These notes discuss some of the wartime activities of the men and women of Trumpington during the Second World War, 1939-1945. The notes were prepared in early 2019, in anticipation of the 80th anniversary of the start of the War, with additional updates in December 2019.
United Kingdom declared war on Germany on 3 September 1939.
Germany surrendered on 7 May 1945. Japan surrendered on 14 August 1945.
These notes illustrate some of the wartime activities (military, civic and domestic) of men and women of Trumpington during the Second World War, 1939-1945. The items have been copied in the main from local Cambridge newspapers, such as ‘Independent Press and Chronicle’ [I.P. &C.], and the monthly Trumpington parish magazine, ‘Trumpington Magazine’ [T.M.].
The accompanying spreadsheet of Trumpington Men and Women and World War 2 is an alphabetical list of Trumpington related people with information such as whether they had volunteered for a position such as an air raid warden, ambulance driver, Women’s Voluntary Service or a post in the Auxiliary Fire Service or if they held a military position in one of H.M. Forces with details of which service plus rank where known. The sources of this information are tabulated. Further information about the spreadsheet is at the end of the text.
References to photographs of Trumpington people and local WW2 events are given in the text notes and also in the spreadsheet. There is a separate page with the WW2 photographs and it is suggested this is opened alongside this page.
Military Training Act 1939
26 May 1939. Limited conscription – single men aged between 20 and 22 – required men to undertake six months’ military training to be transferred then to the Reserve. Some 240,000 registered for service.
National Service (Armed Forces) Act 1939
3 September 1939. Full conscription – all males aged between 18 and 41 who were residents in the UK. See Parliament.
T.M. December 1939
On Active Service
We print below a list of men of the parish who are on Active Service, so far as we know. The Vicar would be grateful if he could be informed of any errors or omissions in it.
Lieut. Herbert Mayow Adams, N.D.C., Capt. Edward Bevan, R.A.M.C., Hugh Burbridge, Capt. Claude de B. Chepmell, R.E., Donald Darling, R.A.M.C., Sergt. John Darling, R.A.M.C., Cyril Gathercole, R.A.F., Stanley Goodwin, R.E., Ronald Haslop, R.A.F., William Hunt, R.E., Henry William Jackson, R.A.S.C., Sergt. Ronald Kitson, Cambs. Regt., Alfred Leach, R.N., Thomas Sidney Mansfield, R.A.M.C., Alfred Mayle, Cambs. Regt., Albert George Medhurst, R.A.M.C., Sidney George Moore, Royal Norfolk Regt., William Mortimer, Coldstream Guards, Robert Mynott, R.A.F., 2nd. Lieut. Jeremy Pemberton, Royal Corps Signals, Charles Prime, R.A., Sidney Price, R.A.M.C., Douglas Reynolds, N.D.C., George Douglas Reynolds, R.A.F., John Tudor Reynolds, R.A.F., Frederick George Smith, Cambs Regt., Denzil Wilson, R.A.F. 
An afternoon meeting was held in the Village Hall, on Thursday, Nov. 2nd, Mrs Peck in the Chair.
During the business it was proposed, seconded and carried, that “Now that the Hall was sufficiently darkened, subsequent meetings should be held in the evening and afternoon alternately; at least through the dark months.” This, it was hoped would make it possible for the younger members, who are occupied in the afternoons, to come again.
Mrs Kempthorne explained the “Comforts for the Troops” scheme and is kindly allowing her house to be the Depot for wool for this purpose. The wool can be had free, though donations towards the cost of it are very welcome, and all “comforts” knitted are sent to men from this County in whatever unit they may be serving.
T.M. February 1940
Comforts for the Men
Trumpington Knitters have done splendid service for the comfort of Cambridgeshire men serving in the three Forces. They have sent in up to date: 50 helmets, 15 scarves, 16 pairs of mittens, 4 pairs of gloves, 1 pair of socks, 1 pair of cuffs.
T.M. March 1940
Comforts for the Cambridgeshires
We are asked to announce that the Whist Drive for the above on Feb 9th, organised by the First Aid Post, made a profit of £6 6s, which will be spent on parcels for the Trumpington men in the Forces. The organisers wish to thank all those who helped by donations and otherwise to achieve this result.
The evening of February 1st was very cold – so the monthly meeting was a somewhat informal one, as the Chair – occupied by Mrs Pemberton – betook itself nearer the fire, and the members sat comfortably and warmly in a long semi-circle round it.
During the business a very grateful and appreciative letter was read from the Corporal in charge of the Searchlight Post in … Road. He said that the gift by the W.I. of a good lamp for their hut had made all the difference to them, and that they now looked forward to their evenings instead of dreading them. They were also very grateful for the mending done for them, and for the supply of hot drinks in the evenings.
Dunkirk evacuation, between 26 May and 4 June 1940
Reginald Ernest Clarke, R.A.S.C., of 51 Shelford Road, Trumpington, was one of the 338,226 troops evacuated from Dunkirk. (Personal communication)
T.M. July 1940
A special Committee of the British Legion is now administering this, and it is hoped that information may be given to the Vicar or some other member of the Committee about men in hospital to whom a parcel may be sent, or their relations helped if necessary to visit them. The Hon. Secretaries and Treasurers are Messrs. C. Stubbings and E.F. Andrews, Bishop Road.
J.T. Murray and A.E. Carter, who were wounded, and R. Kitson and R. Peachey, sick, are all we understand going on well. R. Haslop got home with a slight wound after a marvellous escape when his transport was blown up in the Bay of Biscay.
Women’s Voluntary Service
The central office of the W.V.S. have appointed “enquiry officers” in various parts of the town, who can give information on various matters such as help for dependents of serving men, centres for voluntary work of all kinds, salvage, comforts for troops, and many other things. The enquiry officer for Trumpington is Mrs Peck, Friarswood, Long Road, and the office is open between 9-10 a.m. and 7.30-8.30 p.m.
Mrs Vulliamy spoke on A.R.P. for Animals, usually known as “Narpac” [National Air Raid Precautions Animals Committee] – chiefly in connection with dogs and cats. Any owner can apply for a collar and registration number from their nearest “Guard”. These are free, but donations are welcomed. Any animal wearing these, if found wandering or injured, can be identified. After the All Clear such animals will be taken by big boys with bicycles to one of the Animal First Aid Stations, where it will be suitably dealt with and its owner informed. … For Trumpington the nearest “Guard” is Mr Thompson, 20 Barrow Road.
Miss Warrington kindly came and spoke on the proposed setting up of Co-operative Jam centres, under the ruling and guidance of the Ministry of Agriculture; probably one will be set up in Trumpington.
T.M. August 1940
… Mrs Humphrey talking on War Time Cookery.
T.M. September 1940
In view of the Censorship we record in the vaguest possible terms that there are some new people in the parish. We congratulate the British Legion and the Women’s Institute on so promptly organising a Canteen for them at the Village Hall.
T.M. October 1940
Mrs Wright will be glad to welcome at the Vicarage on Tuesday at 2.30 p.m., beginning on October 8th, all who would like to come and knit for the Forces…Wool will be provided.
We are thankful to be able to record that Gunner Arthur King, who had been missing for some months, is safe as a prisoner in Germany. J.T. Murray, who was severely wounded, is home on leave, convalescent. So far as we know there have been no other casualties amongst the Trumpington men (a list of whom is in the Church Porch and in the Roll of Honour on the west wall, near the font). The Vicar would be most grateful for any information enabling him to correct errors or omissions.
After seven weeks of daily activity the Canteen run by the British Legion Social Club and the Women’s Institute has come to an end. Those for whom it was established having “folded their tents like the Arabs and silently stolen away”. The officers and men expressed very warmly their gratitude and appreciation and said it had added greatly to the pleasure of their time here.
I.P.&C. Friday 18 October 1940, p.14
Remarkable Escapes in East Anglian Night Raid
See Photo ‘Damaged Houses [17 and 19 Barrow Road] 1940’
There was only one casualty – unfortunately fatal – when these two houses were wrecked by a bomb which fell in front of them on Tuesday night. Death occurred in the house on the right from which the wife of deceased escaped.
During raids in East Anglia on Tuesday night a heavy high explosive bomb landed immediately in front of two houses in a residential part of a town. Both houses were wrecked and fire broke out.
The occupant of one, a company manager, who was in the front of the house was killed instantly. His wife, who was in the kitchen at the rear, escaped injury. Their children had been evacuated.
The headmaster of a well-known public school and his wife, who live in the other house, were not hurt.
Some half a dozen other houses in the road were damaged and many windows were blown in.
I.P.&C. Friday 18 October 1940, p.15
Death of Mr G.A. Crowson. Electric Supply Manager. Popular with Staff
See Photo ‘Portrait 1940’
We regret to announce the death, which occurred suddenly, of Mr G.A. Crowson, of 19 Barrow Road, manager and engineer of the Cambridge Electric Supply Co. Mr Crowson served throughout the last war, and after the war, was engaged with several of the associated undertakings of Messrs Edmundsons Electricity Corporation, Ltd. For eight years he served with the Wessex Electricity Company at Newbury, before being appointed in Cambridge in January, 1938. Mr Crowson was also joint secretary of the Cambridge Rotary Club, and only recently gave an excellent address on the development of electricity. He will be remembered for the keen interest he took in the staff, with whom he was extremely popular. Mr Crowson, whose wife survives him, was father of two children, a boy and a girl, who were evacuated to Montreal, Canada, some months ago.
Civilian War Dead Roll of Honour. St. George’s Chapel In Westminster Abbey
Location: England, London
Crowson, George Albert, Died 15/10/1940, Aged 42, Civilian War Dead
A.M.I.E.E.; of 19 Barrow Road. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert Crowson, of Wayside, Streatley- on-Thames, Berkshire; husband of Christine Mary Crowson. Died at 19 Barrow Road.
Of the many civilians of the Commonwealth whose deaths were due to enemy action in the 1939- 1945 War, the names of more than 67,000 are commemorated in the Civilian War Dead Roll of Honour, located near St. George’s Chapel in Westminster Abbey, London.
I.P.&C. Friday 25 October 1940, p.7
The late Mr G.A. Crowson. Holy Trinity Memorial Service
TM November 1940
We are only allowed to express in general terms our sincere sympathy to the widow of one of our parishioners in her sudden loss, and also to a neighbouring family, well-known to many of our people, who have been made homeless. It is a matter for thankfulness that the loss both in human life and in property was no greater. May we also say how splendidly the civil defence and other services did their work.
[This item was referring to the German air raid of 15 October 1940 on Cambridge when a single bomb fell on Barrow Road. George Albert Crowson, aged 42, of 19 Barrow Road was killed and the property of 17 Barrow Road, the home of Hubert Arthur Wootton, headmaster of Perse School, was badly damaged.]
I.P.&C. Friday 15 November 1940, p.17
War-time Day of Remembrance
The “Stone Bridge” Company of the Home Guard marched to Trumpington parish church on Sunday morning and attended the service of remembrance conducted by the Vicar (Rev. A.B. Wright). The lessons were read by members of the Company.
T.M. December 1940
Women’s Institute Jam Centre
The Trumpington Women’s Institute elected a Jam Committee in June under the Ministry of Agriculture’s scheme for the preservation of surplus fruit. Special permits for sugar for this purpose were granted. About 30 members gave their services free, and work began on July 2nd in Mrs Pemberton’s kitchen. Jam pots were collected, washed and sterilized, and fruit was bought from members and the public in Harston, Hauxton and Trumpington.
Gooseberry Jam and Red Currant Jelly were made first, followed by Early Rivers Plum, Greengage, Victoria Plum, Damsons, Crab Apple Jelly, Blackberry and Apple, and Quince Jelly. About 2,000 lbs. have been made, all from fruit which otherwise would have been wasted.
These Jams and Jellies are now on sale at the following places: Mrs Peck, Friarswood, Long Road; Mrs Albert Kitson, The Lodge, Trumpington Hall, and from Mrs Pemberton. Prices on application, and a reduction for a quantity bought at a time.
Will everyone please save their empty Jam Pots, as they will be again needed next Summer for the preservation of food.
I.P.&C. 27 December 1940, p.10
Trumpington First-Aid Post
Opening by the Mayor
Trumpington first aid post (No.7) was opened at Anstey Hall on Saturday by the Mayor (Ald. E. O. Brown), who was accompanied by Mrs Brown.
Among those who accepted invitations to be present were: …
Among members of the staff who were present at the opening were Mrs Palmer (nurse in charge of the ambulance unit), Mrs A.C. Bartlett (ambulance section leader) and Mr A.P. Sizer (first aid party section leader).
The Mayor and Mayoress and guests were welcomed by Dr Nourse.
The Mayor congratulated those responsible for the acquisition and equipping of a post which seemed to him “the height of perfection”.
“We hope,” he said, “that your experience may never be necessary, but it is a relief to know that you are prepared for whatever may happen.”
“One of my ambitions is to visit every A.R.P. and first aid post in Cambridge, and so I regard this as an afternoon well spent. I only hope that the others are up to the standard of this one.” he said.
Dr Smyth, who thanked the Mayor for declaring the post open, said that they had been trying very hard for some time to get accommodation for the post at Anstey Hall, but one thing after another occurred to prevent them leaving the school where their headquarters were. The fact that they were at last established in such fine premises was not a little due to the efforts of Mrs Hartree.
Tea – the gift of an anonymous donor – was served during the afternoon.
Among the vans at the disposal of the post are two given by the American Ambulance, Great Britain. A driver is on duty day and night, and members of the first aid party sleep at the post in order to guarantee a 24 hour’s service. There is a mobile unit and ambulance at the post, a model surgery and equipment room, and three other rooms, all of which are centrally heated.
See Photo ‘First Aid Post Opening 1940’
Civil Defence Service
See separate page with photograph of a group of Civil Defence Service men and women in the courtyard in front of the entrance to Anstey Hall, c. 1941.
I.P.&C. 24 January 1941, p.7
Cambridgeshire Prisoners of War – included in list of men:
King, Gnr. A.F. Stalag IXB [Bad Orb, approx.. 30 miles NW of Frankfurt, Germany]; parents Tally Ho, Trumpington
UK, Allied Prisoners of War, 1939-1945: possible record of Arthur Frank King at a later PoW camp
A F King, Gunner, Army Number:895890, Royal Artillery, POW Number:
3131, Camp Type:Stalag, Camp Number:344, Camp Location:Lambinowice, Poland
2019 update Arthur Frank King
Gunner A. F. King, Service No. 895890, of 97th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, was reported as missing on 12 June 1940 on Casualty List No. 258. [Source: FindMyPast. Expeditionary Forces, France, Casualty List No. 258, p.4
T.M. February 1941
Roll of Honour
We offer the sincere sympathy of our readers to Mrs Creek on the loss of her husband, Lieut. Jack Neville Creek, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, killed in action at Bardia on December 26th.
Christmas Parcels for Serving Men
The joint committee, comprising representatives of the British Legion, First Aid Post and the Women’s Institute, under the chairmanship of Mr W.D.F. Davey, with Mr E.F. Andrews as hon. secretary and Mr C. Stubbings as hon. treasurer, report a successful conclusion to their efforts to provide a Christmas parcel to each serving member of H.M. Forces from the parish. … it is expected that the money raised will meet all demands.
