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Here are the results obtained from queries recently posted in the "Can you Answer?" section of this website.

If you can add any further information please get in touch.

I'm researching the details of Sgt William John Barnett, a rear Air Gunner on an Avro Lancaster. He was killed in action when his crippled aircraft crashed somewhere north of the Dover coast. So I believe.

He was married with a young wife, Elizabeth [Betty] Hester Barnett, and had a young son Manfred. His widow became my Godmother, and I was named in his memory. Aunty Betty is sadly no longer with us, and my cousin Manfred was far too young to remember. [His mum did not speak much about it] Therefore, do you know where I can locate further details about him or the aircraft he flew?

Bill Everatt.


Sgt William John Barnett was with 84 OTU when on the night of the 4/5th Sept 44 he was one of six crew on board Wellington HF570 which took -off from Desborough for a navigational training flight, the aircraft returned to base at 02.05am and whilst in the process of landing the starboard engine failed. The pilot, P/O R.E. Byrne tried an emergency landing but the aircraft struck a tree and burst into flames. Three of the six crewmen were killed:

P/O R.E. Byrne, RAAF, buried in Botley Cemetery, Oxford. Sgt W.J. Barnett, buried in Sarn cemetery Wales. Sgt E. Brisbourne, Buried in Much wenlock cemetery.

Details from Bomber Command Losses (OTUs)

If you write to the RAF museum at Hendon and request a copy of "AM Form 1180" for Wellington HF570 they will send you a copy of the Accident Record card.

Regards Alan.

I am trying to find a Bevin boy who stayed with my Grandma during the second world war. I am doing world war two at school and my Grandma keeps mentioning the Bevin boy that stayed with them. I hope I can give you enough information to find my Grandma's Bevin boy.

He was called Max Ott and was origionally from Sussex. If he is still alive he should be about 80 years old. My Grandma recalls his family had some land and that they appeared to be quite wealthy. Max's mother used to send up food parcels full of all the treats that were so hard to get during the war, which he shared with my Grandma and her brother and the rest of the family. My Grandma's name was Joan Davison and she lived with her brother William (Billy), her mother, Hilda and her father William. They lived at Burnside at Bedlington Station in Northumberland (near Blyth). I hope I have given you enough information to help find Max. My Grandma would be thrilled.

Many thanks Gemma.
UPDATE: Max has now been located and put in touch with Gemma's Grandmother. He remembers her well and was delighted to be reunited with the family.

I am wondering if anyone out there can help me I am trying for find anyone who knew or may have information on my father his name was MATTHEW DEMICH and he was in the Canadian Forces (possibly the Canadian Army) and the only thing I know is that he was stationed over here in England during WW2 possibly in the Surrey area where he met my mother. If anyone has any information about him I would be very grateful. Many thanks.


Result: Matt has now been put in touch with his family in Canada and they have been reunited. Thanks to The Association of Liberation Children, who managed to locate Matt's family.

I am trying to locate an English woman who was my mothers pen pal during W.W.II. I have surfed the web and checked geneology sites etc but have found no useful hits. Hoping you know of a web site or other search engine that could help facilitate my search. My mother used to send dry and canned goods over with her letters, they corresponded for about 3 years. The Pen-Pals name was Thelma Angus, she lived at 9 Grampaign Rd, Billingham, Co. Durham. Also know that she had an older brother Cyril. Any help or direction would be greatly appreciated.

Mary McCormick

Result: Thelma has been located and the pen pals are now back in touch.

 George Kingston

This is my grandfather George Kingston, he was in ww11 but we dont know which unit or regiment can you help? The badge on his shoulder cannot be found on the usual web pages and has got us stumped! Does anyone have any imformation on him?

Thanks Donna

Result: The badge on his shoulder is 5 corps. We were in North Africa under 1st Army and Italy under 8th Army. Was he in the signals his face is familiar but the name does not ring a bell. If I can help further please ask.

"Pip" Ingle.

Thank you all, We need to remind ourselves of the devastation caused by the break down in the civilized world. When the fundamental values established by the world community are cast aside by those who feel that can undermine all principles of dignity and respect for life in general. The twentieth century has been a blood bath and we must never forget those who gave their all to preserve civilisation as we know it.

