The Wartime Memories Project - The Second World War



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Private James Alexander Edwards .     British Army 6th Btn. Seaforth Highlanders   from 13 Queens Lane, Lossiemouth, Morayshire, Scotland)

James Edwards was a Prisoner of war in German hands. He was interned in POW camp Stalag XXA from where put on move on 9th June 1940, according to a capture card and document dated 26th November 1940. He was admitted to Stalag XXD on 1st November 1940, according to a document dated 26th November 1940.



Sgt. John Percy "Nat" Edwards .     British Army Royal Welch Fusiliers   from Guilfield)

My late father, John Percy Edwards, gave a false age and joined the 7th Battalion RWF Territorial Army aged 15. He served for 2 years 1931-1933. In 1934 he joined the Regualr RWF. After recruit training at the Depot Wrexham he joined a Coy 1st Battalion RWF.

In 1939 he was an Instructer at the Wrexham Depot and later became known as Sgt Nat Edwards. In 1942 he volunteerd for the Airborne. He was then sent to the 10th Battalion RWF which became the 6th (RWF)Parachute Battalion the Parachute Regiment. He saw active service in North Africa, Italy, South of France and Greece between 1942 1945. He was discharged from the army Feb 17th 1946 and placed on the Z Reserve. He died age 53 dec 31st 1969



John Boyd Edwards .     Royal Canadian Air Force 408 Squadron

Being Remembrance Day I have been looking online for anything I can find about the RCAF 408 Squadron, that my grandfather, John Boyd Edwards, served with in World War 2. He passed away in 1983. During the time he was alive he would not talk about it. We believe that he flew a Halifax bomber, the only photo that we have of him during that time is him standing beside a Lancaster with a photo of Vicky the Vicious Virgin on the nose. Online we can find photos of a Halifax with the same nose art. We have several of his wartime things in a museum, like his flight log, photos of him sitting on the wing of his trainer a yellow pearl, his commissioning scroll, and charge papers, for when he was charged with writing off an aircraft but was found not responsible (we know no more about this) and other belongings. He arrived in England on April 4th 1944 and stayed until the end.

Do you know any other information? Anything that even comes close to touching this would be ever so helpful. My father is a huge WW2 nut, and has always been craving to know more about the story of my grandfather, his father-in- law.



Flt.Sgt. John Anthony Edwards .     Royal Air Force

My Dad, John Edwards, was an RAF air-gunner. His Lancaster was shot down on a sortee over Manheim and my Dad and two colleagues parachuted and "went on the run". Some weeks after when they were in France, a farmer gave them up to the Germans and they were sent to Stalag 4b. That was near the end of 1943 and he stayed there until the camp was freed by the Red Army.

My Dad would not talk about his experience and he died at the age of 90 in 2012. To that day none of our family was ever allowed to leave food on the plate and had to eat everything - and, from reading the accounts from his colleagues at 4b, that surely resulted from the near starvation they suffered Jan-March '45.

For those who know of him he was a useful boxer and then a boxing manager until he retired from that at the age of 85. I still have his Stalag 4b metal tag and because I know so little, I am going to visit the site of the camp next month. If anyone remembers Jack/Johnny Edwards RAF rear gunner, I would love to hear from him. I wish he had told me something more about camp life- except that he said that no one now knows what it's like to be really starving and his jocular reference to a Russian prisoner he befriended who asked him to "special dinner" that night. He could not believe the marvelous stew that was served and when he asked about the meat, his friend said with a smile "woof woof" guard dog.



Sergeant K A Edwards .     RAF 59 Squadron



S/Sgt Ken Edwards .     Royal Air Force   from 167 Upper Woodcote Road, Reading)

A friend of mine is in search of information her uncle, Ken Edwards, who we believe was a Glider pilot on a mission to Arnhem and was taken prisoner and in Stalag Luft 7 Bankau.

I believe he died in the early/mid seventies but would never talk about his experience during the War.The only mention of him we can find is in David Scott's Diary of my Time as a P.O.W. which lists him as one of David's room mates. We do know that there is a trophy dedicated in his name which is apparently awarded to Alan Sugar's "The Apprentice"

If anyone can help by pointing us in the right direction it would be a great help.



