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Those who Served
Sgt. George Cheadle . RAF(VR) w/op 101 Sqd. (d.4th Sep 1943)
Cpl. Bill Cheall . British Army Green Howard's from Middlesbrough)
With The Green Howard's, 50th Division at Dunkirk
I don’t know how, but we made our way to the water’s edge and looked out to sea across to the horizon and saw the ships going to Dunkirk, further along the coast. We then made our way back to the deep sand dunes in order to gain some protection from the bombing and strafing which was taking place. Many of the boys on the beach were in a sorry state; the Stukas had just been over.
One must remember that not all soldiers are hard-bitten individuals and some of the younger lads showed great emotion. I saw young soldiers just standing, crying their hearts out and others kneeling in the sand, praying. It is very easy to pass critical remarks about these lads, but we others knew the ordeal these weaker-willed boys were going through, and helped them as much as we could during their emotional and distressful ordeal as medical help was a very scarce thing on the beaches. So much had been bottled up inside these young soldiers that, at last, the bubble had burst and it was uncontrollable.
Dead soldiers, and those badly wounded, lay all over the place and many of the wounded would die. It was tragic to see life ebbing away from young, healthy lads and we could not do a thing about it - it was heartbreaking. What few stretcher-bearers there were always gave of their best - they were extraordinary. How does one quantify devotion to duty under the conditions which prevailed in those days? The folk at home could not possibly have any idea what their boys were going through. There was no panic, just haste.
We joined this mass of tired and hungry lads. Amidst all this tragedy, the Stukas would return, machine-gunning the full length of the thousands of men. They could not miss and a swathe of dead and wounded would be left behind; really it was awful. Many of us fired our rifles at the planes, but they were useless. Nobody can imagine what it is like to be bombed by a German Stuka. They came out of the sky, screaming straight down, then dropped their bombs and pulled up into the sky again. I don't know why we ran - it was just instinct, I suppose.
Near the shoreline, one boy of about twenty, not far from me, had his stomach ripped open and he was fighting to live, asking for his mum and crying. A few of us went to him but he was too bad for us to help him; blood was everywhere. That poor boy soon died, out of pain, to join his mates.It is the most dreadful experience to see a comrade killed in such a way. Some young lads who had lost their nerve went crazy and lay on the sand crying; others knelt and prayed. Mind you, I am sure we all prayed in our own way. No one, of course, could help behaving like this - it was just because of the trauma they had endured and had at last given way to their feelings.
The near impossibility of getting back to England left many of us rather stunned, as it just did not look possible. Our lads, or what was left of our Battalion, stuck together among the dunes to obtain some protection from the bombing and strafing. We had had nothing to eat except hard tack biscuits and bully beef - we hadn't had a hot meal for God knows how long and the lads who usually shaved looked really haggard.
None of us could see any sign of the 23rd Divisional assembly area and nobody seemed to know what to do for the best. Then the planes came over again, causing more deaths. Only twenty yards from me some lads had been hit by shrapnel and one of them was in a serious condition - the medics were there - but he would not live. A sleepless night was ahead of us.
This is an extract from my dad's war memoirs, published in the book Fighting Through: From Dunkirk to Hamburg- A Green Howards Wartime Memoir To read the entire chapter upon which it is based please visit www.grimdetermination.co.uk where you can also read more about the background to his service, together with many photographs and maps.Paul Cheall
Hubert Ethridge Cheatham . British Army
My father was a POW from 19th February 1943 to 8th May 1945 in Luckenwalde. I understand that there were two camps at Luckenwalde, but his records do not indicate which one he was interned in.
He participated in three battles in Tunisia between 25th January 1943 and 22nd February 1943, including the Battle of Kasserine Pass in which he was declared MIA on 20th February 1943. He was liberated by the Russians on 22nd April 1945 in Luckenwalde and made contact with American troops on 8th May 1945.Matthew E Cheatham
F/Sgt. R. H. Cheatle . Royal Australian Air Force 97 Squadron
Joseph Cheberenchick . United States Army 81st Combat Engineers 106th Infantry Div.
I am trying to find out which POW camp my father-in-law, Joseph Cheberenchick, was sent to. He was in the 81st Combat Engineers of the 106th Infantry Division and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He was a POW somewhere in Germany. Did anyone know him as a POW?
