World War II
THOSE WHO DIED ON SERVICE
IN AND AROUND DOVER
Crook, V. J.
Victor James Crook, 5675198, was a private in D
Company of the 9th Battalion, The Green Howards. In the
early evening of 11 September, aged 21, he was mortally wounded
whilst on sentry duty at Dover Marine Station when a
long-range shell exploded close by to his post. Privates Birkett and Clifford were also injured.
Victor Crook is buried south west of the church in
Congresbury (St. Andrew) Churchyard, Somerset. He was
the son of John and Winifred Emily Crook from
words and information with thanks to
picture with thanks to Andrew Hogg
James Henry Ellis, 6350245. Private James Henry Ellis
was a 20 year old new recruit from London posted to the
50th (Holding) Battalion Queen's Own Royal West Kent
Regiment and who was stationed at The Citadel from
mid-June 1940. The Royal West Kents were tasked with
patrolling and protecting the western side of the
Heights defences including manning the outlying
perimeter defences, including Shakespeare tunnel,
Crabble, Coombe Valley, Whinless Down and River. Ellis
was killed instantly in the evening of 9 September when
a shell exploded in a moat shattering every window in
the casemates. The Queen's Own left Dover in early
the son of Cyril Dudley and Helena Frances Ellis,of
Sydenham, London, and is buried at St James' Cemetery,
row D, joint grave 1. The words at the bottom of his
headstone read, "In loving memory of our beloved son
Jim. Mother and Dad, Sisters and Brothers"
information, words, and photo with thanks to Phil Eyden
Frederick Haller, 2711948. A Guardsman of the 3rd
(Training) Battalion Irish Guards. Frederick was a
23-year-old married serviceman from Kilmarnock who was
only a few weeks out of training. He was posted to Dover
on 14 July 1940 along with the rest of the
Battalion and was stationed in the Grand Shaft Barracks.
The Irish Guards had the duty of defence of the Western
Heights in the area of the Drop Redoubt and Detached
Bastion and were tasked with defending Dover
street-to-street if German parachutists had attempted a
landing. They were also responsible for Anti-Aircraft
defence of that area and renovating the old Napoleonic
defences to make them defendable again. Frederick was
critically injured late afternoon of September 11 when
two long-range shells hit 'A' Block and the Sergeants
Mess at the Barracks, and died of his wounds the next
day. Guardsman Cummings was also badly injured but
Frederick was the only member of the Irish Guards to be
killed on duty at Dover. Fortunately a few days earlier
most of the Battalion had been moved into the old
Napoleonic tunnels and caponiers for protection from
such shelling; had they not done so the shells would
probably have caused a much greater loss of life. The
Irish Guards left Dover in early November.
Frederick was the son of Percy and Grace Haller, of
Sheffield; and husband of Barbara Haller. His brother
Arthur Cyril also died on service, on 22 September 1942,
and is buried at Hailsham. Frederick is buried at St
James' cemetery, Row D, joint grave 1. The words at the
bottom of his headstone read, "We shall never forget
him. He was a good man and did good things"
information, words, and photo with thanks to Phil Eyden
Charles Richard Hanvy, 3531619, was the son of Charles
and Mary Hanvy, from Dukinfield, Cheshire, and was
serving in D Company, the 9th Battalion of the Green
Howards when he was killed on 29 July 1940, aged 23. He
is buried in the Ashton-Under-Lyne and Dukinfield Joint
Cemetery, grave reference B5 Dukinfield, grave 80.
The 9th (Overseas)
Battalion Green Howards were a war-raised Battalion at
the Grand Shaft Barracks in early Spring 1940. They were
tasked with defence of Dover Harbour and seafront,
namely the Admiralty Pier and the area from the
Lord Warden Hotel to the Dockyard gates. They were also
responsible for the defence of the northern approaches
to Dover and for the defence of the Citadel and Grand
29 July was a very
intense day at Dover. Two waves of thirty Ju88 bombers
supported by escorting Bf109 fighters made a very heavy
attack on shipping and the submarine pens. Over 200
bombs were dropped and the oil tanker 'Sandhurst' was
hit breaking fires out all over the jetty. The Battalion
War Diary records:
"29th July Pte
Hanvy D. Company killed in action on Eastern Arm while
engaging enemy dive-bombers which were attacking
shipping in harbour. Pte S. Skerratt (see below)
who was the other man on the Lewis gun was badly
wounded. 30th July Pte Skerratt died in Union Road
hospital from wounds received on previous morning."
Barrage Balloons were delivered the day that Sidney
died. On 6 November The Green Howards departed Dover and
took up defensive positions in Deal.
information and words with thanks to Phil Eyden
Victor Charles Park, 5726786, was a
Lance Corporal serving with the 5th Battalion of the
He was 22 and was from 3 Wareham Road, Lytchett
Matravers, Poole, Doreset. His battalion was moved to Dover on 8
November 1940, where they took over at "Grand Shaft
Fortress" from the 3rd Battalion Irish Guards. They
remained there until February 1941. They were billeted
inside the Drop Redoubt and Detached Bastion for
protection against shelling.
