The Wartime Memories Project - The Second World War



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W/O K. F. McCallum .     Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve air gunner. 419 Sqd.

2nd from left K F McCallum, 3rd from left J H MacKay, 4th: A C Weston, 5th: John McKellar, with R F Clark, S A Musto and W H Murrell. Behind them is VR-W, KB-707.

W/O McCallum was an air gunner on Lancaster VR-W, KB-707 with 419 Squadron RCAF with Allen Weston's crew, my Grandfather John McKellar was the navigator.

The crew were:

  • P/O A.C.Weston, pilot
  • F/O J.H.McKellar, nav
  • F/O J.H.Mackay, bomb aimer
  • FS R.F.Clarke, W/Op
  • Sgt S.A.MUSTO, flight eng
  • WO K.F.McCallum, air gunner
  • FS W.H.Murrell, air gunner

Mark McKellar



W/O Robert McCallum .     Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve Air Gunner 50 Sqn/630 Sqn/44 Sqn   from Moffat)

Robert McCallum joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve on the 20th of June 1940 and served until the 13th of Mar 1946. He became aircrew in 1943 and trained with 17 OTU at Turweston and Silverstone this was followed by 1661 Conversion Unit at Winthorpe. He began at 50 Sqn Skellingthorp with F/O Hinkling as his first pilot then transferred to 630 Sqn in Feb 1945, flying with pilot F/Sgt Grange at East Kirkby. He transferred to 44Sqn on 18th June 1945 to the crew of pilot F/O Munson

Nic



Bernard "Mac" McCann .     Royal Air Force 644 Sqdn.

My father-in-law was a member of 644 Squadron.

Richie Fawcett



Spr. John McCann .     British Army 954 Railway Operating Company Royal Engineers (d.27th Dec 1944)

John McCann died age 32. He was born in Jarrow in 1912, son of James P. and Elizabeth Ann McCann (nee McMullen) of Jarrow

John is buried in St. Sever Cemetery Extension Rouen and is commemorated on the WW2 Roll of Honour Plaque in the entrance of Jarrow Town Hall.

Vin Mullen



Ord.Sea. Edward McCarten .     Royal Navy HMS Warspite

My dad, Edward McCarten was a telegraphist in HMS. Warspite toward the end of the second world war.

Jim McCarten



Bill McCarter .     Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 419 Sqd.




William McCarter .     Royal Canadian Air Force 102 Sqdn. RAF   from Canada)

Bill McCarter was a bomb aimer in Halifaxes. He served at Middleton St George.

Peter Brook



Norman McCarthy .     Merchant Navy SS Tiberton (d.14th Feb 1940)

Norman McCarthy died aged 22, he was born in Jarrow in 1917, son of Norman and Margaret A. McCarthy (nee Munroe) of Jarrow, He was the husband of Jessie McCarthy (nee Beattie) of Primrose Jarrow. Norman is remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial and is commemorated on the WW2 Roll of Honour Plaque in the entrance of Jarrow Town Hall.

Vin Mullen



P/O Benedict J McCarthy .     RCAF 426 Sqd. (d.5th Mar 1945)




Private Charles John McCarthy .     Australian Army

My uncle, Pte Charles John McCarthy was a POW in Stalag XXA and Stalag 8B/344 between 1941 and 1945. Apparently he escaped three times. His service number was VX8916. He was AWOL more than 20 times before and after he was a POW. It is a fantastic story but he died not long after the war with no wife or children. It is sad he did not have his own family.

