The Wartime Memories Project - The Second World War



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Glen Child .     Royal Air Force 460 Sqd.

Glen Child was a flight engineer with 460 Squadron




Cpl. Herbert Childs .     United States Army Air Corps 21st Pursuit Sqd.   from Texas)

Herbert Childs was held as a POW in Camp Fukuoka 17, Japan but he was transferred to Kashii Pine Tree Fukuoka 1 camp in 1942 and remained till March 1945 when he was liberated.




Lilian Morgan "Lea" Childs .     Women's Land Army   from Garston, Liverpool)

My grandmother joined the Land Army and I believe was initially based at Queensbridge in Overton. She came to work in Caerwys, North Wales where she met my grandfather and therefore stayed in North Wales rather than returning to Liverpool. She passed away 40 years ago but I would very much like to hear from anyone who knew her and could share some stories.

Nicola Davies



Pilot Officer R A Childs .     RAF 102 Squadron (d.15th April 1941)

I am trying to find out some information about my uncle, Pilot Officer Robert J W Williams who was killed in action on April 15th 1941. I understand that he was shot down over Boulogne on his third mission with 102 Squadron. I presume he would have flown Whilteys at that time, based out of Topcliffe.

I have visited his war grave in Bourthes, France and those of his crew. The Pilot was 741381 Sergeant J A Norris, Gunners 701654 A P Clifford-Reade and 755097 RT Selley, and Pilot Officer R A Childs.

The crew:

  • Sergeant Robert Thomas Selley, RAF VR 755097. Killed 15/03/1941, age 29 (Bourthes Churchyard)
  • Sergeant James Arthur Norris, RAF VR 741381. Killed 15/03/1941 (Bourthes Churchyard)
  • Pilot Officer Robert John Wyndham Williams, RAF VR 87359. Killed 15/03/1941, age 23 (Bourthes Churchyard)
  • Flight Sergeant Alfred Pearsall Clifford-Reade, RAF VR 701654. Killed 15/03/1941, age 21 (Bourthes Churchyard)
  • Pilot Officer R A Childs




  • Sub Lt. C. B. Chilton .     Royal Navy HMS Electra




    Sgt. Kenneth Graham Chilver .     Royal Canadian Air Force 428 Sqd. (d.28th May 1943)

    Kenneth Chilver, is a distant relative who has captured my imagination, probably because information is not easy to come by. He was the son of Benjamin and Lily Chilver, husband of Gwennie Chilver, of Middlesbrough, Yorkshire. He was lost on the 28th of May 1943 whilst flying with 428 (RCAF) Squadron when he was 24 years old. He has no known grave and is remembered on the Runnymede Memorial. The information I have is from the back of a photo and states that he died on the Essue Raid. The Essue is unclear but as far as I can tell this is what it says. Unfortunately this is the only info I have and hope that someone will be able to help me find out more.

    Editors Note: The raid on the 28th of May 1943 was to Essen.

    Denise Parker



    Pte Leslie Christopher Chilvers .     British Army East Surrey Regiment   from Fulham, London)

    Leslie Chilvers, the son of Herbert George Chilvers and Anne Elizabeth Chilvers (nee Tindall), was born at Fulham, London, on 4th December 1918. He was baptised into the Roman Catholic faith, but did not follow it. His paternal grandparents came from Essex and his maternal grandfather was an Irish soldier. Leslie was the youngest of four children born at about five year intervals. The children were Herbert, Reginald, Ivy and Leslie.

    Leslie was called up for military service in 1940 and was drafted into the East Surrey Regiment. After only three weeks training he was sent to France. Following the complete abandonment of a large area by French troops Leslie was almost immediately involved in fighting a rearguard action in company with a number of other young similarly semi-trained and poorly armed raw recruits from his regiment. Together with men of the 51st Highland Division these young soldiers with only their rifles, a few Bren guns and very little ammunition were ordered to hold the mighty German Army Group B.