Copies of a few letters of appreciation from Trumpington men serving in H.M. Forces:-
“Please allow me to express my appreciation for the very generous parcel which I received last week. I am sure that the work of the distribution of these parcels has given both you and your fellow workers a very busy time, but I feel that you had realised how much the receipt of a parcel means to us who are far away from the ones and parish which mean so much to us. I personally have only been one of you for a short time but I can assure you that when this business is over and God being willing I am fit and well I will only be too glad to be of assistance in any way that I can to the Parish of which I am proud to be an inhabitant.”
“Please accept my thanks for the parcel of good things which has been sent to me by the people of Trumpington. I can assure you I very much appreciate the generosity and kindness of the people there and shall be glad if you will convey my thanks to all concerned.”
“I wish you to convey my heartiest thanks for the excellent parcel which I received yesterday. I am grateful for the kindness which you have shown me since the day I left Trumpington. I hope the day is not far distant when I shall return to you all again. I think that if all the lads in the Forces are as lucky as I am there wouldn’t be much grumbling. Wishing you all a Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Thanking you again one and all.”
“I wish to thank you for the very nice parcel I received and your kindness for thinking of me whilst serving in H.M. Forces. I have had a very happy Christmas here in Thurso but I think I would rather have spent it at home. Perhaps it won’t be so long, let’s hope so anyway. I think this is about all there is to say, and thank you all once more for the parcel.”
Commonwealth War Graves Commission: Jack Neville Creek
Lieutenant Creek, Jack Neville, Service Number 169684, Died 26/12/1940, Aged 38, 1st Bn. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, Son of Charles David and Ellen Elizabeth Creek; husband of Fannie Monica Creek, of [Allendale, Bishop’s Road,] Trumpington, Cambridge. Buried at Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery, Egypt, 8. D. 8., Headstone Inscription “His heart for his home, his life for his country, his soul for God”
See Photos ‘Portrait 1940’ and ‘Creek, Jack Neville, Initial Grave 1940’
T.M. March 1941
The meeting on February 6th was held in the afternoon, and there was a good attendance. A lecture by Mr Robinson on Gardening in War Time was most practical and helpful – and his injunctions to Dig, and Hoe, and Thin, were duly taken to heart and it was obvious by the many questions asked at the end of his talk how interested members were and how many are determined that their gardens shall produce more this year than ever before.
Rest and Feeding Centres
The Cambridge Borough A.R.P. Committee has decided to establish Rest and Feeding Centres in various parts of the town to function in the event of a severe enemy aerial attack.
Trumpington School is scheduled as a Rest Centre, and the Village Hall as a Feeding Centre.
Care for the homeless must be the first consideration and no doubt many people will desire to assist in some tangible manner.
The following articles are urgently required:- Blankets, mattresses, camp beds, deck chairs, folding chairs, cushions, pillows, screens, zinc baths, and odd cups, mugs and spoons.
Should anyone feel disposed to lend or give any of the above, they will be gratefully received at Trumpington School.
Articles on loan should have the owner’s name and address securely attached, and will be sent for if notification is given to Mr Robinson at the School, who is Superintendent of the Rest and Feeding Centre at Trumpington.
Persons willing to assist should the occasion arise are kindly requested to communicate with Mr Robinson.
T.M. May 1941
The twenty-first annual meeting was held in the Village Hall on April 3rd, and the minutes of the last annual meeting were read.
After the formal business and before the voting for the new Officers and Committee, the meeting heard with the very greatest regret from Mrs Pemberton that she did not feel able to stand again as President, or to serve on the Committee, although she hoped always to be able to attend the monthly meetings. The reason for her decision was recent ill-health, and the very large amount of work entailed by her position as Commandant of the Red Cross Hospital now established at Trumpington Hall.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission: Stanley G. Ash
Steward Ash, Stanley G., Service Number P/SR56933, Died 05/05/1941, Aged 22, H.M.S. La Malouine, Royal Navy, Son of Florence Hatch, of [166 Shelford Road,] Trumpington, Cambridge. Buried at Belfast City Cemetery, Glenalina Extn. Sec. B.S. Grave 2., Headstone Inscription “Your memory will always live in our hearts. Mother and his two sisters Ann and Elsie”
The Second World War in Northern Ireland: Stanley G. Ash
In 1941 H.M.S. La Malouine, a Flower-class corvette, was a member of the 2nd Escort Group operating from Northern Ireland. On the night of 4th/5th May 1941 the ship was damaged by a near-miss bomb during a Luftwaffe air raid on Belfast and two members of the crew were killed, Ordinary Seaman James Taylor, aged 23, of Newfoundland, and Steward Stanley G. Ash, aged 22, of Trumpington.
See Photo ‘Ash, Stanley G., Headstone 1941’
Commonwealth War Graves Commission: John Devitt Stringfellow Pendlebury
Captain Pendlebury, John Devitt Stringfellow, Service Number 115317, Died 22/05/1941, Aged 36, General List, Son of Herbert Stringfellow Pendlebury and Lilian Dorothea Pendlebury; husband of Hilda Winifred Pendlebury, of Cambridge. M.A. (Cantab.): Archaeologist. Buried at Suda Bay War Cemetery, Greece, Grave 10. E. 13., Headstone Inscription “He has outsoared the shadow of our night” – The inscription is a quote from the 352nd line of Adonaïs: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats by Percy Bysshe Shelley.
2019 Updated Biographical Information – John Devitt Stringfellow Pendlebury
John Devitt Stringfellow Pendlebury was born in London in 1904 and his parents were Herbert Stringfellow Pendlebury and Lilian Dorothea Pendlebury. There are letters in the John Pendlebury Family Papers Archive at the British School at Athens sent home from John in 1923, while visiting archaeological sites in Greece during his Easter holidays of his final year at Winchester College. He returned to Greece after graduating in archaeology at Cambridge University in 1927. He was initially based at the British School at Athens and it was there that he met Hilda White, a keen archaeology student on sabbatical from school teaching. They married in 1928 and pursued their interests in Greece and particularly in Crete. During the war Hilda Pendlebury and their children, David and Joan, resided at 31 Barrow Road, Trumpington. In January 1940 John was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant on the General List and in June 1940 he was appointed Vice-Consul at Candia [the Venetian name for Heraklion]. He worked for British Intelligence, a Captain in Special Operations Executive Force 133 in the Aegean, as he was an expert on the island of Crete and its people. Germany began an airborne invasion of Crete on the morning of 20 May 1941 and John Pendlebury was killed two days later. It took time for Hilda to clarify the facts behind her husband’s death. The archive contained details that she gathered from sources including local Cretans, which indicated that on 21 May he had been taken prisoner and placed in a local house for treatment, having been wounded in battle outside Canea Gate in Heraklion. However the next day more Germans arrived, they took him outside the house and shot him. His final burial, after two previous sites, was at Suda Bay War Cemetery, Greece, Grave 10. E. 13., Headstone Inscription “He has outsoared the shadow of our night” – The inscription is a quote from the 352nd line of Adonaïs: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats by Percy Bysshe Shelley. John Pendlebury has two memorials in Trumpington: his name engraved on the village war memorial and a separate memorial on the reverse of the wooden sign at the entrance to Trumpington Parish Churchyard to Captain John Pendlebury (“sometime scholar of Pembroke College, Cambridge. Killed in action in Crete May 1941”) and his wife, Hilda Winifred Pendlebury, who died on 5 March 1970.
London Gazette. Commissioned. 2nd Lt . General List. 19 January 1940 John Devitt Stringfellow Pendlebury (1153I7).
London Gazette. Foreign Office, June 12, 1940. The King has been graciously pleased to appoint: — John Devitt Stringfellow Pendlebury, Esquire, to be His Majesty’s Vice-Consul at Candia
The John Pendlebury Family Papers Archive Project at the British School at Athens
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
See Photo ‘Portrait 1941’ and ‘Memorial 1941’.
Trumpington Village Hall, 19 May 1941
There were lighter moments in Trumpington, for example, when the residents were offered the opportunity to “Come on and enjoy yourselves”. Via a poster, the people of Trumpington were invited to attend an event at the Village Hall to “Dance to the Swing of the Anstey Rhythm Revellers” on Saturday 19 May 1941, 7.30 – 11.30 p.m., tickets 1/-, refreshments available. Mr Percy Seeby was the source of this original poster. In 1941 he was 17 years old, lived in Church Lane, and played the saxophone. Percy later became leader of the Ambassador Dance Band. This would have been one of the Saturday night hops held in the Village Hall through the War [Source: Audrey King, My Recollections of Trumpington , September 2015]. 19 year old Tony Osborne of Alpha Terrace, a piano-accordionist and trumpet player may have also been among the musicians performing locally. Tony joined the RAF with his trumpet in 1942.
See Photo ‘Poster 1941’.
See Osborne obituary later on this page, Sydney Morning Herald, 2009.
T.M. June 1941
Street Savings Group
In connection with the National Savings Campaign and at the request of the Mayor, a public meeting was held in the Village Hall on Friday, May 16th, Alderman Peck being in the chair, supported by Councillors Mrs Cooke, Mrs Hartree and Mr Dilley.
Mr Gilchrist (late postmaster of Cambridge) in the absence of Major Kinghan, M.C., the regional Commissioner, explained the scheme to those present, who although small in number elected a secretary and committee to get the scheme working. This will be explained in a letter which is being sent to every household, and which should be in your hands before you read this!
It is very much hoped that everyone will save as much as they possibly can, even if it is only in pennies. Backed by a band of willing collectors (sellers of savings stamps) I hope to make the scheme a particular success in our part of Trumpington Ward. W.H. Pamplin, Hon. Sec.
I.P.&C. 5 September 1941, p.6
Mayor sets Trumpington Target. Opening of Savings Drive.
Trumpington began its savings week ‘drive’ on Monday with a grand procession of war services and a parade in the recreation ground, at which the Mayor (Mr E.O. Brown) and Mr Saville Peck spoke on the need for increased saving through the street groups.
Weapons of Defeat
The procession met in the recreation ground and paraded the village with the colours flying and band playing. On their return they were addressed by Mr Peck, who said that £1,600 had already been subscribed through the street savings groups. There were 450 members who provided a weekly income of £43. “We are opposed by a brave, resolute, efficient if cruel and ruthless enemy,” he said. “The only way to defeat him is to provide an overwhelming number of weapons of war.” … Mr Brown, who said that in seven weeks Trumpington had collected £248, suggested that they might take for their target the sum of £6,000.
The procession, whose marching was made easy by the martial airs played by the Home Guard Band, under Bandmaster W. Cant, was led by the British Legion Colour Parties, the Home Guard, Home Nursing Division, Red Cross Society and Wardens were well represented. Members of the Mothers’ Union, Women’s Institute, Guides and Brownies were also parading in the procession. The Forces were represented by an anti-tank gun and crew and Bren gun carrier and crew. The Queen’s Messenger food vans and water tank, ambulances, first aid units and pumps brought up the rear of the procession.
The procession and parade were arranged by the savings group secretary and organiser, Mr W. H. Pamplin. The marshall was Regimental Sergt.- Major Oxley.
I.P.&C. 12 September 1941, p.11
Going ‘Big Guns’. Well Earned Trumpeting at Trumpington
“Trumpington may blow its own trumpet” said Major R.W. Kinghan, the Regional Commissioner for National Savings on Friday night.
He was speaking at a concert by Miss Alice Reynolds and her pupils in connection with Trumpington’s great effort for a war savings drive. The event which took place at Trumpington Institute was attended by one of the largest audiences ever seen there, and every seat was occupied, even window sills being used for that purpose.
Two instead of one?
Major E. Saville Peck, who is chairman of the committee which organised the week’s events, was able to announce that the ward had aimed at raising £1,500 for the purchase of a heavy anti- tank gun. Up to date they had raised £2,600 and it was hoped that the final result would be £3,000, the price of two heavy guns.
Major Kinghan told the audience that Trumpington was leading the way in Cambridge and could well blow its own trumpet, though the district must not be content to rest on its laurels. Savings were doing well all over the country, and last week had raised ten millions, making a total of 940 millions in small savings. The Prime Minister had asked for the tools and these savings provided the tools. They provided the aeroplanes which went out each night. Sometimes they would read that so many failed to return. These lads were giving everything, while the investors were only being asked to lend. The money they lent would be of the utmost value to them at the end of the war.
Details of the concert programme …
I.P.&C. Weekly News 26 September 1941
Trumpington. Schoolboys’ Enterprise.
Five schoolboys – Terrain [Terence] Howe, Len Newell, Eddie Newell, Peter Ryder and Maurice Rayner – staged an exhibition of model planes on the roadside last Saturday and Sunday afternoons, and, as a result of passers-by appreciation, a cheque for £2 has been sent to Lord Beaverbrook towards a “Spitfire”. The amount was made up as follows: 1 half-crown, 4 shillings, 24 sixpences, 6 threepenny pieces, 194 pennies, 89 half-pennies, and 6 farthings. The model planes, all of which were made by the boys, represented British, American and German aircraft, each was named, viz Spitfire, Hurricane, Whirlwind, Beau-fighter, Grumman Skyrocket, Dornier 215, Junkers 90, Henschel 123. A model British and German tank was also included in the exhibition.
T.M. October 1941
It is impossible to hold the usual working parties owing to the rationing of materials. Mrs Wright can get wool from the W.V.S. for making comforts for the Forces, and will be glad to see anyone who would like to knit for this object at the Vicarage, on Tuesday, October 7th, at 3 p. m. to talk over the matter. Experienced knitters only.
T.M. November 1941
Street Savings Group
At a meeting of collectors and others held in the Village Hall on 15th October, the Chairman (Alderman E.S. Peck) congratulated the collectors for their effort, and thanked them for the good work they are doing, and also the members for their ready response to the appeal to increase their savings. The membership of the group is now 480. The Mayor and Mr Gilchrist, representing the Cambridge Savings Committee, both added their appreciation for the example Trumpington is setting to other groups. …
T.M. December 1941
Last year’s record of nearly £70 was handsomely exceeded over £100 being collected, including the offerings in Church on the previous Sunday. Considering all the other appeals that are being made this speaks well for the generosity of the people of Trumpington and the energy of the collectors.
On Active Service
Christmas parcels are being sent to all men of the parish through the British Legion Committee. Those for abroad have already gone. A list is printed below, and it is requested that any omissions may be at once notified to one of the following:- Mr Davey, 100 Shelford Road; Mr Andrews, 32 Bishops Road; Mr Freestone, 34 Alpha Terrace: Mr A.E. Darling, Church Lane, or the Vicar.
It should be noted that we have not included men who have left the parish and have homes elsewhere. On the other hand we include the husbands of those who have made a temporary home here.
The Committee wish to thank all who have helped them in their efforts to raise the necessary funds.
