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

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Corporal Nelson George Thacker, 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment (1915-1994)

From the Evesham Journal 21 March 1942

I recently saw on Facebook an image taken from the Evesham Journal of British prisoners of war in Stalag VIII-B (Stalag 344) Lamsdorf, Germany, in the 1942 (see image). Amongst the prisoners in the photo was Corporal Nelson George Thacker from Evesham (back row 3rd from left). The post piqued my interest as I have researched some of the men from the area that have served in either the First or Second World War so I decided to see what I could discover about Corporal Thacker.

Nelson George Thacker (1915-1994)

Known as George, he was born in Evesham on 28th September 1915. His parents, Percy John Thacker and mother, Sarah Jane (née Hampton), had married in Evesham late in 1914. His mother was from Bengeworth in Evesham and worked at the local jam factory. His father was a journeyman baker and the family lived at 4 Mill Street, Evesham. George had a younger brother, Frederick born in 1917 who died, aged 7, in 1924. His mother gave birth to a third son, Douglas, in 1927 but he also did not survive infancy.

George was named after his father’s brother Nelson Thacker (1892-1915). Just before George was born his Uncle Nelson had embarked for France having enlisted as a Private with the 1st Battalion Black Watch (Royal Highlanders). Less than two months’ later, whilst fighting on the Western Front Private Nelson Thacker was killed in action on 13th October 1915, and he is commemorated on the Loos Memorial and the Evesham War Memorial.

After the outbreak of the Second World War, George enlisted with the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment and in 1942, whilst in France, was captured by the German Army. The Evesham Journal reported on 21st March 1942 that George was a Prisoner of War in Stalag VIII-B Lamsdorf.

Around 210 men from the 1st Battalion Worcestershire Regiment are known to have been imprisoned in Stalag VIII-B at some point during the war. The stalag was the largest German Army prisoner of war camp in the Third Reich with thousands of prisoners, mostly Russian but with a smaller camp of some 16,000 prisoners from Britain, Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand and South Africa. The camp was located in the north east near Oppeln on the River Oder in Silesia near what was then the German Polish border. At the end of 1943 Lamsdorf was designated Stalag 344 and a sub-camp at Teschen, some 125 km to the south east, became the new Stalag VIII-B.

Stalag 383, Hohenfels, Germany

According to the Worcestershire Regiment’s records Lt/Cpl 1873046 Thacker was imprisoned in Stalag 383 as PoW 15320. Fellow serving soldiers from his battalion; Corporals H.H. Taylor, D.E. Williams, R.P. Evans and Sergeants C. Sargerson and R.W. Seager are recorded as being PoWs in the camp at the same time as George.

It was not unusual for prisoners to be transferred between camps. Private Les Foskett who served with The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment, had been a prisoner at Stalag VIII-B in 1941 and was transferred to Stalag 383 a few months later so it is likely that George and a number of others were transferred between the two camps at some stage and that he may not have been in Stalag VIII-B for long. Click here for Les Foskett’s story.

Stalag 383 was located in Bavaria between Nuremburg and Regensberg in Germany. Until late 1942, the prisoners in the camp endured conditions what have been described by another PoW as bad but once the Swiss Red Cross became involved, and Red Cross clothing and food parcels supplemented PoW camp rations, the lives the PoWs improved and the camp was described as “far less depressing than Lamsdorf”. A Swedish delegate who visited the camp on the occasion of the centenary of the YMCA in July 1944 stated that he had seen “no better camp in Germany” (see extracts from the Official History of New Zealand in the Second World War, 1939-1945 for prisoners’ descriptions of the camp). The PoWs were released from Stalag 383 in early May 1945 by the American Army.

After his release, George returned home to Evesham. Following his discharge from the army in he started working as a Postman with Evesham Post Office in 1946 and he later joined the Evesham Town Silver Band. He married Gertrude Cynthia Padfield, known as Cynthia (of Burford Road, Evesham), at St Lawrence Church, in 1947. George died in 1994 and his wife, Cynthia, died aged 87, on 26th January 2012 and is buried in Waterside Cemetery, Evesham. Before her death Cynthia lived on Isbourne Crescent, Evesham.

If anyone has any information about George Thacker that could be added to this article then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

 

Sources:
http://www.ancestry.co.uk
Evesham Journal
The Diary of Alan Forster, POW 3921, Stalag VIIIB (October 1944 — May 1945) by Bill Forster
http://www.worcestershireregiment.com

 

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

 

 

 

 

Broadway Men appear before Military Tribunals in Evesham

During the First World War, the passing of the Military Service Act in January 1916 enforced compulsory military service. As a result, single men and widowers without children aged 18-41 years were now liable to serve in the Army as long as they were not in a reserved occupation. The Act was extended in May of that year to cover both single and married men and in 1918 was extended to include men up to 51 years of age.

As a result of compulsory conscription, a series of Military Service Tribunals were established to hear applications and appeals for exemption from those with reasons not to serve in the Army. For men in Broadway, the Tribunals were held in Evesham.

