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Photographs of forces dead

Letters Sent During War Years Letters about those who died Decorations and Awards
Officers/Draft Roll of Honour  

In Memoriam Book

Intro WW2 et al

Boys known to have been 'called up' during WW2                In Memoriam Overview

The war experiences of the boys who died.           Towns and Villages where the boys who died appear to have come from      

Army Careers of those who died         Navy Careers of those who died       RAF Careers of those who died 

This information is mostly garnered from the web.  It is impossible, for a non relative, to access the actual records before 2020.

Letters sent by parents and 'boys' during the war years:   All of the boys who wrote, survived:

Army Letters      Navy Letters      RAF Letters      Force Not Known      Other Letters

 

Although the yearly entry rate at Wellingborough Grammar  School varied, it averaged about 60 per year between its opening in 1930 and 1938.  As a result the maximum number of boys that could have entered the armed forces was about 600.  In fact just 210 boys are known to have been 'called up' during the second world war.  The likelihood is that the number should be nearer 400  (Just under two thirds (60%) of the boys who entered the school in its first two years are known to have been 'called up'.)

 

The explanation for the short fall  is clearly linked to the fact that the school's sixth form was small with many boys leaving aged just fifteen or sixteen.  The continued fall in 1937 and 1938 may be additionally linked to some boys completing their Higher Education during the final war years.

 

Not surprisingly for, a midlands county, only 15% of the boys (31) joined the navy. What is surprising is that almost as many lads entered the RAF (81) as entered the army (93}.

 

With the great majority of the boys being enlistments, it is not surprising that the maority of Wellingborough Grammar School boys in the forces were privates, non commissioned officers and lower officer ranks. 

    Pte NCO Lieuts Higher
  Army  13 12 11 3
  Navy 4   7  
  RAF 4 11 8 1
  Total 21 23 26 4

 

All the information retained by the Wrenn school on what happened to WGS  boys in the forces and in colleges during the war years is given below. The evidence from the magazine and the letters is that WGS  tried hard to obtain information, keep in touch and provide support.

 

The sources of information are:

1.    The school magazines.  Three lists are given  during the war years, these are supplemented by references to boys leaving to join the forces and by the school providing lists of old boys who visited the school giving their rank.

2.    The school In Memoriam book includes a photograph and a short account of each boys experience.

3.    Letters written to the school by the boys or their parents.  In virtually all the letters, the date of response is given. 

4,.   Information available on the web.

 

It is evident that the school had a collection and sent 2 to each POW, via  their parents, hoping that it would at least provide moral support.   The web pages can be accessed in several ways. 

  1.  Lower down on this page all the boys who died are listed and from those lists, information on their forces career and letters from their parents (if any) can be selected.

  2.  The Photograph section, at the top, provides the photos of the boys in the memorial book and those known to have been died in the forces since WW2.  The letters about these lads can be accessed by selecting their name under each photograph and, their war experiences by selecting their name at the top of the page or the highlighted comment below each photo.  Many of the parental  letters are painful to read.

  3. The letters sent by the boys (or their parents) can be accessed alphabetically, at the top, by selecting either the "Letters from survivors" or the "Letters about those who died" and then selecting the individual by name..

  4. The Forces selection, given in tables below the tabes of those who died, provide a summary of information taken from the letters, indicating the region where the boy fought, the date of the letter and information on rank.

  5. The Decoration and Awards section provides all the award information  John Cook has collected from the war records.  It appears that if a boy wanted to be decorated, he should have joined the RAF!

If you can add to this information - an obvious gap is that there must have been many other boys who joined the forces  please email grahamtall@wgsmemories.org.uk 

    ________________________________________________

 

Summary information discovered of the war 'experiences' of the boys who died.