I am doing research on a British P.O.W. who was taken prisoner during the Battle of Dunkirk. I have in my possession a Bible that was given him by the The Chaplaincy Service of the Red Cross in Dec. of 1940. The years have taken a toll on this bible but I can still read his written account of events that led up to his capture and the his four mates who lost their lives in May of 1940.

The following is written in the bible:

"GNR. J.GABBEY REG.NO. 1465619 23/8 A.A. BATTERY 3RD. BRIGADE ROYAL ARTILLERY GERMANY 1940 STALAG NO. 2859 SCHILDBERG GERMANY CHRISTMAS 1940. Left England on the 21st of Dec. 1939 for Le Harvre in France. Transferred to the 14th Army Field Ordanance Corps on April 21st 1940. Captured by GermanTank Corps and Armoured Column between St. Omar and Calais on the 23rd of May 1940. Received this Testament on the 12th of Dec. 1940. WESLEY EATON LEONARD EDGAR JOHN HARMER LEONARD FLETCHER REPORTED KILLED IN ACTION."

Of the Four men listed I have been able to find only three of the men on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's website. John Harmer is the one I failed to find. The New Testament Bible was Provided by the Ecumenical Commission for the Chaplaincy Service Prisoners of War 41, Av.e Champel GENEVA Switzerland One page has faded however some words are still legible. It states that Gabbey has Received One letter from his mother. He received a parcel on Christmas Day. Addresses: J.Gabbey 24 Canning St. Belfast N. Ireland C/O Mrs. J. Gabbey 23 Shell Haven, Stanford-le- Hope Essex England.

Thats all the information I have on Gunner Gabbey. This bible was given to me to conduct research by a friend so I have no relationship to this man. If anyone can help me in finding out whether this man lived a good life after the war, please let me know. This Bible holds in my mind great Historical Significance I do not want to let it fade away.

Yours truly Jeff McIlquham

Update: To all who support this website, Thank you for your assistance in the research on Gunner Gabbey P.O.W. I have not solved the mystery but I know I am close. I am donating the Bible to the Imperial War Museum in London. I feel this is the right thing to do. It belongs in it's Home Country and I know the staff at the Museum will see to it's care. May this Bible be a reminder to us all of the cost of war. WE will never forget the sacrifices made on our behalf by all the men and woman of the Armed services

Yours truly, Jeff McIlquham Canada

Second Update: Jack's family have now seen the message posted on this website and would like to contact Jeff to pass on details about Jack.

I have recently found out that my grandfather is burried in St. Merryn church yard, Cornwall. (Grave reference :Grave 21,)

WILLIAM WALTER FX CAMP Petty officer 76504 H.M.S.. Vulture, Royal Navy. DIED 1 AUG. 1944

I know he was based at HMS Vulture - a fleet air arm airfield and possibly a combat school, close to St Merryn village in Cornwall, a couple of miles west of Padstow Apparently most of the 29 war graves in the church yard were as a result of accidents during training not enemy action. (but not sure)

I only have one photograph of him (in his vavy uniform the day he got married 1940 ! ) my father is dead and was on only child so I have no other personal leads to go on. Apart from this I don't know any other any information about what his duties were , if he was training , how he died or what was going on around this time around that area of the coast.. Kind Regards, Melanie Camp

In response to the lady asking about the fate of her father named above, I can tell her that he was a crew member of a Swordfish aircraft P4017 of 774 Squadron, St Merryn. On 1st August 1944 the aircraft was seen to crash at Tregolds Farm, on the airfield boundary. All the occupants, Sub Lt OC Reed, PO HR Wilkinson and WW Camp were unfortunately killed. Tregolds is situated at 200/885725.

774 Squadron was an armament training unit for telegraphist air gunners and observers.

David Williams

My father was in the 7th Armoured Division (Desert Rats) and was at the seige of Tobruk in 1941. In January 1941 the British took over the headquarters of an Italian commander and turned it into the Head Quarters for their North African Campaign. My father found a photograph album which contained pictures of a girl from birth in 1936 until October 1940. He had always hoped to return it to the owner after the war but to no avail. He still has the album and I would love to be able to return it to the family on behalf of my father. The child would now be 66 years old. I believe her first name was Fola and as a baby was taken to Soresina, Italy and Tobruk between the years 1936 and 1939.