Donald Askin, J.A. Barrows, H. Baxter, V.T. Boyle, Hugh Burbridge, Victor Chapman, Norman Chivley, A.E. Carter, Jack Carter, Walter Chamberlain, H.F. Chamberlain, W.J. Collins, N.A. Chapman, Arthur Deverell, Sergt. John Darling, Keith Davey, A. Dye, Sergt. Deacon, Pilot Officer J.G.B. Draper, A. Fairweather, Cyril Gathercole, Albert Griffiths, Stanley Goodwin, Basil Hammond, Ronald Haslop, W. Hunt, H.G. Hancock, H.W. Jackson, A. King (prisoner), Ronald Kitson, W.G. Kyte, Basil Laurie, Alfred Leach, J.W. Martin, C.W. Mitchell, J.T. Murray, Bob Mynott, T.S. Mansfield, Sidney Mascall, Alfred Mayle, Albert George Medhurst, S. G. Moore, W. Mortimer, Eric Marshall, Pilot Officer Nadal, Reg. Nightingale, Harold Newell, Ted Osborne, Capt. W.T. Palmer, Lieut. Jeremy Pemberton, Charles Pain, Jack Plummer, William Price, Sidney Price, Charles Prime, George Reynolds, John Reynolds, Eric Richardson, Edgar Spivey, Athelstan Shaw, Albert Seekings, Charles Seekings, Reg. Sheldrick, Ernest Scrivener, Robert Smith, F.G. Smith, Sid. Robert Starr, S.M. Tincknell, Pilot Officer Terry (prisoner), W.F. Upchurch, William Wolfe, M. Wilkerson, D. Wilson, H. Wilson, G. Wilson, Chris. Wilson, Ernest Wilson, Sidney White, Frederick Wilkin. 
National Service Act (No 2) 1941
December 1941 Conscription of women – childless widows and single women 20 to 30 years old were called up, but later the age limit was expanded to 19 to 43 (50 for WW1 veterans).
T.M. January 1942
Sixty-seven parcels were sent off in good time to men on active service in this country and Ireland. Each contained two cakes, a mince pie, one pound of apples, two slabs of chocolate, writing pad and pencil, two packets of “whiffs”, a tube of shaving cream, and a knitted scarf or pair of socks, and a postal order for half-a-crown. Officers received cigars. Two prisoners of war had parcels sent through the Red Cross. Those abroad on active service will receive cigarettes and tobacco sent through a wholesale firm, but the addresses are not yet all known. The accounts will be published next month.
The woollies were all knitted by the First Aid Post, and the organising of the whole effort and raising of the necessary money done by a Committee of the British Legion.
T.M. February 1942
New Year Saving Campaign – Warship Week, March 22-28
Preparations are going ahead for a full week of entertainments, more particulars will be given in the next issue of the Magazine. … The Committee are grateful to John Pope, who has designed, and very kindly painted our “indicator”, which is placed outside the Village hall – a movable seagull shows our progress.
T.M. March 1942
By way of inaugurating the “Warships Week” a Parade Service will be held in the Parish Church on Sunday, March 22nd at 3.30 p.m., attended by the Home Guard, with Band, and other Civil Defence units. The collection will be for Missions to Seamen…
T.M. April 1942
We can record with great pleasure the opening of it by a Parade Service in the Parish Church. The Home Guard, the British Legion, the A.R.P. and Nursing Services, with the Mothers’ Union and Women’s Institute, Girl Guides and Brownies, all with banners made an impressive array and almost filled the Church, squeezing the general congregation into corners. The Home Guard Band played Handel’s Largo as a voluntary and accompanied two of the hymns. …
The Red Cross and St John’s 1d a week Fund has now got into good working order in our parish, during the four weeks of February, 14 willing house-to-house collectors brought in £9.
A very good contribution to the work of Mercy and Compassion that these joint societies are doing, not only for the sick and wounded, but also for our prisoners of war, to whom our small contribution can mean so much.
I.P.&C. 3 April 1942, p.7
Cambridgeshire Men Missing in Malaya
More postings this week.
Sapper Robert O.W. Duke, R.E., son of Mr Oswald Duke, of Shelford Road, Trumpington. Aged 20. He joined the Territorials in April 1939. He was educated at St John’s Choir School, and afterwards apprenticed at Messrs. Rattee and Kett.
See Photo ‘Portrait 1942’
I.P.&C. 10 April 1942, p.9
Missing since the Fall of Singapore
Pte. Charles Stanley Seekings, 4th Batt., Norfolk Regiment, husband of Mrs G.E. Seekings, 63 Alpha Terrace, Trumpington, and son of Mrs Seekings, 12 Whitelock Terrace, Trumpington. Employed before the war at the Co-op Dairy.
See Photo ‘Portrait 1942’
I.P.&C. 17 April 1942, p.13
Cambridgeshire Men Missing. More Postings after Singapore
Sergt. Ronald Kitson, Cambs. Regt., only son of Mr and Mrs J.H. Kitson, London Road, Trumpington. Aged 23. He joined the Cambs. Regt. in 1934 and was employed by Messrs. Cyril Ridgeon and Son, Hobart Street, Cambridge. He attended Trumpington School.
See Photo ‘Portrait 1942’
Corpl. Alec Angell, Cambs Regiment, son of Mrs Angell, 31 Barrow Road, Cambridge. Aged 25. He attended the Technical School, and before the war he worked as a secretary at the Papworth Settlement.
See Photo ‘Portrait 1942’
I.P.&C. 8 May 1942, p.5
Missing. This weeks’s postings
Pte. Alfred William Mayle, Camb. Regiment, son of Mr and Mrs A.J. Mayle of London Road, Trumpington. Aged 27. He was educated at Trumpington School. Before the war he was employed as a gardener by Mr W.W. Pemberton, Trumpington Hall.
See Photo ‘Portrait 1942’
T.M. May 1942
Much sympathy is felt with the relatives of the men of the Cambridgeshires who have been posted as missing. Anxiety will not be allayed till letters are received from the men themselves saying, as we all hope, that they are prisoners and well treated. This will probably not be for a long time yet. …
T.M. August 1942
An Honour for Trumpington
We quote from the local paper:-
Wing Commdr. John Hugh Chaplin, D.F.C. (No.38 Squadron), wins the D.S.O. One night this month he led a force of seven aircraft to attack a large enemy vessel escorted by three destroyers. Despite the most intense fire from all the vessels, he pressed home the attack from point blank range. The ship was hit and later reports confirmed that it had been sunk.
Wing Commander Chaplin, born in Cambridge in 1911, was educated at Eastbourne College, and Emmanuel.
John Chaplin is described as a Cambridge man, but is the grandson of the late Mr A.E. Chaplin, who lived in Chaucer Road and was Churchwarden of Trumpington, and that was his second home.
London Gazette, Supplement 35614, 30 June 1942, p.2869
A Royal Visit
The Trumpington Hall Convalescent Home had a visit from H.M. the Queen of Yugoslavia, on the occasion of their Fete on July 9th. There was a large attendance of parishioners and friends of the Home, and it was fortunately a very fine day. The “takings” were £119, and after deducting some £10 for expenses, one quarter of the remainder was sent to the V.A.D. detachment (Cambs 82) which supplies some of the staff, and threequarters is retained for comforts for the patients in the Home.
A special appeal to everyone. A new scheme called “Tanks for attack” has just been launched by the National Savings Committee, and our committee feels that we ought to participate. This means that we must show a 20 per cent. increase on our totals of last year for the period July 20th to Sept. 26th. If this is achieved we stand a good chance of getting our “name” on a tank which will go into action against the enemy!
Please help by increasing your weekly saving or, if you are not a member, by joining the group. W.H.P[amplin]
I.P.&C. 7 August 1942, p.5
Pte. G. Marshall
Mrs Marshall of Covent Garden, Cambridge, has received official information that her husband, Private Gilbert Marshall, is reported missing in the Middle East. Pte. Marshall, who is in the Essex Regt., is the son of Mr and Mrs F. Marshall, of 7 North Cottages, Trumpington Road, Cambridge. He was employed by the well-known Cambridge firm of grocers and caterers, Messrs. Matthew and Son Ltd., Trinity Street, after leaving school until he was called up in June 1940. He is 29 years of age and was educated at Trumpington School.
See Photo ‘Portrait 1942’
I.P.&C. 14 August 1942, p.6
Red Cross Nurse’s Wedding. Ceremony at Trumpington
Sergt. R.V. Steer and Miss Margaret Chapman, a Red Cross nurse, daughter of Mr and Mrs G. Chapman, Saw Mills Cottage, Trumpington. …
Guard of honour of Red Cross nurses.
See Photo ‘Wedding 1942’
T.M. September 1942
The result of the recent Collection for the National Air Raid Distress Fund was:- Total for the Borough £960 3s 6d. Of this our Trumpington Ward (which includes rather more than the Parish) raised £13 9s 2d.
National Institute for the Blind
The house-to-house collection for the Blind brought in the sum of £9 10s. This is more than last year. The Collectors have already had receipts. Mrs Wright would also like to thank the contributors.
Roll of Honour
The Hon. Secretary of the British Legion Committee (Mr E. Darling) and the Vicar have revised the list of men and women serving with the Forces, a copy of which hangs in the Church Porch.
It would be a great help to them if errors or omissions were notified, particularly in view of the Legion’s preparations – already begun – for sending out Christmas parcels.
“One who has benefited” writes: “I am sure that many would join with me in this, a letter of appreciation to Mr Cornwell, farmer, of Trumpington, for not only allowing folk to glean on his fields, but encouraging them to do so, thus helping them to try and solve the poultry food problem for the winter.”
I.P.&C. 13 November 1942, p.9
Killed in Middle East
Mrs John Corbett Harris, of 189 Chesterton Road, has been informed that her husband, Gunner Harris, has been killed in action in the Middle East. He was the son of the late Rev. and Mrs J.C. Harris of Llanmartin Rectory, Newport, Mon. Educated at Shrewsbury and St John’s College, Cambridge, where in 1926 he captained the second hockey eleven. He was well-known and popular at Trumpington, where prior to volunteering in 1940, he was the licensee of the Green Man Inn.
See Photo ‘Portrait 1942’
T.M. November 1942
The British Legion is again arranging to send out a Christmas parcel to everyone of the 120 men and women of the parish serving with the Forces. …
Street Saving Group. “Tanks for Attack” Campaign
…………… The membership has grown too. 67 new members were enrolled during the period bringing our membership to 563.
Unfortunately, Cambridge as a whole failed to reach the required 20 per cent. increase and therefore does not qualify to have its name on a tank much to the disappointment of those groups that have done well. However it is learned that Headquarters has agreed to amend the basis of the final awards, so perhaps after all Cambridge may have the honour of having its proud name, together with three savings groups, placed on a tank or tanks!
T.M. January 1943
The Hon. Secretary of the British Legion Parcels Committee, Mr A.E. Darling, sends us the following figures. Men and women serving in the Forces 129. Diaries to Officers 22. Parcels sent 76, Cigarettes and Postal Orders to men abroad 20. Awaiting addresses (men abroad) 6. In addition there are three names on the list whose home addresses we do not know:- C.R. Moore, Sergt. Symonds, Sergt. Evans. The Hon. Secretary or the Vicar would be grateful for the information.
The accounts are not yet complete, but some details can be given. Receipts:- Donations, £10; Dances and Whist Drives, £38; Women’s Institute, £25 3s.; Collections in Church, £11 8s. 5d.; Parcels (cake, cigarettes, apples, razor blades, shaving sticks, toothpaste, pads and pencils, postal orders for 2/6, total £55 3s. 3d.). Officers’ Diaries, £10 11s. 7d.. Middle East, cigarettes and postal orders, £9 19s. 6d.. Postage, £2 4s. 2d.. Balance in hand at present, £9 12s. 3d..
T.M. February 1943
Contributors to the Fund, the members of the Committee, and the packers would be very much gratified to read the letters of thanks which have been received by the Hon. Secretary. We print a few extracts:-
“I am extremely grateful … my colleagues and I have already despatched the apples and cake and they agree both were excellent. Mr Hawkins especially being highly commended for his cake.”
“I want to thank you very much indeed for the wonderful Christmas parcel I received from Trumpington. It came as a great surprise and I don’t think any other present has given me so much pleasure.”
“I should like you to know how much we who are away appreciate the thoughts and good wishes of those in our home town.”
“It is most heartening to know that after a lapse of three years one is still remembered by the people of Trumpington.”
“Special note must be made of the very efficient way in which the parcel was packed and so enabled it to reach its destination in a safe condition.”
“The difficulties involved in sending these parcels must this year have been greater than ever and to have overcome them is no small achievement. In fact Trumpington’s stock went up considerably in our billet when the other fellows saw the parcel. As you know, rivalry about one’ s native town or village is very keen in the Army, especially in a unit like this where we are drawn from every part of the British Isles.”
T.M. March 1943
Comforts for the Sick
At the First Aid Post (Anstey Hall) there is a stock of things for the sick room, including bandages, hot-water bottles, air rings, bed pans, feeding cups, etc., which can be borrowed on application to Miss Pamplin, 42 Alpha Terrace. Also a bath chair (formerly kept at the Vicarage).
Street Savings Group
The Committee has decided to co-operate with Cambridge in “Wings for Victory” Week, May 8th-15th. And although Cambridge has not, up to the time of going to press, fixed its “target” it will be large enough to buy several bombers (and they cost as much as £40,000 each). All groups are encouraged to set themselves a target, so the Committee thought that we should buy bombs to “bomb-up” one of them, and accordingly fixed our target at £5,000. It is hoped that this will be doubled! A bomb costs as much as £250! … W.H.P.
I.P.&C. 28 May 1943, p.14
Prisoners of War. Another Official List
1st and 2nd Battalion. Cambridgeshire Regt.
5933249 Corpl. A. Angell (Malaya), Elm Cottage,Trumpington [14 Church Lane?]
Commonwealth War Graves Commission: Alexander Angell
Corporal Angell, Alexander, Service Number 5933249, Died Sunday 03/06/1945, Aged 29, 1st Bn. Cambridgeshire Regiment. Son of [Nathan] Victor Angell and of Edith Angell (nee Walkden). Buried at Yokohama War Cemetery, Japan. Cemetery/memorial reference: Brit. Sec. N. D. 9. Headstone inscription “Requiescat in Pace”
2019 Updated Biographical Information – Alexander Angell
While service men were being reported in the local newspaper as missing following the fall of Singapore and then identified as prisoners of war, Alexander Angell’s mother was living in Trumpington at 31 Barrow Road in 1942 and Elm Cottage [14 Church Lane] in 1943 [I.P.&C. 17 April 1942, p.13; I.P.&C. 28 May 1943, p.14]. He had been born on 1 July 1915 in Cockayne Hatley, Bedfordshire to parents Nathan Victor and Edith Angell. His senior school had been St Michael’s College, Hitchin. He was a Corporal, Service no, 5933249, in the 1st Battalion of the Cambridgeshire Regiment and taken prisoner by the Japanese at Singapore. Unlike so many of the men of the Cambridgeshire Regiment who were sent to build the Burma railway, Alexander and others were taken to camps in Japan. At that time Japan was short of manpower and prisoners of war were made to work in dockyards, in steel factories and do work such as clearing and levelling farmland to make airfields.