    Spearheaded by General Kleist’s Panzar Division, the German Army struck from the World War I battleground of the Somme. Smashing through the Tenth French Army the Germans reached the Seine River west of Paris on June 9 and then turned westward to pin the IX French Corps, the British 51st Highland Division and the men of the East Surreys against the sea at Valery-en-Caux. These two groups of soldiers constituted one of the few British Expeditionary Force elements still fighting in France. An attempt was made to evacuate them by sea from the port of St. Valery-en-Caux in a similar manner to the evacuation at Dunkirk only 12 days earlier. Unfortunately, this proved to be a very difficult task although 3000 men were taken off. After some very fierce fighting, the small remaining group of 251 men from the East Surreys were taken prisoner on the 12th June, 1940, together with over 5000 men from the 51st Highland Division.

    It is interesting to note that in September 1944, the town of St. Valery where Leslie was taken prisoner, was liberated by members of the 51st Highland Division and years later a pipe band tune called “The Heroes of St. Valery” was written for the 51st Division Pipe Band to commemorate the stand taken by the soldiers in that area in June 1940. However, it is very doubtful whether Leslie was aware of this piece of music and even if he did know about it, he would not have considered himself a hero; although this may very well have been the case.

    Following his capture at St. Valery Leslie spent the next four years in a prisoner of war camp (Stalag 21a) in Poland, but in 1944/45 he was force-marched ahead of the advancing allied forces over a mountain range for about one thousand miles. Many of Leslie’s comrades died during this march. Those who survived grubbed around in frozen fields for remnants of root crops and Leslie recalled eating a dog’s dinner found outside a farmhouse door because of starvation. For the rest of his life Leslie had scars on his fingers where tubes were inserted to draw off the fluid created by malnutrition in the prisoner of war camps.

    Before being conscripted into the army Leslie had been employed as a trainee French Polisher with Lyons (the famous teashop company) but the position was not held open for him. Therefore, after his demobilisation he became a house painter and decorator. Due to the privations that he suffered during his period as a prisoner of war, Leslie had a very retiring personality and suffered from a considerable inferiority complex; both of which made it very difficult for him to mix with people. His wartime experiences also made it hard for Leslie to settle in one place for very long and it was only when he and his wife Penny moved to Poole that he became more contented. However, Leslie was quite a talented artist, both in oil paints and with pencil and during his period as a prisoner of war he earned extra cigarettes, etc., by producing illustrated cards for the other prisoners to send home. From about 1970, Leslie suffered a number of health problems including; coronary conditions, angina, vertigo and phlebitis and was eventually forced to retire from paid employment because of ill health. Although he was able to fill his first years of retirement with gardening, walking in the Dorset countryside etc, Leslie was later forced to curtail these pastimes because of his declining health. When a form of dementia was added to his problems causing him to become quite childlike and to become incontinent Leslie was admitted to Wareham Hospital where he passed away on 14th July 1995.

    Ron Penn



    Marine Richard Chinner .     Royal Marines HMS Galatea   from St. Just, Cornwall)

    (d.15th Dec 1941)

    Richard Chinner served with the Royal Marines during WW2 and was killed in action on the 15th December 1941, aged 18. He is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial in Plymouth. He was the son of Samuel James Chinner and Florence Ellen Chinner, of St. Just, Cornwall.

    S Flynn



    L/Cpl. Oswald Chipchase .     British Army Royal Signal Corps




    Harold Chippendale .     Royal Navy HMS Woolwich

    Looking for information on my granddad, Harold Chippendale and the ships he was on. Specifically, information on HMS Woolwich and what role the ship had in the Mediterranean war. Harold was on the ship from 1st August 1939 to 15th January 1943, then went to HMS Canopus.

    Jonathan Raine



    Piper. Chisholm .     Army The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders




    Ord.Sea. John George Chisholm .     Royal Navy HMS Bonaventure   from Carlisle, Cumberland)

    (d.31st Mar 1941)

    My cousin, Jackie Chisholm, was an only child and volunteered 14 March 1938, aged 16, unbeknownst to his parents. His training was aboard the HMS Caledonia at Rosyth, and after serving as a Boy 1 on board the Drake and Hermes, he joined the Bonaventure in May 1940 as an Ordinary Seaman.

