war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper

World War II


Surnames B

Balfour, R. H.     
Robert Balfour, 2754095, was a Private in the Black Watch (Royal Highlanders), 1st battalion. He was reported missing, and over a year later as having died on 11th June 1940. He is remembered on the Dunkirk Memorial, France. Column 66

He was the son of Thomas and Beatrice Louise Balfour, and the husband of Doris May Balfour, of 26 Adrian Street, and later of Ramsgate, and the father of two young sons 

Barnes, L. N.    
Leslie Norman Barnes, 5389400, was a Private in the 31st Independent Co, Reconnaissance Corps, RAC. He died by accident at Brecon on 17th June 1941, when he was 28. He is buried at Tenterden, St Mildred's, Kent. Grave1652

His parents were William East and Elizabeth Barnes, and his wife was Lille Frances Barnes, née Bodiam, from Dover

in memoriam 1942, courtesy Dover Express
June 1942

in memoriam 1942, courtesy Dover Express
in memoriam 1942, courtesy Dover Express

Barnett, R. J. W.
Reginald James William Barnett was a Captain in the BOAC. He died as the result of a flying accident on 15th February 1943, when he was 33. He is buried in Asmara War Cemetery, Eritrea. 3 D 3

He was the only son of Mr and Mrs W. Barnett, formerly from Dover and Capel. He was educated at Godwynhurst College, Dover, and had been well known as secretary of the Dover Motor Cycle Club. He joined the RAF in 1930, and became Squadron Leader before joining Imperial Airways in 1936. He had been in Africa since 1940. He left a widow and three children, who were then living in Asmara 

Bean, R. P.
Robert Patrick Bean, 6286733, was a Private in The Buffs, 4th battalion. He was the son of James Bean and Florence née Dean. When Bob marched away from Colebran Street to war, his mother had a premonition that she would never see her son again.

Bob was 23 when he died between 23 and 24 October 1943, when HMS Eclipse sank after striking a mine His body was never found, and he is commemorated on the Athens Memorial, Face 5.

Left is Bob with his Auntie Edy (Edith), the wife of Harry, brother of Bob's father James. She was extremely fond of Bob, and often joked about adopting him and his younger sister. When Bob died she was heartbroken, as were all the family.

with thanks to Roger Knight   


Others lost with HMS Eclipse were Alfred Ward, Percy Macdonnell, and Charles Edward Cock

Bidgood, L. C.
Lilian Constance Bidgood, 42945, was a Corporal in the ATS. She died on 5 October 1943, and is buried at Brookwood, 32A A 2.

She was born in 1902 Mauritius, the daughter of Thomas Edward Wingfield Bidgood and his wife Jessie Elliott née Ferguson. In 1911 the daughters of the family were living at 14 Harold Terrace, Dover, headed by Mrs Bidgood, who had been born at Colombo, Ceylon. Dorothea, then 20, an art student, had been born in Bombay, India, Joan, 16, also a student, and Phyllis, 25, in Sligo. Their brother, Thomas Aylmer Tattnall Bidgood, 14, also born in Sligo, was boarding at the United Services College, Windsor.

In January 1914, Lilian took part as one of the "four little cooks" in "Queen of Hearts", a pantomime performed by children at St Mary's Parish Hall. As part of her performance she danced with the other little cooks, and sang. On 30 May 1917 she had the misfortune, while riding her bicycle, of colliding at the bottom of the hill in Godwyne Road with a car driven by a Captain Bird of the Royal Navy. At hospital she was found to be suffering from cuts to her face and concussion.

Lilian's mother died on 10 September 1919 at 4 Harold Terrace, Dover. She was buried at Charlton on 13 September, with her funeral beginning at 1pm. Major Bidgood, formerly of the Royal Artillery, remarried in 1921 in the Folkestone area to Glory B Nash. He died in 1952.

Bishop, S.      
Sidney (Sydney) William Bishop, P/JX 160338, was a Leading Seaman in the Royal Navy aboard HMS Montgomery. Born in Dover in 1919, his parents were Alfred Sydney Bishop, a Royal Naval cook whose home was in Portsmouth, and his wife Clara Betsy Matilda, (née Knott), who had married at St Bartholomew's on 26 October 1918. The couple later moved to Shepherd's Bush.

In 1940 Sydney married Joyce M Goodwin at Portsmouth. He died on 10 March 1941 when he was 21, from wounds received in action, and was buried at sea. He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 46, Column 3.