You can get his POW records from the International Red Cross, Geneva. If you find their website you can email the archives for a cost (probably around $40US). (Pete)Deanna Cheberenchick
Sgt. C. J. Chedd . Royal Air Force w/op 12 SqdChris Roberts
Pte. Arthur William Cheek . British Army
George Richard Cheek . British Army
My Grandad Geroge Cheek was captured by the Afrika Corps and then handed over to the Italians. He escaped from them just to get to the Germans and got machine gunned for his efforts. He got better treatment with them though.J.A. Jones
W/O Alfred Charles Cheese . Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Air Bomber 171 Sqn from Bethnal Green, London)
(d.6th Jan 1945)
My great uncle Alf Cheese was an air bomber with 171 Squadron and went down with his crew on the 6th of January 1945 over Belgium where he and his crew were layed to rest in Ambly Communal Cemetery.
His plane was Halifax 111 NA687 6Y-A and his crew were:
- F/Lt G Cox,Sgt
- S R Fenwick,
- F/O R Maden,
- F/S A E Meekings,
- W/O F E T Davy,
- W/O2 C D Mison (RCAF) and
- F/S C D C Farlie
W/O Davy was the specialist equipment operator and Alf was W/O A C Cheese and they flew out of North Creake but never to return. The poor crew were buried a total of three times; first after the crash then after the war as one of the crew was RCAF. They were all reburied as RCAF but then they were dug up and reburied where they are now at rest in Ambly.
In May 2010 I drove and found him and the crew in Belgium in a very lovely cemetery. Not long after the war my mother went to see him. His sister (my nan) is no longer with us but now with him and he still has a sister and brother living life but are to old to go and see him.Tom Lewis
Sgt. Arthur William Cheese . British Army Royal Army Service Corps from London)
My father, Arthur Cheese was captured at Dunkirk during the evacuation and then at some point was housed at Stalag 383 at Hohen Fels. He never talked about his time there and now has sadly passed away. As his eldest son I am very interested in piecing together what happened between Dunkirk and Stalag 383, and who may have known him during his time there. My father had a serious stomach wound which I believe was a result of a bayonet wounding around the time of the liberation of the camp. I hope this incident and his name may ring a few bells with someone. Fingers crossed.Keith Cheese
L/Cpl Cyril Tracy "Ginger" Cheesman . British Army 613 C(M)T Coy Royal Army Service Corps from Margate, Kent)
My dad, Cyril Tracy Cheesman, nicknamed ''Ginger'' was in 613 C(M)T Coy RASC. He was in the Eighth Army. He wrote down on the back of a photo to my mum all the places he visited during his time during the North African conflict.
I assume due to German activity in the Med, his convoy went to Cape Town first. I'll now mention some of the places on his very comprehensive list:
- Port Taufuq,
- Port Said,
- Tel Aviv,
- El Alamein,
- El Dhba,
- Sidi Barrani,
- El Adem,
- Marble Arch,
I've noticed on various sites that its very difficult to find details about soldiers that served in the RASC. I cannot find any reference to his company, I'm assuming that C(M)T stands for Corps of Military Transport??Andy Cheesman
Spr. Walter Cheesman . British Army 42 Field Coy. Royal Engineers
My father served in Africa and Italy in the 8th Army.Martin
Able Seaman. Elijah Cheetham . Royal Navy HMS Penelope from Longley Avenue, Sheffield)
My brother Elijah Cheetham, served on HMS Penelope and was onboard when she was sunk on the 18th of February 1944. I was 8 years old at that time. Recent documentarion has come to light confirming his service record. He volunteered for the Navy on the 28th of July 1943, his service is listed as comencing on 17th of December 1943, his 18th birthday. However he began his training at HMS Raleigh on the 28th of July 1943, transferring to HMS Victory on the 5th of October.
He joined HMS Penelope on the 12th of November 1943 and served onboard until she was lost in Feb 1944. He survived the sinking and sent a letter to his mother two weeks later. Here are some extracts from that letter:
From Mess 1, Ferdola Barracks, Malta.
