OC War Graves
OC War Grave Visits
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them
Please visit the Charterhouse World War I Memorial website for information on Old Carthusians and members of staff who perished in the First World War:
In recent years there have been numerous commemorative pilgrimages to the graves and memorials of Old Carthusians who perished during both the First and Second World Wars, as well as other conflicts. Their accounts make for some interesting and moving reading:
- Operation Gomorrah revisited
- Runnymede revisited
- D-Day Dodgers revisited
- Operation HUSKY, the Sicily campaign of 1943 – revisited July 2009
- Annual Visit to Rauville La Place, Normandy
North Germany and Denmark, September 2013
Casualties of the Second World War buried in Germany include sixteen Old Carthusians and two former members of the Science Labs staff. Together with an OC buried in Denmark, they fall geographically into four groups.
Some 40 miles to the north of Berlin lies the tiny village of Buchholz, the last resting-place of the only OC killed on the German side. An anti-aircraft officer who died in an encounter with the Red Army a week before the end of the war, he was in fact the last OC killed in action in Europe. The site of his grave in the village churchyard was visited in April 2005 by Chris & Ann Wheeler. In Berlin itself is buried one of the Science Labs staff, a Bomber Command navigator, and we hope to visit his grave in due course.
In Bavaria, an OC bomber pilot is buried with his crew in a churchyard north of Munich, while another airman and a Royal Artillery prisoner-of-war are buried in Durnbach war cemetery, closer to the Austrian border. This group was visited by Chris & Ann Wheeler in August 2012.
Two OC soldiers and four airmen (including the other former lab technician) are buried in two war cemeteries near the Dutch border, Reichswald Forest and Rheinberg. One post-war BAOR casualty is buried near Münster in Westphalia. We hope to visit these in the near future.
Further north there are six OC burials in Germany and one in Denmark. Two bomber aircrew are buried in Hanover. Two aircrew and one Naval prisoner-of-war are buried at Becklingen, not far from the site of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. One airman is buried in Kiel, and one in Esbjerg.
Our aim in 2013 was to visit this northern group of graves. Participants were Michael Bates (ex-Deputy Bursar), Simon Fielder (ex-BH), Nick Townsend (L 1993) and Chris Wheeler (H 1967 and ex-BH). Dominic Saunders (D 1992) was at the last minute unable to join us for work reasons.
On Monday 16th September we were once again at Gatwick at an absurd time in the morning. An hour's delay before take-off was fortunately absorbed by our schedule; we left Hamburg airport more or less on time, and set off through the bustling city centre, rebuilt after the devastation caused above all by Operation Gomorrah in July 1943. We passed the Nikolaikirche (St Nicholas' Church), whose spire was used by the bombers as their aiming-point. It was inevitably badly damaged, and as at Coventry Cathedral, its outer walls and spire are preserved as a memorial. The church was designed in 1844 by George Gilbert Scott, whose grandson Giles was to be the architect of Memorial Chapel.
During the first of several long stints on the motorway, lunch at a service area introduced us to Jägerschnitzel, which was to prove popular. In the middle of Lüneburg Heath, not far from where the 1945 surrender was signed, we arrived at Becklingen War Cemetery to visit three graves.
Wing Commander J.L.H.FLETCHER, RAF (L 1929) obtained a commission in the Reserve of Air Force Officers in 1930 and joined the RAF as a Pilot Officer in 1932. Serving with 218 (Gold Coast) Squadron as the pilot of Wellington Z8781, he was killed on 4th August 1941, aged 31, when the aircraft was hit by flak over Bremen on an operation to Hanover and crashed at Moordeich. Despite his service with pre-war fighter squadrons, this was apparently only his third operation with 218 Squadron; it seems he was standing in for the regular pilot, who was on leave to get married. He is buried in grave 26.F.7. Three of his crew are buried in graves 26.F.4-6; two more survived as prisoners of war.
Flight Lieutenant P.B.O.RANALOW, RAFVR (H 1930), a nephew of Captain Oates of Antarctic fame, became a schoolmaster, but joined the RAFVR two days before the outbreak of war. In February 1944 he survived being shot down over Holland and spent the next eight months making his way home. Returning to service as a bomb-aimer in 35 Squadron, he died on 10th April 1945, aged 30, of injuries sustained in the crash of Lancaster NG440 during a raid on Hamburg two days before. He is buried in grave 14.B.14. Six crew members are buried in graves 11.B.10-14. One air gunner survived and was taken to a German hospital.
Commander B.G.SCURFIELD RN, DSO, OBE, AM (S 1920) joined the Royal Navy in 1922. He was awarded the Albert Medal in 1937, while in command of HMS Hunter, for saving the lives of five of his crew. He earned the Polish Military Cross evacuating Polish troops from France in 1940, and the OBE for the part played by HMS Broke in rescuing personnel from the burning HMS Comorin. He was in command of HMS Bedouin during Operation Harpoon, for which he was awarded the DSO. When Bedouin was sunk in June 1942, he became a prisoner of war in Italy and later in Germany. On 11th April 1945 the Germans evacuated the camp, but near Zeven the prisoners were mistaken for enemy troops and strafed by British aircraft. Commander Scurfield died of wounds sustained, aged 42. He is buried in grave 3.A.12. Sick Berth Attendant E.King, RN, and Storekeeper J.S.Bogie, MN, who died on the same day (and presumably in the same incident) are buried in graves 3.A.13 and 3.A.14.
Only a mile or two away is the memorial to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. There are no rebuilt huts or barbed wire, only open heath and woodland rather like south-west Surrey. A central obelisk stands by a memorial wall, decorated with hundreds of pebbles left by visitors. Scattered across the site are various collective and individual memorials, including one to Anne and Margot Frank. Several grassed-over mounds are marked with a stone tablet giving the number of dead buried within - here 500, here 800, here 2,500. This was not an extermination camp like Auschwitz, but nevertheless some 50,000 people died here - many only days before liberation, and many more afterwards. A similar number of Russian prisoners-of-war died in the nearby PoW camps.
With some relief we resumed our journey, past Hanover and through Hameln (Hamelin of Pied Piper fame, complete with a large golden rat on one of the bridges) to Bad Pyrmont, an attractive spa town. The hotel was pleasant, though in need of some modernisation, and both supper and breakfast were excellent. Nearby stood a war memorial - not from 1939-45 nor even 1914-18, but in memory of the fallen of the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71.
On Tuesday 17th we headed back the way we had come, finding Hanover War Cemetery in the countryside on the western outskirts of the city. Here lie two Old Carthusians.