Does anyone know the name of the Italian commander whose home was used by the commonwealth forces as head quarters after the fall of Tobruk in January 1941. My father tells me the house was in the city and contained a room that had a large plaster table top model of the Italian defenses in Libya. The house also contained personal belongings of a family.

Val Caudeiron

Update: I have had amazing good fortune and through two reporters at an Italian newspaper I have not only located the family but have spoken with them. I am going to fly to London in the next few weeks and meet with the "child" in the album and her sister and my father will be able to give them their album after 62 years. It has been a wonderful exciting adventure and national TV in Italy has carried our story. The child's name is actually Paola and she know very little of her parents time in Tobruk. They had met and lived in Tobruk and Paola was born there. She left with her parents in 1941 due to the hostilities.

We would still like to know about the house where my father found the album. From his recollection it had belonged to an Italian army commander and it was then used as the allies HQ for their North African campaign. Both families would like to try to understand why the album was in this particular location as Paola's father was not in the army. If anyone knows about the house it would help solve the last piece of the puzzle.

Thanks again. Val Caudeiron

My father Robert Oliver Grainger aka Bob,born 1917 Clitheroe, enlisted as a regular soldier in his teens we understood with the Royal Artillery.He served throughout the war,the only concrete information I have is that he was in Calcutta in 1942 because he accidentally met up with his youger brother who recorded the event in his diary.My father it seems was just about to rejoin his unit on the north west frontier!My father left the army in 1947 approx but the army records department say he must have changed regiment at some point because he did not leave from the Royal artillery.I know he was held in reserve because the army had made contact with him shortly before his death in 1961.If anyone has any idea which direction I might take in my search I would be most grateful.

Sylvia Wright

Update: Many thanks for continuing to display my request regarding my father Robert Oliver Grainger but I now have a copy of his service record. I wish everyone else the same success.

Sylvia Wright

Can you tell me the meaning of the abbreviation "AOS" in relation to HMS Merganser (Fleet Air Arm)? My aunt served there during the war.

Thanks,Philip Shaw

Update: The abbreviation "AOS" stands for "Air Observer School". Now I don't know the precise detail of what was taught, but I am currently serving in the Royal Navy as an Observer...our job these days incorporates navigation, radar and tactical operations from helicopters. I would assume that the school would have taught the Observers for 714, 717 and 769 Squadrons which were all Torpedo bomber recce training squadrons based there from about 1943. The school would have probably used the training squadrons based at Merganser to fly the Observers after groundschool, but as a member of the squadron rather than the school. These days 750 Naval Air Squadron trains all Observers irrespective of which aircraft they are going to, but in WWII there may have been a number of schools teaching different operational roles.

Hope this is of some help. Alan Salmon

My mother worked in the munitions factory at Sedbergh in 1942. She also helped out at The Bull[?] where she lived in. Have you any information about the Battle School that was in Sedbergh?. I am trying to find out about my father who was called Leslie, and I think he was a sergeant who trained officers there. I have done quite a lot of research, but could find no records of the school, though at the Public Record office there were plenty of records relating to the depot at Ingmire Hall

Sally B.

I come from Sedbergh and although I am just too young to have been in the 2nd War, I do know people who could probably help her. I have been helping a cousin who has collated as much info. as possible about the men on the Sedbergh War Memorial. I was able to add to his findings & the resulting volume will be given to Sedbergh History Society and a copy to Sedbergh School, who also assisted us. We were asked to contribute to a display in a shop window during Remembrance Week, which we did and the result was an interview on Border radio and an article + photo in the Westmorland Gazette. The publicity gave us a lot more information as relatives of old soldiers contacted us. One of these was an 81 year old man from Blackpool whose father bore a similar name to one of the War Dead. I would be delighted to offer assistance. Well Done on such a wonderfully informative site. Shirley in Dent, Nr Sedbergh

I am looking for information on Flight Sergeant Thomas McIlquham who flew with the 102 Squadron Bomber Command during 1941 and 1942. He was nicknamed Lucky by his chums. Ralph Barkers book The Thousand plan talks about one of his missions. He was Rear Turret Gunner on a Halifax Bomber. I know that he came from Carlton PLace Ontario Canada. I think he had a tough going after the war. Jeff McIlquham

