Linthorpe Cemetery WWII Stories

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Historian Ian Stubbs from Friends of Linthorpe Cemetery will be sharing World War Two related stones and stories in alphabetical order each day between now and the end of May on Friends of Linthorpe Cemetery VE Day facebook page.

Corporal Elsie Blanche Anderson
Women's Auxiliary Air Force
No 2050719
Died 21st August 1945. Aged 51
Buried in Section D. Grave No 6150.
Born in Wivenhoe in Essex.
Death registered in Westmorland.
Daughter of Jonathan and Grace Anderson, of Lennox Street, Middlesbrough.

Private Jack Archer
East Yorkshire Regiment
No 14384562
Died 5th May 1944. Aged 19.
Buried in Section D. Grave No 6689.
Son of William and Annie Archer of Middlesbrough.
“A Smiling Face
A Heart of Gold
No Finer Son
This World Could Hold”
Aircraftman 2nd Class Alfred Armstrong
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
No 997488
Died 3rd October 1940. Aged 27.
Buried in Section C. Grave No 7943.
Son of Jack W. Armstrong and Jessie M. Armstrong, of Middlesbrough.
“The Lord Is Night Unto All Them That Call Upon Him”
Psalm No 145 Verse 18

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Sunday's post of remembrance was...
Rifleman Thomas Blackburn 6911195. Died 26th October 1940 Age 32. Sec. B. Grave 9203. Rifle Brigade. Son of Thomas and Rosina Blackburn, of Middlesbrough.

Blakeman Family plot C9403 Grave No 5335. "In loving memory of George Blakeman died March 22nd 1919 aged 67 years. Also Harriet Louisa wife of the above died June 2nd 1926 aged 76 years. Also Howard Blakeman killed by enemy action July 27th 1942. Aged 58. Air Raid Warden; of 27 Linthorpe Mews. Died at Leeds Hotel, Zetland Road which was totally destroyed in an air raid.

Private Albert Bourne 7266463. Died 20th June 1940 Age 21
Sec. C. Grave 13159. Royal Army Medical Corps. Son of William and Johanna Bourne, of Middlesbrough. “At The Going Down Of The Sun And In The Morning We Will Remember Him”
Family Grave - Private Albert Henry Burton 4396119. Died 17th June 1944 Age 28. Sec. D. Grave 4096. 6th Battalion Durham Light Infantry. The family memorial only states wounded in France. Son of Joseph Henry and Bessie Maud Burton, of Middlesbrough; husband of Elsie R. Burton, nee Davis of Middlesbrough Married September 1935. The family lived at 69 Fremantle Crescent in 1939.
Lance Corporal Henry Butt died July 8th 1917 aged 57 years.
Also his wife Ellen died September 14th 1950 aged 86 years.
And their grandson Lance Corporal Henry Carpenter Butt.
Royal Signals, 14598239. Died October 17th 1945 aged 21.
Interred in Hong Kong. Son of Henry and Edith Ethel Butt, of Middlesbrough. Lance Corporal. Died 29th October 1945 according to Commonwealth War Graves Commission he was buried 31st October In section 16D at temporary Colonial cemetery at Happy Valley. He was re-buried 26th October 1947 in Sai Wan War Cemetery in the north-east of the island of Hong Kong, in the Chai Wan area, about 11 kilometres from the centre of Victoria. His stone bears name rank serial number etc and just a cross at the bottom.
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Thomas Cobby aged 26 died 29th September 1944. Lance Corporal, Green Howards (Yorkshire Regiment).Grave C11858. Son of Henry Dent Cobby and Mary Ellen Cobby, of Middlesbrough; husband of Alice Cobby, of Middlesbrough. “For King And Country He Did His Best Grant Him, O Lord Eternal Rest”

Randolph Graham Cooke aged 31 died 28th August 1947. Flight Lieutenant, Royal Air Force A1904. Serving with the T.C.E.U. - Transport Command Examining Unit. Son of Randolph and Helena Cooke; husband of Freda Cooke, of Middlesbrough. “For Ever In My Heart, Darling, You Will Always Be, For You Were All The World To Me” Supplement to the London Gazette of Tuesday, the 6th of April, 1943 Friday 9th April 1943. “Air Ministry, 8th April 1943. Royal Air Force. General Duties Branch. Flg. Offs. to be Flt. Lts. (war subs.): - R.G. Cooke (45305). 18th Feb. 1943. (Seny. 5th Feb. 1943.).

