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Airfields of WW2
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Those who Served
Sergeant Bob Edgeworth . RAF 626 SquadronA Varten
F/Sgt. Douglas Frank Edgington . Royal Air Force 104 Squadron
My Dad, Doug Edgington was part of the crew flying B24J Liberator KL372 "C" for Charlie. Most of the photographs that I have are from Middle East based missions but there are quite a few of the whole crew posing in front of the aircraft, they were:
- Ron Paver, Pilot
- Doug Edgington, Flight engineer
- Jack Dyson, Mid upper gunner
- Ken Marsh, Navigator
- Sid Lynes, Rear gunner
- Harry Leech, Wireless operator
I have photographs showing all of these guys and quite a few taken whilst on bombing missions as well. I also have a photograph of two guys who were both Scots, Jock Eadie and another named Booth who were lost on a mission over the Mediterranean whilst flying out of Abu Suier.John Edgington
Flt. Sgt. Herbert George Edis . RAAF 101 Sqd. from Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia)
(d.1st Sep 1943)
Pvt. Ellsworth Edmiston . United States Army Co D, 15th Bn. 5th Infantry Regt. from California)
S B Flynn
Benjamin LaForest Edmonds . United States Army Coast Artillery Corps
My father, Benjamin LaForest Edmonds, was captured in Italy trying to take Mt.Belvedere. He was taken by boxcar to Stalag 7a. Like many men he did not talk much about his experiences there. He did talk about trading his Red Cross cigarettes for food; and how he was plagued by lice. He was at the camp when it was liberated.
If anyone remembers him I would love to hear from you.Nancy Edmonds Paull
Edwin Edmonds . Royal Air Force 7 Sqdn. from London)
Edwin Edmonds served in 7 Sqd. Royal Air Force as a wireless op/air gunner.Geoff Horspool
2nd Lt. Sydney Walter Edmonds . British Army 97th Field Regiment Royal Artillery from Tavistock, Devon)
I met Sydney Walter Edmonds in the summer of 1994 at the bed and breakfast run by his daughter. With some coaxing he told us his prisoner of war story. My wife and I wrote it up and later sent it to him to be shared with relatives and friends. I have recently put the story on my web site. I found this site and hope others can provide additional material that could be included.
I see many letters on this wonderful site which are clearly related to individuals that served with Mr. Edmonds. Would very much like to hear from them.Melvin Oakes
Cpl John Hurst "Jack" Edmondson VC. Australian Army 2/17 Australian Infantry Battalion from Australia)
(d.14 April 1941)S. Flynn
Sgt Thomas Eric Edmondson. . RAF 12Sqd. (d.4th Jul 1943)
W/Op Thomas Edmondson died on 4th July 1943 in Lancaster ED820 PH-A of 12sqd
Flt.Sgt. Lewis Edmunds DFM.. Royal Air Force 150 Squadron (d.31st July 1943)
My dad Lewis Edmunds died in July 1943 only a few months after I was born. He died an awful death, in an iron lung and of polio. A friend said, only a few months ago, that the odds of dying this way must have been very high. To my young mother his death must have been devastating and she left the air force base where they were living and moved back to her parents in the North of England. Eventually she remarried and in 1959, she and my stepfather and my half sister and I emigrated to NZ.
I knew very little about my dad, except that the warm sheepskin rug in my parent’s room had been brought from Australia by him. I also had his DFM medal, a certificate and gold presentation watch from the local council, his logbook and some newspaper cuttings and photographs that my mother had saved. Sadly, when we came to New Zealand the logbook was given away, but I remember it vividly and I would love to have it back. In 1985 I visited England on holiday and I was determined to visit his family and record his story, so I joined the NZ Genealogy Society to learn how to research my families.
Lewis went to Western Australia in 1929 at that time he was only aged 18, and it must have seemed a big adventure. He was also ‘honest, steady and industrious’ according to the vicar who wrote a glowing testimony for him. It also helped that he had an aunt and uncle living there, and he was able to stay with them for a while. He returned to England, on an Australian passport, in 1935. I suspect that it was only the Depression that sent him home. He learned bricklaying but later enlisted in the RAF in 1938, moving up the ranks and training to be an Air Gunner. He was posted around Lincolnshire and in May 1941, while returning from a sortie to Boulogne, the Wellington Bomber crashed into a hill near Halstead and he was the sole survivor, though his back was broken.