Pte. Raymond Edwards .     British Army Royal Artillery   from Merthyr Tydfil)

My late father, Raymond Edwards, was taken POW in Dunkirk and spent some time in 20A at Torun and endured the long march, leaving him so sick he spent six months in hospital recovering. As well as being at 20A he also spent some time in a camp in Italy where I believe he was working on building a dam, I presume this must have been before going to 20A. I so enjoyed reading other peoples' accounts, like so many other POWs my father would say very little about his time during the war. Also, like others he did not want to claim his medals.



Cpl. Richard Edwards .     British Army



Bdr. Robert Comfort Edwards .     British Army 57th Field Artillery Regiment, 440 Battery. Royal Artillery   from Brighton, Sussex)

My father was born on 26th Feb 1919, Robertson Road, Preston, Brighton, Sussex, he attended the TA from a teenager. This is his account of the war:

In 1938 he was drafted into the Army from Brighton and mobilised in September 1939, from Willingdon Observation Post, Motella Towers Hastings - Sittingbourne. In March 1940 he began Service in France with the BEF he took part in the Battle of the Escaut and withdrew for final evacuation from Dunkirk. They were walking along the many roads to Dunkirk when a plane flew at them, They thought it was German so they all jumped in a stagnant ditch - it was an Allied plane, but they stunk all the way to Dunkirk and eventually to Blighty. Dad remembers he was on a little boat with one funnel.

In May 1942 he sailed with 44 division under Lieut. Colonel R E Green, arrived in Egypt on 23rd July 1942. Equipped with 25pounder artillery guns. When they came across Arabs sitting on their camels making their wives walk along by their sides they took the Arabs off and put the women on the camels! They also sold them used teabags!

They were engaged in Desert warfare training at Khatatba and the 57th Field Regiment was ordered to reconnoitre Gun Areas near Delta Barrage. In August 1942, the 44th Division ordered to take up defensive positions at Bare Ridge, Battle of Dier el Munassib.

In October 1942 they were at El Alamein and 440 Field Battery RA of 57th Field Regiment was temporarily attached to the 50th division. Then 57th Field Regiment RA became an Army Field Regiment RA.

In Dec 1942 they were in action at Suerra, South of Mersa Berga under 51st (Highland Division) and in January 1943 at Sonda in the advance to Tripoli under 7th Armoured Division. In March 1943 they were in mobile operation with 22nd Armoured Brigade and 8th Armoured Brigade Regiment then joined 51st (Highland) Division for the Battle of Medenine. Later in the month the 57th Army Field Regiment they took part in the Battle of Mareth under command of 50th Division, 4th Light Armoured Brigade, 201 Guards Brigade and 51st (Highland ) Division.

April 1943 saw then in action in the Battle of Wadi Akarit under 51st (Highland) Division then Regiment proceeded to parts of the Front near Enfidalville under command 5 AGRA in support of 4th Indian Division, 2nd New Zealand Division, 56th London Division, 4th Armoured Brigade and the fighting French Brigade.

In May 1943 the Regiment returned to Tripoli for refitting under 10 Corps. 440 Battery would not return to 57th Army FIeld Regiment and 160 Independent Battery, formerly part of the 174th regiment joined 57th Army Field Regiment. Then in June 1943 the Regiment was informed that it was to be considered in Eight Army Reserve.

On the 23rd of July 1943, the 57th Army Field Regiment arrived in Sicily, After a few days under 1st Canadian Division, they fought throughout the Sicilian Campaign with 78th Division in Battles of Catenauova, Cenutripe, Adrana and Bronte.

In Sep 1943, 57th Army Field Regiment Fire Plan was to support landing at Reggio, Italy, and 226 Battery of 57th Army Field Regiment occupied positions on the SeaFront at Messina and fired AP Shells with tracer to guide British Landing Craft to the Italian Coast.



Bombardier Robert Comfort Edwards .     British Army 57th Field Regiment Royal Artillery   from Brighton, Sussex)

This is my Father's account of World War II.

Bombardier Robert Comfort "Robbie" Edwards 57th Field Regiment 898397 Signaller.