James William Cornforth. 624289. Aged 25 died 21st November 1941 Flight Sergeant, Royal Air Force Grave D6155. 109 Squadron. Born April 1916 in Escrick Village, Yorkshire. Flying in a Wellington IC T2552. His birth mother Elizabeth Hannah Harland (1876-1922). Son of Robert and Hannah Cornforth, of 56 Westbourne Grove, North Ormesby, Middlesbrough. “He Shall Defend Thee Under His Wings" On family memorial “In memory of my wife Ruth Cornforth died February 23rd 1936 aged 50 years, & my son James William Cornforth Flight Sergeant R.A.F. died November 21st 1941 aged 25 years.” Also killed were Flight Lieutenant P. B. Hennessy, Pilot Officer R. M. Lewin, Flight Sergeant T. A. Bates, Sergeant T. D. Snape, Sergeant D. Mackey, Sergeant A. Grant, and Mr T. R. Samsen.
Thomas Coupland aged 41 died 4th March 1942 Driver, Royal Army Service Corps B276. 1 Vehicle Repair Depot. Son of William and Isobel Coupland, of Middlesbrough.
Henry Crackles aged 45 died 19th August 1940. Master, Merchant Navy Grave C12621. Aboard the M.V. (Motor Vessel) Beal (of Newcastle-upon-Tyne). Son of George and Sydonia Crackles; husband of Florence May Crackles, of Middlesbrough.
Robert William Crowe aged 26 died 28th April 1942. Corporal, Royal Air Force 618466. Grave B652. Son of William Edwin and Marie Josephine Crowe, of Middlesbrough. “To Live In Hearts We Leave Behind Is Not To Die” and a cross.
Joseph Savage Cutter 1060668. Aged 34 died 18th June 1945. Leading Aircraftman, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Grave D5590, Born 7th October 1910 in Strood in Kent. Son of Joseph and Sarah Cutter; husband of Gwendoline Cutter (1914-2006) of Marske-by-the-Sea. “So Suddenly He Left Us One June Day In Our Memories His Dear Face Will Stay”. Lived at 4, Cobham Street, Middlesbrough and in 1939 he was a master French polisher.
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Thomas Francis Dale. Aged 28, died 10th March 1942. Sergeant, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Service Number 1310440. Grave No C9514. “Morning Thoughts Evening Prayer Everlasting Memories of My Dear Husband Frank”. Born 18th January 1914. He was son of James William and Ruth Dale, of Middlesbrough. He married Harriet Shillings Dale, nee Scarll of Jesmond, Newcastle-on-Tyne on 18th April 1938 in Middlesbrough they had one daughter.
In the 1939 register he was listed as a tailoring shop assistant and was serving as an A.R.P. (Air Raid Precautions) Warden and was living at 54, Errol Street, Middlesbrough.
The crew members were Flying Officer H. D. Freakes, Sgt E. Watson, Sgt T. F. Dale, Sgt J. E. Baartz (Royal Australian Air Force) and all were killed; they were aboard a Lockheed Hudson V8995 of the F.T.U. (Ferry Training Unit). The accident was near R.A.F. Honeybourne, five miles from Evesham in Worcestershire which was in use by the Ferry Training Unit from 11th November 1941 – 28th March 1942. On 10th March 1942 the Lockheed Hudson V8995 spun into ground.
— at Linthorpe Cemetery.
 

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Leading Aircraftman Mostyn Vaughan Eckert. Service No 1350866. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Aged 22. Died 28th August aged 42.
“Resting Where No Shadows Fall, In Perfect Peace He Awaits Us All”. Killed while flying in Canada in Calgary Alberta, Canada. En-route from Royal Canadian Air Force Lincoln Park, Air Base on Saturday 28th August 1943 at 11.35 a Cessna Crane I (T-50) of the Royal Canadian Air Force (R.C.A.F.), Registration: 8127 crashed.
It was from 3 Service Flying Training School and it collided in the air about 4,000 -,5000 ft with a Harvard Mk II AJ796 over the city of Calgary. Instructor Sgt James Valentine Hardiman R. A. A. F. (Royal Australian Air Force) and LAC Mostyn Vaughan Eckert (RAF) died when the Crane spiralled down and crashed, bursting into flames outside 19 Avenue West setting the house aflame. LAC John Ayton R. A. A. F. (Royal Australian Air Force) bailed out. Two persons on the ground suffered burns.
Eckert is buried in Burnsland Cemetery, Calgary, Alberta. Lot 12. Block 8. Sec. G.
During the Second World War, a small arms training centre, an infantry training centre and a service flying training school were set up in Calgary, the latter under the British and Commonwealth Air Training Plan. There was also an elementary flying training school at De Winton, a few miles south of the city. The Calgary Royal Air Force stations were at Lincoln Park and McCall Field.
The Cemetery contains 197 graves from the Second World War, most of them airmen who died during training. Nearly all the war graves lie in an extensive Veterans' Section. There were reports in The Calgary Herald 28th August 1943, p1 and 29th August 1943, p 9+17.
Born in 1921 he was the son of Councillor William and Mrs Winifred Eckert of No 9, The Crescent, Linthorpe, Middlesbrough. Eckert was a pupil at Middlesbrough High School and his name is on the war memorial now housed at Middlesbrough College, Middlehaven.
— at Linthorpe Cemetery.
 

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Leonard Fass. Aged 22, died 19th April 1941. Observer, Sergeant Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. 754442. Grave No G57 in new Jewish Section behind the Hebrew Prayer House. Son of Simon and Hilda Fass, born 17th September 1918. In 1925 his father lived at 37 East Road, London N1. Blenheim IV R3806 AIR81/5952. RAF Thornaby Airfield. 114 Sqdn AIR27. Other Crew members were Bruce Beardsley (939008) Pilot cremated and name on West Norwood Cemetery Screen Wall. Sergeant Lionel John Symes (975686) Wireless Operator buried Thornaby-On-Tees Cemetery. Acklam Road. Ref: Plot O. Row N. Grave 8. — at Linthorpe Cemetery.
 

