The Wartime Memories Project - The Second World War



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Those who Served




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Sgt John Pattison .     British Army Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards)

My Grandfather served in the Green Howards and was stationed at RAF Thornaby, I have his mess card for 1939-1940.



Horace Leonard Pattle .     British Army Royal Observer Corps   from Stowmarket, Suffolk)

I remember my Dad, Horace Pattle, going on duty atop the hill outside Stowmarket, Suffolk, binoculars slung over his shoulder, bike clips round his trouser legs, & I think he wore a navy-blue beret. We had all learned to recognize the silhouettes of the planes when they were caught in the searchlight beams. We learned them from the black bakelite models my Dad was provided with. My favourite was the shiny Spitfire. I remember the day the model planes arrived with a man and his dog, a liver-and-white spaniel named "Boofas" (Boofas made good use of the flower planter at the end of our driveway,and of his master's car tyre)

My mother might have been a bit scared and lonely on the evenings my Dad was on duty but she didn't show it to us children. We survived the air-raids and "doodlebug" bombs and when peace was declared I came downstairs the next morning stating "Well, if this is peace, it's not very exciting!!" Ungrateful child!!



PFC. Donald Max "Bud" Patton .     US Army 3rd Battalion 414th Infantry Regiment   from Los Angeles, California, USA)

My father Bud Patton, would never speak of the war to me, except the funny stories. His unit found and raided a costume shop. They donned the various costumes and were marching down the road when a high ranking officer in a jeep happened by. He was stationed in, according to his DD214 as it currently known, the Rhineland, Northern France and Central Europe.

After his death to cancer in 1987, my mother informed me that he had spoke very little of the war to her except to tell her that he was a liberating American soldier in one of the death camps for the Jews. He did mention seeing a young and once beautiful woman who was floating naked and pickled in a large life sized container of some sort. This sight must have greatly impacted him. I am attempting to document as much as I can for a story I am writing in his honor and for the men who also participated in this story.

I am trying to track down where this might have been. The only info I can come up with the 414th that was assigned to help out with the liberation of Nordhausen and the Dora-Mittlebau camps in Germany. Does anyone have any information that could help?



T/SGT Jack D. Patzke .     United States Army Air Force 347th Squadron   from Bly, Oregon)

(d.8th April 1945)

My Great Uncle T/SGT. Jack D. Patzke served with the 99th Bomb Group 347th Squadron in Italy. He flew 33 missions as radio operator/gunner, his first was on January 1, 1944 and his last was April 30, 1944.

On his last mission their B-17 42-32014 Pappy Yokum was hit by fighters all crew members bailed out. They were captured sometime after. Stalag Luft 3 is where they were sent. He stayed in barrack 72 and room 2 his POW number was 4323. I found out that he took to boxing as a recreation.

When the camp was evacuated and the POWs were forced to march, sometime between Moosberg and Nuremberg he left the column with two other POWs. It was figured on April 8, 1945 is the day he was killed along with one of the other POWs. His remains were found sometime in 1949 and then brought back to the States in 1950.

I am hoping to find an ex-POW or a family member of a POW that might have some information on Jack. I know some of the POWs wrote diaries of the times in camp and about friends. Any information would be helpful.



Thomas Albert "Tich" Pavely .     Royal Air Force   from Finchley, London)

My father Thomas Albert (Tich) Pavely was shot down over Italy on route to Malta in about 1940. He spent most of war in Stalag Luft 111. As with most Dads he did not talk about his time in the POW camp he just said it's better you do not know. My first recollection was the first Christmas that the Great Escape was on TV, out of the blue Dad said "I was in that camp, we were made to march through the winter at the end of the war but that was all". We know he was a navigator on small bombers maybe Wellingtons or Blenhims. Does anyone have any memories of him? I would like to know the best places to look for information to put together some history for the kids.

Mum was a WAAF and tended the pilots when they came back and had many sad stories.



F/Lt. Joe Pawell .     Royal Canadian Air Force 51 Sqd.   from USA)



LAC George Pawson .     Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve   from Cheetham, Lancs.)

