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Those who Served
Pte. Patrick Francis "McDonald" McDonnell . British Army 5th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment (d.4th Jun 1943)
Patrick McDonnell died aged 20, he was the son of Thomas and Annie McDonnell (nee Richardson) of Jarrow. He is buried in Sfax War Cemetery and is commemorated on the WW2 Roll of Honour Plaque in the entrance of Jarrow Town Hall.Vin Mullen
RSM. Reginald Charles "Mac" McDonnell . British Army Rifle Brigade from Deptford, London.)
My father, Reginald McDonnell, told me of his time with the Desert Rats in North Africa and of his capture at Tobruk. He was in the Rifle Brigade. He said he was promoted in the field to RSM because all those above that rank had been killed.
After his capture he and 4 colleagues were transferred to Northern Italy where it was freezing cold and they were still wearing their desert gear. He escaped with his colleagues by killing their guard using his thumbs in the side of the temple. They then swam over a mile down a sewage infested canal and walked the length of the border with Greece and back only to get through near where they had started from. The only casualty among them was the only married chap, he was killed.
When my father was repatriated he was full of Beri-beri and dysentry and suffering from what would now be called Post Traumatic Stress. He was hospitalized but discovered that his fiance was marrying another man, a sailor much to his disgust. He dragged himself to the church and confronted them but it was too late. Her excuse was that his mother had recieved "the telegram" 3 times and refused to believe he was dead but on the 4th she thought he must have perished.
He went on to live another 43 years until he died on my birthday in 1988. For years I played with his medals but never fully understood the horrors he went through. This was the only time he opened up about his wartime experiences. I sincerely wish I had been less of a me me person in my youth but its too late now. God bless you Dad, and thanks.Ian C McDonnell
Harry McDonough . Navy HMS Vulture
My wife's grandad Harry Mcdonough served on HMS Vulture. He also served in WWI; we are still tracing his travels.noel duignan
Driver Charles McDougall . RASC from Aberfeldy, Perthshire)
My father Charles McDougall of Aberfeldy, Perthshire was taken prisoner at St Valery. His number was T135468. He was a driver in the RASC. He seldom spoke of his experiences in depth, but used to give us snippets of information..
He spoke of being lined up to be shot on two separate occasions, but each time was reprieved...I think that was a form of mental torture. He told us of making soup from nettles and from potato peelings and he worked in a salt mine. He told us that he was in on several escape plans but did nor ever try to escape himself as he reckoned he was too old and might hold the others back. He told us that the Gaelic speakers in the camp were able to pass information to each other without the Guards knowing what they were saying. He told us of the march through Poland when men would be shot if they stopped for a second. He weighed 6 stone when he came home and was of a nervous disposition for the rest of his life.Kay Liney
E. C. McDougall . Royal Navy HMS Electra
Trooper Joseph McEntee . British Army 41st Btn. Royal Tank Regiment from Oldham, Lancashire)
My dad, Trooper Joseph McEntee, was born in the cotton mill town of Oldham, in December, 1921. He was brought up by his mother, after his father had died when he was just two years old, and he was one of eleven children. He joined up, according to his enlistment papers, on the 6th June, 1939, when he was 17 yrs and 6 months old. His regiment, at the time, was the 41st Royal Regiment. He went on to be a tank driver, with the 41st/47th RTR. He was at Spalding, Lincolnshire for some of his training. In 1940 he was sent to Louth, and posted to the 4th battalion, he was also with the 11th RTR.
He was at the battle of El Alamein in 1942, and served for two years in North Africa. I can remember him telling me, as a small child, that it was so hot that you could fry an egg on the tank, also that the flies would accumulate on a cup, making it impossible to drink anything, but he never told me about his experiences there, and, unfortunately, I never asked.
He went on to Normandy, and was at the Battle of Epsom, he did tell me that when he was driving the tank, the person who was directing him, must have had his head out of the turret, was shot and killed instantly. Also, of losing his way, when driving an officer in a scout car, and realising they had crossed into enemy lines, and quickly reversed. I also recall him telling me about crossing the Rhine into Germany, and the sights he saw there, of the Russians killing civilians, if only I had the foresight to ask him more questions, I am sure he would have told me lots of stories, but I thought he would live forever. I am now tracing his military history and have his medals, and framed photograph. I love reading the stories of these war heroes, they are truly inspiring.