    The Bonaventure was torpedoed and sunk south of Crete on 31st March 1941 with many lives lost. Jackie's name is on Plymouth Naval War Memorial on Plymouth Hoe, dedicated to sailors who have been lost at sea. He was 19 years old when he died.

    Sue Holland



    Sgt. Arthur Langley Chisman .     Royal Australian Air Force 460 Sqdn   from East Finchley, London)

    (d.19th Oct 1944)

    I knew that I had been named after my parent's best man at their wedding but had not investigated very far. They had told me he had died during the war and was in the Air Force. Both my parents are now dead and I was looking through old photos when I came across one with the name of their best man on it. In the past I had looked for Chisholm or similar but the actual spelling is Chisman. A little bit of investigation with the help of Google and http://www.ozatwar.com and I have found out the following: Their best man was Arthur Langley Chisman who joined 460 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force flying Lancasters as Flight Engineer (only British aircrew were trained for this role). He was killed along with all but one of the crew of the Lancaster on 19th October 1944, leaving behind his wife Mary.

    Langley Popley



    Pte. Frank Stidolph Chismon .     British Army 4th Btn Royal East Kent Regiment   from Church Lane, Newington, Sittingbourne, Kent)

    (d.23rd Oct. 1943)

    M J Crayford



    P/O W. E. Chitty .     RAAF pilot 514 Sqd. (d.30th Jul 1944)

    P/O Chitty was injured in a serious crash on return from Nuremburg on the 31st March 1944. On return to Waterbeach his aircraft was baulked on finals by another Squadron aircraft and crash-landed heavily whilst attempting to go around. The crew were:

    • P/O W.E.Chitty
    • Sgt C.M.Guy
    • Sgt L.A.Ive
    • Sgt R.Fox
    • Sgt A.B.Pattison
    • Sgt C.Pratt
    • Sgt J.Shepherd

    On recovery he formed another crew, retaining his flight engineer Charles Guy. They were lost without trace on the 30th of July 1944 and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

    • F/L W.E.Chitty
    • Sgt C.M.Guy
    • W/O L.A.Ding
    • F/O W.S.Bonell
    • F/S J.E.Richardson
    • F/S E.W.Jenner
    • F/S G.C.Wells




    H Chivers .    




    Alexander Frank Chopping .     British Army 8th Army

    My dad served on the large guns and fought at El Alamein with the 8th Army. He had a leg injury and was sent to the Manchester Royal Infirmary and then on to Wales to recover.

    Moira



    Wilf Chorley .     British Army 5th Btn East Yorks Rgt

    My late father was in the 5th Btn East Yorkshire Rgt. He served in the Faroe Islands and was a POW at Weetzen, Germany. He worked in the sugar factory in 1944.

    Update

    British POWs book records the following: 8A 82336 Chorley, W.L. Pte 3663680 E. York. 8A is the camp (Goritz), the next number is the person's POW number and the remainder could refer to your late father. Also try http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/news/press/pdf/2jan2005.pdf for POW interrogation questionnaires(Stuart Brown)

    Margie



    Wilfred Lawrence Chorley .    

    My father was captured in 1944. The POW camps he was in were: Stalag XIIA (Limberg), Stalag VIIIA (Zgorzelec, Poland), finaly Stalag VIIIC (Sagan, Poland).




    Ord. Sea. Alfred George "Alf" Chowles .     Royal Navy HMS Bedouin   from Greenford Middlesex)

    (d.15 June 1942)

    My Uncle, Alf Chowles, served on HMS Bedouin. His was one of the 28 lives lost when the ship was torpedoed.




    Ord.Sea. Alfred George Chowles .     Royal Navy HMS Bedouin   from Greenford, Middlesex)

    (d.15th June 1942)

    I have no details of Alf Chowles war service, unfortunately as a young 19-year-old ordinary seaman he had no real voice.

