500 – rpi) for the Forces

Comforts Fund. Thanksgiving services were held at the War Memorial, Parish and

Methodist Churches. These events were well attended by ecstatic villagers, who thanked

God and paid homage to the members of the armed forces who had delivered them from

the jaws of evil. In particular they thought and prayed for the 12 who would never walk

down Main Road again!

77

Dedicated to the memory of Frank Felix Buckley

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

*FRANK FELIX BUCKLEY *

Sapper

2159091

Royal Engineers

Who died on Thursday 2 May 1946. Aged 22

He is buried in BARI WAR CEMETERY, Italy

Grave X1. F. 36

  • *

  • *

Awards to Frank Felix Buckley (See pages 87 & 88)

78

Dedicated to the memory of Frank Felix Buckley

At weekends, during the racing season, young Felix Buckley and his Dad Tom could be

found near their loft at the bottom of their garden at 116 Togo Villas. Their eyes searched

the sky for a first glimpse of their incoming racing pigeons. As soon as a bird alighted and

entered the loft Tom would quickly take off the bird“s leg ring, hand it to his son, who

would then sprint the 200 yards or so to the Lion Pub in Main Road to present the ring to

the „clock man” who then inserted it into his time piece. Felix was allowed a certain time

to run the distance from home but if he decided to travel by cycle this allowance was

reduced accordingly! Only after the pigeon had alighted and the ring was safely in the

hands of the „clock man” was Felix allowed out to play with his friends.

Felix was one of nine children to Tom and Mary Jane (Polly) Buckley. Tom was a

stonemason and chairman of the local Verdin Institute. Regrettably, one of their children

died in infancy, but four girls and four boys survived into adulthood. Felix was christened

Frank Felix but was only ever known as Felix. It is said, in the family, that the name was

chosen by his parents because they liked the sound of Felix Brunner, the son of Sir John

Brunner, one of the founders of the great Brunner Mond Alkali Company at Northwich.

Felix was born in 1924 and attended the local council school as well as the local

Methodist Church in Chapel Street. He was a quiet lad but had a fiendish temper when

roused! He was a very useful footballer and played left half for his school team.

On leaving school Felix secured a job as a van lad with William Shout, Baker and

Confectioner, at Davenham. The Bakery was located next door to where Davenham Post

Office stands today (2014). He slowly progressed to become a baker and van driver. His

job entailed very unsocial hours for he was woken by his mother at 2.00am each morning

to enable him to cycle to Davenham and report for work at 3.00am. After making the

bread Felix would then drive the van and deliver his night“s work to the various outlets in

the area – and they say that the youngsters of today have it tough!!

In 1942 and aged 18 years, Felix was called to the colours and posted to 990 Port

Maintenance Company, Royal Engineers – Catering. By this time his brother in law,

George Dickens, who was married to his sister Irene, was serving in the Irish Guards.

George was to die at Anzio in January 1944 – see separate dedication. In July 1943 Felix

was among soldiers who forged ashore on Sicily and then into Italy. He remained in Italy

up to and after the end of the war and was looking forward to his demobilisation when

tragedy struck.

Since a child Felix had been prone to sleepwalking. His mother Polly was so concerned

about the danger to her son that each night she would wedge a table against his bedroom

door to prevent him from falling down stairs. On the night of the 2nd May 1946 Felix

walked in his sleep for the last time. His room was on the high floor of a barrack block

and he fell to his death having walked through an open window. He was 22 years old.

79

Dedicated to the memory of Frank Felix Buckley

Every year, until her death at the age of 86, Polly Buckley placed a wreath of white

chrysanthemums on the Village Cenotaph in memory of her dear son.

  • *

  • *

Christmas Greetings – 1943

TRANSIT CAMP ITALY 1945 – MOULTONERS MEET

L-R FELIX BUCKLEY (116 TOGO VILLAS); ROBERT BUCKLEY (118 TOGO

VILLAS); JOSEPH STEEL (SCHOOL LANE)[* *]

FELIX WITH A

CHRISTMAS

FRIEND[* *]

GREETINGS 1943

80

Dedicated to the memory of Frank Felix Buckley

116, TOGO VILLAS,

MOULTON TODAY (2005)

ORIGINAL GRAVE

FELIX

MARKER

81

  • *

*MEMORIALS AND TABLETS *

  • *

As with the 34 men from the village who died in WW1 the 12 servicemen who perished in

WW2 are commemorated on many other memorials around the district. Lance

Bombardier Harold Brooks for instance is remembered on three memorials throughout the

locality. These are in addition to the Moulton War Memorial and the tablet in St Stephen’s

Church. Harold originated from Meadow Bank, Winsford, which explains why his name

appears on both the Winsford Town and Whitegate St Mary’s Memorials. Large

employers of labour such as Brunner Mond Ltd and Salt Union Ltd also erected

memorials to their dead employees.

___________________________________________.

  • *

*WINSFORD WAR MEMORIAL *

*BRUNNER *

*MOND *

*MEMORIAL, *

*WINNINGTON, *

*NORTHWICH *

*HAROLD BROOKES *

  • *

*JOHN HENRY EYRES *

  • *

  • *

*STANLEY GOULDING *

  • *

*GEORGE MILES *

  • *

*GEORGE SHANNON *

82

[*MEMORIALS & TABLETS (CONTINUED) *]

  • *

[*ST MARY’S WAR MEMORIAL, *]

*CHRIST CHURCH, WINSFORD *

*WHITEGATE, WINSFORD *

*MEMORIAL TABLET *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

*HAROLD BROOKES *

*FREDERICK WRIGHT *

*MIDDLEWICH WAR *

*MEMORIAL *

*SALT UNION WINSFORD *

*ALBERT *

*HAROLD BROOKES *

*STOCKALL *

83

  • *

  • *

*THE CROSS OF SACRIFICE *

  • *

Y

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SH MI N

TI

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84

*CASUALTIES *

  • *

It is often said that there are ‘lies, damn lies and statistics’ and to an extent this is true of the casualty

tables for both wars. Seldom do any two figures agree. The onerous task of compiling meaningful

statistics to reflect the numbers who died from each country is awesome, and one can only conclude

that the statistics given below – courtesy of Phil Stokes – are as accurate as any. Having said that, the

scale of the slaughter in both wars was such that to be a million out, either way, would have little

impact on the overall picture!! In recent years it has become popular for the media and some

historians to dwell on the casualties of World War One, and in particular the men lost on the

Somme, at Mons, Arras and Ypres. They tend to ignore the enormity of the losses of World War

Two, aside that is, from the Holocaust and those who died whilst in the custody of the Imperial

Japanese Army. In WW1 the figure for Allied dead is a shade under 5 million. Couple this figure

with those lost by the Axis Powers and a total of over 8.2 million servicemen, from both sides

emerges. Add to this a further 8.75 million civilians, who perished in all theatres, and you have a

combined total of 17 million. On the other hand the dead of WW2 is over 3.5 times greater at 61

million. The breakdown of this figure is as follows:

*Country *

*Military *

*Civilian *

*Total *

  • *

  • *

(000’s)

Soviet Union

8,668

16,900

25,568

China

1,324

10,000

11,324

  • *

Germany

3,250

3,810

7,060

Notes:

The above figures show

Poland

850

6,000

6,850

deaths not wounded.

