The Wartime Memories Project - The Second World War

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Those who Served

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Gnr. Frederick Arthur Pace .     British Army 97th Field Regiment Royal Artillery   from Bromley, Kent)

My dad Frederick Pace was 17 when sent to France. Two weeks before he was 18, he was evacuated from Dunkirk. He was later in Italy, Iraq, Iran, France and was a Desert Rat. He was a gunner in the 97th (Kent Yeomanry) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery. I don't know much but a few little stories he told. He was driving officers some where in the desert and stopped to go to the wee and while standing at the side of the road a bomb hit the car and the officers were killed.

Also he was under age when sent to France he signed his mother's signature and the officer in command found out and was going to send him home but it was only 2 weeks 'till his 18th birthday so he let him stay. He was evacuated from Dunkirk and broke his leg while driving a bike?

I don't know much more but have his medals, metal box with letters and forms and even a tin of chocolate still uneaten. That's all I really know. I've got lots of WW2 army photos.

PFC. Emmett Erastus Pack .     United States Army 83rd Infantry Regiment   from Charlottesville, VA)

My father Emmett Pack was a German prisoner of war for nine months. He was captured in France and then marched to Germany. When he was liberated he was taken to a field hospital and was told by the doctor who examined him that he and the other men from that camp would most likely not have survived another month. My father weighed 90 pounds when he was liberated. He was not mistreated but he was given very little food. He said the German soldiers and citizens themselves had very little food.

F/Sgt. S. E. Packard .     Royal Air Force 50 Squadron

Herbert Annesley Packer .     Royal Navy HMS Manchester

Herbert Packer was the captain of HMS Manchester from the 13th of April 1940 until the 31st of May 1941.

Ord.Sea. Maurice "Lofty" Packham .     Royal Navy HMS Sirius

I joined HMS Sirius in 1943 at Algiers, I had no idea what I was in for. The following morning in cold light of dawn I was heaving metal ropes in my whites which soon became a different shade. No overalls had been issued. Broken fragments of wire cut my hands. I was put on the "light calibres" which fitted inside guns for trial shooting - for which there was no use in war time. I had cotton waste and heavy turps to clean them. One day a chief asked me what I was doing there and told me my correct place was Look Out on the bridge. After which those sub calibres became rustier and rustier.

Sirius, I seem to remember, rolled and I was sea sick. When we approached Salerno to support the landing the Gunnery Officer told us that the Germans had a device which homed in on ship's funnels. I think one of these was confused when between us and another ship and it didn't know which way to go and missed both of us. I remembered swimming at Bizerta in company with Sub Lieut Havers who later became Chancellor.

One Sunday I had an attack of migraine and should have reported to the gunnery officer to be put on another post rather than Look Out. However it cleared up and I stayed on the bridge which escaped damage when we were hit. I remember with respect and sadness the bodies of the men being committed to the waves. The trips into the Aegian were not exactly picnics. The Penelope was hit, and two other cruisers I think collided. We were ordered back to Alex. I was a CW candidate but when I was commissioned in 1944 they didn't know what to do with us and I went into Naval Control. Best wishes to all Sirius veterans.

CSM. Tom Paddon .     British Army 4th Btn. Seaforth Highlanders

My father in law Tom Paddon was a regular soldier in the Seaforth Highlanders and saw service in India and the area pre WW2. He then went with the British Expeditionary Force and was eventually taken prisoner at Saint Valéry en Caux He spent the rest of the war at Stalag 8b and his number in the camp was 16793.

If any one can help with more information as to the time spent there or any one has memories of him we would be very grateful. He never spoke about his time in captivity so maybe it was not a good time. He would be remembered as he was West Country man in a Scottish regiment. Please feel free to contact me.

Lason W. "Pete" Padgett .     US Army 838th AA AW   from USA)

My friend Pete (Lason W. Padgett) served in WWII. When he died in 2004 I decided to keep his war memorabilia. There is a photo of his group `Devil Dogs', labelled as `838th Anti Aircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Battalion'. Does someone remember him?