John McEvoy . British Army 8th Battaltion Durham Light Infantry (d.2nd Nov 1942)
Although we don't know much about Jack McEvoy, we do know he was my grandfather. We don't have any pictures or stories about his life other than he was born in Liverpool in 1911 and at some time, before or during the Second World War, he joined the 8th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry. We know for certain that on 2 November, 1942, John was killed and he is buried in El Alamein, Matruh, Egypt.Terry
Sergeant Ronald James McEvoy . British Army 2nd Btn. Grenadier Guards from 97 Ritherdon Road, Balham.)
Ron McEvoy jn
Sgt. Ronald James McEvoy . British Army 2nd Btn. Grenadier Guards from 97 Ritherdon Road, Balham, London)
In 1931 my father Ronald James McEvoy enrolled with the 2nd Battalion of the Grenadier Guards. In March 1936 his battalion was stationed at Mustapha Barracks, Alexandria, Egypt. As war was declared on Germany on the 31st August 1939, Ron had just finished his military service and had joined the Southampton Police Force, he put his uniform back on and headed for Wellington Barracks.
Ronís battalion then became part of the British Expeditionary Force on the French, Belgium frontier. He was one of the lucky ones and evacuated from Dunkirk. During his time in England he had prisoner escort duties and guard duties at Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace; he was also escort for the keys to the Tower of London. On the 9th May 1942 he married Eileen Hendry at St Boniface Catholic Church, Tooting.
Between the 9th and 18th of September 1943 Ron's battalion became part of the 8th Army and landed at Salerno Italy. Ron was captured by the German's in November 1943 and after two weeks in a cattle wagon he became incarcerated at Stalag 357 Thorn, Poland.
On the advance of the Russians the prison population was marched to Stalag XI-B in Fallingbostel, Germany. After liberation from there my father teamed up with a few friends and roamed through the German countryside living off the land. After about a week they met up with some allied troops and were flown back home. I have come across three aces "dated 18th April 1945" from a pack of cards, the ace of clubs is signed by someone called J W T Hurlley? of Green-Royd, Boston Road, Holbeach, Spalding, Lincolnshire. The ace of hearts is signed by a gentleman called Maxwell of 16 Green Walk, Greater, Manchester. The ace of spades belongs to Fred W Bernard, Box 226 Chathery, New Brunswick, Canada.
Ron was offered a commission in another regiment however Ron and Eileen wanted the freedom of life away from the army. On being demobbed Ron was sent on an engineering course based in Cambridge; however on finishing he joined as an Agent of the Prudential Assurance Co Ltd; he was based in Balham, London. One year later he joined the War Office Police Service, later to become the Ministry of Defence Police Service. He was able to retain his military rank of Sergeant and was based at the War Office, Whitehall, London. In 1955 Ron was transferred to The Government Research Establishment in Waltham Abbey, Essex seeing out his working life until retirement in 1976.Ron McEvoy
Lt Cmdr. Surg. McEwan . Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve HMS Forfar
Peter McEwan . British Army 1st Battalion Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) from 7 Ashton Place, Netherton, Wishaw)
My father Peter McEwan was in Burma with the 1st battalion Cameronians during the Second World War. I would like to hear of anyone who served with him or their families who have any memories of their fathers who may have served with him in Burma.Morag Jenkins
Stephen Michael McFadden . from Ireland)
My father, Stephen Michael McFadden, probably known as Mick, was captured on Crete in 1941 and held in Stalag 8B until his repatriation in 1944. Sadly he died when I was 2 so I never knew him. Has anyone any memories or photos of him please? All I have is a small note book with the names and addresses of several men I assume were in prison with him.Josephine McFadden
Chief Petty Officer Frances McFadyen . Royal Navy Supply Depot Tobermory from Barnsley, Yorks)
I am posting this in memory of a dear Aunt who invited me to visit her when she was serving at Tobermory, Isle of Mull in the early forties, prior to her posting to Trinconmalee in Ceylon. What follows is a my personal experience made possible by Aunty Frances.
