Gerald Page

7957644, Trooper, 44th Royal Tank Regiment.

Killed In Action on the 18th July 1943 aged 22.

Gerald was the son of Charles & Maud Page and the husband of Gladys Page. He was a pupil at Alleynes school in Stevenage where he was described as being an average student who had the ability to pull out all the stops when required in order to save a situation, particularly on the sports field. On leaving school Gerald was employed by Mott’s Garage in Watton at Stone until he was called up for service in the army.

He joined the 44th Royal Tank Regiment in April 1942 and on completion of his training was posted overseas. The Regiment was part of the 4th Armoured Brigade and had only been serving in Sicily for a week when they were called to support an infantry assault. The Germans had positioned themselves in a wood on the edge of the Catanian Plain and it was clear that if the Allied forces were to continue their invasion the enemy had to be dislodged. As the assault got underway Gerald’s tank was hit and he was instantly killed.
Gerald is buried in the Catania War Cemetery, Sicily. (2.C.35)

Peter Parry-Evans

AI/402, Major, 11 Sikh Regiment. Indian Army.


The grave of Major Peter Parry-Evans in the Taukyyan War Cemetery, Rangoon, Burma.

Peter, born into a soldiering family, was the son of the Reverend Joseph Parry-Evans CMG, CBE, FKC who was the Chaplain Commandant of the Royal Army Chaplains Department and had served in the army with some distinction from 1902 up until 1930 when he retired.

Peter attained his commission into the Indian Army on the 30th November 1936, some eight months after his father’s death. He was promoted to Captain on the 30th August 1942 and became a Major on the 2nd March 1943.

Peter is buried in the Taukyyan War Cemetery, Rangoon, Burma. (26.F.8.)


Kenneth Augustus Pennington

7654332, Craftsman, Light Aid Detachment. REME.

Killed By Friendly Fire on the 13th June 1945 aged 35.

The grave of Craftsman Kenneth Augustus Pennington in Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Thailand.

Kenneth was born on the 30th September 1909, the son of Thomas Augustus & Gertrude Lillian Pennington. His father, a plumber by trade, had served in the Royal Garrison Artillery during the First World War but had not been posted to France until hostilities had ceased. By 1939 , his parents were living at Brandsmead in Benington.

On the 6th July 1935 the 25 year-old engineer married Alice May Hale at Mortlake parish church, Surrey, the 21 year-old daughter of Charles Leonard Hale, a Postman.

He was taken prisoner by the Japanese at the fall of Singapore and like so many others was put to work on the notorious Burma-Siam Railway. The work on the railway began in October 1942 and was intolerably hard for Kenneth and his comrades who had to endure many hardships during their years of captivity.

No records were kept by the Japanese with respect to the work on the railway but it is estimated that over 16,000 prisoners of war perished during its construction, mainly as a result of sickness and malnutrition. The line was completed in December 1943 and thereafter the working parties were used for the maintenance of the track and to repair damage caused by allied air raids. The Japanese refused to allow the prisoners to construct a symbol, consisting of a white triangle on a blue base, to indicate the presence of any POW camp and as a result, with many camps being alongside the track or near other vulnerable points such as bridges, the camps were attacked by allied aircraft, adding to the prisoners misery.

As the capitulation of the Japanese forces approached more and more prisoners were grouped into the main camps and on the 13th June 1945 the RAF made an air attack on the camp at Kanchanaburi and it was during this raid that Kenneth was killed.

He is buried in the Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Thailand. (6.E.23.)

Arthur Phipps

14377801, Gunner, 59 Anti-Tank Regiment. (6th Hampshire Regiment), Royal Artillery.

Died of Wounds on the 16th August 1944 aged 35.

Arthur was the son of John & Annie Phipps and the husband of Lena Phipps.

The exact circumstances of his death are not yet known.

He is buried in the Banneville La Campagne War Cemetery, France. (6.D.9)

Alan Albert Pollock

Sub Lieutenant (Pilot), 878 Squadron. Fleet Air Arm, HMS Landrail.

Killed on the 5th January 1944 aged 23.

Alan was the son of Albert & Gwendoline Pollock. He was educated at Alleynes School in Stevenage where he became head boy. He was a pupil of amazing talent eventually becoming the chairman of the school literary & debating society as well as secretary of the scientific society. He was also interested in the dramatic arts and once played Father Christmas in the schools production of A Christmas Carol. Added to these talents was his outstanding sporting abilities being captain of the school boxing team and being part of the schools swimming, football and cricket teams. He then passed the civil service exam and, like his friend Eric Stanley, went to work at Adastral house.