I served with him on 102 Squadron and in fact he was our tail gunner, here is a picture taken at Dalton with some of the crew:- 3rd.from left S/Ldr/Griffith,pilot: 4th.Sgt.A.E.Waddicor,flight engineer:5th from left "Mac", I was the W/Op.on the crew.

aircrew at Dalton

Ed Cooke

This is a photo of my father. Does anyone know the badge on the hat? unfortunately not very clear.
Wilfred Jones
His name was Wilfred Jones 1922-1956. I would like to hear from anyone who knew him.

Cindy Hutchinson

I am really grateful to everyone who wrote to me telling me it was the Royal Artillary and I have had this confirmed. My website now has a small tribute and some photo's included on it at if anyone would like to take a look and they can also send me photo's or memories. I am paticularly looking for information of soldiars from Bangor,N.Wales area we lost 220 from Bangor during the WW2. Also any POW story's I understand we had an Italian POW camp in Bangor but would like more information if possible

My father was held as a POW in an Italian POW Camp. I believe that the camp Number was PG59?? I was wondering if anyone knew where the camp was or had any information or photographs of the camp. Any help would be appreciated.

J. Michael Davis

Update: I have found that the location of Camp PG 59 was near a town by the name of Savigliano.

I am desperately trying to track down any information to give me an idea of what the internal layout of Thuleigh's WWII control tower looked like. Photos, plans, drawings, ANYTHING!

Can you help? Many thanks

Angelo Picardo

I have just discovered a website all about control towers and thought it may be useful to you. Please let me know if this helps.

Absolutely brilliant!!!!!!!!!!

I have contact the site and they have sent me a floor plan of the control tower.

Thank you very much for help. Angelo

I would love to make contact with anyone who worked in the underground assembly factory at Corsham Wiltshire where my late father worked. Any details will be appreciated and will be replied to. My fathers name Dennis James Rickards.

Chris Rickards. Update It was constructed from old "Bathstone"(a very soft Limestone)Mines. The part I worked in was a section of the Bristol Aeroplane Co. and produced Engine Parts.It was a "Honeycomb" Constuction with massive columns left in each area to hold up the hollowed-out sections. A large road was made to allow acces to each section for parts and completed equipment to be delivered to the Ginormouse Lifts. Airconditioning was achieved by Grills set into the main road.

Regards Jack Westcott.

My grandfather was killed in 1941 while serving with the Royal Navy, My mother was 18 months old so we knew very little about him. In fact my grandmother re-married after the war and never really talked much about him. So this year I decided that I would do some research. We now know that his ship HMS.Volunteer was in collision with HMS.Newark 80 miles off the coast of Ireland in the western approaches.6 men were killed aboard the Volunteer(my grandfather one of them),their bodies were washed out to sea and never recovered. One man was killed aboard the Newark he was buried in Belfast where both ships were taken for repair.The collision happened in April 1941, But the date is in doubt ,it is either 10/4/1941 or 17/4/1941. Can any one offer any help?

Calvin Merry

There's some information on this website about the collision between the Volunteer and Newark. There's a list of the men who died, and detailed information about the collision itself and the damage to the vessels. Hope this helps.

Andy Wade.

Can anyone tell me the role of 99 M.U., RAF, during WW2, and where they were based. My late father served with them but his service record does not state where. Also, does anyone recall a Barnsley Hall Emergency Hospital in their area during the 1940's. My father spent some time there but his service record does not give it's location. Any information on either of these two items would be most welcome.

Margaret Stone Update

I am very pleased to let you know that I have received the information I was requesting on both of these subjects via your Can You Answer section. 99MU RAF was formed 6.9.41 as an MT Reception Depot in No. 40 Group at Curzon Lane, Alvaston, Derby. 21.1.44 became MT Storage Unit. Disbanded 7.8.46. Reformed 1.12.51 as MT Servicing Unit in No. 40 Group at Foulsham, Norfolk. Moved to Lichfield, Staffs on 1.2.54. Moved to High Ercall, Shropshire, 1.3.57. Disbanded 8.6.62 and became sub-site No. 236 MU.

