St Helen’s Church, Sandal
Second World War
T/274791 Driver John Archer, Royal Army Service Corps, attached Royal Artillery, died aged 31 on 20 August 1945. Buried at Labuan War Cemetery, Malaysia; son of Fred and Mary Ann Archer, of Wakefield; husband of Alice Maud Archer, of Sandal.
Note: Labuan (part of Sabah) is a small island in Brunei Bay, off the coast of north-west Borneo. About 3,900 men are buried at the war cemetery. The preponderance of unidentified graves is due to the destruction of all the records of the prisoner of war camps by Colonel Suga, the Japanese commandant, before the Australians reached Kuching, his headquarters. He committed suicide rather than face questioning about his conduct of the Borneo camps.
838415 Gunner Charles Frederick Armitage, Royal Artillery, died aged 30 on 3 June 1944. He is buried at St Helen’s and was serving with 129 (21st Bn, City of London Regiment) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment. He was the son of Harry and Alice Marianne Armitage, of Sandal.
4746010 Lance Corporal Leonard Batty, 2nd Bn, York and Lancaster Regiment, died aged 24 on 20 May 1941. He is commemorated on the Athens Memorial. He was the son of William and Harriet Annie Batty, of Sandal.
Only two men of this name are listed in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s register. One came from Batley, the other was 4696000 Trooper Norman Bedford. of the Reconnaissance Corps, Royal Armoured Corps; 43rd (2/5th Bn. Gloucestershire Regiment) Regiment. His parents were George Alfred and Ellen Bedford; he was husband of Edith Bedford, who was living at Horbury at the time the CWGC register was compiled.
Trooper Bedford died aged 25 on 24 June 1944 and he is commemorated on the Bayeux Memorial in France.
PO/X 103455 Marine Noel Page Bellwood, Royal Marine Group, MNBDO(2). He died aged 27 on 27 July 1943 and is buried in Syracuse War Cemetery, Sicily. Son of Sophia Bellwood and stepson of Frank Bounds; husband of Florence May Bellwood, of Sandal.
Note: MNBDO(2) was No 2 Mobile Naval Base Defence Organisation, formed in 1941 and disbanded just before D-Day, with most of its men being absorbed into the RM Commandos.
The function of the 8,000-strong MNBDO was to provide the Fleet with a base in any part of the world within a week and to defend it. It was a versatile body of specialists, including engineers and mechanics, transport and crane drivers, armourers and gunners, surveyors and draughtsmen, bricklayers, masons, carpenters, plumbers, painters, decorators and camouflage modellers; miners, blacksmiths, tinsmiths and divers.
First World War veteran 21562 Private Charles William Booth, 6th Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 52 on 2 October 1940. He was the son of Charles and Florence Booth, of Pledwick, and is buried in St Helen’s churchyard.
Squadron Leader Peter Bunclark, DFC, DFM, RAF Volunteer Reserve, was serving with No 78 Squadron when he died aged 23 on 24 August 1943. The son of Roland and Dorothy Bunclark, he is buried in the 1939-45 War Cemetery in Berlin.
Before he was commissioned as an officer, Peter Bunclark completed a tour with 76 Squadron and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal, gazetted on 23 December 1941. He probably acted at one time as an instructor with a conversion unit but he later returned to operational flying and rose quickly through the ranks, being commissioned on 3 March 1942.
As Acting Squadron Leader he was posted to 78 Squadron and on 1 June 1943 he was Mentioned in Despatches. He was then awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for bringing back damaged Halifax JD203 on two engines during operations to Cologne.
Details of this award appeared in the London Gazette, dated 30 July 1943. The citation reads: ‘One night in July 1943, this officer piloted an aircraft detailed for an operation against Cologne. Soon after the target had been attacked one of the bomber's engines was struck by shrapnel and put out of action. The propeller was feathered and the homeward flight continued, but, some time later, whilst still over enemy territory, a second engine became useless. Despite this, Squadron Leader Bunclark succeeded in flying the bomber to this country. Other essential equipment was unserviceable and the position became serious. With complete disregard for his own welfare, Squadron Leader Bunclark struggled on to avoid a built-up area and succeeded in crash-landing the damaged bomber in a field. This officer displayed courage and tenacity of a high order.’
On 24 August 1943, when he was the pilot of Halifax JD310, his aircraft was shot down by a night-fighter over Berlin and crashed. On this night 78 Squadron lost five aircraft with thirty five fatalities.
