Remembered Today: Leading Aircraftman 1440292 Brian Cross (1921-1942)

Brian Cross was the only son of James Cross and Eliza Kate Cross (née Jones) from Herefordshire. He was born in Hereford in 1921 and had a younger sister, Pauline, born in 1926. His father, who was from Lancashire, served as Broadway’s Postmaster for many years having worked for the Post Office since 1913.

Brian was educated at Hereford High School and Evesham Grammar School. On leaving school, Brian went to work for Lloyds Bank in Selly Oak. It is not known when his parents moved to Broadway but his sister and parents are recorded as living at 45 Leamington Road, Broadway, in the 1939 Register.

Aerial View of RAF Staverton in 1941

Following the outbreak of the Second World War, Brian, aged 18, enlisted with the RAF and served as a Leading Aircraftman (LAC). In 1942, Brian was based at RAF Staverton which served as a training base for No. 6 Air Observer School1. On 24th August 1942, a practice bombing flight in a twin-engined Avro Anson crashed 25 minutes after taking off from Staverton.  Its crew of three; pilot Sergeant Edward Perkins, aged 20, LAC Lawrence Roper2, aged 29, and LAC Brian Cross, aged 21, struck high ground at Stockend Wood, north of Stroud. Brian was taken to Stroud Hospital but died of his injuries on 27th August 1942.

Brian was later cremated in Cheltenham and his ashes were scattered in the Garden of Remembrance at Cheltenham Crematorium and an RAF service was held in his honour. After Brian’s death, his parents moved to Leek, Staffordshire, in 1944, where James worked at the Post Office until his retirement. His sister, Pauline married locally.

Brian is commemorated on the Broadway War Memorial, the Roll of Honour in St Michael and All Angels Church and on the bronze memorial plaque on the wall in the cloisters at Cheltenham Crematorium. Staverton Airport, now Gloucestershire Airport, is currently raising money to erect a memorial to LAC Brian Cross and the other men who trained or flew from RAF Staverton.

We will remember them.

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

 

Notes:

  1. From 1938, reservist airman could be trained at Staverton by civilian organisations.
  2. Sgt Edward Perkins and LAC Lawrence Roper are buried in Gloucester Cemetery.

 

 

 

 

 

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Norman Leslie ‘Buck’ Tayler DFC (1914-1993) and Stalag Luft III famous for The Great Escape

A recent posting on Facebook of a photograph of a 1960’s fish and chips van, owned by Norman Tayler DFC, of Smallbrook Road, Broadway (see image below), brought back a lot of good memories to many people in the village. This led me to research Norman’s background, his participation in the Second World War and why he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 

Flight Officer Norman Leslie ‘Buck’ Tayler, DFC 565003 RAFVR

Norman Leslie Tayler was born in Wareham, Dorset in 1914. Norman entered the RAF straight from school, qualifying as a fitter after 2 years’ service. He later reached the rank of Sergeant and applied to train as a pilot, training on old bi-planes. He married Mary Jarratt in 1939 in Hornsea, East Yorkshire, shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War.

During the war, Norman (565003 RAFVR) served with bomber squadron No. 7 Squadron based at RAF Oakington in Cambridgeshire. He was affectionately known as ‘Buck’ by his crew. During the 6th/7th June 1942, whilst conducting a night-time operation to bomb the city of Emden in north west Germany, Norman’s plane was shot down, one of the 11 aircraft lost that night and Norman was one of 14 crew made prisoner of war.

Three Short Stirlings over Great Britain c1942

The Short Stirling I W7471 MG-J ‘Johnnie’, a four engined bomber piloted by Norman, took off from RAF Oakington at 11.35pm on 6th June. The Stirling was intercepted by the Luftwaffe near Schiermonnikoog, West Frisian Islands, Holland, and was shot down by German Ace Oberleutnant Ludwig Becker II/NJG 2 (known as the ‘Professor’) flying a Messerschmitt Bf100 night-fighter. The Stirling came down in fields belonging to Mr Willem Jansma in an area called Blijaer Mieden between Blija and Holwerd in Friesland at 1.08am on the 7th June. All the crew survived the crash (and went on to survive the war) but were all made prisoners of war.