Sergeant R.A.KEMP-WELCH RAFVR (H 1941) joined the RAFVR on leaving school and served as an air gunner with 103 Squadron. He was killed on 18th October 1943, aged 20, in the loss of Lancaster JB349 during a raid on Hanover. He is one of five crew members buried in collective grave 1.B.12-16. The remaining two crew are commemorated in the Air Forces Memorial above Runnymede.
Flight Lieutenant N.MARWOOD TUCKER RAFVR (G 1929) joined the Royal Artillery early in the war and later transferred to the RAFVR. A pilot with 101 Squadron, he was killed on 13th August 1944, aged 34, flying Lancaster LM598 in a so-called Airborne Cigar (ABC) raid on Brunswick, interfering with radio transmissions to enemy night fighters. He is buried in grave 8.K.3. Six of his crew are buried in graves 8.K.4-9 and one (Sgt Barss, the ABC operator) in collective grave 12.E.8-10. Fl Lt Marwood Tucker is commemorated in Magdalen College, Oxford, and on the village war memorial at Horrabridge, Devon, which we visited during our West Country trip of 2008. A bible was donated in his memory to St Giles’ church at Kilmington, Devon, which was also visited in 2008.
Navigation with two electronic systems and one map took us successfully through the edge of central Hanover to the southern suburb of Laatzen and its aircraft museum. We had (frankly) expected something rather modest and provincial, but this was excellent. Full-size aircraft and replicas were complemented by photos and dozens of models; there were contemporary toys, vehicles and even domestic equipment. The displays covered everything from the Montgolfier brothers to modern jet engines; one showcase featured local pioneer Karl Jatho who (according to some sources) launched a successful flight three months before the Wright brothers. We were of course interested in the museum's comments on Bomber Command's role in the war, and were sobered to read the captions on the relevant models. While the Flying Fortresses of the USAAF were described as attacking industrial targets by day, the Lancaster, Halifax and Stirling were said to have been used against the civilian population by night - fundamentally true, of course, but still uncomfortable to read in one of that civilian population's cities.
We now returned to Lüneburg Heath, broadly retracing Monday's route. We were struck, as then, by the unusually numerous camper vans parked just off the road - perhaps one or two every mile. The explanation dawned when someone spotted that each van had only one (female) occupant - it seems that the only thing missing was the traditional red light.
Following lunch at a café attached to a petrol station - and a better lunch, we felt, than the equivalent in the UK would have been - we headed to Munster, birthplace of German tank warfare and later the heart of postwar NATO military training. We were a little short of time to do full justice to the excellent Panzermuseum, but it was fascinating to see such a wide collection of armoured vehicles, ranging from the Great War to the present day.
Our route now took us through the small town of Bispingen to the village of Behringen and our hotel, the Niedersachsen Hof, not unlike an English country pub. With a warm welcome, an excellent supper and a comfortable room, we slept well. Following an equally excellent breakfast, we departed in good spirits, one of us blissfully unaware that he still had the room key in his pocket.
Wednesday's first objective was the submarine monument at Heikendorf near Kiel. A column surmounted by
an eagle stands beside a semi-circular sunken passageway, its walls covered with plaques giving details of the 35,000 U-boat crewmen lost in both world wars - not just names, date and location but also the cause of the loss, whether sunk by Allied forces, lost through accident, or with chilling frequency simply "missing". Also commemorated is the crew of the U-boat 'Hai', scuttled in 1945 but restored to post-war service until its accidental sinking in 1966. The sole survivor of the 20 crew died in January 2013.
Just up the coast at Laboe, and also dating from the inter-war years, is the naval memorial, a tall brick-faced tower strongly (though unintentionally) reminiscent of a submarine conning tower. At its foot is a subterranean memorial hall, dimly lit and adorned with the flags of many nations, commemorating individual German ships but also those of all nations lost at sea. Across the road, high and dry at the top of the beach, is the U-boat U995, set up as a memorial in 1971 after post-war service in the Norwegian navy. As an ex-submariner himself, Michael made a most informative guide during our visit.
Once again, a simple lunch at a kiosk by the car park was judged to be superior to its equivalent back home. We now headed back through Kiel, calling at a post office to send the misappropriated key back to the hotel, and on to Kiel municipal cemetery. A single Carthusian is buried in its CWGC plot.
Sergeant K.M.G.DURRANT RAFVR (H 1941), whose uncle 2nd Lt D.G.Durrant (D 1912) was killed in France in August 1916, served as a navigator with 582 Squadron. He was killed on 16th September 1944, aged 20, when Lancaster PB378 crashed into the North Sea during an operation to Kiel. He is buried in grave 4.F.10. The aircraft's bomb-aimer is buried in grave 4.F.9. We were to visit the graves of three more crew members later; the two remaining members are commemorated at Runnymede.
Returning to the motorway, we set off north-westwards for Flensburg and the Danish border. Once in Denmark, we were almost immediately diverted off the motorway again by our sat-nav because of traffic. There followed a marvellous fast drive through the flat agricultural landscape along straight and almost deserted roads.
Arriving in Esbjerg, we checked into our hotel, then took a stroll towards the harbour area - though without actually seeing the sea. Over supper in a glorified Burger King we discussed whether we had time for a detour further north up the coast. The hotel was pleasant, catering inter alia for guests we assumed to be oil-rig personnel. While the bathrooms were reminiscent of cross-channel ferries, our breakfast was taken in a vast room which could once have been a ballroom.
On Thursday 19th, we drove out to Esbjerg cemetery, finding a memorial to Danes killed in the war, and two groups of German graves as well as the CWGC plot. Here we found the pilot and the flight engineer from Sgt Durrant's Lancaster, buried in graves A.13.13 & A.12.26, and our final Carthusian.
Flight Lieutenant A.J.M.MILNE RAFVR, DFC (g 1940) served initially as a pilot with 214 Squadron. His award of the DFC was gazetted in August 1943. Joining 138 Squadron, whose principal role was dropping SOE agents into Europe, he was killed on 14th September 1943, aged 21, in the loss of Halifax JD269 en route to Poland on Operation 'Neon 9'. He is buried in collective grave A.8.4-7 with three of his crew. The other three crew members are buried in graves A.8.1-3. Their passengers, Lt K.Lewko, Lt W.Siakiewicz and Lt R.Skowronski of the Polish Liberation Army, are also buried in the cemetery - one, we understand, in a grave marked for an unidentified RAF airman, the other two in civilian graves whose location was subsequently lost. Flt Lt Milne is also commemorated on the war memorial at Colvend parish church in Dumfries & Galloway.