My father was born in Robertson Road, Preston, Brighton, Sussex, he attended the TA from a teenager. TA1938. : In 1938 he was drafted into the Army from Brighton and mobilised in September 1939, from Willingdon Observation Post, Motella Towers Hastings - Sittingbourne. From March 1940 his service was in France with the BEF, then Battle of the Escaut withdrew from BEF for final evacuation from Dunkirk in April. They were walking along the many roads to Dunkirk when a plane flew at them they thought it was German so they all jumped in a stagnant ditch, but it was an Allied plane, they stank all the way to Dunkirk and eventually to Blighty. Dad remembers he was on a little boat with one funnel.

In May 1942 sailed with 44 Division under Lieut. Colonel R E Green, arrived in Egypt on 23rd July 1942. They had 251lbs pounders artillery guns. When they came across Arabs sitting on their camels making their wives walk along by their sides they took off the Arabs and put the women on the camels! They also sold them used teabags! Desert warfare training at Khatatba. 57th Field Regiment ordered to reconnoitre Gun Areas near Delta Barrage. In August 1942 44th Division ordered to take up defensive positions at Bare Ridge, Battle of Dier el Munassib, Oct 1942 El Alamein. They were in convoy in Egypt, the West coast of Africa at Freetown Cape Town for 3 days. In army vehicles up to Suez Canal to Cairo and then in to the Desert (he was a Desert Rat) to stop Rommel getting into Cairo then Monty arrived in the heat of the desert.

440 Field Battery RA of 57th Field Regiment was temporarily attached to the 50th division. 57th Field Regiment RA became an Army Field Regiment RA. Battles: Dec 1942 Suerra, South of Mersa Berga under 51st (Highland Division) Jan 1943 Sonda, advance to Tripoli under 7th Armoured Division. Mar 1943, mobile operation 22nd Armoured Brigade and 8th Armoured Brigade Regiment then joined 51st (Highland) Division for the Battle of Medenine. Later in Mar 1943 the 57th Army Field Regiment Battle of Mareth under command of 50th Division, 4th Light Armoured Brigade, 201 Guards Brigade and 51st (Highland) Division. April 1943 Battle of Wadi Akarit under 51st (Highland) Division then regiment proceeded to parts of the Front near Enfidalville under command 5 AGRA in support of 4th Indian Division, 2nd New Zealand Division, 56th London Division, 4th Armoured Brigade and the fighting French Brigade.

In May 1943 Hostilities in North Africa the Regiment returned to Tripoli for refitting under 10 Corps. They travelled along the North African Coast to Birzata. Where Dad went on a Driver Operator course in a tank, he said the clutch was too long! 440 Battery would not return to 57th Army Field Regiment and 160 Independent Battery, formerly part of the 174th regiment joined 57th Army Field Regiment.In June 1943 Regiment was informed that it was to be considered in Eight Army Reserve. On the 23rd of July 1943, 57th Army Field Regiment arrived in Sicily, after a few days under 1st Canadian Division fought throughout the Sicilian Campaign with 78th Division in Battles of Catenauova, Cenutripe, Adrana and Bronte.

In September 1943, 57th Army Field Regiment Fire Plan to support landing at Reggio, Italy, and 226 Battery of 57th Army Field Regiment occupied positions on the Sea Front at Messina and fired AP Shells with tracer to guide British Landing Craft to the Italian Coast. He recalls that In 1944 my Uncle Jonathan Edwards (his brother) picked him up from the Regiment and took him to Naples where Vesuvio was erupting, the ash was everywhere.

He recalls that many of his best friends perished, one was near him and a bomb just blew him to pieces in a second. The noise from the shells and bombs was very deafening. Most nights were lit up with gun fire.

Dad was 92 in February 2011. He now says it was a complete waste of time fighting this war because what he fought for has now diminished.



Bdr. Robert Comfort "Robbie" Edwards .     British Army 57th Field Regiment Royal Artillery   from Preston, Brighton.)

Bombardier Robert Comfort "Robbie" Edwards 57th Field Regiment 898397 Signaller. My father was born on 26th Feb 1919, Robertson Road, Preston, Brighton, Sussex, he attended the TA from a teenager. TA1938.