I'm terribly sorry I haven't written to you for the last fortnight, I have been rather ill in hospital. I am a survuivor of HMS Penelope. As you know we have been doing a lot of work on the 5th Army front and our rewards was as follows:
It was Friday morning Feb 18th and we were well on our way to Anzio to give Jerry another suprise packet, but it was us that received the suprise. All of a sudden there was a terrific explosion and everyone dived for the gangway to get on the upper deck to see what was happening. We had been torpedoed but the ship was not sinking, although it had listed badly to starboard. No one was in a panic because there were too many lads injured to start worrying about ourselves, so we did the best we could to get the injured lads to sickbay. Shortly afterwards there came two more explosions (torpedoes) and the ship split in two so it was everyman for himself. I didn't hesitate because before I knew where I was I hit the water fully dressed, including sea boots, stockings and overalls.
I tried to swim for it but couldn't because my sea boots seemed to be dragging me under. I kicked these off and my overalls. Much to my relief I was able to keep my head up even though the sea was rough. I swam about for a bit but I soon got fatigued and felt myself slipping. Family came to mind and I struck out with renewed strength. After three hours I was finally picked up and dragged aboard absolutley naked apart from my waist belt and ring. Three tots of rum sent me to sleep.
We were taken to a hospital in Naples and there I have been for the last fortnight. We were then drafted to this camp once more and I was told that I should be going home. The big nobs think otherwise. I haven't done enough time out here yet, so I must stay. That's how you get treated as a survivor. All we have been issued with is toilet gear and battle dress, so it looks as if I shall have to buy new kit myself.
There were 750 in the ships company and only 200 were saved. Terrible isn't it. I am pleased to say that Stan Lake survived. I couldn't write to you seperatley. I have had to smuggle this into the country, the ship hasn't been announced as sunk yet. We are not allowed to mention that we survived. Paddy is going home so I have asked him to post this for me in England. It doesn't get sensored there, but he insists on bringing this personally. I do hope he makes it becasue I know he will get a great welcome. Please try not to worry too much about me I'm ok now and believe me I'm willing to go back and give Jerry exactly what I received and more. Even though I'm not coming home I still have that consolation of squaring things up.
Cherrio and God bless you all. Your loving son Lidge xxxx.
Elijah joined the Black Prince in July 1944 and served onboard for the remainer of the war, he was discharged on the 8th of December 1946 as having served with very good character.Roy Cheetham.
F/S L. H. Chell . Royal Air Force 10 Sqd. (d. 3rd Feb 1945 )
Lt. Antoine Chemin. . Free French Airforce 347 Squadron (d.15th Mar 1945)
Antoine Chemin served as an Air Gunner with 347 Tunisie Sdq Free French he was killed on 15th of Mar 1945 when his aircraft crashed near Scawton.
L/Cpl. Frank Albert "Nobble" Cherries . British Army 9th Btn. Parachute Regt from Southampton, Hants.)
(d.18th Apr 1945)
Frank Cherries was my sister in law's cousin and at the beginning of the war as youngsters we all hung out together, spending time with our parents. He was a pow at Stalag 4B having been captured at Arnhem. We understand that when released by allied forces that during some kind of fracas, shots were exchange between the American and Russian forces. It was during the exchange of fire that he was killed.Ron Brook
Sgt. A. Cherrington . Royal Air Force 57 Sqdn.
Lancaster W4948, DX-S was shot down by an intruder on 23/9/1943. Two escaped by parachute, the others died. The members of the crew were:
Sgt H.R. Ellmer - commemorated at Haywards Heath Cemetery F/O P.N. Rolfe - buried in Nottingham Cemetery P/O G.A. Duff - buried in Cambridge City Cemetery Sgt R.P. Smith - buried in Cambridge City Cemetery F/Sgt W. Pryde - buried in Cambridge City Cemetery Sgt A. Cherrington - bailed out Sgt R.C. Brown - bailed out
Pte Bernard Cherry . British Army Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light infantry from 27 West St, Osney, Oxford)
F/Lt. Christopher Cheshire . Royal Air Force 76 Squadron
I met Leonard Cheshire, the brother of Christopher Cheshire in the final years of his life and have found out that Christopher Cheshire's Halifax bomber of 76 squadron was shot down after a raid on Berlin on 8/9th August 1942. He survived with all his crew and was imprisoned at Stalag Luft 5 for the duration of the war. He read the first mass at his brother's funeral in 1992.Stephen Jones
Grp Capt. Leonard Geoffrey Cheshire VC, DSO, DFC.. Royal Air Force 102 Squadron from Cavendish, Suffolk.)