Pte. James Stanley Padley .     British Army Lincolnshire Regiment   from Boston, Lincolnshire)

Signal Boy Richard J. Paffett .     Royal Navy HMS Cairo

Pte. Page .     British Army Pioneer Corps

Private Page, Pioneer Corps survived the sinking of the Lancastria.

S.A. Albert R. Page .     Royal Navy HMS Nelson (d.12th Aug 1942)

Rflmn. Albert Page .     British Army 1st Battalion Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) (d.6th April 1944 )

Arthur "Baba" Page .     R A S C Transport   from 32 Russell Road Newbury, Berkshire)

My Dad, Athur Page From Newbury Berkshire, was in the RASC during the last parts of the war, he was stationed in western germany in a small town called Ebstorf in 1946. Dad was billited with a german family by the name of Buchiwald Or Budiwald, the daughters names were Gerda and Gisela, Father's name was Paul, Mother's name Lindien, I think Dad was initally stationed at Munster I have some photos of my Dad and some of his mates in unifofm with the german family, Could any body that may have any information,on the RASC during this time please help me?

Doris Sylvia Cathrine "Dot" Page .     Women's Land Army   from Birmingham)

I am trying to find out about my late mother's time during the Second World War. Her maiden name was Page, we knew that she served as a Land Army girl, but where or when, we just don't know! Her name was Doris, but everyone called her Dot. She sadly passed away in 2002, followed 8 wks later my our father William Henry Tofts. They lived a full and happy life, having my sister and 4 yrs later myself. We seem to always get told what Dad did during the war years, he served on HMS Dido. But we sadly didn't get told about Mum's part, only that she was a Land Army Girl.

Even though she is no longer with us, we would dearly love to learn more about her time as a Land Girl, Where was the farm? Who she worked along side? who were her friends?

Sgt. Leslie Charles Page MID.     British Army 1st Battalion, 7 Platoon Middlesex Regiment   from 31 Cuckoo Dene, Hanwell, London)

Les Page began the process of joining the British Army at Acton Drill Hall in London on the very day that WW2 broke out. His brother Laurie walked in to the the room that Les was waiting in - much to the surprise of both of them! Laurie then enlisted with the 2nd Battalion as they were concerned at the effect on their parents, sister and his fiancee if they were both to be lost in action.

Les was in the 1st Battalion, Middlesex Regiment which was attached to the the 15th Scottish Division in the latter stages of the War. He landed at Arromanches on DDay + 19 and then went from Normandy to Belgium, Holland - and eventually in to Germany.

During this period he was Platoon Sergeant of 7 Platoon - part of B Company of the 1st Battalion. His officer Lieutenant Frank Handslip was killed on the Normandy beaches on the day that they landed. In the eleven months or so before they reached Germany he had all together five officers; all except the final one Lieutenant Jimmy Stubbs M.C. were killed or injured in action - and Les spent more time in command of his Platoon then all the other five officers added together. This undoubtedly led to his award of a 'Mention in Dispatches' - personally signed by Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery.

Les' unit were expert machine gunners and mainly used Vickers Machine Guns and Bren Gun carriers. They saw a good deal of action and lost many men on the long way from northern France to Germany.

Phillip Eric Page .     Army Middlesex Regiment

I'm trying to gather information about my Grandad and his time in World War II. His name was Phillip Eric Page and served in the Middlesex Regiment, He was captured in June 1940, but am unsure when he arrived at Stalag XXA. We are currently going through old papers and photos that we have, and hopefully in the near future I will be posting what we find.

