Men, Women and Children



who lost their lives

during the

1939 to 1945



The Colchester casualties of the second world war were not accorded the same degree of commemoration in Colchester as those of the first war. War memorials at Mile End, Christ Church and Shrub End only record those who gave their lives in the 1914 - 18 conflict. The memorial in the foyer of the Town Hall have the 1939 - 45 casualties (which include women and children) as an addendum to the earlier casualties. These are shown below.

A search of the Commonwealth War Grave Commission's website reveals much more than the Colchester memorials show, and selected instances only are shown below. German bombing raids played a major part in civilian deaths in the town. Click on the entries in bold, underlined, type for more details about the casualty elsewhere on this page.


The Roll of Honour

of Men, Women and Children

of Colchester

who lost their lives in

the World War 1939-1945


Adams, Lena M

Adams, Richard A

Aitken, Michael E

Aldous, Edith Maud

Anderson, Emma

Andrews, Arthur C

Archer, William F

Ardley, Richard A B

Arnott, Leslie G

Ashcroft, Douglas J

Austin, Vernon C

Balls, James

Barnes, Alice B

Beech, Harry D

Bell, Kenneth G

Bennell, Joseph W

Berry, Leonard

Birch, Terence

Blanc, Thomas W

Bland, Ivan Henry

Blomfield, Arthur S B

Booth, Thomas W

Borley, Edwin A

Broom, Herbert J

Brown, Horace Frank

Brown, Rosanna A

Browne, Henry A

Browne, Lillie F

Bruce-Lockhart, Guy

Brundell, Reginald W

Bryant, Florence E

Bryant, Richard W G

Buckingham, Annie

Budd, Donald F

Burch, Geoffrey H

Burchell, George J

Burrell, Edmund R J

Carter, Florence L

Chandler, James E

Childs, Cyril F

Chopping, Geoffrey N

Chopping, Ralph C

Cleveland, Cyril H

Cocks, A P

Cook, Leonard J

Cooper, Basil John

Cork, T E

Cox, John Kevin

Cox, William L

Cresswell, Jack R

Cudmore, Louis D

Daldry, Herbert J

Dale, Emma

Davis, Albert

Deane, Amy T

Dixon, Minnie

Dobbie, M H (Peter)