After many years I was able to get the commendation that his Station Commander had written, before his DFM was announced. The investiture took place at Buckingham Palace on the 18 May 1943. A week before he died, my mum said that they were going to a wedding, dad had the flu' but he said "I am going to this wedding if it kills me". The following day mum called the Base doctor and Dad was admitted to the hospital in Donnington, where he was diagnosed with polio, and he died the following weekend.Hilary Ramshaw
Lieutenant M Nebringer Edward . USAAF 360th Fighter Squadron 356th Fighter Group
During WW2 near my village an american aircraft crashed on 25th November 1944 2.Lt James A. DesJardins MACR 10472 of 356thFG, 360thFS. 1.Lt Edward M.Nebinger was the leader. Have you more informations about the pilots or the attack?Lothar Ritzmann
Private W H Edward . Army Royal Army Service Corps
Looking for information on the above Service Man he is on Fetcham War Memorial WW2 all the others I have managed to identifyO Steele
"Taff" Edwards .
My father-in-law, Taff Edwards who is now in his eighties, was a Prisoner of War at Stalag 8b. He was known as Taff during the war as he came from South Wales.
He is anxious to hear of his friend Mick (sorry, don't know the surname) who was with him. All he can remember is that Mick came from Canvey Island in Essex. He and Mick worked at a mine as cobblers mending the men's shoes. Any news of Mick would be welcomed. Taff is well but recently widowed.Julie Mackinder
PFC. Arlin Clay Edwards . United States Army 112nd Infantry Regiment from Arkansas, USA)
My grandfather was a prisoner in Stalag 2A from 11/08/1944 until 6/08/1945.Debra Edwards
F/O Burdel Frank Edwards . Royal Canadian Air Force pilot 419 Sqd. (d.13th May 1944)
Dvr. Charles Leonard Edwards . British ArmyS B Flynn
P/O Charles Albert Edwards DFC . RAF 12sqd
David Thomas Edwards . British Army Kings Own Royal Lancaster Regiment from Blackwood)
Pvt. Douglas Edwards . United States Army Ordnance Department from Georgetown, Alabama)
Douglas Edwards was a survivor of the Bataan Death March and was held POW in Camp Fukuoka 17 in JapanS B Flynn
E. V. Edwards .
Pte. Edwin George Edwards . 2nd Btn. West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own) (d.24th Mar 1945)
Edwin George Edwards died aged 27 whilst serving with the West Yorkshire Regiment, he was the son of Rose Edwards of Jarrow.
Edwin is buried in Taukkyan War Cemetery and is commemorated on the WW2 Roll of Honour Plaque in the entrance of Jarrow Town Hall.Vin Mullen
Captain Ernest Edwards . British Army Royal Medical Corps from Lahore, Pakistan)
I am trying to trace my father's military background. He was born on 11th January 1906 and passed away on 23 Oct 1977. He was a doctor who served in the Royal Army Medical Corps as part of British Indian Army from 1941-1945. He had served somewhere in the Middle East (have an old photo of him at El Alamein!!). Will be grateful for any information including the units he served with and locations where he was posted etc. Thank you Best WishesRajiv Edwards
Lance Corporal Felicity Joan Edwards . British Army B Company A.T.S. from 11 Childebert Rd, Balham)
Now that I am 85, and the anniversary of the outbreak of the 2nd. World War is approaching my thoughts return to those years that followed, and to Arborfield, and wonder how many of the men and women I served with there, are still with us today.
