Remembered Today: Squadron Leader Henry E. Maudslay, DFC (1921-1943)

Squadron Leader Henry E. Maudslay, DFC

Remember today is ‘Dam Buster’ Henry Eric Maudslay who lived at Foxhill Manor, Broadway. Henry who was born on 21st July 1921 in Lillington, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. He was killed in action, aged 21, during a Dam Buster raid on 17th May 1943.

Henry was the son of the Reginald Maudslay, the founder of Standard Motor Company, Coventry, and Susan Gwendoline, née Herbert. Henry had an older brother, John born in 1912, and an older sister, Margaret Kate, born in 1910. During the late 1930s the family moved to Foxhill Manor, Broadway, where they continued to live until 1954. Henry’s father died suddenly in London after a short illness in 1943. His mother lived in Broadway, moving to Barn House, until her death in 1974.

After leaving Prep School in Gloucestershire, Henry attended Eton College (1935-1940) where he is remembered for his athletic and rowing accomplishments. He volunteered for the RAF in 1940 and trained as a pilot in Canada. In May 1941 he was assigned to 44 Squadron as a Hampden pilot. After 29 operations, he was recommended for the Distinguished Flying Cross and assigned to Lancaster training; he apparently did some test flying for Rolls Royce during this period and was later assigned to 44 Squadron’s training flight.

Whilst a member of the training flight he flew all three of the ‘Thousand Bomber Raids’. In January 1943 he started a new operational tour with 50 Squadron, with which he completed 13 operations before being assigned to 617 Squadron as B Flight commander.

Operation Chastise

On the night of 16th/17th May 1943, Henry and his crew took off from RAF Scampton (with Guy Gibson Dam Busters) in Lancaster ED937 Z, part of Operation Chastise to bomb the dams in the Ruhr area of Germany. Following successful bombing of the heavily defended Mohne Dam, they headed east and successfully bombed the Eder dam but the Upkeep (the Barnes Wallis bouncing bomb) seems to have either gone off prematurely or was dropped late and the explosion damaged their Lancaster. The aircraft limped towards home but was shot down by a German flak battery near the Dutch border in the town of Emmerich. All, the crew, including Squadron Leader Henry Maudslay, DFC, were killed.

The crew of Lancaster ED937 Z

Pilot S/L H E Maudslay DFC
Flight engineer Sgt J Marriott DFM
Navigator F/O R A Urquhart DFC RCAF
Wireless Op. W/O A P Cottam RCAF
Bomb-aimer P/O M J D Fuller
Front gunner F/O W J Tytherleigh DFC
Rear gunner Sgt N R Burrows

The crew are all buried in the Reichswald Forrest Cemetery, Germany,  and there is a bronze memorial plaque to Henry E. Maudslay in the church of All Saints’ Sherbourne Park near Warwick. Henry is also commemorated on the Willersey War Memorial, St Peter’s Churchyard, Willersey, Gloucestershire.

A blue plaque was unveiled in his memory on 27th July 2017 at his old home, 1 Vicarage Road, Lillington, in the presence of two of Henry Maudslay’s nieces, his great-niece and his great-great niece and two great-great-nephews.

 

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

 

 

Further reading:

Leamington History Group: http://leamingtonhistory.co.uk/henry-eric-maudslay-dfc-dam-buster-pilot

 

 

Remembered Today: Private Reginald B. Hill 1st Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment

Remembered Today: Private Reginald Bertram Hill, 1st Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who was killed in action on the Western Front on 4th July 1915. Reginald, who was born in Broadway in 1894 and grew up at Bury End on the outskirts of the village. Reginald, an apprenticed as a baker after leaving Broadway Council School and enlisted with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in December 1914. Reginald is buried in Bard Cottage Cemetery, Belgium, and is commemorated on the war memorial in Broadway.

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

 

48 Poppies for 48 Lives Lost in the First World War

12227196_1714476808786982_8499463689417928793_nFor Remembrance Sunday 8th November 2015, the pupils of Roe Deer Class and Badger Class at Broadway First School, planted 48 clay poppies they had made in the green at the base of the war memorial. Each poppy is in remembrance of one of the 48 men of Broadway who lost their lives in the First World War and are commemorated on the war memorial.

We will remember them.

Remembered Today: Private 21387 W.G. Scrivens, 4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment

Private Scrivens, who was serving with the 4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment in Gallipoli in August 1915, was initially reported as missing in action but was later declared as having been killed in action, aged 27 on 6th August 1915. William George Scrivens, known as George was the second son of Thomas and Harriet Scrivens of Broadway. Prior to his enlistment George worked for Messrs. Steward and Company as a builders labourer. He enlisted in January 1915 and after training with the 5th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment had been transferred to the 4th Battalion.

George was posted to Gallipoli spending a short time en-route in Alexandria, Egypt. On 22nd July 1915, he wrote home:

“We have landed at the base after a splendid voyage, but very hot. This is a rum place, it is shoe-top deep in sand, and with the wind blowing you can’t see half the time. We have to sleep in the open with one blanket, so you can tell it is no picnic. I wish you can see the warships it is a fine sight; you can hear their guns going as I write. This is a somewhat different country to England; all you can see is bare sand. You would laugh if you could see us. We have cut off our trousers at the knees, and with helmets on look like boy scouts. Excuse the dirty paper; between sweat and sand I can’t keep it clean.”