No information has been found about which PoW camps Alexander had been held in for the first few years but an autobiography of R. Keith Mitchell “Forty-two Months in Durance Vile: Prisoner of the Japanese” gave details of his whereabouts in May 1945. He was at Muroran Branch Camp, of the Hakodate Camps on Hokkaido. The prisoners in the camp had heard news of the death of Mussolini, Hitler’s suicide and that the US forces were moving with success through the island of Okinawa. “This excess of news brought a great deal of discussion and speculation, and Alec Angell, a young man who had worked in the Papworth Village TB Settlement before the War, suddenly said, “Well, I give them another hundred days! I reckon it will all be over by then!”” At the beginning of June 1945 preparations were being made for the prisoners to move to a new camp. On 3 June the men were ordered to carry furniture and stores to rail wagons in a siding. R. Keith Mitchell had a conversation with Alexander as they went separately to begin these loading up jobs. It was shortly after this conversation that shouts were heard and a train was seen to have stopped beyond the nearby level crossing. News spread that two prisoners had been hit by the train and one of the men was Alexander Angell. The men, loaded with stores, had waited at the level crossing for a train to pass on one line but the driving rain and wind had masked the approach of a train coming from the opposite direction as they started to cross the railway line. R.K. Mitchell wrote that Alec had been a good friend; that “he had always been a well-liked man, and lived only to get back to his job at the Papworth TB Settlement.” The second man killed was Quartermaster-Sergeant Edward Durrant, of the 2nd Battalion of the Cambridgeshire Regiment. Major Frank Murray conducted the funeral service the following day. Mitchell’s autobiography gave much information about Major Murray, the Medical Officer of the PoW camps. He described the vital role that Dr Murray had played in the care of the soldiers. In October 2017, Paul Murray, Major Murray’s son, travelled to Singapore and Japan tracing the route of his father’s wartime experiences and he visited the British Section of Yokohama War Cemetery. He placed a cross at the adjacent graves of Alexander Angell and Edward Durrant.
St Michael’s College, Hitchin. A Catholic School for boys. Entries in St Michael’s College Magazine. Alexander Angell attended 1927-1929.
UK, Allied Prisoners of War, 1939-1945. Alexander Angell. Born 1 July 1915 in Cockayne Hatley, Sandy, Beds.
https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?indiv=1&_phtarg=AFO1007%2cAFO1008%2cAFO1009% 2cAFO1012&db=ukpow&gsln=angell&gsln_x=1&cp=0&new=1&rank=1&uidh=223&redir=false&gss=angs- d&pcat=39&fh=73&h=132260&recoff=&fsk=MDs0OTs1MA-61–61-&bsk=&pgoff=&ml_rpos=74&hovR=1
Commonwealth War Grave Commission.
Roll of Honour. Cambridgeshire Regiment Men Who Died WW2. Angell, Alexander. Died at Hakedate, Japan, in a railway accident.
Torture, slavery, disease, starvation and rats: just some of the horrors faced by Cambridgeshire’s ‘bravest of the brave’. Incl. request of Paul Murray for relations of Alexander Angel to contact him.
Forty-two Months in Durance Vile: Prisoner of the Japanese. By R. Keith Mitchell. London: Robert Hale, 1997. ISBN 0 7090 6004 1. At Cambridge University Library, 539:1.c.610.247
See Photo ‘Angell, Alexander, Headstone 1945’
T.M. June 1943
… we are glad to record that two of the men missing after the fall of Singapore have been reported safe (as prisoners of war), Sergt. R. Kitson and Alfred Mayle. We hope that any day now news will come of the others.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission: Samuel Walter Higgins
Leading Aircraftman Higgins, Samuel Walter, Service Number 923617, Died 27/06/1943, Aged 27, Royal Air Force, Son of Samuel and Alice Lilian Higgins, of Trumpington, Cambridgeshire. Buried at Ambon War Cemetery, Indonesia, 8. B. 12.
Headstone Inscription “He is not dead, our Dear One. We shall meet again”
Listed for the parish of Grantchester in the Ely Cathedral Second World War Book of Remembrance:
Higgins Samuel Walter, L A/c R.A.F., d 27/6/1943, age 27, buried: Ambon War Cemetery, Indonesia. Son of Samuel and Alice Lilian Higgins, of Trumpington
UK, Allied Prisoners of War, 1939-1945: Samuel Walter Higgins
Java PoW Camp
2019 Update Samuel Walter Higgins Royal Air Force Singapore
Leading Aircraftman Samuel Walter Higgins, Service No. 923617, was based with the Royal Air Force, Singapore. He may have been among the members of air force units who withdrew from Singapore to Java on the 14 February 1942. He was taken prisoner of war on 8 March 1942 and held in a camp in Java. He died on 27 June 1943 at a PoW camp on Haroekoe Island [Haruku] and the cause of death was bacterial dysentery which killed one in five of the prisoners at this camp within months of their arrival.
[Source: FindMyPast https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=GBM%2FPOW-GALLIP%2F1- 1-84%2F00237&parentid=GBM%2FPOW-FAREAST%2F00106816; FindMyPast https://search. findmypast.co.uk/record?id=S2%2FGBM%2FPOW%2F15-0273_GB-SRY_WO-392-WAR- OFFICE-DIRECTORATE-OF-P-WO_-392-24-1943-1945%2F00427&parentid=GBM% 2FPOW%2FWWI%2FTMP%2F011489; FindMyPast https://search.findmypast.co. uk/record/browse?id=gbm%2fpow-gallip%2f101596921%2f00009 ; Children and Families of the Far East Prisoners of War (COFEPOW) website https://www.cofepow.org.uk/armed-forces- stories-list/raf-in-se-asia; https://www.britain-at-war.org.uk/WW2/Haruku/index.htm]
I.P.&C. 16 July 1943, p.13-4
Postcards from Cambs. Prisoners. Messages from the Far East
Many families in Cambridge and district have been cheered this week by the arrival of postcards written by local prisoners of war in the Far East. …
“I am well and safe” is the message received by Mr and Mrs Carter of 8, North Cottages, Trumpington Road, from their son, Pte. A.E. Carter.
I.P.&C. 20 August 1943, p.11
Killed in Middle East
Mr and Mrs F. Marshall of 7, North Cottages, Trumpington Road, have been officially notified that their son, Pte. G. Marshall, Essex Regiment, who was reported missing, was killed in action on July 1st, 1942, in the Middle East. Aged 29. Pte. Marshall went to Trumpington School, and before joining the Forces was employed by Messrs Matthew and Son.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission: Gilbert George Marshall
Private Marshall, Gilbert George, Service Number 6025330, Died 01/07/1942
Aged 29, 2/5th Bn. Essex Regiment, Husband of Olive Elizabeth Marshall, of Cambridge. Commemorated at Alamein Memorial, El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt. Column 64
T.M. September 1943
Roll of Honour
Our sincere sympathy goes out to the wife and parents of Gilbert Marshall, missing for over a year, now reported killed in action.
Compared with the last war our losses have been so far very much less. But they are just as sad. Some of those who were then bereaved were strengthened by the knowledge that their grief was shared by so many. But all of us who have sons or daughters in danger realise that it may be our turn next to suffer loss. Yet since we believe it is a righteous cause in which we are engaged, and those who have died have given their lives for it, we must not grudge the loss to us.
I.P.&C. 24 September 1943, p.9
Death of War Prisoner
Another local man who was a prisoner of war in the Far East has died during captivity. He was Pte. Arthur E. Carter, of the Suffolk Regt., and his parents have been informed that death was due to malaria. It took place on July 5th last whilst he was in Japanese hands. Private Carter’s parents live at 8, North Cottages, Trumpington Road, and they received a postcard from him on July 14th.
See Photo ‘Portrait 1943’
T.M. October 1943
Roll of Honour
Great sympathy will be felt with the parent’s and family of Arthur Edward Carter, of 8 North Cottages, who has died as a prisoner of war. It is only a few weeks since they heard he was safe, after being “missing” for over a year, and now this sad news has come, that he died of malaria on July 5th. May he rest in peace.
UK, Allied Prisoners of War, 1939-1945: Arthur Edward Carter
Thailand PoW Camp
Commonwealth War Graves Commission: Arthur Edward Carter
Private Carter, Arthur Edward, Service Number 5931752, Died 05/07/1943, Aged 36, 1st Bn. Cambridgeshire Regiment. Buried at Chungkai War Cemetery, Thailand, 4. K. 6.
T.M. November 1943
… Already the Committee of the British Legion has sent off gifts to those who are abroad. 41 that we know of. The total number on our list is 144. Those serving in the Forces in this country (girls as well as men) will have a parcel, packed with as many good things as we can collect. …
I.P.&C. 10 December 1943, p.14
Well-known Trumpington Man. Schoolmaster for 40 Years. Death of Mr P. R. Robinson.
“…Aged 65, he had been a schoolmaster for forty years, and for 36 years headmaster at Trumpington School. During this long period his staunchness and character caused him to become the friend and adviser of the villagers, and his passing removes a man of wise counsel and high standing. …
He collected much data on the history of Trumpington village and on this he had given many lantern lectures.
He acted as billeting officer during the evacuation of London, and was a section leader of the Fire Guard. …”
See Photo ‘Portrait 1943’
T.M. January 1944
Roll of Honour
Another name has to be recorded with pride and sorrow, F./Lieut. C.F.H. Wiessner, killed while flying in South Africa. He was a Doctor who had come during the war to live at 71, Shelford Road, and joined the R.A.F. Medical Service.
We have also put on our list in the Church Porch at the request of his widow the name of John Corbett-Harris, killed in action. He will be remembered as a former landlord of “The Green Man”.
With the exception of two whose addresses have still to be found, all our men and women on active service have been sent a Christmas gift: 78 parcels, 30 gifts of 500 cigarettes, 26 (Officers) Diaries, and 6 (to whom nothing else could be sent), Postal Orders.
Our Hon. Treasurer
Mr Martin Aves, the Hon. Treasurer of the Church, and acting Choirmaster, has been called up to join the Royal Navy. We have been expecting this and Mr Tully was ready to take over the accounts.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission: Charles Frank Horace Wiessner
Flight Lieutenant Wiessner, Charles Frank Horace, Service Number 63594, Died 11/12/1943, Aged 30, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, Son of Charles and Marie Wiessner; husband of Josephine Ethel Wiessner, of [71 Shelford Road,] Trumpington, Cambridgeshire, England. M.A., M.B. (Cantab). Buried at Bloemfontein (Hamilton) War Cemetery, South Africa, European Block. Grave 12.
2019 Updated Biographical Information – Charles Frank Horace Wiessner
Charles Frank Horace Wiessner, born in 1912, was the son of Charles and Marie Wiessner and husband of Josephine Ethel Wiessner, of 71 Shelford Road, Trumpington. He studied medicine at Cambridge and the Middlesex Hospital, qualifying M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P. in 1938, and M.B., B. Ch. in 1940. In 1939 he married Josephine Cumberledge in London. He was for a short period in general practice in South-East London until appointed to a commission in the Medical Branch of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve on March 21, 1941. In the 1942 Medical Directory his address still appeared as 142 Lewisham Road, SE13. Flight Lieutenant Charles Frank Horace Wiessner, R.A.F.V.R., 63394, was Medical Officer at No.62, British Commonwealth Air Training School, Tempe, Bloemfontein, South Africa, when he and Lieutenant Patrick Ellis, 103312V, lost their lives on 11 December 1942, in an aircraft accident. A wing came off their plane, Harvard 11a SAAF 7085, in a loop and the plane crashed at Bultfontei. Fl. Lt. C.F.H. Wiessner was buried at Bloemfontein (Hamilton) War Cemetery, South Africa, European Block. Grave 12, and Lt. P. Ellis was buried in the adjacent Grave 11. C.F.H. Wiessner was remembered on three war memorials, Trumpington; Downing College, Cambridge; and Lewisham United Reform Church.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Obituary. BMJ 12 Feb. 1944, p.238
Medical Directory 1942
Royal Air Force Commands. Page commemorating:
Flight Lieutenant Charles Frank Horace Wiessner (63594) of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
South Africa War Graves Project. Page commemorating:
Lieutenant Patrick H. Ellis, South African Air Force, 103312V
Downing College, Cambridge. World War Two Roll of Honour
Lewisham United Reform Church War Memorial
Commonwealth War Graves Commission: John Corbett Harris
Gunner Harris, John Corbett, Service Number 1549151, Died 28/10/1942, Aged 38
118 Bty., 30 Lt. A.A. Regt. Royal Artillery , Son of the Revd. John Harris, B.A., and Blanche Harris; husband of Sybil Ada Corbett Harris, of Cambridge. M.A, (Cantab.). Buried at El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt, XXXIII. G. 25., Headstone Inscription “Give us grace so to live that we break not faith with those that died”
Three War Memorials: John Corbett Harris
St John’s College, Cambridge, Roll of Honour 1940s
Memorial – St Luke’s Church, Victoria Road, Cambridge
Memorial at Llanfachreth Church, Dolgellau, Gwynedd, Wales. John Corbett Harris and his parents, the Revd. John Harris, B.A. (former Vicar of the parish), and Blanche Harris
I.P.&C. 24 March 1944, p.9
Refused to Register as Fire Guard. Trumpington C.O. Fined.
A Trumpington man, who is registered as a conscientious objector, was fined £5 at Cambridge Borough Police Court on Tuesday for failing to register for Fire Guard duties. Defendant, who pleaded not guilty, was Stanley Spedding, 45, Bishop’s Road, Trumpington.
Mr C.H. Parker, Deputy Town Clerk, who prosecuted, said until a man registered under the Fire Guard Order he could not be enrolled for duty. A notice had been served on defendant, but he had refused to register.
Mr H. Hancock, assistant Fire Guard officer, have evidence of serving a notice on February 4th requiring certain particulars to be furnished in seven days under the provisions of the Fire Guard (Local Authority Services) Order. Evidence of interviewing defendant at his home was given by Charles F. Langley, Fire Guard inspector, who said defendant told him he was a conscientious objector and had no intention of registering.
Defendant told the magistrates he regarded fire watching duties, especially at business premises, as helping the military in the successful prosecution of the war. He regarded his own home and family as more important that any business premises. Replying to Mr Parker, he said that he knew conscientious objection did not apply to Civil Defence duties, and if there had been a conscience clause in the Order he would have registered and then appealed.
In imposing the fine and giving him one month to pay, the Chairman (Mr H.E.F. Pateman) told the defendant default would carry a month’s imprisonment. It was difficult for them to understand defendant’s objection. If his own house was bombed he would doubtless be glad enough to receive the help of others, and they were of the opinion everyone should do their part to help everyone else in this matter.
T.M. July 1944
Roll of Honour
We record with great regret that Private Victor Charles White has been killed in action in Burma. He was only 21, the second son of Mrs White, of 38, Alpha Terrace. He had been working for Messrs. Kerridge, Sturton Street, Cambridge, from his apprentice days, and before joining the Forces was at the Trumpington First Aid Post. Much sympathy is felt for his Mother and her family.
I.P.&C. 2 June 1944, p.9
Killed in Burma
Death notice of Pte. Victor Charles White.
See Photo ‘Portrait 1944’
Commonwealth War Graves Commission: Victor Charles White
Private White, Victor Charles, Service Number 14205776, Died 14/05/1944, Aged 21, 9th Bn. Border Regiment, Son of Henry William and Dorothy Elizabeth White, of Trumpington, Cambridgeshire. Buried at Imphal War Cemetery, India, 2. C. 2., Headstone Inscription “Loved and remembered always”
2019 Update Victor Charles White died 14 May 1944
Private Victor Charles White was with the 9th Battalion Border Regiment when it sailed for India in May 1942. It became a Garrison Battalion in Calcutta until July 1943, when it joined the 17th Indian Light Division, which later became part of the 14th Army. In March 1944 the Japanese started their offensive to capture the Imphal Plain and the route to invade India. The Battle of Imphal continued until July 1944 when the Japanese were driven back to Burma with heavy losses. The casualty numbers for the Allies and the Japanese were 12,603 and 54,879 respectively [Source: BBC WW2 People’s War 9th Border Regiment
https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/user/46/u556046.shtml; Wikipedia, Battle of Imphal https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Imphal].