If anyone has any information on the Middlesex Regiment we would love to hear from you as we are trying to find as much information as possible. Thanks for taking the time to read this

Sgt. Phillip William "Pancho" Page .     British Army Sussex Coy. Royal Engineers   from Brighton)

My Dad Phillip Page served with George Notcher, Knight, Tiny Rummery, Harry Draper and loads of smashing blokes in the Engineers. They travelled a lot during the War and lost a lot of the Company. When I was a kid they told me the funny stories from their travels and they all kept in contact for a long time after the war.

Ron Page .     British Army 1st Btn. East Riding Yeomanry 1st Arm. Recon Bgde.

My father, Ron Page, was with the 1st Btn East Riding Yeomanry, and was taken prisoner near Watou, Belgium on 30th May 1940. He was at XXA Thorn, and XXB Marienburg, Elbing, Paulsdorf, Garnsee and Deutsch Eylau. He has a couple of POW group photos from XXB Deutsch Eylau taken in 1943 and 1944. There are names and home towns for 16 of the men in the 1944 photo. He says that the men in the photos are from a variety of regiments.

Tpr. Ronald Victor Page .     British Army East Riding Yeomanry

My father, Ronald Victor Page, lives with us in North Bay, Ontario. He wrote a book about his wartime experiences, "European Tour, 1939-1945". It was printed in a very limited edition (12 copies; one for each family member). There is a lot more to his story than he has revealed in his book. He has told us many humorous stories and some very sad one's since he finished the book in 1997. We are trying to encourage him to document more of his experiences and have the book re-written with our help.

Ron, a member of the East Riding Yeomanry, was taken prisoner near Watou, Belgium on 30th of May 1940. After six weeks of being marched around France and then following a long train ride, he ended up at Stalag XXA, Thorn. About a month later his group was split up and he was transferred to Stalag XXB farm / labour camps, where he stayed for the next few years. On 14th Jan 1945, his group left Deutsch Eylau on foot on a journey through Poland and Germany. The estimated 800 mile march ended near Bitterfeld, Germany, on 25th of April 1945, when they met up with US forces. Ron sketched out the general route they took. Ron would enjoy hearing from any old comrades who may have taken "the tour' with him.

Sgt S. Page .     RAF 428 sqd. (d.20th Dec 1943)

Sgt Thomas Robert Pagett. .     RAF 12Sqd. (d.12th Jun 1943)

Thomas Pagett lost his life on 12th Jun 1943 in Lancaster DV157 PH-Z of 12sqd

Douglas William Paginton .     British Army 8th Army

F/O J. W. Paige .     97 Squadron

F/O Malcolm Turner Wellesley Pain .     Royal Australian Air Force 615 Sqdn.   from NSW, Australia)

(d.10th August 1944)

Historial Document:

Recorded from Flying Officer F.P.Fahy NZ411980 RNZAF and RAF 615. Fighter Squadron Pilots Log Book

(BAF Personnel Bureau (NZ) Assn.Doc.A1)

On the 10th August 1944, all of our aircraft RAF 615 (County of Surrey) Fighter Squadron were flying from Palel in Assam to Baigachi, Bengal. We where about 80 miles east of Calcutta when we flew into a monsoon storm.

I saw the C.O.'s Section disappear above me and I glanced in the cockpit, my instruments had, had it. There was no visability and none of the plane's controls were working. I made up my mind that it was time I parted company with the aircraft. This wasn't easy, the hook stuck and I had a hell of a job. Finally, it came away and to the right mainplane about three feet from the centre-section. Hell's teeth I thought I had been in a hurry up until then, but I really got going now. In fact I jumped out helmet and all plugged in. I must have swung like a pendulum going around for a few seconds, that seemed like hours, waiting for the thud of the ground, when I felt a jerk.