Barnsley Hall Hospital was located at Bromsgrove. Was founded 1903 and closed 1996.

Thank you very much for your assistance.

Best Wishes, Margaret

Would it possible for you to tell why my father, Capt. Arthur Packer, Canadian Army would carry a British Identity document, V-25376, with his picture, date of birth.

Also would you know what the Silver Medal, King George VI on one side and a Lion standing on top of a Griffin is awarded for.

Thank you.



The 1939-45 'Victory medal' (sometimes called the 'End-of-war' medal) shows King George Vl on the front, and has, on the reverse side, a Lion standing over a Griffin.

Peter Lawrence.

Charles Messenger's book 'For Love of Regiment' A History of British Infantry Volume Two states that the British Army was so short of officers during the Normandy campaign that they had to 'borrow 600 from the Canadians, perhaps your father was one of these which would account for his British ID. Regards CJ

I am trying to find a picture of a ration book to copy for a party invitation for a 60th birthday party for someone born in 1942!! If anyone knows a website that might have a picture that I could print off it would be much appreciated.

Vicki Furlonger

Thank you for your assistance, I have received three helpful emails and have now found a ration book to look at. Regards Vicki

I wonder if anyone could help me - my daughter is doing a project on WW2 - which we are really enjoying (she is 9 years old). One of the subjects is food rationing, we have found a lot of information, but one of our books mentions restaurants. I was hoping someone may remember a restaurant in WW2 with a possible picture.

I would be very grateful Thank you

A Thomas

The Grave of Pilot Officer Henri Eduoard Dube', executed on 8 August along with lst/Lt Richard F. Noble, is at the top of place called the "couch" at the "canapes" at Olizy, Fr.

Dube', Henri Edouard, P/O (WAG) J86l39/R96579. From Edmunston, New Brunswick, Canada. Killed in action on April 24, l944 at age of 26 #435 AlouettSquadron (Je Te Plumerai), Halifax A/C # LW 59l missing during a night attack against Karlsruhe. Two Canadians, F/O's J.W.L. L'Abbe & T.G.A.J. Gravel were taken POWs. Three Canadians Sgts Whalen, Girard, and Michaud were either evaders or taken POWs, one of the crew not a Canadian, missing believed killed.

Pilot Officer Wireless Operator Air Gunner Dube' is buried in the Communal Cemetery at Olizy, France. The date of death of Apr 24, l944 is incorrect. Pilot Officer Dube' escaped on Apr 24th, until he was captured with Lt Noble on and executed 8 August, l944. I do sincerely hope that you can help we with this query, if not directly perhaps you could make suggestions as to where I could start the search. As it involves Canada, the U. S., Gr. Britain and France this task seems somewhat daunting formidable.

Thank you & Best regards, Ken McPherson, 8th AFHS, 493rd BGMA.

The following has been received in reply:

I noticed the gap between his shooting down and the date on his war grave and wrote to the Air Historical Branch. He joined the Luxembourg (district of Belgium) not the Country, in a camp near Chenet. He left in Early August to cross the border to contact the French resistance forces. He was captured by the Germans in a wood near Olizy, Department of Ardennes, France and shot.

The Belgian Military Archive service who are very helpful can only help with Belgian Nationals in the armed services. I would suggest the best bet is RCAF records which I understand are freely accessible unlike U.K. records.

John Larder
I see two entries on DUBE on your Website. Both contain information, that was taken from information that I have placed at and other places.

No one has visited the Grave of DUBE, more than I have and we installed a Memorial at Olizy-Primate on 9 November, 2000.

We have insured the village has a supply of Canadian Flags to keep DUBE's Grave Decorated all year round.

He will be included in a second book, that I am writing that explain the story his story and the man, with who he was executed on 8 August, 1944.

More information at

In Remembrance and Souvenir, Willis S. Cole, Jr. "Sam" Executive Director/Curator Battery Corporal Willis S. Cole Military Museum 13444 124th Ave NE Kirkland, WA 98034-5403

Does anyone out there know of the existence of a depicting the operational flying activities of the Hawker Typhoon of W.W..2. Many other aircraft have been depicted but I have yet to locate same for this aircraft. My interest stems from the the fact that I flew it operationally during WW2.Any help would be greatly appreciated concerning where to order,cost etc.