Some 35 miles up the coast is Norre-Havrvig church, on an isthmus between the North Sea and a large lagoon. It is a simple but lovely building, with two model ships hanging from the ceiling in the Danish tradition. In the churchyard we spoke to a woman who turned out to be a churchwarden and caretaker. There are half a dozen RAF graves, including the final member of Sgt Durrant's crew, wireless operator Sgt A.Robson. Also buried there is Lt W.A.Yeulett DFC, a casualty of a 1918 raid on Zeppelin sheds at Tondern, now in Denmark but then in German territory. This was the first-ever operation launched from an aircraft-carrier. Two other airmen, who landed in neutral Denmark, were held for a time in the building which was later to be our hotel in Esbjerg.
After a substantial cross-country drive, passing close to Esbjerg once again, we were eventually back on the motorway for a non-stop run to the German border. The slip-road into our lunchtime service station is actually in Denmark, but the services themselves are in Germany - just as well, as we had no Danish money. After a final Jägerschnitzel or Currywurst we were under way again.
Passing Hamburg airport, we headed for Ohlsdorf cemetery. The second biggest in the world, it is some two miles long. Among all the plots of an ordinary (if vast) municipal cemetery, there are German and Commonwealth war graves from both world wars, which we visited briefly. However, our particular interest lay in four grass mounds set out like a cross, each arm about 100 yards long and perhaps ten yards wide. Together they contain the remains of some 37,000 unidentified victims of the air raids and firestorm of July 1943. At the centre is a stark stone building housing a sculpture representing the journey across the Styx.
Seeing these, considering the numbers of dead, and reading the explanatory text was troubling and thought-provoking. On the one hand, visiting the Belsen memorial, or for that matter reading a novel such as 'Alone in Berlin' by Hans Fallada, provides evidence enough of a truly vile regime. Even the German pastor dedicating this memorial in 1952 laid the blame for these far-from-inevitable deaths not on Allied airmen, but on Nazi tyranny, and ultimately on the German people's abdication of their responsibilities in the face of that tyranny. One also appreciates that from Dunkirk in 1940 to D-Day in 1944, bombing was more or less the only way to hit back at the regime in its homeland. At the same time, it is not to denigrate the courage of the Bomber Command aircrew, nor the sacrifice of the 55,000 young men who failed to return, if one questions the morality of a policy which deliberately targeted civilian areas. The Luftwaffe may have sown the wind in 1940, but in Hamburg, Dresden, Berlin and elsewhere their nation certainly reaped the most appalling whirlwind.
The bombing campaign was arguably at its most effective in attacking industry - most obviously in disrupting oil production, depriving German tanks and aircraft of fuel - rather than in burning the workers and their families in their houses. We shall never know what the effect (for example) on Hamburg's war production would have been, if its industries had been subject to the forces that instead unleashed the firestorm among the homes of thousands of ordinary people. Conversely, and at the simplest level, one can only wonder - since the people of Britain had been neither cowed into defeat nor stirred to insurrection by the Blitz of 1940 - why the powers-that-be imagined that the German population would react any differently. The resistance movement in Germany remained heroic but fragmentary, and despite the bombing the war did not end until Russian troops were at the door of Hitler's bunker in Berlin. Even in victorious Britain, post-war ambivalence towards the campaign can be measured in the fact that it took nearly 70 years before it was felt appropriate to erect a memorial to those who died flying in Bomber Command.
A visit took place on 26th November 2013 to the grave of Lieutenant(A) A.H.BEANE, RNVR (S 1936), at St Charles de Percy in Normandy, and to our memorial to him in Rauville la Place, to mark the 70th anniversary of his death, and the 20th anniversary of Motor Club's first visit to both sites. Lieut Beane served with 805 Sqn in North Africa and became an instructor at HMS Heron. Temporarily attached to 165 (Ceylon) Sqn RAF, he was shot down in Spitfire MH905, aged 26. He is buried in grave II.B.10.
We record with great sadness the death of Marcel Lepetit on 2nd July 2014 at the age of 78. He had been involved with the story of Arthur Beane from the very outset. As a schoolboy in 1943 he had heard the noise of Lieutenant Beane's stricken Spitfire overhead, moments before the crash. As a farmer nearly half a century later, he had shown French researchers where to dig for the wreckage of the aircraft. Following Motor Club's first visit, it was his suggestion that a memorial to the pilot be placed nearby. He generously donated to Charterhouse the parcel of land on which the memorial stands, and had continued to maintain and improve the site between our visits. We are delighted that a motor rally named after Arthur Beane has been inaugurated by Marcel Lepetit's son Eric, concluding at the memorial to which his father made such a crucial contribution.
The graves of the three other OCs buried at St Charles de Percy were also visited on 26th November 2013:
Major P.H.GASKELL (G 1933), a barrister in peacetime, held a Territorial commission in the
Royal Fusiliers, but later transferred to 3rd (8th Battalion Royal Northumberland Fusiliers) Regiment, Reconnaissance Corps, RAC. He was killed in action on 15th August 1944, aged 29, and is buried in grave III.A.8.
Lieutenant D.M.LESTER (D 1942) was commissioned into the Welsh Guards in February 1943. Serving with 1st Battalion, he was killed on 4th August 1944, aged 20, shot by a sniper while reconnoitring a farm. He is buried in grave VIII.C.2.
Lieutenant F.D.P.McCORKELL (V 1941), 2nd Battalion Irish Guards, was killed with his crew on 6th August 1944, aged 21, when his tank received a mortar shell in the turret during an attack on the nearby hamlet of Le Busq. He is buried in grave V.F.13.
We are grateful to J.P.Gabriel (g 1960), to the parents of N.E.G.Townsend (L 1993), and to a friend with no direct Charterhouse connection, who have carried out visits to the graves of the following:
Major J.J.M.KENRICK (W 1923) joined 1st Bn Lancashire Fusiliers in 1925. He served on the Staff of 16 Brigade in Palestine, where he was mentioned in despatches, and on that of the British Military Mission in Pretoria. He died in hospital on 27th June 1942, aged 37. He is buried in Fort Napier Cemetery, Pietermaritzburg, grave A.13.
Commander D.H.M.LEGGATT (G 1917) joined the Royal Navy in 1917 and served first in HMS Barham. He commanded the destroyers HMS Salmon and HMS Vimiera, retiring in 1934. He returned to command HMS Selkirk in 1939. He was serving in the shore establishment HMS Sphinx near Alexandria when he died of illness in Durban on 22nd September 1942, aged 43. He is buried in Stellawood Cemetery, Durban: block F, grave 278.