This is his account of the war: In 1938 drafted into the Army from Brighton. Mobilised in September 1939, from Willingdon Observation Post, Motella Towers Hastings - Sittingbourne.

March 1940 Service in France. BEF April 1940, then Battle of the Escaut withdrew from BEF for final evacuation from Dunkirk. They were walking along the many roads to Dunkirk when a plane flew at them they thought it was German so they all jumped in a stagnant ditch - it was an ally plane - they stunk all the way to Dunkirk and eventually to Blighty.

Dad remembers he was on a little boat with one funnel. May 1942 sailed with 44 Division under Lieut. Colonel R E Green, arrived in Egypt on 23rd July 1942. They had 251lbs founders artillery guns. When they came across Arabs sitting on their camels making their wives walk along by their sides they took off the Arabs and put the women on the camels! They also sold them used teabags!

Desert warfare training at Khatatba. 57th Field regiment ordered to reconnoitre Gun Areas near Delta Barrage.

Aug 1942 44th Division ordered to take up defensive positions at Bare Ridge, Battle of Dier el Munassib, Oct 1942 El Alamein. They were in convoy in Egypt, the West coast of Africa at Freetown Cape Town for 3 days. In army vehicles up to Suez Canal to Cairo and then in to the Desert (he was in the Desert Rats) to stop Rommel getting into Cairo then Monty arrived in the heat of the desert.

440 Field Battery RA of 57th Field Regiment was temporarily attached to the 50th division. 57th Field Regiment RA became an Army Field Regiment RA. Battles: Dec 1942 Suerra, South of Mersa Berga under 51st (Highland Division) Jan 1943 Sonda, advance to Tripoli under 7th Armoured Division. Mar 1943, mobile operation 22nd Armoured Brigade and 8th Armoured Brigade Regiment then joined 51st (Highland) Division for the Battle of Medenine. Later in Mar 1943 the 57th Army Field Regiment Battle of Mareth under command of 50th Division, 4th Light Armoured Brigade, 201 Guards Brigade and 51st (Highland) Division. April 1943 Battle of Wadi Akarit under 51st (Highland) Division then regiment proceeded to parts of the Front near Enfidalville under command 5 AGRA in support of 4th Indian Division, 2nd New Zealand Division, 56th London Division, 4th Armoured Brigade and the fighting French Brigade. May 1943 Hostilities in North Africa the Regiment returned to Tripoli for refitting under 10 Corps. Travelled along the North African Coast to Birzata. Where dad went on a Driver Operator course in a tank he said the clutch was too long! 440 Battery would not return to 57th Army Field Regiment and 160 Independent Battery, formerly part of the 174th regiment joined 57th Army Field Regiment. Jun 1943 Regiment was informed that it was to be considered in Eight Army Reserve. 23rd Jul 1943, 57th Army Field Regiment arrived in Sicily, after a few days under 1 Canadian Division fought throughout the Sicilian Campaign with 78th Division in Battles of Catenauova, Cenutripe, Adrana and Bronte. Sep 1943, 57th Army Field Regiment Fire Plan to support landing at Reggio, Italy, and 226 Battery of 57th Army Field Regiment occupied positions on the Sea Front at Messina and fired AP Shells with tracer to guide British Landing Craft to the Italian Coast. He recalls that in 1944 my Uncle Jonathan Edwards (his brother) picked him up from the Regiment and took him to Naples where Vesuvio was erupting the ash was everywhere. He recalls that many of his best friends perished, one was near him and a bomb just blew him to pieces in a second. The noise from the shells and bombs was very deafening. Most nights were lit up with gunfire. He was 92 in February 2011. He now says it was a complete waste of time fighting this war because what he fought for has now diminished.



Sergeant T H Edwards .     RAF 59 Squadron



Sgt. Thomas Edwards .     Royal Air Force flt. eng. 619 Squadron   from 9, Glade Road, Marlow, Bucks.)

