Remembered Today: Flight Sergeant (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) 1583124 Sydney Joseph James

Sydney ‘Sidney’ Joseph James of Broadway (1924-1945)

Sydney J. James (1924-1945)

Sydney1 Joseph James was born in Broadway in 1924, the son of Joseph Charles James and Annie Elizabeth James (née Turner) of Mill Avenue, Broadway.

As a boy, Sidney was educated at Broadway Council School and a member of Broadway Scout Group. Sidney was a keen footballer and played for Broadway Football Club’s junior teams before later becoming Secretary of the Club. After leaving school Sidney went to work on the clerical staff at the corn merchants Titchmarsh and Hunt in the village.

Following the outbreak of the Second World War, Broadway set up a Pig Club and Sidney was appointed the first Secretary of the Club2. Sidney was interested in flying and was a member of Broadway’s Air Training Corps, playing football for Broadway’s ATC at weekends.

Aged 18, he joined the Royal Air Force in 1942 and he served with the 61 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner on Lancaster Bombers.

Operation Leuna and the Loss of the Crew of Lancaster B3, LM720 QR-D

Sidney was killed whilst on operations during the early hours of 15th January 1945. On 14th January, He was one of the crew3 in Lancaster B3, LM720 QR-D, piloted by Flight Officer William George Corewyn,  that took off at 8.51pm from RAF Skellingthorpe, Lincoln, on a night time raid to bomb the synthetic oil refinery near Mersberg, Eastern Germany (Operation Leuna). The Lancaster successfully carried out the raid but crashed during the return flight over Norfolk. Poor weather conditions and possibly a garbled message advising the destination of Carnaby Airfield near Bridlington, Yorkshire, are thought to have contributed to the crash. However, the Lancaster headed towards Langham Airfield, Norfolk, and in the fog struck the 200ft RAF radar mast on Bard Hill, Salthouse. The Lancaster came down at 1.21am on Salthouse Heath near Langham Airfield. Six of the crew including Sidney died instantly and Air Bomber Flight Sergeant Edward ‘Teddy’ Boakes died in hospital later the same morning.

Remembering Sydney Joseph James

Sydney’s Headstone, St Eadburgha’s Churchyard, Broadway, Worcestershire

Sidney’s body was recovered from the crash site and brought back to Broadway. He was buried in St Eadburgha’s Churchyard the following week. His funeral service, attended by his family, friends and representatives from Broadway Parish Council, Titchmarsh and Hunt and Broadway’s ATC, was conducted by the Vicar of Broadway, Rev. V.H. Patrick. Sidney’s coffin was draped in the Union Flag and borne by Sergeant Sunley, Flight Sergeant Phillips and ATC Cadets Agg, Beard, Dyde and Print.

Sydney Joseph James is commemorated on the Broadway War Memorial and on the Roll of Honour inside St Michael and All Angels Church in the village.

 

We will remember them.

 

 

 

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

 

1. Also spelt ‘Sidney’. His first name was registered at birth as ‘Sydney’ but his RAF records have his name recorded as ‘Sidney’.
2. Broadway Pig Club, to supplement meat rations during the War years, was started in March 1941 following a meeting at the Lifford Memorial Hall attended by Worcestershire’s Agricultural Organiser, C. Culpin. The first officers of the Club were: A.B. Williams (Chairman), Charles Steward (Vice-Chairman), Sydney James (Honorary Secretary) and A.F. Lomas (Hon. Treasurer). A year later the Club had insured 130 pigs and there were over 160 members.
2. The crew of the Lancaster LM720 QR-D were: Flight Sergeant R.C. Battersby (Navigator), Flight Sergeant E.J. ‘Teddy’ Boakes (Air Bomber), Flight Officer W.G. Corewyn (Pilot), Sergeant J. Douglas (Air Gunner), Sergeant P.R. Earl (Flight Engineer) and Sergeant R. Richardson (Air Gunner). They were all in their 20s. The oldest was 24.

 

Further reading:
Air Crewed Remembered

Sources:
http://www.ancestry.co.uk
The records of International Bomber Command Centre, Lincoln.