Japan

1,506

300

1,806

Yugoslavia

300

1,400

1,700

Although Spain was a

Rumania

520

465

985

neutral country in WW2

some 4,500 volunteers

France

340

470

810

died for the Axis cause

Hungary

750

and 7,500 for that of the

Austria

380

145

525

Allies.

Greece

520

Italy

330

80

410

Czechoslovakia

400

Great Britain

326

62

388

USA

295

295

Holland

14

236

250

Belgium

10

75

85

Finland

79

79

Canada

42

42

India

36

36

Australia

29

29

Spain

12

10

22

Bulgaria

19

2

21

New Zealand

12

12

South Africa

9

9

Norway

5

5

Denmark

4

4

Total circa

61 Million

85

*VISITORS *

* *

[*“ARE YOU THERE GEORGE? *]

[*WHAT’S UP NOW BILLDON’T YOU EVER SLEEP, FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE? *]

*WE ONLY CHATTED ABOUT MONTH AGO AFTER THAT LAST LOT CAME. *

[*LISTEN GEORGE, I’VE JUST HEARD ON THE BUSH TELEGRAPH THAT THEY’VE WRITTEN *]

*A BOOK ABOUT US. *

[*ABOUT US? *]

[*WELL – NOT JUST US, BUT ABOUT OUR MOBTHE SOUTH LANCS. *]

[*YOU DON’T SAY! *]

*IT TELLS OF ALL THE BATTLES WE WERE IN AND EVEN MENTIONS JOE’S VC. *

[*WHAT, YOU MEAN MONS, THE SOMME, ARRAS & WIPERS. *]

*DEAD ON. *

[*WELL I’LL BE BLOWED! PITY THEY NEVER FOUND JOE – HE WAS A GREAT LAUGH. *]

* *

*I ALSO HEARD LAST WEEK THAT EVERY NIGHT AT THE MENIN GATE THEY PLAY THE *

*LAST POST AND THAT THE TRAFFIC STOPS AND PEOPLE STAND IN SILENCE. *

[*YOU’RE HAVING ME ON *]

[*NO I’M NOT *]

*EVEN IN OUR LITTLE VILLAGE BACK HOME, THEY STILL GATHER ROUND A MEMORIAL *

*TO US EVERY YEAR AND REMEMBER US. *

[*HARD TO BELIEVE THAT BILL – IT’S NOW NEARLY 90 YEARS. *]

[*I KNOW, BUT THEY DO – WELL, SOME OF THEM DO, ANYWAY? *]

* *

[*HEY BILL – DO YOU THINK THEY STILL REMEMBER US TWO? *]

*WELL, I KNOW THAT SOMEONE REMEMBERS YOU GEORGE *

[*DON’T YOU REMEMBER, SIX YEARS AGO, WHEN YOU’RE GREAT GRANDSON AND HIS *]

[*WIFE VISITED YOU AND LEFT FLOWERS? *]

[*YOUR RIGHT BILL, NOW THAT YOU MENTION IT – MADE ME FEEL QUITE PROUD. *]

[*HAS ANYONE VISITED YOU LATELY GEORGE? *]

[*N0 SUCH LUCK BILLNOT SINCE MAGGIE CAME IN 1924. *]

*A LONG TIME AGO. *

[*TOO BLOODY LONG BILL! *]

* *

*YOUNG TOM IN THE CORNER GETS A LOT OF VISITORS *

[*AYE – I KNOW, HE WAS ONLY SIXTEEN AND A HALF WHEN HE COPPED IT. *]

[*MIND YOU, WE WERE NOT MUCH OLDER. YOU WOULDN’T THINK THREE YEARS WOULD *]

[*MAKE ALL THAT DIFFERENCE, WOULD YOU? *]

[*NO – BUT THEY CAN’T GET OVER THE FACT THAT HE LIED ABOUT HIS AGE TO JOIN UP *]

[*TO BE WITH HIS PALS! *]

[*WELL, HE’S WITH ‘EM NOW…… FOR ETERNITY! *]

* *

[*QUIET NOWTHERE’S A ‘CHARA’ PULLING UP OUTSIDE THE GATES. *]

[*GREAT – HOPE THEY’RE NOT ALL DOWN IN THE MOUTH LIKE THAT LAST LOT *]

[*WE DIDN’T DIE FOR THEM TO BE SAD AND TEARFUL DID WE? *]

*NO. BUT ISN’T IT GRAND THAT THEY STILL APPRECIATE WHAT WE DID AND THAT THEY *

[*STILL BOTHER TO COME? *]

[*I’LL GIVE YOU A SHOUT TOMORROW BILL AND WE CAN CHAT ABOUT ‘EM AND WHAT *]

*THEY SAID. WE MAY BE ABLE TO PASS ON SOME NEWS TO THE REST OF THE LADS. *

[*OK GEORGEGLAD THE GARDENERS GAVE US A GOOD DO YESTERDAY, THOUGH THE *]

[*LETTERING ON MY HEADSTONE COULD DO WITH A BIT OF A TOUCH UP!! *]

* *

*GAC *

86

*CAMPAIGN, DEFENCE AND WAR MEDALS *

  • *

[*1939-45 Star *]

*Burma Star *

*Air Crew Europe Star *

*Africa Star *

*Italy Star *

[*France & Germany *]

*Star *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

87

  • *

*Atlantic Star *

*Pacific Star *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

.

*Defence Medal *

*War Medal *

Authors note: Because of the restrictions imposed by the „Data Protection Act”, access to

forces Medal Rolls prevented me from obtaining information on each serviceman“s

entitlement. The campaign medals illustrated above were available to all servicemen who

served in the specific theatres of the war. All twelve servicemen men would be entitled to

both the Defence Medal and War Medal. GAC

88

*APPENDIX 1 *

  • *

*THE MOULTON CROWS *

  • *

There is no doubt that many men of Moulton who served in WW2, were members of the

„Moulton Crows” before the war at one time or another. This dance troop, unique in its

concept, was known throughout the length and breadth of Cheshire. The men who

performed the dance won countless trophies and medals for their performance in fetes far

and wide.

Devised in the 1920s by a Winsford dancing instructor and originally known as „The Relic

of the Cornfield”, the dance depicts a flock of crows, flapping and dancing around the

figure of a scarecrow in a farmer“s field. The dance starts with a farmer wheeling a

scarecrow, on a wheelbarrow, into the centre of his field. There he erects the figure and

leaves. To the tune „Trumpeter Bob” a line of men, dressed in black crow suits, with

yellow beaks, then start to scavenge the newly ploughed field and eventually surround the

scarecrow to perform their ritual dance. The farmer suddenly returns, shoots at the crows,

wounding one and killing another. At this point, white pigeons are released from the

clothing of the scarecrow, to illustrate the ascent of the dead crow into heaven. The lame

crow is then helped off the field by others in the flock. Finally the scarecrow, which

everyone in the audience up to then, considered to be a dummy, comes to life and walks

with stiff arms and legs from the field. Performed, as it was by grown men, all dressed in

black, the Crows looked both threatening and evil as they performed their dance.