Doe, Jeffrey F

Duckling, Robert G

Duncan, James

Dunne, J P

Ede, Sidney W

Eley, Rose

Ellis, Jack William

Ellis, P M W

Fairhead, Nellie S

Farmer, G J McN

Fell, David Walton

Flory, Arthur G

Ford, George Ross

Fothergill, John A

Francis, D

Francis, John A

Francis, R

Gahagan, Gordon F W

Gaisford, Reginald

Galliford, Richard E

Game, Stanley G

Garrard, Leslie E

Garstang, Dora F

Gentry, Cecil Jason

Gosling, Basil F

Green, Arthur Jack

Greenwood, Albert W


Hadlow, Thomas

Hall, Gordon L

Harknett, Clarissa

Harrington, Eliza

Hart, A P

Harvey, John W

Henshall, J

Hickey, Charles P

Hicks, William H

Hobson, Sarah E L

Holt, William

Howe, Stanley G

Hutton, Peter Coats

James, Cecil

Jinks, Stanley W

Jones, Catherine L

Katinakis, Eva Mary

Kay, Sarah

Kellock, Caroline K

Kelly, Roland Hugh

Kirk, Henry Cecil

Knowles, Charlotte E

Knowles, Florence M

Lacey, Louis Arthur

Lamb, Harold J

Lamonby, Kenneth B

Last, Ernest A

Law, Arthur S

Lawrence, Eric W

Lilley, Gerald W

Long, Leslie B

Markham, James

Markham, Maud

Markland, R W

Marsh, Herbert C

Marshall, Denis E T

Mayhew, Mary J

Mills, B

Morgan, Grace E

Morton, Cecil E N J

Moseley, E V

Moye, Muriel E

Musk, Stanley

Musk, Sydney

Nayler, Frank Alfred

Newson, Eleanor J

Nunn, Bertha

Olyott, Walter Thomas

O'Mara, D

Page, Florence

Pain, Lorna Mavis

Papillon, Philip W G

Parker, Cyril F

Parker, Frank R

Parsler, Robert W C

Parsons, Ellen M

Pawsey, Peter

Pearce, Alice

Pearson, Eric R

Perry, Harry W

Peters, Alexander J

Phillips, Albert V

Phillips, Nellie C

Pigg, Maud E

Pierpoint, Colin

Pinckard, Geoffrey

Pleasance, Nigel

Poole, Olive Bessie

Pope, Francis N

Porter, John D V

Priddle, Terence J

Proctor, George H

Purslow, Robert T

Pyke, Arthur E

Quilter, John

Quinn, Richard W

Radford, Grace M

Rainbird, Ada A

Raine, Margaret A

Randall, Nellie

Raven, Eric A J

Rayner, Stanley E

Redman, Edward J

Rees, Annie L

Reeves, Hilda H M

Rhodes, Elizabeth P

Richer, George W

Robbins, Bessie E

Roberts, Jean L

Rogers, F C

Rowe, Alan W

Ruffle, Alec Joseph

Sargeant, James D

Shead, Matilda

Shipston, Rose

Shortt, Thomas F

Smellie, William A

Smith, Arthur T

Smith, Frederick

Spurgeon, Jack D

Stares, Fanny H

Steel, B T

Steele, Edwin W R

Steele, Ronald M

Storrie, Alexander J

Strong, Bernard J

Strong, Ethel Mary

Tatam, Noel Curtis

Tatum, Raymond B

Taylor, Arthur G

Thomas, James H

Trussell, Stanley H

Tipper, Wilfred F

Todd, Colin Barry

Toswell, Reginald G

Totham, Bernard A

Tracey, Eric James

Trehearne, Raymond H M

Trinder, Thomas J

Turner, Cecil D E

Turner, Hugh B

Turner, John B

Wade, Rosina

Walford, Arthur G

Ward, John E

Wash, Rose

Watsham, Dennis H

Watts, Edward H

Wenden, Kenneth T C

White, Dorothy C

Wicks, Thomas L

Wightman, Owen M

Williams, Leslie R

Williamson, Fred

Willis, Frederick A J

Willis, John Shaw

Wills, Walter J

Willsmore, Dennis W

Wilson, James W

Winch, Herbert V

Wood, Ethel E

Woods, Gladys M

Woods, Ronald V

Woollard, Ella N

Worledge, William

Wright, Brian E

Wright, Herbert J

Wyatt, Cyril W

York, Ada


added at a later date


Bottoms, Norman H

Carter, Ivor M  

Clark, Reginald A

Hailstone, Roy W

Howes, Laurence H

Prestney, Jack E


In Memory of


who died on

Monday, 28th September 1942. Age 53.

Additional Information: of 24 South Street. Wife of Bertie Alexander Aldous. at 24 South Street.

Cemetery: MUNICIPAL BOROUGH OF COLCHESTER, Section of the Civilian War Dead Register


In Memory of


who died on

Monday, 28th September 1942. Age 72.

Additional Information: of 11 Essex Street. Wife of William Anderson. at 11 Essex Street.

Cemetery: MUNICIPAL BOROUGH OF COLCHESTER, Section of the Civilian War Dead Register








This was sent to us by Colchester historian, Joan Soole. HMS Stag was a shore base in Egypt. She looked on the web for recepients of the Polar Medal but no mention of his name. Also she could not find his name in the list of RN Personnel from WW2.


In Memory of


who died on

Tuesday, 11th August 1942. Age 55.

Additional Information: Wife of Herbert Samuel Barnes, of Orchard Cottage, Main Road, Hawkwell, Hockley. at Severall's Hospital.

Cemetery: MUNICIPAL BOROUGH OF COLCHESTER, Section of the Civilian War Dead Register


In Memory of


Warrant Officer 1160208 W. Op/Air Gnr.

149 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Who died on Sunday 25 June 1944. Age 30.

Warrant Officer Bryant, son of Ethel Victoria Bryant and stepson of Harry Russell; husband of Joan Bryant of Colchester.

Remembered with Honour

Pihen-Les Guines War Cemetery Pas de Calais, France.

(RWG Bryant was my father and I was born just two months after his death.

My grandfather H W Bryant was killed in WW1 and he is listed in the WW1 section of the memorial. )







One of the youngest known casualties of WW2 from Colchester.



