The Wartime Memories Project - The Second World War



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World War 2 Two II WW2 WWII

Those who Served




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Axis Forces - Browse by Surname.


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Massie .    




Flt.Sgt. John Ligertwood Massie .     Royal Air Force 582 Sqd.   from Mill of Esslemont, Ellon, Aberdeenshire)

John Massie served as navigator with the Royal Air Force. He was the son of George and Mary Massie, born in 1924. He went to Aberdeen University and was a member of the Aberdeen University Air Squadron. John trained as a navigator at Hamilton, Ontario in Canada, then served in 582 Pathfinder Squadron of the RAF based at Little Staughton, Bedfordshire, then in 1383 Transport Command Unit based at Crosby on Eden.

He was demobilised in 1946 and married Helen Barron in 1950. He farmed at Mill of Torry, Udny, Aberdeenshire and died in 2009 aged 84 years.




Flt.Sgt. John Ligertwood Massie .     Royal Air Force 582 (Pathfinder) Sqdn.   from Mill of Torry, Udny, Aberdeenshire)

John Massie was the son of George and Mary Massie, and was born in 1924. He went to Aberdeen University and was a member of the Aberdeen University Air Squadron.

John trained as a navigator at Hamilton, Ontario. He served in 582 Pathfinder Squadron of the RAF based at Little Staughton, Bedfordshire, then in 1383 Transport Command Unit based at Crosby on Eden. He was demobilised in 1946. He married Helen Barron in 1950 and farmed at Mill of Torry, Udny. He died in 2009, aged 84 years.




Joe Masson .     British Army 1st Rgt. SAS   from Arbroath)

My granddad Joe Masson was born in Arbroath and I think he was in the 1st SAS Regiment during WW2.




Pte. Leslie Masterman .     British Army Yorks & Lancs   from Leeds)

My grandad, Leslie Masterman (1923-2002), from Leeds, served as a Private in the Yorks/Lancs Regiment during the Second World War. He was a POW in Italy and Germany after being captured by German troops in Tunisia in 1943. The following is what my family and I have pieced together from the few bits of information he gave us: Pte Masterman, L 4758866 He was taken to camp PG66 in Italy, which (with help from the internet) appears to have been in Capua. We got this number from a photograph: PG66PM3400. The first four digits aside, we're not sure what the numbers mean. He also stayed at camp PG53 (Campo Concentremento 53. Sforzacosta). Hewas moved to Germany, where he (as far as we can tell) stayed at camp PG78 (location unknown), before being squashed into an open rail truck and taken to Stalag 357 (in Oerbke, I think). He spent time at Stalag 4DZ near Annaburg. (Again, we got this number from a photograph, but we're not sure what it means: 226387 D602.) I think it was here where he was forced to work on repairing a damaged railway line near an ammunition factory (which was regularly bombed by the RAF). He was certain they were sent to work there to reduce numbers, and many men died working there. He, along with two other prisoners (Trooper Walter Rowley and Lance Corporal James "Busty" Speight), fled Stalag 4DZ on April 14, 1945. The day before they fled, they were told by a British R.A.M.C major that the whole camp was to be marched east the following day. The march began and suddenly the air raid sirens sounded. As Allied planes swooped to strafe a nearby airfield, the three of them made a run for it, taking with them two of the German sentries (they told them they would make it all right for them with the Americans, who were rumoured to be getting closer).

In the village of Nienburg, they told the local Burgomaster that they had been sent to make their way back to camp. A German girl who had been a worker in the camp kitchen helped my grandad and the other POW's by tipping them off about the Burgomaster being suspicious. He had sent for the SS, who were to arrive the next morning. The German girl also told them the way to the American lines, so they pulled out quickly and eventually found an American patrol near Halle (Saale). The Americans took some convincing that they were British POW's, but they eventually realised they were genuine and couldn't make them more welcome. They later learned that the guards who stayed behind were shot by the SS for assisting them to escape. My grandad returned home to Leeds on a Tuesday in May 1945. There are an awful lot of gaps that I'd love to fill in, and he probably stayed at a few more POW camps. I'm unsure where he was when at the end of the war but think it's most likely to be Stalag 4DZ in Annaburg. I have no idea how much time he spent at any one camp. I also have no idea how he travelled from Tunisia to Italy after being captured. I know the prisoners marched for many miles through Italy and traveled in open army trucks up through Germany to the North East. If anyone has information about ANYTHING I have mentioned above, I'd appreciate hearing from you.




Sgt. A. R. Masters .     102 Squadron




Thomas Masterson .     Royal Navy HMT Electra

My grandfather Thomas Masterson served on HMS Electra II in September 1940.