It is rumoured that the name „Moulton Crow” originated in the 1920s when many men

from the village were laid off from the local salt works. During the day they scavenged for

coal on local ash tips and arrived home looking „as black as crows”.

MOULTON CROWS IN FULL FLIGHT

THE SCARECROW

89

*APPENDIX 2 *

  • *

[*34 MENUPDATE *]

  • *

Since the publication of this dedication to the men of Moulton who gave their lives in

WW1, more information on three of the service men has to come to hand. Firstly, one of

the „unresolved mysteries” has been resolved; namely that of William Blyth whose name

was incorrectly spelt on the Village War Memorial. Secondly, details on one of the

expatriates, Herbert Hampton, has been extended. Lastly and in the light of new

information, the fourth paragraph in the dedication to John Tomlinson has been rewritten.

The three updates are as follows:

[*REVISION – JOHN TOMLINSON – Page 75. *]

John Tomlinson“s details were recorded in the original book on page 75. It is now possible

to provide more of his family and army service details. Consequently, the fourth

paragraph should now read as follows:

“George and Amelia (nee Sproston) raised a family of four boys and two

girls. John was born on 24th January 1893 and at 4/5 years old began to attend

Moulton Council School. At the time of John“s birth, the Tomlinsons were

living at 15, Regent Street but earlier were at number 37 when John married

Clara Buckley in 1913. By the outbreak of WW1, John and Clara had 2

children – Annie and John (Jack). John took the King“s shilling soon after

hostilities began and sometime later the family settled at 4, Grange Hill

Winsford. John was posted to France in the summer of 1915. At about the

same time he was listed on the village and school Rolls of Honour as serving

in the Durham Light Infantry. A third child, Amelia Ypres, was born in 1916

just prior to John“s death. It is believed that Clara decided to give her

daughter Amelia the second name of Ypres because it was at Ypres, that

infamous salient in Belgium, where John had served before moving south to

Gueudecourt and his eventual death. In May 1916, John“s cousin Enoch

Tomlinson enlisted in the RGA. Enoch also went the way of his cousin John

when he died of wounds in April 1917 (see pages 113/ 115).

All other paragraphs on page 75 remain unchanged.

[*ADDITIONS – HERBERT HAMPTON and ERNEST WILLIAM BLYTH *]

When the research into the 34 men was concluded very little (if any) detail could be found

on these two servicemen. It was decided therefore to publish the book without their

personal & service stories. Thankfully, since publication, more information has surfaced

and it is with pride and honour that these stories are now included alongside their fallen

comrades.

90

Dedicated to the memory of Earnest William Blyth

*EARNEST WILLIAM BLYTH *

Private

269543

2/7th Battalion King“s (Liverpool Regiment)

Died of wounds Wednesday 15th August 1917. Age 34

He is buried in Davenham (St Wilfred) Churchyard (new 632)

Medal entitlement: British War Medal; Victory Medal

Earnest Blyth was not a Moultoner. He was born in Downham Market, Norfolk in

1883/1884 and was the son of Frederick Blyth a carpenter and joiner. By 1901 the family

were living at 59, Lynn Road, Wisbech St Peter. Earnest is shown on the census for that

year as the third of five siblings living in the house. He is 17 and a boot and shoe-maker.

Strangely, Mrs Blyth is missing from the census. However her husband Fred is listed as

married and not widowed, so it looks very much as if she was away from home for some

reason.

At the turn of the century, and at aged 17, Margaret Ann (Annie) Barlow was living with

her parents Frederick and Ellen in Chapel Lane, Moulton. At that time, Fred was 43 and

Ellen 42. Their 2 year old daughter Hilda was also on the scene. Fred was a railway

signalman and Annie is listed as a Schoolteacher! It is also believed that Fred was a

school governor. Some 4 or 5 years later Annie had met and married Earnest Blyth and

they set up home in London Road, Davenham. Earnest was a manager, possibly of a shoe

shop or cobblers. On the 23rd September 1906, Annie gave birth to their daughter Gladys

Mabelle.

Sometime after their daughter Gladys was born, Earnest and Annie moved to Strangeways

Manchester. This area of the city, aside from housing that notorious academy of bad lads,

was also a hive of small workshops making clothing and footwear for the retail trade. It

may well be that Earnest opened his own shoe-making business there or, alternatively,

managed one for someone else. In any case, it was from Strangeways that he strode forth

to enlist at the Manchester recruiting office sometime after the outbreak of war.

Earnest was drafted into the 2nd/ 7th Battalion of the Kings (Liverpool) Regiment to train

as an infantryman. The 2nd/7th Kings along with 5 other Kings Battalions made up the 57th

Division. Little could be found in the records of exactly when he enlisted or indeed, where

he served until 1917. He may well have waited until the Conscription Bill was placed in

91

the statute book in mid 1916, in which case he would not be entitled to the 1914/ 1915

Star as mentioned above.

July 1917 was a very mixed month for the 2nd/ 7th Kings based at Armentieres. According

to the Battalions war diary, they began the month in the Houplines sector of the line and

for the first fortnight nothing much happened. However, all good things come to an end

for the enemy opposite decide to subject the lads from Liverpool to a constant and terrible

barrage. During this time the Germans sent over two raiding parties to try to take

prisoners. They were give short shrift by the „Scousers” who used bombs and Lewis guns

to repel the foe. Losses after these attacks were 4 killed and 30 wounded. On the 21st of

July a gas shell fell on the Quarter Master“s store with the result that 2 men died of

wounds and seven were gassed. Gas shelling was severe and frequent at this time and on

22nd July, 19 officers and men succumbed to this most dreadful of weapons.

The last entry in the War diary for the month of July is an account of casualties for the

month and gives some idea of the intense shelling to which the battalion had been

subjected. A total of 12 men had been killed with 144 wounded – of these 11 more were

to die. It is more than probable that Pte. Earnest Blyth was one of them. It is known that

Earnest survived his injuries long enough to be transported to a military hospital at

Bagthorpe, Nottingham were on the 15th of August he gave up the ghost.

After his death Annie, who may have returned to her old home in Moulton whilst Earnest

was fighting on the Western Front, decided to bury her husband at St. Wilfred“s

Davenham. The records show that her parents Fred and Ellen, now living at

„Brackendale”, 120 Main Road, Moulton were the grave owners. In the school records for

September 1918, Annie is shown as having resumed teaching but is „absent by

permission”.

92

Dedicated to the memory of Herbert Hampton

*HERBERT HAMPTON *

Private

7730

1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment

Died Germany, Friday 8th November 1918. Age 31

He is buried in Cologne Southern Cemetery, Germany. Grave V.G.4.

He is commemorated on

Sandbach War Memorial,

Sandbach St Mary“s Organ Gallery (Great War)

Sandbach St Mary“s Great War Died Roll Of Honour

Sandbach St Mary“s Great War Roll Of Honour.

Herbert Hampton was born in 1887 in Moulton. By 1914 he had married Alice Bradbury,

and had two sons James and John. He was a carter on the horse-drawn wagon between

Sandbach Station and the town. He was a member of the Cheshire Regiment T.A. He

enlisted at Crewe.