Sub-Lieutenant G.H.K.STRATHY, RCNVR, (S 1936) of Toronto was at Charterhouse for two years between school and university in Canada. He was commissioned into the RCNVR in May 1940 and after secret training was posted in July to HMS Ajax to operate the radio-locator. He was killed on 12th October 1940, aged 22, in an action against Italian destroyers east of Malta. He is commemorated in Nova Scotia on the Halifax Memorial, panel 7, and a street in Ajax, Ontario, is named after him
Flying Officer J.T.BROMFIELD RAFVR (B 1943) served as an air bomber with 356 Squadron. He was killed on 23rd August 1945, aged 20, in the crash of Liberator KL654 during a special duties operation. The aircraft wreckage was discovered in the jungle in 1991. In October 2012 the remains of the crew were buried in a single coffin at Cheras Road War Cemetery, Kuala Lumpur. F/O Bromfield's headstone is in row 12, grave 852.
Serjeant E.D.W.FRASER (D 1930), 2nd (Selangor) Battalion, Federated Malay States Volunteer Force, was killed on active service on or about 10th January 1942, aged 29, near Batu Tiga, Selangor. He is buried in Cheras Road Civil Cemetery, Kuala Lumpur, grave 6. His younger brother, Lt R.K.J.Fraser, Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regt attd King’s African Rifles, died in September 1942 and is buried in Madagascar. Both brothers are commemorated on the war memorial at Bentley, Ipswich, Suffolk.
Major J.W.P.SCOTT (H 1933) was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in 1936. In command of 7 Battery, 22 Mountain Regiment, he was killed in action on 7th January 1942, aged 26. He is buried in Taiping War Cemetery, grave 1.J.13.
N.E.G.Townsend (L 1993) has visited the grave of Flying Officer L.R.DARWEN (R 1934) who served as a pilot on a short service commission in the RAF. He was killed on 9th December 1941, aged 22, when Wellington T2918 of 30 Maintenance Unit crashed at Sorn near Kilmarnock, Ayrshire. He is buried in Monkton & Prestwick Cemetery, section K.1 grave 3.
There has also been a visit to the grave of Major-General C.J.WALLACE, CB, DSO, OBE, MC (H 1907), who joined the Highland Light Infantry in 1910, was mentioned in despatches five times and was awarded the DSO, OBE, MC and Croix de guerre. Among other positions he was an ADC to HM the King from 1938 to 1940. While serving on the General Staff as Commander, East Central District, he died at Luton on 20th December 1943, aged 53. He is buried in Ayr Cemetery, Wall section, 1884 division, grave 52.
C K Wheeler
This was the eighth trip tracing Old Carthusian casualties of the Second World War, and the second in the UK. Our aim was to visit some more of the graves and memorials of OCs buried or commemorated in southern England.
Participants were Michael Bates (ex-Deputy Bursar), Simon Fielder (BH1980-10), Dom Saunders (D92), Nick Townsend (L93) and Chris Wheeler (H67 & ex-BH), later joined by Will Allen (L92), Richard Earl (L96), and Simon's friend David Peters and his Jaguar XK120.
Our first stop was the cemetery at Harwell near Abingdon. Buried here is Pilot Officer W.R.ROSS (g 1931), a pilot with 604 (County of Middlesex) Squadron. He was killed on 14th November 1939, aged 27, when Blenheim L1286 of 145 Squadron lost control in clouds and flew into the ground near Harwell.
Among those buried at Little Rissington in Oxfordshire is Pilot Officer A.M. HENDERSON (L29) who served as a Lieutenant in the London Scottish before transferring to the RAFVR to train as a pilot. Flying from 15 OTU at Harwell, he was killed on 21st August 1942, aged 30, when his Wellington T2257 collided over Chipping Norton with Airspeed Oxford T1339 from 6 AFU at Little Rissington. His grave is alongside that of another of the crew, while the pupil pilot of the Oxford is buried nearby. The crews of both aircraft are commemorated on a memorial in Chipping Norton.
A few miles away lies the extensive estate of Salperton Park, the village church standing next to the manor house. In a family vault lies Pilot Officer G.R.BEALE-BROWNE (L33) who became a civilian flying instructor before joining the RAFVR. He served on the Air Staff in Iraq and as a flying instructor in the UK. He was killed on 28th February 1941, aged 25, in Blenheim L1168 of 54 OTU which crashed during night flying at Nether Poppleton, Yorks, after control was lost in a searchlight beam.
The next day we arrived in Colerne, Wilts, passing the air station just outside the village. At the parish church we had a most interesting conversation with the gardener, who was very knowledgeable about the (mainly) RAF graves. Among them is that of Squadron Leader P.T.PARSONS (V33), who flew with 504 Squadron during the Battle of Britain. He commanded the squadron from July 1941 to February 1942, and was mentioned in despatches. Serving with 264 Squadron, he died on 2nd October 1942, aged 25, as the result of an accident when Mosquito DD639 crashed into a hangar while landing at RAF Colerne. He is also commemorated on the village war memorial in Burwash, Sussex.
Next was Canford cemetery in Westbury-on-Trym, Bristol. Pilot Officer D.E.D.MILSOM (W37) went on from Charterhouse to Cranwell, passing out at the beginning of the war. Based at Filton as a pilot with 263 Squadron, he was killed on 29th March 1940, aged 20, in a collision between two Gloster Gladiators, N5588 and N5690, near Marlwood Farm at Thornbury north of Bristol. The other pilot, P/O P.J.M.Nettleton, is buried in the adjacent grave.
At St Pancras' church, up a steep hillside on the outskirts of West Bagborough, Somerset, we found the grave of Major D.G.C.CRITCHLEY-SALMONSON, MC (H09). In the Great War, in addition to his MC, he earned two mentions in despatches, retiring as a Major in 1919. In the Second World War he served with a Searchlight Company, with the RASC, in command of an anti-aircraft battery, and as a military registrar. He died in Guildford on 20th April 1943, aged 51.
In the nearby village of Kingston St Mary, where the church is built of a lovely golden stone, seen at its best in the evening sunlight, is buried Lieutenant-Colonel R.D.GAIRDNER (H22), who held a Territorial commission in Glasgow, commanded the 80th Lowland Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, and served on the Staff. He was killed in London, aged 39, during an air raid on 14th March 1944.
In the morning we set off homewards, stopping first at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. Officer Cadet R.J.SWAIN (D42) joined the Queen's Royal Regiment (West Surrey), but was training for a commission in the Coldstream Guards when he was drowned in the River Conway on 8th December 1943, aged 19, during an exercise. Officer Cadet B.M.E.Gimson, an Old Wellingtonian of the same regiment and drowned on the same day, is buried in the next grave.
