The Wartime Memories Project - The Second World War



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Able Seaman. P. Conway .     Royal Navy HMS Forfar

P Conway survived the sinking of HMS Forfar.



Ty.Ldg.Stoker. Terence Sydney Conway .     Royal Navy HMML 183 (d.11th Feb 1945)

My dad's biological father was Terence Sydney Conway, who was in the Royal Navy during WWII. Due to an incident on the ship (I believe that another sailor died, and Terence was a witness to this), the ship was delayed in Durban, South Africa for some time. It was there that Terence met my grandmother. My grandmother fell pregnant with my dad – I am not sure if my grandmother and Terence had married or not, but my dad was told that Terence planned to return to Durban after the war to be with my Grandmother and their son. Terence’s ship eventually went back to sea, and then was lost in French Waters around 1945. and he was assumed Dead.

My grandmother, around the time of my dad’s birth (we are not sure if before or after my dad’s birth) then married a man with the surname Roux, which is why I have the surname Roux. Unfortunately, my grandmother also died without leaving us much information about Terence. My father's birth certificate states “Father Unknown”, but his Baptism Certificate says “Father is Terence Sydney Conway”.

My dad was placed into a children’s home at a very young age, and had very little proof of his real family. He tried to find out about his biological father's family for many years with little success. South Africa did not keep very good records during WWII. Not much is known about Terence besides the fact that he was supposedly from the "famous" Conway singing family of the war and that he had a brother named John. We were never sure if any of these last facts were correct of not, but they were the little knowledge that my Dad had.

I have found out the following information about my granddad: Terence Sydney Conway, Ty/Act/Leading Stoker, C/KX 90460, Missing presumed killed 11/02/1945, Son of Thomas and Elizabeth Conway Other information I have heard is that Terence Sydney Conway may have come from an Irish background. I'm not sure how accurate this is.

Please contact me if you know more. I may have family in the UK who I don’t even know about. Unfortunately, my Dad passed away in 2007, without ever finding the truth. Hopefully I have better luck.

Editor's Note: When he lost his life, Terrance Conway was serving on HM Motor Launch 183 which was lost when it sank after collision with East Pier, Dieppe, N France on the 11th of February 1945. She was a 75t vessel launched in 1941. He was aged 29 and is remembered on the Chatham Memorial.



Pte. Gregory Coogan .     British Army 2nd Battalion Irish Guards

My father, Pte Gregory Coogan of the 2nd Batt Irish Guards in Stalag V111 B. He is on the right of the photo. The man on the extreme left is a soldier from the Warwickshire regiment and is a survivor of the SS barn massacre; I believe his name is Charlie Daly. I understand that all three men lost a leg. My father was captured and lost a leg trying to evacuate the Dutch Royal Family from Holland in 1939. I think he was repatriated in 1944. This is his story:

I was captured in Boulogne on 23/5/1940. A mine took out my leg at the knee. Two chaps put on a tourniquet and put me on a stretcher, carried me along the road. A section of the Irish guards appeared and offered to escort me to the RAP. As we passed a graveyard, a lot of German troops popped up over the wall and demanded that the boys drop their weapons. They did-and dropped me too! I lay there by the road side and nearly got flattened by a passing Panzer tank. Eventually, two young Germans came along who spoke English. They said 'Ha ha Englisher blue blood!' I protested that I was Irish, from Ireland. They said 'Mr de Valera? We don't want to fight him!' Eventually I ended up in an open shed with other wounded Welsh and Irish. A German doctor offered to inform our next of kin of our status. Then he said 'Who is the worst wounded here?' Apparently it was me. He put me in a German ambulance with some German wounded and took me to Le Toquet, where the French amputated my leg a few days later. 2 weeks later I was moved back to the former British hospital at Camier. I was there for a while, and was due to have my stitches out, as I was told by Major Kimble, a Kiwi who operated on me, when we were told we were moving up to Lille. We were moved at night time, but my stitches had to come out. So, in the pitch black, by the side of the road, after midnight, I reminded Capt Carter of the Welsh guards to remind Kimble that the stitches had to come out. And he took them out there and then in the darkness. We were then detained in Eilghiel in Belgium for some weeks. Then we moved to Obermassfeld, part Stalag 9c, where we were registered. Then we moved to Badsulza. Eventually all the seriously injured were sent to work at a tobacco factory in Nordhausen for a considerable time.

