The Second World War Memorial Board

Many of you will remember how the Second World War Memorial Board was rescued from the boiler room at Downing Drive, along with the bronze First World War plaque, through the efforts of the late Stewart Smith. These were then renovated and re-erected in the Great Hall at Clarence House by kind permission of Age Concern (as they then were). The re-dedication was conducted by the Reverend Gerald Rimmington, himself an old boy of the school.

Subsequently the Downing Drive buildings were demolished and largely thanks to the efforts of Bob Childs and the co-operation of the School’s Business Manager, Jenny Sterland, what has come to be known as the ‘Downing Drive hoard’ of documents, photos and record books was rescued from destruction, and took up residence in my house and that of Dennis Duggan.

Amongst the huge quantity of documents were records relating to the Memorial Boards which have not been displayed at a Reunion because I considered them too precious to risk possible loss or damage. However with the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landings this year my conscience started to get the better of me and I thought I really ought to write something about them.

For this article I will concentrate on the Second World War Memorial Board, on which there are 77 names, which seems to me a huge number for a relatively small school. By contrast, on the First World War plaque there are just 14 names. My focus on the World War Two board does not imply any disrespect to those names on the 1914-18 plaque. It is simply that we have more information about many of those who fell in the second conflict. Perhaps with further research someone can do the same for the fourteen men who died in the ‘War to end all wars’.
Unveiling ceremony

Unveiling ceremony as reported in the 1948 edition
of the Wyvernian magazine

The Second World War Memorial Board was unveiled on the 14th November 1948 by the Lord Mayor of Leicester, JN Frears, and dedicated by the Provost of Leicester, the very Reverend HA Jones. The instigators of the Memorial Board were the members of the Newarke and City Boys’ Old Boys’ Association, who also organised the First World War plaque, which was unveiled on the 10th November 1929. We know these facts because programmes for both events have survived, the one for the Second World War Board being the Headmaster, Mr RW Crammer’s personal copy.

In addition we have a hand-written list of the names which were to appear on the Board, probably in Mr Crammer’s hand, and a typed final list of the seventy-seven (see below)

Handwritten list of the fallen
- in Mr Crammer's hand?

(Apologies - the list is rather difficult to read)

Typed list of fallen - page 2
Typed list of fallen - page 1

In addition there is a small collection of letters from bereaved wives or parents, informing Mr Crammer of their loss. These seem to have followed publicity about the proposed memorial in the Leicester Mercury.

There are also two rather poignant small envelopes of press cuttings – on one is written ‘Killed’ and on the other ‘Honours, wounds etc’. The cuttings are from reports in the local newspapers. There are further cuttings stuck to the backs of the index cards of some of the fallen, but there are only cuttings for less than half of the total of those whose names appear on the Board. Lastly almost every card for the seventy-seven has a comment of some sort written on, often in red ink, presumably by the School Secretary. Some of these give details of when and where the person died, whilst others just say ‘Died’ or ‘Killed’. Details of the contents of the envelope marked "Honours, wounds etc" can be found by clicking/tapping HERE.

Having collated all the information that we have in the records I am listing all the names and their details below. The dates refer to the years when they were at the school. An asterisk at the end of an entry indicates that we hold a letter reporting their death to Mr Crammer (NOTE a double asterisk (**) at the beginning of a name in the list denotes there is further memorabilia relevant to that person which can be viewed online by clicking/tapping on the name. This extra memorabilia will grow over time as more is uploaded - so please keep checking back).

 Roll of Honour 1939-45

Roy Addison 1933-38. Missing presumed killed May 1941.

Thomas Merrill Adlard 1925-28. Killed in action May 1941. RAF Sergeant Pilot.

Gordon Derrick Barnes 1938-42 Died 1943.

Bertie Arthur Beeby 1928-33. Killed in active service.

Roland Horace Bellamy 1933-38. Died on active service 1941.

Ben Bingley 1929-33. Died of wounds 11th March 1941. Sergeant Pilot RAF.

Clifford Willson Brant 1924-27. RAF. Died in hospital 25th April 1941.

**Frank Thomas Bown 1925-27. First Battalion Leicester Regiment. Letter from his widow says ‘Serving in Malaya, presumed killed in action February 11th 1942’. But comment on index card reads ‘Killed in Penang, Malaya 1941’ *

Roy Callis 1935-41. ‘Killed’. Only 16.

**Ronald Victor Collington 1929-33. Sergeant in the REME. Comment on index card reads ‘Killed on active service 1944’ However newspaper cutting reports that he died at home whilst on leave.

Leonard Court 1930-35. Sergeant Pilot. Killed on active service 1943.        

Benjamin Cox 1932-36. Killed on active service 1943.

**Harold Day 1925-29. Sergeant Pilot RAF Volunteer Reserves, Killed in action 4th October 1940, aged 27.

**Alan Dockerty 1933-41. Killed in Normandy 7th June 1944 (The day after D-Day) See David Atton’s 2008 booklet ‘Alan Dockerty 1922-44 - A Short Life Tragically Taken – Heroically Given’.

Leonard Norman Drake 1934-39. ‘Died’.

Charles Frederick Ellis 1932-36. Died on active service.

John Elton 1932-36. ‘Killed’.

**Henry Flavill 1933-37. Naval Telegraphist. Killed on active service 1943. (Wounded in 1940 according to press cutting).

**John Horace Fletcher 1931-36. Sergeant Bomber Pilot RAF. Shot down over Holland July 1942. Aged 22, killed a week after his birthday. (Comment on index card reads ‘Reported missing 1943’). Very moving letter from his mother.*

Kenneth Gamble 1931-36. Missing November 1942.

