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Those who Served
F/O A. Gaddass . Royal Canadian Air Force bomb aimer 419 Sqd.
Edna Gadman . Land Army from Sutton Flats, Salford)
I would love to hear from Edna Gadman who lived at Sutton Flats, Salford, and served in the Land Army with me at Holland House, Spalding, Lincolnshire.
Jack Galbraith . Army 5th Btn. The Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders
Flying Officer P R Galbraith . RNZAF 59 Squadron
Tel. Joseph Thomas Gale . Royal Navy HMS Royal Arthur
My father, Joseph Thomas Gale, was a telegraphist at Royal Arthur from 27th September until 3rd April 1940. I have his certificate of service and am trying to trace the ships he served on until 9th October 1945.
Flight Sargeant Norman Leslie Ernest Gale DFM. RAF 57 Squadron from Sway, Hampshire)
(d.19th July 1944)
My great uncle flew (and died) with 57 Sqd in WW2: Flt Sgt Norman Leslie Ernest Gale DFM, No 1297387 Flight Engineer from Sway, Hampshire. Died 19/7/44 over France - buried with 3 other members of crew in Bassevelle (East of Paris) They are the pilot, Flt Lt John Alec Bulcraig DFM, wireless operator Sgt Thomas Loughlin from Liverpool, and bomb aimer F/O Edward Chatterton Robson who was from Blackpool. The surviving crew members were, Sgt L.E.S.Manning and Sgt F.J.D.Taylor who both evaded capture and F/O E.H.Ruston who was taken POW and held in Stalag Luft 1.
I'm trying to find out circumstances of both raid my great uncle died on and his DFM
The Lancaster, DX-L took off at 22:56 on the 18th of July 1944 from East Kirkby to bomb the key railway junction at Revigny. It was coned by searchlights soon after crossing the French coast and while escaping the beams wandered off course. The aircraft was shot down by a night-fighter and crashed at Bassevelle (Seine-et-Marne)
Sgt Gale had gained his award in the most hazardous circumstances while serving with No.106 Sqdn, his DFM Citation was Gazetted 28th Sep 1943. His Lancaster, JB146 had taken off at 20:10 on the 31st of Aug 1943 from Syerston and was hit by Flak over Berlin. The pilot F/O Harry Ham and w/op Sgt James Weight were wounded when the Flak struck their aircraft and both later died as a result of their injuries. The crew managed to get the aircraft home but crash-landed at 03:00 on the 1st of Sept on the Romney Marshes in Kent.
The crew were:
- F/O H.D.Ham
- Sgt N.Gale
- F/O C.Pitman
- Sgt J.E.Jones
- Sgt J.W.Weight
- F/S N.D.Higman
- Sgt T.Waller
15 years ago, Anne-Marie and Bernard Langou of Bassevelle - 77750 France have found the survivors and the families of them and the families of the people who died on 19 july 1944 when the Lancaster JB318 crashed here. We wrote a booklet (80 pages). I wrote to Ivor GALE, the uncle of Norman, many times and Leonard MANNING, the air gunner, too, but only one answer, (I have a copy for you), after no contact. Here, at Bassevelle, we had commemorations on 1994, 1999, 2004 and 2009 with many flags, music, and english families of the crew who are now our friends (families MANNING, RUSTON, BULCRAIG, TAYLOR and ROBSON). We have made a memorial, a panel and other things. the last ceremony : 18 july 2009.
I can give M. Padgett, what we have collected during these fifteen years and perhaps we can answer a little. We will be honored to receive you and your familie in the village like the other families.
Ldg Seaman. Adolphis Louis Galipeau . Royal Navy HMS Prunella (d.21st Jun 1940)
Fireman W. Gallacher . Naval Auxiliary Personnel HMS Forfar
Fireman Gallacher survived the sinking of HMS Forfar, he was brought ashore and was treated for his injuries in Liverpool.
George Gallagher . British Army 5th Btn. Kings Liverpool Regiment from Liverpool)
My father George Gallagher joined the Liverpool 5th Kings Regiment in 1939, he took part in the D-day landings, I understand that they were resposible for clearing remaining local opposition and facilitating the landing of follow up troops. A few weeks later, its job done, the regiment as to be disbanded, to find reinforcements for other units. I understand that my Father was then transferred to the South Lancashire Regiment until his demob after the war. I have been trying to find the details of his movements during the war, but so far not much luck.