The 'boys' are listed according to the service they were in and the date on which they died.  This has been done to make it easier to compare the experiences of the different 'lads'.  Each row of the table begins with the name of the 'boy' concerned, his rank, service, regiment/squadron/ship and his date of death and number.  It then continues with an indication of where they served and, in white letters on black, where they died.  Finally, in some cases from the Commonwealth War Grave Commission information available on the web, but mostly from the letters sent to the school by their parents information on where their home was whilst they were at school.  In a few instances such information is not available - if you can provide it, please forward it to me at grahamtall@wgsmemories.org.uk

Army Careers of those who died    Naval Careers of those who died       RAF Careers of those who died 

 

Army Careers of those who died 

Eight of the lads who died were in the army.  Three of these were in armoured regiments, three in the infantry whilst the remaining two were in the RAMC and REME.   Where the 'boys' died inevitably follows the course of the war.  With the exception of Francis Causebrook, who died as a POW of the Japanese, the death of the others are markers on where the British fought.  Two died in the deserts of North Africa, three died in the battles in Italy and the last two died, after D Day, in Europe.  From just these 8 boys it is evident that  WGS boys were in every phase of the war; William Berrill who died in Italy was, for example, someone who retreated from Dunkirk.  William was part of the American/British invasion of North Africa (the 1st army), several other lads were part of the 8th army which initially retreated from Rommel's forces and subsequently attacked at El Alamein.  Two lads landed in Europe, after D Day, both died on the route to Berlin.

 

The boxes highlighted under enlistment were regular members of the armed forces.

Underlined name in first column selects army record.                                                    Selecting name in the last column goes to parents letter(s)

 

Rank

Service

Regiment

Enlistment

dod

Number

Africa

Italy

Fr/Ger

Pacific

UK/World

Home

Douglas Arthur Prigmore

Trooper

Army

Royal Armoured Corps 1st Royal Dragoons

02/1937

12/07/1942

409287

Retreat to

 El Alamein

 

 

 

 

Wellingborough

Peter (F.C.) Causebrook

Lance Corporal

Army

RAMC16 Mob BU

1939

 

31/08/1943

7520270

 

 

 

Singapore

Siam

 

Rushden

Causebrook

Gordon George Elderton

Private

Army

Hampshire
1/4 BN

01/1942

 

22/04/1943

6411212

Medjez-El-Bab

 

 

 

 

Wellingborough

Elderton

John Arthur Paul Loake

Trooper

Army

12th Royal Lancers

11/1942

06/1944

 

    El Alamein

Naples

 

 

 

 Rushden

Norman Perkins Sharpe

Lieutenant

Army

2nd Northants Yeomanry

1942

 

30/06/1944

276063

 

 

St. Manvieu,

 

 

Irthlingborough

Sharpe

Colin Roderick Penness

Craftsman

Army

REME

03/1943

 

03/09/1944

14417469

 

Montecchio

 

 

 

Rushden

Penness

Brian Terence Peck

Private

Army

Royal Scots 8th Bn.

06/1944

 

24/03/1945

14792098

 

 

Machine gun fire Rhine

 

 

Rushden

Peck 

William John Berrill

Private

Army

Northants

5th

1939

 

24/04/1945

5887298

Africa

Sicily/Italy

Argenta Gap

Bef Dunk

 

 

Wellingborough

Berrill

 

Naval Careers of those who died 

The careers of the 5 lads who joined the navy and died was as varied as that of those who joined the army.  One was a career officer (Frederick Furr) who lost his life in HM Submarine Unbeaten in 1942.  One, the youngest boy to lose his life, was in the merchant navy.  The three others served in the Russian convoys, supported the troops landing after D Day and one fought in the Korean war as a Fleet Air Arm pilot.  They served in small MTBs, submarines, destroyers and an aircraft carrier.

 

The boxes highlighted under enlistment were regular members of the armed forces.