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Richard Gamble. Died 1st November 1944, aged 32. Sergeant, Royal Corps of Signals. Airborne Division Service No. 2320894. Son of George William and Sabina Gamble, of Middlesbrough. He had been born in 1912. The family lived at 51, Dundas Mews, Middlesbrough. Grave No C10453.

Victor George Gent. Died 14th July 1940. Sergeant, Royal Air Force. Service Number 624628. 220 Sqdn. Died aboard a Lockheed Hudson I N7251 AIR81/1114.Son of Albert and Janet (nee d’Arcy died 1926) Gent. Grave No D5596

James Pirnie Goddard. Born 28th December 1892. Died 29th January 1940 aged 48. Cook, Merchant Navy. Died aboard S.S. Stanburn (London) . Son of James and Agnes Goddard they lived in Palm Street, Middlesbrough in 1901; husband of Beatrice May Goddard, of Lambton Road, Grove Hill, Middlesbrough. He was listed as a cook at Ripon Army Camp in 1939 where his younger brother David (born 3rd June 1897) was also listed as the Camp Cook. The S. S. Stanburn on voyage Zeebrugge to the Tyne was bombed by German Hienkel 111s and sunk off Flamborough Head, there were also reports of machine gun fire on the survivors in the ships lifeboats. 22 of the 25 crew died in this incident, including the Captain. The three survivors where picked up by the steamer S. S. Gripfast which itself had survived an aircraft attack. Ten other survivors had been sighted on a raft sometime earlier, but could not be relocated. The vessel was not in convoy. 4 bodies were washed ashore and later identified as members of the crew of S.S. “Stanburn”. Sec. C. Grave 13143.
 

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George William Hart aged 36 died 3rd September 1939. Aircraftman, 1st Class Royal Air Force. Grave No C13210. See notes on photograph for more details.
Henry Hebron aged 35 died 21st October 1942. Sapper, 17 Field Coy. Royal Engineers. Son of William and Mary Jane Hebbron, of Middlesbrough; husband of Nellie Hebbron, of Whinney Banks, Middlesbrough. “At The Going Down Of The Sun And In The Morning I Will Remember Him” Grave No C12301
Norman Hitchinson died 14th September 1940. Gunner, 146 (The Pembroke Yeomanry) Field Regt. Royal Artillery. Son of Norman and Lilly Hitchinson, of Middlesbrough. Grave No A6578
Rene Hurst aged 20, died 4th August 1943. Private, A. T. S. (Auxiliary Territorial Service). Daughter of Walter and Elizabeth Hurst, of Middlesbrough. Grave No C12575.
John Henry Hyndman died 12th March 1941. Private, 8th (H.D.) Bn. Cheshire Regiment. Born 24th October 1909 he was a blacking mixer (moulder) - a blacking mix was used to coat the moulds before casting, it consisted of plumbago mixed with water. The mixture when applied to the moulds produced a clean casting. He was a Lance Corporal 4368819 in the Green Howards and the Reserves from March and lived in Milton Street in 1939. Grave No C10263.
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Irene Insall. Service Number W/293872 Private A.T.S. (Auxiliary Territorial Service) Died 15th October 1946. Aged 20. Daughter of Robert and Ellen Insall, of Whinney Banks, Middlesbrough. “Treasured Still With Love Sincere Only A Memory But Very Dear. R.I.P.”

James Jackson. Service Number 4684825 Signalman, Royal Corps of Signals. Aged 38, Died 15th January 1944. Son of James and Johanna Jackson, of Middlesbrough; husband of Blanche Jackson, of Middlesbrough. “For King and Country He Did His Best "Grant Him, O Lord Eternal Rest” ”

George Keogh. Service Number 398866, Corporal, 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards, Royal Armoured Corps. Died 29th May 1940, aged 32. Husband of Ophelia Keogh, of Middlesbrough. “Not Just Today But Every Day In Silence We Remember”

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Archie McCarthy. Aged 18, died 20th May 1944. Private, Service No 14433801. R.A.S.C. (Royal Army Service Corps). Son of Patrick Joseph and Mary McCarthy, of Middlesbrough. Grave No C10984

Joseph Henry Mark. Aged 31, died 3rd April 1946. Private, 5730113, Dorsetshire Regiment. In 1957 it was marked with “a vase and a small wooden cross ” according to Commonwealth War Grave Commission records. Grave No C8794.

Stanley William Middleton. Aged 19, died 30th January 1941. Private, Service Number 4344388. West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own). Son of Harold and Evelyn Middleton, of Middlesbrough. “Whatever Else We Fail To Do We Never Fail To Think Of You”. Grave No C2586

John Ammon Moore. Aged 25, died 11th October 1940. Sapper, Service No. 2006405. 1 Field Park Troops Coy. Royal Engineers. Son of John Ammon Moore and Emily Moore, of Middlesbrough. “Good Night, My Beloved Ones God Be With You "Till We Meet Again””. Grave No D5152

In loving memory of John Morgan died February 28th 1878 aged 49 years. His wife Jane died October 14th 1893 aged 69 years. Erected by their son, William. Herbert Morgan eldest grandson of the above 17th Middlesex Regt. killed in action in France July 28th 1916 aged 22 years. Owen Morgan, machine gunner, youngest grandson of the above who died in the Military Hospital at Rouen, France March 16th 1918 aged 20 years. Guy Evans Morgan 3rd grandson drowned on war service H.M.S. ‘Exmouth’ January 21st 1940 aged 44 years. Able Seaman, Royal Navy. Service Number P/SSX 31522. Son of John Herbert and Marianne Morgan, of Breconcroft, Acklam Road, Old Linthorpe, Yorkshire. He is also commemorated on the Naval Memorial at Portsmouth. Panel 30 Column 1, and in the church at Wick. H.M.S. Exmouth was torpedoed the German submarine U-22, under the command of Karl-Heinrich Jenisch,qt 5.35 in the morning off the coast of Scotland. She sank with the loss of all hands.