Pete Kennedy



Pte. John Francis McCarthy .     British Army Scots Guards

John Francis McCarthy was the second son of a WW1 veteran, Patrick McCarthy, who was a member of the Kings Own Scottish Borderers. His father was a mustard gas victim but still was able to sire 8 children (with Jessie, nee McKinnon) before he died in 1937, aged 47. Before Patrick died he would often say to his son John, "I'll put you in the army" if John was unruly. On his 17th birthday, 7th June 1938, John enlisted with the Scots Guards and began training in London. He was on guard at Windsor Castle when the Princesses, Elizabeth and Margaret, would play in the grounds. In 1940 John was shipped to Egypt with his Regiment and saw action at Bengazi and Halfaya Pass. He met Australians for the first time and got a taste for Aussie beer. The A.I.F. mischievously called the Scots Guards, with S.G. on their lapels, "Society Girls". John McCarthy was captured by Italian forces just weeks before his 21st birthday in 1942 and shipped to Camp 55 in southern Italy. He saw a lot of starving prisoners there and decided he couldn't stay. On escape John walked north towards Switzerland before being given up by a Italian farmer. He was then put on a prison train, destination Poland. Stalag 344 was described by John as a large working town or small city. One of John's jobs was to clean the beer vats between brewings. Depleted of good diet, John would eat the residue of the vats for sustenance. Similar to Vegemite. After 3 years John heard that the end to the war was near. He hid in an attic for 4 days and then broke out during a loud nighttime thunderstorm and headed towards Czechoslovakia. When he arrived in Prague he was sheltered by the 'Nazi hating' partisans and was privy to all their activities, which were ramping up. With war's end almost upon Europe, John made his way to the Austrian border and was 'processed' by the U.S. Army. Processing involved an utter physical beating by the yanks because they didn't believe that this disheveled young man with a foreign (Scottish) accent was what he was claiming to be, an Allied soldier. He didn't mind the pain of the beating because he knew that he would be home soon. After reuniting with his family and some recuperating John began a career in policing with Perthshire police. After 8 years John, and his wife Dorothy (nee Haggart) emigrated to Melbourne, Australia where he spent another 28 years with Victoria Police, retiring as a Senior Sergeant of the golfer's paradise district of Cobram, Victoria. John died on 28th May 2002, just short of his 82nd birthday. He was survived by his daughter, Fiona and grand-daughters, Alice and Jen. He was a lovely man. From your mate.

David



Norman McCarthy .     Merchant Navy SS Tiberton (d.2nd Feb 1940)

Norman McCarthy died aged 22. Born in Jarrow in 1917 he was the son of Norman and Margaret A. McCarthy (nee Munroe) of Jarrow and husband of Jessie McCarthy (nee Beattie) of Primrose Jarrow.

Norman is remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial and is commemorated on the WW2 Roll of Honour Plaque in the entrance of Jarrow Town Hall.

Vin Mullen



Norman "Nookie" McCarthy .     South African Army   from Benoni, South Africa)

My Dad Norman McCarthy was in Stalag 4B after capture in Tobruk (via a short detention near Brindisi in Italy). He was a South African volunteer driving trucks for the allies in the desert with the Tiffys. He lost his best friend from Benoni who was killed, right next to him, by shrapnel from a Stuka bomber which attacked their convoy. He didn't talk about Stalag 4B much except to say that 'Brindisi was better' and that 'thť Russian prisoners had a harder time than us'(he noticed them fighting each other for potato peels). He also told me that one day the German guards disappeared and that they wandered off through much farmland wreckage until they were found by Americans. He was demobilised in Britain where he met my English mother Eileen Mary Gallet, who later joined him in SA after he mailed her an engagement ring in the post! I now live in France and think I owe it to his memory visit the Stalag 4B site some time. He did not hold grudges against the Germans, but that was also the kind of person he was.




Spr. Thomas McCarthy .     British Army 100th Army Field Company Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers   from Newport, Wales)

My dad, Thomas McCarthy of the 100th Army Field Company Royal Monmouthshire, Royal Engineers was captured at Wattou, near Dunkirk on 29.5.1940. After a time in Stalag X11A and Stalag 344 he was transferred to Stalag V111B at Teschen on the Polish border. He remained there as a POW (no 15356) until the Ďdeath marchí on 20.1.1945. On 9 May 1945 he and other survivors crossed American lines at Karlsbad.

Sadly, my Dad died of ill health in 1963 when his three children were very young, so we were never able to talk to him about his time as a POW. But we did have left to us a very small notebook in which he kept a record of the Ďdeath marchí which is reprinted below. Tom used a pencil stub to bravely keep a record of what happened, despite the risks to him. The original of the notebook in now in the Regimental Museum in Monmouth.

Copy of handwritten log of Sapper Thomas (Tom) McCarthy:-

January 20TH 1945 Started marching, given one loaf 2000grams

January 25th 1945

  • 1/3 Loaf 1 kilo 333 grams
  • ľ Loaf 2 Kilo 500 grams
  • ľ loaf 2 kilo 500 grams
  • 1/5th loaf 2 kilo 400 grams
  • 1/6 Loaf 1800 grms 300 grams
Total: 4033 grams

February 19th 1945: Stopped marching. For the last 30 days we were given 4033 grams or 8 &4/5lbs of bread, and 2lbs of marg for 42 men and a soup a day except for 4 days when we got a few potatoes. Some parties had Red Cross food to start, but we had none, nor cigs. In the 30 days we marched 420 KM. We stared with 314 English about 400 Russians and 40 labourers.