D-Day, 6 June 1944
The Western Allies launched the Normandy invasion.
I.P.&C. 9 June 1944, p.10
Trumpington’s Fine Record. Salute the Soldier result
The targets of both Trumpington village (£10,000) and New Town (£800) were both exceeded, and the combined totals amounted to £21,368.
The chairman expressed the committee’s appreciation of the great help given by Messrs. Block and Anderson’s representatives, and also Mrs Palmer and members of the local first aid post, and N.F.S., which, together with the help of everyone contributed towards the success of the week. It is interesting to note that the ‘selling centre’, for which the hon. Secretary, Mr W.H. Pamplin, was responsible, together with lady helpers, dealt with certificates and stamps to the value of £4,536 10s. A cheque for £25 has been sent to the County Remembrance Fund, from profits resulting from the social events.
July 1944, Francis B. Harradine wounded
Private F. B. Harradine, Service No. 5783905, 7th Battalion Royal Norfolk Regiment, was reported, together with several colleagues, as wounded on 8 July 1944 on Expeditionary Forces, North West Europe, Casualty List No. 1516. The 7th Bn Royal Norfolk Regiment was attached to the 59th Infantry Division of the Staffordshire Regiment, which also contained battalions from Lancashire. In 1944, the 59th was honoured as the last division selected for the Normandy operation as part of the invasion follow-up corps. They landed on Juno Beach on 25 June 1944. The 7 Royal Norfolk took part in Operation Charnwood, an Anglo-Canadian offensive that took place from 8 to 9 July 1944, during the Battle for Caen.
[Source: FindMyPast. on Expeditionary Forces, North West Europe, Casualty List No. 1516 p.22
https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=GBM%2FWO417%2F079% 2F0247&parentid=GBM%2FWO417%2F0751833 ; https://www.edp24.co.uk/features/a-quiet- hero-of-the-normandy-campaign-1-4953893 ; https://59div.morssweb.com/?bcaen ]
See Photo ‘Portrait 1944’
I.P.&C. 11 August 1944, p.11
Killed in Action, – Mr M. Scott, of Alpha Terrace, Trumpington, has received news from the War Office that his son, Lance-Corporal Walter Scott, of the Suffolk Regiment, and nephew of Mrs M. Milton, Tiled House, Cottenham, has been killed in action in Normandy. He crossed over on “D” Day and was killed on the 28th June. L.Corpl. Scott was educated at Cottenham School. Before joining up he was apprenticed to Messrs. Kerridge (Cambridge) Ltd. He was a member of the Home Guard and a keen sportsman, playing for Cottenham football team.
See Photo ‘Portrait 1944’
Commonwealth War Graves Commission: Walter Mostyn Scott
Lance Corporal Scott, Walter Mostyn, Service Number 14205742, Died 28/06/1944, Aged 22, 1st Bn. Suffolk Regiment, Son of Mostyn and Nellie Scott, of Trumpington, Cambridgeshire. Buried at Hermanville War Cemetery, France, 1. W. 22. Headstone Inscription “Memories are treasures no one can steal, Death leaves a wound no one can heal”
Cottenham War Memorial – W. Scott
Lance Corporal Scott, Walter Mostyn, 14205742, Suffolk Regiment. Killed in action in Normandy following the D-Day landings June 28 1944. Aged 23. Son of Mr M. Scott of Trumpington, lived with his aunt, Mrs Miranda Milton of Oakington Road, Cottenham. Before joining the services was apprenticed to Kerridge the Cambridge builders. Buried in Hermanville War Cemetery.
2019 update Walter Mostyn Scott, died 28 June 1944
The 1st Battalion Suffolk Regiment, serving as part of the 3rd Infantry Division of 8th Infantry Brigade, landed on Sword Beach on D-Day, 6 June 1944. The Battalion’s assaults on planned objectives, ‘Morris’ and ‘Hillman’, were detailed in a number of war diaries [Source: ‘1 Suffolk and D-Day’ by Colonel Eric Lummis and ‘1 Suffolk in Normandy’ by Colonel Eric Lummis and additional contributions, serialized at https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/threads/d-day-with-the- 1st-suffolks-unpublished-version.115690/; ‘The Suffolk Regiment, 1928 to 1926’ by Walter Norris Nicholson, Ipswich: East Anglian Magazine, ]. The men saw action at Le Mesnil Wood and then they moved on to the Battle of the Chateau de la Londe, 28 June 1944, which has been described as “a bitter and costly one for the Battalion”. The casualties incurred by the Battalion that day amounted to 7 officers and 154 other ranks killed, wounded and missing.
T.M. August 1944
At the July meeting a personal letter from Mrs Churchill was read, expressing thanks for the support Trumpington W.I. gives to her “Help to Russia Fund” in ship halfpennies. A cheque for over £20 was recently sent. …
I.P.&C. Friday, 5 September 1944, p.9
Sequel to Dump Explosions. Awards to Local Men. Commended for Courage.
The King has been graciously pleased to give orders for the undermentioned appointments to the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, and for the following awards of the British Empire Medal, for brave conduct:-
To be an Additional Officer of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire:— William Henry James Benton, Chief Regional Fire Officer, Eastern Region, National Fire Service, who resides at The Red House, Trumpington, Cambridge
To be an Additional Member of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire:— Reginald Clarence Welch, Assistant Fire Force Commander, No. 11 (Southend) Area, National Fire Service, who resides at Aylmer Road, Finchley, London. N2
Awarded the British Empire Medal (Civil Division): — Leonard Cyril Crickmore, Section Leader, No. ii (Southend) Area, National Fire Service, who resides at Highfields, Saffron Walden, Essex
“Courage of a High Order”
A fire broke out at a returned ammunition dump and following a major explosion the fire-fighting personnel were withdrawn until a reconnaissance could be made. Mr. Benton undertook to do this with the Assistant Fire Force Commander and it proved very valuable. During the inspection which extended well into the danger area, continuous minor explosions occurred, and there was a possibility that further major explosions might occur at any time. Mr. Benton not only showed courage and initiative of a high order, but set an admirable example to all personnel by his disregard of danger.
In conditions of considerable complexity and danger Mr. Welch showed courage and devotion to duty of a high order while carrying out his duty as Officer in Charge of the Fire.
Section Leader Crickmore was in charge of the first N.F.S. attendance at the fire. He showed great energy and initiative in tackling the initial problems. Shortly after his arrival the first major explosion put out of action the fire-fighting appliances and made necessary the temporary withdrawal of personnel. Although Crickmore was badly shaken, he continued to control the situation until the arrival of a senior Officer. He afterwards collapsed and was taken to hospital but as soon as he was released he reported back for duty at the fire. Crickmore showed courage, endurance and devotion to duty.
William Henry James Benton – 41 years. Chief Regional Fire Officer. The Red House, Trumpington, Cambridge. N.F.S. – Cambridge – 20 years (previously L.F.B.). Civil occupation – Professional Fireman. “Devotion to duty at fire at Little Chesterford Park on 30 May 1944” Recommended by Regional Commissioner, Eastern Region.
Source: UK, WWII Civil Defence Gallantry Awards, 1940-1949 accessed on Ancestry
William Henry James Benton, O.B.E. 12 September 1944
T.M. October 1944
Roll of Honour
We record with very great regret that Private Brian Farrington, Suffolk Regiment, has been reported killed in action in Normandy. The sympathy of all our readers will go out to his parents. He was only 19½.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission: Brian Thomas Farrington
Private Farrington, Brian Thomas, Service Number 14679540, Died 13/08/1944
Aged 19, 1st Bn. Suffolk Regiment, Son of Thomas and Laura Olive Farrington, of [24 Alpha Terrace,] Trumpington, Cambridge. Buried at St. Charles De Percy War Cemetery, France, VIII. A. 12., Headstone Inscription “Treasured memories of our dearly loved son”
See Photos ‘Farrington, Brian Thomas, Headstone’ 1944
2019 update Brian Thomas Farrington, died 13 August 1944
The 1st Battalion Suffolk Regiment, serving as part of the 3rd Infantry Division of 8th Infantry Brigade, landed on Sword Beach on D-Day, 6 June 1944. On 13 August the Battalion was advancing through France along the Vire-Tinchebray road, and this period is referred to as Tinchebray Battle. Casualties mounted throughout the day due to heavy mortaring and shellfire. Twenty three soldiers, other ranks, of the 1st Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, were listed on Casualty List No. 1544 as killed in action on 12-13 August 1944 [Source: ‘1 Suffolk in Normandy’ by Colonel Eric Lummis and additional contributions, serialized at https://www.arrse. co.uk/community/threads/d-day-with-the-1st-suffolks-unpublished-version.115690/page-4 ; ‘The Suffolk Regiment, 1928 to 1926’ by Walter Norris Nicholson, Ipswich: East Anglian Magazine, ; FindMyPast. Expeditionary Forces. North West Europe, Casualty List No. 1544, p.9 https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=GBM%2FWO417%2F081% 2F0206&parentid=GBM%2FWO417%2F0790906].
I.P.&C. 8 December 1944 p.6
Home Guard Make History. “Stand Down” Parade, Pride, Relief, Regret. Lord Lieutenant’s Tribute.
For this “Stand Down” parade over 3,000 men representing the units of Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely paraded. [Parker’s Piece, Cambridge.]
T.M. January 1945
As we go to press letters of thanks are beginning to come from the 158 Trumpington men and women on active service to whom Christmas parcels were sent, all are most grateful, as these samples show:
I greatly appreciate the Christmas gift which you and your fellow comrades have sent, and it is nice to know although we are away from our homes, we are still in your thoughts. Will you please convey my thanks to all, and wishing you all a very happy Christmas, and that the coming year will see us all united in our homes once again, thanking you all,
“Dear Mr Darling,
It was a very pleasant surprise to receive the parcel to-day and the contents were even a better one. Will you please convey my deepest thanks to everyone concerned, please tell them that I am extremely grateful for their kind gift. I am afraid that I am not very gifted when it comes to writing letters, but I hope that you will fully appreciate my thanks to you all. In closing may I wish you all a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.
I.P.&C. 9 February 1945, p.2
The committee have decided to resume the monthly meetings of the members, and the first of these was held in the club room at the Institute on Saturday evening, when the Chairman of the Branch (Mr W. D.F. Davey) presided. The financial statements of the Christmas Parcels Fund and the Children’s Fund were presented and approved, and both showed a substantial balance to be carried forward. The members were pleased to see exhibited on the table the Eastern Area efficiency trophy, which had been awarded to the branch jointly with the Bungay branch. Mr E. F. Andrews (hon. secretary) reported that he had that afternoon brought the cup from the Caxton Hall, London, where he had won the toss for the privilege of holding it for the first six months. The trophy had been handed over by the Area President, Admiral Sir Lionel Halsey. This was the third occasion on which a Cambridgeshire branch had received the award. The Rev. T. Young (vice-president) congratulated the officers and committee on the achievement, and proposed that the thanks of the members be recorded in the minutes. The Chairman responded, and said that the generous response of the parishioners to all appeals was one of the main reasons for the appearance of the efficiency award. To enable the public to see the cup, it was agreed that it should be displayed, with the permission of Mr Day, in his shop window. Mr Andrews reported that one of the best debated resolutions at the area conference had been the motion to exclude the Home Guard from membership of the Legion, and it was carried by a large majority.
London Gazette, Supplement 37002, 27 March 1945, p.1664
Mention in Despatches
Stoker First Class Herbert Baxter C/SKX. 1582
2019 update Arthur Albert Rumsey
Signalman A. A. Rumsey, Service No. 2587646, of 140th Army Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, was reported as missing on 4 June 1940 together with many colleagues on Casualty List No. 277 and then confirmed as a PoW on Casualty List No. 297. The 140th (5th London) Army Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, played a role in the rearguard action defending the Dunkirk evacuation in 1940. [Source: FindMyPast. Expeditionary Forces. France, Casualty List No. 277, p.5 https: //search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=gbm%2fwo417%2f016%2f0115&parentid=gbm% 2fwo417%2f0162236&fulfillmenttypekey=8437 ; FindMyPast. France, Casualty List No. 297, p. 17 https://search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=GBM%2FWO417%2F017% 2F0394&parentid=GBM%2FWO417%2F0192588 ; 140th (5th London) Army Field Regiment, Royal Artillery
Their story between the 10th and 31st May 1940 http://140th-field-regiment-ra-1940.co.uk/].
I.P.&C., Friday 27 April 1945, p.9
Forced March Ordeal
Trumpington Man’s Story
A striking story of the frightful privations endured by prisoners on the 800-mile forced march across Germany has reached us from one who arrived in Cambridge late last Saturday night, after five years in prison camps.
In his case the march was only brought to an end when, by the irony of fate, he was injured during an Allied raid on the town they were passing through. The raid was a lucky break for him really, for he was left behind when the rest were marched on – and the same day the Americans walked in.
He is Signalman Arthur Albert Rumsey (24), eldest son of Mr and Mrs G.O. Rumsey, 25 Shelford Road, Trumpington, Cambridge, a London family who have lived here since they were bombed out of their business during the blitz. A member of the Territorials, he was called up at the beginning of the war, served as a despatch rider in the Royal Corps of Signals, was captured at Dunkirk after being in action in Belgium, and has been in prison camps ever since – a year in Poland, and the rest of the time at Marienburg, West Prussia, doing farm work.
Ten Miles a Day Through Snowstorms
The camp was evacuated in January, at the approach of the Russians, and the interminable march through Northern Germany began – more than ten miles a day, through blinding snowstorms, intense cold, and on icy roads, where the men were afraid to put one foot before the other – and afraid to go to sleep at night in case they didn’t wake up again.
“At night we sometimes slept in barns, about 400 of us in buildings big enough for a hundred, and in the mornings would find ourselves covered with snow which had been driven through the cracks.” Sometimes they slept in the open, “and one night alone four of the guards died from exposure. We never heard how many of our own men died, but it must have been a good few.” he said.
Food – mainly potatoes, and they were lucky to get one meal a day – they would barter their clothes, wrist watches and any other possessions for a loaf of bread. Drink – at best ersatz coffee, at worst a handful of snow.
“Felt like the Queen Mary”
For Signalman Rumsey the long, long trail came to an end when the weary and exhausted men reached Halberstadt, “The Americans were bombing the railway. I got down by a brick wall, but the wall blew up and something hit me on the head. I think it was a fragment of a brick – but it felt like the Queen Mary,” he observes, ruefully.
He was taken to a nearby hospital and his head stitched and bandaged (“coarse string was used for the stitches”) by a German doctor, and left behind with the rest of the unfit – and there were many – when the column marched on again three days later. The same day the Americans marched in. “Was it good to hear their voices?” he said, enthusiastically. “We kept hearing reports of how close they were, but found it hard to believe they were as close as that.”