As the war started he was mobilised and travelled to France on 22nd August 1914, joining

the 1st Cheshires (15th Brigade, 5th Division).

He fought at the Battle of Mons. Pte Hampton was reported missing in the local papers on

28th September 1914 and as a P.O.W. on 2nd October 1914. He died at the Bramhar Camp

Hospital, at Bawinkle.

Herbert Hampton had the misfortune to be captured very early in the war and the even

greater misfortune to die in captivity three days before the armistice.

His brother travelled to the North East to meet the returning P.O.W. ships spending three

days there before hearing the sad tidings.

93

*BIBLIOGRAPHY *

  • *

Although far from a complete bibliography the following sources have been consulted to

compile much of the narrative in this tribute to the 12 Men of Moulton who died in WW2.

[*PUBLISHED: *]

*PUBLICATION *

*SOURCE *

COMMONWEALTH WAR GRAVES

CEMETERY & MEMORIAL REG.

COMMISSION

NORTHWICH GUARDIAN (1940-1946)

NORTHWICH LIBRARY

NORTHWICH CHRONICLE (1940 –

NORTHWICH LIBRARY

1945)

WINSFORD CHRONICLE (1942 – 1946)

WINSFORD LIBRARY

LOCAL MAPS

NORTHWICH LIBRARY

MILLENNIUM MAP OF MOULTON

CHESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL

AND SURROUNDING VILLAGES

DOMESDAY BOOK

CHESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL

DUKE STREET, CHESTER

ELECTORAL ROLLSNORTHWICH

CHESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL

DIVISION

DUKE STREET, CHESTER

ABSENTEE VOTERS LISTS -

CHESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL

NORTHWICH DIVISION

DUKE STREET, CHESTER

MOULTON COUNTY PRIMARY

ROBERT GALLEY

SCHOOL – A CENTENARY HISTORY

(1894 – 1994)

REGIMENTAL HISTORIES

VARIOUS

BATTALION WAR DIARIES

VARIOUS

THE STRUGGLE FOR EUROPE

CHESTER WILMOT

CHRONOLOGY OF WW2

DAVIDSON & MANNING

THE MEDALS YEAR BOOK – 1995

NAVAL & MILITARY PRESS

EDITION

www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/timeline/

INTERNET

ww2time.htm

  • *

  • *

*UNPUBLISHED *

  • DOCUMENT *

*SOURCE *

THE MOULTON VERDIN INSTITUTE’S

MOULTON VERDIN CLUB

MINUTE BOOKS 1939 – 1945

PRIVATE LETTERS

INDIVIDUALS

  • *

94

INDEX

DEDICATIONS TO THE 12 MEN

[*MILITARY BURIAL GROUNDS & *]

*Albert Edward Stockall *

*MEMORIALS *

 Main: 67, 68, 69, 70

Anzio War Cemetery – 60,63

 Plus: 1, 56, 83, 84

Banneville-La-Campagne War Cemetery – 67,

84

*Felix Frank Buckley *

Bari War Cemetery – 78, 81

 Main: 78,79,80,81

Brunner Mond Memorial, Winnington – 19, 42,

 Plus: 1, 35,43,61

46, 64, 82

Christ Church, Winsford – 14, 83

Davenham (St. Wilfrids), Northwich – 19, 91

*Frederick Wright *

Den Burg General Cemetery – 32

Main: 14,15

Kirkee War Cemetery – 34, 36

Plus: 1, 83

Labuan War Cemetery – 71, 72

Meadow Bank Methodist Chapel Plaque – 26

*George Dickens *

Middlewich Memorial – 67, 83

 Main: 60, 61, 62, 63

Moulton War Memorial – 2,3,6

 Plus: 1, 35, 79

Over (St. John), Winsford – 14, 83

Plymouth Naval Memorial – v, 46

*George Miles *

Portsmouth Naval Memorial – v, 26

 Main: 42, 43, 44, 45

Runnymede Memorial, Surrey – 30

 Plus: 1, 82

Salt Union Memorial – 26, 83

SFAX War Cemetery – 42, 45

*George Shannon *

Singapore Memorial – v, 64

 Main: 64, 65, 66

The Cross of Sacrifice – 84

 Plus: 1, 25, 82

West Window Memorial Tablet – 4

Whitegate (St. Mary“s) Memorial – 26, 83

*Harold Brookes *

Whitegate Churchyard – 26

 Main: 26, 27, 28, 29

Winsford Town Memorial – 26, 82

 Plus: 1, 82, 83

[*UNITS/ ARMIES *]