Greaser Hugh Gallagher . Merchant Navy SS. Athenia (d.3rd Sep 1939)
John Donald "Donald" Gallagher Mentioned in Despatches. British Army from Bolton Lancashire)
Sadly I cannot tell very much about my Uncle Don except to say what a wonderful man he is. I do know there was some story regarding his career in the Army during WW2 where he successfully held a German Machine gun post and was later commended for his act of bravery. Uncle Don is 84 now and sadly had a stroke last Christmas.Although he cannot walk the stroke did not take away his wonderful ability to recount stories and discuss the latest novel. All I know is that along with all the other brave lads who fought and served during the Second World War I am so very proud of him.
Pte. Terrance Gallagher . British Army 4th Btn. Welsh Regiment from Middlesbrough, Yorkshire)
(d.25th Feb 1945)
My grandfather is still alive and was a Royal Marine paratrooper dring WW2. Whilst trying to find out more about his service, I discovered that he had a younger brother who was killed aged 18 on the Belgium/German border. It was the first time I had even heard about him and was therefore trying to speak to anybody who may have known him and the circumstances surrounding the final days of his life. If there is, I would love to hear about it.
Pte. Thomas Gallagher . British Army 2/6th Battalion Duke of Wellington's (West Riding) Regt from Harrogate, N Yorkshire)
My father, Tommy joined up in 1940 at the age of 21. He saw service in France and later in Burma where he fought for just under 4 years. He was lucky enough to come home alive and went on to marry my mother and father 7 children. He died in 1986 aged 64. RIP. He told us that he sailed from Blackpool, Lancs (where he met my mother in the Tower Ballroom! - he was a great dancer). Apparently he had his army shoes on and couldn't ask her to dance in those, so he asked a chap who looked as if he had the same size shoes on to lend him his and the rest is history). He didn't like donkeys for some reason so he had a bullock, which he called Basil, instead. Unfortunately, it ended up being eaten when they were short of rations.
Corporal Charles Henry Francis "Chaz or Carl" Galliers . Army c section 14th reserve MT coy RASC
My paternal grandfather Corporal Charles Henry Francis Galliers, RASC "C" section, 14th reserve MT coy, middle east forces in 1941 was in the POW Camp PG78 in Italy after 1942 (not sure of dates) and then stalag IVB during spring 1944 (I have a letter sent home with april 1944 on it). He died 3 years ago, the only memories he told were of being starving hungry in the Italian camp and chewing boot leather to stave off hunger and when a donkey was brought into camp pulling a cart it didn't live to leave! He was treated better by the Germans. I have some photos with a couple of other POWs names on the back - Geoff Galloway and George Frick (?can't read the writing properly looks like Frick) - also some photos of my grandad working on building a war memorial and on the back it reads "newborderf am elbe, (again not sure of spelling) prisoners of war cemetary, taken 7th may 1944". There is also a photo of a german guard - his name on the back " ? officer Siebel". Anyone who has any info about my grandad, his platoon, the camps he was in I would be interested to hear from them. I will send scans of the photos I have later when I have mastered the technology!
Spr. John Galloway . British Army Royal Engineers
My father served as a Sapper in the North African Campaign before being shipped over to Greece in 1941, where he was captured, I think in the Bay of Corinth, by the Germans on 29 April 1941. I know that he was imprisoned firstly in Stalag 4B (Műhlberg) and at a later date transferred to Stalag 4C (Wistritz), but have no idea, record or means of finding out when.
My father died, aged 83, in 1998. He spent his working life as a bricklayer, but it was his recollection of his wartime experiences and his command of German which led to my studying the language and engaging in Twinning activities between my county in Scotland (East Lothian) and its twin county in Germany (Spree-Neisse), which is situated only 2 hours by train from Műhlberg.
I have visited Műhlberg on 2 occasions, most recently only 2 weeks ago with a group of students. Frau Stamm gave us an illuminating guided tour on both occasions.
Jean Galt . Land Army
Sergeant "Tubby" Gamble . RAAF 59 Squadron
Flying Officer N R Gamble . RAF 59 Squadron
Ldg, Seaman Charles Gamman . Royal Naval Reserve HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)
Sgt. Charles Edward Gannon . British Army Royal Army Service Corps
Charles Edward Gannon - my Dad - was in the RASC during WW2 and was stationed in Accra, in what was then the Gold Coast and is now Ghana. I have an album from that time with various photographs and documents. One of the photos lists names of the Africans and Europeans in the picture. The Europeans include: Sgt Gannon (Dad), Cpl Scott, Pte Rush, Sgt Heelis, Sgt Franklin, SSM Currie, Sgt Stanley, Sgt MacEver, Cpl Chambers, Pte Bull, Cpl McTylee (3rd Row) Cpt. Malek, Lieut Wauters, Capt Oakley, Major Artmitage, Brig Richards, Capt Hardy, Majors Sarif, Hilton, Howells, Capts Millais, Simpson.
