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Whitchurch World War 2 – the Fallen

Whitchurch War Memorial lists the 40 men who lost their lives whilst serving in the Second World War. Their names can be found on two separate plaques.

Volunteers at Whitchurch Museum & Archives have found out the following information about them, their service and their families.

The men below are listed in alphabetical order. Please scroll through to find who you are looking for.

All images courtesy of the Commonwealth War Grave Commission except where indicated.

Reginald Walter Ankers

Plymouth Naval Memorial

Able Seaman D/JX170256 serving on HMS Hardy. Died at sea 30 January 1944. He is commemorated on Plymouth Naval Memorial.

HMS Hardy was a destroyer torpedoed by German submarine U-278 and sunk in the Arctic Ocean south of Bear Island.

He was born in 1923 in Whitchurch, son of Herbert John & Annie Elizabeth Ankers. The family were living at 5 George Street in 1939.


William Henry Batho

Whitchurch Cemetery

Gunner 790682 23 Field Regiment Royal Artillery. Died at Chester Royal Infirmary 2 June 1943. He is buried in Whitchurch Cemetery.

He was taken POW whilst serving in France in 1941 and discharged medically unfit in 1942

Born in Whitchurch in 1912, the son of Philip and Margaret Batho. He married Ethel Pritchard in 1935; they had one daughter Sheila. He was living at 39 Alkington Gardens when he died and was a gardener by trade.


Leopold Blake

Portsmouth Naval Memorial

Leading Telegraphist PJX142985 serving on HM Submarine Upholder. Died at sea 18 April 1942. Commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial.

HM Submarine Upholder was probably depth charged by Italian anti submarine vessel Pagaso, east of Tripoli.

Born in Larne, Co Antrim, Ireland in 1919, the son of Leopold & Agnes Blake. Awarded DSM.

Probable link to Whitchurch was his father serving in the Whitchurch RN Shore Signal & Wireless Station.


Dennis James Blencowe

Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery

Flight Sergeant Air Gunner 1818376 570 Squadron RAF Volunteer Reserve. Killed in action 23 September 1944. Buried in Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery

He was air gunner on a Stirling EF-298 which took off from Harwell Airfield on a resupply mission to Arnhem. The aircraft was hit by flak and crashed east of Panoramahoeve, Ede, Netherlands

Born in Whitchurch in 1924, the son of Harry & Edith Blencowe. The family were living at 24 Bargates in 1939.


Ronald John Blundell

Catania War Cemetery Sicily

Lance Corporal 5124691 5th Regiment Reconnaissance Corps. Killed in action in Sicily 5 August 1943. Buried in Catania War Cemetery Sicily.

Born in Whitchurch in 1922, the son of Frederick Thomas & Kate Elizabeth Blundell. The family were living at 4 Talbot Street in 1939. Ronald was a newsagent shop assistant before the war.


Robert Boaz (serving as Robert Owen)

Florence War Cemetery.

Private 4042244 1st Battalion King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. Died of wounds in Italy 16 August 1944. Buried in Florence War Cemetery.

Born in Whitchurch in 1923, the son of John & Annie Owen. Adopted son of John Thomas & Annie Boaz and commemorated on the Town Memorial as Robert Boaz.

The Boaz family lived at 3 Talbot Crescent. Robert played for Alport Football Club.


Ernest Walier Chidlow

Plymouth Naval Memorial

Able Seaman DJX150090 serving on HMS Glorious. Died at sea 8 June 1940. Commemorated on Plymouth Naval Memorial.

HMS Glorious was an aircraft carrier evacuating RAF aircraft from Norway. She was sunk by the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau with the loss of 1207 men.

Born in Whitchurch in 1920, the son of John & Lillie Jane Chidlow. The family were living at 1 Park Road in 1939 and were long standing members of St. John’s Church.


Robert William Alfred Chidlow

Khayat Beach War Cemetery Palestine

Private 7623316 Royal Army Ordnance Corps. Died in a bathing accident in Palestine 9 July 1942. Buried in Khayat Beach War Cemetery Palestine.

Born in Whitchurch in 1919, the son of William George & Florence May Chidlow. He was a member of 2nd Whitchurch Scouting Group.

The family lived at 7 Sherrymill Hill in 1939.


William Colin Clay

Whitchurch Cemetery

Marine PO/X110768 HM Landing Craft Gun 15, Royal Marines. Died at sea 25 April 1943. Buried in Whitchurch Cemetery.

HM LCG 15 sank in rough seas off St. Ann’s Head, Pembrokeshire whilst being delivered to Falmouth, with no survivors.