Our next stop was the crematorium at St John's on the outskirts of Woking. In the Columbarium next to the chapel are panels commemorating 119 service personnel cremated here, including four Carthusians.
2nd Lieutenant P.K.BAMBER (g21) joined the Royal Army Service Corps, and made three trips to Dunkirk and back as a Lewis gunner. He died on active service on 17th August 1940, aged 36, after an accident near Bagshot.
Major M.H.KING, DSO, MC (W 1901) was a Major in 4th Duke of Wellington’s Regiment in the Great War, was mentioned in despatches five times, and earned the DSO and the MC with two Bars. In 1939 he returned as a Major on the General List. He died at Hindhead while on leave from BAOR on 15th January 1946, aged 61.
Private D.F.McNEILL (S 35) became a solicitor in 1942 before joining the RASC. He died on war service on 17th June 1944, aged 26.
Lieutenant W.F.MOSS (W32), in peacetime a schoolmaster at Westminster, served with 3rd Battalion Welsh Guards and was mentioned in despatches. He was killed on 30th June 1944, aged 31, by enemy action at Esher. A grandson of William Moss, housemaster of Lockites 1890-1914, he is also commemorated on the war memorial in Godalming.
We now moved on to the extensive military cemetery at Brookwood. (22.D.9) is that of Pilot Officer C.S.WARMING, RAFVR (L 29), a navigator with 219 Squadron, killed on 10th June 1944, aged 32, in the crash of Mosquito HK358 on a defensive patrol of the Channel. His Dutch pilot, Flying Officer H.G.Holtrop, is buried in the adjacent grave, and both are commemorated on the memorial at the former RAF Bradwell Bay, Essex, as are also Pilot Officer O.L.R.Hills (L 30) and Flying Officer N.J.Stabb (R 30).
Also in Brookwood cemetery is the Memorial to the Missing, an impressive marble rotunda commemorating 3,500 men and women who have no known grave. Again, four are Carthusians.
On panel 12 is Captain J.P.GABRIEL (g 29), Royal Berkshire Regiment, presumed drowned on 24th February 1941, aged 30, in the sinking of SS Jonathan Holt, torpedoed by U-97 south-west of the Faroes.
On panel 13 is Lt-Col H.F.E.SMITH, DSO (H06). In the Great War he served in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps; he was mentioned in despatches and was awarded the DSO and the Légion d’honneur. He rejoined the Army in 1939 and commanded an OCTU. He died on active service at Dunbar on 25th June 1940, aged 52.
On panel 15 is Captain R.L.FERNAU (H25), RASC attd Royal Engineers, drowned on 17th June 1943, aged 35, on active service at sea off Derna, Libya.
On panel 18 is Lieutenant J.G.WARREN, RAMC (g22) who became a doctor before joining the Royal Army Medical Corps. He was killed on 7th December 1942, aged 37, in the sinking of SS Ceramic, torpedoed by U-515 off the Azores.
In the plot of post-war graves, Lieutenant M.L.Evison, Welsh Guards (R00), is buried, who died in May 2009 after being shot in Afghanistan.
At Touchen End near White Waltham, the former Holy Trinity church is now a private house, but its churchyard is still in use. Among the graves is that of Pilot Officer J.A.P.STUDD (R35), who served with 66 Squadron in the Battle of Britain. He was killed on 19th August 1940, aged 22, when his Spitfire N3182 crashed into the sea off Orfordness. He was rescued by the Aldeburgh lifeboat but did not survive. He is one of four Carthusian casualties of the Battle of Britain - F/O J.S.Bell (W34) is buried in Lincoln and Sgt F.J.P.Dixon (B35) at Abbeville in France, while F/O R.H.A.Lee, DSO, DFC (W35) is commemorated at Runnymede.
St Mary's churchyard at Denham contains the grave of Lieutenant A.D.BURNESS (W37), Royal Artillery, who was attached to the RAF as a pilot with 661 (Air Observation Post) Squadron. He died on 6th December 1943, aged 24, as the result of an accident. Exactly six months later his next older brother, Lt M.F.Burness (W35), was killed in the Normandy landings.
Our final destination was the Air Forces Memorial on Cooper's Hill just above Runnymede, which commemorates a staggering total of over 20,000 casualties with no known grave. Twenty-three of the names are those of Old Carthusians.
Panel 1: Pilot Officer M.RADCLIFFE (L35), 37 Squadron, killed on 18th December 1939, aged 21, in Wellington N2888 (LF-A) during a raid on Wilhelmshaven.
Panel 6: Flying Officer J.KERR WILSON (L25), 610 ‘County of Chester’ Squadron, killed in action near Dunkirk on 29th May 1940, aged 32, flying Spitfire N3289 (DW-K).
Panel 6: Flying Officer R.H.A.LEE, DSO, DFC (W35), 85 Squadron, was presumed killed on 18th August 1940, aged 23, when his Hurricane P2923 (VY-R) was lost over the North Sea during the Battle of Britain. He was mentioned in despatches in January 1941.
Panel 7: Pilot Officer D.M.BARBOUR (R38), 4 Squadron, 50 (Army Co-operation) Wing, killed on 14th May 1940, aged 19, when Lysander L4745 failed to return from reconnaissance near Brussels.
Panel 7: Pilot Officer F.C.J.BUTLER (P31), 9 Squadron, killed on 19th June 1940, aged 25, when Wellington N2897 (WS-P) crashed into the sea on a raid to Leverkusen. His father, Capt F.M.Butler RFA (P 1894), was killed in Belgium in October 1917.
Panel 30: Flying Officer J.G.R.STURROCK (V37), 59 Squadron, lost on 29th May 1941, aged 22, when Blenheim V6447 (TR-R) failed to return from convoy escort duties over the Channel.
Panel 31: Pilot Officer W.G.C.BEATSON (W40), 114 Squadron, killed on 27th October 1941, aged 19, flying Blenheim Z7309 (RT-G) in an anti-shipping raid off the Dutch coast west of Den Helder.
Panel 32: Pilot Officer W.I.DALGLIESH (W35), 7 Squadron, was presumed killed on 3rd March 1941, aged 23, when Stirling N3653 was lost over the Channel on an operation to Brest.
Panel 32: Pilot Officer W.D.C.HARDIE (L/g40), 101 Squadron, presumed killed on 7th November 1941, aged 19, when Wellington R1701 was lost off the Dutch coast during a raid to Berlin.
Panel 33: Pilot Officer J.T.LEACOCK (g34), 75 Squadron, presumed killed on 14th July 1941, aged 24, when Wellington X9634 (AA-V) crashed into the sea off Lowestoft en route to Bremen.