As far as I can make out, Dad was in Buller B Squad No.3 Company at the RASC in Mandora Barracks, Aldershot before moving out to Accra. I have letters from other servicemen or their wives who brought back/received items for Mum brought home by his pals - these include: Eric Chambers whose address was the Hall, Everton, near Doncaster; G.H. Stanley who was living at 36 Abbeysteads Road, Liverpool; and G.Reader from 52 Whitstone Road, Shepston Mallet, Somerset. I also have a menu card from one of their Christmas dinners out there, an impressive menu, which is autographed but it is difficult to read all the signatures.
Driver John Gannon . Army RASC (d.7th February 1945)
During the second World War the Allied and German soldiers, who were killed in Goirle, Noord Brabant, the Netherlands and in the neighbourhood, were buried at the Roman Catholic cemetery from the parish St. Jan in Goirle.
After the war the remains of the German soldiers were reburied in Ysselsteijn (near Venray) and most of the allied soldiers were reburied in Bergen op Zoom (War Cemetery and Canadian War Cemetery) and in Leopoldsburg (Belgium, War Cemetery).
At this moment there are 27 Allied graves in Goirle. Every year we commemorate the victims of World War II, both soldiers and civilians. We know their names, but who were the persons behind the names? What were their lives before they died? Where did they come from? How did they die? Under what circumstances?
It is my intention to give the victims a face, to write and keep the story behind the gravestones because we always will remember the soldier who died for our liberty. We can forget names, but not faces. I will try to write down all their stories for the next generation so they will know who was commemorated.
Maybe someone can help me with Driver John Gannon, RASC T/14527676, who died on the 7th February 1945, age 20.
Send me a letter or an e-mail with additional information, a photograph or a copy of any personal document, which I can use for The Memory Book or a website. Thank you in advance for your help.
Flt Lt James Bernard "Bernie" Gant . RCAF Flight Control RAF Middleton St George
My dad, James Bernard (Bernie) Gant served in at Middleton St. George.
F/Sgt. Charles Edward Gardener . Royal New Zealand Air Force 1651 HCU. from Auckland, New Zealand)
(d.4th Mar 1945)
Charles Gardener from New Zealand was the wireless operator of Lancaster JB699, BS-F shot down by an enemy aircraft during a training flight as part of Exercise Gisela at 01:35 on the 4th of March 1945 and crashed on their home airfield, Woolfox Lodge. All on board were killed
The crew were:
- F/L D.J.Baum
- Sgt J.A.W.Smith
- F/O D.C.Davies
- F/S R.Warne
- F/S C.E.Gardener RNZAF
- F/O K.R.Brook DFC RAAF
- Sgt T.Platt
F/O Llewellyn Hugh Coverdale Gardiner DFC.. Royal Canadian Air Force nav. 419 Sqd. from Kingston, Ontario, Canada.)
(d.30th Aug 1944)
Sgt. Peter Gardiner . British Army 53rd Reconnaissance Regiment from 73 Restalrig Avenue, Edinburgh)
I am the grandson of Sgt Peter Gardiner, who enlisted in the newly activated Reconnaissance Corps 53 Regiment on January 19 1942. He saw action with his unit in France, Holland, Belguim and Germany. I am fortunate enough to hold on to his records from the MOD, as well as personal photographs and stories. I have recently visited Holland, and a city there that was liberated by the 53rd after heavy fighting. I have also found great info from books which talk about their actions.
My granddad was a bricklayer before the war, and what encouraged him to join the Recce Corps was that its soldiers were of the highest standard. Men had to come top on IQ tests before getting in and the press claimed they were as good as the commandos.
My granddad trained at the No 1 Reconnaissance Training Centre at Lochmaben, Scotland before heading down to Catterick. He landed in France in late June. In one incident he was leading a patrol that was recceing some crossroads. He got up on a hill and down below he could see a 88mm Flak gun, with about five Germans firing it unaware that they were being watched. He observed them carefully, and like all proper reconnaissance involved, reported their presence. With dread, he looked at each German through his binoculars then got on the radio to call in an artillery strike. In the next moment he heard the shells come ripping down killing all of those poor Germans and destroying the gun. Smoke was everywhere and what was left was a horrible stench of death and cordite which has never left my granddad since.