In Memory of:

Peter Mark Wooding Ellis

Colchester Royal Grammar School

Old Colcestrians who died in the Second World War of 1939-45

Age: 24

Died: 03/07/1946

Rank: Lieutenant (A) (Fleet Air Arm)

Service/Regt: Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve

Ship/Unit: HMS Colossus

Grave/Memorial: Colchester Cemetery

Plot/Panel: Section E Division 6, Grave 64


Peter Mark Wooding Ellis was born on 9th February 1922, the second child, and only son of William Mark Ellis (b. 28/07/1891) and his wife Gwladys Amelia Kathleen (née Wooding), who had married in St. Leonard's Church Colchester on 13th April 1914. By the time Peter's older sister, Joyce Gwladys, was born on 23rd June 1915, the Great War had started, with William seeing active service in the Royal Army Ordnance Corps.

After the war, William left the Army and worked as a printer. The family lived in Clacton for a few years, and Peter was born. In 1923, the family moved to Recreation Road, in Old Heath, Colchester, but three years later, Peter's father passed away, from illness resulting from his service during the Great War. On 19th September 1933, having received his early education at Canterbury Road Council School, Peter entered CRGS, as a day-scholar in Form Upper IIIA. During his time in the School, 'The Colcestrian' carried a report of his performance as one of General Stanley's Daughters in the School production of 'Pirates of Penzance' in April 1934, his winning of a School prize in December 1936, and appearances in the Junior Rugby fifteen. The magazine also reported that, in the Science Society meeting on Monday, February 14th 1938, "PMW Ellis of Form Vb gave a lecture on the development of the motor car". After leaving CRGS, Peter joined the Old Colcestrian Society, living at the family home in Recreation Road, and working in the Civil Service.

On his eighteenth birthday, Peter Ellis volunteered for service with the Fleet Air Arm and, after his initial training, was sent to HMS Goshawk, at the Royal Navy Air Station in Piarco, Trinidad, for his flying training. Over the next five months, he developed the various skills required for his role as an Observer, receiving his commission as a Sub-Lieutenant (Air) with effect from 2nd January 1943. During the next three years, Peter Ellis saw service with the Air Sea Rescue Squadron in England, Burma, Ceylon, and other Far East bases, accumulating over forty rescues to his credit. Lieutenant Ellis sailed back to England as part of the crew of the aircraft carrier HMS Colossus, which had left Simonstown in South Africa in May 1946 after a refit. On arrival in Portsmouth, the ship was paid off, and Peter returned home to Colchester on demobilisation leave. Three weeks later, however, he fell ill and was admitted to the Chatham Naval Hospital for treatment. Despite the best efforts of the medical team, Lieutenant Peter MW Ellis RNVR died on 3rd July 1946, as a result of septicaemia, possibly as a result of a germ contracted in the tropics. He was twenty-four years of age.

In publishing his obituary, 'The Colcestrian' reported that "much sympathy has been extended to his mother, and his sister, Mrs Joyce G. May."

The inscription on his gravestone reads:

"His life a beautiful memory. His death a silent grief."



In Memory of




107th Regt. (5th KOR Regt.), R.A.C.

who died on

Monday, 14th August 1944.


Historical Information: The cemetery contains the graves of men killed for the most part of the fighting from the second week of July, 1944, when Caen was captured, to the last week in August, when the Falaise gap had been closed and the Allied forces were preparing their advance beyond the Seine. There are now over 2,000, 1939-45 war casualties commemorated in this site.


In Memory of




23 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

who died on

Thursday, 26th June 1941. Age 22.

Additional Information: Son of Gerald Michael and Lena May Gahagan, of Colchester. Essex.

Memorial: RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL, Surrey, United Kingdom


In Memory of


Staff Serjeant


Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers

formerly served in, 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards, R.A.C.

who died on

Wednesday, 15th August 1945. Age 44.

Additional Information: Son of George and Kate Gaisford; husband of Marion Gaisford, of Colchester.

Cemetery: COLCHESTER CEMETERY, Essex, United Kingdom

Grave Reference/ Panel Number: Sec. D. Div. D. Grave 41.

Historical Information: Colchester Cemetery was opened in 1856 and now belongs to the Corporation. It originally covered about 30 acres, but was enlarged in 1940 to 67 acres. The newer part is on the western side of the original burial ground, and behind it is the site of a Roman Way. There are war graves of both world wars in this cemetery. The 1914-1918 burials total over 300, of which 50 are in the War Plot, while 11 Australian graves are together in a group nearby, the remainder being scattered. After the war a Cross of Sacrifice was erected on a site overlooking both the plot and the group of war graves, in honour of all the servicemen buried here. In the early months of the 1939-1945 War, shortly after the enlargement of the cemetery, land was set aside in the newer part for service war burials. This is now the War Graves Plot. Among these casualties are men who were killed at sea after being evacuated from Dunkirk. The non-war graves are those of a man of the Merchant Navy and two ex-servicemen who were buried in the War Graves Plot although their deaths were not due to war service. The plot is enclosed by a hedge of cotoneaster frigida and a Cross of Sacrifice stands on the western side. The graves are set in level mown turf, with continuous flower borders along the rows of headstones in which are polyantha roses and other seasonal flowers.