According to his group captain, as recorded on his Certificate of Service and Release: This airman has been in charge of the telephone exchange at Hallaxton. He has always been polite and willing to work longer hours to make up for the deficiency in staff. He is conscientious, efficient and takes an interest in his work. According to George, he worked on a highly isolated outpost in the country as a communications officer, radio operator, doing work of some classified nature, he received some kind of guerilla training. To the best of my knowledge they were radio operators, intercepting messages from the Germans and relaying their information. Mostly very boring but important and required personal dedication and action. It was part of bombing raids over Germany.

He never talked much about it, as it was highly classified at the time, and once he immigrated to Canada in the fifties, it was so drummed into him not to talk, that he just couldn't.

However, it seems he lost a lot of friends, and when finally attending a Remembrance Day Ceremony in Powell River B.C. in the 1990's, he was in tears the whole time. I am very curious, as to what exactly they were doing in the country there for 5 whole years, In his discharge book are also stamped Cardington which is supposed to have been a sort of ghost station for Tempsford.



Pte. Payne .     British Army Royal Army Service Corps

Extract from newspaper report from an Interview with Private Payne from Luton, Chatham August 1940.

With the collapse of the French army Private Payne was involved in the evacuation of the 2nd BEF and he and other troops found themselves aboard the ill fated SS Lancastria.

‘The story of the Lancastria has now been told’ he said, ’but one thing that was not sufficiently emphasised was the courage of the troops on board.

‘It has been suggested that the enemy were not aware of the Lancastria’s identity after she had sunk I think I can confirm that’ ‘A Corporal Williamson and myself, both clerks with the R.A.S.C., were manning a Bren gun on the top deck. He was firing and I was feeding the gun. We brought down the plane that bombed the boat and it therefore did not return to its base to tell the tale.

In the explosion which followed the bombing my comrade was severely injured. I think I can say that I saved his life because although he was practically unconscious I managed to dress his wounds and get him safely on a boat. I placed him on the last lifeboat to leave the ship. I tried to get into a boat myself, but overbalanced and fell into the water. I had no life belt and I could not swim, but I found an oar in the water and was able to hold myself up. I was in the water more than 2 hours. We were machine gunned during part of it, but I came through okay and was finally picked up by a French trawler.

When I got aboard I found my comrade was there too. He was lying unconscious on the deck and although I was terribly wet and weary I made a pillow for him out of some wet clothing and stayed with him until we were transferred to a bigger ship. Here he was operated on and is, I believe, now in hospital in England.

I think his feat in shooting down the German plane is deserving of some recognition.

Private Payne added that his experience had somewhat affected his help and that he has now been graded B.1.

Corporal Williamson was my father John Derek Williamson, who died when he was 68 years old in 1988.



Jim Payne .     Auxilliary Unit   from Eastleigh, Hampshire)

Jim was a member of the unit based in Stoke Park Woods at Eastleigh in Hampshire.



Orme Payne .     Canadian Army 60th Field Battery Royal Canadian Artillery



Sid Payne .     Home Guard Feltwell Btn.



Pte. Walter Payne .     British Army 2/5th Btn. B Company West Yorkshire Regiment   from Sheffield)

My father, Walter Payne was in the 2/5 West Yorks Regiment and was held at Torun from June 1940, he was captured at Bethune, France and was taken prisoner at the tender age of 19.

He died in 1979 without ever telling me anything about his time in the prisoner of war camp other than he worked on a farm. Last year myself and my husband went to lay a poppy wreath in Dunkirk for my dad's fallen comrades, it was something he always wanted to do but never got the chance.

If anyone out there has anyone whose dad may have known my dad I would be grateful for any info you have can you let me know. Thanks for any help.



Sergeant Ronnie Paynter .     Army 10th Battalion Highland Light Infantry

My father, Ronnie Paynter, served with the 10th Bn Highland Light Infantry during the second world war. He was proud to have served in this fine Battalion, which he fondly referred to as the Best Scots Regiment full of Yorkshiremen.

I recall stories:

  • when they were bored bloody stupid on the Shetland Isles prior to deployment on the Invasion of Normandy.
  • how he hated the skirl of the pipes.
  • the crossing of the River Rhine.
  • hiding booty never to be found again.

    Unfortunately my father passed away at the age of 78 in 1996. The memory of my father Sgt Ronnie Paynter 10th Bn HLI will be with me forever.



  • Sergeant Ronnie Paynter .     Army 10th Battalion Highland Light Infantry

    My father, Ronnie Paynter, served with the 10th Bn Highland Light Infantry during the second world war. He was proud to have served in this fine Battalion, which he fondly referred to as the Best Scots Regiment full of Yorkshiremen.