Panel 35: Flowers and an inscription in memory of Pilot Officer R.G.W.G.WALES (G31) had been left nearby on behalf of his family. He was a navigator with 254 Squadron, killed in action on 22nd March 1941, aged 28, when Blenheim L9406 (QY-D) was shot down by naval flak over Norway.
Panel 50: Sergeant C.E.POWELL (G39), 107 Squadron, presumed killed on 1st August 1941, aged 21, when his Blenheim Z7498 crashed into the Scheldt estuary during an operation to Ostend.
Panel 64: Wing Commander S.H.SKINNER (G29) flew with 604 Squadron until June 1942. Posted to HQ Coastal Command, he was an observer aboard HMS Berkeley during the Dieppe raid on 19th August 1942. He was killed, aged 31, when the ship was attacked by enemy aircraft.
Panel 66; Flying Officer E.J.M.ALBERT, RAFVR (B25), killed on active service through enemy action at sea on or about 7th December 1942, aged 34.
Panel 87: Sergeant G.W.KRAUS (B40) came to England from Vienna in May 1938, aged 15. Serving as a pilot with 611 (West Lancashire) Squadron, he was killed on 2nd November 1942, aged 19, when his Spitfire BS113 was shot down over the Channel.
Panel 118: Wing-Cdr A.C.RABAGLIATI, DFC & Bar (B32) won the DFC in the Battle of Britain, and a Bar in the defence of Malta. As Wing Leader of the Coltishall Wing, he was killed on 6th July 1943, aged 29, leading 56 Squadron in an anti-shipping strike. His Typhoon, EK273 (JE-DT) of 195 Squadron, landed in the sea off the Dutch coast.
Panel 119: Flight Lieutenant T.H.CARSON, DFC (H35) was awarded the DFC while serving with 217 Squadron for his part in the attacks on the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau during the "Channel Dash" in February 1942. Serving as a pilot with 254 Squadron at North Coates, he was killed on 25th January 1943, aged 25, when Beaufighter JL638 struck the sea during exercises.
Panel 200: Squadron Leader R.C.CHOPPING, DFC (B33), 7 Squadron, was presumed killed on 26th August 1944, aged 29, when Lancaster NE123 (MG-J) was lost on a raid to Brest.
Panel 200: Group Captain P.B.B.OGILVIE, DSO, DFC (g28) joined the RAF via Cranwell in 1934. He was mentioned in despatches three times, awarded the DSO in March 1941, and the DFC in January 1942. In command of 34 (Photographic Reconnaissance) Wing, he took off in a Spitfire on 11th December 1944 to report the weather over the North Sea, and was presumed killed, aged 34.
Panel 202: Flight Lieutenant G.B.ECCLES, AFC (P30), 502 Squadron, presumed killed on 30th August 1944, aged 32, when Halifax JP164 crashed into the sea near St Nazaire. His younger brother, Lt J.D.Eccles (P 1934), was killed at Dunkirk in May 1940.
Panel 205: Flying Officer J.B.COLTHURST (V28), a bomb-aimer with 115 Squadron, killed on 24th February 1944, aged 33, when Lancaster LL701 (KO-F) was lost on a raid to Schweinfurt. His father was killed in action in October 1916.
Panel 270: Flight Sergeant T.E.ANTHONY, RAFVR (D40), killed on 1st February 1945, aged 22, in the loss of an Anson off the Mull of Galloway. His brother-in-law A.D.C.Dowding (D 1935) was killed in France in May 1940.
Panel 276: Sergeant W.J.R.SEMPLE (S40), rear gunner in Halifax NA193 of 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit, was presumed killed on 5th April 1945, aged 20, when the aircraft crashed into the Moray Firth during a night navigation exercise to Scapa Flow.
In addition to a visit to our monument in Normandy to Lieutenant (A) A.H.Beane RNVR (S36), there have also been visits to the graves of the three Old Carthusians buried in southern Germany.
Pilot Officer E.FENWICKE-CLENNELL (R40), 9 Squadron, was killed on 21st December 1942, aged 19, in his Lancaster W4185 (WS-G) during a raid on Munich. He is buried with five of his crew in Oberschleissheim churchyard.
Lieutenant W.FITZ SIMON (H36), Royal Artillery, served as an instructor before being posted in October 1942 to North Africa. Serving with 72 Anti-Tank Regiment, he was captured at Tebourba, Tunisia. Transferred to Germany after the Italian armistice, he died in a prisoner-of-war camp on 24th October 1943, aged 26. He is buried in Durnbach War Cemetery, grave 3.D.24.
Sergeant R.S.PAGE (H35), a wireless operator in 97 Squadron, was killed on 17th April 1942, aged 24, in Lancaster L7573 (OF-K) on a low-level daylight raid to Augsburg. He was mentioned in despatches in January 1943. He is buried in Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany, grave 6.G.3.
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them
C K Wheeler
Old Carthusian casualties of the Second World War in Northern Italy
The wartime song D-Day Dodgers, sung to the tune Lili Marlene, reminds us sarcastically that the troops in Italy were by no means having an easy time compared with those in Normandy, especially in the harsh autumn and winter of 1944-5. Our aim in 2011 was to visit the graves of nine Old Carthusians killed between July 1944 and April 1945. The group consisted of Michael Bates (Deputy Bursar 2000-06), Simon Fielder (BH 1980-10), Dominic Saunders (D92), Nick Townsend (L93) and Chris Wheeler (H 1967 and BH 1972-06).
Our circular route began chronologically and geographically in reverse. Heading east from Bologna, we stopped at the bridge over the River Senio to remember our first casualty, Major R.G.L.Saunders (S34), a distant relative of the 19th-century Headmaster after whom Saunderites is named. Aged 28 and serving with
3rd Battalion, 15th Punjab Regiment, he was killed in the assault across the river on 9th April 1945, three weeks before hostilities ceased. We went on to visit his grave in Ravenna War Cemetery, in a quiet village well outside the city. It contains the graves of over 900 servicemen, many of them Canadians, but also Indians, New Zealanders, and a group of Palestinian volunteers from the Jewish Brigade.
In the suburbs of Cesena we paid our respects to another Saunderite, Major D.W.A. Galsworthy (S27). A Regular who had joined the Royal Fusiliers in 1930, he was killed on 21st October 1944, aged 34. Many of the 775 headstones in Cesena War Cemetery again belong to Canadians and New Zealanders, including a number of Maoris.