Thomas Henry Mowbray. Aged 18, died 29th January 1940. Mess Room Boy, S.S. Stanburn (London). Merchant Navy On 29th January 1940 the S. S. Stanburn was bombed and sunk by German aircraft, also reports of machine gun fire on the survivors in the ships lifeboats. 22 of the 25 crew died in this incident, including the Captain. The three survivors where picked up by the steamer Gripfast which itself had survived an aircraft attack. Ten other survivors had been sighted on a raft sometime earlier, but could not be relocated. The vessel was not in convoy. BODIES WASHED ASHORE 4 bodies were washed ashore and later identified as members of the crew of S.S. “Stanburn”. Later, the Gripfast was to strike the piers at Bridlington, and went ashore after failing to enter the harbour. Son of Thomas Henry and Mary Elizabeth Mowbray, of Grove Hill, Middlesbrough. "So Dearly Loved So Sadly Missed Still Living In The Hearts Of Those Who Loved Him". Grave No C13144.

George R Mythen. Aged 23, died 11th March 1940. Trooper, Service Number 7887190. Royal Tank Regiment, R.A.C. (Royal Armoured Corps). Adopted son of Thomas E. Glass and Hannah B. Glass, of Middlesbrough; grandson of Mr. W. J. H. Mythen, of Middlesbrough. “At Rest”. Grave No C8131.

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James (“Jim”) William Nichols. Aged 23, died 20th November 1940. Private, Service No 3193156, 6th Btn. King's Own Scottish Borderers. Son of James and Edith Nichols, of Middlesbrough; husband of Alice Nichols, of Middlesbrough. “For Him The Gates Are Open And Heaven’s Bugles Blow” Grave No C13326.
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Joseph Peel. Aged 18, died 12th May 1944. Service Number D/JX 566454. Able Seaman, Royal Navy. His Majesty’s Motor Torpedo Boat (H. M. M. T. B.) No 450. Son of Albert and Lily Maud Peel, of Middlesbrough. On Friday, 12th May 1944. Motor Torpedo Boat (M.T.B.) No 450 suffered an enemy attack by surface gunfire. “God Grant Him Eternal Rest”. Grave No. C11580.
Richard William Peevor. Aged 20, died 31st March 1942. Service Number 1130740 Aircraftman, 1st Class, R.A.F.V.R. (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve). Born autumn 1921. His death was registered in Peterborough. Son of Mr. George Thomas Peevor (died 1930) and Mrs Lilias Peevor, (nee Stevenson) of 64, Albert Mews, Middlesbrough. Grave No. A8255.
William Pounder Died 1st May 1940. Service Number 987670. Leading Aircraftman, R.A.F.V.R. (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve). Born 7th February 1908. The Gazette, Middlesbrough - Friday 3rd May 1940. “Air Force, the death has occurred of Aircraftman William Pounder, of 8, Heywood Street, Middlesbrough. The official intimation to his wife states that he died from heart failure. Aircraftman Pounder, who was 32 years of age, was well known locally”. Grave No. C13362.
Wilfred Thomas Pratt. Aged 26, died 15th June 1940. Service Number 565197. Sergeant, R. A. F. (Royal Air Force). 43 Sqdn. Hurricane No N2615. Son of Thomas Henry and Gertrude Pratt, of Acton Street, Middlesbrough. “At The Going Down Of The Sun And In The Morning We Will Remember”. Grave No. C11862.
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Kenneth Ramsdale. Aged 19, died 24th May 1942. Service Number 1071466. Sergeant, R.A.F.V.R. (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve). Warner, 2nd Edition has Ramsdale, Moore, Layton and Henry as killed on L1218 Blenheim I - L1218 - 1 AGS - dived into ground 3 miles E of Pembrey, Carmarthenshire. Henry, Harold George LAC 1262652 Layton, George Alfred LAC 1376316. Moore, Eric Charles Patrick LAC 1381635. Ramsdale, Kenneth. Sgt. 1071466. The deaths of all the above are registered at Llanelli. R.A.F. Pembrey was situated in Pembrey, Carmarthenshire and played a role in Britain's defences as home to both fighter and bomber aircraft. Dearly loved son of Ronald and Ramsdale and grandson of William and Matilda Ramsdale “He Died That We Might Live”. Grave No. D5768.