*James Eric Kendrick *

150 Squadron, RAF Snaith – 30, 31, 32

 Main: 34, 35, 36,

19th Indian Division – 74

 Plus: 1, 41

1st Airborne Division – 39

1st Battalion, Irish Guards – 60, 61

*John Henry Eyres *

2nd Panzer Army – 39

 Main: 19, 20

29th Panzer Regiment – 62

 Plus: 1, 82

50th Northumbrian Division – 44

617 Squadron (Dam Busters) – v, 38

*Ralph Latham *

6th US Corps – 61

 Main: 71, 72

8th Army (Desert Rats) – 23, 37, 39, 61

 Plus: 1

9th Panzer Army – 39

Afrika Corps – 16, 23

*Stanley Goulding *

Army Group B (German) – 23

 Main: 46, 47, 48, 49, 50

ATC (Air Training Corps) – 77

 Plus: 1, 40, 82

ATS – 69

Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment – 8

*William Gordon Kennerley *

British 1st, 3rd & 4th Armies – 8

British 3rd Commando Brigade – 74

Main: 30, 31, 32, 33

British Expeditionary Force (BEF) – 9

Plus: 1, 41, 69

British Guards Division – 57, 69

British Merchant Marine – 17

Cheshire Regiment/ Cheshires – v, 1, 3, 42, 44,

  • *

93

  • *

95

Coldstream, Guards, 5th – 56, 67, 69, 70

Red Army – 9, 18, 40

Commandos – 22, 23, 24, 74

Royal Air Force (RAF) – 1, 30, 71

Durham Light Infantry – 44, 90

Royal Army Service Corps (RASC) – v, 1, 31,

East Yorkshire Regiment – 44

34, 35, 65

Fleet Air Arm – 12, 44

Royal Artillery – 1, 19, 27, 26, 64, 66

Free French – 39

Royal Engineers – 1, 14 15, 20, 32, 47, 69, 78,

French Navy – 11, 12, 24

79

German 17th Army – 39

Royal Marines – 38

German 6th Army – 24, 37

Royal Navy – 1, 11, 12, 16, 17, 22, 46, 47, 48

German 7th Army – 59

Royal Signals – 69

German Kriegsmarine – 56

Scots Guards – 62

German Navy – 8, 56

Territorial Army – 44

Grand Fleet – 11

US 11th Airborne Division – 73

Green Howards – 44

US 1st Armoured Division – 37

Grenadier Guards – 62

US 8th Army Air Force – 53

Home Guard – iv, 59

US Navy – 58

Italian Fleet – 12

US Task Force – 38, 57

Japanese 48th Division – 21

Waffen SS – 38, 59

Japanese Navy – 54, 58

Luftwaffe – 11, 12, 16, 21, 53

Maritime Regiment – 26, 27

OTC (Officer Training Corps) – 35

Archerfish, Submarine – 59

*A *

Arctic Circle – 16

A Bridge To Far, Film – 57

Ardennes Forest – 59, 73

Aachen – 58

Ariadne, SS – 27

Abbeville – 57

Ark Royal, HMS – 16, 17, 18

Abruzzi Mountains – 39

Arley – 61

Achilles, HMS – 10

Arnhem – 44, 57, 75

Adams, Private Harry – 41

Arno, River – 55, 56

Admiral Hipper, Cruiser – 75

Arras – 57, 85, 86

Admiral Scheer, Pocket Battleship – 74

Arthur, HMS – 47

Aerial View Of Moulton – 7

Ashton, Thomas – 31, 69

AERIEL Motor Cycle – 68

Athens – 58

Ajax, HMS – 10

Attlee, Clement – 76

AJS Motor Cycle – 68

Auschwitz – 11, 17, 23, 56, 58, 73

Akarit, Battle Of – 44

Avranches – 56

Akyab Island – 73

Axis Powers – 11, 12, 23, 37, 39, 85

Alam Halfa – 24

  • *

Alban Hills – 54

  • *

Albert Line – 55

*B *

Aleutian Islands – 37

Badoglio, Marshal – 39

Algiers – 47

Balikpapan – 76

Alsace- Lorraine – 8

Banda Aceh – 65

Alt-Fjord – 39, 53

Bangkok – 18

Ambrose Wilson – 68

Barbarossa, Campaign – 13, 17

Amiens – 3, 5, 57

Bataan Island – 18, 21,22

Amsterdam – 56, 65

Battle Of Britain – 12, 22

Anti Aircraft Guns, Light – vii, 27,28, 47, 55

Beehive Corner – 27, 48

Antium – 61

Beer Hall Putsch – 8

Antrobus – 61

BEF, La Baule, France – 35

Antwerp – 58, 59

Belawan – 65

Anziov- vii, 53, 54, 60, 61, 62, 63, 79

Belfort – 59

Arakan – 73

Belgorod – 59

Archangel – 17, 23

Belgrade – 58

Belmont Hall Pool – 61

96

Belsen (Concentration Camp) – 75

Campbeltown, HMS – 12

Benghazi – 21, 24

Cannes – 56

Bergen General Cemetery – 32

Carolines – 57

Berlin – 12, 17, 21, 40, 53, 55, 73, 75, 76

Carroceto – 62

Biak Island – 54, 55

Cassino – 40, 53, 54

Bismarck, Battleship – 16, 17

Caucasus – 37

Bismarck Sea, Aircraft Carrier – 74

Census (1891) – viii

Bismarck Sea, Area – 54

Cesterian Band – 77

Bismarck Sea, Battle Of – 37

Chamberlain, Neville – 9, 11

Bizerte – 24, 38

Chancellor – 9

Blaskowitz, General – 54

Channel Ports – 12

Blitz, Liverpool – x

Chapel Lane, Moulton – viii, 65, 66, 91

Bobruisk – 55

Chapel Street, Moulton – viii, 43, 47, 79

Bofor Guns – 47

Charybdis Cruiser – 46, 47, 48

Bologna – 57, 75

Chenedolle – 70

Bomb Disposal – 15, 52

Cherbourg – 55

Bombay, India – 35

Chester Castle – 44

Bordeaux – 56

Chindits – 37, 54

Bostock Hall – viii, 31

Chindwin, River – 53

Bougainville – 40, 54

Choltitz –56

Bougie – 40

Christ The Redeemer – 27

Braun, Eva – 75

Church Street, Moulton – viii, 27, 44, 68, 70

Brereton, Arthur – 68

Churchill, Mrs – 25

Brest – 17, 21, 48

Churchill, Winston – 11, 12, 16, 18, 55, 57, 73, 76