Many thanks, John Colton.

Had an answer to my query re. on the Hawker Typhoon. The video title is THE TYPHOONS LAST STORM,and I have ordered same. Many thanks for your assistance. John

Many thanks to Stan Hilton for the photocopy of an I.D. card. Gosh, that brought back memories!

Margaret Elsden

S/Sgt Roy Norman Ball MIA Nov. 1943

390th Flying Fortress

From Rantoul Kansas

I am trying to find anyone that might have known my Uncle, who's plane went down on or near the coast of Norway in November of 1943. We do not know if he was a POW at anytime but could have been. We were told they saw the men parachute from the plane, but lost contact with them after that.

We think he might be buried in Egersund Cemetery in Norway. We have some documentation about this situation and recently received some email help from a person in Norway. Those people have gone to the cemetery and found a grave which could be my uncle's.

We are from Kansas. My father lost all of his brothers in during the war time. They were from Rantoul Kansas and was in the plane Flying Fortress. He was a waistgunner -B-17 Flying Fortress -390th Bomb GP and in 569th. Squadron we are now looking for someone to contact to see if that is his remains in the cemetery.

Thanks for any leads or replies.

Sherry Wright

Updates: Within a 24 hours of contacting the 369th I had 3 people send me things, plus I went in on the internet and typed in Egersand Norway and found a couple of English sites that were News Papers.

They did and elaborate ad for us using our photos and my story. It was great. I had to find someone who could translate the article. From the Article I found one man who saw the plane go down and others who had family that saw it and passed on the story to them. I received articles and letters from the families, telling me what happened. There was also one gentleman by the name of Finn Buch from Denmark who had helped me tremendously. We stay in contact with each other through email.

S/Sgt Roy Norman Ball was a Waist Gunner on the B-17F # 42-30455, nickname "Schifless Skonk" crashed in the North Sea after the Rjukan mission 16 Nov 43. Nobody seems to have survived. S/Sgt Ball is mentioned: Missing in Action or Buried at Sea Tablets of the Missing at Cambridge American Cemetery Cambridge, England there is a web page with the story: Click here

Thanks so much for all the work you do. The info wasn't what we wanted to hear but it was the truth and the truth sets one free. A burden lifted off my fathers shoulders.

Does anyone remember the words to "Lets Remember Pearl Harbour"?



I saw your message on the "Wartime Memories" website, asking for the words of the song Remember Pearl Harbour, so here goes -

History - in every century

records an act that lives forevermore.

We'll recall - as into line we fall

the thing that happened on Hawaii's shore

let's remember Pearl Harbour -

As we go to meet the foe -

Let's remember Pearl Harbour

As we did the Alamo.

We will always remember -

how they died for liberty,


and go on to victory.

Hope this is what you were looking for Regards

Ray Todd

I posted a request on the message board for help checking out "Soldiers Who Died ...." and I received a reply from John Russell. Not only had he found my uncles for me, but he emailed and details and then printed off the relevant Display Records of Commemoration and sent them to me. I would like to acknowledge his help on the Wartime Memories site. Thanks to you too from all the people you have helped.

Regards Margaret Elsden

I am researching, and writing up, my family history and wonder if you can point me in the right direction for some information. My parents told me that originally we had a gate and iron railings fronting our house in London, but during W.W.II they were removed to be used for munitions. I would like to know what happened to the iron, to where was it sent and was it in fact used? I heard recently (but unfortunately cannot remember where) that the iron was, in fact, never used.

Margaret Elsden

In Reply:

Margaret, they could have been taken to any one of many steel works in England, Scotland, or Wales, that were operating during WW2. It would be almost impossible to say exactly which works they were taken to, but rest assured, they would have gone into a "pour" of steel, and been used to make any nature of things from steel plates for tanks, barrels for guns, steel plates for ships, or even such mundane things as enamelled plates for eating off!!!

Rest assured, all the railings and gates that were collected from front gardens and public parks throughout the land in those desperate times were put to very good use

Gordon Sollors

I was 9 when the war broke out. Lived on the east-end ( Leyton) where we saw our share of the bombing. Was bombed out twice.