In the Portsmouth Evening News of 6 June 1941 was an announcement, "Bishop - At Beverley House on June 3rd to Joyce Bishop (née Goodwin), wife of the late Sydney Bishop RN the gift of a son, Michael Sydney".

in memoriam, courtesy Dover Express
March 1942

From the Roll of Honour, Portsmouth Evening News of 10 March 1942:

Treasured memories of my beloved husband Syd, who was killed at sea, March 10th, 1941. Dearly loved and always longed for by his devoted wife Joyce and baby Michael. "Rocks and storms you fear no more, Now resting on that golden shore, You've dropped the anchor, furled the sail, Now you are safe within the veil - Mizpah".

In treasured loving memories of our dearly loved only son Sydney William, Leading Seaman, Royal Navy, who was killed at sea March 10th, 1941, aged 21 years. Deeply mourned, so sadly missed. From his sorrowing Mum

and Pop. "Softly at night the stars are gleaming, Over a watery grave, Where lies our loved one sleeping, One we loved but could not save. Unseen by the world he stands by our side, And whispers, dear parents, death cannot divide. Good-night, dear, until we meet again".

In proud and loving remembrance of Syd, dearly loved son-in-law of Mr and Mrs Goodwin and brother-in-law of Stella, who was killed at sea, March 10th, 1941. "Another ship was sailing in a calm and peaceful bay, You were the one chosen to help it on its way".

headstone, Simon Chambers, 67-5155Bliss, R. D.     
Raymond Dennis Bliss, 6402922, was a Private in the Royal Sussex Regiment, 4th battalion. He died on 14th April 1946, aged 28. He is buried at Charlton Cemetery, Dover. Section 3 R, Grave 27

At the bottom of his headstone are the words:

Long days he suffered pain
To look for cure was in vain
God above saw what was best
And took him home to rest

He was the son of Harry and Lily Bliss from Dover, and the husband of Louise Emily Bliss, from Tower Hamlets, Dover. He may have been brother to Harry Bliss

Bowling, G. E.    
George Edmund Bowling, C/SSX 23484, was an Able Seaman in the Royal Navy, with H.M.S Vernon. He was killed by enemy action at the age of 27 on 2nd October 1941, at Military Hill, and was buried on 7th October in St. James cemetery, Dover. Row F, Joint Grave 27 (28a IP)

His parents were  Walter and Elizabeth Jane Bowling, from Dover, and he was the "beloved husband" of Ann R Bowling, from 44 Priory Hill, Dover

"Resting where no shadows fall"

In Memoriam October 1942

in memoriam, 1942, courtesy Dover Express

in memoriam 1942, courtesy Dover Express

For more about H.M.S Vernon, and the unfortunate demise of another casualty, see Thomas Baskerville

Brown, V. G. 
Victor George Brown, C/KX112512, was a Stoker, 1st Class, in the Royal Navy, with H.M.S Niger. He died on 6th July 1942, aged 23. He is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial. Panel 61.3

He was the "beloved husband" of Betty Brown, née Robb, late of Dover, and father of Roger.

"Sleep on, beloved"

High Brownson, courtesy Derek and Christine DonnellyBrownson, H.       
Brother to Thomas, below, Hugh Brownson, 1697855, was 32 when he died on 6th October 1944. He was a Gunner in the Royal Artillery, the 274 (Northumberland Hussars) battery, 25 Hugh Brownson grave, courtesy of Christine and Derek DonnellyLight AA Regiment.

He is buried at Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Netherlands, 1D6

 crest, courtesy Derek and Christine Donnelly

with thanks to Derek and Christine Donnelly

Brownson, T.
Thomas Brownson, courtesy of Christine and Derek Donnelly
Thomas Brownson, C/KX 137610 was a Stoker, 1st Class, in the Royal Navy, serving aboard H.M.S Welshman. The minelayer was torpedoed on 1st February 1943, Thomas was just 18 when he lost his life

He is buried at the El Alamein War Cemetery, Egypt. III A 5.  The words at the bottom of his headstone read:

"Abide with me,
 Fast falls the eventide.
The darkness deepens,
 Lord, with me abide."