Born in Whitchurch in 1925, son of Walter & Mary Clay. The family were living at 32 Wayland Road in 1939.


Harry Cliffe

Dunkirk Memorial

Private 13002053 50 Coy, Auxiliary Military Pioneer Corps. Died at sea off St. Nazaire 17 June 1940. Commemorated on Dunkirk Memorial.

Harry was on board the Cunard White Star Liner Lancastria being evacuated from Dunkirk when the ship was struck by a German Ju88 bomber and sunk off the port of St. Nazaire with the loss of over 2000 lives

Born in 1898 in Whitchurch, the son of William & Elizabeth Cliffe. Husband of Annie and father to Joan & Jean. Harry lived at 31 Wayland Road and was a farm labourer.


John Derrick Edwards Davies

Brookwood Military Cemetery Surrey

Pilot Officer Air Gunner 176215, 180 Squadron RAF Volunteer Reserve. Killed in action 15 June 1944. ‘Commemorated in Brookwood Military Cemetery Surrey.

He was one of the crew of a Halifax II Bomber JP168 based at RAF Dunsfold, Surrey which was lost assumed crashed.

Born in Carmarthen in 1923, son of Daniel Edwards and Katherine Davies. In 1939 his father was Bank Accountant at the National Provincial Bank in the High Street.


George Kitchener Duckers

Whitchurch Cemetery

Private 7381588 Royal Army Medical Corps. Died in Chester Royal Infirmary 23 September 1945. Buried in Whitchurch Cemetery.

Born in Whitchurch in 1914, the son of Joseph & Mary Duckers. He was living at Chapel House, Broughall at the time of his death.


Samuel Ernest Eaton

Whitchurch Cemetery

Private 7519621 Royal Army Medical Corps. Died in the Military Hospital, Pontefract on 11 June 1940. Buried in Whitchurch Cemetery.

Born in Nantwich in 1914, the son of Harriet Elizabeth Eaton and step-son of Alfred Jones. The family were living at 18 Rosemary Lane at the time of his death.


Albert Eric Gerald Eccleston

Damascus Commonwealth War Cemetery

Captain 145174 Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. Killed in action in Syria 29 June 1941. Buried in Damascus Commonwealth War Cemetery.

Born in Whitchurch in 1904, son of Albert George and Jessie Eliza Eccleston and nephew of Rupert James Eccleston. Separated from his wife Winifred Joan. The family home was The Dingle, Chester Road.


Robert Bruce Edwards

Massicault War Cemetery Tunisia

Guardsman 2718368 Irish Guards. Killed in action in Tunisia 30 April 1943. Buried in Massicault War Cemetery Tunisia.

Born in Northwich in 1916, the son of Albert Edward & Ellen Edwards. Husband of Emily Tryphena.

His parents lived at 174 Wrexham Road in 1939.


Arthur Evans

Banneville –la-Campagne War Cemetery France

Private 4033934 4th Battalion King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. Killed in action in Normandy 19 July 1944. Buried in Banneville –la-Campagne War Cemetery France.

Born in 1907 in Whitchurch, the son of William and the late Mrs Evans. Husband of Mary and father to Winifred & William.

The family were living with Arthur’s father at Cemetery Lodge, Mile Bank Road; Arthur was a baker and confectioner.


John William George Foreshaw

Alamein Memorial Egypt

Sergeant 940031 221 Squadron RAF Volunteer Reserve. Missing believed killed 25 March 1942. Commemorated on Alamein Memorial Egypt.

He was one of the crew of Wellington bomber W5645 which failed to return from an operational flight over Benghazi, Libya

Born in Whitchurch in 1908, son of William & Jane Foreshaw. Husband to Gwendolyn Lettice Kitchener. He lived at 1 Station Road at the time of his death


Wilfred Samuel Fowles

Alamein Memorial Egypt

Private 4034666 6th Battalion Durham Light Infantry. Died of wounds in Egypt 2 November 1942. Commemorated on Alamein Memorial Egypt.

Born in Whitchurch in 1919, the son of Henry & Alice Hariett Fowles. The family were living at 10 George Street in 1939


Richard Hamer

Brookwood 1939-1945 Memorial Surrey

Private T/130334 Royal Army Service Corps, attached to Royal Artillery. Died at sea 7 January 1943. Commemorated on Brookwood 1939-1945 Memorial Surrey.

He was being transported on the SS Benalbanach which was hit by 2 airplane launched torpedoes and sunk 150 miles NE of Algiers.

Born in Whitchurch in 1912, son of Richard & Annie Hamer. His father Richard died in WW1. The family lived at 15 Sherrymill Hill in 1939.