Here is my query: In talking to Americans, (I now live in Indiana.) they will comment " Well we were rationed to" I would like to show them the small amount we were allotted. Does anyone remember the 2ozs of this and that. Also that horse meat was served in the restaurants ( fit for human consumption )

Thanks for any help you can give me. Iris Owensby ( nee Ball )


Reply to Iris Owens (nee Ball) now living in USA

1940 Jan 8th    Butter and Bacon 4 oz per person per week,        Sugar 12 oz per person per week

March     Meat Ration 9p worth per person p. wk (roughly 10 cents!)

December     Tea 2 oz 9p worth per person p. wk

            Sugar cut to 8 oz 9p worth per person p. wk

      Gov't announce no more bananas no more fresh or tinned fruit to be imported except a few oranges

1941 January     meat ration down to 7.5p per person p week then to 6p: by June it was down to 5p! (quoted in present day currency)

March     Jam: marmalade: syrup & treacle 8 oz per person p wk

May     Cheese 1 oz per p. per. wk

June     increased to 2 ozs

July     Sugar ration doubled to encourage people to make their own jam during the fruit season. Milk went on ration

1942     tea ration for under fives was withdrawn. sweets 2 oz per person p. wk

August     Increased to 3 oz

   Milk chocolate difficult to obtain because of shortage of milk cheese ration increased to 8 oz per person Dried egg introduced 9p per pkt (equivalent of 12 eggs) ` Wholemeal loaf ("The National loaf") introduced (far more of wheat used - less wastage

   Sausages contained less and less real pork or beef Horsemeat commonly available (later - whalemeat!)

   QUOTE... "....we kept rabbits for meat. There was one big one called "Blackie - his cage was by the door. When they cooked him, I just couldn't eat any dinner! Mum was very annoyed."

Communal feeding centres were established known as "British Restaurants". Eventually 1,000 throughout the country. "DIG FOR VICTORY" was the national slogan encouraging people to grow food where they could. Even the earth covering the Anderson Air raid shelter was used for growing vegetables. Bread was still ration in 1947!


Valerie Lawrence

I am reading the Historical book 'Hitler' by Joachim C. Fest. In this account the author describes a State visit by Hitler to Italy in April/May 1938. During this visit he reports that Mussolini had a staged event in which one hundred (100) submarines simultaneously submerges and than re appeared. This, in order to show Hitler the 'might' of the Italian Navy. Does any verification of this event survive? Surely, or at least hopefully, a film documentary of such an event would be most interesting. Any information about this would be appreciated.

Dr Bill Wilden, DDS MPA

Updates: Dave Hepper provided the following information:

I noted a query from Dr. Bill Wilden on the board, requesting info. on a 'mass submerging' by 100 submarines, staged by Mussolini for Hitler. I do not have any info. on the specific incident mentioned, but can tell him that it would have been physically impossible for this to have occurred. Not only would the space required have been huge, but the Italian Navy in early 1938 only had some twenty (20) submarines in service. I would suspect that a naval demonstration may have occurred, but not on the scale he is looking for.

Updates: Peter Deacon provided the following information:

The reported story of 100 submarines diving and surfacing in unison is fanciful beyond belief. In 1940, the Regio Navale boasted 112 submarines of all shapes, sizes and conditions and they would have been widely dispersed around Italy's lengthy coastline in a number of bases. As an ex-submariner I find it hard to imagine an exercise like this being co-ordinated in a service that was not really noted for its rigid efficiency. Submarines require that they be underway in order to dive and surface efficiently and not to be moved off course by ocean currents. And they also require respectable distances one from another when moving together, otherwise disaster is more than a possibility. Further to this, given the successful mustering of 100 boats in a prescribed area of Mare Nostrum (as Mussolini referred to the Mediterranean), and supposing that safe operating distances were established and maintained, the area covered would be so vast as to be virtually incapable of being taken in by the human eye.. Even though Hitler knew 'squat' about naval matters, a brief consultation with Donitz would have produced a hoot of scorn from the otherwise dour Grossadmiral. This was obviously yet another example of Il Duce's legendary bluster.

I am trying to contact any remaining members of the crew of HMS Seychelles, a Colony Class Frigate K592. I served in her 1944/1945. Any leads would be appreciated.