He is also commemorated on the memorial to HMS Welshman at St George's Chapel. Chatham Docks.

crest ofHMS Welshman, courtesy Christine and Derek Donnally He was the son of Edward Brownson and his wife Ethel, née Walton, who lived at East Studdal, formerly at 27 East Cliff  He was brother to Hugh, above

"He died that we might live", from his sister, Ethel

with thanks to Derek and Christine Donnelly
Welshman picture, above, from Dean Sumner

Bryant, J. W.      
John William Bryant, 95991, was a Captain in the 6th battalion of The Buffs (HD). He died on 24 January 1940, aged 67, and is buried at St. Mary's Cemetery, Dover. Section G C, Grave 8  

Captain Bryant lived at Lismore, Lower Road, River, and died suddenly on the train at Folkestone, after he had finished his duties as adjutant of one of the National Defence Companies. He had had a long service career, having joined the 1st South Wales Borderers at Gibraltar in 1895, serving with them in India and South Africa. He was also Paymaster Sergeant to the Boer POW camp at Kakeel until 1902. He was a Colour Sergeant in 1905, and during the Great War re-enlisted and became Regimental Sergeant Major for the 5th battalion,  training them and going with them to France in May 1915 as part of the 19th Division

He was mentioned in dispatches and gained his commission in 1916 and was again mentioned in 1917 and 1918. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre, with Palm. He brought the Cadre home for demobilisation at the end of the war, was promoted Captain, and went to the Army HQ Staff at Lille. From there he was demobilised in January 1920.  He came to Dover, and worked for the British Legion, being Hon Secretary from 1932 until he was called up. He was also Hon Secretary of the Dover Hospital Fete and Carnival Week, and worked for the St George's Society

The first part of Captain Bryant's funeral was held at the cemetery chapel, with the Rectors of St James and Buckland officiating, and the Chaplain to the Dover Branch of the British Legion reading the Exhortation. Many people attended his funeral, including the British Legion, for whom Mr W B Traynor, VC, was one of the escorts of the Standard, and The Buffs, who provided the firing party and the buglers. The Last Post and Reveille was sounded, and the British Legion dropped poppies into the grave.  

He left a widow, Mag (Margaret) (left), who laid a floral tribute "To my dear Love", two daughters, Aileen Ivy E M and Audrey Myfanwy V, and a son, Albert Victor. In 1911 another son, Lionel Francis R C was living with the family at the barracks in Chatham. He emigrated to Australia in 1922. The couple's eldest son, Charles Robert, had died at the age of 27 on Christmas Day 1926.

Above are the children of the family, in order: Lionel ("Frank"), Albert ("Victor"), Charles, Audrey and Aileen.

The words on Captain Bryant's headstone read, "In loving memory of my dear husband Capt John William Bryant. Died 24th Jan 1940 aged 67 years. He gave of his best. Also Margaret Frances Bryant, beloved wife of the above. Died 11th March 1961, aged 89 years. Re-united. Also Charles Robert, son of the above, died 25th Decr 1926, aged 27 years." Inscribed at the top of the headstone is the word "Resting".

photos by courtesy of Joanne Welch

Buckley, M. W.
Maurice William Buckley, 1380001, was a Sergeant (Observer) in the RAFVR, No 148 Squadron. He was an old County (now Grammar) School, and was with the Imperial Airways Corporation in the accounts branch before joining the RAFVR in 1940

He had been in the Middle East since the beginning of January 1942, where his squadron were officially based in Egypt. However, on the night he died, elements of the squadron were operating from Malta when, on the evening of 23rd April 1942 at 20:45 hours, Vickers Wellington BB483 took off from Luqa in Malta to bomb the enemy airfield at Comiso in Sicily. During the early hours of 24th April 1942, the Wellington was shot down over the Island above Acate and all of the crew except the Captain, Flt/Lt Hayter were killed. Those who lost their lives are buried in the Catania War Cemetery in Sicily, Italy. Sergeant Buckley lies in Collective Grave I V 24.

The crew that night were:

Flight Lieutenant Anthony Ross Henzell Hayter
Mentioned in Dispatches
Captain (Pilot) survived as PoW
(see postscript)
Sergeant Douglas Clarence King 2nd Pilot aged 21
Sergeant Maurice William Buckley Observer aged 31
Sergeant George William Tull Wireless Operator/Air Gunner aged 21
Sergeant Edward Henry March Wireless Operator/Air Gunner aged 21
Sergeant James Bernard Kehoe Air Gunner age unknown


Flight Lieutenant Hayter, after being taken prisoner, eventually ended up at the notorious Stalag Luft III Camp at Sagan in Poland and took part in the famous Great Escape of 24th/25th March 1944. Recaptured, Hayter was one of the 50 RAF escapees selected for execution on the orders of Hitler. On 6th April 1944 while he was imprisoned at Strasburg jail, a local Gestapo Officer Alfred Schimmel ordered the removal of 23 years old Hayter from jail and his killing at Breslau. The Gestapo report stated, "the prisoner whilst relieving himself, bolted for freedom and was shot trying to escape." The Gestapo reports filed for each shot RAF escapee were nearly all identical in conclusion about how they died. Anthony Hayter's cremated remains were interred at Poznan Old Garrison Cemetery, Poland. Collective Grave 9 A