Photo courtesy the Handley-Page Halifax website. For more on the incident involving the crash landing of Halifax JD203 click here
1623877 Flight Sergeant Kenneth Bullimore*, RAFVR, died aged 21 on 27 March 1945. He was a pilot with No 79 Squadron and is buried at Taukkyan War Cemetery, Burma. Son of John William Bullimore and May E. Bullimore, of Walton.
No 79 Squadron began the Second World War as a home-based Hurricane squadron. After taking part in the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain it moved to the Far East. In March 1942 it sailed for India, arriving on 20 June. For the next few months it flew defensive patrols, before going on to the offensive in December, flying sweeps over Japanese-occupied Burma. The squadron continued to fly a mix of offensive sweeps, ground attack and bomber escort missions over Burma to the end of the war, retaining its Hurricanes until September 1944 when it converted to the US-built Republic Thunderbolt.
* Spelling as it appears on the CWGC register.
Only one person with these initials appears on the CWGC register. He is 2824327 Private Eric Sidney Churchill, who died aged 24 on 6 April 1943. He was serving with the 5th Bn, Seaforth Highlanders, and is buried at Sfax War Cemetery in Tunisia. He was the son of Arthur Robert and Ethel Churchill, and husband of Elizabeth Churchill, of Boston Spa.
The CWGC lists 237 people with this name.
1171040 Aircraftsman 2nd Class Ronald Henry Coles, RAF Volunteer Reserve, died aged 27 of dysentery on 17 April 1942 and is buried at Kandy War Cemetery in Sri Lanka (Ceylon). He was the son of William Henry and Dorothy Coles, of Wakefield, and was an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects (ARIBA)
4616675 Private Joseph Colledge died aged 22 on 12 June 1944. He served with 8th Bn, Durham Light Infantry, and is buried at Ryes War Cemetery, Bazenville, east of Bayeux. Son of John and Ada Colledge, of Sandal.
1549199 Flight Sgt John Cooling, RAFVR, was a navigator with 90 Squadron. He died aged 22 on 15 October 1944 during a raid on Wilhelmshaven during which his Lancaster crashed at Lutetsburg. He is buried in a joint grave at Sage War Cemetery, Germany. Son of Arthur and Elizabeth Cooling, of Sandal.
Sage, a small village, was on the line of the Allied advance across northern Germany in 1945 but most of those buried in its war cemetery were airmen lost in bombing raids whose graves were brought in from cemeteries in the Frisian Islands and other parts of north-west Germany.
No 90 Squadron re-formed in November 1942 as a heavy bomber unit equipped with Stirlings, and subsequently made a significant contribution to the Battle of the Ruhr, the devastation of Hamburg and the famous raid on Peenemunde. It also did a great deal of minelaying. In May-June 1944, No 90 exchanged its Stirlings for Lancasters and with these continued to play a prominent part in Bomber Command’s offensive until late April 1945.
T/254474 Driver Charles Ernest Copley was serving with 19 Light Field Ambulance, Royal Army Service Corps, when he died aged 28 on 2 October 1944. He is buried at Jonkerbos War Cemetery in Holland. Son of Charles Ernest and Annice Copley, of Sandal.
The CWGC register lists 16 possibilities but this may be 4691299 Private Joseph Crossley, 2nd Bn, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, who died aged 20 on 4 November 1941. He is commemorated on the Rangoon Memorial.
1623541 Geffrey (sic) Stephen Cumberland RAFVR was a sergeant-pilot with No 146 Squadron when he died aged 21 on 10 August 1944. He is buried at the Madras War Cemetery, Chennai. Son of Stephen and Emma Cumberland, of Sandal.
No 146 Squadron formed at Risalpur on 15 October 1941. Equipped with Audaxes, it was taken to Dum Dum in November 1941 to provide air defence of the region. In March 1942, the elderly Audaxes were replaced by Mohawks but in April these went to No 5 Squadron and No 146 received Buffaloes instead. However, these were also to be shortlived as in May the squadron moved to Calcutta, receiving Hurricanes, although a few Audaxes were retained for communications purposes. The squadron then moved to Bengal to provide fighter cover for the area until January 1943, when it began ground attack operations over Burma using advanced bases, where necessary.