Remembered Today: Sergeant Air Gunner 1815603 Peter Samuel Cotterell (1923 – 1945)

Peter Samuel Cotterell was born in Broadway, in 1923, the son Mildred Agnes Cotterell. Peter was a member of Broadway Air Training Corps and joined the RAF Voluntary Reserve in the summer of 1944.

Headstone of Sergeant Peter Samuel Cotterell

Headstone Sgt. Peter S. Cotterell,
Dürnbach War Cemetery
(Dom Howard from http://www.158squadron.co.uk)

Peter trained as an Air Gunner with training unit 1664 HCU before being posted to 158 Squadron, on 9th November 1944, at RAF Lissett, Yorkshire.

The following year, Peter was killed whilst on a bombing mission, Operation Hanau1, in a Halifax Mk. III NR195 NP-I. At 3.44pm, on 6th January 1944, the Halifax took off from RAF Lissett. After bombing its target the Halifax was involved in a mid-air collision with a Lancaster (PB288) from 635 Squadron. Shortly after 7pm, 17,000 feet above Grossauheim, near Hanau on the east bank of the River Main, the Halifax strayed into the path of the Lancaster and the Halifax disintegrated in mid-air2. All 7 members of the Halifax crew lost their lives: Flight Officer John J. Krefter (Pilot), Sergeant Alexander T. Clyde (Flight Engineer), Flight Sergeant Leslie G. Morgan (Navigator), Sergeant James Gore (Air Bomber), Flight Officer K. Nerney (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner), Sergeant Ernest H.M. Barr (Air Gunner) and Sergeant Peter S. Cotterell (Air Gunner). The pilot of the Lancaster PB288, Flight Lieutenant Rowland RAAF, was the sole survivor of his crew and he was captured by the Germans the following day 25 miles from the crash scene.

Peter and the rest of the crew of the Halifax and those of the Lancaster were all initially buried in the cemetery at Grossauheim before being moved to Dürnbach War Cemetery in 1947.

Sergeant Peter Cotterell is also commemorated on the Broadway War Memorial and on the Roll of Honour inside St Michael and All Angels Church, Broadway.

We will remember them.

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

 
Notes:
1. Hanau, east of Frankfurt, was an important junction on the German railway system.
2. The Germans tried to take credit for the two aircraft claiming their Flak battery had taken down the aeroplanes.

 

Sources:
http://www.158squadron.co.uk
Air Crew Remembered

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Remembered Today: Able Seaman DJX368713 Thomas Raymond Ingles (1923-1944)

Thomas Raymond ‘Ray’ Ingles was the youngest son of Dennis Ingles and Mabel Christina ‘Chrissie’ Ingles (née Newbury) of Church Street, Broadway. He was born in Broadway in 1923.

Ray was educated at Broadway Council School and was a keen sportsman. He played cricket for Worcestershire County Cricket Club, Evesham and Broadway. He was also a handy footballer and played on the left wing for Broadway Football Club.

After leaving school Ray worked for Gordon Russell Limited in the village. He was a member of Broadway’s ATC and Home Guard before leaving Russell’s and joining the Royal Navy in 1942. The same year he married Majorie May Ferris the eldest daughter of Mr & Mrs Ferris of Evesham.

The Sinking of HMS Kite

HMS Kite (U87)

Ray served on the sloop HMS Kite (U87). HMS Kite was launched on 13th October 1942 and commissioned on 1st March 1943. On 20th August 1944 she was on convoy duty in the North Atlantic. She was escorting aircraft carriers HMS Keppel and HMS Vindex, which were escorting another convoy to Northern Russia, when German U-Boats were detected in the vicinity. The U-Boats were attacked with depth charges and hedgehogs, resulting in the destruction of three of the U-Boats. However, early on the morning of 21st August, HMS Kite had slowed down to 6 knots in order to clear equipment that had become tangled, this left her vulnerable to attack. Torpedoes fired from the German U-Boat U-344 struck the ship on the starboard side causing HMS Kite to sink beneath the waves.