I joined the A.T.S. at the age of 18 in 1941 and spent the greater part of my war years at Arborfield as a Cinema Projectionist in charge of training films that were constantly shown via my two 16mm Gebescope projectors. These mainly dealt with the maintenance of the Churchill, Cromwell and Sherman tanks, there was also the Coventry, and the almost obsolete General Lee One of the historic events that took place at Arborfield that I felt very involved in,was the construction of a long water tank with vehicle ramps at both end. This happened just prior to the invasion of Normandy. I received an American film ‘The waterproofing of vehicles’ This I showed constantly during the weeks leading up to the invasion. (Lessons had been learned from the Dieppe disaster) Not only was this film shown to those passing through the various training courses at Arborfield but also to the Canadian officers and men who were camped around us in the surrounding countryside. With their many forms of transport awaiting for that significant day when they would drive onto the beaches of France, without the fear of breaking down with waterlogged engines. At one time I was taken in a waterproofed jeep, down one ramp through the water tank, and up the opposite ramp. I think I was being given a reward for the many hours I spent showing that film. I did not really enjoy it.
Those war years spent at Arborfield are very clear in my memory. I can still see Brigadier Buttonshaw taking the salute at the parade, the day that R.E.M.E. was formed, and must be now one of a very few who were there on that occasion and can still remember it. My cousin has offered to take me on a visit to Arborfield, but I doubt if I would recognise any of it now, except for the water tower, if it is still there. Army legend had it, that it would only fall when a virgin walked past. THE BIRTH OF THE’ROYAL ELECTRICAL MECHANICAL ENGINEERS’ I was posted to the Royal Army Ordinance Corp at Arborfield, Berkshire, in1942 as a Cinema Projectionist to show training films to the Officers and N.C.Os. who were attending one of the 29 week training courses that were being held there, and found myself showing long, and to me, tedious films on the care and maintenance of the Churchill, Sherman and Cromwell tanks, on the 25 pounder gun and on things like the planetary gear train and synromesh transmission and on the recovery of vehicles with a Leyland breakdown lorry. Whenever I found converation lagging in those days, the approved method of getting a Churchill tank out of a shell hole, was always something I could fall back on. I was very conversant on that subject.
I shared an office with a chap called Joe Semp, and Sergeant Major Mann. When I was not showing training films I worked with Joe amending army manuals and pamphlets with out dated text, with stickers that carried new versions. This was a tedious job which was relieved by a sideline when Joe acquired a book of blank leave passes. We had a R.A.O.C. stamp which we used on the books and pamphlets to identify them as the property of the Royal Army Ordinance Corp. Joe and I worked opposite each other at a table between two windows When Sergeant Major Mann left the office, word would get around, and one by one chaps would begin to appear at the window on my side and ask for a leave pass. Ever ready to oblige I would stamp one and pass it across to Joe who would add the necessary officer’s signature and return it to the individual concerned through his window. Joe was very good at supplying a variety of signatures. As most of our customers had to get through main line stations which were laced with Red Caps (military police) forever eager to examine leave passes, they wanted unobtrusive signatures like Captain Simpson or Lieutenant Jones. Others who preferred to live dangerously requested the signature of Field Marshal Montgomery, General Wavel, or even Mickey Mouse. Most of us who lived in London managed to avoid the Red Caps who patrolled the mainline station at Waterloo, by jumping off the train one stop earlier at Vauxhall.
The permanent staff of this R.A.O.C. training establishment had been recruited from a variety of different regiments, as well as from the County regiments with all their proud history. It was not a happy day for Arborfield’s personel when it was decided that a new regiment was to be formed encompassing the whole establishment.
We were to become the Number 1 Training Establishment of the R.E.M.E. and the birth of this new regiment was to take place in the October of that year 1942. This meant that all the well polished cap badges so proudly worn of the former regiments were to be handed in to the stores and exchanged for a very brassy looking new R.E.M.E. badge which was not looked upon kindly. All regimental flashes had to be cut from uniforms. All this created a lot of disenchantment in the camp, and that was not diminished when it was learned that the new regimental march would be a mixture of the well known ‘Lillibularo and the theme music from Walt Disney’s ‘ Snow White and the seven Dwarfs’(Hi Ho, Hi Ho, its off to work we go) That for some was the last straw. We members of B. Company. A.T.S. could only look on and sympathise, while also wearing our new R.E.M.E. badge above the left hand uniform tunic pocket. We were now attached to this new regiment. These are the trivialities that I remember to the run up to the day when the whole camp was assembled on the large parade ground to celebrate the formation of our new regiment, by which time badges looked a little less brassy, and there was confidence and pride in being part of this new elite military establishment.the R.E.M.E. I remember so well marching on to that parade ground to the new regimental march which was being played for the first time. No one dared to catch any one else’s eye when the ‘Hi ho. Hi ho’. bit came in. We were inspected by the very top brass, and watched the R.E.M.E. flag hoisted to the top of the mast head for the very first time. It was a day to remember.