The squadron moved to Burma itself in April 1943, where it continued ground attack operations but also resumed an air defence role. In February 1944, rumours of an impending Japanese carrier-borne attack led to the squadron being sent to Southern India, but the attack never materialised and in June the squadron converted to the Thunderbolt. It returned to operations over Burma in September continuing its ground attack role until disbanding on 30 June 1945.
2821362 Private Terence Michael Cunningham was 19 years old when he died on 4 June 1940. He was serving in the 4th Bn, Seaforth Highlanders. He is commemorated on the Dunkirk Memorial.
The 4th Battalion was part of the 51st Highland Division serving in the British Expeditionary Force in 1940. For more information, follow this link
2619925 Guardsman William Bolton Eastwood, 5th Bn Grenadier Guards, died on 25 June 1944, aged 24. He is buried at Bolsena War Cemetery, near Montefiascone, Italy. Son of Thomas William and May Eastwood.
The 3rd, 5th and 6th Battalions of the Grenadiers served in North Africa where they fought significant battles in the Medjez-el-Bab and along the Mareth Line, and in Italy at Salerno, Monte Camino, Anzio and along the Gothic Line.
There is no entry on the CWGC register that includes both initials but this appears to be Douglas Eggleston who was an RAF Volunteer Reserve sergeant serving in Lancasters with No 582 Squadron under the number 752767. He died aged 23 on 6 July 1944 during a raid on Wizernes, possibly a strike against the V2 bunker that was located there. He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.
He was the son of Frederick and Allison Denholme Eggleston, and husband of Alicia Maude Eggleston, who was living at Raskelf, Yorkshire, at the time the register was compiled. The birth of a Douglas M. Eggleston was registered in the Wakefield district in the December quarter of 1920.
No 582 Squadron was formed at Little Staughton, near St Neots, Huntingdonshire, on 1 April 1944, from personnel mainly drawn from Nos 7 and 156 Squadrons. Equipped with Lancasters, it formed part of the Pathfinder Force (No 8 Group), and during the period 9/10 April 1944 to 25 April 1945, it flew 2,157 sorties against the enemy. Following its final bombing mission it took part in Operation Manna (the dropping of food to the starving Dutch) and Operation Exodus (the ferrying home from the Continent of British ex-PoWs).
Note: Also listed on Sandal RUFC Memorial
P/JX 229664 Coder Stanley Buxton Farrar was serving in HMS Dunedin when he died aged 28 on 24 November 1941. His death is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
He was the son of Dixon and Florence Farrar; husband of Edna Farrar, of Leeds.
The light cruiser Dunedin was attacked and sunk by U-124 with the loss of 419 of her officers and men. About 250 survivors managed to leave the ship by leaping overboard, jumping into seven Carley floats or clinging to floating debris. The U-boat surfaced and circled the survivors for about ten minutes but then left. Only 72 survivors were still alive on the six floats found by the American steam merchant Nishmaha, en route from Takoradi to Philadelphia, three days after the sinking. Many survivors drowned, some died of their injuries, others died of exhaustion and some were bitten and killed by sharks. Five of the rescued men died before the merchant ship reached Trinidad, thus only four officers and 63 ratings survived the sinking.
For more details go to uboat.net
1537604 Aircraftsman 1st Class Charles Fletcher RAFVR is not named on the memorial in the church but he is buried under a standard headstone in the churchyard. He was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident on 28 September 1942 at Leven while taking despatches to Leconfield. He was taken to Beverley Base Hospital but died of his injuries, aged 37, the following day. Son of Charles and Louisa Fletcher, of Wakefield, and husband of Lucy Fletcher, also of Wakefield.
There are two CWGC records under this name but this individual is likely to be 1527530 Gunner Eric Garrity, 329 Battery, 535 Coast Regiment, Royal Artillery, who died aged 25 on 26 July 1941. Son of Charles Newton Garrity and Sarah Ann Garrity, of Dodworth, where he is buried.
There are 53 records under this name and initial but this is most likely to be 4395971 Private Thomas Edward Harris, of the 6th Bn, Green Howards (Yorkshire Regiment), who died aged 24 on 8 September 1944. He is buried at Geel War Cemetery, Belgium.
He was the son of William and Alice Harris; husband of Alice Harris (nee Wilks), of Stanley.
