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Airfields of WW2
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Those who Served
Paul Berry . British Army
Paul Berry was my grandfather, he was in charge of the prisoners in Easton Grey Camp, teaching them hedging and ditching. He also helped them decorate a nissen hut turning it into a chapel. The hut is still standing along with the wonderful painted ceiling. It is in private hands now as an industrial site but locals are hoping the owner will not destroy such wonderful artwork.Howard Harding
Sergeant Thomas George Berry . 77Sqd (d.21st Jan 1944 )
flew from Elvington as a mid-upper gunner
Jack P. Berry. . USAAF
F/S Weston Robert Berry. . RAAF 12Sqd. (d.12th Jun 1943)
Rear Gnr.Weston Berry died on 12th Jun 1943 in Lancaster W4791 PH-W of 12sqd
Gnr. Richard Berryman . Army Royal Artillery
Dick Berryman was in Stalag 8b with my Father, Arthur Booker, if anyone remembers him or his fellow POW's please get in touch.
Group Capt. S. Bertram .
Louis C Besco . US Army from Ottuma, Iowa, USa)
My grandfather, Louis C Besco, was a pow at Stalag 9b from 12/25 - 4/1. We recently found his postcards he wrote to my grandmother and a diary that he had from the war describing his stay at Stalag 9b. He lived to be 95 years old he passed away a few years ago. We also found the letter sent to my Grandmother informing her that he was missing in action dated 3 months after he was captured.Shonda Veatch
Pte. Alfred Cyril Best . British Army Royal Artillery from Sunninghill)
I am researching my partner's step-father Cyril Best who is now 93 and has a story to tell. He served in Greece before being taken prisoner in Creete in 1941. The rest of the war was spent in Stalag 3. He is asking if any of his friends are still alive including Ken Griffen, F.Bridger or K.JacobsMalcolm Collins
Frank Henry Best . British Army 5th Btn. Coldstream Guards from Chatham, Kent)
My Dad Frank Best has developed dementia at 89yrs of age his only real memory is of wartime, he was at Nimagan in Belgium fighting but I can find no records to that effect can anyone help? He served with the Coldstream Guards 5th Battalion.David Best
Pte. John Best . Australian Army from Australia)
S B Flynn
LAC. Leonard Francis Best . Royal Air Force 104 Sq.
As a family we never knew where dad, Leonard Best had been during the war, only that he was wounded and sent to a Malta hospital and also that he had been in the far east. We have managed to obtain a copy of his records through the RAF but we don't know how he was shot etc. It would be lovely if someone could help as dad never spoke of the war. My two sons now march with pride wearing his medals on Anzac day in Sydney Australia.Rosemary Ann Wardle
Robert "Bob" Best . RAF 48 SquadronEdward King
Cpl. Arthur Bestwick . British Army Reconnaissance Corps Royal Armoured Corps from Nottingham)
My dad Arthur Bestwick was POW in Stalag IV-A, camp location Hehenstein, Hesse. I am not sure how long he was held in the camp, but he was a POW from 18 March 1941 to to June 1945. His unit was the Royal Armoured Corps, Reconnaissance Corps. I believe he was a Cook or Chef and may have therefore been put to work in a kitchen, not sure. If he had been used as a chef, he may have come into contact with all camp POW's. I am waiting for the International Committee of the Red Cross to provide me with more information.Sandra Storey
Pte. Robert Henry Bethell . British Army 2/4 HRC Workshops Royal Army Service Corps from Hereford)
My Dad, Bob Bethell joined the R A S C as a vehicle electrician did basic training at Bulford camp and later was transferred to Paddington Tec College for an update course before going to Bradford for embarkation allocation. He embarked from Liverpool to Port Suez via Durban and worked in 2/4 HRC workshops and transferred to R E M E in 1942. He went up the desert with the lines of communication company on vehicle repair and recovery. He also served in Cairo, Alexandria, Tabuk, Tel-al-kahabier, Derna, Benghazi, Tripoly. He was detached from duty to undergo minor surgery in the 4th General Hospital Barce. After discharge from hospital he was attached to the British Army Administration as a general electrician working on the Barce wheat scheme. He later returned to AD Bramley and after De-mob joined the army fire service and ended a 50 year career as a divisional officer.John Bethell
L/Bdr. Desmond Bettany . British Army 88th Field Regiment Royal Artillery from Burnleigh, Lancashire)
Taken from Dad's website of his art work: www.changipowart.com
Life as a Prisoner of War (POW) from Feb 1942 to Sept 1945 As a response to a request from the Singapore Tourism Promotion Board, To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Battle for Singapore Re-typed from the original manuscript written by Des Bettany in 1991
On our arrival in Singapore, in November 1941, we entrained up country to Mantin. The unit, the 88th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery became part of the 9th Indian Division, and the three batteries were sent to Ipoh, Alor Star and Kuantan, where the Repulse and Prince of Wales were sunk. Eventually the Battery was moved back over Fraser’s Gap to the West Coast, north of Kuala Lumpur and took part in the fights, skirmishes and battles down the Peninsular to Singapore. After capitulation we were all marched to Changi, after disabling and destroying our guns.