20th February 1945: The weather is very cold, everything is freezing. If you take your boots off at night you have trouble to get them on in the morning. If you donít you cannot sleep with the cold. Some days, and on the forced night march the boots were freezing while marching. The night marching was hell. A lot of men were put in hospital with frost bitten feet and ears. The RMC chap with us told me that some would have to have one foot off and a few would lose two. Seven Russians passed out that first week, I saw three of them at one barn. The only thing that kept me going was the thought that we were going west and that was going home.

24th February 1945: We have had 250 grams of bread per day since the 19th except for one day it was stopped as two men were found stealing potatoes and one day no soup.

25th February 1945: Still in the same barn, things are very bad. You can sell one days bread for 3 cigs. Getting weak, blackout when I stand up. A lot have got dysentery and one chap fainted. Lost the Pole last night - I had to get rid of all his clothes. I spend all my time thinking of food. Guards shot Russian for stealing potatoes and planted him ten minutes later in the yard. Sandy gone to hospital. One Red Cross parcel for thirty five men - I got half a tin of Ovaltine.

12th March 1945: Marched 22 KM west to a new barn. New guards much better. Started with Aussie and Keyes.

15th March 1945: Weather much better. Had a wash down. First time Iíve had my pants off since starting.

16th March 1945: Went to bed with pants and pullover off.

25th March 1945: Letter home and washed down. About thirty men working cutting wood. One or two men to a house.

29th March 1945: Had half a Red Cross parcel. I went out working for a day and had too much to eat. After so long on so little Iíve been ill all day. Iíve also got piles. Good news heard today that our troops are 240kms west.

5th April 1945: Marching again- given half a loaf for two days, going to a Stalag- marched 25KM, rained all day.

6th April 1945: Marched 26KM- its not a Stalag just new huts for the 1200 men. Anyway itís the finish of the march (we hope). Itís the first time weíve had a bed since 20th January. We have been having seven men to a loaf, we are hoping it wonít be less.

8th April 1945: Ten men to a loaf. Met H. Harris, P. Evans, Stan Fowler and G. Franklin. Half the camp is lousy. Canít get water to drink, but got a parcel a man. I canít leave the butter alone- Iíve been eating it with a spoon.

13th April 1945: George away with the NCO- I have not done any work yet been going sick.

14th April 1945: I had to go to work

16th April 1945:

Five hundred men came to the camp for the night. They say the Yanks are near Dresden. Everyone sent back to the camp from work. We are hoping weíre not off. got 4 cigs a man from the Red Cross.

19th April 1945: Big air battle over the camp. One 4 engine bomber came down near the camp, and a few further away. No news but all hoping for the best.

20th April 1945: Things getting bad. Sold my cigs for 1 and Ĺ loafs. We can hear gun fire. A few planes bombed somewhere west of the camp. We could see the bombs leaving the planes.

21st April 1945: We can hear guns but cannot tell where or how far away as we're in the hills. Water came on at 2.00 am this morning. I got up and got three soupbowls full for a bath. Found a few lice in my vest.

24th April 1945: I think we were hoping for too much. Everything gone quiet, no air raids or gunfire. Feel weak when I walk about. Everyone is the same. All you can hear is men talking of food. It donít worry me now. There is talk of moving. Hope not- if we have to sleep out in the woods it will kill us.

25th April: They want seven hundred men for work tomorrow- I went sick today but must see MO in the morning. Sold my cigarette lighter for 2 cigars

26th April: Seen the MO. He told me my chest is all right but there is something wrong with my heart. He did not say what. Anyway no work. Seven hundred men had to go to Pirna.

27th April 1945: Done some washing, and when I went to get my dinner I had my socks swiped. Heard the Lambsdorf crowd are away.

30th April 1945: Got a smoke- Kaye sold his socks. Good soup not water.

1st May 1945: BBC news given out (good). The war must be over they have just given us half a cup of milk at 9.00pm at night, and the soup today was very good.