Upon being recalled to Stalag 9c, we were told we were to be repatriated. We were dispatched to an old quarry, then put on a train, arriving finally at Rouen, France, after three days the SBO came to us on parade and said 'Men, I have bad news, repatriation has fallen through.' so we were sent back to the racecourse, previously a British camp. After some time, the Germans sent us to Stalag 8b, Landsdorf. I was there until November ‘43, when they started repatriation again. We embarked on a train to Sasslitz on the Baltic, then a boat to Malmo Sweden, then by train to Gothamburg, then a ship back to Leith in Scotland. Then a train Netley in Hampshire. Eventually everyone went home apart from me and a lad from Leeds, Rennison. The nurse in charge was the Queen Mother's cousin, Lady Margaret Bowes-Lyon. She escorted us to Rowhampton, where eventually I got fitted up with a limb in January 44.

I have many group photos from 8c and 8B, as well as photos of sports days and theatre shows. We would love to hear from anyone who remembers our father.

Back row from right, C Philips, C Clarke, D Ryan, H Chivers, W Mc Niell, W Anders.

Front row from right, D Cain, S Cooke, L Forrest, W Hamilton, D Mc Garry. 3 Aussies, 3 Irish, 2 N Zlds, 2 Eng and 2 Scotts.

4th left centre row Jackie Cooke

Back row,7th from left Jackie Cooke. Back row, 9 from left Robbie Anderson.

Front row, 7 from left Sean Kenny.

From right back row, Brady 2nd, Welsby 3rd

Back row from left 2nd Welsby, 3rd Brady, 2nd Btn.Irish Guards

Wesley & Brady 2nd Battn Irish Guards

All Kiwis

3 Cockneys

Fellows, Warwicks, on the right

From TelAviv, captured in Crete, then V111B

Medics 17/21 Hospital

All Cockneys

Work Party

Two Kiwis (Acropolis)

Chaplin on left



Pte Cecil Cook .     British Army 16th Btn. Durham Light Infintry   from Doncaster)



D. Cook .     Royal Canadian Air Force 419 Sqd.



Sgt. Eric T. Cook .     Royal Air Force 10 Squadron   from Coalpit Heath)

(d.16th July 1943)

My great uncle Eric Cook was a flying spanner for the 10th Squadron and he never returned from a mission 16 July 1943. I am trying to trace the history of my great uncle Eric T. Cook or Cooke. Any images of the period and time at Melbourne would make my day and help my family trace the life of this man who died at the age of 21 in service of his country. If you have any information on him or just have any images of life at Melbourne that you could share. Anything at all would be gratefully received.



George A. Cook .     Auxilliary Fire Service

I am now 80years of age and before I pass on I would like to find out more about my dear father, George Cook to pass on to further generations. I, like so many other young men was only interested in chasing young girls and not taking all that much interest in my fathers war. Just lately I have found out that he must have been in the thick of battles having been into hospital at Etaples in 1917 for a gunshot wound and then into Rouen hospital 9th August 1918 for results of a gas shell. He apparently served 4years and 303 days with the 1st Btn Cambridge Regiment and then the 7th Btn Suffolk Regiment, so must have seen a vast amount of fighting. I would love to know in what battles he must have fought and any other aspects of his war.

He had great courage and joined the AFS in Ipswich during WW11, going to the dock area where he came home with a live, perfect condition incendiary bomb which I de-fused and used the contents to make fireworks. I kept this bomb on display in my hall until about four years ago when I presented it to the Ipswich museum and I only hope it has been saved and not destroyed.



Irene Cook .     Women's Land Army   from Herne Hill, London )

My mother, Irene Cook, died when I was 11 in 1963. I know she was in the WLA, as I recall she mentioned it when we were on holiday in Sussex just before she died. She also had a friend called Pam who was also in the WLA. I would like to find out more of her service and whether there is anyone out there who remembers her.