The passage of 50 years has reduced the mass of incidents and memories as P.O.W.’s to general feelings, impressions and attitudes. Between February 15th 1942 and September 1945, the completely alien existence we led has become blurred. What is left is a lasting profound distrust and dislike of the Japanese and Koreans.
What remains clear is that throughout the period of privation, starvation and slavery, hope, faith and confidence in our eventual release remained optimistically constant. Rumours abounded but I particularly remember the night of the ‘D’ Day landings in Normandy. When the report reached us, the whole camp within and without the jail began to stir and murmur, to the consternation of the Japanese. This was accepted as fact, but the stories of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with atomic bombs, were met with disbelief.
Some things remain clear however – the never ending struggle for means to bolster woefully insufficient rations; the treatment of working parties by third class Japanese and Korean privates, some of whom had never seen a European before; the road side display of severed heads; the lashings and tortures of Chinese and Indian labourers as well as P.O.W.’s; and complete disregard of the sick and injured by the Japanese. But there was also the ingenious use of material and primitive resourcefulness shown in building accommodation, chapels, theatres and essentials. The concerts, shows and plays were quite excellent as were talks and lectures by experts. Many miracles of surgery occurred under very trying conditions.
At an early date, working parties left Changi for camps in Towner Road and Sarangoon Road, etc. We worked at clearing up the damage in Singapore and the Dock area. For a while we collected abandoned military and private transport. What could not be repaired was broken up and shipped to Japan as scrap. Ingenious methods of sabotage were used both here and other working parties, such as transit camps for the Japanese troops from the Islands and the War Memorial to Japanese dead on Bukit Timiah Hill.
At this time the Selarang Square incident occurred in Changi and parties began leaving there to work on the Burma Railway. After returning to Changi we were moved to the jail and surrounds, and from there until repatriation went daily to work, clearing a corner of the Changi area and creating a fighter strip. This still exists, but has grown into Changi International Airport.
My personal worst moments came when I had to appear before the Japanese Commandant and an assortment of interpreters, to try and explain away, to humourless Japanese officers a book of political cartoons I had drawn. I had lent the book to a careless person who allowed it to fall into the hands of Japanese guards. This was at a time when the war was going badly for Germany and Japan and this was reflected in the cartoons. I was extremely lucky to get away with a whole skin. The Japanese did not approve. I never saw the book again. I am now retired from a life of tertiary art education, and enjoy the benefits of family and eight grandchildren.
Signed: Desmond Bettany, Royal Artillery, 1991
70th Anniversary of the Fall of Singapore 15th February 2012 ‘Lest We Forget’ The Triumph of the Human Spirit in the Face of AdversityKeith Bettany
Sergeant L E Bettis . RAF 59 SquadronLorenzo del Mann
Pte. R. A. Betton . British Army King's Shrophire Light Infantry
A/Ldg.Tel. Charles George Betts . Royal Navy HMS Nigeria (d.12 Aug 1942)
A/Ldg.Tel. Charles George Betts . Royal Navy HMS Nelson (d.12th Aug 1942)
Sgt Sydney James Betts. . RAF 12Sqd. (d.7th Ju1 1943)
Mid Upper Gnr Sydney Betts lost his life on 7th July 1943 during training in Lancaster I ED548 PH-X with 12 Sqd
Sgt.Mach. Hendrik Johannes Beukers . Dutch Navy from Holland)
S B Flynn
Sgt. Henke Beune . Dutch Army from Holland)
(d.3rd Mar 1945)S B Flynn
Dvr. Trevor Richard Bevan . British ArmyS B Flynn
2nd Lt. Adriaan "Adje" Bevelander MID. Royal Air Force No. 320 (Netherlands) Squadron RAF from Holland)
(d.20th March 1944)
20th March 1944 B-25 Mitchell FR141 "Old Boys" in an attack on the V-1 yard at Flexi Court (France) was hit by flak. It exploded and crashed into the ground near Bourbon, France.