    I recall stories:

  • when they were bored bloody stupid on the Shetland Isles prior to deployment on the Invasion of Normandy.
  • how he hated the skirl of the pipes.
  • the crossing of the River Rhine.
  • hiding booty never to be found again.

    Unfortunately my father passed away at the age of 78 in 1996. The memory of my father Sgt Ronnie Paynter 10th Bn HLI will be with me forever.



  • Charles Peace .     British Army



    Evelyn Peace .     Land Army

    I am sending this message on behalf of Evelyn Peace No. 81742 enlisted July 1942 and discharged November 1950 she would like to hear from her friends especially Louise Carse may now be McGuire.

    Thank you.



    Sergeant A R Peacock .     RAF 149 Squadron



    Pte. Robert Peacock .     British Army Cameron Highlanders   from Clydebank)

    Robert Peacock was my Great Uncle and was part of the sacrificial rearguard action at Dunkirk by the 51st Highland Division. He was captured and became a POW. According to his own testimony he escaped 6 times but was caught. Having known this man I have no reasons to doubt his evidence. All I know is that he was imprisoned in Stalag IXc but ended in the salt mines of Silesia. It is important to me personally to trace his war history as he never talked about it much. Any help would be much appreciated.



    Sgt. Roger "Pluto" Peacock .     Royal Air Force 40 Sqd.   from Liverpool)

    (d. )

    Roger Peacock was born in Liverpool on January 1, 1920. He joined the RAF in 1937 and was trained to be a wireless operator and a gunner on a Blenheim Bomber. His plane was shot down on July 26th, 1940 during an air raid near Wilhelmshaven in north-west Germany. He was taken prisoner and spent five years in German POW camps:Oberursel-Barth-Sagan-Heydekrug-Fallingbostel. He took part in the "Long March" before returning to Britain after liberation.

    After two years in hospital he became a teacher. After his retirement he adopted the pen name "Richard Passmore" and wrote three autobiographical works published by Thomas Harmsworth Publishing London: "Blenheim Boy"(1981), "Moving Tent" about his time as a POW(1982)and "Thursday is Missing" about his childhood and youth in Liverpool(1984). He died in 1996.

    After being discharged from hospital in 1947 he returned to Germany on a bicycle tour. During his stay at the youth hostel here in Osnabrueck he met a young man living in the neighbourhood, who invited him to get to know his family. This was the beginning of a lifelong friendship.



    Pte. Alfred Edward "Knocker" Peak .     British Army 2nd Btn. Beds and Herts Regiment   from London)

    My dad, Alfred Peak fought for his unit as a boxer. My dad was a regular soldier who joined up in Colchester barracks. He used to tell us about his army days. I would dearly love to find out about his boxing and where he served. After the war my dad threw his medals into the river Ooze in Bedford. He met up with his brother Billy who was serving in the Royal Norfolk's on a beach when some stukas came down and shot the 1st and 2nd lines. My dad saw his brother killed and tried to bury him. He was at Monte Cassino where he got shot. He was also taken prisoner by the Italians for about 39 days.

    I have my dads cap badge and also my grandads who was in the Beds and Herts in WW1. If anyone has any information I would really appreciate it, sadly my dad is no longer with us so we can't ask; I would dearly love to be able to tell my grandsons about their Great Granddad as they are very interested.



    Flt.Sgt. James Peak .     Royal Air Force 102 Sqd   from Hendon, Middx)

    (d.26th Feb 1943)



    Able Seaman. A. Pearce .     Royal Navy HMS Forfar

    Able Seaman Pearce was listed amongst the survivors brought ashore from HMS Forfar.



    Sgt. Cyril Victor Pearce .     RAF Volunteer Reserve 500 Squadron (d.7th July 1941 )

    My uncle was killed on 7th July 1941 at Burnham Market. We understand that he was the air gunner in a Blenheim which was shot down. Having looked at various pieces of history,the pilot was listed as A. Leeson, but Cyril is not mentioned in any of the references made. He is buried at Harrow (Pinner) New Cemetery.



    Flt Sgt Ernest R Pearce .     RAF

    I am trying to trace the wife or children of Flt Sgt. Ernest R Pearce who was a wireless operator air gunner.