In a moment of nostalgia I decided to relive the most memorable event of my life, a day at sea in the final work-up aboard HMS Cowslip out of Tobermory in the summer of 1942. I must thank Dave Cox for the model he built which enabled me to fully visualise my experiences over again.
It may sound odd that an eight year old schoolboy was able to experience such an incredible voyage but it was made possible by my aunt who was a CPO in Supply at Tobermory. During the exercise all the ships weaponry was tested from the 4 inch gun thro' Oerlican cannons, depth charges and the Hedgehog anti-submarine grenades, I was even invited to dine with the Captain but being so young and shy I hardly spoke a word to him and had to leave for fresh air on deck because of sea sickness.
I am now 75 so it is extremely unlikely that any of the crew are still with us, if only I could express my gratitude to them for even at that young age I realised what they would be facing from then on. In studying Dave's model I am unable to recognise the Hedgehog launcher platform which I believe was on the bow deck in front of the 4 inch gun. Was that the case of in my memory playing tricks on me? Thank you once again for recreating that fantastic experience.Roy Stanyon
Sgt. James Armour mcfadyen . British Army 6th Battalion Cameronian Scottish Rifles from Edinburgh)
(d.18th Jan 1945)
James Armour McFadyen was a regular Soldier in the Cameronian Scottish Rifles. After landing in Baarland on the Island of Walcheren in the Nederlands on 26th October 1944 with the 6th and 7th Battalions of the Cameronians he was then involved in Operation Blackcock in the Industrial area of Maastricht and Sittard. He lost his life in the heavy fighting in that area and was buried in Sittard War Cemetery.
We have visited his grave many times over the years and have met the War Graves Commission from Maastricht who look after the graves in the area. We can only thank them from the bottom of our hearts for the amazing job they do in looking after the graves.Malcolm Macfadyen-Nichol
Sgt. James Armour McFadyen . British Army 6th Btn. Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) from Edinburgh, Scotland)
(d.18th Jan 1945)
My grandad, James Armour McFadyen, was killed in action in Western Europe on the 18th of January 1945, leaving his wife and two young children.Gillian Biddle
Tpr. Albert McFadzean . British Army 10th Royal Hussars (d.12th Jun 1940)Maureen
First Lieutenant Edward J McFarland . US Army Air Force
My father, Edward J McFarland, flew on B-24H-15-FO Liberator serial # 42-52413 and was shot down and emergency landed near a village named Nagyberki in Hungary. All members were captured and transported to the penitentiary in Budapest. The officers, which should include my Dad, were imprisoned in Stalag-Luft 3 in Sagan. I would like to research this and get more info about my Dad's term as a POW.Jim McFarland
First Lieutenant Edward J McFarland . USAAF
My Father, First Lieutenant Bombardier Edward J McFarland, flew on B-24H-15-FO Liberator, serial # 42-52413, and was shot down and emergency landed near a village named Nagyberki in Hungary. All members were captured and transported to the penitentary in Budapest. The officers, which should include my Dad, were imprisoned in Stalag-Luft 3 in Sagan. I would like to research this and get more info about my Dad's term as a POW.Jim McFarland
Cpl. William John McFarland . British Army Royal Irish Fusiliers from Coventry)
William McFarland was my father, who I know nothing about, as he died one month before I was born in 1946, but was buried with a Union Jack covering his coffin. He was a Prisoner of War, in Stalag Moosburg (Isar). Could anyone tell me anything about him, or even have a photo, as I don't know what he looked like.John McFarland
Pilot Officer D A McFarlane . RAF 149 SquadronDan Gardner
Assistant Steward George McFarlane . Naval Auxiliary Personnel HMS Forfar (d.2nd Dec 1940)
Sgt J. McFarlane . 428 Sqd. (d.30th Aug 1944 )
Cpl. Ronald Mcfarlane . South African Army 2nd Battalion Royal Durban Light Infantry from Pietermaritzbureg)
My Grandfather Ronald Mcfarlane was a POW at Stalag 4B he was captured at Tobruk on 21 June 1942.Rene Walker