2nd May 1945: They came into the hut at 1.00am this morning with the news that Hitler had been killed, and Donitz has taken over, and a few hours later that Berlin has fallen.

3rd May 1945: BBC news very good. We are all waiting for the finish. Half a cup of milk.

4th May 1945: Fifty german cigarettes a man, the first since 1940 that we could get. Yesterday bread was 15 cigarettes, this morning it is 3. BBC says the north has fallen. It seems we will be the last. German and Polish MO passed me as unfit to march.

5th May 1945: Talk of the sick moving and the camp can hear guns

6th May 1945: Ready to move at 6.00am but not going now until 1.00 donít know where to, but near a hospital- guns going all night.

7th May 1945: Left Hohenstine at 1.00pm. Got to Bilin at 10.00pm. Seen the doc at hospital. Left Bilin for Stalag 1Vc (Teplice)- hear the war is over.

8th May 1945: They say we can march to our lines, or stay- I am moving. 3.00pm over taken by Russians at Dubi.

9th May 1945: Started marching to the Yanks. Got a lift 28kms that makes 80K. At Karlsbad slept out.

9th May 1945: Behind the Yank lines!

10th May 1945: New house at Eger- Slept!

Gabrielle Taylor



Thomas McCarthy .     British Army 100th Field Company Royal Engineers   from Newport, Gwent)

Tom is second from left middle row.

My dad, Tom McCarthy of the 100th Field Company, Royal Monmouthshire Engineers was captured at Wattou, on the retreat to Dunkirk on 29.5.1940. After a time in Stalag X11A and Stalag 344, he along with 96 other POW's was transferred to Stalag V111B at Teschen on the Polish border. I have a Christmas Card sent by POW's from Stalag in December 1942. Tom remained there as a POW (no 15356) until the "death march" on 20.1.1945. On 9 May 1945 he and other survivors crossed American lines at Karlsbad.

Sadly, my Dad died in 1963 when his three children were very young, so we were never able to talk to him about his time as a POW. But we did have left to us some pictures and Xmas Cards and a very small notebook in which he kept a record of the "death march". Tom used a pencil stub to bravely keep a record of what happened, despite the risks to him. The original of the notebook in now in the Regimental Museum in Monmouth.

Gabrielle Taylor



Pilot Officer R N McCartney .     RAF

Lorenzo del Mann



Sgt Gordon J McCauley. .     RAF 12sqd




F/S A. A. B. McCausland .     Royal Air Force 15 Sqd. (d.11th Aug 1942)

F/S McCausalnd lost his life when Stirling LS-C crashed into a pond at Potash Farm, Brettenham, near Ipswich, on the 11th of August 1942 at 03:37 while trying to land at RAF Wattisham. The aircraft had been badly damaged by two Ju88s, one of which was claimed damaged by return fire.




Alexander McClean .     US Army

Would anyone who has information about friends or relatives of an American soldier, Alexander McClean, based in Co Down, Northern Ireland sometime between 1942 and 1944, who travelled in the ship `Arkansas' please contact me.

Jacqueline Grant



Anna McCleavy .     Timber Corps




Pte. James Poage McClelland .     United States Army 350th Infantry Regiment, Coy. A 88th Division   from Alhambra, Calif. USA)

My father, James P. McClelland, was an enlisted man in the US Army and served the last seven months of World War II as a prisoner in Stalag VII A, Moosburg, Germany.

His brief military career took him from basic training in Texas, on a victory ship across the Atlantic to Napoli, then slowly up through Italy, above Florence, where he went from one replacement camp to another. Being 35 years old, he got the feeling he would never be called to the front.

The situation changed. In early October of 1944, thousands of troops were pulled from the Italian front to participate in the invasion of Southern France. But the battle in Italy against the Germans and the formidable Gothic Line continued. Everyone was called to duty, including company clerks and older GIs, like my Dad. Moving into battle for Pvt. James P. McClelland was the beginning of what could have been the end.

On his third day of combat, he was captured and his seven months of being a POW began. His experiences were unusual. Each day was a battle for survival. For him it was a happy ending. He survived.

