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Those who Served
John Lewis Kerr . from New Zealand)
I have a paybook of my late Father's John Lewis Kerr of New Zealand. Written in pencil on the back 2 pages are the brief details of his capture in 1942 to 1945 in a POW camp. I am expecting more copies of letters he wrote from 1942-1945 to arrive from Australia soon. These letters will give us more of an insight into our Father and what he experienced during those years. Another who seldom spoke of his wartime trauma.
Pte. Matthew Kerr . British Army Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders
My father Matt Kerr recently died aged 92 and he was one of the last soldiers from the Argyle & Sutherland Highlanders to leave Saint Nazaire. I am trying to find out if he actually left on the Lancastria or another boat? He always maintained he sunk three times during the Second World War and I wondered if the Lancastria was one. Anyone with any ideas please email me.
Padre Robert Wallace Kerr . Army Durham Light Infantry
I would like any information at all regarding my grandfather's time with the Durham Light Infantry. He was Rev Robert Wallace Kerr, a Padre in WW2, and I would welcome anything someone might remember.
Capt.(Padre) Robert Wallace Kerr . British Army 9th Battalion Durham Light Infantry from Belfast)
Pilot Officer T D Kerr . RAF VR
P/O. Thomas Donald Kerr . Royal Air Force 59 Squadron from Southport, Lancs)
(d.3rd June 1941)
Thomas Kerr was my uncle. just didn't want him forgotten.
Flight Sergeant C L Kershaw 1100819. RAF VR 59 Squadron
P.O. Stanley William "Jake" Kerswell . Royal Navy HMS Hunter
My father was a survivor of H M S Hunter of Narvik, his name was Stanley William Kerswell and was a Petty Officer. He was known to the crew as 'Jake'. If anyone remembers him please email me. Many Thanks
Private Ludwig Dominic Kessler . Polish Army
Ludwig Kessler was in the polish army. When captured he was wearing a german uniform. He was captured in Belguim/France and was brought to Dover in around 1942/44. He told us that after 24 hours he was back in Polish uniform. He was stationed at Dover, Deal, Edinburgh and Ireland.
Whilst in Dover he was stationed in the Tunnels and was in Dumpy. Although he was never taken back to the tunnels before he passed away, he could describe them to us, his family.
We found his initials carved on the walls of one of the tunnels along with other polish names. We have been told by the National Heritage that he would have had to have been of a high rank to have been there, but according to the report he gave to Polish Resettlement he was only a private. We believe he was of higher rank which he let slip on a few occasions. His father and uncle were of a high rank in the Polish Army. His father was Colonel Kessler and his uncle was a Brigadier-General.
Can anyone help us to try and trace his records?
Sgt. George Kesten . Royal Air Force 101 Sqd. (d.4th Nov 1944)
George served with the Squadron in 1944, I know that George and the rest of his crew took off from Ludford Magna at 17.38 on 4 November 1944, en route for Bochum. The aircraft was Lancaster 1 ME865 SR-K on ABC duties. Six of the crew of eight were Canadians. George was the specialist operator. All eight perished that night and are buried in Rheinberg War Cemetery.
The crew comprised:
- F/O G. T. Weiss (R.C.A.F.) pilot
- Sgt. D. F. G. Day Flt. Engr.
- F/O W.F. Moran (R.C.A.F.) Nav.
- F/O J. H. Quirt (R.C.A.F.) Air Bomber
- F/O A. N. Gould (R.C.A.F.) W/Op AG
- Sgt. G. Kesten Specialist Operator
- P/O W. J. Cpommins R.C.A.F. Air Gnr.
- P/O J. L. Gallant (R.C.A.F.) Air Gnr
I know that there was (and still is) a lot of secrecy about what was going on at Ludford Magna at the time, and those with obvious Jewish names were encouraged to change their names accordingly, but whether that would have anything to do with Georgeís name not being on the 101 list I donít know. George was a Polish Jew born in Berlin.
I joined up with George in 1943. The Gestapo forced him and his family out of their home in Berlin at a momentís notice. His sister got to Switzerland and George managed to get to London. His parents perished in Poland in the Holocaust.
George and I were together for 13 months, but he responded to a call for volunteers for special duties who could speak fluent German. I went on to Wellingtons and George went on to Lancasters at Ludford Magna. Six weeks after I last saw him, he was dead. I still miss him. I am 84 and I he were alive today he would be 87.
"Ginger" Kett . Army
Ginger was in Stalag 8b with my Father, Arthur Booker, if anyone remembers him or his fellow POW's please get in touch.
Editors note: There were two men named Kett in Stalag 8b, Pte A.J.Kett, Devon & Cornwall Light Infantry and Pte. D.G. Kett, Royal West Kent Regt. Does anyone know which is Ginger?