Sergeant J Cook .     RAF 59 Squadron



Jessie Dell Cook .     US Army Co. A 44th Combat Engineers   from Rt 4 Westmoreland Tn)

Jessie D. Cook was my papa and the best man I ever knew. He was shot and captured in WW11 in the Battle of the Bulge and was a prisoner of war for 6 months in Germany. He was in a Stalag prisoner camp during which he lived on grass, tree bark, dandelions & broth which they cooked, and vegetables for the guards.

He was liberated when the war was over in May 1945. He received an Honorable Discharge, Good Conduct, Purple Heart & POW medals. He was discharged from service October 7, 1945. A year later he married my granny and they had three children, my dad, Roger, my late Uncle Steve who died shortly after papa passed in 2005 and one girl, my Aunt Jeanne.

Papa enlisted in the Army, 44th Combat Engineers, Co. A on December 18, 1942. He built pontoon bridges to cross rivers under General Patton. His battles and campaigns included Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland and Ardennes. Papa never talked about the war much or his time held in captivity but I know he never forgot what he saw over there. I think it was just too terrible for him to tell us. He battled stomach cancer for almost 20 yrs. The doctors said they had to take parts of his stomach over the years due to the things he was forced to eat when he was a prisoner.

I don't know what my papa saw, if he ever killed anyone, or even his thoughts about his experiences except that they were just too horrible to speak of. Regardless, my papa was my hero, my everything & I miss him so much! I have looked everywhere on every site I know since I began studying the Holocaust and WW11 but much too my disappointment I have yet to find any records of him. I am deeply disturbed by this & I'm hoping that it's just my lack of knowledge on going about such things. I'm hoping I overlooked something because my papa was and always will be worth remembering.



Pilot Officer K C Cook .     RAF 59 Squadron



Pilot Officer L E Cook .     RAF 59 Squadron



Flt.Sgt. Norman Wallace Cook .     Royal Air Force 114 Squadron   from York)

(d.5th July 1941)

I have a photo of the grave of F/Sgt Cook probably taken 1940/50's.



AB. Stanley William James "Cookie" Cook .     Royal Navy HMS Hunter   from Plymouth )

My late father also served on HMS Hunter at the battle of Narvic and was marched into Sweden by the Germans in those icy conditions of mid April 1940 I know the Germans made him sign a declaration promising never to engage the enemy again and during his capture he made a couple of unsuccessful attempts to escape He returned to Devonport Naval Dockyard late 1943 where he served out the remainder of the war in HMS Drake a shore base but never liked it He resided in Devonport After the war he joined the Merchant navy He passed away in 1990 in Plymouth Devon If any surviving ship-members can recall my Dad -Stanley Cook (cookie)please let me know



Flt Lt Walter Herbert Cook .     RCAF pilot 433 Sqd.   from Canada)

(d.2nd Dec 1944)



Walter Cook .     British Army 296 Field Company Royal Engineers



Gnr. Wilfred Bernard "Cookie" Cook .     British Army 86th Anti Tank Regt. Royal Artillery   from Plymouth )

(d.4th May 1945)

My mother's first husband, was Wilf Cook, he was killed in, or near Hamburgh on the last day of hostilities in NW Europe, and my poor mother received the telegram with news of his death on VE Day, when most people were celebrating the end of the war in Europe.

He had originally been in the Devonshire Regt (5th TA Battalion) before the war, and was re-mustered into the Royal Artillery in about 1942, like so many other men at that time, as a result of the British Army re-organising itself, in order to fight a modern war more effectively. He landed on Juno Beach on D-Day, and fought his way through Caen, Holland and then into the German Heartland, and was killed on the eve of the cesstation of hostilities.

If anyone can help me put together a more complete picture, of Wilf's units activities, and his own personnal story, my mother, brother and myself would be extremely gratefull.



