Ernest William Tooley

33141, Private, 8th Battalion. Leicestershire Regiment. (Formerly 6567 Bedfordshire Regiment)

Died Of Wounds on the 25th November 1916 aged 21.

Private Ernest William Tooley

Ernest was the son of Henry & Harriett Tooley who lived at 16 Alleynes Road, Stevenage. His father was a local tailor and before joining the Army he had been employed by Leggetts fishmongers and by the Glazley Coach Works as a Coach Painter.

He enlisted in the Army on the 26th February 1916 in Hitchin, Hertfordshire, and initially served with the Bedfordshire Regiment. Following the completion of his training he was posted to France on the 3rd November 1916 and on arrival he was transferred to the Leicestershire Regiment. He joined the 8th Battalion on the 16th November and a few days later, on the 23rd, the Battalion were in positions in the Hohenzollern sector of the Western Front. They were heavily bombarded for nearly four hours by German trench mortars and it is believed that it was during this bombardment that Ernest was wounded. He was taken to No.7 General Hospital at St.Omer where he died two days later

He is buried in the Longuenesse (St.Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, France. (4.A.79.)

Medal Entitlement: British War Medal & Victory Medal.

Douglas Truscott

120618, Flying Officer, 114 Squadron, Royal Air Force.

Missing In Action on the 23rd November 1942.

Douglas was the son of Laurie & Flora Truscott and the husband of Marjorie Truscott of Stevenage. He joined 114 Squadron at Raynham airfield on the 7th August 1942 from 17 Operational Training Unit, along with Pilot Officer Mathias. After a period of acclimatisation with the Squadron Douglas was deemed to be ready to fly operational missions. On the 13th November the Squadron left Raynham to fly to Gibraltar and then on to Algeria.

On the 17th they arrived at Blida airfield and within a few hours they flew their first operational mission, although Douglas Truscott did not take part in this mission. He had to wait until the 19th November when his crew were part of a raid on shipping in Bizerta harbour. The following night a second raid was made on the same target and Douglas was to fly his second operational mission. Then, on the 23rd November he and his crew took part on a raid on Sidi Ahmed airfield on the outskirts of Bizerta.

Eight aircraft were despatched on the raid, one of which failed to take off. A second aircraft was forced to turn back as a result of engine failure and a third, Bisley BA799 RT-, in which Douglas was flying, was lost on route. The aircraft and its crew were never found and, as a result, Douglas has no known grave.

His name is recorded on the Malta memorial. (Panel 3. Column 1.)

Crew of BISLEY BA799 RT-

Position

Number

Rank

Name

Age

Pilot

116393

P/O

John Owen MATHIAS

25

Navigator

120618

F/O

Douglas TRUSCOTT

n/a

WOP/AG

1187195

SGT

Thomas William CATCHPOLE

27

Gordon George Ronald Upton

2072973, Lance Corporal, 228th Field Company. Royal Engineers.

Missing In Action on the 22nd May 1940 aged 19.

Gordon, who lived at 8 Bridge Road, was the elder son of Archibald & Dora Upton. He was known by his friends as "Curly" and was educated at Alleynes School. After leaving school Gordon was employed by the British Tabulating Machine Company, now ICL, at their Sheffield branch. He joined the Territorial Army in June 1939 when he was 18 years old.

On the 22nd May 1940 his unit was involved in mining bridges at Arcques during the BEF retreat. Whilst the bridge was being prepared for demolition a premature explosion took place, which killed three men and wounded another four. One of those killed was Gordon Upton.

His body was never found and he has no known grave. His name is recorded on the Dunkirk Memorial, France. (Column 23)

 

David Vallis

LT/JX216725, Leading Seaman, Royal Naval Patrol Service, HMBY Minesweeper 2051.

The son of Levi & Harriet Vallis, and the husband of Daisy Vallis.

The exact cause of his death is not yet known.

He is buried in the Stevenage Communal Cemetery. (Section H. Grave 129)

Fredrick George Waldock

G/15649, Private, 13th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment.

Killed In Action on the 21st October 1916 aged 21.

Fred was the son of Edward & Lucy Waldock who lived at 71 Albert Street. Before joining the army Fred had worked for Maythorn & Sons, coach-builders, of Biggleswade. He initially joined the Hertfordshire Regiment as Private with the Service Number 3282 but was later transferred to the Royal Sussex Regiment.

On the 21st October 1916, as the Battle of the Somme drew to a close, the Battalion took part in an assault on a position known as Stuff Trench. Very heavy fighting had taken place in the area since the commencement of the battle and Frederick was killed near Wood Post

He is buried in a shared grave at the Grandcourt Road Cemetery, Grandcourt, France. (Grave.A.50.)

Headstone Inscription: "Gone To Join His Loved Ones"

Medal Entitlement: British War Medal & Victory Medal.