A total of 217 crew, including Ray, aged 22, lost their lives that day. Of the 60 men who survived the sinking, 14 were rescued from the icy Atlantic waters, 5 of whom died shortly afterwards. Only 9 men survived the attack.

Ray’s body was never recovered from the sea. He is commemorated on Plymouth Naval Memorial, Devon, the Broadway War Memorial and on Broadway’s Roll of Honour in St Michael and All Angels Church.

Pte Horace George Ingles (1913-1944) and Pte Ronald Herbert Ingles (1915-1944)

Two of Ray’s older brothers also served in the Second World War. A month after Ray’s parents received notice of Ray’s death, they were informed that their eldest son, Private Horace George Ingles (1913-1944), who had also worked at Russell’s, and was serving with the 1st Worcestershire Regiment, had been wounded during the Battle of Normandy following the D-Day landings. Horace died of his wounds on 9th August 1944 and is buried in St. Manvieu War Cemetery, Cheux, France. Private Ronald Herbert Ingles (1915-1984) was a prisoner of war from 1942, firstly in Italy before being moved to a PoW camp in Germany. Ronald returned home and lived on Springfield Lane, Broadway, after the war.

 

We will remember them.

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

Remembered Today: Private 5249458 Frederick Cross 1st Worcestershire Regiment (1911-1944)

Frederick ‘Fred’ Cross was born on 7th March 1911, the son of Thomas Cross and Ellen Cross (née Pinchin). Fred married Alice Mary Green in Broadway in 1939 and they had two sons. Their eldest son Frederick was born the following year but sadly died shortly after birth and he is buried in St Eadburgha’s churchyard, Snowshill Road. Their second son, Peter, was born in 1942.

Banneville-La-Campagne War Cemetery (cwgc.org)

Fred served with the 1st Worcestershire Regiment (HQ Company) in the Second World War and took part in the D-Day Landings in June 1944. Fred was killed in action during the Battle of Normandy at Berjou, France, on 16th August 1944, aged 33.

Private Frederick Cross is buried in Bannevile-La-Campagne War Cemetery, France, and is commemorated on the Chipping Campden Roll of Honour and War Memorial, the Broadway War Memorial and the Roll of Honour inside St Michael and All Angels Church, Broadway.

We will remember them.

 

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

 

Further reading:

1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment – Normandy 1944

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

Able Seaman Robert Warner ‘Bob’ Clarke and the Sinking of Submarine HMS P311 January 1943

A biography below of Able Seaman Robert ‘Robin’ or ‘Bob’ Warner Clarke, son of Frank Thomas and May Clarke, of Mill Avenue, Broadway, Worcestershire, who died during the sinking of the submarine HMS P311 on 8th January 1943. Robin was declared missing in action after the sinking, and notification that he was presumed dead was received by his parents the following March.

Robin was educated at Broadway Council School and after leaving school was employed by an Evesham firm of fishmongers until he signed up with the Navy just before his 18th birthday. He had only been in the Navy for a year when he was killed, aged 19, in the sinking of submarine HMS P311.

Robert is commemorated on the Broadway War Memorial and the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire, England, Panel 74, Column 1.

Broadway History Society

Today we remember Able Seaman Robert Warner Clarke of Broadway who died, aged 19, 76 years ago during the Second World War. Robert, known as Bob, was a member of the crew on submarine HMS P311 when she was sunk by a mine on 8th January 19431 off the coast of Tavolara Island, a small island to the north east of Sardinia.

Bob, was born in Broadway, one of nine children of Frank Thomas Clarke and May Clarke (née Meadows). After the outbreak of the Second World War, Bob enlisted with the Royal Navy Submarine Service and was posted to serve on HMS P311.

On_Board_the_Submarine_Depot_Ship_HMS_Forth,_Holy_Loch,_Scotland,_1942_TR526 1942: On board Submarine Depot Ship HMS Forth, Holy Loch, Scotland. The depot ship HMS Forth is transferring a practice torpedo to the HMS P311. HMS Sibyl (P217) is seen alongside and another submarine can be seen in the background.

HMS P311 was a T-class…

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