 

The crew of the Short Stirling I W7471 MG-J ‘Johnnie’

The members of the 8 crew on the Stirling were:

Wireless Operator John Henry ‘Jack’ Arnold, DFM (1911-1993) – Rear Air Gunner later promoted to Warrant Officer
Flying Officer Edward Jospeh ‘Ted’ Earngey (b. 1914) – Observer/Navigator (Australian) later promoted to Flight Lieutenant
Sgt. William Edward ‘Bill’ Goodman (1922-2002) – Front Air Gunner later promoted to Warrant Officer
Sgt. Clarence Francis ‘Frank’ Henigman (1920-1994) – Canadian promoted to Warrant Officer whilst in captivity
Sgt. Sidney John McNamara (1920-1978) Flight Engineer later promoted to Warrant Officer
Flying Officer Harry Douglas Spry (1911-1978) – Mid Upper Gunner later promoted to Flight Lieutenant
Flying Officer Norman Leslie ‘Buck’ Tayler DFC – Captain later promoted to Flight Lieutenant
Pilot Officer  Frank St. John Travis (1915-1978) – Wireless Operator/Air Gunner (Rhodesian but born in England) later promoted to Flight Lieutenant

 

Norman ‘Buck’ Tayler PoW No. 560

After the crew were captured they were taken via Cologne for interrogation and processing at Dulag Luft (near Frankfurt). The Officers, including Norman (PoW no. 560), were sent to Stalag Luft III near Sagan, Poland, a camp for Allied Air Force Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers. The Non-Commissioned Officers on the Stirling were sent to Stalag 357 Kopernikus and John Arnold was sent to Stalag Luft VI Heydekrug after a spell at Stalag Luft III and Stalag XX-A Thorn.

Stalag Luft III became famous because of the two “tunnel” escapes; The Wooden Horse Escape and The Great Escape. Two of the crew members, Ted Earngey (‘Little S’) and John Travis (‘The Dapper Rhodesian’), were involved in The Great Escape. John was an important member of the Escape Committee although he declined to take part in the actual escape. John was a mining engineer before the war and possible contributed tunnelling advice assisting with the construction of the bellows for the tunnels.

Whilst in Stalag Luft III (a prisoner in the North Compound), Norman  was awarded the DFC for his service with 7 Squadron and his part in a daylight raid on 18th December 1941 on two German warships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau that were in dry dock in the French port of Brest. On 9th December 1942 the following report appeared in the London Gazette:

One day in December, 1941, a strong force of Bomber aircraft carried out a determined attack on the German warships Gneisenau and Scharnhorst at Brest. The operation was carried out in the face of extremely heavy and accurate anti-aircraft fire and determined attacks by enemy fighters. Nevertheless the air crews engaged pressed home their attacks to the utmost and-succeeded in scoring hits on their objectives. Several enemy aircraft were shot down. The success of the operation, which demanded the highest degree of skill and courage, reflects the greatest credit on the efforts of the following officers and airmen who participated in various capacities as leaders and members of aircraft crew.

 

After the War: the Move to Broadway

Tayler’s Fish & Chips Van (Posted by Andrew Bull on Facebook)

At the end of the war Stalag Luft III was liberated by the Soviet forces. Following the war Norman and Mary settled in Broadway, Worcestershire. They moved to 8 Smallbrook Road in 1947, after the houses were built, where they brought up their family, a son and two daughters. Norman was popular in the village, he was a keen gardener, a member of the local Broadway branch of Toc H, and was well known in the area for his delicious fish and chips, Tayler’s Fish & Chips, which he served from a 1960’s converted van.

Norman died in Broadway on 19th February 1993, Mary having predeceased him. A memorial bench for Norman and Mary is situated in the churchyard at St Eadburgha’s Church, Snowshill Road, a truly peaceful spot in the village.

In 2016, on the anniversary of the downing of the Stirling, a memorial panel to the crew, erected by the Stitchting Missing Airmen Memorial Foundation, was unveiled at Blije attended by the families of the crew.

 

 

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

 

Further reading and photos of Norman Leslie ‘Buck’Tayler and his crew:

www.chartsblog.wordpress.com
Stalag Luft 3 Facebook Group

Sources:

http://www.aircrewremembered.com
http://www.ancestry.co.uk
World War II Allied Aircraft Crashes in The Netherlands & North Sea www.airwar4045.nl

Remembrance Day Service Sunday 11th November 2018

Remembrance Day Service Sunday 11th November 2018

Broadway Remembers: Broadway Falls Silent to Remember the War Dead and Mark 100 Years since the Armistice

Broadway Remembers War Memorial Armistice Day 2018100 years after the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month 1918, when the guns fell silent on the Western Front bringing an end to the First World War, a Service of Remembrance and 2 minutes’ silence was held at the War Memorial on the village green in Broadway, Worcestershire. This was followed by a service in St Michael and All Angels’ Church to remember all the lives sacrificed in the service of our country and those traumatised and injured in conflict.