Underlined name in first column selects naval record.                                                    Selecting name in the last column goes to parents letter(s)

Name

Rank

Service

Ship

Enlistment

dod

No

Afr

Italy

Fr/Ger

Pacif

Uk/World

Home

Frederick Furr

Telegraphist

Royal Navy

H.M. Submarine Unbeaten

1934

11/11/1942

C/JX 142498

 

Malta

Bay of Biscay

 

 

 

Bozeat

Furr 

Anthony Robert Gillitt

Cadet

Merchant Navy

S.S. Serooskerk

 

06/12/1942

 

 

 

 

 

Atlantic

Finedon

Gillett

Edwin Hudson

Sub-Lieutenant

RNVR

HMS Somali

H.M.M.T.B. 30.

04/1941

18/12/1942

 

 

 

 

 

Russian Convoys

E.Channel

Wellingborough

Hudson

Robert Troath

Sub-Lieutenant

RNVR

Destroyer Ledbury;

HMS Cottillon; H.M. Trawler Ganilly;

1942

05/07/1944

 

 

 

 

 

Utah

Beach

After D Day

Wellingborough

Troath

John Harry Sharp

Lieutenant

Navy

Fleet Air Arm

Fleet Air Arm 812 Squadron

1942

06/1952

 

 

 

 

 

Korea

 Wellingborough

Raymond Kimber CPO Royal Navy

Submarine

HMS Alliance.

1954 29/09/1971          

Portland, Dorset

Accident

Higham Ferrers

 

RAF Careers of those who died 

The patterns noted for the lads who joined the army and navy is repeated by the 12 who died but joined the RAF. Three were regulars.  None flew spitfires or hurricanes, but one flew a mosquito, the majority were flying in the full range of bombers used by bomber command.  At least two flew in operational training units (OTU), one of whom, Air Gunner Peter Felce, was used by Bomber Command to make up the 1000 bomber raids.  Sadly three of the eight died as a result of training mishaps.  Two died supporting the troops in Italy, four in the large Bombing raids in Europe and two died in the run up and after-math of D Day.

 

The boxes highlighted under enlistment were regular members of the armed forces.

Underlined name in first column selects air force record.                                              Selecting name in the last column goes to parents letter(s)

Name

Rank

Service

Squadron

Enlistment

dod

No

Afr

Italy

Fr/Ger

Pacif

Uk/World

Home

Arthur Ernest Abbott

Aircraftman 2nd Class

RAFVR

 

13/05/1941

28/05/1941

1098792

 

 

 

 

Lancaster
Hospital

Wellingborough

Richard Saxby Mutimer

Sergeant (Obs.)

RAF

69 Sqdn.

1937

10/08/1941

581062

 

Malta

 

 

 

Wellingborough

Norman Leonard Hornsey

Sergeant

RAF

31 OTU

01/1937

23/10/1941

570784

 

 

 

 

Norway

Canada

Accident

Wellingborough

Hornsey

Harold Philip Gardiner

Sergeant (Flt. Eng.)

RAF

218 Sqdn

07/1934

07/08/1942

567298

 

 

Duisburg

 

 

Wellingborough

Gardiner

Peter Gifford Felce

Fl. Lieut. (Air Gunr.)

RAFVR

27 OTU

06/1939

16/09/1942

69443

 

 

Rheinberg

 

 

Higham Ferrers

Felce

Harold Cheaseman

Sergeant (Nav/Bomb)

RAFVR

102 Sqdn

1941

14/02/1943

1425127

 

 

Holland

 

 

Rushden

Robert Howard

Sergeant

RAFVR

142 Sqdn.

23/02/1942

05/08/1943

1578246

Africa

Malta

Italy

 

 

 

Finedon

Howard 

Raymond Reginald Norman

Sergeant (Pilot)

RAFVR

20(P)AFU

 

11/03/1944

1579547

 

 

 

 

England

Training Accident

Wellingborough

Raymond George Osborne

Flight Sergeant (Nav.)

RAFVR

49 Sqdn.

1941

27/04/1944

1208875

 

 

Durnbach

 

 

Wellingborough

Jack Dunkley

Sergeant

RAFVR

160 Sqdn

1941

06/05/1944

1580251

 

 

 

India Ceylon Singapore

Accident

Bahamas, Canada USA.