Grp.Capt. Leonard Cheshire . 102 Squadron
Kenneth Emery Chesley . United States Army Field Artillery 31st Dixie Division from Jackson, Michigan )
Chad and Jennifer Chesley
Capt. John Stanley I'anson Chesshire MC.. British Army Royal Army Medical Corps from Worcestershire)
John Chesshire died aged 96 on the 27th of November 2011. His obituary appeared in the Daily Telegraph on the 3rd of January 2012 as follows:
In March 1944 Chesshire, a captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC), was serving as Medical Officer to 1st Battalion, The South Staffordshire Regiment (1 SSR), part of 77th Indian Infantry Brigade. In the middle of the month the Brigade blocked the railway at Henu, northern Burma. Faced with this threat to their supply lines, the Japanese attacked and, on March 17, the regimental aid post manned by Chesshire and a colleague, Captain Thorne, was overrun.
The two officers continued to operate and tend the wounded until a counter-attack repelled the enemy. Days of heavy shelling followed, but Chesshire carried on with his work even though it meant standing in the open while others were able to take shelter. During the first two weeks of the month-long battle, he was senior MO to the Brigade. On at least five occasions shells landed close to his operating theatre. The citation for his MC estimated that 500 men had passed through his hands during the campaign. It paid tribute to his tireless energy under dreadful conditions, which had saved many lives and provided a great boost to morale.
John Stanley I’Anson Chesshire, the son of a clergyman, was born on September 8 1915 at the rectory at Stourport-on-Severn. After leaving Marlborough he wanted to become a missionary, a vocation that his father had followed as a young man. He decided, however, to become a doctor, reasoning that he would find other ways to satisfy his initial ambition. He went up to Birmingham University to read Medicine and was then apprenticed to the city’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital. As a junior registrar he was always short of money and supplemented his income by assisting the brain surgeon – who could only use the theatres at night because of the length of time that most of his operations took.
When war was declared Chesshire was exempted from call-up but, after pestering the authorities, joined the RAMC and accompanied 1 SSR to India and then Burma. After the conflict he started practising as a GP, based at Knighton, Radnorshire; in the early 1950s, however, he resigned from the National Health Service and transferred to the Colonial Service so that he could take his surgical skills to Malaya. After eight years there during the Emergency, he spent a year in Sumatra as Esso’s chief medical officer.
Chesshire subsequently returned to Knighton and became a hill-farmer, rearing Welsh ewes and Hereford cattle. During the lambing season he converted a large wooden crate into a shepherd’s hut, had it taken to the top of Stowe Hill and camped with just a primus stove for warmth.
When the missionary in him emerged once more, he set off for Borneo. On one occasion, on a trip into the jungle to attend someone who was ill, he experienced severe stomach pains. A self-diagnosis confirmed his fears. He had acute appendicitis and he was the only medical practitioner for many miles. He did, however, have a medical orderly with him whom he instructed to set up a primitive operating table with a mirror over it. Chesshire then gave himself a large dose of local anaesthetic and, with the aid of the mirror, proceeded to guide the orderly through an operation to remove the appendix.
He retired from farming in the late 1970s but continued to practise medicine and enjoyed fishing into old age. An accomplished fly fisherman, when his legs were not strong enough to support him, he would tie himself to a tree to avoid falling into the water. Geology was another absorbing interest and he achieved some striking results using boot polish to make paintings of rock formations. He married, in 1949, Marion Walker. She predeceased him and he is survived by their three sons and a daughter.Henry Chesshire
Able Sea. Arthur James Chester . Royal Navy HMS Reading from Chadderton, Lancashire)
(d.4th May 1944)
Able Seaman Arthur Chester served with the Royal Navy during WW1 and was killed in action on the 4th May 1944 aged 20. He is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial in Plymouth. Arthur was the son of John William and Violet May Chester of Chadderton, Lancashire.
At the time of Arthur's death HMS Reading was unarmed and used as a target ship for aircraft so the circumstances of his death are not clear.S Flynn
Pvt. Elmer "Buck" Chester BSV.. US Army Battery B 674 Parachute Field Artillery Company from Indio, California)
This story was one that my father, Chester Elmer told my brother and I.