George Leonard Waldock

103482, Private, 10th Battalion, Nottinghamshire & Derbyshire Regiment. (Formerly 23530 Bedfordshire Regiment)

Died Of Wounds on the 23rd October 1918 aged 23.

Private George Leonard Waldock

George was born on the 5th February 1895, the eldest son of George & Alice Waldock who lived at 16 Southsea Road, Stevenage. He was one of 11 children and before joining the Army had been employed as an agricultural labourer by Ben Moules at Titmore Green Farm. At the time of his death, had two other brothers serving in the Army.

He himself joined the Army in 1915. He was seriously wounded for a third time by a gas shell on the French front and was transferred to Rouen Hospital.

On his arrival in Edinburgh he died from his wounds. He is buried in St. Nicholas churchyard, Stevenage.

Headstone Inscription: "The Souls Of The Righteous Are In The Hand Of God"

Medal Entitlement: British War Medal & Victory Medal.

 

Horatio Spencer Walpole

Lieutenant, No.1 Company, 1st Battalion, Coldstream Guards.

Killed In Action on the 9th April 1918 aged 36

The grave of Lieutenant Horatio Spencer Walpole at Bac-Du-Sud Cemetery, France.

Horatio was born on the 19th July 1881 in Hampton Road, Teddington the son of Henry Spencer & Frances Selina Walpole.  His father was a Barrister and Horatio was the heir to the two Baronies of Walpole. He was educated at Eton school and later at New College, Oxford. After leaving university he worked for Dangerfield, Blythe & Co of 26 Craven Street, Charring Cross.

In 1906 he married Dorothea Frances Montgomerie and and the couple lived at The Firs in Stevenage, where they later had two children.  His brother, a Lieutenant in the Gordon Highlanders, was killed in action at Loos on the 20th September 1915 but whose name is not recorded on the Stevenage War Memorial.

In January 1916 Horatio, who signs himself Horace, joined the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps and, after completing his training, received a commission in the Guards in March 1916.  He was then posted to France in August 1916 and wounded on the 15th September, when he received a gunshot wound to his right forearm. The following day he was promoted to Lieutenant but his wound was a serious one and he was evacuated to No.8 General Hospital in Rouen for treatment, after which he returned to England. Horace did not return to France until August 1917.

On the 9th April 1918 he was commanding No.1 Company of the Battalion, which was in the front line at Boiry St Martin. A German artillery shell landed in the trench in which he was standing and killed him outright.

He is buried in the Bac-Du-Sud Cemetery, France. (2.B.22.)

Medal Entitlement: British War Medal & Victory Medal.

Charles William Ward

20351, Private, 1st Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment.

Died on the 25th November 1916

Charles lived at 10 Nottingham Road and before joining the army had worked at the ESA factory.

He joined up in 1914 and had served in France since January 1916 where he saw action in many of the major engagements on the Somme.

However, he was admitted to hospital suffering from appendicitis and although he appeared to be recovering from the operation suffered a fatal relapse.

Charles is buried in the Longuenesse (St.Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, France. (4.A.79.)

Medal Entitlement: British War Medal & Victory Medal.

Eric George Ward

14631237, Private, 1/7th Battalion, Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment.

Died Of Wounds on the 22nd October 1944 aged 27.

Eric was the only son of George & Florence Ward of 32 Lawrence Avenue. He was known locally as a keen footballer and was employed at ESA in Stevenage. Four of his uncles were killed during the First World War. Eric did not join the Army until 1943.

On the 22nd October 1944 the Battalion was in action as part of Operation “Alan” which was an assault on the town of Middlerode in Holland. The attack commenced at 06.35am and at 07.00 “D” Company was caught by heavy enemy artillery fire.

Eric died from the effects of shrapnel wounds and is buried in the Uden War Cemetery, Holland.

 

Harry Alan Ward

Harry Alan Ward
(Source: Keith Blaxill)

10602994, Corporal, 15th Battalion, Reconnaissance Regiment.

Killed In Action on the 17th July 1944 aged 23.

Harry was born in Codicote on the 10th October 1920, the son of William & Beatrice Ward. The family later moved to Stevenage where they lived at 39 Stanmore Road. He was educated at Letchmore Boys School and after leaving school Harry was employed as an apprentice joiner at the ESA factory in the town.

Due to the nature of his job and the fact the factory was then making aircraft wings for the war effort, his attempts to join the Army were deferred until he was aged 21. During this period Harry served in the local Home Guard. He also played football for Stevenage Town and once made a guest appearance for Millwall. When Harry received his call up papers in 1942 he arranged a special marriage licence so that he could marry his fiancée, Olive Hollingsworth, on that day. After his training he served in the UK until the invasion of Normandy on the 6th June 1944.

On the 17th July 1944 his unit was withdrawn to Cheux, in Normandy, for a rest during the assault on Caen. German aircraft attacked and bombed the area and the unit suffered two men killed, one of whom was Harry Ward.

He is buried in the St.Manivieu War Cemetery, France.