George further wrote on 3rd August:

“This is a rum place and a rum life. If you get any money there is nothing to buy. The worst job is getting something to drink. We are given two cups of tea a day, and that is not much. I should like to get hold of a pint of beer or cider and a good plate of cabbage and sprouts out of the garden. There’s nothing of that here, but all tinned stuff, and that salty, but it is no good grumbling. I should like some of them that sit in the pubs at home and talk about how it should be done to be out here.”

Three days later Private George Scrivens was killed in action. He is commemorated on the Broadway War Memorial and the Helles Memorial on the tip of the Gallipoli Peninsula.

 

 

Remembered Today: Lance Corporal 17261 Dennis William Diston, 10th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment

Dennis William Diston, born in Stanton, Gloucestershire, in 1887 was the only son of Charles Diston from Cutsdean, Worcestershire, and Julia Ann Diston. The family moved to nearby Snowshill where Dennis found work as a jobbing gardener after leaving school. Dennis’s mother died in 1891, a year after his younger sister, Mabel, was born and his father remarried Phebe Hannah Bateman in October the following year. Dennis had three older sisters; Mary Ann (1878-1953), Elizabeth (1880-1883) and Dora Lavinia (1885-1915).

On 6th July 1912, Dennis married Mabel Elizabeth Grove in Broadway and they moved to Broadway where their two children (a son and a daughter) were born. Shortly after the outbreak of the First World War, Dennis enlisted with the 10th (Service) Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment and he was posted to the Western Front on 9th August 1915.

The following year Dennis was initially posted as missing in action and was later confirmed as killed in action, aged 29, on 22nd July 1916. Dennis is buried in Pozieres British Cemetery, Ovillers La-Boiselle, and is commemorated on the Snowshill War Memorial, Prestbury War Memorial and inside St Mary’s Church, Prestbury. His epitaph on his headstone reads: IN THAT SWEET BYE AND BYE WE SHALL MEET ON THAT BEAUTIFUL SHORE.

Pozieres British Cemetery (Commonwealth War Graves Commission)

Pozieres British Cemetery (Commonwealth War Graves Commission)

As a resident of Broadway at the time of his death, Dennis was considered by the Broadway War Memorial Committee for inclusion on the war memorial built on the village green in 1919. The Committee, however, decided against including his name and Dennis was later commemorated on the Snowshill War Memorial, a stone cross, designed by Frederick Landseer Griggs, located in St Barnabas churchyard in the centre of the village.

Further information about the men from Broadway who died in the First World War can be found in Broadway Remembers (ISBN 978-0-1-9929891-0-1) a not-for-profit publication raising money for the Poppy Appeal published to coincide with the global First World War Centenary commemorations led by the Imperial War Museum.

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

 

 

Remembered Today: Company Serjeant Major 13794 John S. Dale, 8th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment

Remembered today CSM John Stanley Dale, aged 32, of the 8th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment who was killed in action on 4th May 1918, with Captain Ernest Cowper Slade whilst going on his round of the lines. John had served with the army prior to the war and had re-enlisted in September 1914. He was buried shortly after his death alongside Capt Slade near to where they fell at Hallebast, south west of Dickebusch. They were both re-enterred in Klein-Vierstraat British Cemetery, near Ypres, Belgium, in 1919.

John was born at 54 Gill Street, Limehouse, London, on 29th January 1886 and later lived in Broadway and Snowshill, Gloucestershire. On 18th November 1912 he married Caroline Harriet Winifred Burston (1882-1968). At the time of his death his wife and two children were living on Gravel Walk, Tewkesbury.

Klein-Vierstraat British Cemetery, Belgium (Commonwealth War Graves Commission)

Klein-Vierstraat British Cemetery, Belgium (Commonwealth War Graves Commission)

 

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

 

 

Broadway Remembers Gallipoli

The Gallipoli Campaign began 100 years ago today on 25th April 1915. This year, the hundreds of thousands of men from across the world who fought and died at Gallipoli a century ago are being remembered and we remember the following men of Broadway who died during the campaign, part of the Middle Eastern Theatre of the First World War. All of the following Broadway men are commemorated on the Helles Memorial on the tip of the Gallipoli Peninsula:

  • Private 19218 Richard K. Handy 9th Battalion Worcstershire Regiment, born in Broadway in 1883, who was killed in action, aged 32, on 4th November. Private Handy is also commemorated on the Evesham War Memorial.
  • Private 21387 Wilfred G. Scrivens 4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, born in Broadway in 1885, who was killed in action, on 6th August 1915 and is also commemorated on the Broadway War Memorial.
  • Private  19365 Walter E. Spiers 4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, born in Broadway in 1884, who died at sea, aged 31, on 31st August 1915. Private Spiers is also commemorated in St Peter’s Church, Inkberrow, Worcestershire.
  • Private 10754 Wilfred G. Tandy 9th (Service) Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, born in Broadway in 1885, who was killed, aged 30, by enemy fire whilst refilling his water bottle at a nullah on 7th August 1915. Private Tandy is also commemorated on the Broadway War Memorial.

 

Helles Memorial (Commonwealth War Graves Commission0

Helles Memorial (Commonwealth War Graves Commission

 

Further information about the men from Broadway commemorated on the war memorial on the village green can be found in ‘Broadway Remembers’ (a not-for-profit publication published to coincide with the global First World War Centenary commemorations led by the Imperial War Museum. Proceeds to the Poppy Appeal).

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

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