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Remember Kingsley’s Fallen WW2 Heroes
     

St Matthew’s Church has been appealing for information to bring the stories of over 40 World War Two heroes from Kingsley to life. The church is hoping to fully research every one of the men named on its Memorial Chapel Roll of Honour so they can be properly remembered for future generations.

A similar project was completed in 2018 for the 126 WW1 heroes from the Kingsley parish.
Researchers Martin and Lindsey Stone carried out painstaking research to build case studies of every one of the Great War dead in time for the 100th anniversary of the Armistice. Their efforts caused a frenzy of media activity, including live BBC TV coverage from the church. The couple then turned their attention to gathering information about the WW2 names listed below.

Mr Stone said: ‘I am particularly looking for any photographs in uniform, dates of birth, and short stories or snippets of information related to their stories. Similarly, any associated parish information regarding war service and the work of women in the parish would be very helpful.’ There is a strong possibility some of the stories may be relevant to the WW2 Declaration of War and D-Day Anniversary in 2019 and the Battle of Britain Anniversary in 2020. If you can help, please contact Martin Stone via St Matthew’s Parish Office, 27a The Drive, Northampton, NN1 4RY. Or email him at mstone612@btinternet.com

At August 2019 Mr Stone is now in a position to provide this update:

In our study focused on those forty-two men listed on the church's WW2 screens, we are reaching the point of completing the Second World War work and will soon be able to use the lessons learned from this, and also some new information from national and local records that we have gathered during the process, to review the First War results to date.

Our contacts from within the parish, the families of the fallen from both the UK and abroad, and the wider fraternity of those interested in the project as well as local history and military history in general will support this effort. An updated copy of the covering paper and the completed draft list of the St Matthew's WW2 fallen has been placed in the church's Memorial Chapel with the already completed draft list of our WW1 fallen.

World War Two

The Second World War analysis required a different process and generated records with a very different flavour to those of the First War. This will require further explanation as the study progresses to completion, but the Second War analysis reveals another level of the extreme violence of total war, and has been well described as somehow more personal. Again, all the St Matthew’s names identified have been of men, while nationally CWGC records for the period contain a great number of civilians and servicemen male and female. The other amazing anomaly is that of the 42 brave men who fell in the Second War, three were De-Havilland Mosquito pilots. Two of these Mosquito pilots fell on operations, one was lost in June 1945 after a distinguished operational career and his transfer ‘to rest’ as an instructor on an Operational Training Unit (OTU). These are two of the few anomalies from a statistical point of view, as the 42 men listed cover almost every theatre of war and every mode of service that you could read about in a short tome on the war itself.

As examples, one third of the men listed served in the Royal Air Force. One of these was a Spitfire pilot who lost his life on what is now Battle of Britain Day. Three of the aircrew were on Coastal Command operations, three were Mosquito pilots, one of these a Flt Lieut with the Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar, five were Bomber aircrew. Twenty-three of the men served in the British Army across the different regiments of infantry, artillery, and service support. Three of the men were Royal Navy including a Royal Marine. Two men were prisoners of the Japanese. Another escaped from the Japanese in his Catalina aircraft with his crew mates, and was reported rescued in an article in a local newspaper, when in fact a few days after his escape he was tragically killed in an air reconnaissance mission off Ceylon. Many of the men were married. At least one had a daughter whom he would never meet. Whatever their situation, they were all mothers’ sons.

We have men listed on the St Matthew’s World War Two screens that are buried in Northampton, North Africa, France, Holland, Germany, Italy and Formosa (now Taiwan). We have men listed who died in the Battle of Britain, the evacuation of France in 1940, Singapore, Ceylon, Burma, D-Day operations, Alamein and the advances through Sicily and Italy. The screens include those who are listed as having no known graves and are represented on their service memorials, for example Runnymede for the Royal Air Force, Chatham and Plymouth for the Royal Navy. The remains of several of those who were originally thought to have no known graves or who were otherwise not appropriately remembered or buried were, subsequent to the action in which they were lost, recovered and re-interred – process entitled then as ‘Graves Concentration’. This is a feature in the records of several of our Second War fallen. Another feature of our Second War fallen is that the majority were killed in the latter years of war.

We can deduce and support several matters from this for a wider understanding of the period, the men and their families. For example, Field Marshall Montgomery may well have been correct to be considered cautious with his manpower even late in the war. His reticence to support multi-national operations, namely with the Americans at the expense of British and Commonwealth lives, may have been well founded. We can also deduce that our lists of men are representative of numbers and losses across the three services as a whole, as well as the geographical areas in which this war was principally fought. And perhaps finally a lesson that most of us would already realise, that volunteering or being nominated as aircrew in either war was indeed a dangerous game.