I was at Arborfield towards the end of the war, after a short posting to Derbyshire, and remember those early evenings when we stood and watched while squadron after squadron of ‘flying fortresses’ filled the skies, to take their part in the carpet bombing of Germany. It was the sound of war at its deadliest. The whole camp stood in silence and watched, and not even one small voice asked “What the hell are we doing?” We remembered the defenceless city of Warsaw, our cities like Coventry and Portsmouth. There were many like myself who had endured the relentless bombing of London during the Blitz, and no one said “Has Bomber Harris gone mad?” With the distance of years; and with hindsight it is easy to make moral judgements and to campaign to take down the statue of Bomber Harris erected to honour him and Bomber Command. You really need to have stood where we were standing in our time to understand what the reality of our day was really like. My heart will always go out and embrace the men who served in Bomber Command. Ethics are the luxury for those who have come after us. If there is anyone out there who remembers Arbofield during the war, and who perhaps remembers me as Lance Corporal, F.J. Edwards. A.T.S. please contact me.Felicity Medland
Sgt. Frank John Edwards . RAF(VR) air gunner. 106 Sqd. from West Molesey, Surrey.)
(d.13th Jan 1943)
PO. Fred Edwards . Royal Navy HMS Nelson
Fred Edwards was born in 1920 to a family of 11, 5 sons and 6 daughters . When he was 12 (1932) his mum became a victim of cancer. At the age of 17 in 1937 he joined the Navy.
In 1939 World War 2 started. During his years in the Navy whilst at war, Fred survived the sinking of 3 of his ships, by enemy bombings. Fred had many roles in the Navy, but by far his most important was as a diver, where he would dismantle bombs underwater, rescue people and repair sinking boats. Fred ran marathons up until he died at the age of 90.Liam
Pte. Frederick George Edwards . British Army Royal West Kent Regiment
I know very little about my father`s wartime history.Dad had a torrid childhood - "joining up" to escape his poor family life. Fred lived in Maidstone (I think)and was in the Royal West Kents.Dad died in 1997 and so did any chance of me finding out about his survival at Stalag XXa (Thorn/ Torun).Frederick George Edwards, as he was born, later adopted the name Willetts.This period of his life is all very hazy and I`m not sure if he went to war as an Edwards or a Willetts.
I believe he was in the TA prior to being sent overseas.Like many who survived the horrors of WWII he would not talk openly or extensively about his time as a POW.From the little I have been able to find out I know he was captured at the begining of the war, spent the rest of it as a POW, and was on that infamous "march".
He did tell me he was part of a bren-gun unit (?) and was captured because "he couldn`t run fast enough." He laboured on a farm and recalled that he once killed a pig for food and was beaten by a guard.He remembers returning back to the UK in a Lancaster/Wellington and flying low over the White Cliffs of Dover.
He once talked of a Les Syveter as a pal.There is a reference to a Fred Edwards in one of your articles but after much searching back through your letters etc. I can`t find it. Please, if anyone has a reference to my Dad I would be very grateful to hear from you.Malcolm Willetts
Stk2. George Henry Edwards . Royal Navy HMS Prince of Wales (d.10th Dec 1941)
George Henry Edwards died aged 26 in the sinking of HMS Prince of Wales, he was the son of Jim and Rose Edwards and husband of Sylvia Susannah Edwards of Jarrow.
George is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial and is commemorated on the WW2 Roll of Honour Plaque in the entrance of Jarrow Town Hall.Vin Mullen
Sea. Glyn Edwards . Royal Navy
S B Flynn
F/L H. W.J. Edwards . 97 Squadron
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