7928405 Trooper Allan Robert Harrison served in the 23rd Hussars, Royal Armoured Corps, and he was 34 years old when he died on 5 August 1944. He is buried at Bayeux War Cemetery. Son of Sam and Fanny Harrison, of Wakefield; husband of Florence Turner Harrison, of Sandal.
The 11th Armoured Division, which included the 23rd Hussars, landed in France in June 1944, taking heavy casualties in the Battle of Normandy. It spearheaded Operation Epsom, reaching the Odon river. It was again embroiled in Operation Goodwood, its assault on Bourguébus Ridge on the first day of the operation being brought to a halt. After Goodwood, the losses of armour within the division were so high that the 24th Lancers were disbanded and its remnants absorbed by the 23rd Hussars.
The regiment then took part in Operation Bluecoat, intended to secure the key road junction of Vire and the high ground of Mont Pincon, allowing the American exploitation of their breakout on the western flank of the Normandy beachhead. The 11th Armoured Division was then attached to XXX Corps, which captured Fleurs, Putanges and Argentan in the battle of the Falaise pocket. Once the Falaise pocket was sealed, the regiment remained with the 11th Armoured Division as it liberated l’Aigle on 23 August. For the full story click here
1459940 Sergeant Ronald Hartley RAFVR, described by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as an ‘air bomber’, died aged 19 on 17 May 1943. He was flying in a twin-engined Whitley of No.19 OTU when it crashed on Cawdor Moor to the Southwest of Nairn in the early hours while on a night cross country and bombing exercise. His grave is at Kinloss Abbey Burial Ground, Scotland. He was the son of Edward and Theresa Hartley, of Sandal.
There was a Royal Air Force training station at Kinloss aerodrome during the 1939-1945 War.
1213839 Sergeant Jack Herring RAFVR was an observer/bomb aimer with 156 Squadron when he died aged 21 on 14 September 1942. The son of Ernest and Edith Annie Herring, of Sandal, he is buried at Gramsbergen General Cemetery, Holland. The cemetery contains the graves of ten airmen from Herring’s aircraft, Wellington BJ600.
Jack Herring flew twelve missions (seven of them in BJ600) in August and September 1942 before being killed on a raid to bomb Bremen. Details of these missions and the aircraft in which he flew can be found here where a photograph of his headstone can be viewed.
The CWGC register lists 33 people with this name and initial.
631240 Sergeant Harry Howell was serving as a wireless operator/air gunner with in Hampdens with 50 Squadron RAF when he died aged 20 on 13 March 1941. The son of John and Edith Howell, of Sandal, he is buried in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery.
On 10 July 1940 orders were received for the squadron, flying twin-engined Hampdens, to move from Waddington to Hatfield Woodhouse, a newly opened station in Yorkshire. The airfield was equipped with three concrete/tarmac runways. Unfortunately, most of the accommodation for both ground and aircrew personnel consisted of cheaply-built and nearly always cold Nissen huts. By August, the airfield had been renamed Lindholme and was to be the squadron’s home for the better part of the next year.
632878 Sergeant Jack Huffinley was a wireless operator with 218 Squadron RAF when he died aged 19. He was hit in the leg on his first operation and bled to death on 13 March 1941. He is buried at Wakefield Cemetery and was the son of Sydney Fawcett Huffinley and Lily Huffinley, of Sandal.
No 218 Squadron flew to France on 2 September 1939 and made valuable reconnaissance flights and leaflet raids in Battle aircraft in the early days of the war. In June 1940, after having hindered the German advance into France by bombing the enemy’s lines of communications and troop concentrations (and having suffered heavy casualties in the process) it was evacuated to England to be re-equipped with Bristol Blenheim medium-range bombers. Five months later, when it was equipped with Wellington long-range aircraft, it became a heavy bomber squadron. Its targets were of the widest variety - from industrial centres, railways, Noball (V-weapon) sites and gun batteries, to the Channel ports, oil and petrol installations, and concentrations of troops and armour.
The CWGC register lists 124 people with this name and initial.
945664 Sergeant Harold Jowitt RAFVR died aged 24 on 12 March 1943. He was a flight engineer serving in Lancasters with 100 Squadron. The son of John and Florrie Jowitt, of Sandal, he is buried at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany. The cemetery is at Kelve close to the Dutch border about 25kms south-east of Nijmegen.