As previously noted, if the reader would like to add further information or clarity this would be most welcome and can be included in later editions. Any further information, particularly from members of the families, and where medals, photographs, postcards and letters could be scanned for reference, would add considerably to the academic rigour of the efforts to identify and further honour the men concerned. Progressing the work on the Second War fallen has led us back to families with links to the First War fallen adding clarity to the work achieved so far. But as at August 2019 there is more to do and your support in this is, as always, most welcome.


Remembrance Sunday
 

At the Remembrance Sunday service on 10 November 2019, we were able to identify for the first time each of the servicemen commemorated in our Memorial Chapel and honour them using their Christian name and age and when they died. We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Martin and Lindsey Stone for their painstaking and highly skilled work over the preceding two years in identifying and discovering the stories of each individual. Three new individuals have been added, and there remains some outstanding details. As a direct result of this work, we were joined at the Remembrance service by descendants of several of the servicemen, one of whom has provided the following photographs taken before and during the service.

 
       


St Matthew’s Church, Northampton WW2 Roll of Honour:
 

 

E A Allen = Ernest, F/Sgt, 205 Sqdn, RAFVR, Aged 21.
E L Armer = Ernest, Pte, 5th Bn Nptons, Aged 27.
C G Baldwin = Clifford, Pte, Royal Army Ordnance Corps, Aged 33.
C R Barber = Cyril, Gnr, 397 Bty 121 LAA Regt, Royal Artillery, Aged 33.
C T Barrett = Cyril, Dvr, 1678 Artillery Platoon RASC, Aged 40.
J Barringer = Jack, L.Tel., HMLCH 185 RN, Aged 29 (brother George also fell).
J A Beer = Jack, W/O Pilot, 464 Sqdn, RAFVR, Aged 22.
F T Bennett = Frederick, Tpr, B Sqdn 44th Tank Rgt, RAC, Aged 27.
W Ceybird = Wilson, F/O, DFM, 143 Sqdn RAFVR, Aged 24.
D S Cleaver = Donald, Cpl, 15 Sqdn, RAFVR, Aged 36.
W G Clifton = Wilfred, Gnr, 51 Field Regt Royal Artillery, Aged 22.
S J Dodd = Sidney, L/Bdr, 139 Field Regt Royal Artillery, Aged 22.
P H Douglas = Phillip, Officer Cadet, Royal Engineers, Aged 23.
A E Earl = Arthur, LAC, RAFVR, Aged 26.
T W Farmer = Thomas, Sgt Nav, 550 Sqdn, RAFVR, Aged 32.
G E Flinn = George, Stwd, HMS Hurworth RN, Aged 32.
A D Garley = Albert, Sgt, Royal Army Medical Corps, Aged 25.
S A Greenfield = Silas, Pte, 1 Base Supply Depot RASC, Aged 20.
P A Harrison = Percy, Sgt Pilot, RAF, Aged 22.
A Hillson = Arnold, Spr, 54 Field Coy Royal Engineers, Aged 21.
A J Hussey = Albert, L/Cpl, 8th Bn Royal Fusiliers, Aged 23.
M Jackson = William M., Lt, 2nd Northants Yeomanry RAC, Aged 33.
J S Jones = John, Gnr, 22 Field Regt Royal Artillery, Aged 20.
T Jones = Tom, Gnr, 443 Bty, 64 Searchlight Regt 1/6th Essex, Aged 26.
S Knight = Sidney, Sgt W.Op.& Air Gunner, 12 Sqdn, RAFVR, Aged 22.
G A Langley = Gerald, P/O Pilot, 41 Sqdn, RAFVR, Aged 24.
R W Law = Reginald, Cpl, 1st Bn Nptons, Aged 25.
K A Laxton = Keith, P/O, 107 Sqdn RAF, Aged 21.
J D Marshall = John, Pte, Seaforth Highlanders, Aged 27.
J J Reeve = John, Pte, 4th Bn Kings Shropshire Light Infantry, Aged 31.
A E Roberts = Albert, LCpl, Royal Army Service Corps, Aged 25.
F Rogers = Frank, Sgt, Yorks Hussars. Royal Armoured Corps, Aged 38.
D J Rushton = Dennis, Sgt, 218 Sqdn, RAFVR, Aged 20.
N Russell = Noel, FlLt, DFC & Bar, Instructor RAFVR, Aged 24.
R A Sabell = Ronald, Sgt Air Gunner, 106 Sqdn, RAF, Aged 24.
R Smith = Reginald, Mne, No41 Cdo Royal Marines, Aged 20.
R Smith = Reginald Thomas, Spr, Royal Engineers, Aged 25.
H A Tyrrell = Herbert, Lt, 80Lt AA Regt Royal Artillery, Aged 28.
N Vials, believed to be Gordon Nigel, regt affiliation unknown, Aged 19.
S Vials = Stephen, Sgt, 221 Sqdn, RAFVR, Aged 26 (brother of Gordon Nigel).
J W Wykes believed to be JW Wilkes, James, Spr, Royal Engs, Aged 21.


 
 
 
 

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