On his return to civilian life, he began writing about his experiences. He worked nights, putting his experiences on legal-sized yellow pads. He hired a typist. He revised and revised. He sent his manuscript to several publishers and started a collection of rejection slips. Despite his limited Ozark education and lack of writing skills, his story was real. Long after his death, I reread the manuscript and decided it should be published, if for no other reason than to preserve McClelland family history. It took me three years to retype his manuscript, edit it, research changes and make two visits to Europe. I visited a museum in Moosburg north of Munich where his Stalag VIIA was located. I walked the streets of Munich where Dad had dodged bombs dropped by Allied planes. I sipped beer in Lowenbrau, the big brewery where my father had hidden in the basement during air raids. I finally published Name, Rank and Serial Number in 2005.

Tom McClellland



Flt.Lt. Robert "Paddy" McClements .     Royal Air Force 10 Squadron   from Belfast)

Robert McClements (Jr)



F/S J. R. McClenaghan .     RCAF 514 Sqd.

Having been shot down on the 3rd of August, F/S McClenaghan was interned in Stalag Luft 3.

Alan Costello



S/L L. A.J. McCleod DFC. .     Royal Australian Air Force 97 Squadron




F/Lt. Charles Dean McCloskey .     Royal Air Force   from 44 Kingsway, Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

F/Lt. Charley McCloskey was my uncle, he married my mother's sister, Barbara Ann West, immediately after the war. We don't know much about his time at Stalag Luft 3 other than hearing that he was a "scavenger" for the tunnel construction. He wasn't one of those who escaped but was forced to watch as his 50 mates were murdered after the capture. We believe he spent a great deal of time in solitary confinement and was force-marched, we believe, to Luft 4 prior to liberation. His prisoner number was 1083 and while he sent many letters home to his fiancee and my grandmother, Mrs. West, the attached card is the only remaining one I could locate. If anyone knew of him or of his experience we would be greatful to hear about it.

P B Moore



Carpenter. James McClure .     Merchant Navy SS Empire Bowman (d.30th Mar 1943)

James McClure died aged 28, he was born in 1914 in Jarrow, the only son of William and Mersaney McClure (nee Collier) of Jarrow who were both killed in an Air Raid at 16 Sheldon Street, Jarrow in 1941. James was the husband of Bertha L. McClure (nee Dunn) of Rainham, Essex. He is remembered on the Tower Hill Memorial and is commemorated on the WW2 Roll of Honour Plaque in the entrance of Jarrow Town Hall.

Vin Mullen



Cpl. Roy McClure .     British Army C Company 61st Reconnaissance Corps   from London)

My Father, Roy McClure, was in the 61st Recce Corps. I found a photo of what I think is a passing out parade. It says on the back, C company and all the men are seated in rows with a large trophy in front. I know he was on Gold Beach and saw lots of action. I have bits of stories he told and some I have heard from relatives. He was originally from London but met my Mother when he was posted to Southampton. He arrived with three bren gun cariers to dig in for an invasion. He served through France, Holland and Belgium in command of three Armoured cars. I have one story of how they ambushed a staff car, found documents and he carried a Lugar pistol he took from the officer. I have other stories that may be of interest, perhaps I may find a relation of another soldier from his unit.

Chris McClure



gunner patrick "Jock" mccluskey .     Army 16th Btn. Lancaster Rgt

this is my dad taken in india june 19 42 does anyone recognise him any information will be much appreciated

May Law



Able Sea. William Collings McCluskey .     Royal Navy HMS Attack (d.24th Jul 1945)

William McCluskey died aged 21, he was born in 1924 in Jarrow the son of James O'Neil and Effie Mary McCluskey (nee Collings) of Jarrow. He is buried in Jarrow Cemetery and is commemorated on the WW2 Roll of Honour Plaque in the entrance of Jarrow Town Hall.

Vin Mullen



Ruby Phylis McClusky .     Land Army

My nan Irene May Bridge (nee Mullins) is collecting her medal next month for her service in the Land Army (Henlow Grange). Afternoon tea has been arrange at Henlow Grange (now a Champneys Hotel) with a small ceremony to collect her award from the Mayor of Bedfordshire. I have been asked by members of the family if I can find out about her friend Ruby Phylis McClusky. I have very few details but would appreciate any help, advice orinformation anyone can supply. The lady I am looking for is Ruby Phylis McClusky born 15/03/1930. Her last known address in 1947 was 59 Henchman Street, Old Oak Estate, East Acton, London W12. I believe that she married in the 1st Qtr of 1951 in Ealing to Cyril K Bailey. I have no further information. If you think you can help, please email me. Look forward to hearing from someone!!

Sharon Hooper




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