    John Luffrum



    Lt. Albert Chowne VC, MM..     Australian Army 2/2nd Australian Infantry Battalion   from Australia)

    (d.25th Mar 1945)

    Albert Chowne was born in Sydney. He attended Chatswood Boys Intermediate High School and Naremburn Junior Technical School. In 1935, he began work as a shirt-cutter with David Jones. He spent a brief period in the 36th Battalion, a Militia unit, before enlisting in the Australian Imperial Force in late May 1940. He was assigned to the 2/13th Battalion as a platoon message runner and was later made company runner. The unit, part of the 9th Division arrived in the Middle East in November 1940 and later joined the North African campaign, defending Tobruk for eight months in 1941. During his time at Tobruk, Chowne transferred to the carrier platoon and was promoted to Corporal.

    After Tobruk the 2/13th performed garrison duties in Syria where, in September, Chowne was promoted to Sergeant. He was wounded in the leg and hand at El Alamein the following month and spent three weeks in hospital.

    He returned to Australia with the battalion in January 1943. In July, the unit was deployed to New Guinea campaign, taking part in the Battle of Finschhafen. Chowne, now commanding a mortar platoon, was awarded the Military Medal for twice crawling close to enemy positions to direct mortar fire. Regarded as exceptionally cool by his comrades, Chowne combined fearlessness with a self-effacing manner.

    He was commissioned as a Lieutenant in January 1944 and he married Daphne Barton, a Corporal in the Australian Women's Army Service, in March that year. Having completed the jungle warfare training course at Canungra, Queensland, Chowne was posted to the 2/2nd Battalion, part of the 6th Division, in October 1944.

    The 2/2nd was sent to the Aitape-Wewak campaign in New Guinea, two months later. On 25 March 1945 near Dagua, Chowne attacked an enemy position which was holding up further movement towards Wewak. Seeing that the leading platoon was suffering heavy casualties, Chowne rushed forward and knocked out two light machine guns with grenades and then, calling on his men to follow him and firing his sub machine gun from the hip, he charged the position. Although he was twice wounded in the chest, the impetus of his charge carried him forward 50 yards under intense machine gun and rifle fire and he accounted for two more of the enemy before he was killed.

    Chowne was awarded the Victoria Cross posthumously and was buried at the Lae War Cemetery, Lae, New Guinea.

    A street in Campbell, Canberra is named after him as is Albert Chowne Memorial Hall, a community facility in Willoughby, Sydney. His VC is displayed at the Australian War Memorial.

    S. Flynn



    F/O Raymond Alexander "Chris" Christenson .     Royal Canadian Air Force 433 Squadron   from Kingman, Alberta, Canada)

    I am looking for families of the following individuals of his crew:

    • N R209315 Edwards, I
    • AB R183923 Plaskett, M.S. believed to have been from Toronto, Ontario
    • WOP R209387 Johnstone, J.B. believed to have been from Toronto, Ontario
    • FE 1818015 Enser, M.G.
    • MU R254367 Powell, Walter Henry already located
    • RG R267389 Campbell, Cameron Clare already located

    Susan



    J. Christian .    




    F/O C. D. Christian .     Royal Canadian Air Force bomb aimer 419 Sqd.




    F/O C. D. Christian. .     419 Sqd




    Sergeant A W Christie .     RAF 59 Squadron

    Lorenzo del Mann



    Staff Sgt. Atherton Ffolliot Powell Christie .     British Army Royal Army Service Corps

    Uncle Hughie was captured at St valery and ended up in Stalag 9c POW Camp. He was also in Obermassfield Lazarette and had his legs operated on. He died from thrombosis shortly after the war due to this surgery. "God Rest his soul"

    Trish Hughes



    2nd.Lt. Charles Phillip Christie .     United States Army Air Corps   from Massachusetts)




    Pte. James Finlayson Christie .     British Army Seaforth Highlanders   from Perth, Scotland)

    My Grandfather James Christie was in the Seaforth Highlanders and was imprisoned at Stalag XX-B. I knew very little about his time there as he died when I was only 12. However, I have since come across some pictures of him in the Camp and discovered some basic information through www.ancestry.co.uk

    Lorraine Garvie




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