In Memory of




24 Field Coy., Royal Engineers

who died on

Saturday, 24th March 1945. Age 19.

Additional Information: Son of Richard Edward Alfred and Ann Jane Galliford, of Colchester, Essex.



In Memory of


who died on

Thursday, 3rd October 1940. Age 22.

Additional Information: of 23 Dunthorne Road, Parsons Heath. Wife of G. W. Harknett. at Old Heath Laundry.

Cemetery: MUNICIPAL BOROUGH OF COLCHESTER, Section of the Civilian War Dead Register


In Memory of


Leading Airman

FAA/FX. 88404

H.M.S. Condor, Royal Navy

who died on

Friday, 10th July 1942. Age 22.

Additional Information: Son of Arthur Henry and Amy Bellingham Markland.

Memorial: LEE-ON-SOLENT MEMORIAL, Hampshire, United Kingdom

Grave Reference/ Panel Number: Bay 3, Panel 2.

 Location: This Memorial will be found on the main sea front, sited on Marine Parade West, approximately half a mile west of the town centre. The principal base of the Fleet Air Arm, Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, was chosen as the site for the Memorial to the men of that service who died during the 1939-1945 War and who have no known grave. The Memorial consists of a rectangular column of Portland stone bearing the inscription: THESE OFFICERS AND MEN OF THE FLEET AIR ARM DIED IN THE SERVICE OF THEIR COUNTRY AND HAVE NO GRAVE BUT THE SEA. 1939-1945. Above the inscription is carved the Naval Crown with wreath and foul anchor. To each side of this central memorial stone is a wall bearing three recessed panels of Westmorland slate, on which are carved almost 2,000 names. The panels are protected by a wide canopy. The splayed flanking stone walls of the Memorial enclose a curved terrace approached by a wide flight of three steps and bounded by a low retaining wall. In the centre of this terrace is an inlaid compass emblem composed of a mosaic of Westmorland slate and selected marbles.


In Memory of


Warrant Officer Class II



125 Anti-Tank Regt., Royal Artillery

who died on

Wednesday, 6th January 1943. Age 32.


Grave Reference/ Panel Number: 8. C. 16.

Historical Information: The cemetery is only a short distance from the site of the former "Kanburi" Prisoner-of-War Base Camp, through which passed most of the prisoners on their way to other camps, and is the largest of the three war cemeteries (two in Thailand and one in Burma) on the notorious Burma-Siam railway. It was created by the Army Graves Service who transferred to it all graves, save American graves, from camp burial grounds and solitary sites along the southern half of the railway from Bangkok to Nieke. Most of the base camps and hospitals were in this area and the total number of burials in the cemetery is nearly 7,000. This figure includes 300 men who died during an epidemic at Nieke Camp and were cremated, whose ashes now rest in two graves in the cemetery. Their names are commemorated on Portland stone panels in the shelter pavilion which stands at the end of one of the two main avenues, facing the Cross of Sacrifice at the intersection of the avenues and the Stone of Remembrance at the opposite end. In this register the addition of the words "Spec. Mem." against the number of the grave indicates that the casualty is one of the men whose names appear on the panels. Over the two graves are bronze plaques bearing the inscription "HERE ARE BURIED THE ASHES OF 300 SOLDIERS WHOSE NAMES ARE INSCRIBED IN THE MEMORIAL BUILDING IN THIS CEMETERY". In the entrance building is a bronze memorial tablet recording the names of 11 soldiers of the army of undivided India, buried in Muslim civil cemeteries in Thailand, whose graves are unmaintainable.


In Memory of




Royal Army Ordnance Corps

who died on

Sunday, 17th November 1946. Age 23.

Additional Information: Son of Herbert and Emma Marsh, of West Houghton,


Commemorative Information


Grave Reference/ Panel Number: VI. G. 13.

Historical Information: There are now over 500, 1939-45 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, over 30 are unidentified.