Horace Kettle . from Waitara, New Zealand)
My father Horace Kettle was captured in Crete and I wish to know more about what it must have been like to be in a POW camp like Stalag 8b. My father was Horace Kettle, Waitara, New Zealand. I have a note book that he wrote poems and drew pictures in. One page has a rugby team written in it, names are:
- C. Cockerill nz
- H Wigley nz
- D Mc daonald nz
- S Hadfield nz
- P van Der Watt nz
- C Spanhake nz
- T Stewart nz
- B Fisher nz
- D Hawkins nz
- R Hill Wales
- A Ross Scotland
- F Mariner Eng
- G Biddlecombe Eng
- D Muir scotland
- D Scott nz
- H Cousins Eng
- F Appleton Eng
- B Robins Eng
- E Townsend Eng
- E Lewis Eng
- J Matthews eng
- E Evans wales
- A Hutchison eng
- H Small Eng
- T Wikes Eng
- H Nellor Eng
- H Smith eng
- J Collerton eng
- E Manwaring eng
- S Baker eng
- A Hewitt nz
- G Grigor scotland
S/Sgt. Douglas Kew MID. British Army 61st Reconnaissance Corps from Harrow)
Bert Key . RAMC
My father, Bert Key, was in the Royal Army Medical Corps, and was captured about the time of the Dunkirk evacuation. He was cut off with four other men while trying to rescue some wounded men who were needing attention. In the Camp he was in several shows which were put on and also he was in charge of the medical stores.
I was 10 when we last saw him (Christmas 1945) and 15 when he returned. What a waste of years. Mum and I missed him and we lived in London when he was missing. We heard he was a POW during the blitz and his first letter told my mother to 'take Shirley and get out of London', which she did. We were reunited just before the end of the war because he was sent back with some wounded men being repatriated because the Germans knew the Russians would arrive soon.
I regret not asking him more about the camp when he was alive - he died in 1977. He was a lovely man. I have read Sojourn in Silesia by Arthur Evans. I intend to visit the museum with my three adult children this year - any advice would be useful.
AbleSea. James Key . Royal Navy Torpedoman HMS Penelope from Kempsey, Worcester)
My Uncle, Jim Key, served on HMS Penelope through the Malta convoys and the sojourn in the US until the fateful sailing for Anzio when he was sent on a course. I cannot find any mention of him so far in the records and wondered if anyone knew of him.
Ida Keyes . Land Army
I was living at Thorpe End near Norwich during the war, on my parentsí farm. On one occasion I had a head-on collision with an American army truck which ran into me in the fog in Salhouse. The American army had bought a field off Sir Edward Stracey who lived in the Hall, and they turned it into an airfield. They had done the same with many landowners. On the occasion of the collision the Americans were travelling on the wrong side of the road. I was taken to the Americanís hospital and seen by an American doctor. In the evening the local policeman came round to see me. My vehicle was condemned, but I recovered in a few days. Afterwards I would wake up at night and think about the accident.
I used to collect three German Prisoners of War each day and bring them to my parentsí home to work on the farm. They worked well. When it was time for them to go back one of them cried. I used to take them for breakfast in the morning and mother gave them a jug of tea and lunch. There was a Captain Richardson in charge of them, and he used to book them in and out each day. There is now a church on the site where the Prisoner of War camp used to be Ė on the West side of the Heartsease Estate near Mousehold.
After a raid I used to drive into Norwich in the blackout to see if my grandparents were alright. They lived on the Plumstead Road near the prison in a bungalow they had had built for them Ė it was about three miles from where I lived in Thorpe End. We had a C license to run a vehicle and used to get petrol coupons from Cambridge. We had to apply to Cambridge every month for the license. We could hear it in Thorpe End when they were bombing Norwich. Carter the builder built out dug-out for us. There were steps that went down into it, and we had real beds in there, so we thought we were safe. They killed a family on the Salhouse Road when their house got a direct hit. They were a wealthy family of bankers.
Nisar Ahmed Khan . British Army
My grandfather, Nisar Ahmed Khan, was a soldier of Britain in Second World War and he fought at Benghazi place as prisoner of the Germans.
Sgt William Henry Kibby VC. Australian Army 2/48th Infantry Battalion from Australia)
(d.31 October 1942)
Albert Edward Kidman . Auxiliary Fire Brigade Dockhead from Trinity Church Square)
I have been trying to find out under which 'division' my father Bert Kidman, served from 1939-45. He received, or should I say through the help of my cousin, post-humously a Civil Service Medal. I have his Fireman's axe, photos of him in uniform & with his 'section' and his medal. I want to create a 'display' incorporating the pre-mentioned items in a case for my son & grandson - is it possible to be sent a 'logo' or emblem that my father would have served under to that I can carve it for the display. Was it the Auxillary or LFB he belonged to? Can anyone help me, I have tried the LFB museum - they wouldn't help.