Bretagne, Battleship – 12

Clark, General Mark – 53

Brindisi – 39

Colditz (POW Camp) – 75

British Legion Club – iv, viii, 20, 43

Cologne – 22, 23, 38, 58, 74, 93

Britton, Regimental Sergeant Major – 69

Colombo – 22

Brunei Bay – 72

Comberbach – 61

Brunner Mond Ltd – v, viii, ix, 19, 20, 42, 46, 61,

Comforts Fund – 13, 25, 59, 77

64, 79, 82, 83

Como, Lake – 75

Brunner, Felix – 79

Copenhagen – 75

Brunner, Sir John – viii, 61, 79

Coral Sea, Battle Of – 22

Brussels – 57

Corfu – 58

Bruyeres- 58

Corinth – 57

Bucharest – 58

Cornwall, HMS – 68

Buchenwald (Concentration Camp) – 75

Corregidor – 22

Buckingham Palace – 69

Corridor Of Death – 68

Buckley, Robert – 80

Corsica – 39

Budapest – 59, 73

County Primary School, Moulton – v, viii, 10, 18,

Buenos Aires – 10

20, 31, 35, 36, 41, 43, 45, 47, 49, 50, 61, 65, 68,

Bug, River – 53

72, 79, 80, 90, 94

Bulge, Battle Of – 59

Crete – 16, 17

Buna – 24, 37

Crimea – 17, 22, 23, 54

Burauen, Airfield – 59

Crimes, Ernie – 68

Busch, Field Marshal – 55

Cuddington – 28, 66

Busman“s Honeymoon – 41

  • *

Butlin“s Holiday Camp – 47

*D *

  • *

D Day – 52, 54, 55, 69

*C *

Dambuster, Raid – 32, 38

Caesar Line – 54

Danzig, Bay Of – 73, 74

Calais – 5, 57

Darlington, Mr. A – 13

Calcutta, HMS – 17

Data Protection Act – 88

Caligula, Emperor – 61

Davenham Church Players – 41

Cambrai – 57

Davenham Hospital – 69

Cammell Lairds – 47

Davenham Post Office – 79

97

De Gaulle, General – 75

Footballer – 31, 43, 47, 50, 79

DEMS (Defence Of Merchant Ships) – 27

Football Team, Moulton Council School – 47, 50

Denmark Strait – 16

Force H – 11

Depression – ix

Forces Fund – 10, 13, 18, 25, 41, 59, 77

Desert Fox – 16, 18, 21, 22

Foreign Secretary, British – 13, 24, 73

Desert Rat – 23, 31, 44, 61

Formosa – 58, 73

Dido Class Light Cruiser – 47

France-Hayhurst – viii, 3

Dieppe – 23

Franco, General – 9

Dig For Victory – 11

Frank, Anne – 56

Djedeida – 24

Frankfurt – 40

Dnieper, River – 17

French, Field Marshal Sir John, – 9

Doenitz, Admiral Karl – 24, 75, 77

French Resistance – 53, 56

Doric Star – 10

Fuhrer – 9

Dorsetshire, HMS – 17, 22

Fuqa – 24

Dortmund – 74

Furious, Aircraft Carrier – 54

Dresden – 73, 77

  • *

Drum Plant, Winnington – 43

*G *

Duke Of York, Battleship – 40

Gafsa – 37

Dunkirk – 11

Gazala (Line) – 18, 21, 22

Dusseldorf – 38

General Von Steuben (Hospital Ship) – 73

Dutch Coast – 32

George Cross Medal – 21

  • *

George VI, King – 21

*E *

Gestapo – 9, 56

E Boats, German – 54

GHQ, 2nd Echelon – 35

Eagle, HMS – 23

Gibb Hall Cottages – 61

Eastern Europe – 57

Gibraltar – 17

Eastern Front – 18, 21, 22, 24, 37, 39, 54, 55, 56,

Gibson, Wing Commander Guy – 38

57, 58, 59, 73

Gilbert Islands – 21, 40

Eden, Anthony – 13, 24, 57, 73

Gneisenau, Battle Cruiser – 16, 21

Eder, River – 38

Goebbels, Josef – 75

Eisenhower, General – 47, 76

Gold Beach – 55

El Adem – 23

Goring, Reichsmarshal – 12, 17, 76, 77

El Agheila – 16, 21

Gort, Field Marshal – 9

El Alamein – 23, 24, 25

Gothic Line – 57

Elbing Class Destroyers – 48

Gott, General – 23

Emden ,Cruiser – 75

Graf Spee – 10

England, Destroyer – 54

Gragnano – 61

English Channel – 21, 40, 48, 56

Guadalcanal – 23, 24, 37

Enigma Cipher Machine – 16

Guam – 55, 56

Enola Gay – , B29 Bomber – 76

Gurkha – 37

Enterprise, US Carrier – 23

Gustav Line – 54

Essen – 23, 32, 74

  • *

Evacuees – 18

*H *

Exeter, HMS – 10

Haakoy Island – 58

Exhortation, Kohima – 59

Hague, The – 57

  • *

Haig, Field Marshal Sir Douglas – 8

*F *

Halford Brine Fields – 61

Falaise Gap (Pocket) – 56, 68

Halifax Bomber – 31, 34

Falk“s Salt Works – viii

Halsey, Admiral „Bull” – 58

Fascist – 39, 62, 75

Hamburg – 16, 31, 39, 53, 58, 75

Fatherland – 8

Hammamet – 61

Few, The – 12

Hanover – 39, 75

Final Solution, The – 11, 17, 21, 23

Harris, Air Marshal Arthur „Bomber” – 22

Fleet, C in C – 54

Hartford Church Lads Brigade – 3

Florence – 55, 56

Harukiku Maru – POW Ship – 65, 66

FN3, Convoy – 27

Harwood, Commodore – 10

98

Hastings – 68

Kesselring, Field Marshal Albert – 53, 54, 76

Hawaii – 23

Kharkov – 17, 22, 37, 39

Helsinki – 10

Kiel – 74, 75

Heslop, Stan, F.Sgt. – 32

Kiev – 17, 39, 40

Hess, Deputy Fuhrer Rudolph – 16, 77

Koblenz – 74

Heydrich, Reinhard – 21, 22, 23

Koga, Admiral – 54

Himmler, Heinrich – 38, 76

Kohima – 53, 54, 55

Hindenburg Line – 8

Konigsberg – 75

Hiroshima – 76

Korosten – 40

Hitchinson, Horace – 35

Krakow – 73

Hitchinson Mr, 3

Kristallnacht – 9

Hitler, Adolph – 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 16, 17, 18, 21, 23,