My Father's Crew were:

  • F/lt Holmes F.
  • Sgt Edwards T (my Dad)
  • F/Sgt Kennedy A. O.
  • F/O Stringer A.
  • F/O Cunningham J.
  • F/O Cunningham L.
  • P/O James or Jones S.
They joined 619 squadron 18th Apr 1945 from 1654 HCU. I can find no records of them from that time to end of war. Does anyone have any more information?



Gnr. William Edwards .     Home Guard E Coy. LAA Bty. Workington Btn.



Flying Officer William Henry Edwards DFC..     Royal Air Force 107 Squadron   from Leichhardt, NSW, Australia)

My Grandfather, William Henry Edwards DFC, was posted to 107 Squadron, after war was declared, when on a Bristol Blenheim Ferry flight from Palestine to England. After numerous missions flying from RAF Wattisham and RAF Lossiemouth, he was awarded the DFC for gallantry displayed during a bombing mission over Stavanger in Norway. He was awarded this at an Investiture at Buckingham Palace in April 1940 by the King, along-side his C.O Wing Commander Basil Embry DFC and another pilot Peter Townsend. 8 Days later he was shot down bombing the Maastricht bridges over Belgium, and spent the rest of the war in German Prison camps including Camp 357. His Navigator, Sgt V G L Luter, also was captured, and spent time at camp 357. Their story can be found on the 211 Squadron website. I would sincerely love to hear any stories that may exist about my Grandfather`s time in the camps.



Willie Edwards .     Merchant Navy Queen Mary   from 41 Great Mersey Street, Liverpool)

(d.3rd May 1941)

I am reserching my family tree.And willie Edwards was married to my mothers aunt, her name was bridgid and they lived somewhere in liverpool in the uk.Willie Edwards as far as i know served on the Queen mary during WW11.He was home in liverpool on leave when he died in a bombing raid.Willie and Bridgid had 3 kids Phil,Annie, and Queenie.i would appreciate any information or photos you might have on willie. yours faithfully WILLIE WALSH.



Douglas George Edy .     British Army Royal Signals   from Surrey)

I would like to hear from anybody who served with my Father, Douglas Edy in Eygpt in World War 2. I am not sure of the years. He is now 85 and I would love to reunite him with some of his fellow 'Signallers'.



Capt. Michael Efthyvoulos .     British Army Cyprus Regiment   from Nicosia, Cyprus)

Captain Michael Efthyvoulos

My grandfather, Captain Michael Efthyvoulos, served in WW I prior to his service in WW II. He rejoined the Cyprus Regiment with his two sons, Leonidas and Dimitri, at the outbreak of war. Michael Efthyvoulos was captured in 1941 in Greece in the Peloponnese campaign.He was at HQ when the unit was over-run by the Germans and was captured returning from HQ to be with his men. He spent time as a Prisoner of War at Stalag 4B and also I believe at Stalag 17. He also mentioned going to Colditz Castle.



Tom "Rags" Eglin .     British Army Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers   from Hexam)

My Dad, Tom Elgin was called up in 1940 and joined the REME and was posted first of all to Titchborne in Leicester and then deployed to both Africa and Italy where I think he finished his service. He was a driver mech with the rank of CFN for a while he was attached to 'M' section 750 base in Worksop.



Frederick Elliot Ehmann .     United States Army   from Doylestown, PA)

His wartime experiences, were a highlight of his life to Frederick Ehmann. In his 90s, he learned to use a computer and wrote of being an Army gunner in a B-24 bomber shot down over northern Italy on Dec. 28, 1943.

The plane was on a mission to bomb oil refineries in Ploiesti, Romania, when it was hit. Remaining behind in the crippled aircraft to rescue a fellow gunner, he was burned before bailing out and parachuting into a canal. "Don't shoot. I am an American," he told the elderly man on the ground who held a gun to his head.

Turned over to the Germans, he was sent to Stalag 17B in Krems, Austria, where he and 4,500 other prisoners struggled to survive the subzero cold and thin rations of rutabaga soup and bread. There was no brutality. If anyone tells you something other than that, they're a liar. There was a shortage of food. We would be fed once a day. Sometimes it would be a lousy soup. The men's quarters were abandoned World War I buildings, unheated except for two potbellied stoves that were stoked with boards stripped from the latrine building. Despite the conditions, morale remained high. The prisoners never had a two-way radio or a working tunnel system, as depicted in Hogan's Heroes. But they did build a crystal radio for listening to the BBC. The radio antenna was hidden in the prisoners' clothesline, the other pieces throughout the barracks. The POWs stayed busy planning and carrying out exploits to upset their captors.