No 100 Squadron was re-formed at RAF Waltham, near Grimsby, on 15 December 1942 as a night-time heavy bomber squadron and was part of No 1 Group, RAF Bomber Command. In January 1943 the squadron received the first of its new complement of Avro Lancasters; the first operation of the squadron was on 4 March 1943 against a U-boat base at St Nazaire.. A few days later the squadron was involved in a raid against Nuremberg in Germany (no losses) and from then on, in support of Bomber Command's strategic role against Germany, it took part in every major raid.
At the end of 1943, the squadron had completed the second largest number of successful operations of units within No 1 Group and had the lowest loss rate.
The CWGC register lists eight people with this name and initials.
11406249 Gunner Robert Dryden Meggitt, Royal Artillery, died aged 24 on 25 May 1942 and is buried in St Helen’s churchyard. He was the son of Fred and Annie Meggitt and the husband of Ellen Meggitt, of Sandal.
The CWGC register lists two men with these initials, neither of whom have any apparent links with Yorkshire. There are 12 others with the single initial ‘J’.
1871365 Company Quartermaster Sergeant Harold Norman Murgatroyd died aged 27 on 12 July 1940. He was serving in the Royal Engineers. The son of Harold and Frances Murgatroyd, of Sandal, he is buried in St Helen’s churchyard.
Note: Also listed on Sandal RUFC Memorial
2664353 Guardsman Kenneth Orford was serving in the 2nd Bn Coldstream Guards when he died on 7 August 1944, aged 23. He was the son of Albert and Annie Orford, of Walton, and is buried at Arezzo War Cemetery, Italy.
For a detailed history of the battalion click here
4689688 Private Jack Ray, 2/4th Bn King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, died aged 23 on 9 December 1944. He was the son of Isaac and Florence Ray, of Walton, and is buried at Faenza War Cemetery, Italy.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission states:
Following the fall of Rome to the Allies in June 1944, the German retreat became ordered and successive stands were made on a series of defensive lines. In the northern Apennine mountains the last of these, the Gothic Line, was breached by the Allies during the autumn campaign and the front inched forward as far as Ravenna in the Adriatic sector, but with divisions transferred to support the new offensive in France, and the Germans dug in to a number of key defensive positions, the advance stalled as winter set in.
The war cemetery at Faenza was formed during these months for the burial of those who were killed in the static fighting before the Allied advance was renewed in April 1945.
991984 Aircraftsman 1st Class William Rigby RAFVR died aged 26 on 12 March 1945. Cause of death given as malaria & beriberi. He was one of 300 prisoners marched to Labuan from Sandakan and Kuching in Brunei; none survived. He is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial. Son of James and Ellen Rigby; husband of Florence Rigby, of Sandal.
14637466 Private Edward Robinson, Guards Armoured Division Sub Park, Royal Army Ordnance Corps, died aged 19 on 28 August 1944. He is buried at St Charles de Percy War Cemetery, 44km from Caen. Son of Frank and Eliza Robinson of Sandal.
The cemetery is the southernmost of the Normandy cemeteries. The majority of those buried there died in late July and early August 1944 in the major thrust made from Caumont l’Evente towards Vire, to drive a wedge between the German 7th Army and Panzer Group West.
For more details click here
Not listed on the memorial in the church, 19448275 Sapper Arthur Sharp, 510 Army Field Company, Royal Engineers, is buried in St Helen’s churchyard. He died aged 24 on 17 April 1944. Son of Arthur and Annie Sharp, of Wakefield, and husband of Mary Sharp, of Sandal.
A search of the CWGC registers brings up references to 477 people with this name and initial, 19 of whom are known to have Yorkshire links. The name on the plaque at St Helen’s most likely refers to 4699592 Fusilier Harold Smith, 2nd Bn Lancashire Fusiliers, who died aged 20 on 14 April 1943. He is commemorated on the Medjez-el-Bab Memorial, about 60kms west of Tunis.
He was the son of Clifford and Minnie Smith, of Wakefield.
177167 Second Lieutenant Michael Stonehouse, 117 Heavy Anti-Aircraft (HAA) Regiment, Royal Artillery (TA), died aged 19 on 5 May 1941. His regiment was part of 10 AA Division defending the Humber.
He was the son of Eric Childe Stonehouse and Phyllis Mary Stonehouse, of Sandal. Buried at Christ Church graveyard, Ugthorpe, Yorkshire.