He lost his best friend in France too. His name was Sgt Alexander Grant, from Edinburgh just like my granddad. He was a middle-weight boxer in the regiment and my granddad was welter-weight champion. They both used to train together locally when on leave. Does anyone have any more info on Sgt Grant? I will be very grateful for any info anyone has.
Despite witnessing horrible things in the war, my granddad did have some funny stories. In Belgium, during the freezing winter of 1944 'The Battle of the Bulge' as many may recognise it, he was out on another patrol when they came across this old train carriage in the snow. They ripped off planks of wood from it to make a fire, when inside they discovered a stock of wine, cigars and women's fur coats! They were so happy they were smashing the necks off the wine bottles and letting it stream down their faces, but still managing a crate per man. They didn't care much for it though, and started to look for brandy, however I think they got drunk. They put on the women's fur coats and started smoking the cigars! When they got back to their lines like that, the entire regiment must have been laughing!
My granddad was finally discharged from the Recce Corps in 1946, at the time of its disbandment and joined the North Irish Horse until 194... He did win a medal but i'm not sure which one. I would like to find this out.
Please, if anyone has any info could they contact me. Are there any veterans who served in 53 Recce and knew my granddad? Also, does anyone have any information on a man called Paul Rockfeld? He was another friend of my granddad who served in the same unit who died in 1946. All I have is a photograph of him but nothing about his background.This would be kindly appreciated. Thank you.
P/O William Henry Gardiner . Royal Canadian Air Force nav. 419 Sqd. (d.17th Jun 1944)
Cpl. Douglas Henry Gardner . British Army The Black Watch from Birmingham)
My father 'Harry' Gardner fought in the Second World War in The Black Watch. He signed up when he was 17 and joined a local regiment but they lost a lot of tro0ps and were merged with The Black Watch. He did not talk much about the war and it was hard to get informaton out of him but I do know he served in Egypt (he hated the place)and he was in the D-Day landings.He also had the choice to be 'Mentioned in Dispatches' or have the weekend off instead,he took the latter! He rose to the rank of corporal and when crossing the Rhine he got shot in the back of the neck and the bullet came out of his cheek. Luckily it missed all of his vital organs. He was also shot in the leg while running back for help. For this he lost his stripes! He was discharged from the Army as A1 Fit and didn't get a penny compensation,though they said if he stayed in he could become a Sergeant, he told them where to go!! He died in 1997 and to me he was a hero.
Sgt. John Gardner . Royal Air Force 77 Sqd.
My father was John Gardner, he was shot down in 1943 and survived by using his parachute and is consequently a member of the caterpillar club. He was repatriated at the end of the war.
Lancaster JD205 KN-Y took off at 23:50 on the 21st of June 1943 from Elvington. It was shot down by a night-fighter flown by Hptm Manfred Meurer, of 1./NJG1, and crashed at 02:04 at Esch, Noord Brabant, near Boxtel, Holland. The two airgunners lost their lives,and P/O A.Hagan evaded capture, Sgt Hawthorn initially evaded but was captured in Brussels on the 11th of August 1943 the rest of the crew were taken as Prisoners of War. Sgt Gardner was confined in Hospital due injuries.
The crew were:
- Sgt J.Gardner
- Sgt S.H.A.Nicholson
- Sgt F.G.Hawthorne
- P/O A.Hagan
- Sgt D.A.Clark
- Sgt R.H.King RCAF airgunner
- Sgt A.R.Currie RCAF airgunner
John Alexander Gardner . British Army Recce Corps from Accrington)
I have a few remarkable events in a young man's war career, like so many others, not divulged till the end. My aim in contacting you is to talk to any other vets of the recce corp as its history was short and confused. My father was one of the lucky few in front of the Highland div, mainly Black Watch. Is there anyone who can help in my research? John Gardner(Son)
Pte. Joseph "Smokey Joe" Gardner . British Army Royal Army Medical Corps from Kidderminster)
I am trying to find out more information about my grandfather, Joseph (Smokey Joe) Gardner during the war. He served in the RAMC and was taken Prisoner of War at Doullens in 1943 and held at Stalag XXA. On 17th October 1943 he joined a Repratraion party and was repatriated from Goteborg, Sweden in 1943. From what I understand he went back to Germany after the war ended as a member of working party to assist in the re-building of Germany. He is no longer alive and did not talk about what happened to him during the time that he was a Prisoner of War. All I can say is that he was very keen on football and I feel sure that he would have played a huge part in any matches that were held within the camp.
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