The Journey Home
The rest of Signalman Rumsey’s story made pleasant reading – of every care by the Americans, good food (“too rich at first”), swift conveyance by ambulance to the airport, and then to England in a Douglas troop carrier, touching down on good English soil near Swindon.
A grand re-union with his family at Cambridge station, where he arrived in slippers, being unable to get into his Army boots, and then home to a house decorated with flags arranged in the “V” sign, and a big notice “Welcome home, Arthur” put up by kindly neighbours, there to recuperate and try and get back the three stones lost in weight on the march.
UK, Allied Prisoners of War, 1939-1945: A. Rumsey
A. Rumsey, Army Number:2587646, Regiment: Royal Signals, POW Number:4237, Camp Type: Stalag, Camp Number:XX-B, Camp Location:Malbork, Poland
https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll? _phsrc=oQh1849&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&indiv=1&db=wwiibritishpow&cp=0&_F8007109=2587646&_F8007109_x=1&new=1&rank=1&redir=false&uidh=223&gss=angs- d&pcat=39&fh=0&h=49485&recoff=36%2037&ml_rpos=1
T.M. May 1945
[Letter of the Vicar, Rev. T. Young]
The War moves so swiftly that anything about it in these pages is almost certain to be out of date before it is printed. As I write there is news of three connected with our parish who were prisoners, being safe in this country, if not home yet, but we are once more reminded of the price of victory by the news that Jack Carter has been killed in action on the Western front. Our hearts go out in sympathy to his family, grieved as they were by the death of his elder brother as a prisoner in the Far East. …
Since I wrote last month with regard to a “Home-coming Fund” the British Legion members have discussed the question and declared against a share-out of cash to our men as they return. There is, however, a wide-spread desire to do something to express our thankfulness to God for our deliverance from defeat and bondage and our gratitude to those from our parish through whom victory will have been achieved. If this expression of thankfulness can take the form of some permanent structure for the benefit of ex-service men and women and on which the names of the fallen can be inscribed, then a home-coming fund, thanksgiving for Victory fund and War memorial fund, can all be merged together for one great and worthy object. This would of course be in addition to the social gatherings which we hope will be held at intervals during the course of demobilisation and to which succeeding batches of “Home-comers” will be invited.
A Public Meeting will be held in Trumpington Village Hall, at 8 p.m., on Tuesday, May 15th, to discuss a Home-Coming Victory Thankoffering War Memorial Fund or Funds.
The raising and spending of such and the election of a Committee for the purpose.
T. Young (Vicar); A.J. Foreman (Pastor, Trumpington Free Church); D.F. Davey (Chairman, Trumpington British Legion); E.S. Peck (Alderman); A.W. Dilley (Alderman).
Commonwealth War Graves Commission: Jack Rupert Carter
Private Carter, Jack Rupert, Service Number 1950028, Died 31/03/1945, Aged 25
Army Catering Corps attd. Royal Artillery, Son of Mr. and Mrs. Rupert Carter; husband of Joyce Mary Carter, of Mynachty, Cardiff. Buried at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Germany, 60. C. 11.
See Photo ‘Portrait 1945’
VE Day, 8 May 1945
See memories of Trumpington VE Day by Christopher Kite.
T.M. June 1945
[Letter of the Vicar, Rev. T. Young]
… Many of you were present at the public meeting to discuss schemes for some tangible evidence of our gratitude to Trumpington men and women who have served in the Forces.
It was decided that a fund should be opened and the first £50 devoted to the entertainment of our boys and girls in parties as they are demobilised. A committee was elected to investigate various ideas for permanent mementos and memorials and reported to another public meeting to be held in the Village Hall on June 19th. The suggestions include individual gifts, armchairs or clocks, a recreation ground, homes for disabled ex-Service men and a new hall for concerts, dances, etc., to take the place of the present Village Hall, which is now too small. A site for a new hall has been generously offered by the trustees of the Pemberton estate, but it would seem rash to embark on any scheme which would involve several thousands of pounds unless there is a good prospect of obtaining the money within the next few years. It is hoped that there will be a good attendance on June 19th, that everyone will vote for what he thinks best and then work together for whatever is decided upon even if it is not his particular idea.
I.P.&C. Friday 22 June 1945, p.9
Mentioned in Despatches
News has been received that Corpl. L.P. Bevan (now serving in Italy), the son of Mrs M.E. Bevan, of 74, Alpha Terrace, Trumpington, has been mentioned in despatches.
London Gazette, Supplement 37119, 14 June 1945, p.3013
British Legion, Trumpington Branch, Monthly Meeting Minutes, 7 July 1945
The Chairman briefly reported on the Victory Party held [14 June] in Maris Lane and Anstey Hall Grounds. A most successful function had resulted at which the Mayor and Mayoress and the Chief Constable and his wife had attended.
T.M. July 1945
[Letter of the Vicar, Rev. T. Young]
The only regret in connection with the very happy Children’s Victory party was that the Bishop was unable to be present to say grace at the tea held practically on his door step. A country party in a “lane” was a very pleasing idea and thanks to good weather and hearty co-operation of many willing helpers, including our N.F.S. [National Fire Service] friends at Anstey, everyone, not least the Mayor, the Chief Constable, the Mayoress and Mrs Bebington, thoroughly enjoyed themselves. …
… The following resolution was passed at the Public Meeting held on June 19th. “That an appeal be made for £1,500 to present an individual gift, suitably inscribed, to each of the men and women of Trumpington who have served in H.M. Forces during the present war and to entertain them at homecoming parties – any surplus to be devoted to the perpetual remembrance of the names of the fallen in whatever manner shall be decided later.”
We shall have to hold another public meeting to decide on the exact form of the gifts. Armchairs, clocks, watches, cigarette boxes are among the things suggested; many of these at present are unobtainable but we may hope that they will be by the time most of the boys and girls come home.
Meanwhile a strong committee has been elected of which Messrs. Youngs, Stubbings and Craig are the secretaries and treasurer, the latter will be pleased to receive donations, which should be addressed to him at 20, Barrow Road. …
I.P.&C. 14 September 1945, p.11
Many More Telegrams Received
Pte. A.W. Mayle, 1st Cambs. Regiment, only son of Mr and Mrs A.J. Mayle, of London Road, Trumpington, has sent a telegram that he is safe, and hopes to be home soon. He was in No.4 Thailand Camp. Pte. Mayle was employed by Mrs Pemberton, of Trumpington Hall.
I.P.&C. 14 September 1945, p.15
More Messages from Cambs. Men
Sergt. Ronald Kitson, 1st Cambs. Regiment, only son of Mr and Mrs J.H. Kitson, of High Street, Trumpington, has sent a telegram that he is safe and well, and hopes to be home soon. Sergt Kitson was employed by Cyril Ridgeon, Hobart Street, Cambridge.
UK, Allied Prisoners of War, 1939-1945: Ronald Kitson
Thailand PoW Camp
I.P.&C. Friday 21 September 1945, p.15
Messages from Royal Engineers, Suffolks, R.A.M.C. and Other Units
Pte. C. Seekings, 4th Battalion, Royal Norfolk Regt., husband of Mrs G. Seekings, 63 Alpha Terrace, Trumpington, and son of Mr and Mrs Seekings, 12 Whitelock Terrace, Trumpington, has just sent word that he has arrived safely in India. Before the war, Pte. Seekings was employed by the Co-operative Dairy. He was interned in Camp No.1 Thailand.
I.P.&C. 28 September 1945, p.13
More Messages from Cambs. Men
Sapper Robert Duke, 287th Field Co. R.E., has telegraphed to his step-mother, Mrs W. Duke, of 50 Alpha Terrace, Trumpington, giving the news that he is safe in British hands and hopes to be home soon. He has been a prisoner in Malaya.
UK, Allied Prisoners of War, 1939-1945: Robert Oswald Westrop Duke
Sapper, Service No. 2068676, 18 Div. R.E., Malaya PoW Camp.
https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc=AFO1035&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&indiv=1&_phtarg=AFO1032, AFO1033&db=ukpow&gsln=duke&gsln_x=1&cp=0&new=1&rank=1&uidh=223&redir=false&gss=angs-d&pcat=39&fh=53&h=152624&recoff=&fsk=MDs0OTs1MA-61–61- &bsk=&pgoff=&ml_rpos=54
UK, Allied Prisoners of War, 1939-1945
https://search.ancestry.co.uk/cgi-bin/sse.dll?_phsrc=AFO1037&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&indiv=1&_phtarg=AFO1032,AFO1033, AFO1035&db=ukpow&gsln=duke&gsln_x=1&cp=0&new=1&rank=1&uidh=223&redir=false&gss=angs-d&pcat=39&fh=93&h=345487&recoff=&fsk=MDs0OTs1MA-61–61- &bsk=&pgoff=&ml_rpos=94
UK, Allied Prisoners of War, 1939-1945: Basil James Hammond
B.S. Hammond, Flight Lieutenant, Serv. no. 116446, Stalag Luft III (East) PoW Camp
2019 update Basil James Hammond, PoW
Flight Lieutenant Basil James Hammond, Service No. 116446, R.A.F., was taken prisoner on 28 January 1943. While in captivity he was held at Stalag Luft 3, located at Sagan and Belaria, in Lower Silesia (now Zagan in Poland) [Source: FindMyPast. Prisoners of War 1715-1945 https: //search.findmypast.co.uk/record?id=GBM%2FPOW-GALLIP%2F101598697% 2F00040&parentid=GBM%2FPOW-EUROPE%2F01053272 ; FindMyPast. Prisoners of War 1715-1945
In the latter part of January 1945 orders were given for the prisoners to march from Stalag Luft 3 to the Bremen area. They entered the Marlag-Milag Nord Lager Luft camp at Tarmstedt on 4/5 February. In the first week of April 1945 a contingent of approximately 2000 PoWs were marched on to the roads heading for Lubeck, a journey of more than 120 miles, as the Second Army approached Bremen. The Senior British Officer, Group Captain L. E. Wray, R.C.A.F., refused to allow the Air Force section to go to the Lubeck prison due to its poor conditions and he was successful in forcing the German staff to permit the section to use billets found in the barns, cowsheds and other buildings of a very large estate at Trenthorst. It was in those crude but open conditions that the personnel lived out the remainder of the period until liberated on 2 May 1945 [Source: FindMyPast. Prisoners of War 1715-1945. Report by Group Captain L. E. Wray, R.C.A.F.
I.P.&C. Friday 21 September 1945, p.8
First News of the 1st Cambs. in Battle at Singapore. Vital position maintained intact for 48 hours.
For over three and a half years many people in the District have been thirsting for news not only of individual members of the Cambridgeshire Regiment but of what happened to the Regiment.
The first real news has come in a very long letter dated September 6th, written by Captain Gordon Coulson to his old Commanding Officer, Lieut.-Colonel F.N. Drake Digby.
…It shows, in very vivid form, how the 1st Cambs., though only in action for such a short time, held a vital position intact for 48 hours and suffered the inevitable casualties. Singapore was a tragedy, but both Battalions of the County Regiment were fighting hard at the time of capitulation. …
Experiences of P.O.W.
Dealing with the experiences of the regiment whilst a prisoner of war, Capt. Coulson says: “By far the worst times were the three months’ starvation at Chanzi [Changi] lines immediately after capitulation, and December ’42 to ’43 building the Siam-Burma railway.” He says that some 63,000 P.O.W. were used for the job, and, as near as they have been able to check, 14,500 had died by Christmas, 1943. He thinks the death-roll may now be as high as 17,000.
Describing what happened during the building of this railway, he goes on: “We were right in the heart of the jungle, and the further we got up the worse supplies became. Disease was rife – mostly diphtheria, terrible tropical ulcers, beri-beri, amoebic and bacillary dysentery, pellagra, etc. You can imagine things with virtually no medical supplies, except quinine, for the ever present malaria and a little Jap antiseptic.
Sergt. Kitson Does Well
Cholera broke out in June and July. I won’t dwell on that, except to say that Sergt Preston was a tower of strength, and I shall never forget Sergt. Kitson bringing in a boy on his back whom he found when he was coming back from work very late, lying in the mud and in the dark.
There were no men to carry him and no stretchers, so old Kitson struggled in with him through inches of mud for a mile and a half. He was covered in vomit. Of course, Kitson was contaminated, but after a swill in disinfectant he had his supper and took no harm! A chip off the old block after all!
It may be explained that Sergt. Preston was in the regimental band for many years. During war- time the bandsmen are turned into stretcher-bearers. Sergt. Kitson’s father served with the regiment throughout the last war, during which he was awarded the M.M. He continued as a Territorial until he reached the age limit in 1938. Both father and son were in the Cambridgeshire contingent at the Coronation.”
T.M. October 1945
[Letter of the Vicar, Rev. T. Young]
… The Home-coming Victory Memorial Fund is growing steadily and I hope that it will have topped £500 by the time all the appeal forms have been collected. An entertainment committee has been formed and the “Penny a Week” collections will begin this month. We propose to hold the first “Welcome home” dinner party in January or February when among others released from the Forces we shall hope to see the three prisoners-of-war from the Far East, news of whose safety has just gladdened our hearts, Ronald Kitson, Arthur Mayle and Charles Seekings. …
I.P.&C. Friday 2 November 1945, p.15
Trumpington’s Target Smashed, –
Trumpington easily smashed its target of £5,000. The total for the week passed £13,000. The chief attraction of the week was a mock auction sale, which was held in the Village hall on Thursday, through which a sum of £1,794 was raised for investment in War Savings. …
Other attractions during the week were a M.O.I. [Ministry of Information] film show, an old- fashioned dance, and a bumper whist drive. Special thanks were extended to Mr J.N. Craig, Mr W.H. Pamplin, Mrs E. Bavey, and Mrs F.C. Woolfenden for making the week a huge success.
V.J. Celebrations, –
Trumpington V.J. celebrations were held on Oct. 11th, and commenced with a tea in the Village Hall, about 180 children being present. The hall was gaily decorated with flags and bunting, and tables were laden with all kinds of sandwiches, cakes, jellies, biscuits, etc. Music was provided by gramophone and amplifier, provided by Mr C. Wright, of Gonville Place, and after tea a short spell of community singing was enjoyed. The high spot of the evening was the entertainment of conjuring and marionettes given by Mr Brian Stubbings and his assistants. After the show the children were served with ice-cream, and were then marched to Bishop’s Road for the largest and best bonfire ever seen. The firework display was also greatly appreciated. The committee thank all who gave their services to make the party such a success. The expenses were met by a balance from the V.E. party in June, and made up by donations from a few interested persons.
T.M. November 1945
[Letter of the Vicar, Rev. T. Young]
… The ear splitting cheers of the children at the V.J. party tea must have been some reward to Mr Woolfenden and his splendid band of helpers for their work in organising and carrying out the Children’s Victory celebrations, but I know I speak for the whole parish when I express our appreciation of the efforts of all concerned with the Trumpington Children’s Victory Fund. …
T.M. December 1945
[Letter of the Vicar, Rev. T. Young]
… The Homecoming Fund continues to grow, it is now well past the £500 mark, please continue to support the numerous efforts which the Entertainments Committee sponsors. It has been decided to postpone the first Homecoming Supper until Spring when it will be possible to take advantage of Mr Parson’s kind offer to lend his huge barn, which will hold quite twice as many as the Village Hall.