Kuala Lumper – 21

24, 37, 40, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 75, 77

Kuban – 39

Hollandia – 54

Kurita, Admiral – 58

Hollows, The – 66

Kursk – 17, 37, 38, 39

Holy Grail – 9

Kwajalein – Atol – 53

Honshu – 59

Kyitkyina – 37

Hood, HMS – 16

  • *

Hornet, US Carrier – 22

*L *

Horrocks, Major General Brian – 44

La Borde, Admiral – 24

House Of Commons – 24

La Spezia ,River – 75

Houston, Cruiser – 58

Laconia, Liner – 24

Hun – 10

Lancashire, HMT – 35

Hunter, Norman – 43

Lancaster Bomber – vii, 31, 32, 41, 48

Huon Peninsula – 53

Langsdorff, Captain – 10

Hurricane – 12

Latina – 54

  • *

Le Touquet – 21

*I *

League Of Nations – 8, 9, 10

Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) – iv, ix, 20, 27,

Lend Lease Act – 16

43, 44, 47, 61, 66

Leningrad – 17, 53

Imphal – 54, 55

Leofnorth – viii

Indianapolis, Cruiser – 76

Leros – 40

Inland Sea – 74

Lewin Street, Middlewich – 70

Innsbruck – 75

Lexington, Aircraft Carrier – 40, 58

Iron Cross – 8

Leyte – 58

Irrawaddy – 73, 74

Liberator, Bomber – 24, 31

Iwo Jima – 73, 74

Lidice – 23

  • *

Lightning, Aircraft – 38

*J *

Limbourne, Destroyer – 40, 48

Jack Lane, Moulton – 68

Lingayen Gulf – 73

Jewish Problem, Solution to – 11, 17, 23,

Linsen (Assault Boats) – 56

Jews(ish) – 8, 9, 11, 12, 21, 24, 38, 75

Llangibby Castle (Troopship) – 61

Jodl – 76, 77

LMS, Northwich – 61

Jones, Vinney – 43

Lodz – 73

Jotsoma – 54

Lorient – 56

Juno Beach – 55

Los Alamos, New Mexico – 76

Junyo, Aircraft Carrier – 59

Lostock Works, ICI – viii, 44

  • *

Lublin – 56

*K *

Lucas, General – 53

Kaiser, The – 8, 10

Ludendorff Bridge – 71

Kakul, India – 35

Ludendorff, General Eric Von – 8

Kamikaze – 58, 59, 74

Luneburg Heath – 75

Kangaw – 74

Luzon – 58, 59, 73, 75, 76

Kassel – 40

Lyons – 57

Keitel, Field Marshal – 77

Kemi – 57

99

  • *

Montevideo – 10

*M *

Montgomery, General Bernard (Monty) – 23, 24,

Machine Gun/ Gunners – vi, 44, 51

37, 39, 75

Main Road, Moulton – viii, 3, 6, 15, 27, 31, 32, 35,

Moscow – 17, 18, 21, 57

36, 41, 48, 72, 79, 92

Mosquito Aircraft – 53

Majdeneck Concentration Camp – 56

Moulton Adventure Group – viii

Malacca Straights – 65

Moulton British Legion – iv, viii, 20, 43

Maleme Airfield – 16

Moulton Council School – 20, 31, 35, 41, 43, 45,

Malmedy – 59

47, 50, 65, 68, 79, 90

Malta – 17, 21, 23, 39, 47

Moulton Crows – v, ix, 89

Manchester Road, Northwich – 61

Moulton Forces Fund – 10, 13, 18, 25, 41, 59, 77

Manchester Royal Infirmary – 25

Moulton Liberal Club – 20, 43

Mandalay – 22, 37, 73, 74

Moulton Methodist Chapel – viii, 65, 77

Manila – 21, 73, 74, 75

Moulton Methodist Church – 43, 47, 79

Mannerheim Line – 55

Moulton Post Office – 31

Mannheim – 40

Moulton School Log – 18

Manstein, Field Marshal Von – 37

Moulton Village War Memorial – iv, v, ix, 2, 3,

Map, Moulton – 7

77, 82, 90

Mareth (Line) – 37, 44

Mounted Police – 35

Marianas Group – 55, 56, 58

Msus – 21

Market Garden, Operation – 57, 75

Muar, River – 21

Marne, River – 57

Mulberry Harbour – 55

Marshall Islands – 21

Munich – 9, 59

MacArthur General, 21, 58, 76

Mussolini – 9, 39, 75

McCain, Admiral – 58

  • *

ME 262 Jet Fighter – 40

*N *

Meadow Bank – 27, 43, 82

Nagasaki – 76, 77

Meadow Bank Methodist Church, Winsford – 27,

Nagumo, Admiral – 56

28

Naples – 39, 53

Meadow Bank Council School, Winsford – 27

Nashville, Cruiser – 59

Meadow Grove, Winsford – 27

Nassau Bay – 38

Mechanician, HMS – 28

National Institute For The Blind – 25

Medal Entitlement – 49, 88, 91

National Socialist German Workers Union Party –

Medal Rolls – 88

8

Medals – v, 87, 88, 89, 91, 94

Nazi – 8, 9 ,10, 16, 22, 23, 24, 38, 56, 76, 77

Medan – 65

Nelson – 61

Mein Kampf – 9

Newbridge Road, Old – 48

Mellor, George – 68

Newbridge Salt Works – viii

Merchant Navy Benevolent – 25

Niddries Lane, Moulton – 27, 29

Mersa Brega – 21

Night Of The Long Knives – 9

Messina – 39

Nijmegen – 73

Metauro, River – 56

Nishimura, Admiral – 58

Methodist – 31

Norfolk, HMS – 16, 17

Midway Island – 23

Normandy – 52, 55, 56, 68, 69

Miller, Major „Mad Manki” – 44

Norsk Hydro – 37

Minsk – 17, 55

North Cape, Battle Of – 40

Missouri, Battleship – 76

Northwich Guardian – v, 25, 94

Model, Field Marshal – 55

Nuffield Ammunition Factory, Coventry – 15

Mocra – 65

Numfoor Island – 55

Mohne, River – 38

Nuremberg – 54, 77

Mokmer Airfield – 55

  • *

Mond, Ludwig – viii

*O *

Mons – 85, 86, 93

Oak Tree Farm Bostock – 31

Monte Camino – 40

Oakes, Walter – 45

Monte Carrafa – 61

Odessa – 17

Monte Cassino Monastery – 40, 54

Oerlikon, AA Guns – 27, 28

100

Okinawa – 58, 73, 74 ,75, 76

Rawland, Rev. S.M. – 20

Old Contemptibles, The – 10

Rawlpindi, India – 35

Olympic Games – 9

Red Cross, – 41, 72

Omaha Beach – 55

Red Lion, Pub – 43, 79

Oran, Algeria – 12

Redcaps – 15

Orel – 39

Regent Of Hungary – 54

OTC (Officer Training Corps) – 35

Regent Street, Moulton – viii, ix, 3, 20, 27, 43, 44,

Overlord, Operation – 40

45, 65, 90

Owens, Jessie – 9

Reggio – 39

  • *

Reichstag – 9

*P *

Reims – 57

Palau Islands – 57

Relic Of the Cornfields, The (Dance) – 89

Palermo – 39

Remagen, Bridge – 74

Panzers (Grenadier Reg.) – 62

Repulse, HMS – 18

Papua – 22, 37

Revenue Office, Northwich – 31

Paris – 11, 55, 56

Rhine, River – 57, 59, 73

Parish Council – viii, ix, 3, 10, 77

Rhineland – 9

Pas-De-Calais – 55, 57

Rifle Brigade – 15

Patton, General George – 37

Riga – 58

Paulus, General – 23, 24, 37

Rio De Janeiro – 27

Pearl Harbour – 18

Risley, Councillor George A – 3

Peenemunde – 38, 39

Robert Bosch Factory – 32

Pekanbaru – 65

Rock, The – 17

Percival, General – 21

Roma, Battleship – 39

Persian Gulf – 22

Rome – 39, 54, 55, 61

Petain, Marshal – 12, 75

Rommel, General Erwin – 16, 18, 21, 22, 23, 24,

Peter St., Northwich – 61

31, 37, 54, 56, 58, 61

Pickmere – 61

Roosevelt, President Theodore – 11, 13, 16, 17, 39,

Pillau – 73

73, 75

Pinsk – 56

Roslavl – 39

Piraeus – 58

Rostov – 23

Plant, „Nipper” – 68

Rouen – 57

Plate, River – 10

Royal Oak, HMS – 10

Po, River – 75

Ruhr, The – 31, 37, 74, 75

Polish Resistance – 57

Rundstedt, Field Marshal Gerd Von – 54, 59

Port Moresby – 22, 24

Russell Islands – 37

POW Fund – 41

Russian Fund – 25, 41

POWs – 23, 25, 38, 41, 59, 65, 72, 77

Russo-Finnish War – 11

PQ 17, Convoy – 23

Ryujo Carrier (Japanese) – 23

Prague – 22

Ryukan – 37

Prefab – 15

  • *

Prien, Leuthant Gunther – 10, 16

*S *

Prince Eugen, Battleship – 16, 17

Saar, – 8

Prince Of Wales, HMS – 18

Saidor – 53

  • *

Saipan – 55, 56