Three OCs were killed in September 1944, as the British Eighth Army fought its way parallel to the coast over a series of mountain spurs and river valleys towards Rimini. At this stage Eighth Army was losing about 150 men killed every day, nearly 1900 of whom are buried in Coriano Ridge cemetery. Among them is Lieutenant P.A.Johnstone (R32), 10th Bn The Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment). Attached to 2nd Battalion, The King's Regiment (Liverpool), he died on 17 September, aged 28. His brother, Sergeant P.D.D.Johnstone RAFVR (R32), was killed in December 1940 in a flying accident in what is now Zimbabwe, and is buried in Harare.
Lieutenant J.D.Butcher (D41), Queen's Bays (2nd Dragoon Guards), died on 5 September, aged 20, apparently hit by a stray German shell while he and two fellow-officers were standing beside their tanks smoking after the fighting had stopped. He is buried in Gradara War Cemetery. His twin brother, Leading Aircraftman D.H.Butcher RAF, had been killed just short of his twentieth birthday some months before while serving with Middle East Forces, and is buried in Tobruk. (A younger brother was Dr R.M.Butcher (D47), who was Charterhouse medical officer, 1966-94.) We also visited an adjacent grave of Trooper J.S.Peacock of the same unit, killed on the same day. We had already found at Coriano Ridge the grave of Lance-Corporal W.F.C.Jones, whom we believe to have been the CO.'s driver, and who died a few days later.
Most of the cemeteries are level or gently sloping, usually right by the roadside, and always beautifully tended. The 1200 graves at Gradara, unusually, are laid out in terraces up the side of a steep slope, which faces the hilltop castle across the valley. Even with a major road passing nearby, Gradara remains a place of great calm and great beauty.
A few miles away, among nearly 600 graves (mainly Canadian) in Montecchio War Cemetery, lies Captain I.L.Rawson (R37) of 2/5 Battalion, The Leicestershire Regiment. He was 24 when he was killed on 1 September, one of two company commanders lost during the Leicesters' attack on the nearby hill town of Mondaino and buried in adjacent graves.
Sixty miles further south, Assisi War Cemetery, with nearly 950 graves, is close to the village of Rivotorto, with a distant view of Assisi itself on the hillside. Here are buried three more Carthusians. Major P.D.Chrystal, MC & Bar (V32), 1st King's Dragoon Guards, had joined the Royal Armoured Corps in 1936. He had served in North Africa and was mentioned in despatches, awarded the MC in June 1942 and a Bar to it in March 1943. Aged 28, he was killed on 4 July 1944 in a minefield by Lake Trasimene. According to the regimental history, he was attempting to clear a path so that his men could bathe in the lake. Lieutenant K.H.Brade, Royal Engineers (L38), who had been a stockbroker before joining the Army, was killed on 27 July, aged 22. His younger brother, Leading Airman P.H.Brade RN (R40), had been killed in an accident in November 1943 while training in Trinidad and is buried in Caracas, Venezuela. Lieutenant J.M.Hicks (H39), 2nd Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery, elder brother of the designer David Hicks (H45), was killed in action on 14 October, aged 21.
The following morning we paused at Lake Trasimene to remember Major Chrystal, whose unit had been encamped nearby at Castel Rigone. A long motorway drive took us to the outskirts of Florence and its War Cemetery, beautifully situated right beside the Arno. Major J.S.MacE.Sceales (W38), Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, had been attached to 11 Commando in the Middle East. He returned to his regiment to serve in Abyssinia, North Africa and Sicily, and was wounded at Cassino. Serving as a company commander with 1st Battalion, he was killed in action on 2 September 1944, aged 24. The inscription on his headstone adapts the famous Kipling quotation to read "Who dies if Scotland live?"
Next, we stopped at the Passo del Giogo, 882 metres above sea level, to admire the scenery and to consider the difficulty of conducting a military campaign through this kind of terrain. At the Passo della Futa we paid a visit to the huge German cemetery. Unlike the Commonwealth cemeteries, the German ones in Italy are few in number, and vast. This one contains over 30,000 graves, arranged in steadily sloping terraces towards a central building at the top, eerily reminiscent of the successive lines of defence all the way up this part of Italy, each leaving its quota of dead.
The final OC casualty in Italy, Lieutenant T.E.Streatfield-Moore (S39), 3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards, had been called up in 1940 and won the Sword of Honour at Sandhurst. He was killed on 5 August 1945, aged 24, in a road accident near Trieste, and is buried in Udine War Cemetery. It is hoped to arrange a visit to his grave in the near future.
Since our last report there have been three visits, in May and November 2010 and in July 2011, to our memorial to Lt (A) A.H.Beane RNVR (S36) at Rauville la Place in Normandy. At the end of the May visit, a minute's silence was held, and Tom Pinnegar (S), Head of Motor Club, played the Last Post on his bugle. This was a moving and very special moment.
There has also been a visit to the grave of P.Seager Berry (W24) of 35th County of London (Civil Service) Battalion, Home Guard. Killed by enemy action on 16 September 1940, aged 35, while on ARP duty in Berkeley Square, London, he is buried with his parents in St Nicholas’ churchyard, Stevenage, Herts, and is recorded on the municipal war memorial.
The war memorial at Colvend church, Dumfries & Galloway, commemorates among others Flight Lieutenant A.J.M.Milne, DFC, RAFVR (g40). Serving as a pilot with 138 Squadron, he was killed on 14 September 1943, aged 21, in the loss of Halifax JD269 (NF-Q) during an SOE operation to Poland. He is buried in Esbjerg (Fovrfeld) Cemetery, Denmark, together with his crew and their passengers, three lieutenants of the Polish Liberation Army.
At St Cuthbert's Church in the tiny village of Bewcastle, Cumbria, the war memorial lists just three names from 1939-45, including Trooper J.Costigan, 1st Royal Tank Regiment, whose son Danny was familiar to generations of Carthusian swimmers through his many years' work in the old Baths. Trooper Costigan was killed in Normandy on 27 August 1944, aged 27, and is buried in Bayeux War Cemetery. We have visited his grave on previous trips.
C K Wheeler
There are seven Carthusian casualties buried in Sicily, five victims of the summer campaign and two airmen lost in the preceding months. Our trip to visit their graves began on 9th July – by pure coincidence, the date the invasion of 1943 was launched. Participants were Michael Bates (Deputy Bursar 2000-06), Simon Fielder (Brooke Hall), Dom Saunders (D 1992), Nick Townsend (L 1993) and Chris Wheeler (H 1967 and BH 1972-2006).
Upon arrival in Sicily we made our way to Syracuse War cemetery which we found to be beautifully tended and despite the baking sun, lush and green. Among the thousand-plus graves, we found those of four Carthusians, two of them killed sixty-six years ago to the day.