Crew members were:
- 2nd Lt. A. Bevelander - KIA - grave Orry-la-Ville (Senlis) B-2
- Sgt. Johannes Jacobus De Jong - KIA - grave Orry-la-Ville (Senlis) B-3
- Cpl. Wilhelmus Kuypers - KIA - grave Orry-la-Ville (Senlis) B-1
Adriaan (Adje) Bevelander, born May 23, 1917 in Bandung (Indonesia). Buried in the war cemetery Orry-la-Ville, Senlis (Fr.). Mentioned in distinction with the Flying Cross (UK) on May 4, 1944: "For a considerable time at the 320th Squadron RDNAS from Our Naval Aviation in the United Kingdom, in flights during the war against the enemy demonstrated courage, skill, perseverance and devotion to dutysflynn
F/Lt. Edwin Paul "Ted" Beverly AFC.. Royal Canadian Air Force 407 Squadron from Toronto, Canada)
My father-in-law, Flight Lieutenant Edwin Paul Beverly AFC, had this photo of Royal Canadian Air Force Squadron 407 with a Vickers Wellington in the background hanging on his wall until his death 5 years ago. When I removed the photo from the frame I found a list of names of the men in the photo on the back. Place and Location not known.Peter Mitchell
Gordon Bevis . Royal Navy HMS Southdown
Gordon Bevis served on HMS Southdown (Hunt Class Destroyer) from September 1942. I believe he met Nicholas Monsarrat (author of 'The Cruel Sea') at that time. I would like to contact Gordon, or his family or anyone who remembers him, any information would be much appreciated!Tim Deacon
Sgt Kenneth Jack Bevis. . RAF 12Sqd. (d.28th Aug 1943)
Flt Eng. Kenneth Bevis lost his life on 28th Aug 1943 flying Lancaster DV187 PH-A of 12sqd
George Henry Beynon . British Army 1st Parachute Regiment
My father, George Henry Beynon of Aberavon, South Wales, was in the 1st Parachute Regiment. (1st Battalion I believe) He fought at Arnhem in September 1944. He was captured and sent to Stammlager 357 - Hut E4. I would appreciate any information your readers can supply.Alan Beynon
George Henry Beynon . Army 1st Battalion 1st Parachute Regiment from Aberavon, South Wales)
My father George Henry Beynon of Aberavon, South Wales was in the 1st Parachute Regiment (1st Battalion I believe) He fought at Arnhem in September 1944. He was captured and sent to Stammlager 357 - Hut E4. I would appreciate any information your readers can supply.Alan Beynon
2nd.Lt, Premindra Singh Bhagat VC, PVSM.. British Indian Army Royal Bombay Sappers and Miners Corps of Indian Engineers from India)
Premindra Singh Bhagat was born on 14 October 1918 in Gorakhpur, British India. He attended the Royal Indian Military College, a military school in Dehradun, and the Indian Military Academy.He was commissioned in the British Indian Army on 15 July 1939. He was 22 years old, and a Second Lieutenant in the Corps of Indian Engineers, Indian Army, attd. Royal Bombay Sappers and Miners when he was awarded the VC.
"For most conspicuous gallantry on active service in the Middle East. During the pursuit of the enemy following the capture of Metemma on the night 31 January - 1st February 1941, Second-Lieutenant Bhagat was in command of a section of a Field Company, Sappers and Miners, detailed to accompany the leading mobile troops (Bren Carriers) to clear the road and adjacent areas of mines.
For a period of four days and over a distance of 55 miles this officer in the leading carrier led the Column. During this period, he himself detected and personally supervised the clearing of no less than 15 minefields of varying dimensions. Speed being essential, he worked at high pressure from dawn to dusk each day. On two occasions when his carrier was blown up with casualties to others, and on a third occasion when ambushed and under close enemy fire he himself carried straight on with his task. He refused relief when worn out with strain and fatigue and with one eardrum punctured by an explosion, on the grounds that he was now better qualified to continue his task to the end. His coolness, persistence over a period of 96 hours, and gallantry, not only in battle, but throughout the long period when the safety of the Column and the speed at which it could advance were dependent on his personal efforts, were of the highest order." London Gazette: 10 June 1941S. Flynn
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