Sgt L G Masterton .     Royal Air Force 78 Sqd.




Sgt Rodger David Matches. .     Royal Air Force 78 Sqd (d.13th May 1943 )




Sgt. John Mather .     Royal Air Force 66 Squadron   from Ifield)

(d.27th Oct 1940)

After extensive research a group of us who live locally are organising a tribute to Johnny Mather who crashed on Sunday 27th October 1940. Local artist, Malcolm Pettit, who actually retrieved the crashed Spitfire remains in the 1970s and filmed the removal of the engine, had created a painting of the incident using maps and photos of the period. Johnny is pictured heading down vertically towards the village of Hildenborough, Nr Tonbridge Kent while his leader circles his plane calling out his call sign. Unfortunately he did not recover and crashed behind the Half Moon public house. His body was recovered at the time and is buried at Ifield cemetery. The painting which has now been reproduced onto prints and also contains photos of Johnny being presented to the King, and various members of his squadron will be unveiled on a permanent wall in the Half Moon public house. A fly past of a Spitfire piloted by Peter Monk is also being arranged. There has always been a mystery about his death, as some locals heard gunfire shortly before his plane dived into the ground. Official records put it down to oxygen failure.

What we require, if possible, is to see if we can find a survivor of that period, whether it be ground crew or what to unveil the plaque and picture. Many thanks and hope to hear something favourable




F/Sgt (Cadet) Robert Mather .     Air Training Corps

As an Air Cadet in 1942 my squadron took part in exercises at Ringway, undergoing elements of the parachute training with No.1 Para. Training School before flying in Whitleys dropping paratroops over Tatton Park. I remember that on my first sortie one of the 8 paras we were carrying didn't quite get it right exiting the aperture. We met him in the NAAFI later on that day wearing several stitches to the inside of his jaw, which made his drinking somewhat difficult. Speaking of drinking, as cadets we were on soft drinks and the biggest bargain around seemed to be the NAAFI lemonade (made from crystals) at 1d a pint served in those straight pint glasses. We imbibed a little too liberally and since then I have difficulty in staring a pint glass in the face and insist that my beer is served in a pint pot with a handle.




Cadet Robert Mather .     Air Transport Command 2053 Sqd.

As an air cadet in 1942 I was stationed at Hawarden as a cadet sergeant and later Flt/Sgt I was attached there for three periods during 1943/4 before entering the RAF. I remember there was a very active ATA pool at Hawarden a number of who were women. My squadron visited RAF Ringway for my first flying experience and I was lucky enough to be allocated to the crew of an Armstrong Whitworth Whitley bomber dropping paratroopers over Tatton Park. It was a terrific thrill for a young teenager and I remember well the raucous humour of the trainee paras, some of which I suspect was borne of nervousness. After the exercises we adjourned to the NAAFI. I didn't drink at the time but the NAAFI had lemonade (made from crystals) at 1d (old penny)a pint. I imbibed enthusiastically. Some people were sick flying. Not me! But that lemonade almost made it!




F/Lt Roy Mather DFC AFC.     RAF 619 Squadron   from Chesterfield)




Sgt. Walter Mather .     Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 295 Sqdn. (d.19th February 1943)

Fourteen aircraft from 295 Squadron were tasked with a raid on three electricity transformers at Distre, near Saumur. Two aircraft were brought down by anti-aircraft fire. The crew who died on this mission and are buried in Saumur Communal Cemetery are:

  • F/O D.H. Upsher (pilot)
  • Sgt I.W. Arnold (navigator)
  • Sq.Ldr C. Campbell-Miller
  • Fl/Lt M.E.J. Croker (airgunner)
  • F/O M.C. Hayes (pilot)
  • F/Sgt T.W. Holland (airgunner)
  • Wing Co. P.M.V. Lysaght (pilot)
  • F.Sgt K.R. Marshall (wop/airgunner)
  • Sgt W. Mather (navigator)
  • P/O J.H.C. McIlwrick (pilot)
  • WO/2 J.E.S. Sasseville (wop/airgunner)




  • Mathers .    




    Wing Co. Alister William Stewart Matheson .     Royal Air Force 106 Sqdn. (d.18th July 1943)

    Wing Co Alister William Stewart Matheson was serving with 106 Squadron at the time of his death on 18th July 1943 in an accident on a gunnery training course. His Wellington III BK235 crashed 1 mile southeast of Appleby when it suffered a wing failure. The crew who died that day were:

  • Acting Sq.Ldr Philip Brandon-Trye, RAF (buried in Brigg Cemetery).
  • Group Capt Brian Everard Lowe, RAF (buried in Brigg Cemetery).
  • Wing Co Alister William Stewart Matheson, RAF (buried in Brigg Cemetery).
  • W/O John William Heard RAFVR (buried in Brigg Cemetery).
  • F/Sgt Daniel Breslin DFM, RAFVR (buried in Strabane Cemetery).
  • Group Capt Reginald Vere Massey Odbert, RAF (buried in Newark-upon-Trent Cemetery).