Lieutenant C.J.AUSTIN, 2nd (Airborne) Bn, South Staffordshire Regiment (H 1933), had worked in Lloyd’s after Charterhouse. Aged 28 and serving as second in command of his company, part of the 1st Airlanding Brigade, he is recorded as having been killed on 9th July off Sicily, presumably in one of the many gliders lost at sea. He is also commemorated on war memorials in West Byfleet and Pyrford, Surrey.
In the same Brigade was Captain J.N.C.DENHOLM (L 1932), 1st Battalion The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), who joined the Army in 1937. From the Cameronians he was seconded to train with the Glider Pilot Regiment. He was killed on 10th July, aged 28, when his glider crash-landed very close to its target, the Ponte Grande. Nearly all his passengers were also killed.
Another Cameronian regular was Major G.R.S.DROUGHT (S 1926) of the 2nd Battalion, which was part of 13th Infantry Brigade, 5th Division, XIII Corps. Having served in the Army since 1929, he too was killed in action on the day of the landings, aged 32.
Also in 5th Division but in 15th Infantry Brigade, Captain B.N.B.ELLWOOD (H 1932), 1st Battalion York & Lancaster Regiment, was killed two days later. After Charterhouse he had served for three years in the Metropolitan Police (CID), and had joined the Army in October 1939. He was 28.
Following Eighth Army’s route northwards, back towards Catania, we made our way to the cemetery to find two egrets sitting on the wall and lizards scampering around. Once again it is beautifully kept and lavishly watered and somehow even its position almost under the flightpath for Catania airport does not disturb the sense of peace – or the sense of timelessness engendered by distant views of Mount Etna.
Reid BRUCE JONES (H 1930) was born in Larbert, Stirlingshire. In peacetime he was a chartered accountant and a director of the family timber business, and joined the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders as a Territorial. Serving as a Captain in the 7th Battalion (part of 154 Brigade, 51st (Highland) Division, XXX Corps), he was killed in action on 21st July, aged 30, probably in the brigade attack on Gerbini airfield, in which his battalion lost 18 officers and 160 men. His elder brother James had been killed in May 1943 in Tunisia.
Buried alongside his navigator W/O F.Westcott, Flying Officer E.H.CAVE-BROWNE (g 1940) had left school soon after turning seventeen and joined the RAFVR almost immediately. Flying Mosquito NFII DD792 of 23 Squadron on patrol from Malta to Trapani, he was killed near Porto Palo on 16th February 1943, three weeks short of his twentieth birthday.
Flying Officer M.TUCKWELL, RAFVR (S 1939), was a member of a distinguished Carthusian family – his eldest brother (S 1929) became Chairman of the Governing Body in 1973, and numerous other family members were Carthusians. Piloting a Wellington VIII of 458 (RAAF) Squadron on anti-shipping operations from Malta, he was posted missing on 27th April, aged 21. His father (S 1899) died aged 61 just over a month later.
C K Wheeler
The annual visit to Rauville la Place in Normandy was undertaken in 2009 to maintain our memorial to Lieutenant (A) A.H.Beane, RNVR (S 36).
The memorial was also visited in June 2009, when Julian Slade (B 88) and his girlfriend Kat took Motor Club’s Bedford MW truck to France for the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings. They met one or two veterans en route, and also revisited nearly all the graves of the OCs killed in the Normandy campaign, which we had visited on our commemorative trip in July 2004.
There have also been individual visits to commemorate the following Old Carthusians:
Flight Lieutenant J.C.GARNETT, RAFVR (P 40) – a pilot of 644 Squadron, he was killed on 14th September 1945, aged 23, when Halifax PN305 crashed at Bolventor, Cornwall, en route to the Azores. He is buried in St Cuthbert’s churchyard, Over Kellet, Lancs - grave 136.
Major T.H.GREENALL, South Lancashire Regiment (H 20) died on active service on 12th February 1942, aged 39, at Ryhope, Sunderland. He is buried in St Wilfrid’s churchyard, Grappenhall, Cheshire – north-east part, grave N.1.
Captain G.D.KEMP-WELCH, Grenadier Guards (H 25) - a son-in-law of the Rt Hon Stanley Baldwin, MP, he was killed on 18th June 1944, aged 36, when the Guards Chapel in London was hit by a flying bomb. He is buried in St Peter’s churchyard, Astley, Worcs - second extension, south-east corner.
Pilot Officer B.J.LEADER, RAFVR (G 32) joined up in 1941 and trained as a pilot. He was killed on 4.8.42, aged 28, in the crash of a Turbinlite Havoc south of RAF Tangmere, Sussex. He is buried in St Michael’s churchyard, Bude Haven, Cornwall, south-west of the church.
Leading Aircraftman A.S.LOVETT, RAFVR (R 42) was killed in an aircraft accident at Roosevelt Lake on 17th December 1943, aged 19, while training at Falcon Field, Arizona. He is buried in Mesa City Cemetery, Arizona – lot 3, block 528, grave 8.
Sergeant Pilot J.A.E.SHARP, RAF (G 38), was killed aged 22 on 28th March 1942 in an accident in a Master aircraft at Acklington, Northumberland. He is buried in St Margaret’s Church cemetery, Burnham Norton, Norfolk. Also commemorated on his headstone is his brother, Navigating Officer J.P.L.SHARP, DFC (G 1941) of the Lancashire Aircraft Corporation, killed aged 26 on 21st March 1949 when Halifax C-8 G-AJZZ crashed near RAF Schleswigland, Germany, during the Berlin Airlift.
Pilot Officer T.N.SMYTH, RAF (W 38) – a pilot of 26 Squadron, he died on 27th August 1940, aged 19, of injuries sustained in the crash of Lysander N1267 at Nettlestead. He is buried in St Benedict’s churchyard, Wombourne, Staffs – north-east corner, grave 2032.
There have also been attempts, so far unsuccessful, to trace the graves of the following Old Carthusians:
Lieutenant B.S.PHIPPS (R,L 40), 2nd Bn Fife & Forfar Yeomanry, Royal Armoured Corps. Having served in Europe since D-Day, he was killed on 27th July 1945, aged 21, in a road accident while returning from manoeuvres in Suffolk. He is recorded as buried in the south-east corner of St George’s churchyard, Kidderminster, where his parents’ grave is also located.
Lieutenant J.A.ROBERTSON, Royal Observer Corps (R 21), killed at Lowestoft by enemy action on 13th January 1942, aged 39.
C K Wheeler
Charterhouse Roll of Honour
Over 1,000 Old Carthusians died in the two World Wars and are commemorated in Memorial Chapel. With the Headmaster's approval, their names are currently in the process of being entered on the national 'Roll of Honour' website.