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
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
At August 2019 Mr Stone is now in a position to provide
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
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
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 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,
C R Barber = Cyril, Gnr, 397 Bty 121 LAA Regt, Royal
Artillery, Aged 33.
C T Barrett = Cyril, Dvr, 1678 Artillery Platoon RASC,
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,
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,
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
S A Greenfield = Silas, Pte, 1 Base Supply Depot RASC,
P A Harrison = Percy, Sgt Pilot, RAF, Aged 22.
A Hillson = Arnold, Spr, 54 Field Coy Royal Engineers,
A J Hussey = Albert, L/Cpl, 8th Bn Royal Fusiliers, Aged
M Jackson = William M., Lt, 2nd Northants Yeomanry RAC,
J S Jones = John, Gnr, 22 Field Regt Royal Artillery,
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,
G A Langley = Gerald, P/O Pilot, 41 Sqdn, RAFVR, Aged
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,
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,
R A Sabell = Ronald, Sgt Air Gunner, 106 Sqdn, RAF, Aged
R Smith = Reginald, Mne, No41 Cdo Royal Marines, Aged
R Smith = Reginald Thomas, Spr, Royal Engineers, Aged
H A Tyrrell = Herbert, Lt, 80Lt AA Regt Royal Artillery,
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.
Also that those men
not listed on the screen although recorded within the parish
Flt/Sgt Clifford Keith Morton [15740, Royal Air Force, 619
Sqdn, aged 22].