Leslie Corbett Roberts. Aged 34, died 12th October 1945. Service No 2583438 3 Field Regt. Royal Artillery. Gunner, Royal Artillery. Son of Harry and Edith Roberts, of Middlesbrough; husband of Lilian Roberts, of Middlesbrough. “Safe In God’s Keeping”. Grave No. C11686.
John Robson-Blenkinsop. Died 11th February 1943. Service Number 7953230. Private, Pioneer Corps. Son of William and Jane Robson-Blenkinsop, of Middlesbrough. Grave No. D4127.
Raymond Harry Roche. Aged 25, died 16th May 1946. Service No 2583438. Signalman, Royal Corps of Signals. Son of Ivy Roche of Middlesbrough. Grave No. C5711.
Lawrence Rodham. Aged 24, died 12th May 1940. Service Number 945850. Aircraftman 2nd Class, R.A.F.V.R. (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve). Born October 1915. On May 17th 1940 “MIDDLESBROUGH MAN KILLED - NEWS.” Rodham joined the R.A.F. last November. He was fatally injured in a road crash at Kings Lynn and died without regaining consciousness. Published: Friday 17 May 1940 in Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough. Sadly missed by his brother and sisters. May he rest Peace.” RODHAM. —Killed on active service. Aircraftsman Lawrence Rodham, beloved and only son of George and Ethel Maud Rodham, (nee Wright) of 45, Hartington Road, Middlesbrough. “Treasured Memories Of A Dear Son and Brother Resting Where No Shadpws Fall”. Death registered in Kings Lynn, Norfolk. Grave No. D6579.
Oswald Rose. Aged 25, died 5th October 1941. Service Number 946027. Leading Aircraftman, R.A.F.V.R. (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve). Born 3rd October 1916. Death was registered at Sleaford, Lincolnshire. Son of Mr. George Henry and Mrs. Maud Rose, of 11 Rosedale Avenue, Grove Hill, Middlesbrough. “No Length Of Time Will Ere Dim That Beautiful Memory We Keep Of Him”. Grave No. C4413.
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Henry Sherr, aged 26, died 17th August 1940. Service Number 3454400, Fusilier, 2/6th Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers. Grave No G47 New Jewish Section (behind The Hebrew Prayer House). Son of Sarah Sherr, of Salford, Lancashire. Born in Manchester 19th April 1916. In 1939 he was employed as a raincoat presser. “During the war years we attended some twenty bereavements at Middlesbrough, including that of Pte. H. Sherr, who was fatally injured, during rifle practice, at Whitby.” Kehilat – the Jewish History website.