Editors Note: The AFS and NFS badges are widely available online.
RSM. P. Kilbey . British Army Coldstream Guards
I collect POW mail and have a preprinted card in respect of a money transfer sent from Stalag 383 by RSM Kilbey, P. serial number 2653008 sent to the Regimental Paymaster, Coldstream Guards on 30 Sep 1944 but not received by the addressee until 24 Feb 1945.
L/Cpl. Stephen Kilcar . British Army 5th Btn. Dorsetshire Regiment from Knightswood, Glasgow)
(d.19th Nov 1944)
My uncle, Lance Corporal Stephen Kilcar, fought and was killed in action with the 5th Battalion Dorsetshire Regt. at the Battle of Geilenkirchen. He was wounded, we think, on the 18th of Novenber 1944 and succumbed to his injuries the next day on the 19th. My Father recently visited his brother's grave in the Reichwald War Memorial Cemetary. He is the first member of our family, and as far as I know the only member,to visit the grave site. What makes this even more touching for my Dad is he was the last one to see my uncle alive, walking him down to catch the bus back to his regiment after a well earned leave of absence. The reason I am writing is my Dad is 78 now and would like some closure on how his brother was killed.
I know it is a big ask for information regarding these matters but if someone could provide me with any information regarding this matter it would be greatly appreciated. I know there is a book named, "The Story of the 5th Battalion Dorsetshire Regt. in N. W. Europe" and I do believe that my Dad has a copy of that book. What I would really like to know is if any of the Officers who wrote that book are still alive and if they are is there any way of contacting them? Any information you can pass on to me would be greatly appreciated as I promised my Dad I would help as much as I could in this matter.
Sgt William Killebrew . United States Marine Corps (d.10th February 1944)
Held as a Prisoner in Fukuoka 3b.
Sergeant P F Kills . RAF 460 Squadron
Captain Richard Frederick Kinden . British Army Royal Warwicks/East Surreys from Rugby)
POW transferred from Italy, having been taken prisoner in North Africa at Fort McGregor. Claims to have ended up in Offlag 79 but we can find no record of him there. Still alive and, though in failing health, wishes to clarify the records.
Robert Kinder . British Army RoyalEngineers from Weymouth, Dorset)
My grandfather, Robert Kinder, was captured in Greece in 1941, spent 4 years as POW, in Stalag 383, Hoenfels, Bavaria.
Originally from St Helen's, Lancashire, but was living in Weymouth, Dorset. We have very little information about his time in the war. If you can add to his story we would be very grateful. Thank you
Pte. George Kindon . British Army 5th Battalion South Staffordshire Regiment from Kings Road, Birmingham)
My Granddad was in the South Staffordshire Regiment from 1940 to 1946. He never spoke too much about his time served until his latter years. Looking at his army records he spent a far bit of time in detention for being AWOL. It might have been something to do with the American GI's being barracked not far from where my nan lived (Pheasey). I do know that he had a bad time in Arnham as he was one of hundreds being dropped in by gliders. He was held up in a church, I think, being looked after by a young girl, name of Tula who was with the Dutch Resistance.
Sgt. Edward Frederick Kinerman . Royal Air Force 51 Sqd from Rochford, Essex, England)
(d.13th May 1943)
My cousin, Edward Frederick Kinerman was a Flight Engineer. He was born in Rochford, Essex in 1922. His father was Frederick Keehnemund, the name was changed before the first World War started as Frederick's father was born in Essen in Germany.
Edward joined the RAF.V.R. sometime in the early 1940s. I don't know all the history but he became a Flt Eng. Sgt. He flew many missions over Germany but his luck was to run out. He was attached to 51 squadron at Snaith, Yorkshire. He and the other 6 crew took off in their Halifax Bomber on the night of the 12th of May 1943 and some how on the way over Holland they got lost and separated from the rest of the flight. They were on their own when a German ME109 night fighter found them and shot them down. The Halifax went into a spin and none of the crew were able to bail out all died on impact. The plane still had its bombs on board when it crashed and the explosions went on for 2 hours or so, locals said. The bodys were picked up by the Germans and buried in the Dutch grave yard in Haringen. He was only 21 years old. The Germans collected the remains of the Halifax for salvage.
W/O Alexander King DFC.. Royal Air Force 432 Sqd. from Macclesfield)
On enquiring my late father, Sandy King's papers I saw that he was with 432 Squadron for 7 months from August 43 until March 44. In 1944 Dec he became Flight Sargeant then in 1945 became a Warrant Officer.
F/O Danny King MID. Royal Australian Air Force 51 Sqd.
Steward David King . Naval Auxiliary Personnel HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)
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