I.P.&C. Friday 14 December 1945, p.7
Missing on Air Operations
See Photo ‘Portrait 1945’
Our picture is of Sergt. Stanley H. Goodwin, Royal Engineers, aged 24, husband of Mrs Hilary Goodwin, of Portersfield Road, Norwich, and only son of Mrs E. Goodwin, 30 Alpha Terrace, Trumpington. Sergt. Goodwin was reported missing on September 7th, 1945, while travelling in an aircraft on a special operation in South-East Asia Command. He was embodied at the outbreak of war with the Territorial Army, and served in the 287th Field Company, R.E. He left the Company just before they went to Singapore, and went to India for special work in Calcutta in August, 1944. Before the war he was R.D.C.
T.M. March 1946
[Letter of the Vicar, Rev. T. Young]
Just after last month’s magazine went to press it was officially announced that Stanley Goodwin must be considered to have lost his life in a plane accident which occurred last September between Rangoon and Calcutta. We extend our heartfelt sympathy to Mrs Goodwin in her loss after long months of anxious waiting for news, during which no trace of the plane or its occupants could be found.
Commonwealth War Graves Commission: Stanley Harold Goodwin
Serjeant Goodwin, Stanley Harold, Service Number 2079363, Died 07/09/1945,
Aged 24, Royal Engineers attd. Force 136 Special Operations Executive, Son of Laurie and Elsie Goodwin; husband of Hilary Mary Goodwin, of Trumpington, Cambridgeshire. Commemorated at Rangoon Memorial, Taukkyan War Cemetery, Myanmar, Spec. Mem. 5
2019 Updated Information. Stanley Harold Goodwin – the Missing Aircraft and its Crew
7.9.1945 Dakota IV serial KN584 357 Squadron Burma
Stanley Harold Goodwin, Royal Engineers, was named as one of the sixteen men on board Dakota KN584.
Plane missing from Special Duties mission over Burma – missing on a day sortie.
On the way to Taungoo and Calcutta, Dakota KN584 was due to make an airdrop at Mewaing, where the Special Operations Executive had been training and supplying ethnic Kayin troops to stage guerrilla attacks on the Japanese lines. But shortly after take-off from Rangoon, the plane hit bad weather and was unable to find the drop site. It eventually crashed into the nearby hills. The plane had 4 crew and 12 members of the Army and R.A.F. It had hit the side of a mountain 6000 ft above sea level and 10 miles from the drop zone [The moonlight war : the story of clandestine operations in Southeast Asia, 1944-1945’ by S/ Leader Terence O’Brien, London : Collins, 1987, p.342-346]. The plane was identified by its tail unit and personal belongings of a crew member. Some months later a team led by Captain Bourne visited the area and, together with locals, recovered what they could of the remains and buried them in the compound of Mewaing’s monastery. A wooden cross was placed at the grave site and two pieces of paper with the names of the lost members on the plane were nailed to the cross. A photograph of this wooden cross was supplied by the War Graves Commission to a nephew of one of the lost crew.
See Photo ‘Wooden Cross 1945’
In 2016 “the remains of Harry Smith and 15 others who died when Dakota KN 584 crashed on September 7, 1945, are still buried in a monastery compound in Mewaing, a remote village on the road from Bilin in Mon State to Papun, Kayin State. Decades of fighting between the Karen National Union and the Tatmadaw – often described as one of the world’s longest-running conflicts – have so far rendered that long-promised repatriation impossible.
But for the relatives of the deceased, a closure of sorts finally arrived on November 13. As the diplomats, military attachés and schoolchildren filtered out of Yangon’s Taukkyan War Cemetery at the end of the Remembrance Day service that morning, a small group remained behind for a much more personal memorial.
In the front right corner of the cemetery, a Commonwealth War Graves Commission banner obscured a stone block and 16 pedestals with bronze plaques commemorating those who died in the September 1945 crash. With short speeches concluded and the banner removed, relatives of four of the deceased who had travelled to Yangon for the ceremony began laying wreaths.”
See Photo ‘Memorial at Taukkyan War Cemetery’ 1945
Although the question of the memorial at Taukkyan is settled, the future of the mass grave at Mewaing is less clear. Francis from the CWGC said that even if peace does come to Kayin State, it’s unlikely the men would be repatriated to Taukkyan. “If the site became accessible it is more likely that we would consider whether it was possible to mark the graves in situ. Exhumation and movement of remains is always a last resort as we believe the individuals should be allowed to rest in peace.”
T.M. June 1946
[Letter of the Vicar, Rev. T. Young]
I write before the Homecoming Fund Committee has met to arrange details of the first “Welcome Home Supper” to be held on Thursday, June 27th. When it was postponed from last winter to take advantage of Mr Parson’s kind offer to lend his barn for the purpose, it was hoped that by June the food situation would be easier. Instead it is even more difficult to provide a supper than it was six months ago, therefore the supper must be rather in the nature of an austerity meal. We hope that the good fellowship to be enjoyed will more than compensate for deficiencies in the fare. There will be some difficulty in making sure that all men and women who have been released from the Forces by the date of the supper receive invitations, they and their relatives are requested to look out for public notices with regard to it.
Here in Trumpington we have another “Welcome Home” greeting to give to those previously homeless who are finding homes in the new housing estate. A large proportion of those who have already arrived are ex-Service people. It is for us, actually or comparatively old inhabitants, to do our utmost to help them to feel at home among us in our Church and parish – May God bless them and their new homes!
T.M. July 1946
[Letter of the Vicar, Rev. T. Young]
… But we of Trumpington are also seeing local history evolve before us. Those who have lived here for twenty years or more have already seen Trumpington change from being a village outside Cambridge to a suburb of Cambridge and now we are seeing houses springing up at a speed which will increase the population by fifty per cent. In two years. Whether these inhabitants will regard themselves as Trumpington people or Cambridge people who happen to live in the south part of the borough will depend very much upon us. We want them to feel that they are members of our Christian Fellowship, brothers and sisters in the Trumpington part of God’s family. …
The public meeting on June 13th decided that the Homecoming gifts to our returning service men and women should take the form of cheques, which will be presented to those who are released, at a Social to be held in October. This will take the place of the supper which is considered impracticable in view of the food shortage. Please support the fete on July 11th, which will be the last big effort for this fund, which has now almost reached £1,000. By October more than half of our men and women who have served will have been released and we shall probably hold another “Welcome home party” next year for the remainder.
T.M. September 1946
Trumpington Victory Memorial Homecoming Fund
To the Parishioners of Trumpington,
The Committee of the Trumpington Homecoming Fund beg to advise you that at the public meeting held on the 13th June, it was decided that the Fund should be closed at the end of September and that the proceeds should be divided in cash equally between the Trumpington men and women who served in the Forces during the late war, i.e., those whose homes were situated in the parish of Trumpington at the time of joining up, or regulars whose homes were at Trumpington at the commencement of hostilities.
The first distribution is to take place at a social gathering to be held on the 24th October and invitations will be sent to all who are known to be eligible and who have been released by then. Released men and women of Trumpington who do not receive invitations by the 5th October, or their relatives, are asked to communicate with the Secretary of the Homecoming Fund, Mr E.G. Youngs, The School-house.
The Committee beg to thank all who have contributed and helped to raise the Fund, which now amounts to £1,000. Further contributions are invited in order that we may be able to give each Trumpington man and woman who has served as large a cheque as possible, and should be sent to the Treasurer, Mr J.N. Craig, The National Provincial Bank.
For the Homecoming Fund Committee,
T. Young, Chairman
I.P.&C. Weekly News Friday 1 November 1946
Mr G. Wilson and Mr E.F. Wilson wish to thank the people of Trumpington and all those concerned in the Homecoming Fund for the enjoyable evening, October 24th, also for the splendid gift we received. We gratefully appreciate all the work that must have been done during the past few years.
T.M. December 1946
[Letter dated] October 25th
Dear Mr Youngs,
I would like to thank you and the people of Trumpington through you very much indeed for the most generous cheque that was given to us last night, and for the excellent entertainment we were given too. I appreciate most fully what a lot of trouble has been put into giving us the party. And the cheque must have meant that many people must have saved to give it to us – a very comforting thought.
It has been a great pleasure to belong to a village like Trumpington during the war, which has always looked after its Service people well. I remember how when I was in the ranks my Christmas parcel was the envy of less lucky men, and having been commissioned have always found the diary most useful (though privately regretting that officers were thought to be above receiving the old food parcel).
So I want to say thank you for the entertainment, for the cheque, and for the best gift of all, the knowledge that Trumpington is as glad to have us back as we are to be back.
2019 Account of Ernest Henry Chapman from Personal Documents
Soldier’s Service and Pay Book
Army No: 14601317 Name: Chapman, Ernest Henry
Date of Birth: 29.12.1913
Trade on Enlistment: Carpenter & Joiner
Enlisted at: Bury St. Edmunds On: 6.5.1943
For the: Duration of the Emergency
Description on Enlistment
Height: 5ft 6½ Weight: 130½
Maximum Chest: 35in Complexion: Fresh
Eyes: Grey Hair: Brown
Age Group: 42 C,
Particulars of Training
Passed Class of R.A.M.C. Instruction under War Conditions: August 1943
Passed Trade Test for Nursing Orderly, Group C, Class III20 October 1943
Record of Employment as an Army Tradesman
Nursing Orderly Group C, Class III: Graded and Mustered: 6.11.1943
Christmas Day Menu. 1943
12th (Holding) Depot, R.A.M.C. [Leeds]
The Commanding Officer and Officers wish all ranks the Compliments of the Season.
Breakfast, 07.30 to 08.30 hours
Wheat-flakes and hot milk
Fried egg and bacon
Bread and butter
Dinner, 12.30 hours
Brussells [sic] sprouts
Music by the “Medichords”
Tea (Buffet): 16.00 to 17.00 hours
Cold meat and beetroot
Bread and butter
Regtl. No. 14601317 Name: Chapman, E.H.
Date embarkation: A/S Gp: 42 ex U.K. 25.3.1944
2 copies of ‘Welcome to Bombay. Bombay, the Gateway of India’
84 IGH (C) [84th Indian General Hospital] Discharge Slip
To: Officer in Medical Charge: 38 B.G.H. [38th British General Hospital] [located at Imphal, Manipur, India]
No. 14601317 Rank: Pte. Name: Chapman, E.H.
Unit: 43 IGH was admitted on: 14.11 1944
was discharged on: 23.11.1944
His disease while in Hospital was: Malaria M.T.(7)
He is recommended: to continue his Pamaquin course in his unit.
Return Journey Soldier’s Ticket – document and B & A R [The Bengal and Assam Railway] ticket
Manipur to Calcutta – return
Date of issue: 8.4.1945
Return journey available up to: 30.4.1945
A Little Guide to Rangoon. Published by AG/Education, Advanced Headquarters, Allied Land Forces, South East Asia. May 1945
Information leaflet with ‘38 BGH’ handwritten on the front.
The 38th British General Hospital transferred from Imphal (Manipur), India, to Rangoon, Burma, in June 1945
There are four photographs in the collection:
See Photos ‘Portraits 1945’
1. E.H. Chapman on his own and handwritten note ‘Rangoon 1945’ on the reverse side;
2. E.H. Chapman and Cpl. Webber and photo marked ‘Rangoon 1945’;
3. A group of 4 soldiers and 2 other people with no annotation; and
4. A picture of Sitting Buddha with a note on the back ‘Shive Dagon Pagoda, Rangoon July 1945, E.H.C.’ and the ‘Rangoon July 1945’ section has been scribbled over in blue pen and the reverse side of the picture stamped ‘Unit censor K126’.
Soldier’s Service and Pay Book
Army No: 14601317 Name: Chapman, Ernest Henry
Date of Birth: 29.12.1913
Record of Specialist Employment Whilst Serving:
21 Sep 1945 Promoted Corporal
No.ESC/PAT/BOR, 49th IGH(C), S.E.A.C., dated 30 May 1946
14601317 Cpl. Chapman R.A.M.C. (i/c Escort)
7406114 Pte. Riale R.A.M.C.
14796645 Pte. Roderick R.A.M.C.
The a/n BORs are directed to proceed to RANGOON on the Ambulance Train on Escort Duty.
Anti-Malarial precautions will be strictly adhered to, and a supply of mepacrine tablets has been issued.
On completion of this duty they will return to this hospital.
Signed A.E. Edwards, Major I.A., Registrar 49th IGH(C) [possibly located at Insein, approx.. 10 miles from Rangoon]
Written in pencil on the reverse – ‘48 hours rations … only required, 1.6.46’
Regtl. No. 14601317 Name: Chapman, E.H.
Date embarkation: A/S Gp: 42 ex U.K. 25.3.1944
Date arrival: 7.9. 1946
Trumpington Homecoming Fund invitation card
The Committee of the Trumpington Homecoming Fund request the pleasure of the Company of Mr E.H. Chapman and friend at a Social to be held in the Village Hall at 7.30 p.m. on Thursday, October 24th, when the Fund will be distributed. Please reply by October 12th to the Secretary, Mr E.G. Youngs, The School House, Trumpington, giving your full name and service rank. September 1946
To:- Cpl. E.H. Chapman. From the people of Trumpington as a token of appreciation of your service in the World War 1939-1945
I.P.&C. Friday 15 November 1946, p.6
Village Tributes to Fallen of Two Wars
About 30 members of the British Legion paraded at the Village Hall in the morning and marched to the War Memorial. The parade was headed by the British Legion Standard and the Union Jack, Mr H. Kitson and Mr R. Kitson (father and son) acting as standard bearers, escorted by Messrs. W.F. Brown, J. Curtis, S. Freestone and H. Haslop. Mr H. Oxley was in charge of the parade. At the War Memorial a short service was conducted by the Rev. T. Young, and Mr S. Newell read the names of those of the parish who made the supreme sacrifice during the two wars. The Silence was observed, and Mr F. Mynott sounded the ‘Last Post’ and ‘Reveille’. A wreath from the members of the branch was placed on the Memorial. The parade then marched to the church, where a special service of remembrance was conducted by the Vicar (the Rev. T. Young). In the evening a number of members from the branch attended a special service in the Trumpington Free Church, conducted by Pastor A.J. Fordham. The lessons were read by two members of the branch, Coun. E.F. Andrews and Mr E.G. Spivey. The collections from both services are to be given to Earl Haig’s Poppy Fund.
T.M. January 1947
[Letter of the Vicar, Rev. T. Young]
… Now that they have been given more freedom, the German prisoners in our parish have become more obvious. At the time of writing they are still forbidden to enter our houses or accept any hospitality but these restrictions will probably be relaxed to some extent very soon and there will be opportunities for us to show that we realise that they are brothers for whom Christ died. Let us do so without any sloppy sentiment but remembering that many of them are Christians. For some time now about two hundred of them have come to our Church for a service in German every month at which the singing has been most inspiring.
It is proposed to form a Women’s Section of the Trumpington Branch of the British Legion. Miss Mary E. Warren, Area Secretary of the Women’s Section of the Legion, has promised to address the inaugural meeting which is to be held at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, January 14th, in the Village Hall. All ex-service women and the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters of ex-service men are invited to attend the meeting and join the Branch. E.G.S.