George Sproates aged 59, died 28th January 1940. Fireman, Merchant Navy, S.S. Eston (London). Born 5th April 1880 he had been married in August 1904 in Middlesbrough to Elizabeth Ann Griffiths (1871–1943). The S.S. Eston was built in 1919 by the Goole Shipbuilding & Repairing Co. Ltd., of Goole 1,487 tons and her engines were built by Earle's Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. Ltd. (C. & W. Earle), of Hull. She was owned by The Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. - P & O, London. Under her Master Herbert Roser Harris she sailed from Blyth in Northumberland on 26th January 1940 and on 28th January 1940, she was a straggler from convoy FN-81, and struck a mine laid on 20th December, 1939 by U-22 and sank near Blyth with the loss of all 18 of her crew. George was found drowned at Seaton Sluice near Blyth, Northumberland. (Another of the crewmen lost was George Liddle, aged 63, a donkeyman who was the husband of Elizabeth Liddle, of Middlesbrough). Grave No C13145.
George Stamp aged 36, died 10th September 1940. Service Number 4390550 Private, 8th (H.D.) Bn., Green Howards (Yorkshire Regiment) Grave No. C12979. Son of Joseph Henry and Jane Stamp; husband of Athelia Stamp, of Escombe, Co. Durham. “Too Dearly Loved To Be Forgotten By His Loving Wife And Family. Death Divides, Memory Clings”
Freeman Henry Stanley aged 33, died 27th November 1943. Service Number 1372108, Corporal, R.A.F.V.R. (Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve). Death registered in Stafford. Aged 33. Born 26th June 1911. He was a stevedore. Son of John Samuel and Ann Stanley; husband of Ivy Stanley, nee Smitheringale (married in 1935) of Middlesbrough. Father of Freda, Thelma and Clive. They lived in Monkland Street in 1939. “In Loving Memory Of Our Dear Dad Always In Our Thoughts. Freda, Thelma And Clive”. Grave No. C122880.
John William Stewart aged 21, died 25th July 1940. Service No 962285 Gunner, 78 (The Duke of Lancaster’s Own Yeomanry) Medium Regt. Royal Artillery. Son of Alexander (Alec) and Ethel Maud Stewart and grandson of Capt W. R. and Mrs Elizabeth Denham of Middlesbrough. Grave No X2002
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Flight Sgt Pilot Robert Edward Taylor killed in action 31st July 1943, buried in Bergen-op-Zoom Cemetery in the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant, north-west of Antwerp, Belgium. He was son of Robert and Winifred Taylor, of Middlesbrough and grandson of Elizabeth and Edward Taylor. Aged 23. Service Number 1525616. R.A.F.V.R. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. Danielle who lives in Belgium, south of Antwerp who provided us the photo of his gravestone says “ I am the adopter of several American and Commonwealth soldiers who are buried in Belgium and The Netherlands. It is rewarding being the link between the soldier buried over here and the family abroad who sometimes will never be able to visit the grave of their loved ones.” - Robert served with 218 Sqdn. Royal Air Force. In July 1942, the unit was based at R.A.F. Downham Market in Norfolk. The base had been visited by the King and Queen on the 26th July. Inscription “He Died That We Might Live May His Soul Rest In Peace. From 218 Association website “July ended with a devastating attack on Remscheid by roughly equal numbers of Halifaxes, Lancasters and Stirlings on the 30th and 31st, and this brought down the final curtain on the Ruhr offensive. A fairly modest force of around 250 aircraft destroyed over 80% of the town’s built-up area, including most of its industry and 3,100 houses, and eleven hundred people lost their lives. The Stirling brigade sustained the highest numerical and percentage losses, and one of the eight missing examples of the type was from Downham Market, where BF440 crash-landed on return. Sgt Knight and his crew were unhurt, but their colleagues in BF519 were less fortunate, and all died on Dutch soil after an encounter with a nightfighter.” From https://erenow.net/…/st-vith-victory-218-squadron-cam…/6.php. July ended with an attack by a fairly modest force of 264 heavies and nine Mosquitoes on Remscheid on the night of July 30th. 218 Squadron put up eighteen Stirlings as part of the second wave, and they benefited from concentrated Pathfinder flares, which had been scattered in the early stages. Flight Sergeant Aaron’s aircraft was hit by two incendiaries during the bombing run, which caused a fire to break out in the fuselage. The starboard-inner engine sprang a major fuel leak, but Aaron pressed on with his run while the flight engineer and wireless operator tackled the fire. Having dropped the all-incendiary load from 15,000 feet they were coned by searchlights and bombarded with flak, but managed to drag themselves clear and ultimately extinguish the fire. Such was the damage to BK761 HA-Q that it required major repair, and would not return to front line service until mid-August. Arthur Aaron would receive a DFM for his effort. BF519 HA-E fell victim to Fw Helmut Ternieden of E/NJG2 at 01.50hrs while homebound, and crashed near Dinteloord Holland. Sadly there were no survivors from the crew of F/Sgt Robert Taylor, who were on their sixteenth operation. The night ended with Sgt Knight making a heavy landing upon his return to Downham Market, and BF440 HA-T was declared a write-off. This highly successful raid, which brought down the final curtain on the Ruhr offensive, destroyed or damaged over three thousand houses, an estimated 80% of the town’s built-up area, and killed eleven hundred people. The Stirling brigade sustained the highest numerical and percentage losses for this operation, and it was a trend that would continue. It was becoming apparent to Harris that the Stirling was not suitable for further development, and the type’s future was the subject of a meeting on July 30th. The squadron set a new record of 130 sorties during the month, second overall in the group to 75 (NZ) Squadron, which managed 135. It was the same in the mining category, with 75 Squadron in first place with eighteen sorties, followed closely by 218 Squadron on fifteen. Seven DFCs were announced in July to former squadron officers, sadly, four of whom had already been killed on operations. S/Ldr Harold Ashworth, P/O Richard Medus, P/O William McCarthy and, finally, P/O George McAuley, would never wear their awards. There were, however, three DFC recipients who were able to collect their awards, Canadian F/L Ross Campbell, bomb-aimer F/L Dennis Booth, who had just completed his first tour, most of which was undertaken as the squadron’s bombing leader, and P/O Henry Morrison, wireless operator who had completed his tour of thirty-one operations.”
BF519 HA-E failed to return from Remscheid 30/31.7.43. the aeroplane was built by Short & Harland Ltd (Belfast) to Contract No.774677/38.
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Private Christopher Usher. Service Number D/17382. 8th (H.D.) Bn. Green Howards (Yorkshire Regiment). Died 21st May 1941. Aged 47. Son of Anthony and Rose Anne Usher; husband of Annie Elizabeth Usher, of Middlesbrough. Sec. B. Grave 10564. His stone was erected by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in 2003.
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#17
Sgt Henry Waterworth. Grenadier Guards. Born New Year’s Eve 1910. Died 24th August 1942. Aged 31. Loving Husband of Margaret and father of Mavis.
Alfred Andrew Wilson. Aged 21 died 4th January 1940. Service Number 624397. Aircraftman 2nd Class. (Air Gunner) Royal Air Force. Aircraft accident, Bristol Blenheim L1466, 23 Squadron. Pilot Officer R. G. A. Barritt, Corporal R. Wilson died of injuries; Aircraftman A. A. Wilson was killed; File in National Archives closed for 82 years - opening date 1st January 2033. Son of Alf and Rosetta Wilson, of Middlesbrough; stepson of Mrs. E. Wilson, of Middlesbrough. “Always Thoughtful Always Kind A Beautiful Memory Left Behind”. Grave No. D5402.
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#18
Some found on family memorials.

In loving memory of our mother Mary Jane Emmerson died through enemy action October 13th 1940. Also Albert Edward son of the above died August 26th 1962 aged 59 years. Mary Jane was 59 years of age, She was the wife of J. T. Emmerson, of 168 Marsh Road. She died at the North Riding Infirmary.