In Memory of


Staff Serjeant


4 Army Field Workshop, Royal Army Ordnance Corps

who died on

Wednesday, 29th May 1940. Age 27.

Additional Information: Son of Albert and Constance Marshall; husband of

Olive Mary Marshall, of Old Heath, Colchester, Essex.

Commemorative Information

Memorial: DUNKIRK MEMORIAL, Nord, France

Grave Reference/ Panel Number: Column 144.






This was sent to us by Colchester historian Joan Soole. She says that Sydney is also commemorated on the Lexden War Memorial, but no information about his parents though. No age is given but as he was a classed a boy he would have been under 18 years of age.

HMS GLORIOUS was in action with Gneisnau and Scharnhorst and was sunk with a loss of over 1,200 lives


In Memory of


Flying Officer


Air Bomber

635 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

who died on

Sunday, 4th June 1944. Age 21.

Additional Information: Son of Thomas and Maude Annie Olyott, of

Colchester, Essex.

Commemorative Information

Cemetery: DOWNHAM MARKET CEMETERY, Norfolk, United Kingdom

Grave Reference/ Panel Number: Row 6. Grave 5.


In Memory of




1st Bn., Suffolk Regiment

who died on

Wednesday, 28th June 1944. Age 30.

Additional Information: Son of Harold Garnier Papillon and Barbara Constance Papillon, of Colchester, Essex.

Cemetery: HERMANVILLE WAR CEMETERY, Calvados, France

Grave Reference/ Panel Number: 1. T. 2.

Historical Information: Hermanville beach was the eastern flank of the disembarkation of the British army in June 1944. There are now over 1,000, 1939-45 war casualties commemorated in this site.


In Memory of




Royal Army Ordnance Corps

who died on

Saturday, 25th September 1943. Age 25.

Additional Information: Son of Charles Thomas Prestney and Laura Mary Prestney, of Colchester, Essex.


Grave Reference/ Panel Number: B1. N. 9.

Historical Information: THANBYUZAYAT WAR CEMETERY Index No BUR. 4 THANBYUZAYAT is a village in Burma, 64 kilometres from Moulmein and 24 kilometres from Amherst. At present the only way in which the cemetery may be visited is by train. This is a long and uncomfortable journey and three days should be allocated. Only those in good health and of robust constitution should attempt the journey. Prior permission is needed to travel to the cemetery which is close to the areas held by rebel forces. Enquiries about the possibility of obtaining permission to visit the cemetery should be made to the nearest Burmese Embassy or a Commonwelath Embassy in Rangoon. THANBYUZAYAT (pronounced Tunboozyat) took its name from the Than Byu Zayat-which may be translated as "white iron" resting place - a hut or rest house built many years before the 1939-1945 War by some devout Buddhist for the accommodation of passing travellers. With a wooden floor and corrugated iron roof, its sides open to the air, the zayat afforded a pleasant resting place for the tired traveller and gained merit (kuthu) for its builder. It was at this point that work had ceased on the railway line which had been intended to link Moulmein with Bangkok in Thailand, and it was the Burmese terminus of the line built during the 1939-1945 War by the Japanese with prisoner-of-war labour to transport supplies and troops through Thailand to their army in Burma. The first group of prisoners of war to work on the railway reached Thanbyuzayat, via Moulmein, at the end of September 1942, and the camp they established became Prisoner-of-War Administration Headquarters and a base camp. in January 1943 a base hospital was organised for the sick, then numbering 600, but in March, the patients were sent to a new "hospital base" a few kilometres away at Retpu. However, in May the Retpu hospital was closed and the patients were transferred back to Thanbyuzayat. Between March and June 1943 the administration headquarters and the hospital, situated close to a railway marshalling yard and workshops, were visited three times by Allied bombers, once in March and twice in June, and numerous casualties among the prisoners of war occurred. The camp was then evacuated and the prisoners, induding the sick, were marched to camps further along the line where camp hospitals were set up. For some time, however, Thanbyuzayat continued to be used as a reception centre for the groups of prisoners arriving at frequent intervals to reinforce the parties working on the line up to the Burma-Thai border. Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery lies at the foot of the hills which separate Burma from Thailand and is one of the three cemeteries in which are buried men who lost their lives in the building of the Burma-Siam railway. It was created by the Army Graves Service for the assembly of graves found in camp burial grounds or isolated sites along the railway track between Moulmein and Nieke, which is just over the border in Thailand. The total number of burials is 3,771 and they are classified on the following page. The special memorials type C, mentioned in the footnotes to the classification, commemorate men known to be buried in certain groups of graves, whose individual graves within the groups cannot be precisely determined. These memorials bear the superscription "Buried near this spot". The civilian, mentioned in footnote C, was a member of the Netherlands East Indies Home Guard. At the end of each entry in the Register, the first letter and number indicates the Plot; the secondletter, the Row; the last number, the Grave. Thus A7. B. 20 means:- Plot A7 Row B Grave 20 The Plot number and Row letters are indicated in the cemetery by pegs at the ends of the rows.