Richard Sampson

Updates: Bruce Emberley, has been in touch. His father Charlie Emberley and his friend Jacob Hefferton both served on the HMS Seychelles during same period 1944/1945 both are in good health and living in St. John's Newfoundland and would appreciated hearing from and other crew members.

February 18, 1941, I lost two uncles on board S.S. Black Osp, Edward Henighan (age 22) my father's brother and William Turner (age 45) my mother's brother. Eleven days later, March 1, 1941, lost my father's second youngest brother Albert Henighan (age 25) on board S.S. Eff.

I found this information from the Tower Hill Memorial in London. Cannot find any information about these two M.N. ships. The were part of the North Atlantic convoys, sailing between Canada and United Kingdom. Any information would be greatly appreciated. They all lived in North Shields, Tyne and Wear

Mary Harrison

Additional Information submitted in reply:

: The names of the two ships were slightly in error. The first one was the Black Osprey, which became a straggler in Convoy HX107 and was torpedoed by U96 on 18.2.41 at 61 13N 18 10W. 25 crew lost, 11 survivors.

The other one was the SS Effna, evidently sailing independently and was sunk with all hands by U108 on 28.2.41 at 61 30N 15 45W (33 lost).

The Original Question:

Since the war I have a black box with the inscription : LT.Col.R.C. Stockley.

Also is mentioned : telegraphic equipment. Via the War Graves Commission I found out that Stockley is buried at the Groesbeek War cemetery here in Holland. Some 40 Km from the place where I lived. He died at an age of 37 years on 30th.November 1944.

He was son of Brigadier General Hugh Stockley , C.I.E., Royal Engineers and of Edith Beatrice (nee Capel) of Oaksey,Wiltshire, England. He was married with Pamela K. Stockley of Englefield Green, Egham,Surrey, England. It is my wish to come in contact with relatives and if they are interested in such souvenir , I am willing to return this box.

How can I find these relatives ? Who can help me ??

Theo Philipsen


Just a few days ago I received messages from the family Stockley.

Mrs. Stockley - 83 - is still alive and the daughter I spoke with was born one month after her father was killed here in Holland. She is of course very pleased to get this box, which is a personal item of her father. He was killed in a place only 5 km from the place where this box was left.

We are all extremely happy that we reached our target: this box must return to the family Stockley! I wish to thank you for your assistance as well.

Theo Philipsen


Dear Angela,

Referring to previous e-mail contacts I am now able to provide you with my final information about the " box" left during the war.

Lt.Col. Stockley left this box in the house of the Wijnen family in Melderslo, Holland only 2 days before he was killed in action on November 30,1944 at an age of 37 years.

Sally Stockley , born 2 months before her father died , collected this box on Sunday March 18 and was very happy with this last souvenir of her father, who never saw Sally.

So after 56 years the box returned to the Stockley family.

We all were very surprised that this box was never thrown away during these 56 years , although we moved 3 times during these years and although this box had absolutely no value for us at all.

The box was handed over by my wife Anny Philipsen - Wijnen , who looked in fact after this box. The photo below shows this " ceremony ".

Mrs. Sally Stockley  receiving her father`s box from Anny Philipsen - Wijnen , who had looked after this box for so many years

Thank you for your kind help in this matter.

Theo Philipsen

The Original Question:

The Wartime Memories Project is working with a TV company on a series about the battles of World War Two. We are seeking contact with Veterans of the battles at Arnhem, Dunkirk, El Alamein, Normandy and Ardennes.

If you would be willing to share your experiences with the camera please get in touch for more details.

Dear Angela,

The TV crew came last week and it was quite a successful 'shoot'...I was nervous for the first few minutes-but then I started to enjoy it !! took 3 hours-and even then they ,and I quote .."Only scratched the surface ".. and want to return in a couple of months to finish off, as they found my stories "Fascinating ".

Cliff Billen

I dressed up for them in my 'PARADE GEAR ' "Polished-booted and spurred "-complete with medals-white linen gloves and my Parade 'Marshall's Baton ' and they were very impressed-said generally it was ..."old guys sat in armchairs in pullovers and smoking their pipes "

Cliff Billen

(Cliff is making a return trip to the battle field in France in August to be filmed at the site he saw action. More updates will follow)

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