Wallace Herbert

Durnbach War Cemetery Germany

Warrant Officer Air Bomber 1178839 83 Squadron RAF Volunteer Reserve. Lost in action over Germany 25 July 1944. Buried in Durnbach War Cemetery Germany.

He was one of the crew of Lancaster III Bomber ND922 which departed from RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire for night bombing raids on Stuttgart and was lost SE of Jungingen, Germany. Awarded the DFC

Born 1912 in Oswestry, son of Edward Wallace & Lizzie Herbert. Husband of Florence Rose and Father of Roger. He was a school teacher in 1939 living at Weston Croft, Belton Road.


John Nesbit Hull

Corporal 2391259 Royal Corps of Signals. Died in Shrewsbury Infirmary 18 March 1944

John was on leave to attend his father’s funeral, was taken ill and sadly died

Born in 1923 in Whitchurch, son of Albert Edward & Edith Hull. The family were living at 77 Alkington Road in 1939. He worked for Lloyds’ Bank before enlisting

Buried in Whitchurch Congregational Chapelyard.


Alfred Charles Jarvis

Assisi War Cemetery Italy

Private 5113584 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire & Hertfordshire Regiment. Killed in action in Italy 30 June 1944. Buried in Assisi War Cemetery Italy.

Born in Whitchurch in 1917, the son of Alfred & Clara Jarvis. The family were living at 51 Wayland Road in 1939; Alfred was a general labourer.


Harold Frederick Lovell

Dely Ibrahim War Cemetery Algeria

Sapper 1921669 930 Port Construction & Repair Coy, Royal Engineers. Killed in action in Algeria 27 January 1943. Buried in Dely Ibrahim War Cemetery Algeria.

Born in 1916 in Congleton, son of Thomas & Annie Emmeline Lovell. The family were living at 14 Talbot Street in 1939; Harold was a motor driver.


Leslie Frederick Lyman

Delhi War Cemetery

Sergeant 14822487 Royal Army Ordnance Corps. Died in India 10 June 1946. Buried in Delhi War Cemetery

Born in 1926 in Whitchurch, the son of Marion S & Ruth Lyman. The family were living at 24 Sherrymill Hill in 1939.


Frederick Ambrose Edmund (Coley) Maddocks

Hottot-les-Bagues War Cemetery France

Lance Sergeant 4035509 6th Battalion Durham Light Infantry. Killed in action Normandy France 9 August 1944. Buried in Hottot-les-Bagues War Cemetery France.

Born in Whitchurch in 1920, the son of Ambrose George & Violet Maddocks. The family lived at Alport Farm, Alport Road in 1939.


Alfred Ernest Madeley

Whitchurch Cemetery

Private 1512448 Royal Air Force (discharged in 1942 medically unfit) . Died from illness Whitchurch Cottage Hospital 9 August 1943. ‘Buried in Whitchurch Cemetery.

Born in Whitchurch in 1921, the son of Ernest & Olive Madeley. The family lived at 5 Smallbrook Buildings. Alfred worked for W H Smith, ironfounders, before enlisting.


Ernest Thomas Mason

Tilly-sur-Seulles War Cemetery France

Private 4041990 4th Battalion King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. Died of wounds Normandy, France 17 August 1944. Buried in Tilly-sur-Seulles War Cemetery France.

Born in Whitchurch in 1922, the son of James & Sarah Amelia Mason. The family lived at 2 Alport Road in 1939.


John Solomon Morris

Buried in Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery Myanmar

Driver T/120888 55 Infantry Brigade Royal Army Service Corps. Died from colitis & beri beri 18 August 1943. Buried in Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery Myanmar.

Captured in 1942 as POW by Japanese and held in River Valley Road POW camp on Singapore. Was buried in Thanbyuzayat in Myanmar (Burma) which suggests he died building the Burma Death Railway.

Born in Whitchurch in 1919, the son of Solomon and Elizabeth Morris. Husband of Joyce Eileen. The family home was 29 Newtown in 1939.


Joseph William Leonard Parbutt

Alamein Memorial Egypt

Gunner 993505 4 Survey Regiment Royal Artillery. Died at sea off Tunisian coast 14 November 1942. Commemorated on Alamein Memorial Egypt.

Taken POW by Italians; was being transported in Italian cargo ship SS Scillin which was torpedoed by British submarine HMS Sahib not knowing that it was carrying British POWs.

Born in Whitchurch in 1913, the son of Ernest Harry & Lily Parbutt. The family were living at 18 Wrexham Road in 1939.


Joseph Reginald Parker

Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery Orkney

Corporal PO/X2530 HMS Suffolk, Royal Marines. Killed in action off Stavangar, Norway 17 April 1940. Buried in Lyness Royal Naval Cemetery Orkney.