**John James Garner 1934-38. Sergeant Pilot RAF. Killed in action in North Africa September 23rd 1943.*

William Henry Glover 1926-31. Died June 1946.

Thomas Francis Michael Gowan 1929-34. Reported missing on active service, presumed killed, in 1941.

Thomas Henry Grain 1932-37. Sergeant RAF. Reported missing 1942.

Edward Francis Gregory 1932-37. Killed on active service 1942.

Donald Leigh Griffiths 1931-35. RAF. Killed in a flying accident July 1940.

**Reginald Gordon Ashton HAND 1935-36. RAMC, Dunkirk evacuee, died of pneumonia in India 1944.

Philip Arthur Healy 1931-36. Killed on active service

Edwin Henry Herbert 1928-33.RAF. Died on active service 1942.

Claude Lionel Geoffrey Hood 1920-25. Killed in RAF flying accident July 1940.

**Ronald Arthur Horton 1931-33. Sergeant Pilot RAF. Missing, presumed killed in air operations over Germany 1944. Four years service.

Kenneth William Hughes 1931-37. Killed with BEF (British Expeditionary Force) Belgium 1940.

Alec John Jackson 1933-34. Killed on active service.

**Cecil Tom Keates 1920-25. Captain in the African Pioneer Corps, killed in an air crash October 1945.

Tom William Kempin 1925-29.No information found

**Maurice Henry Knowles 1933-38. Sergeant RAF. Killed April 8th 1943.*

Frederick Arthur Lancaster. No index card or any other information.

**Leslie Thomas Lewin 1932-39. RAF Sergeant. Died in Germany May 22nd 1946.*

Douglas Charles Lord 1933-37. RAF Volunteer Reserve. Died on active service 1942.

Cyril Walter Lovell 1933-38. Missing.

Frederick Arthur Ernest Marshall 1931-35 Died in Japanese hands June 14th 1943.

Eric Anthony Martin 1932-37. RAF Volunteer Reserve. Killed on active service May 1941.

**Thomas William Mayes 1931-36. Staff Sergeant and Glider Pilot, Army Air Corps, killed at Arnhem September 1944.*

Angus John McDonnell Jan-Dec 1934. Killed on active service 1944.

John Edward Moss 1930-35. Sergeant Pilot RAF. Killed March 1941.

Philip Henry Moulton 1929-33. Killed on active service.

**Harry Kenneth Mundin 1932-36. AC2 RAF Volunteer Reserve. Died in Japanese hands November 1943, aged 22.

**Harry Stockton Murby 1930-37. Drowned at sea December 1942 following a torpedo attack on Convoy ON-149. Has been researched by Bob Childs and myself. We acquired his school cap as part of the Downing Drive hoard.

David Robert Neal 1932-37. ‘Died’.

**Ernest Roy Neal 1933-38. Gunner, Royal Artillery. Killed in action 1944 aged 21.

**Thomas Norman 1934-39. Lance Corporal Leicestershire Regiment. Killed in North-west Europe September 1944 (probably Arnhem).

**Vincent Edward Norman 1934-39. Missing, presumed killed, in 1944.

Brian Preston 1938-43. Died on service in Northern Ireland April 1945.

**Frank Leslie Reynolds 1922-27. LAC. Died whilst serving with the RAF in India.

**Ronald James Reynolds 1931-34. Leading Seaman. Died on D-Day.

**Sydney Riddington 1929-31. Ordinary Seaman Royal Navy. Killed in action July 1940.

Edward Bonsor Riley 1935-39. ‘Died’.

**Henry Arthur Roberts 1933-38. Flying Officer, 502 Squadron Coastal Command. Killed on active service September 16th 1942.*

Ronald Albert Rudkin 1930-35. Signalman RCS.Killed on active service 1944.

Samuel Ivan Rudkin 1933-38 . Reported missing 1943. Brother of the above.

**Thomas Herbert Saunders 1931-36. Aircraftman RAF. Died of wounds received in an air raid 1940. Aged 20.

Denis William Sharpe 1931-36. RAF. Killed in action 1940.

Graham Frederick Simpkin 1930-35.Sergeant Pilot RAF. Reported missing 1944.

**Leo Lawrence Simpson 1938-42. Seaman, missing at sea after the sinking of his vessel August 19th 1944. Only 17.

Douglas Frank Smart 1931-36. Missing 1945.

**Horace James Worthing Smith 1923-26. Pilot Officer/Navigator RAF Volunteer Reserve. Killed March 22nd 1944 over Belgium.*

John Bryan Smith 1927-31. ‘Killed’.

Philip Standley Smith 1921-25 Missing on D-Day.

**Roland Tom Smith 1937-41. Private in the Parachute Regiment. Died at Arnhem September 1944, aged 19.*

Wilfred Henry Speke 1925-29. ‘Died’.

Donald Edward Staniforth 1930-36. Killed on active service.

Leonard George Stone 1933-38. Killed on active service.

**John Derrick Thompson 1934-39. Acting Leading Telegraphist, Royal Navy. Reported missing 1944. Killed in action on HMS Inglefield.

**Raymond Frere Waterman 1932-37. RAF Sergeant and Navigator, Coastal Command. Killed on active service 1944.

Vincent Owen Weston 1932-37. Sergeant RAF. Reported missing 1942.

**John Harold Wilson 1934-39. Royal Navy. Killed on active service overseas 1944. Aged 20.

**Norman Yates 1934-39. Royal Artillery Gunner. Killed in North Africa 27th April 1943.*

As you can see, the seventy-seven saw service in almost every theatre of war, particularly D-Day, Arnhem, North Africa and the Far East. Their stories would be well worth researching further if anyone has the inclination.

Brian Screaton.                                                                               8th June 2019