In Loving memory of Lawrence John Shepherd died September 3rd 1912 aged l year. Also Joseph brother of the above killed by enemy action March 19th 1941 aged 34 years. He was born in 1907 and was killed during an air raid on the Ford Motor Plant at Dagenham in Essex. He was one of seven children of Arthur and Emily Shepherd of 163, Union Street, Middlesbrough. Probate was granted 7th August 1941 in Ipswich.

Treasured memories of Norma daughter of Percy & Sarah Jones died February 18th 1938 aged 12 years. Also Sarah died December 17th 1973 aged 82 years, and Percy (no dates recorded). Also Allan, son, died at Dunkirk 1940.
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80 years ago yesterday. Decorated local hero is lost during Dunkirk evacuation.

Serjeant Benjamin Joseph Traynor. Service Number 4442005. He died between 29th and 30th of May 1940. Aged 36. Served with 6th Bn. Green Howards (Yorkshire Regiment) O. B. E. Son of Thomas and Esther Traynor; husband of Caroline Traynor, of Stockton-on-Tees, Co. Durham. Inscription "Just a Memory Fond and True To Show, Dear Husband, I Think Of You" Buried in Plot 2, Row A, Grave 9 at Malo-Les-Bains Communal Cemetery some 3 kilometres east of Dunkirk. The headstone was erected in 1949. In 1911 the family lived at 77, Gladstone Street in the Cannon Street Area of Middlesbrough. He had served from 1922- 1934 with the Durham Light Infantry.

In 1939 he and an airman L.A.C. Goring had been hailed as heroes and honoured by the King in the New Year Honours. On 18th October Sgt. Traynor and a colleague had pulled two men to safety from the burning wreck of a Whitley K8996 of 102 Squadron that had crashed into the ground from a height of 70 feet at Catterick Airfield in North Yorkshire. A record of the Court of Enquiry proceedings is held at the National Archives at Kew, it reached the conclusion that the aeroplane had crashed because it was overweight.

From the London Gazette - "CENTRAL CHANCERY OF THE ORDERS OF KNIGHTHOOD. St. James's Palace, S.W.I, 16th January, 1940. The KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the following Awards: - The Medal of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, for Meritorious Service: - 4442005 Sergeant Benjamin Joseph Traynor, The Green Howards (Alexandra, Princess of Wales's Own Yorkshire Regiment) (Territorial Army)." - "In October 1939, a Whitley aircraft, while taking off from an R.A.F. station (Catterick) with a crew of nine, stores and 30,000 rounds of ammunition, crashed, exploded and burst into flames. Sgt Traynor (4442005) and LAC Gorring (370776) ran to the scene, and, despite the fire and continually exploding ammunition, extricated an airman who had been badly injured. During this operation the oxygen tank blew up, but the men were not deterred from their gallant action, which resulted in the saving of the airman's life. One other airman crawled from the rear turret of the aircraft. The remaining members of the crew were killed."

"The Green Howards 4th and 5th Battalions had been in France since 26th January 1940 and were joined by 6th and 7th Battalions on 24th April. The 4th and 5th initially went to Lille and then Wavrin to assist in the construction of a 2nd Reserve Line, intended to be a north-western extension of the Maginot Line. The 6th were sent to Irles and the 7th to Farbus. For these Battalions their move forward began on 16th May, closely followed by a confused and erratic retreat from one defensive line after another. More than once orders were issued to dig in and hold a position at all costs, and only a matter of hours later orders were issued for a further retreat. As Synge relates in his history of the regiment during World War Two… “…often without rations, at times separated from their Brigades and, indeed with companies and platoons fighting for long periods on their own, it is impossible to tell a coherent story of those chaotic days..” “Wearily the 4th Battalion moved eastwards along the sands and quickly settled down in company areas, digging holes for shelter from any ‘overs’ as the Germans shelled Dunkirk. The day passed quietly with one excitement: a Hurricane flew low over the troops and dropped a be-ribboned message. There was a rush for the ‘stop-press’ news, which was eventually brought to Battalion HQ. It was a message scribbled in pencil by the pilot: ‘Good Luck! We can do no more.’”
Captain Whittaker of 5th Battalion summed up the sense of confusion after so short a campaign and the short distance, physical, emotional and psychological of a place of safety… “Those who got away sailed into the night, the sky behind them bright with the fires of the shambles that was Dunkirk, the horizon shortly to be lit by the sun shining over the cliffs of Dover on the morning of June 3rd – eighteen days after we had first gone up in to Belgium.” - Green Howards Museum website. The Germans had taken Boulogne on 25th May and Calais the following day and the Belgians surrendered to the Germans on 28th May and so it was even more difficult for all concerned, the situation left Dunkirk as the only viable port from which the British Expeditionary Force, part of the French army and the remains of the Belgian army could escape. The allied troops including groups from the Loyals, Leicesters, Sherwood Foresters, Warwickshires, East Lancashires, Borders, Coldstream Guards, Duke of Wellington's, Green Howards, Durham Light Infantry, King's Own Scottish Borderers, Royal Ulster Rifles, Grenadier Guards, Berkshires, Suffolks, Bedfordshire and Herts, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, East Surreys, Royal Fusiliers, South Lancashires and the Black Watch Regiments were under fire from both German artillery and several infantry divisions. Sgt. Traynor went missing during the evacuation from Dunkirk during Operation Dynamo.