While in New Guinea, he said that an Army Officer came and announced that he was looking for volunteers to go on a dangerous mission. A small unit of between 18 to 25 troops would be dropped behind enemy lines to destroy an enemy supply/ammunition depot. He added that their chances of making it back alive were slim. My father had also been trained as a Lineman and, this was also someone that was needed in this unit so, as fate would have it, my Dad and his best army buddy volunteered to join the unit.
The unit was made up of 23 brave men. He said that they were dropped in over a dense, dark jungle. They found each other and headed out to find the depot. After locating it, they waited for an opportune time to destroy as much of it as they could and still get away. Their opportunity came. They hit fast, destroying much of the depot supplies and then ran like hell.
My father said that the only place for them to make a stand was a small, round-topped hill. They managed to scramble safely to the top of it and dug in as best as they could, with the amount of time they had to dig. They had a larger machine gun that they set-up (sorry, I don't know the kind it was) and they each had their own machine guns, which they began firing. He said that the enemy (Japanese) arrived in swarms. He thought that there may have been over 200 or more of them. They came rushing up the side of the hill, yelling and firing their weapons in a frenzied mass. One man, of the American Unit, was killed during the fight that day.
All Dad had to do was point the machine gun toward the enemy, no aiming necessary, pull the trigger and move the gun back and forth, back and forth. He watched the enemy fall in heaps, one on top of the other. Then another swarm would start up only to be slowed down by the bodies that they had to climb over, giving the U.S. Unit a second or two to reload.
When night came, my father and the others could hear the enemy creeping quietly up the hill to get their dead and wounded. He could hear the muffled voices of the enemy and the moans of the wounded. He could hear the creepy sounds of the bodies being dragged back down the hill. It was all too close; it was like a nightmare that he had no time to waste energy thinking about, because, he was busy reaching main command, via radio, with information of their immediate situation and location. The paratroopers were on that hill three full days, before reinforcements came. It was a very real miracle they made it back alive.
My father's memory of this event was very vivid and long lasting. He was very proud of his service to this country. He made me promise that when he passed away he would have a military funeral. Dad passed away February 11,2010 at San Jose, California at the age of 91. The promise was kept to him.
Written in Honor of my Father, Elmer Chester: Who Served in Battery B; 674th. Parachute Field Artillery Company. He served in New Guinea, S. Philippines; Luzon, Leyte, Okinawa, and Japan as stated on his Military Record. He joined the Army Apr. 1, 1942, at the age of 22. He was Honorable discharged November 24, 1945.Mary Moschita Ellison
Cne Raymond Chevalier. . Free French Airforce 347 Squadron (d.15th Mar 1945)
Raymond Chevalier was a Navigator with 347 Tunisie Sdq Free French he was killed on 15th of Mar 1945 when his aircraft crashed near Scawton.
Thomas Graham Chew . United States Marine Corps from Swathmore, PA)
Thomas Chew joined the Marines in 1944 and served in the Philipines and on Guam in the Northern Mariana Islands.S. Flynn
Sgt Norman Alfred Pinxton Chew. . RAF 12Sqd. (d.28th Aug 1943)
Rear Gnr. Norman Chew was killed on 28th Aug 1943 in Lancaster DV187 PH-A of 12sqd
Flt.Sgt. Alcide Joseph Chiasson . Royal Canadian Air Force 408 Squadron
Alcide Chaisson was my brother. He served with No.408 Goose Squadron based at Linton-on-Ouse in 1944. He wrote this a short memento in 1988 for the reunion: "I was the tail gunner on a Halifax Bomber in 408 Goose Squadron, 6th Canadian Bomber Group, Bomber Command. Out home base was Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire, England.
On 24th of December 1944 we were assigned to a bombing mission on a German Air Base at Dusseldorf. Approximatley 250 aircraft were deployed on this raid, only two planes failed to return, ours was one of them. This, incidentally was our first daylight raid, we always flew at night. While over the target we were coned by Germany Ack Ack Fire resulting in several direct hits, setting the plane on fire. Out of a crew of seven, the pilot Bill Dunwoodie and myself were the only two who survived by parachuting out of that airborne inferno."
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