14 December 2014

531390 Leading Aircraft man David Graham Hodge, 99 Sqdn RAF


The Commonwealth War Graves Commission notes that there were 96 fatalities on this day, 14th December 1939. My own mother was a day old at what, in London, must have been a very worrying time for my grandparents.

Thirty-four of the 96 casualties were amongst members of the Royal Air Force or Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and Leading Aircraftman David Graham Hodge was one of these men. He was 22 years old, the son of Elizabeth Hodge and the foster-son of Margaret Grant of Greenock, Renfrewshire when he was killed whilst serving with 99 Squadron, RAF. David Hodge has no known grave and is commemorated with over twenty thousand others on the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede in Surrey. Image above courtesy of: http://london.indymedia.org.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.

30 November 2014

1101197 Flt Sgt Laurence Helm, 39 Sqdn, RAF VR

Remembering today 1101197 Flight Sergeant Laurence Helm of No 39 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve who lost his life on this day, 30th November, 1942. He has no known grave and is commemorated on panel 3, column 2 of the Malta Memorial (pictured above, courtesy Wikipedia).

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.

2 November 2014

Derek and Henry Cecelin, civilians

According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website, 137 service personnel and civilian air raid casualties died on the 2nd November 1940. Amongst the latter, was 15-year-old Derek Anthony Cecelin who died at King's College Hospital. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records that his home address was 31 Angell Road, Brixton and that he was the son of Henry Bohuslan Cecelin who also died at the hospital on the same day. He was 51 years old.

I have not found Henry on the 1911 census but his marriage in 1923 to Lily Blakeney is recorded as is Derek's birth in 1925. Derek was a twin, his brother Kenneth Bohuslan Cecelin's birth also recorded in the third quarter of 1925 in the district of Thanet, Kent. Kenneth Cecelin died in 1985.

The bomb site website notes that a total of 21 high explosive bombs were dropped in Brixton Hill between October 1940 and June 1941. Map, below courtesy of www.bombsight.org; blitz image from Wikipedia.

Remembering Derek and Henry Cecelin.

26 October 2014

14585570 Tropper Arthur Rouse, Reconnaissance Corps, Royal Armoured Corps

Twenty-eight year old Arthur Rouse of the Royal Armoured Corps, 49th (West Riding) Regiment, died seventy years ago today on the 26th October 1944. He was the son of Arthur J and Ellen Rouse, of Smethwick, Staffordshire, and the husband of Frances Beatrice Rouse (nee Davis), of Smethwick. He is buried in Bergen-Op-Zoom war cemetery in the Netherlands.

Arthur and Francis had been married for less than three years when Arthur was killed.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.
Image of Bergen-Op-Zoom courtesy of Wikipedia.

12 October 2014

1806050 Gnr Leonard Bailey, Royal Artillery

1806050 Gunner Leonard Bailey of the Royal Artillery died on this day, 12th October, in 1940. He was 20 years old, the son of John and Florence Bailey, of Earls Barton. At the time of his death he was serving with 432 Battery, 65th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment. He is buried in Earls Barton churchyard.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.
Photo of Earls Barton church courtesy of Higham and Rushden U3A.

21 August 2014

3318426 Pte William Brawley, 5th Seaforth Highlanders

3318426 Private William Brawley of the 5th Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders was one of 705 men and women to die on this day, seventy years ago. He died in France on the 21st August 1944 and is buried in the St Desir War Cemetery in Northern France. I've borrowed the image above from Michael Weening's blog. About the cemetery, The Commonwealth War Graves Commission notes:

"The Allied offensive in north-western Europe began with the Normandy landings of 6 June 1944.

"St Desir War Cemetery is the most easterly of the Normandy cemeteries. For the most part, those buried here died in the final stages of the campaign, in pursuit of the German forces towards the Seine.

"The cemetery contains 598 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War. 78 of these graves were brought in from Chartres (St Cheron) Communal Cemetery after the war, together with the four First World War burials now at St Desir."

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, WE WILL REMEMBER THEM.