  • John George Matheson .     Royal Canadian Air Force 419 Sqd.

    My father John George Matheson was a member of 419 Squadron stationed in England in WW2. I have photos of him over there. I would like to get in touch with someone who might like to share the stories and photos




    F/O John George Matheson .     Royal Canadian Air Force 419 Sqd.

    My father John George Matheson was a member of 419 Squadron stationed in England in WW2. I have photos of him over there. I would like to get in touch with someone who might like to share the stories and photos.




    F/O Thomas Matheson .     Royal Canadian Air Force   from )

    (d. )

    We are looking for a Canadian from WW2 who was a pilot in the RCAF. He was stationed in England during 1943, and probably before and after this time. We have a photograph of him showing him in his uniform and forage cap. He is wearing a 39-45 Star and a Volunteers Medal with maple leaf clasp. He also has an 'ops wing' on the left breast pocket. We believe his name to be Thomas Matheson or similar. He survived the war as the photograph was sent from Canada about 1946. Please contact me if you feel you can help find this man




    F/O F. D. Matheson. .     (d.25th July 1943)

    F/O Matheson was killed on 25th July 43 on Ops to Essen.




    Sgt. Frank Mathew .     United States Army APO 298 687th General Hospital   from Pennsylvania)

    Frank Mathew 687th General Hospital APO 298 United States Army to the 10th reinforcement Depot APO 874.




    Pte. Lancelot Jude Mathew .     British Army 14th Field Ambulance Royal Army Medical Corps   from India)

    My Father was born in Calcutta India 1920. Lancelot Jude Mathew He joined the British Indian Army in 1939. I do not have much information about his service. I have a photo of my father in a Group it has writing on the back - 28.3.1944 Italy 1944. Taken a few days before I get Posted from unit No 12 India Ambulance and Complete staff of Indian & British Personell (in workshop at B___ for Repairs.) Group Photo is in my possession. Dated He was also in Cortina, Italy at the end of the war. I believe he went to Burma but I don't have anything to support that belief. At the end of the war 1945 He was associated with 14th Field Ambulance and is photographed in Austria with other personel I have his discharge papers that were stamped in Aldersot UK 1946 showing his Service Number.




    Cook Obediah "Obie" Mathews .     US Army

    My mother lived in Plymouth and fell in love with Obie, whom she said, was the only man who treated her like a lady. She has now passed away but told me the story how he helped her during the war, but she would not go to Amercia with him as she had other children. I was born 1946. I saw him when he came to my home with his brother. I would like to know of any siblings and family.




    Cpl. Sidney John Mathews BEM.     Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 97 Sqdn.

    Cpl Mathews was awarded the BEM for his brave rescue of two crew members of a Lancaster that crashed in December 1943. All the remaining crew members died in the crash. A book has been written about the crash by one of the survivors' daughters www.firebynight.co.uk. We are keen to contact the family to share information. We know that he went to South Africa after the war.




    Sgt Philip Edwin Mathews. .     Royal Air Force 76 Sqd. (d.11th May 1943 )




    Gnr. Robert Reginald Mathias .     British Army 102 (Pembroke Yeomanry) Medium Regiment Royal Artillery   from Haverfordwest, Pembs)

    (d.24th Apr 1945)

    My uncle 'Bobby', Robert Reginald Mathias, died 24/4/1945 at Argenta Gap, Italy, a few days after the Battle of Argenta Gap. I have only one photograph of him and would love to know if anybody knew him.He served in Africa and Italy as a gunner. I have found his grave in Argenta Gap War Cemetery, Italy. It is my ambition now to go there and just say he has not been forgotten. I never knew him as I was born in 1957. Any information or even a photo of his regiment would be so appreciated.




    RSM C Mathieson .     British Army 1st btn Gordon Highlanders

    We've been left medals for this man but don't know who he was, can you help?




    James Matilinos .       from Lowell, MA)




    Ronald J. Maton .     Royal Air Force 578 Sqd. (d.31st Mar 1944)

    Ronald Maton was a Wireless Operator in 578 Squadron, stationed at RAF Burn. He was killed on 31st March 1944 at Silverstone, whilst returning from raid on Nuremburg.




    Cpl. George Edgar Matson .     Army Air Corps 1st Btn. Parachute Regiment   from Aycliffe, Co. Durham)

    (d.17th Sep 1944)





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