T.M. May 1947
A Branch of the British Legion Women’s Section has been formed in Trumpington. Our President is Mrs Pemberton and Chairman, Mrs Ingle.
The Branch meets on the second Wednesday of each month (excepting July and August) at 3 o’ clock for an informal gathering, and members are invited to bring their sewing and knitting.
The Monthly meeting is held on the third Tuesday in each month, at 7.30 p.m., when such business as arises is discussed and arrangements made for future activities of the Branch. The meeting closes with a social entertainment.
The Headquarters of the Branch are at the Village Hall, and a warm welcome is extended at all meetings to those who wish to become members.
The Secretary, Mrs Spivey, London Road, Trumpington, will be pleased to give further details to any who may be interested. D.T.S.
London Gazette, Supplement 37977, 12 June 1947, p.2601
William Harman Pamplin, Chief Collector, Trumpington Village National Savings Group.
B.E.M. British Empire Medal (Civil Division)
T.M. October 1947
[Letter of the Vicar, Rev. T. Young]
… At a public meeting on the 18th September it was decided that the names of the fallen in the recent war should be added to the names on the War Memorial Cross on Cross Hill and a committee was elected to execute the matter. It is proposed that the following names should be inscribed:- Stanley Ash, Arthur Edward Carter, Rupert Jack Carter, Brian Thomas Farrington, Stanley Harold Goodwin, John Devitt Stringfellow Pendlebury, Victor Charles White, Charles Frank Horace Wiessner.
At the same public meeting a report was made of the Homecoming Fund and, at a subsequent committee meeting, arrangements were made for a Social on Saturday, November 22nd, at which the final distribution of the Fund will be made to those who have been released from the Forces since the first Homecoming gathering last October. Their share will be sent to those who are still serving after the Social.
T.M. November 1947
[Letter of the Vicar, Rev. T. Young]
… P.S. Since writing the above the Sculptor, Mr David Kindersley, has found it possible to carve the names of the fallen in the recent War on the War Memorial in time for our Service at the Memorial on Remembrance Sunday. The unveiling of the names will therefore precede the Silence. This means that the ceremony will begin at 10.45 a.m. with the unveiling of the new inscription by Major E. Saville Peck, D.L. (Cambridgeshire Regt. T.)
2019 Account of Stanley James Newell from personal communication with his daughter, Mrs June Sutton, including quotes from her father’s notes
Stanley James Newell was born in Trumpington on 3rd November 1913 and he attended Trumpington School. See Photos ‘Trumpington Church School, Group III, 1926’. His father, Harry James Newell, Motor Engineer & Cycle Agent of High Street, Trumpington, was recorded as a Special Constable in the 1939 UK Register and in fact served in this role for 32 years. See Photos ‘Portrait 1949’. Stanley married Enid Martin in 1939 and they lived at Weighbridge House, High Street, Trumpington. He was a Cycle Mechanic and Motor Driver (Hire Service). He joined the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (R.A.O.C.) at Blackpool and trained under the East Lancashire Regiment. He sailed in ‘Empress of Japan’ from Liverpool to Greenock on the Clyde. They joined a convoy into the Atlantic. Two of the convoy ships were torpedoed by U- boats. The ship carrying Mr Newell called into Durban, South Africa, before sailing on to Egypt. See Photos ‘Portrait 1942’. The soldiers went to Cairo and Alexandria. They prepared for El Alamein in Geneifa. “The battle started the night of 23rd October 1942 at 9.40 p.m.. The noise was like 20 thunder storms going off at once.” They went forward through Libya over the Sollum Pass into Tobruk and then Benghazi. In October 1942, the Corps of Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) was formed, based on the RAOC Engineering Branch, and strengthened by the transfer of certain technical units and tradesmen from the Royal Engineers and the Royal Army Service Corps, to be responsible for repairing the technical equipment of all arms. Thus Mr Newell became a member of R.E.M.E. He had started at 5th Army Workshop (R.A.O.C.) and moved to 51st Infantry Brigade Workshop (R.E.M.E.). “We were all tradesmen: – mechanics, blacksmiths, carpenters, wireless operators, armourers, etc..” In his notes he described seeing camels, antelope, scorpions, tortoises, etc.. They then sailed from Sousse for the invasion of Sicily. “This was wonderful after the desert, so green – with olives, grapes, bananas and pomegranates. Mount Etna was spurting flames and rocks.” “Before the invasion of Italy we sat on the beach and watched the British Navy shell the coast line. We then travelled to Bari along the Adriatic coast as far as Sangro River. Finally we were called back to Taranto on the heel of Italy and sailed for England. Eventually ending up in Aldershot to prepare for the invasion of Europe.” In 1945 Stanley was serving in Kalyan, India. See Photos ‘Portrait 1945’. Following the war, he was an active member of the Trumpington Branch of the British Legion and was Chairman from 1963-1967. See Photos ‘Remembrance Day c1967’. Throughout his life he enjoyed writing poetry. A couple of poems on the theme of the British Legion are reproduced under the ‘1962’ and ‘1968’ sections of these notes. This talent for creating verse has rubbed off onto his grand-daughter, Claire Sutton, and she wrote the following poem for the funeral of her Granddad.
“Granddad 3.11.13 – 7.2.2006”
My very special Granddad, well, where do I start?
The most honest, friendly gentleman with a giant heart,
Would always greet me with a smile and a twinkle in his eye,
And gently squeeze my hand with care
Every time I said goodbye.
He would always keep himself so smart, never a white hair out of place,
Spotless blazer, polished shoes, excitement written across his face.
From cleaning the church, picking veg to playing in the flowers,
I have so many fond memories of him
I could go on for hours.
He was a unique person and this is true to say,
Who touched so many hearts in his own sweet way.
Today I’ll say goodbye to my Granddad the only true way I can
And hope he’s watching over me now … with my Dad,
Another very special man.
From his collection of WW2 notes and photographs, June Sutton provided a photograph of the unveiling of the names of the men of Trumpington who gave their lives in the 1939-45 War on Remembrance Sunday 9 November 1947. See Photos ‘Unveiling. Trumpington War Memorial. 1947’.
T.M. January 1948
[Letter of the Vicar, Rev. T. Young]
On November 9th, Remembrance Sunday, the names of the eight men of Trumpington who gave their lives in the second World War were unveiled by Major E.S. Peck, D.L., immediately before the two minutes’ silence at 11 a.m. They were carved on the base of the War Memorial by Mr David Kindersley, a pupil of the late Eric Gill, who designed and executed the Memorial twenty-five years ago. Other names of men connected with our parish might have been added but the Committee felt that they must keep strictly to the rule that only those who went from the parish into the Forces should be considered for this purpose. Obviously the same name ought not to be carved on more than one parish memorial.
On November 22nd, the second social in connection with the Homecoming Fund was held in the Village Hall and cheques for £6 10s. 0d. were presented to about twenty men and women who had come home from the Forces since the previous social twelve months before, and cheques were sent to about as many more who were unable to attend or were not yet released. The presentations were made by Colonel G.F. Dale, President of the Cambridge British Legion.
Trumpington PoW Camp. German Prisoners of War. February 1948
See Photos ‘German PoWs 1948’
Two photographs held in the Cambridgeshire Collection, filed at S.1948.37242-3
1. A Cambridge University course for German Prisoners of War: listening to the opening lecture given by C.W. Guillibaud, at St John’s College, about 200 prisoners attended this 6 weeks course organised by the Board of Extra Mural Studies in 1948, which terminated in mid-March. A wide variety of subjects was covered and half the lectures were given in German and half in English.
2. While the special course for German Prisoners of War was being held at Cambridge University in 1948, the prisoners were moved to a special camp at Trumpington.
T.M. December 1949
Trumpington Victory Memorial (Homecoming) Fund
In May, 1945, a Public Meeting was called to discuss the raising of a Fund to show appreciation of the services of Trumpington men and women in the Forces. A Target of £1,500 was set and it was decided to make a present to the men and women who had served with the Armed Forces, and any surplus to be allocated to perpetuating the memory of the Fallen. The first £50 was to be spent in entertaining the men and women.
The Committee consisted of three representatives from each, the Parish Church, the Free Church, the British Legion and the Women’s Institute, with power to co-opt. When the Fund was closed in September, 1946, some £1,120 had been raised by means of a special Appeal, a Fete, a Penny-a-week scheme, Whist Drives, Dances, a Pantomime, Concerts and a Gymkhana.
At another Public Meeting it was decided that a cheque for £6 10s. should be given to each man and woman whose home was in the Parish of Trumpington and who had served in the second World War and who had been called up before V.J. Day.
The first function to welcome home those who had been released from the Forces was held in the Village Hall in October, 1946, when the deputy mayor (Alderman G. Wilding) presented 115 cheques. A personal letter from the Chairman of the Fund (the Rev. T. Young) and a cheque for £6 10s. were sent to the next of kin of the eight men who had died on Active Service. Their names have been commemorated on our beautiful memorial Cross.
The second presentation of cheques was made by Col. Guy Dale at a social gathering held in the Village Hall in November, 1947.
A small balance was handed to the Trumpington Branch of the British Legion, which had generously undertaken to assume liability for a deficit up to £15, if, owing to an unforeseen circumstance, the Fund had not been able to meet all the claims upon it. E.G.Y.
[Receipts and Payments Account printed – payments including Distribution to 165 recipients at £6. 10s. each and a Contribution to cost of Engraving names on War Memorial.]
“The British Legion”
We have listened to those stories
That our fathers used to tell,
Of Ypres – The Somme – and Vimy
Of Mons and Passchendaele,
How they lived in dugouts
And those trenches by the score,
But by their faith and courage
Kept the wolf from Britain’s shore.
Not for us the mud of Flanders
But the deserts blinding glare,
Not for us those trenches
But the jungles dangerous lair,
Yes! We travelled o’er the oceans
And in the skies above,
We travelled over many lands
For the sake of those we loved.
We had our regimental colours
Of many a varied hue,
But now we have one standard
Its colours gold and blue,
Yes! We’re in the British Legion
To help our pals in need,
Will you play your part today
By word? Or thought? Or deed?
S.J. Newell, 1962.
Reproduced, with the permission of Mr Stanley James Newell’s children in April 2019, from the publication ‘ The Royal British Legion. Trumpington Branch, 1921 to 1971 ’ compiled by A. Heginbotham, Branch Chairman, 1971. Cambridgeshire Collection, Cambridge Central Library, C 37.3
26 years ago we stood
Our backs towards the Nile,
Stretching far ahead of us
Was the desert, mile on mile,
Beyond those miles of sand and dust
Were the homes we loved so dear
But in front of us that evening
Was the enemy, the sweat, the fear!
Some of us were lucky
We are here today
Sound in limb and body
And those days are far away.
But there are many others
Their memory vivid yet
Their wounds and other troubles
Will let them not forget.
We must not forget them either
We must help them along the way
Please, remember those who suffer,
This – and every ‘Poppy Day’
S.J. Newell, Chairman, Trumpington Branch of the British Legion, 1963-67.
Provided by and reproduced, with the permission of Mr Stanley James Newell’s children in April 2019
Sydney Morning Herald, 23 March 2009
Handsome, witty and a musical director to the stars. Tony Osborne 1922 – 2009
Tony Osborne, who has died in Manly aged 86, was born in Trumpington, Cambridgeshire, to Alice Pett and her husband, Teddy Osborne, a painter and decorator of modest means. The parents named him Edward Benjamin, but he, too, was called Teddy, so he changed his name to Tony.
Although he liked to say he studied at Cambridge, Tony attended only elementary and senior schools. His musical education was also basic, with lessons from a local teacher. Yet, by the age of 13, he was highly proficient on piano-accordion and had won the British East Anglian junior championship.
He worked with local bands until the national service call-up took him into the Royal Air Force. With many pianists available for service bands, Osborne took his trumpet to the Middle East and blew his way through the rest of World War II. Away from hostilities, he could practise undisturbed in his tent in the desert.
After the war Osborne was hired by many of the big names in the British dance band business, including Cyril Stapleton, Carroll Gibbons and Frank Weir. He joined Chappell’s Music and was sought for directing recording sessions and for concerts with performers such as Vera Lynn, Petula Clark, Dorothy Squires, Gracie Fields, Max Bygraves, the Beverley Sisters, Mel Torme and Johnny Mathis.
And personal communication, Colin Osborne, 2018
Trumpington Local History Group website
The family of Vittorio Prati contacted TLHG with information and photographs of him when he had been an Italian prisoner of war and held at Trumpington Camp off Hauxton Road. He had been captured at El Alamein in July 1942.
See Photos ‘Portrait 1944’ and ‘Trumpington Camp Special Pass 1944’
Cambridge News, 21 July 2014, p.8
‘Forgotten’ soldier honoured at last.
A forgotten soldier is set to be commemorated on a Cambridge war memorial for the first time – 74 years after he was killed. Lt. Jack Creek, of Bishop’s Road, Trumpington, died in action in Egypt in 1940 but his name was not added to the village’s memorial at the end of the Second World War, apparently because his widow and the couple’s three young sons had moved away from the city…
Lt Creek was 38 when he was killed in a bombing raid on Boxing Day in 1940. Born in George IV Street, he was a professional soldier in the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders who worked his way up through the ranks and saw service in Jamaica, China and India…
See Photo ‘Trumpington War Memorial 2014’.
Trumpington Local History Group website
Thomas Barth contacted TLHG with information and a query concerning his father, Arnost Barth, an employee of the Czechoslovakian shoemaker company, Bata, which had been at Anstey Hall. In late September 1939, the national register listed 30 people involved with boot and shoe manufacturing living at Anstey Hall and others living in houses on Hauxton Road and Cambridge Road, Great Shelford. Arnost Barth, who was Jewish, had managed to escape from Czechoslovakia aided by letters from Thomas J. Bata, the owner of the company, and it is probable the others at Anstey Hall had similar assistance. The Hall is thought to have been unoccupied from the death of G.R.C. Foster in 1936 until 1939. The June 1939 issue of the parish magazine refers to “There is general satisfaction that Anstey Hall is again occupied. We would extend a welcome to its inhabitants and hope that though exiled from their own land they may find peace and happiness in our midst”.
Notes concerning the spreadsheet: Trumpington Men and Women and World War 2
The sources of information were as follows:
39 UK Reg. – The 1939 England & Wales Register, dated 29 September 1939
TM Reference – Trumpington Magazine, the parish magazine, 1939 – 1949
IPC – Independent Press and Chronicle, 1939 – 1946
Gaz – London Gazette
SMH – Sydney Morning Herald
PR – Trumpington Parish Marriage and Baptism Registers
BLeg – British Legion, Trumpington Branch, archive
RoH – Roll of Honour (Trumpington) website –
CWGC – Commonwealth War Graves Commission website
PoW – ‘UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945’ – database on Ancestry
Pers – Personal communication with Trumpington Local History Group
‘Active’ in the ‘Position’ column indicates a person who may have been one of the 165 recipients of a gift from the Trumpington Homecoming Fund.
Web addresses were accessed during the period January to December 2019.
Thanks to Andrew Roberts for editing and reformatting the text to make it suitable for the Trumpington Local History Group website and for taking photographs of newspaper items. Thanks also to the staff of the Cambridgeshire Collection, Cambridge Central Library.