In Memory of




640 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

who died on

Saturday, 25th March 1944. Age 23.

Additional Information: Son of John Henry and Ethel Selina Rayner, of Great

Bromley, Essex.

Commemorative Information


Grave Reference/ Panel Number: 7. B. 3.


In Memory of




1st Bn. The Cambridgeshire Regiment, Suffolk Regiment

who died on

Thursday, 21st September 1944. Age 31.

Additional Information: Son of George William Richer, and of Ada Gertrude Richer, of Colchester, Essex.

Memorial: SINGAPORE MEMORIAL, Singapore

Grave Reference/ Panel Number: Column 60.


In Memory of





Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

who died on

Saturday, 28th August 1943. Age 20.

Additional Information: Son of Harold George and Eva Ruffle, of Colchester.

Commemorative Information

Cemetery: COLCHESTER CEMETERY, Essex, United Kingdom

Grave Reference/ Panel Number: Sec. X. Div. 14. Grave 32.

Alec Joseph Ruffle Colchester Cemetery (Ref. Sec. X Div. 14 Grave 32)


 The following information was provided in 2023 via a Colchester Royal Grammar School project that researched ex-pupils of the school.

Alec Joseph Ruffle was born on 29th April 1923, the son of Harold George and Eva Ruffle, nee Sage. He was the eldest of three sons, his brothers, Norman and Warwick, being born in 1924 and 1927 respectively. The family lived at 11 Lion Walk, Colchester, where his father worked as the caretaker of Lion Walk Baptist Church. Alec attended St John's Green Primary School before coming to CRGS in September 1934 on a scholarship from Essex County Council. While at CRGS he played rugby for the 1st XV and cricket for the 2nd XI. He was also a good swimmer. He left in December 1939 after passing his Cambridge School Certificate.

Alec then found a job with the Post Office, in the Telephone Engineering Department. It was during this work that he experienced the blitzs in both London and Birmingham. This prompted him to volunteer for the RAF in 1941. He then trained in Canada before returning to England as a sergeant-pilot. Unfortunately, however, Alec was killed on 28th August 1943 in a training flight, when the Anson EF952 which he was piloting crashed on its approach to landing at Llandwrog RAF base in North Wales. This was an RAF Bomber Command airfield, used for training gunners, radio operators and navigators. Of the crew of five, both Alec and a trainee Air Bomber were killed, while a trainee Navigator and two Wireless Operators/Air Gunners, one of whom was under training, were injured. Alec's body was brought back to Colchester for burial.

 His brother Norman also served in the RAF and survived the war. His other brother, Warwick, was in the Home Guard. They died in 1996 and 2001 respectively.



In Memory of




General List

who died on

Saturday, 1st June 1940. Age 45.

Additional Information: Son of William George and Annie Smellie; husband of

Elizabeth Staples Smellie, of Lexden, Essex. Plot 2 (1939/45).

Commemorative Information


Grave Reference/ Panel Number: Row B. Grave 49.

 Historical Information: The Communal Cemetery was used in the autumn of 1917 by units of the XV Corps and to a small extent before and after that time. There are now over 30, 1914-18 and nearly 100, 1939-45 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, over 30 from the 1939-45 War are unidentified.



Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Flight Lieutenant (Pilot)

Regiment/Service: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Unit Text: 10 Sqdn.

Age: 26

Date of Death: 18/12/1944

Service No: 39695

Additional information: Son of John Alfred and Essylt Gladys Tatam; husband of Kathleen Ethel Tatam, of Barnwell, Northamptonshire. A.M.I. Mech. E.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: VIII. B. 9.