Once, the prisoners were given a giant sausage. It looked good from a distance, but was full of maggots. The prisoners named it Adolf, dressed it in a uniform, and laid it out on a board. Then they marched it around camp and gave it a decent burial in the latrine. The prank brought armed guards on the run. One who spoke English wanted to know what the men were doing. After he was told, he smiled and said, "You all are crazy,"

On April 15, 1945, after 15 months, a German captain gave an order to evacuate the next day. We were told that the Russians had captured Vienna, which was only 35 kilometers away, and that they would be taking the camp in less than two days. After nine days of forced march, the POWs arrived at their new camp in a forest at the fork of the Inn and Salzach Rivers. On the other side of the water was Germany. On the morning of our fifth day, I was sitting by the edge of the road when a military jeep came by with four American officers and a machine gun. Several of us stood up and shouted that we were Americans. The officers stopped and said, 'What the hell are you guys doing here?' They said they would be back within 24 hours with help. They left us, and we all had a feeling I will never be able to describe. The next day, American soldiers arrived with trucks. Within an hour, they had subdued the German guards. We were finally able to say we were free.

Frederick Ehmann's captivity officially ended May 2, 1945. He was awarded a Purple Heart and a European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with three bronze service stars.



Pte. Hyman "Harry" Eichen MID..     British Army 7th Batallian Seaforth Highlanders   from London)

(d.15th Feb 1945)

My father Harry Eichen died on 15th February 1945 during a Battle in Reichswald Forest, Nr Cleve. He was part of Operation Veritable. I understand from an article in the Walthamstow Guardian that he was Mentioned In Dispatches for his part in capturing a German unit as he could speak German. I was 3 years old so never knew him. I have letters from his Captain and chaplain sent to my mother.

He is buried in the Commonwealth War Grave in Reichswald Forest and I was able to visit his grave in 1997, travelling from Australia. I wonder if anyone remembers him. He was 34 years old when he died and both he and his brother volunteered as soon as war broke out. I believe prior to being posted to the Seaforth Highlanders he was a gunner in the Royal Artillery.



Cpl. Tjeerd Eijsvoogel .     Royal Netherlands East Indies Army



Sgt. Wilhelm Eduard Eilbracht .     Dutch Army



Henry Eintracht .     United States Marine Corps 1st Division   from Cherry Hill, NJ)

Henry Eintracht participated in the capture and defense of Guadalcanal.



Sgt. Wallace J. Eisenhauer .     British Army 5th Btn. East Yorkshire Regiment

My Dad, Wallace J. Eisenhauer - who is still alive at the age of 86 - was a POW at the following POW camps until the liberation by Russians: Jacobstahl, Benghazi, Tuturano, Stalag IVB. He has much memorabilia including his POW dog-tag from Stalag IVB and a suberb cloth signed by over 100 fellow POW's ! He collected this whilst encarcerated - so they are original names from over 60 years ago! He was a Sargeant in the 5th Battalion of the East Yorkshire Regiment

I would love to hear from others who are still with us or their relatives.



Brig-Gen. John Eisenhower .     United States Army 71st Infantry Division   from Trappe, MD)

John Eisenhower, son of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, was a member of an accelerated wartime program at West Point, graduating on June 6, 1944 -by coincidence, the date of the Allied invasion of Normandy presided over by his father. Part of the new lieutenant's graduation leave was spent in Europe as an aide to his father.

The next month, he went to infantry school at Fort Benning and in October was assigned to the 71st Infantry Division, which was later sent to Europe



Kwm. Pieter Ekkebus .     Dutch Army



Fus. Willem Ekkebus .     Dutch Army



Pte. Howard Sylvester Ekre .     United States Army F Btry 60th CAC Regt (AA)   from Washington)



Donkeyman James Elder .     Merchant Navy SS. Athenia (d.3rd Sep 1939)




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