Broadway Remembers today, in this centenary year, the following 48 men who died in the First World War and are commemorated on Broadway’s war memorial:

BARNETT, Private  9562 George, 1st Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment
BAYLISS,  Private 25249 James Josiah, Worcestershire Regiment transferred to 287004 Labour Corps
BILLEY, Private 34604 William Robert, 2nd Battalion Worcestershire  Regiment
BISHOP, Private  203259 William, 10th Battalion Worcestershire  Regiment
BOX,  Private M/320163 William Arthur, Royal Army Service Corps
CLARKE, Private 15372 Albert Henry, 11th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
CLARKE, Private 30483 Bertram, 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
COLLINS, Private 16263 Archibald William (Archie), 10th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment
CRUMP, Yeoman of Signals 220097 William George, Royal Navy
CULL,  Private 47558 John Sydney (Jack),  15th Squadron Royal Machine Gun Corps
DAFFURN,  Driver 17552 Thomas, “B”  Battery 98th Brigade (XVI Corps HQ) Royal Field  Artillery
EARP, Sergeant 88389 John William, “C” Battery 84th Brigade Royal Field Artillery
EDWARDS, Pioneer 37053 Henry Harold (Harry), 3rd  Divisional Signal Company Royal  Engineers
EMMS, Private 32962 Ebenezer Evelyn, Royal  Berkshire  Regiment & 424th Agricultural Company Labour Corps
FIGGITT, Private 10503 Wilford Charles,  2nd Battalion Royal Warwickshire  Regiment
FLOWER, Lt. Col. Oswald Swift,  13th  Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers
FOLKES, Guardsman 23203 Alfred, King’s Company 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards
FOLKES, Private 2414 Francis Alfred (Frank), Queen’s  Own Worcestershire Hussars  (Worcester Yeomanry)
GAME, Lt. Hubert John, Royal Field Artillery and Royal Flying Corps
GARDNER, Private M2/153742 William, Royal Army Service Corps
GODDARD, Private 37889 Arthur Harold, 1st/5th  Battalion Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry
GREEN, Corporal 240841 Leonard Frank,  1st/8th Battalion  Worcestershire Regiment
HAINES, Rifleman 4632 Cecil  Frank, 1st/12th Battalion London Regiment (The Rangers)
HAINES, Private 15024 Gerald, 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
HENSLEY, Private M2/148096 George, 284th  Company Army Service Corps
HILL, Private 9574 Reginald Bertram, 1st  Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment
HILSON, Private 12240 Joseph, 1st  Battalion  Gloucestershire Regiment
INGLES, Private TF/241275 Francis Henry,  7th Battalion Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent  Regiment)
JACKSON, Private 241170 Charles, 7th  Battalion Worcestershire  Regiment
JORDAN, Private 202406 Walter, 1st  Battalion  Worcestershire Regiment
KEYTE, Private 27819 Charles Hubert, 3rd  Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
LAYTON, Private 22994 Alfred, 9th  Battalion Worcestershire  Regiment
PAINTER, Private M2/033139 Sidney John, 5th  Divisional Supply Column Army Service Corps
PARKER, Private 17070 Ernest Harold, 14th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment
PARKER, Private 2444 William John,  Warwickshire  Yeomanry
PERRY, Sergeant SE/17110 John, Royal Army Veterinary Corps
RASTALL, Private 241810 Frank, 1st/8th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
RUSSELL, Private 9570 Joe Edgar, 9th  Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment
SANDEL, Lance Corporal 3674 George, 1/8th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
SCRIVENS, Private 21387 Wilfred George, 4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
STANLEY, Private 42530 Alec Silvester, 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
STANLEY, Gunner 59030 Charles Robert, ‘B’ Battery 86th Royal Field Artillery
TALBOT, 2nd Lt. Stanley Alfred, North Staffordshire Regiment
TANDY, Private 10754 Wilfred George, 9th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment
TEBBY, Private 29004 Walter John, 14th Battalion Welsh Regiment
TUSTIN, Lance Corporal 36116 Jack, 14th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment
VINCENT, Guardsman 27767 Ernest Edward, 1st  Battalion Grenadier Guards
WALE, Lance Corporal 30871 Edmund  Joseph, 8th Battalion Royal  Berkshire Regiment

Today we also remember the following 24 men of Broadway who died in the First World War who are not commemorated on the war memorial:

ANNESLEY CMG, DSO, Lieutenant James Howard Aldolphus, 6th Dragoon Guards (Carabiniers)
BATCHELOR, Private 9569 George Walter Raymond, 15th Entrenching Battalion, late 11th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment
COOK MM, Second Corporal 86297, 254th Tunnelling Company, Royal Engineers
CUNNINGTON, Corporal 7931 Charles Camberlain, 2nd Battalion Dorsetshire Regiment
DALE, Ernest Stocks, Corporal 17842, 1/7th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
DALE, John S, Company Sergeant Major 13784, 8th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment
GABB, William Harold, Private 5767, 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards
GANDERTON, Thomas Henry. Private 17267, 3rd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
GRIMMITT, John William, Gunner 246724, ‘C’ Battery, 275th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery
HANDY, George Thomas, Private 29206, 9th (Service) Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment
HANDY, Reginald
HANDY, Richard Keyte, Private 19218, 9th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
HARTWELL, Arthur James, Private 240100, 8th Battalion East Surrey Regiment
HINTON, Gerald Charles, Private 307582, 2/7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment formerly 3645 Warwickshire Yeomanry
HUXLEY, Albert, Lance Corporal 241169, 2/8th Worcestershire Regiment
JONES, William
MATTHEWS, William Henry, Private 8859, 3rd Garrison Battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
PERKINS, George Thomas, Private 14453, 2nd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment
SADLER, Ernest Charles, Guardsman, 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards
SMITH, William Thomas, Private 290802, 4th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment
SPIERS, Walter Edward, Private 19365, 4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
TOMES, James
TURNER, Lamber, Private 41726, 2/4th Battalion Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire Regiment, formerly 145506 Labour Corps
WALKER, Henry Austin, Private 20806, 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards

The names of 21 men were added at to the memorial at the end of the Second World War:

CLARKE, Robert Warner, Able Seaman PJX321879, Royal Navy(H.M. Submarine P311)
CLARKE, Sydney Clarke, Lance Corporal 11416496, 7th Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment
COOK, Robert Leonard, Lance Corporal 2618869, 5th Battalion Grenadier Guards
CROSS, Brian, Leading Aircraftman 1440292, Royal Volunteer Reserve
CROSS, Frederick, Private 5249458, 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
COTTERELL, Maurice Charles, Sergeant Pilot 562657, 90 Squadron Royal Air Force
COTTERELL, Peter Samuel, Sergeant/Air Gunner, 158 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
HANDY, Frederick, Driver T70973, Royal Army Service Corps
HARRISON, Kenneth John, Ordinary Seaman CJX319054, Royal Navy (HMS Arethusa)
INGLES, Horace George, Private 5253093, 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment
INGLES, Thomas Raymond, Able Seaman DJX368713, Royal Navy (HMS Kite)
INVINE, Cyril John, Aircraftman 1st Class 1206953, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
JAMES, Sydney James, Flight Sergeant/Wireless Operator/AirGunner 1583124, 61 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
JESSOP (JESSUP), Alexander Anthony, Sergeant/Observer 911895, 51 Squadron, Royal Air Force
NEWBURY, James Victor, Ordinary Seaman DJX392157, Royal Navy (HMS Escapade)
OWEN, Edward Milman, Ordinary Seaman PJX226068, Royal Navy (HMS Kashmir)
PEMBERTON, David Alwyne, Squadron Leader/Pilot 33036, 1 Squadron, Royal Air Force
POOLE, James Henry, Leading Aircraftman, Royal Air Force
PROCTOR, Edgar William, Flight Sergeant/Air Gunner 1313237 44 Squadron, Royal Air Force
TARRANT, Frederick George, Private 14773225, 1st Battalion East Lancashire
WOODGER, Clifford John, Sergeant 421411, 2nd Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Royal Amoured Corps

In the late 1950s a bronze plaque was added to the foot of the memorial commemorating:

HENSLEY, Kenneth Andrew, Second Lieutenant, Royal Warwickshire attached North Rhodesia Regiment.

We will remember them.

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

 

 

 

 

Remembered Today: RAF Bomber Crash at Broadway Tower on 2nd June 1943

The Memorial at Broadway Tower, Worcestershire

The Memorial at Broadway Tower, Worcestershire

At 2.15pm on 2nd June 1943, an Armstrong Whitworth Whitley V bomber whilst on a training mission from Honeybourne airfield, crashed in poor visibility on top of the Cotswolds hills near to Broadway Tower. All members of the RAF crew: Pilot H.G. Hagen, Sgt E.G. Ekins, Flt Sgt D.H. Kelly, Sgt D.A. Marriott and Sgt R.S. Phillips were killed.

We will remembers them.