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Three who were killed in action and buried in Italy and commemorated on family graves back home.
In loving memory of George Covington died March 18th 1933 aged 56 years. Also his wife Elizabeth died May 1st 1948 aged 66 years. Also their son George, late Guardsman 2665875, killed in Italy June 10th 1944 aged 19 years. Guardsman Thomas William (George) Covington. Service Number 2665875. Died 10th June 1944. Aged 19. 2nd Bn. Coldstream Guards. Son of Thomas William George and Elizabeth Jane Covington, of Middlesbrough, Yorkshire. Inscription “His Life A Beautiful Memory His Absence A Silent Grief.” Buried at Lake Bolsena War Cemetery, Italy situated between Rome and Sienna. Plot IV, E, 21. “On 3 September 1943 the Allies invaded the Italian mainland, the invasion coinciding with an armistice made with the Italians who then re-entered the war on the Allied side. Progress through southern Italy was rapid despite stiff resistance, but the advance was checked for some months at the German winter defensive position known as the Gustav Line. The line eventually fell in May 1944 and as the Germans fell back, Rome was taken by the Allies on 3 June. The Germans made their first stand after being driven north of Rome at Bolsena and to the east of Lake Bolsena, there was a tank battle in June 1944 between the 6th South African Armoured Division and the Hermann Goering Panzer Division. The site for the cemetery was chosen in November 1944, and graves were brought in from the battlefields between Bolsena and Orvieto. Almost one-third of those buried at Bolsena were South Africans. In 1947, 42 graves were brought into the cemetery (into Plot 4 Rows G and H) from the Island of Elba. The cemetery is on the actual site of the first camp occupied by General Alexander's advanced headquarters after the liberation of Rome and it was here that King George VI visited General Alexander at the end of July 1944. Bolsena War Cemetery contains 597 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 40 of them unidentified. The cemetery was designed by Louis de Soissons.” – Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

In loving memory of William son of William and Helen Garbutt killed in action in Italy June 20th 1944 aged 32 years. In loving memory of Irene daughter of the above died February 1st 1944 aged 34 years. In loving memory of my husband William died May 12th 1921 aged 39 years.Trooper William Garbutt. Service Number 7915233. Died 20th June 1944. Aged 33. The Warwickshire Yeomanry. Royal Armoured Corps. Son of William and Helen Garbutt, of Middlesbrough, Yorkshire; husband of Eleonora Garbutt, of Middlesbrough. Inscription “One Crowded Hour Of Glorious Life Is Worth An Age Without A Name." Nora. Buried in Orvieto War Cemetery which lies in the Commune of Orvieto in the Province of Terni. “On 3 September 1943 the Allies invaded the Italian mainland, the invasion coinciding with an armistice made with the Italians who then re-entered the war on the Allied side. Progress through southern Italy was rapid despite stiff resistance, but the advance was checked for some months at the German winter defensive position known as the Gustav Line. The line eventually fell in May 1944 and as the Germans fell back, Rome was taken by the Allies on 3 June. This cemetery was established as a battlefield cemetery by the 78th Division in the middle of June 1944, during the first heavy fighting north of Rome. The burials, with only one exception, date from the period 14 June-4 July 1944. Orvieto War Cemetery contains 190 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 2 of which are unidentified. It was designed by Louis de Soissons” - Commonwealth War Graves Commmission.

In memory of our sons John Henry Knights died July 26th 1929 aged 1 year and Albert, R.A., killed in action in Italy November 29th 1943 aged 23 years.Gunner Albert Knights Service Number 1134361. Died 29th November 1943. Aged 23. 52 Field Regt. Royal Artillery. Son of Albert and Hannah Knights, of Dormanstown, Redcar, Yorkshire. Inscription “Dearer To Us Than Words Can Tell The Son We Lost And Loved So Well”. Buried in The Sangro River War Cemetery lies in the Contrada Sentinelle in the Commune of Torino di Sangro, Province of Chieti, Italy. Plot XV. B. 4. “On 3 September 1943 the Allies invaded the Italian mainland, the invasion coinciding with an armistice made with the Italians who then re-entered the war on the Allied side. Allied objectives were to draw German troops from the Russian front and more particularly from France, where an offensive was planned for the following year. Progress through southern Italy was rapid despite stiff resistance, but by the end of October, the Allies were facing the German winter defensive position known as the Gustav Line, which stretched from the river Garigliano in the west to the Sangro in the east. By 4 November, the Allied force that had fought its way up the Adriatic coast was preparing to attack the Sangro river positions. A bridgehead had been established by the 24th and by nightfall on the 30th, the whole ridge overlooking the river was in Allied hands. The site of this cemetery was selected by the 5th Corps and into it were brought the graves of men who had died in the fierce fighting on the Adriatic sector of the front in November-December 1943, and during the static period that followed. In addition, the cemetery contains the graves of a number of escaped prisoners of war who died while trying to reach the Allied lines. Sangro River War Cemetery contains 2,617 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War. Within the cemetery will be found the Sangro River Cremation Memorial, one of three memorials erected in Italy to officers and men of the Indian forces whose remains were cremated in accordance with their faith - the other two cremation memorials are in Forli Indian Army War Cemetery and Rimini Gurkha War Cemetery. The memorial at Sangro River commemorates more than 500 servicemen.” Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

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