His headstone reads:
IN LOVING MEMORY
2ND LIEUT. MICHAEL STONEHOUSE
ELDER SON OF
PHYLLIS AND ERIC STONEHOUSE
OF WAKEFIELD AND UGTHORPE
AND GRANDSON OF
SIR EDMUND STONEHOUSE
BORN 25TH OCTOBER 1921
KILLED IN ACTION 5 MAY 1941
The headstone also commemorates Matthew Oliver Stonehouse, BA, 1958-1979, son of Julien and Oliver Stonehouse.
Sir Edmund Stonehouse, four times mayor of the City of Wakefield between 1888-1917, was the great grandson of Matthew Porritt Stonehouse, founder of worsted spinners M.P. Stonehouse Ltd, Albion Mills, Wakefield.
Matthew Porritt Stonehouse, a sea captain, entered the textile business in Wakefield following the loss of his ship on the Goodwin Sands. He listened to the suggestion of his brother-in-law, a Wakefield doctor, who said there might be opportunities for him in textiles in the city.
The factory was built in 1854 on the corner site where Westgate meets Ings Road and remained in family ownership until 1987.
This appears to be 1434750 Sergeant Joseph Harrison Senior RAFVR, a wireless operator and air gunner with 150 Squadron, who died on 20 August 1944. He is buried at Klagenfurt War Cemetery, Austria.
From December 1942 to October 1944 No 150 Squadron flew Wellington bombers from North Africa and Italy.
11424914 Gunner Edward Sweeney, of 32 Battery, 11 (City of London Yeomanry) Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery, died aged 32 on 27 May 1943. He is buried at Medjez-el-Bab War Cemetery, 60km west of Tunis.
Gunner Sweeney was the son of James and Alice Sweeney, of Wakefield, and husband of Gladys Sweeney.
There are 571 people with this name listed by the CWGC.
The CWGC lists 248 people of this name.
4617765 Private George Alfred White, 1st Bn, Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding Regiment), died aged 21 on 1 June 1940. He is buried at Marquise Communal Cemetery in the Pas de Calais. Son of Joseph William and Lucy White, of Newmillerdam.
The 1st Battalion fought with the British Expeditionary Force in France, forming part of the rearguard at Dunkirk.
The CWGC records 16 people with this name and both initials but this is probably Sgt John Douglas White RAFVR, of 102 Squadron, who died on 26 January 1942. He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.
Disbanded in 1919, No 102 re-formed in 1936 as a heavy bomber squadron and when war came again it was flying Whitleys. On the second night of the war - 4/5 September 1939 - three of its Whitleys dropped propaganda leaflets on the Ruhr.
No 102 Squadron will always be associated with the name of Leonard Cheshire.
Note: Also commemorated on Sandal RUFC’s Memorial. See that entry for more details.
The CWGC lists 606 people of this name.
4750196 Private Colin Whitlam, 6th Bn York and Lancaster Regiment, died aged 24 on 30 March 1943. He is buried at Tabarka Ras Rajel War Cemetery, Tunisia. Son of Colin Whitlam and of Mabel Ellen Whitlam (nee Grace), of Sandal.
The 6th Battalion went to France in 1940 with the 46th Infantry Division and experienced heavy fighting in the St. Omer-La Bassee area. In 1942 the division was part of the First Army in Tunisia and from 1943 until the end of the war it fought with the 8th Army in Italy, from Salerno to Rimini.
C/SSX 35757 Ordinary Seaman William Williams died aged 19 when HMS Galatea was sunk on 15 December 1941. He is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial. Son of Jack and Elizabeth Ann Williams, of Walton.
The light cruiser Galatea was torpedoed and sunk by U-557 off Alexandria, Egypt, when Captain E.W.B. Sim, 22 officers and 447 ratings were killed, although some 100 survivors were picked up by the destroyers Griffin and Hotspur. Less than 48 hours later U-557 was rammed by the Italian torpedo boat Orione and sunk with all hands.
Although not listed on the memorial in the church, T/247449 Driver C.B. Wilson, Royals Army Service Corps, is buried in the churchyard. He died aged 38 on 11 July 1946. Son of Richard Archdale Makepeace Wilson and Maud Annie Wilson, of Sandal; husband of Charlotte Wilson, of Sandal.
Neither the headstone, which is of the standard type, nor the GWGC listing give Driver Wilson’s forenames.
There are 658 people with this name listed by the CWGC.