Inclusion in the National Commemorative Programme

Prompted by an email enquiring about a death in an RAF plane crash in December 1949, I have set up a new page which gives details of exactly which people were included in the burial and commemorative programme run by the British. The page also explains why the date for inclusion ran up to 31 … Continue reading Inclusion in the National Commemorative Programme

Peter Chapman – A Fuller History

The Peter Chapman page has been amended to give a fuller history of this quiet hero who worked with the Italian Resistance against the German occupiers and their Fascist helpers. For almost eighteen months he worked with the Resistance until betrayed and killed close to the end of the war. Peter Chapman, King’s Royal Rifle … Continue reading Peter Chapman – A Fuller History

Peter Chapman, Killed by Italian Fascists

When looking into details of the loss, in Italy on 25 April 1945, of Pilot Officer Beard and Flight Sergeant Maddock (Mosquito Crew, Padua), I came across the Graves Concentration Report for the crew which also listed Peter Chapman, a soldier murdered by the Fascists in January 1945. Lorenzo Saggioro has now sent us a … Continue reading Peter Chapman, Killed by Italian Fascists

Mosquito Crew, Buried in Italy – Request for Information

At very end of the war, on 25 April 1945, a Mosquito crew of 256 Squadron, Fighter Command, was lost in Italy. The two men are buried at Padua. They were Pilot Officer Roy James George Beard (pilot) and Flight Sergeant D Maddock (navigator). Lorenzo Saggioro is looking for information about them. See Buried in Italy, Mosquito … Continue reading Mosquito Crew, Buried in Italy – Request for Information

Jespersen Crew, D-Day

If Allied aircrew, soldiers or sailors had belonged to the British forces when they were killed, their graves and memorials were attended to by the British authorities and the Imperial War Graves Commission, who followed a policy of non-repatriation. However, if the dead had belonged to their own national forces, they could be repatriated after the … Continue reading Jespersen Crew, D-Day

The Anthony Cotterell Missing Case

Anthony Cotterell's disappearance after the battle of Arnhem, when he was shot and seriously injured by the SS whilst an unarmed prisoner of war, became the focus of extensive war crime investigations. Researching what happened to Anthony was my first real foray into what happened with missing British servicemen. It is a uniquely well-documented case … Continue reading The Anthony Cotterell Missing Case

Stott and the Evacuation of France, June 1940

What is often not realised about the evacuation of the BEF (British Expeditionary Force) from France in June 1940 is that not everyone left from Dunkirk. Several thousand men came out from St Nazaire on the edge of western France, and amongst these was Arthur Owen Stott, later to be the Commanding Officer of the … Continue reading Stott and the Evacuation of France, June 1940

Arnhem-Oosterbeek Cemetery

Further to yesterday's post about Colonel Stott and possible photographs of him at work, the second photograph, also in the Gelders Archief, shows Stott in the very early days of the ARNHEM-OOSTERBEEK CEMETERY. He is deep in conference with Captain J T Long, of 37 Graves Registration Unit. This cemetery was developed with the full cooperation … Continue reading Arnhem-Oosterbeek Cemetery

Colonel Stott at the Arnhem Commemorations, 1945

Colonel Stott, the Commanding Officer of the Army Graves Service in Western Europe was arguably the most influential figure of all in the British programme of care for the military dead after the Second World. Amongst his other achievements, it was he who chose the sites for the cemeteries and carried out the negotiations with … Continue reading Colonel Stott at the Arnhem Commemorations, 1945

Robert Whitley, RCAF, Viroflay Cemetery, France

Robert Whitley was an Air gunner from Canada, flying with a Wellington crew of 419 Squadron. He and his crew were lost when their aircraft crashed at Argenteuil in France on 30 May 1942. They were buried as 'unknowns'. When the MRES sought to establish who the men were in the graves, they had only a … Continue reading Robert Whitley, RCAF, Viroflay Cemetery, France

Air Ministry Casualty Branch, Oxford Street

The Air Ministry Casualty Branch moved to 73-77 Oxford Street in late 1942. The tall Art Deco building had been the showroom for Drage’s before the war, which is the era when the photograph was taken, and it appears that some shops remained in the building even in wartime. One account speaks of the Casualty … Continue reading Air Ministry Casualty Branch, Oxford Street