The reasons for seeking exemption needed to fall in one of seven categories; employment or educational studies that were of greater national importance, domestic circumstances, conscientious objection and medical reasons.

William Joseph Keyte (1884-1974)

hommedia.ashxIn 1917, following compulsory conscription, William Joseph Keyte of Broadway, who was 33 years of age and working as a jobbing builder and decorator, finally passed his army medical with a Grade 3C. William had previously been rejected by the Army on three occasions.  He was now considered fit for service but only for clerical duties. Represented by Mr J.W. Roberts, William appealed his conscription on the basis that he would have to close his business if he enlisted as he had already lost one of his men to the war.

William appeared before Lieutenant Shelmerdine (who served with the RFC during WW1) at a Tribunal in Evesham. William stated during his appeal that there were a number of C3 single men in Broadway who did not have their own businesses who had not been called up and that he was married with three young children to support. William’s cousin, Harold Keyte, also a jobbing builder employed by many of the farms in Broadway, had passed Grade 1 fitness, however, he had received total exemption. William went on to explain that his cousin, Harold, would in spite of his employment be unable to support William’s family in his absence.

The Tribunal granted William full exemption from service during the war. His younger brother Charles Hubert Keyte, had served with the 3rd Battalion, Worcetershire Regiment, and was killed in action in France on 22nd August 1916 and is commemorated on the Broadway War Memorial.

William Stephens (b. 1886)

Aged 31, William Stephens of New Cottages, Leamington Road, Broadway, had been granted exemption on November 29th 1916. At the time he was working as a rabbit catcher for Mr Jackson in Broadway. His certificate of exemption was reviewed in 1917 at the request of the local National Service Representative as he was known to be no longer engaged in the same occupation. At his Tribunal, William stated that he was still catching rabbits and that he could get plenty of work on the land in and around Broadway. William who was single had passed Grade 2 at his medical. William lost his appeal and his exemption from service was withdrawn.

It is not known where or with which regiment William served. William was the son of Thomas and Louisa Stephens of Buckland.

 

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial to the Missing

Last weekend I visited Tyne Cot Cemetery and Memorial to the Missing outside Passchendaele near Zonnebeke in Belgium. Tyne Cot is the largest cemetery for Commonwealth forces in the world for any war and commemorates nearly 12,000 Commonwealth servicemen of the First World War and the Memorial another 35,000 men. The scale of the site is overwhelming and like other Commonwealth War Grave Commission sites the grounds are beautifully maintained, and at the time of my visit rows of ‘Remembrance’ red floribunda roses planted in front of the wall of panels and amongst some of the headstones were in full bloom.

In the Visitor Centre on the approach to the Cemetery, a recorded voice reads out the names of each of the servicemen listed as ‘missing in action’ and there was a display of medals, letters and photographs of some of the men. Amongst the men commemorated on the Memorial to the Missing is Leonard Frank Green, son of Harold Joseph and Mary Ann Green, High Street, Broadway. Corporal Leonard Green of the 1st/8th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment was killed in action, aged 20, on 27th August 1917.

 

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers
August 2017

 

 

 

 

Broadway Library Commemorates the Battle of the Somme

Broadway Library Commemorates the Battle of the Somme

As part of the Worcestershire World War One Hundred programme The Somme Project is a countywide initiative for Worcestershire libraries to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme. Lasting 141 days, from 1st July to the 18th November 1916, the Battle of the Somme affected most local families, not only in Worcestershire, but across the country.

Broadway Library, Leamington Road, Broadway, has prepared a display honouring Private 27819 Charles Hubert Keyte of the 3rd battalion Worcestershire Regiment. Charles Keyte was born in Broadway in 1891 and attended Broadway Council School before starting his own boot making and repairing business which eventually moved to The Busy Bee on the High Street. Charles married Lillian Slater in 1913 and they had two sons, Philip and Charles.

Charles voluntarily attested in 1915 under the Derby Scheme and was posted to the Western Front in April 1916. Charles served in the Battle of the Somme and was killed in action on 22nd August 1916. Charles is buried in Authuile Military Cemetery, France, and is commemorated on the Broadway War Memorial and Broadway Council School Memorial Board.

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

 

 

 

Private John Jarrett awarded the Croix de Guerre avec Etoile

croix-de-guerre-39-45-étoile-ArgentOn 30th November 1918 it was announced in the Evesham Journal that Private 14969 John William Jarrett (born 1893) of Bury End, Broadway, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Jarrett, who served with the 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment during the First World War, had been awarded the Croix de Guerre avec Etoile.

The official communication from the headquarters of the 10th Infantry Brigade stated:

You have been awarded the undermentioned French decoration for devotion to duty during the operation at Neuve Eglise in April last: Croix de Guerre avec Etoile. Your name appeared in the London Gazette dated 10th October 1918. The Divisional Commander and Brigadier General desire me to express their congratulations on the honour you have brought your division and brigade.