After the war Schimmel was arrested, tried, and hanged in Hamburg during February 1948 for the war crime of being concerned, "in violation of the laws and usages of war", in the killing of Flight Lieutenant Hayter

RAF and postscript information with thanks to Dean Sumner

Butcher, R. A.      
headstone, by Joyce Banks
Reginald Alfred Butcher, 1200354, was a Sergeant (Wireless Operator) in the RAFVR, No 3 Group Training Flight. He lived at 6 Sydney Terrace, Malvern Road, Dover

On 6th January 1942 at 10:00 hours, Vickers Wellington L7863 took off from Newmarket Heath in Suffolk for a gunnery detail training flight. But as the aircraft climbed away after take-off, the port engine spluttered to a stop and the Wellington quickly lost height and crashed onto a nearby railway embankment before skidding into an adjacent building and bursting into flames. All of the crew were killed apart from 2 members who survived with injuries. Those who died were claimed by respective families and buried in their home towns. Reginald was buried at St Mary's cemetery in Dover on the 10th January 1942. Section X H X, Grave 2

An Officer and NCOs of the RAF attended, and six members of his unit bore his Union Flag draped coffin. Many of his family were present, and his wife, Winifred Edith Butcher, left a floral tribute "In affectionate remembrance of a dear husband and daddy, from his loving wife and little daughter, Joan"

The flat stone reads:

In Sacred Memory of My Devoted Husband and Dear Daddy, Sergeant Reginald Alfred Butcher, who was Killed on Active Service 5th January 1942, aged 29 years.  "He gave his life that we might live"

The crew of L7863 were:

Flight Sergeant Frederick Thomas Minikin Captain (Pilot) aged 25
Aircraftman 1st Class Thomas Menzies Flight Mechanic (engines) aged 38
Sergeant Reginald Alfred Butcher Wireless Operator aged 29
Sergeant M T Coon Wireless Operator survived injured
Sergeant Gerald Geoffrey Cornes Wireless Operator/Air Gunner  aged 20
Sergeant R H W Lawrence Wireless Operator survived injured
Sergeant John Philpin Williams Wireless Operator/Air-Gunner aged 26
Sergeant Anthony John Browne Air Gunner age unknown
Sergeant Albert David Matthews Air Gunner aged 22
Sergeant Herbert Wolstenholme Air Gunner aged 22


Sergeant Cornes is buried at Hawkinge Cemetery, Kent.

photo and transcription with thanks to Joyce Banks
RAF information with thanks to Dean Sumner

Buzan, W. C.
Wilfred Claud ("Porkie") Buzan, 1901432,  was a Sergeant (Flight Enginéer) in the RAFVR, 103 Squadron. On 26th November 1943, at 17.18 hours, Wilfred took off from Elsham Wolds in Lincolnshire in Avro Lancaster JB458 PM-C as part of a raiding force of  443 Lancasters during the period known as the 'Battle of Berlin'. This Battle began on 18th November 1943 and continued with many night raids by RAF Bomber Command until the end of March 1944. The intention was to destroy Berlin. During this particular night, against the target known as "The Big One", 28 Lancasters were lost, including JB458. It is estimated that some 800 Berliners are said to have died, and Berlin Zoo was hit, with many of the dangerous animals escaping into the streets.

The crew were:

Sergeant Eric Smith Siddall Captain (Pilot) aged 20
Sergeant Wilfred Claud Buzan Flight Enginéer aged 21
Sergeant Dugald Blue Navigator aged 28
Sergeant David Ivor James Evans Bomb aimer age unknown
Sergeant H Wood Wireless operator/Air gunner PoW
Sergeant Albert Marino Grimson- RCAF Air gunner age unknown
Sergeant Nicholas Daunt Taylor Air gunner aged 27

Apart from Sergeant Wood, they are all buried in the Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany. 1 A 2

with thanks to Dean Sumner for RAF information

in mem 1944Sergeant Buzan was reported missing in November 1943, and in February 1944 he was presumed to have lost his life. He was the son of Charles Edward and Emily Florence Buzan of 61 Douglas Road, and was an old St Bartholomew's school boy. He represented the school at football and continued playing for local teams after he left. He enlisted eighteen months before he died, and had previously been a member of the FAP (Mobile) at River

He may have been brother to Charles Walter Buzan 

Other Dovorians who died on this same raid were Sgt Frederick Ashman and Sgt Ronald Norley.

Copyright 2006-14 © Marilyn Stephenson-Knight. All Rights Reserved