Lance Corporal Park was said by his colleagues as a
cheerful fellow. He had recently returned from leave,
which he said he had enjoyed. At around 8am on the day
he died, 30 December 1940, he had walked with a
companion to, though not entered, the cookhouse, which
was situated at the Grand Shaft Barracks. Three-quarters
of an hour later a shot was heard, from the nearby
latrine. Lance Corporal's body was found there lying in
a passage. He had been shot through the head, the bullet
entering by his nose and escaping from his scalp. A
rifle was beside him. The coroner, at the inquest,
returned a verdict of suicide.
Lance Corporal Park is buried at St James cemetery, B joint grave 5.
Lance Corporal Park's name has been
found as a graffito in the Side Arms Store.
information and photo with thanks to Phil Eyden
with additional thanks to Jim Richards for finding the
reference in the Dover Express
Skeates, A. C.
Albert Charles Skeates,1871381. Hailing from Morestead
near Winchester, Albert Skeates signed up to the Royal
Engineers. From his home service regiment, he
volunteered to join the Commandos and was posted to
Troop 6 of No.5 Commando. On the 14 September 1940 No.5
Commando were posted to St. Margaret's-at-Cliffe and the
surrounding villages and were actively involved in
patrolling the area on land and on small naval vessels
provided by the Royal Navy. The Commando was assigned to
protect some of the heavy long range guns in the area
and would have been responsible for the defence of St.
Margaret's if the invasion had commenced. His assigned
Troop, 6, had the role of mobile reserve and had the
distinction of capturing the first enemy barrage balloon
that had drifted over the channel.
was killed on 1 November during a day of intense
shelling of Dover when a long range shell exploded close
by when he was on patrol walking along the Dover-Deal
road. He died of shrapnel wounds and was the only member
of No.5 Commando to die on duty in Dover. The unit left
Dover one week later. He is buried at St James'
cemetery, row A, joint grave 12).
information, words, and photo with thanks to Phil Eyden
Sidney Skerratt, 3532365, was a Lance Corporal in D
Company, the 9th Battalion of the Green Howards. He was
fatally injured in Dover on 29 July 1940, and died the
next day in the Union Hospital. He is buried at St
James, Dover, Row D, joint grave 2.
See Charles Hanvy, above,
for more information.
information, and words with thanks to Phil Eyden
Bremner, R. M.
Surgeon Lt Cdr Robert McDonald Bremner was one
of many killed in Dover during the heavy Good Friday
bombing raid on 3 April. It was over two days later when his body
was recovered from the remains of 9 Pencester Road.
Wick, Caithness, in 1905, Surgeon Lt Cdr Bremner graduated as a
surgeon from Edinburgh University in 1929.
After practising in Leicestershire and Durham,
he joined the Royal Navy in 1933. Aged 37 when
he died, he was
posthumously awarded the George Medal for great
bravery and devotion to duty in saving life.
He was the son of John Bain Bremner
and Jamesina McDonald Bremner, from Wick, and is buried
in Wick cemetery M271.
with thanks to Susan
Chillingworth, left, was one of eleven men from
the Royal Artillery, 218 Battery, 73 Lt AA Regiment who were
killed at St Margaret's when a shell hit their trench on
warning was received from Dover at 19.59. Some twenty
shells were fired, with about a dozen close to the town
of Dover. Three burst in the air, six fell in the
harbour, others at the rear of 22 Pencester Road,
Clarence Lawn, and on the beach opposite Marine Place.
At 21.14 the ARP at St Margaret's received a
message that a trench opposite the Reach Court turning
had received a hit, and that it was believed there were
11 casualties. Ambulances were dispatched and
at 21.45 a lorry with digging equipment was requested.
By 22.05 it was confirmed all casualties had been buried
and a search was attempting to locate them. Half an hour
later four bodies had been found and after a further
hour another three, with an eighth body just being
uncovered. By five past midnight it was confirmed that
eleven men had died. The bodies had been recovered and
sent to the Tower Hamlets mortuary.