    I knew him very well when he was in the R.A.F as he was my Mother's younger brother and spent all his leaves with us. He was my Hero!

    I have details of his last flight from Skipton on Swale when he was shot down and eventually taken P.O.W to Stalag Luft 3.

    I remember him getting married to Hilda (in fact have the certificate) but very little since. I feel there may be children out there who are my cousins or even Hilda. I do know Ernest died but not where or when. So anyone with ANY info at all I would be very grateful.



    Osman Parker "Ommy" Pearce .     British Army Royal Artillery

    My father Osman Parker Pearce MBE, LLB; recently passed away. He joined the Artillery in Newcastle at the onset of the war. He fought in the desert and advanced then retreated through Greece. Finally he was captured in Tobruk and taken to Italy. The Italians were relatively pleasant. From here they were serially sent to Germany in cattle trucks. He spoke little of his time in POW, just to say that without the Red Cross parcels he would not have survived. He said the Russians were treated the worst. His 'job' was a tin basher. He avoided anything to do with food because it provoked fights. He studied and completed his accountancy exams by post whilst there, afterwards becoming a solicitor. In an interview for his American grandson, he said that his greatest achievements in life were surviving as a POW and being awarded an MBE.

    I visited the camp site and museum a week ago. I do not think it was a time my father wished to remember. Throughout his life he would avoid arguments. Nothing perhaps was worth the anguish. He had dealt with things so much more extreme the pettiness of life did not come onto the same scale. He never said a word against the Germans. He may have told my mother more, but not his three children. He hoped for better for us and did not instil any prejudice.



    Gunner Reginald Ernest Pearce .     British Army 50th Battalion Scottish Rifles(Cameroons)   from Fulham. London)

    My ex-Wife and I are researching our family trees, as it is possible we may have already been related before our Marriage. She has found some references to her Father, Reg Pearce who was a gunner with the 50th. Battalion Scottish Rifles(Cameroons). There is also a reference to his being part of No. 284 Battery (AAKAAK), based at Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.

    The unit had a pet cat. Every time she detected the sounds of the enemy bombers, long before the crew did, she would find her safe spot, but it was the signal for the lads to be ready, well in advance, of the enemy squadrons. One Italian squadron got a real pasting, and,having thus decided that discretion was the better part of valour, just dropped their bombs and fled, and, to this day, the waters of Great Yarmouth's Harboursmouth are still host to a whole collection of unexploded bombs, that. if moved, would wreck the whole of the town if they were to go off. Reg was also aboard the SS "Strathmore", and sailed to Port Said in 1945, being posted to Cairo and Alexandra, at the same time as my own Father, Will Osborne, who was with the REME Dance Orchestra out there. He returned in 1946 aboard the SS "Caroloinen"(Caroliner?). If anyone has any information, or any stories about Reg please do email and we can both enjoy sharing some history about our two families. Thanks in Advance.



    PO Stanley James Pearmain .       from Hoadley Rd, Cambridge)



    Tpr. Arthur Edward "Archie" Pearman .     British Army Recce   from Sheerness)



    Albert Pearson .     Army Leicestershire Regiment

    My late father, Albert Pearson was a prisoner in Stalag IVB, prisoner number 227929. He arrived there via camp 66, Capua, Italy. He was in the Leicestershire Regiment, number 4868471, captured in North Africa early in 1943.

    He spoke very little about his time in the camps, but he did say they woke one morning to find the German guards gone, and lots of Russians on horseback. He and two others then spent some time roaming around the area, spending some time in a railway station. On one occasion a local family with several daughters offered them shelter, my Dad felt this was to try to protect themselves from the Russians. They declined the offer, also fearful of the Russians. They were later rounded up by the Americans and brought back to England. I'm not sure how.

    I would be very interested if any one knew him or could fill in some of the missing information. Thank you.



    John Henry Pearson .     Bevin Boy   from Tallington, Lincolnshire)

    My Grandad, John Pearson, known today as Granddad Jack, was born in 1920 in Deeping St Nicholas in Lincolnshire. He was called up to be a Bevin Boy during WWII. All we are aware off is, he was based up in Nottinghamshire, he was based at three collieries, Cresell, Morton and TeversalL (please excuse the spelling) We as a family do not know more than this as Granddad does not give up his past that easily.




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