*Q *

Salerno – 39, 47

Queen, Elizabeth – 69

Salonika – 58

Quickstep, SS – 27

Salt Boiler – viii

Quorn, Destroyer – 56

Salt Industry – viii, ix

  • *

Salto, General – 56

*R *

Salt Union Ltd – ix, 3, 26, 82

Rabaul – 40

Samos – 40, 57

Raeder – 77

Sanananda – 37

Rangoon – 21, 75

Saratoga, Aircraft Carrier – 40

Rathedaung – 24

Scapa Flow – 8, 10, 11

Ration Books – 11

Scharnhorst, Battle Cruiser – 16, 21,39, 40

101

Scheldt, River – 21

Taranto – 12, 39, 61

School Lane, Moulton – viii, 35, 47, 61, 68, 80

Tarawa – 40

Schweinfurt – 40

Tarmac Ltd – 68

Sealion, Operation – 12

Tarnow – 73

Seletar, Singapore RAF – 72

Tebourba – 24

Selva Di Nettuno – 62

Telegraphist, Ordinary – 40, 46, 47, 48

Sevastopol – 17, 23, 54

Tesco Superstore – 72

SFAX – v, 38, 42, 45

The Man Who Never Was, Film – 38

Shanghai – 18

Third (3rd) Reich – 9, 17, 53

Shokaku, Aircraft Carrier – 55

Tiko, Aircraft Carrier – 55

Shout, William, Baker & Confectioner – 79

Tinian – 56

Sidi Barrani, North Africa – 12, 13

Tirpitz, Battleship – 21, 22, 39, 53, 54, 58

Siegfried Line – 57

Tito, Marshal – 58, 75

Sierra Madre – 76

Tobruk – 16, 18, 23, 24

Silesia, Upper – 8

Togo Villas, Moulton – 35, 61, 63, 79, 80, 81

Simon“s Town – 66

Tokyo – 22, 24, 59, 74, 76

Singapore – 21, 64, 65, 66, 72,76

Tommy, Poem – v, 5

Sittang – 74

Torch, Operation – 24

Skinano, Aircraft Carrier – 59

Torpedo Tubes – 47

Slim, General William – 54

Toulon – 12, 24, 56

Smith, Dick And Company – 27

Tower Place, Rudheath – 72

Smolensk – 17, 21, 39

Travellers Rest, Public House – viii

Sodium Carbonate Plant – 44

Treblinka, Concentration Camp – 38

SOE – 58

Trieste – 75

Somerville, Vice Admiral – 11, 12

Tripoli – 37

Somme – 85, 86

Trondheim – 21

South Atlantic – 10

Truculent, HMS, Submarine – 65

Spitfire – 12, 13

Truman, Vice President Harry – 75

Spitsbergen – 39

Truscott, General – 53

St Stephen The Martyr – viii, 4, 26, 35, 82

Tsunami, Asian – 65

Stalin, Joseph – 9, 17, 57, 73

Tunis – 38, 44

Stalingrad – 23, 24, 37,

Tunnel, Operation – 48

Stauffenberg, Colonel Count Von – 56

Typhoon, Operation – 17

Steel, Joseph – 80

  • *

St-Germain Treaty – 8

*U *

Stirling Bomber – 31

U.110 – 16

St-Lo – 56

U.47 – 10, 16,

St-Malo – 48

Ukraine – 17,40

St-Nazaire – 22, 31

United Nations – 77

Stokes, Phil – 85

Unknown Sailor – 48

Stuttgart – 31, 32

Ushijima, General – 76

Subang – 56

Utah Beach – 55

Sudetenland – 9

  • *

Suffolk, HMS – 16

*V *

Super Fortresses, B29 – 58, 74

V1 & V2 Flying Bombs – 40, 55, 58

Supreme Commander – 47

Vale Royal Abbey Fete – 68

Sword Beach – 55

Vale, Rev. T.J. – 3

Swordfish Aircraft – 16

Van Waerwijk, SS – 65, 66

Syracuse – 39

VE Day (Victory In Europe) – 76, 77

  • *

Verdin County Grammar School – 35

*T *

Verdin Institute, Moulton – viii, 3, 10, 13, 18, 20,

Takao, Heavy Cruiser – 76

25, 41, 59,75, 77, 94

Talbot Hotel – 44

Verdun – 57

Tallboy Bomb – 58, 59

Vernon, Baron Richard De – viii

Tandjong Priok – 65

Versailles – 56

Tarakan – 75

Versailles Treaty – 8,9

102

Vichy Government – 12

  • *

Victoria Cross – 38

Victorious, Aircraft Carrier – 54

Vienna – 74,75

Village Hall, Moulton – viii

Volga, River – 24

*W *

Wadi Akarit – 44

Wake Island – 39

Walcheren Island – 58

Wall Street Crash – 9

Wallerscote Works, Winnington – 47

War Widows Pension – 15

Warsaw – 10, 12, 38, 56, 57,73,

Wasp, US Carrier – 24

Wavell, General Sir Archibald – 12, 13, 21

Weaver Street, Winsford – 15

Weaver, River – viii, ix, 43, 47, 65

Webb, Clifton, Actor – 38

Wellington Bomber – v, 31, 32, 33

Welsby, Samuel – 3

Western Front – iii, 8, 15, 57, 65, 92

Wharton Close, Winsford – 15

Whitby“s Farm, Moulton – 31

White, Fort – 58

Whitegate Chapel – 65

Whitlow Lane, Moulton – 65,66, 77

William The Conqueror – 68

Wincham – 61

Wingate, General Orde – 37, 54

Winsford and Moulton District Nursing

Association – 25

Winsford Chronicle – v, 77, 94

Winsford Council School – 72

Wolverine, HMS – 16

Woodford, Over, Winsford – 72

Woolworth Store – 59

World War One – iv, 3, 65, 77, 85,

World War Two – 3, 9, 57, 77, 85, 94

WW1 – iii, iv, 25, 27, 28, 35, 57, 75,82, 85, 90,

WW2 – iv, v, 6, 8, 15, 43, 47, 57, 82, 85, 89, 94

  • *

*Y *

Yalta – 17

Yamamoto, Admiral – 38

Yamashita, General – 21, 77

Yamato, Battleship – 74

Ypres – iv, 85, 90

  • *

*Z *

Zagreb – 16

Zero, Aircraft – 21,

Zhukov, Marshal Georgi – 55, 73, 75

103

*ABOUT THE AUTHOR *

  • *

Geoff Crompton lives in Hartford, Cheshire.

His daughter Gillian, son in law Grant and

grandson

Thomas

live

close

by

in

Middlewich.

He originates from Widnes where, at 15 he

joined the chemical giant ICI. Taking early

retirement in 1988 he formed a consultancy

business in the field of Industrial Packaging.

In 1969, with his friend Les Burgess, he

founded the Moulton Adventure Group, a

uniformed, voluntary youth organisation in the

village of Moulton, Northwich. The Group’s

activities are based on the Christian ethic,

community service and adventurous pursuits.

After over 35 years the Group is thriving and

owns

its

own

extensively

equipped

headquarters in School Lane, Moulton.

In 1980 and sponsored by ICI, Geoff spent a

term at Wolfson College, Cambridge. During

his time there he chose to study, under the

watchful eye of Bill Correlli Barnett, the well

known historian and archivist, the City Battalions (Pals Regiments) of the Great War.

Having served as both Officer and boy in the Boys’ Brigade in Widnes and Runcorn in the

40s 50s and 60s he focussed on the 16th HLI (Glasgow Boys’ Brigade Battalion).

This experience left him with a life long interest in the history of WW1. Each year he

travels with ‘The War Research Society’ to the battlefields of both WW1 and WW 2 to

pay his respects and to see, at first hand, where the soldiers fought and died. Having

written his first book of dedication to the ’34 MEN’ who died in WW1 Geoff felt that he

must complete the task by writing a further dedication to the 12 men who perished in

WW2.

  • *

*All profits from the sale of this book will go to the *

[*British Limbless Ex-Service Men’s Association. *]

£ 7.50 ISBN NO………………… [*BAR CODE…………….. *]


Another Dozen

In memory of the 12 men of Moulton Village who marched along Main Road and into oblivion between 1939 - 1945. A sequel to "34 Men" by the same author written in memory of the men of Moulton who died for our freedom in world war 1

  • ISBN: 9781310458927
  • Author: Neil Plummer
  • Published: 2015-09-06 17:16:41
  • Words: 37872
Another Dozen Another Dozen