The men were:
|Gunner Daniel Lehane
||son of Cornelius and Mary Lehane
||Ballyvourney churchyard, County Cork
|Gunner Bertram Harriss Fowler
||son of Mr and Mrs F Fowler of Bournemouth
||Bournemouth East cemetery, plot V row 2
|Gunner Peter Loudon
||son of Peter and Mary Loudon of Clydebank
||Dalnottar Cemetery, Dunbartonshire, D 429
|Gunner Frederick Horace Kelly
||son of William and Eliza Ann Kelly and
husband of Ethel Victoria Kelly of Leytonstone
||Leytonstone (St Patrick's) Roman Catholic
Cemetery, plot 11B row 67 grave 30
|Gunner Ronald Goodchild
||son of Mr and Mrs C Goodchild of Bledlow
||Bledlow, Buckinghamshire (Holy Trinity) New
|Gunner Leonard Chillingworth
husband of B Chillingworth,
and son of Charles and Rose Chillingworth
|Edmonton cemetery, Middlesex, W 56
||son of Joseph and Jane Ballantyne of
||Ryton cemetery sec J grave 121
|Gunner John Abbott
||son of Albert Edward and Emma Abbott,
husband of Phyllis Jemima Abbott, of
||Stanground South Cemetery 146
|Gunner William Hutchison
||son of Matthew and Annie Hutchison of
Glasgow, husband of Margaret Ann Baird Hutchison
||Glasgow (St Kentigern's) Roman Catholic
|Gunner Ernest Parratt
||son of Ernest William and Florence Parratt,
husband of Ivy Parratt of Harrow
||Harrow (Pinner) new cemetery sec B6 grave
|Gunner William Turner
||son of Mr and Mrs John Frederick Turner,
husband of Bridget Turner of Sittingbourne
||Sittingbourne cemetery, old ground sec K
Shortly before he was killed, Len
Chillingworth was home on leave. He gave his niece a
small shell, right, which she has kept to this day.
Her cousin has a treasured memory of
lying on the floor with Uncle Len, being shown how to
hold his (unloaded) rifle. They are now the only two
members of the family remaining who knew him.
with thanks to Doreen
about Norman Ballantyne, see
Ryton and District War Memorials Project
Left is Gunner Fowler's grave
at Bournemouth. At the bottom of the grave are
the words, "In loving memory of our dear Bert.
His duty nobly done. Loved and sadly missed".
Gunner Fowler's picture is
placed upon the grave, amongst the flowers. A
plaque on the grave reads, "maintained by CBB".
is the CWGC headstone on the grave of Thomas Edgar Cook at Beckenham
Cemetery, Kent, killed on the same day as Flt Lt Soden,
below - the last day of shelling in Dover.
He was 32 and serving in the Royal
Artillery. The words at the bottom of his headstone
read, "He did his job, and died that we might live".
Private Max Long, 127th AAA Battalion
J. W. H.
John William Henry Perkins was serving as a
Gunner, 14732514, in the Royal Artillery, 413 battery,
173 HAA Regiment, when he was wounded by shrapnel at
Folkestone. He died, aged 27, at the Casualty
Hospital in Dover on 14 October 1944. His brothers-in-law
Thomas and Edwin travelled by train to bring his body
home for a family burial at
Hemsworth Cemetery, Yorkshire. He is buried in the
consecrated section, grave 2796.
Born and brought up in Hemsworth, he
was the son of Frederick Arthur Perkins and his
wife Elizabeth, formerly Burnell. He was a keen
footballer, playing for Hemsworth YMCA and for Hemsworth
White Rose before the war. In the picture below he is
first on the left, kneeling, and behind him, standing,
second on the left, is his father.
In 1940 he married Priscilla
Mary Bennett, and the couple had two children,
Elizabeth, born in 1941, and Frederick, born in 1943.
Very sadly little Frederick died at the age of eleven
months, after an accident.
Gunner Perkins may have been named after his uncle, John
William Perkins. The son of William Perkins, he was
serving as a Lance Corporal, 203864, in the King's Own
Yorkshire Light Infantry, 2nd Battalion, when he was
killed on 15 July 1917. He is buried at Coxyde, Belgium,
I E 8.
with thanks to Graham
Soden, G. E.
Right is the grave of Flt Lt George Edward Thomas Soden, at St
Peter-in-Thanet, killed on the last day of shelling in
Dover. Flt Lt Soden was born at Eaglescliffe, Co.
Durham, the son of Ernest Edward Thomas Soden and his
wife Beatrice Mary (née Gresty), who married in Cheshire
He qualified as a medical doctor and had been
ministering to war-time needs. According to Roy Humphreys' book,
as Flt Lt Soden returned to his 961 Balloon Barrage
Depot, Frith Road, Dover, in an ambulance with driver
WAAF Kathleen McKinley a shell exploded at the depot.
They sheltered behind a blast wall and Flt Lt Soden
attempted to protect WAAF McKinley with his body from
the debris. He was fatally wounded.
WAAF McKinley was awarded the BEM for
her actions in ferrying injured people to hospital on
that day, disregarding her own injuries. She was then
The headstone reads, "Flight
Lieutenant George Edward Soden RAFVR MRCS LRCP. George,
beloved husband of Clare, killed by enemy action whilst
stationed at Dover, Sept 26th 1944. Happy Memories".
George Soden and Clara Jessup had married in 1935. They
probably had two children, Colin, born 1937, and
Caroline, born 1939, when Flt Lt Soden was killed.
Grave photo with thanks to David Soden