Little Harrowden

Dunkley

Ronald Douglas Hales

Sergeant (Air unr.)

RAFVR

15 Sqdn

1942

08/06/1944

1895806

 

 

Viroflay

 

 

 Higham Ferrers

Gordon Roy Coe

W. Officer (Pilot)

RAFVR

107 Sqdn

06/1941

27/01/1945

1219483

 

 

Cambrai

 

Canada

Wellingborough

Leslie Walters Flying Officer RAF 249 Sqdn   24/08/1954        

Jordan

Accident

  Finedon

 

Letters sent by 'boys' and their parents during the war years:  None of the boys who died wrote, the letters are from their parents.

Army Letters      Navy Letters      RAF Letters      Force Not Known      Other Letters

Army Letters      Note there may be several letters for a particular individual     19+6=25

Cpl = Corporal; L Cpl  = Lance Corporal; CSM = Company Sergeant Major; NCO = Non Comissioned Officer

                             Selecting Surname, selects letters

WGS

Name

Surname

DofLetter

Rank

Region

Summary

 

RC

Bailey

05-Apr-45

Sergeant

Holland

BNA Force

 

Hubert

Bean

16-Mar-43

CSM

Middle East

 

1933

WJ

Berrill

Private

France/N Africa

Dead

 

Pete (FC)

Causebrook

22-Nov-44

L Cpl

Malaya

Dead/POW

 

Peter (RP)

Crawley

16-Sep-43

Trooper

 

 

 

RW

Dallas

11-Mar-45

 

Holland HQ

local accents

 

Gordon

Elderton

22-Sep

 

 

Dead

 

Peter

Gibson Robinson

13-Dec-42

 

 

Kings African Rifles

 

George

Johnson

03-Feb-42

 

 

 

 

BW

Glover

L Cpl

Yorkshire

 

 

 

Maddams 

20-May-43

Lt. Gunner

India

beauty and filth

 

Peter James

Neal 

 

Germany

POW

 

RP

Olney

11-Jul-40

Gunner

 

 

 

John

Pearson

18-Jun-45

 

India

Detailed Account, wounded by Japs machine gun. Cousin Horace

 

Brian

Peck 

27-Apr-45

Private

Belgium

Dead

 

Colin Frederick

Penness

13-Sep-44

Craftsman

Italy

Dead

 

Bob (Bernard Robert)

Phillips 

06-Jul-43

 Syria

 

 

William S.

Poole

29-Jan-44

Lance Corporal

Shropshire

 

 

 DEJ

Pope

29-Dec-42

 NCO app Officer

Persia Iraq

 Travelogue

 

JR

Reid

15-Sep-44

Private

Ulster

 

 

Gerald Hedley

Reid 

22-Jun-43

 

 

 

 

Jack

Remington

24-Aug-44

 

N Africa

 

 

RF

Seaton

02-Apr-45

Rifleman

 

Career detailed

 

Norman P

Sharpe

Lieutenant

Normandy

Dead

 

GPS

Shipman

21-May-44

Cadet

India

Bombed at sea

 

Richard

Tomkins 

02-Jun-43

Sergeant

India and ME

 

 

Albert

Warner

24-Dec-44

Private

Germany

POW

 

Navy Letters        Note there may be several letters for a particular individual

                             Selecting Surname, selects letters

WGS

Name

Surname

DofLetter

Rank

Region

Summary

c1936

 

Barfield 

19-Jul-43

 

 

 

 

Geoffrey W

Bradshaw

13-Nov-43

Wireless Mechanic

Skegness

 

 

Roy

Cross

04-Jan-44

Wireless Mechanic

Chelsea

 

 

 

Edwards

06-Jan-44

Sub Lieut

India Bombay

tourist

 

DF

Esson

18-Aug-42

Captain

MED

Commando

 

J

Fielder

01-Aug-44

Sub Lieut

Greece

Landing Craft

 

Fred

Furr 

12-Dec

 

 

Dead

left 1934

Anthony Robert

Gillett

16-Mar-43

Senior Cadet

 