Further details: I have been researching a WW2 crash that involved a N. C. Tatum (RAF). He was 2nd pilot on board Halifax LV818 ZA-F that came down December 18th 1944. It was an unfortunate accident when his aircraft collided with Halifax NP 699-QO-O. Another 2 aircraft were probably caught up in the collision and they all crashed, near the French/Belgian border. There were only 2 survivors. The family of Tatam would have no knowledge of what happened probably believing they were shot down. Any help would be most appreciated. I would very much like to contact any remaining relatives who may be interested in what happened. Or ring me 01934 633305. Leslie Green.


In Memory of




Royal Artillery

attd. 1 H.A.A. Regt.,, Royal Indian Artillery

who died on

Friday, 13th February 1942. Age 33.

Additional Information: Son of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Ebenezer Totham; husband

of Grace Doris Totham, of Lexden, Colchester, Essex.

Commemorative Information

Memorial: SINGAPORE MEMORIAL, Singapore

Grave Reference/ Panel Number: Column 6.


In Memory of


Able Seaman


H.M.S. Bullen, Royal Navy

who died on

Wednesday, 6th December 1944. Age 18.

Additional Information: Son of Jessie Watsham, of Colchester, Essex.

Cemetery: LYNESS ROYAL NAVAL CEMETERY, Orkney, United Kingdom

Grave Reference/ Panel Number: Plot P. Row 4. Grave 30.

 Historical Information: The cemetery was begun in 1915 when Scapa Flow was the base of the Grand Fleet. Lyness remained as a Royal Naval base until July 1946. The cemetery therefore contains both 1914-18 and 1939-1945 War graves. There are over 450 1914-18 War Graves, including those of 14 sailors of the German Navy (the High Seas Fleet was interned at Scapa Flow after the Armistice). Of the British graves, over 100 of the Royal Navy and one of a Marine are unnamed; the majority of these are the graves of men of "Hampshire," "Vanguard," "Narborough" and "Opal." The first burials of the 1939-45 War were 26 men from H.M.S. Royal Oak, which was sunk off Longhope in Scapa Flow by a German U-boat on October 14th, 1939. The total number of 1939-45 War graves is over 200. A War Cross is erected in the middle of the cemetery, facing the entrance.




but not shown on our War Memorial


Name: Benjamin Joseph BARTON

Sgt(W.Op/Air Gnr)

199 Squadron RAFVR

Age 23

Died 28/08/1943

Service Number 1382842

Husband of Beryl Barton, of Colchester Essex

Durnbach War Cemetery

(This information discovered by Barry Dunning email 140907)


Colin Trevor PIERPOINT

A child who died, aged 10 years, on 20th December 1943 in Colchester.

At long last, his story is given here, thanks to the long remembered incident that tragically took his young life.

Colin lived on Balkerne Hill, Colchester.

On the 20th December 1943, with Colin, we decided to watch the army manoeuvres taking place in Colchester, on what we called the Hilly Fields, starting at the end of Popes Lane, as you face north. On the right St. Marys Hospital then, I think, a work house; on the left a stand alone house; as you descended the hill a small wooded area on the left was the exit point for the Bren Gun carriers.

We decided not to climb a tree either side of the gap in the fence made by the gun-carrier, as there were only two more to exit. So we stood close to the gap in the fence. Colin being on the right side of me, Don Martin of Balkerne Lane.

The second from last carrier slid left of the track, hitting the fence, forcing Colin and me to the ground and the track of the carrier passing over his body. I do believe that he died later that day.

I remember Colin being lifted up first and seeing his outline in the mud, me still trapped in the fence by my shoes. It took time for me to be released, by the soldiers having to take off my shoe.

I attended the inquest as a witness, but have found no reference to the accident in the library, or the papers of the day, or his name in the list of 1939 - 45 heroes on which we believed he should belong.

It has been suggested that, as it was war time and the incident involved the army causing a civilian casualty; it ended up on the secret list. If so, is there a 50 year limitation to Colin’s name?

Colin is buried in the Mersea road cemetery Colchester, plot DD 320. [He has no gravestone. His grave was unpurchased.]

Thank you for giving me this opportunity to tell my story, Donald Martin.

PS I was born in Balkerne Lane in 1932, married 1953 to Jeannie Parker, at St. Marys at the Wall and now (Oct 2008) living in New Zealand.


Initials: J

Nationality: United Kingdom

Rank: Corporal

Regiment: Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Age: 27

Date of Death: 07/11/1944

Service No: 904278

Additional information: Husband of Vera M. Sweeney, of Colchester, Essex. :.

Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead

Grave/Memorial Reference: Row G. Grave 1.



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