L/Cpl. Austin Vaughan Cooke .     2nd Australian Imperial Force

My late father, L/Clp Austin Vaughan Cooke, of 2/2nd AIF was captured on Crete, ending up at Stalag VIIIB. I have some photos along with some other items including his army dog tag together with his prisoner ID 8016 for Front Stalag 183.



Pte. Edward George "Knocker" Cooke .     Army

I do not have much detail as Dad never spoke about his time as POW he was captured at Dunkirk and sent to Poland he was there five years. His brother Ron was also captured at the same time. I do not know his Regmt. Does anyone know anything about these two? Regards Anne.



Pte. Edward George Cooke .     British Army Worcestershire Regiment   from Sambourne, Warks)

My dad, Edward George Cooke, was a private in the Second World War. He was taken prisoner at Dunkirk along with his brother, Ron, both in the Worcestershire Regiment. Dad was held at Marienburg Poland. POW 11183. Stalag XXB Marlbruck E Prussia. They both survived the Camps.



Harry Cooke .     British Army South Staffordshire Regiment   from Lodge Road, Birmingham)

My uncle, Harry Cooke, had a row of medals. I remember he was at Arnham and he was in a POW camp. I remember he had letters every year from a Polish organization. He lived in Lodge Road, Birmingham after the War. Something keeps me thinking he was in the South Staffs Regiment. He died in his eighties after a burglar broke in and stole all his medals. Just wondering if anyone can add to this.



Pte. Richard Stanley Cooke .     Army Welsh Regiment

Pte Richard Stanley Cooke (Welch Regiment (centre) in Alexandria

This is my Uncle Richard Cooke, he was captured in Crete and incarcerated in Lamsdorf and survived the Death March.



Pte. Richard Stanley Cooke .     British Army Welch Regiment   from Ogmore, Vale)

I have been looking at copies of my uncle's diary and I believe he might have been a camp barber. He was also at Stalag 8b



Pte. Ronald Cooke .     British Army Worcestershire Regiment   from Sambourne, Warks)

My uncle, Ron Cooke, served in the Worcestershire Regiment along with his brother Edward (my dad). They were both taken prisioner at Dunkirk Ron was POW 11184, held at Stalag XXA Torun Poland. They both survived the Camps.



Warrant Officer H G Coombe .     RNZAF 59 Squadron



Able Seaman. A. Coombes .     Royal Navy HMS Forfar

A. Coombes survived the sinking of HMS Forfar in 1940



Able Seaman. J. Coombes .     Royal Navy HMS Forfar

J. Coombes is listed as one of those to survive the sinking of HMS Forfar.



Flight Sergeant S A Coombs 755478.     RAF 59 Squadron



M T Coon .     RAF

My uncle, Sgt Anthony John Browne 643058 (Newmarket Cemetery) was killed on 6 January 1942 when a Wellington bomber from RAF Stradishall, No 3 Group Training Flight piloted by Flight Sergeant Frederick Thomas Miniken 903047 (Clacton Cemetery) crashed shortly after take off. Would anyone have any idea of the squadron markings as I am building a replica model?

Others killed were

  • Sergeant John Philpin Williams 983072 (Uzmaston (St. Ismael) Churchyard)
  • C J Cornes
  • Sergeant Herbert Wolstenholm 545778 (Hucknall Cemetery)
  • Sergeant Albert David Matthews 615644 (Yeovil Cemetery)
  • Sergeant Reginald Alfred Butcher 1200354 (Dover (St. Mary's) New Cemetery)
  • A/C1 Thomas Menzies 1037647 (Manchester Southern Cemetery)

    RWH Lawrence and MT Coon survived.

    Any other information of the event or of my uncle would be most welcome. God Bless them all.



  • LAC. Thomas William Coop GM..     Royal Air Force 613 Squadron   from Kelsall Drive, Timperley, Cheshire.)

    My father, Thomas Coop received the George Medal for saving a pilot from a burning plane in September 1940, the story is in the London Gazette. We have sent for his records which confirms he did get the award, my brother and I have been trying for years to find out where it happened, it just says at an aerodrome. There was also a Richard Farley involved, who helped my father, I would like to trace his family if possible.




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