Ships torpedoed / Dead

 

L

Green

 

 

 

Evacuee

 

 

Holmes

30-Sep-43

Commissioned

 

Music interest

 

Edwin

Hudson

14-Jan-43

Sub Lieut

N Sea

struck a mine / Dead

 

Derrick G

Munns

03-Dec-44

 Sub Lieut

 Cardiff

 

 

Robert

Troath

 

 

 

Dead

 

R

Yerrell

31-Jan-45

 

 

 

 

RAF Letters        Note there may be several letters for a particular individual 

                             Selecting Surname, selects letters

WGS

Name

Surname

DofLetter

Rank

Region

Summary

opening

Cyril

Bailey 

20-Jun-43

Flying Officer

North Africa

Bale-out BEF France

 

C

Bond 

23-Jan-43

AC2

S.Africa

Refers to Servants

 

GA

Crompton

27-Nov-42

 

South Africa

Tourism delays of post

 

Jack

Dunkley

19-May-45

Sgt Air Gunner

Ceylon

Dead

 

R

Elkington

06-Aug-44

Cpl

MEF

 

 

Peter

Felce

08-Dec-43

O/Tel

  Dead
  Harold Phillip Gardiner

21-Jul       

Sgt Flight Engineer   Dead
  Dennis

Goodman

24-Mar-45

L Cpl

 

Air Crash 4 killed 3 Injured

 

KJ

Harris 

18-Jun-43

LAC

RAF Rhodesia

 

31-36

Norman

Leonard

Hornsey

06-Jan-42

Sgt

 

Sunderland Flying Boats

Career detailed. / Dead

 

Robert

Howard 

18-Oct-43

Sgt Navigator

NAfrica

Dead

 

WJ

Lambert

20-Jun-43

Cpl

India

 

 

RA

Ingram

06-Jul-43

 

N Africa

 

31-36

 

Loomes 

13-Jul-43

Sgt

Belgium

 

 

Fred

Langley

05-Dec-41

A/Sgt

Rhodesia Bulawayo

 

 

AD

Loak

29-Dec-44

AC/J

 

 

 

F Harry

Partridge 

19-Jun-43

Lance Sgt

North Africa

POW

 

Victor

Pitcher

 

Flight Sgt

Lincoln

 

 

Peter

Siddons

02-Mar-43

Cpl

Middle East

 

 

Force Not Known   (Probably RAF)    Note there may be several letters for a particular individual 

                             Selecting Surname, selects letters

WGS

Name

Surname

DofLetter

Rank

Region

Summary

 

Jack

Upton

 

 FO

 

POW   2

 

Other Letters     

                             Selecting Surname, selects letters

WGS

Name

Surname

DofLetter

Rank

Region

Summary

 

 WA 

Warner

23-Jun-45

Apprenticeship

 

Yorkshire

 

Ray

Dainty

08-Mar-43

Education

 

Borough Rd College

 

 

Merrit 

16-Jul-45

Education

 

Christ College Cambridge First

 

 

Stuart

16-Jul-45

Education

 

Christs College Cambridge First

 

Towns and Villages where the boys who died came from

Town/Village

Name

Bozeat

Frederick Furr

Finedon

Anthony R Gillitt (Battle Sussex), Robert Howard, Leslie Walters

Higham Ferrers

Harold Cheaseman, Peter Gifford Felce, Ronald Douglas Hales, Raymond Kimber

Irthlingborough

Norman P Sharpe,

Little Harrowden

Jack Dunkley,

Rushden

Peter (F.C.) Causebrook,  John A P Loake, Brian T Peck (Gt Yarmouth), Colin R Penness

Wellingborough

Arthur E Abbott,  William J Berrill, Gordon R Coe, Gordon G Elderton, Harold P Gardiner, Norman L Hornsey (Bristol), Edwin Hudson, Richard Saxby Mutimer, Raymond R Norman, Raymond G Osborne, Douglas A Prigmore, John H Sharp, Robert Troath,