I looked up and from that moment on I have a passion for mushrooms. There above me was the chute letting me down and the chute began to fold in and spill air. I pulled on the rigging lines, as I had been told and was able to control the rate of descent. It was about 20 seconds before I saw the ground or should I say river. Yes, I landed up to my neck in water. I was helped by natives to shelter. After an hour's rest, I heard news of another pilot who was a few villages away who had been injured. I was able to get to him later that day and a sampan took us to the nearest motorable road. We arrived in Calcutta the following day. Here we received news that the C.O. had been killed and three others. Eight of the other machines got through safely after being sucked right out of the cloud into brilliant sunshine. An L.A.C. at Ops was able to vector them in safely. This airman for his wide awake action received a Mention in Despaches. The C.O.'s body was the only body recovered as it was thought the others were in an area that it would not be possible. So, these were posted missing believed killed.

The C.O. was buried in Calcutta. He was thought so much of by his Squadron, that a letter was sent to his mother asking what she would like as a memorial to him. Funds were raised and a stainless glass window is now installed in the church in his home town in Australia.

He was held responsible for the accident by a court of enquiry, but I still wonder if it was an error on his part. Three pilots bailed out successfully and one force-landed.

Casualty List 10th August 1944

  • Lost SQD Leader D McCormack DFC & Bar RAAF (Killed)
  • F/O W S Bond RCAF (Missing believed killed)
  • F/O M Pain RAAF (Missing believed killed)
  • W/O Chappell RAAF (Missing believed killed)

    Bailed Out

  • Flying Officer Costain RAF (Broken leg)
  • F/O Armstrong RCAF (Dislocated knee cap)
  • F/O F.P.Fahy RNZAF (Twisted knee)

    Force landed

  • F/O Watson RAF (Unhurt)

    8 other Squadron aircraft and pilots landed safely.


  • Lt/Cdr. R. M. E. Pain .     Royal Navy Sub P514

    Lt. Cdr. R.M.E. Pain was in command of Sub 514.

    Eric Paine .     British Army 8th Army

    Stkpr. John Ernest "Jack" Paine .     Merchant Navy SS Gloucester Castle   from Millwall)

    (d.15th July 1942)

    My merchant seaman grandfather Jack Paine died in July 1942 when the Gloucester Castle was sunk by the German cruiser Michel. I have some information about it and know there were a number of survivors. I want as much information I can get, including stories from any survivors, and I also want to find out if my father's cousin, who came from Canada, was also killed on the ship.

    Pte. William Troy Paine .     United States Army 326th Medical Corps   from Memphis, TN)

    My father, William Troy Paine (Bill), served in the US Army from 1943 to 1945. He was a medic with the 326th Medical Corps, 101st Airborne Division. He participated in "Market Garden" and landed in Zon. He worked for months at the regimental hospital near the Wilhelmina Canal and was later captured at the "Battle of the Bulge" in Bastogne, Belgium on December 19, 1944. He, along with other prisoners, marched in the snow for days and was packed into railroad cars where they could only stand. He was taken to Stalag IV-B. His POW dogtag No. 316777. He remained there until he was liberated by the Russians.

    He did not speak of his experience in the camp often, but he did recall the body lice, hepatitis, and the weight loss. Throughout his life, whenever it snowed my father broke out in a neurogenic rash.

    There was one person who he spoke of in the whole camp. This was an Asian American in his barracks. The reason he remembered this man is because he would walk up and down the barracks and say "There are three great men in this world.... Roosevelt... Churchill... and Me (the prisoner stated his name)!"

    The closest he came to getting killed in WWII was while he was on a work detail to gather wood. The American planes accidentally strafed the prisoners, killing many. The next day the American planes dropped a wreath over the camp.

    Upon liberation by the Russians, he and two other prisoners escaped the Russians. They had to steal cheese from the basement of a German home to survive the trek from the camp to the American lines across the Elbe River.

    My father died in July 2010. I know little about his time in Stalag IV-B If anyone has any more information on that or his trek to the Elbe please contact me.

    Sgt. John Harry Painter .     (d.7th Sept. 1941)

    P/O Walter John Painter. .     Royal Air Force 76 Sqd. (d.11th May 1943 )

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