Born in Wem in 1919, the son of John and Annie C Parker. The family lived at 7 Mill Street in 1939.


Roy Victor Riley

Buried at Rangoon memorial Myanmar

Private 14410789 2dn Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment. Died of wounds Myanmar 30 January 1945. Buried at Rangoon memorial Myanmar.

Born in Ellesmere in 1925, the son of Richard and Ada Mary Riley. The family home was Holmleigh, Grindley Brook in 1939.


John Thomas Roberts

Faenza War Cemetery Italy

Private 4033946 1st Battalion King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. Died of wounds Italy 8 October 1944. Buried in Faenza War Cemetery Italy.

Born John Wilkinson in 1920 in Chester-Le-Street, Durham, son of Nellie Wilkinson. His mother married John F Roberts in 1931. Step son of Frederick Ankers. The family lived at 31 George Street in 1939.


William Alfred Rycroft

Banneville –la-Campagne War Cemetery France

Lance Corporal 4032353 1st Battalion Herefordshire Regiment, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. Killed in action Normandy 30 June 1944. Buried in Banneville –la-Campagne War Cemetery France.

Born in 1916 in Whitchurch, the son of Richard and Cecilia Annie Rycroft. His father was killed in action in WW1. The family lived at 25 Newtown in 1939.


John Cyril Stokes

La-Delivrande War cemetery Douvres France

Corporal 4032491 2nd Battalion King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. Killed in action Normandy 6 June 1944. Buried in La-Delivrande War cemetery Douvres France.

Born in Wem in 1917, the son of Thomas Albert & Mary Alice Stokes. His parents were living at 30 Bargates in 1939.


Arthur Frederick Sumner

Private 5116649 1st Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment. Killed in action India 15 June 1944. Buried in Imphal War Cemetery India.

Born in 1915 in Whitchurch, the son of Arthur & Annie Sumner. Husband to Beatrice and father of Robert. The family were living at 21 Claypit Street in 1939; Arthur was a horse carter.


Richard Alfred Wagstaffe

Kanchanaburi War Cemetery Thailand

Signalman 2597283 Royal Corps of Signals. Died in Thailand 15 June 1943. Buried in Kanchanaburi War Cemetery Thailand.

Taken POW by the Japanese and died building the Burma Death Railway.

Born in Whitchurch in 1921, the son of Frederick Horace and Hilda Ellen Wagstaffe. The family lived at 32 Belton Road in 1939; Richard was a grocery shop assistant.


Derrick Norman Duckers Waite

Runnymede Memorial

Sergeant 1163802 103 Squadron Bomber Command RAF Volunteer Reserve. Killed in action over Germany 1 March 1943. Commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.

He was a member of the crew of Avro Lancaster I Bomber W4361 which took off from RAF Elsham Wolds for a night raid over Berlin and was lost without trace.

Born Derrick Norman Duckers in 1919 in Whitchurch, son of Mabel Duckers. His mother married John Waite in 1926. In 1939 Derrick was living at 11 Rosemary Lane and was a shoe shop assistant.


Wallace Frank Alan Whittock

Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery

Sergeant Flight Engineer 1163802 103 Squadron Bomber Command RAF Volunteer Reserve. Killed in action over Germany 21 January 1944. Buried in Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery.

He was a member of the crew of Halifax BIII Bomber LV775 which took off from RAF Snaith and was shot down over Magdeburg by a German night fighter.

Born in 1922 in Hereford, the son of Frederick & Alice Whittock. Frederick died in 1930 and Alice was living at 26 Newtown in 1939.


William (Billy) Wilson

Lanark Cemetery

Sergeant pilot 526503 RAF. Died in training accident in Scotland 20 March 1942. Buried in Lanark Cemetery.

He was a member of the crew of Whitley V Bomber P4998 which took off from RAF Forres on a night exercise and stalled and crashed on approach to Elgin airfield.

Born in Lanark in 1916, the son of James Bartlett & Bessie Wilson. His father was living at Riveston, Bridgewater Street in 1939.


Norman Woodcock

Buried in Whitchurch Cemetery

Sergeant Air Gunner 1588938 83 Squadron RAF Volunteer Reserve. Died in a training accident in Lincolnshire 18 June 1943. Buried in Whitchurch Cemetery.

He was a member of the crew of Lancaster Bomber ED439 OL-N which took off from RAF Wyton, Huntingdon and crashed near Scredington, Lincolnshire.

Born in Runcorn in 1924, the son of Samuel Massey & Eva Woodcock. He was living at Oakhurst, Chemistry at the time of his death.