G. McFerran . Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 419 Sqd.
2nd Lt. Robert L. McFetrich . United States Air Force 510th Bomb Squadron from Champion, Trumbull County, Ohio)
(d.29th March 1944)
Robert McFetrich was killed in a mid air collision between B24's near Halesworth, Suffolk, England on the 29th of March 1944. A cemetery memorial for Robert is at Champion Township Cemetery, Champion, Trumbull Co., Ohio.Bonnie Diehl
Vernon McGarity . United States Army 393rd Infantry from Memphis, TN)
President Harry Truman awarded the Medal of Honor to Vernon McGarity in October 1945. According to the U.S. Army Center of Military History, Mr. McGarity was a technical sergeant in the 393rd Infantry, 99th Infantry Division, during World War II. He was wounded in an artillery barrage that preceded a German counteroffensive near Krinkelt, Belgium, in December 1944. He received treatment but refused to be evacuated and returned to battle. He rescued two wounded soldiers, immobilized a tank with a round from a rocket launcher, replenished the unit's ammunition under heavy fire, and destroyed a German machine gun. Mr. McGarity received the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and two Belgian medals in addition to the Medal of Honor.S. Flynn
Pte. D. McGarry . British Army Gordon Highlanders
Sgt Robert Robinson McGarvey . Royal Air Force 460 Squadron from Glasgow)
My late father, Bob McGarvey, was only 20 when he signed up as an RAF VR in Glasgow in May 1941. Based at Binbrook as a a WOP/AG, his Pathfinder Lancaster aircraft ED 658 crashed 8/9 October 1943 at Bahnof during Operation Hanover. All the crew became POWs. Dad was in Stalag Luft 6 and Stalag 357 until he was repatriated in 1945. Since I was only two when dad died, I would be interested to hear from any of the family of the crew or Bomber Command who included:
- Pilot F/O M C Caffyn (RAAF)
- Flight Engineer Sgt C W J Marshall (RAF)
- omb Aimer F/S N L Wulff (RAAF)
- Navigator F/O F Brown (RAAF)
- Air gunner A/G Sgt R N Cannon (RAF)
- Air Gunner F/S T A Richardson (RAF)Julie McGarvey
Pte. Francis John McGaughey . British Army Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers from Fintona, Co Tyrone, N Ireland)
My father, Private Francis John McGaughey, was a POW in WW2. He joined the Boysí Service of the Army on 12th July 1938, in Omagh, Co Tyrone, N Ireland. He enlisted in the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers and served 5 years 2 days with them. From 14th July 1943 until 5th June 1944 he was in the AAC. From 6th June 1944 until 21st May 1945 he was in the Paras in North West Europe, he remained in the Paras on his return home on 22nd May 1945 until he left the army on 12th August 1952.
He landed in France with the 6th Airbourne Division and was captured in July 1944. His POW number was 82290. He writes that at first he was in a camp within sight of Chartres Cathedral. Then he was put on a train with many others in terrible conditions. They arrived in Chalons and were marched to some barracks where they stayed for a while. He was eventually sent to a large Stalag Luft in Germany. From this Stalag Luft he was sent to (Chomutov- Czech name) Komotau in Czechoslovakia. He worked in an open cast mine there. There was a long, bitter winter and the workers were starving.
Actual words from my dadís notes: ďHear guns in distance all the time. Now fighter aircraft quite common, bombers around the clock and refugees increase. 8 May 1945 our guards are gone. No work today and Russian soldiers arrive.Ē
My Dad returned home and finished his time in the army. He married my mother and became a fire fighter with the Surrey Fire Brigade and they became parents to me and my brother. We have our own families now.
My dad never really talked about the war, only rarely would he mention being a POW in Czechoslovakia. He passed away in 1994 and we miss him a lot. I found some notes of his, some old photos and his AAC wings and badge. I was too upset to look at them properly until recently. Iím very proud and honoured to have had a father like him. Would be grateful to hear from anyone who knew my Dad or has information to share.
Respects to all the brave men and women who fought.Margaret Sabuncu
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