In August 1941 Alan joined the Fleet Air Arm as a Leading Airman and went to both Canada and the USA to train as a pilot. After receiving his commission on the 9th June 1942 he was posted to 762 Squadron at HMS Heron (RNAS Yeovilton) for advanced flying training on Sea Hurricanes.

On the 8th May 1943 he was transferred to 893 Squadron on the aircraft carrier HMS Formidable (Illustrious) and took part in patrols over Sicily and the Salerno landings. On the 5th January 1944, whilst 878 prepared for disbandment, Alan and two fellow pilots took off from RNAS Eglington in Northern Ireland in a Stinson Reliant, FK914. The aircraft crashed in bad weather on the North Eastern side of Sawel Mountain with all the occupants being killed. His body, and that of his two companions, were not found until sometime after they were reported missing.

Alan is buried in the Faughanvale (St.Canice) Church of Ireland Churchyard in Eglinton, Northern Ireland. (Grave 8)

Kenneth Albert Graham Prater

1201735, Warrant Officer (Pilot), 1 Ferry Unit. Royal Air Force.

Killed on the 31st March 1945 aged 32.

Kenneth Prater was born in 1913 the son of Mr.& Mrs A.G.Prater who lived at " Woodview" , Fishers Green. He was educated at Alleynes Grammar School between 1921 and 1930 and was a keen sportsman who favoured Tennis, Badminton and Squash. When he left school he was captain of his house, a prefect and had received his school colours in both football and cricket.

Before joining the RAF he was employed as a sales representative for the Michelin Tyre Company. Kenneth joined the RAF in 1940 and trained as a Pilot. He flew many thousands of miles in Africa and India whilst serving with Ferry Command. During this time he received considerable injuries when his aircraft caught fire and he spent some time recovering at home. Eventually he was posted to Worcester after making a full recovery.

On the 31st March 1945 he was detailed to fly a Mosquito, TA226, to Cairo but was killed instantly when his aircraft crashed shortly after take off from Portreath airfield in Cornwall on a flight to Istres.

Kenneth was cremated at Golders Green crematorium and his name is recorded on the memorial there.


Alec Leonard Puttock

175906, Pilot Officer (Pilot),  No.576 Squadron, Royal Air Force.

Killed In Action on the 17th June 1944 aged 25

Alec Puttock was born in Guilford in 1919. He lived at New Farm in Stevenage, known locally as “Donkeys Whim”.  He attended both Shephall school and Stevenage Boys school where he is believed to have excelled at many subjects.

The rise of Alec Puttock to Pilot Officer was a rapid one. He joined 576 Squadron in late 1943 as a Sergeant. By February 1944 he had attained the rank of Flight Sergeant and rose to Warrant Officer by May of that year. It was only a month later that he gained his commission as a Pilot Officer. He flew on many operations with the Squadron. Alec’s prowess as a Pilot was put to the test on the 22nd April 1944.

The mighty Lancaster, LL794 UL-D2, was fully fuelled and bombed up ready for a raid on Dusseldorf. Alec released the brakes and the aircraft began to build up speed down the runway and as it did so the Port tyre burst and the aircraft swerved off of the runway with the Port engine ablaze. Luckily the flames were quickly extinguished and the crew, although shaken, were returned to their quarters unhurt. The coolness of both Pilot and crew had saved them from certain disaster.

On the night of 16th June 1944 Lancaster PA997 UL-D2 took off from Elsham Wolds airfield with Pilot Officer Alec Puttock at the controls. The aircraft headed for its target, Sterkgrad. With the invasion of Europe only ten days old the enemy night fighters were very active and there were many desperate combats to, over, and from the target. Added to this was an intense flak barrage in the target area making the chances of survival even slimmer.

As with so many losses during the war it is not known what exactly happened to the aircraft but it never returned to Elsham Wolds airfield again and it's crew now lay buried at the British War Cemetery in the Reichswald Forest.

Crew of Lancaster PA997 UL-D2

Number Rank Name Age POW Details
175906 P/O Alec Leonard PUTTOCK 25  
1482478 F/SGT Thomas JEFFERSON 22  
1099268 SGT L R S TEMPLETON   POW No.194/Camp 357
1575151 SGT John BROWN 22 22
1314538 F/SGT D W G  WARR   POW No.199/Camp L7
1822774 SGT Charles PHILP 20  
1894974 SGT Herbert Edgar LILLICRAP 19  

Harry Rowbottom

1787272, Gunner, 31 Battery. 7 Coast Regiment. Royal Artillery.

Died on the 20th October 1942 aged 37.

Harry was the son of Harry & Elizabeth Rowbottom of 47 Longcroft Road, Stevenage. He was employed, before joining the army, at Moorhens nursery in Letchworth. In 1941 Harry joined the army and was drafted into the Royal Artillery, where he served with a Coastal Artillery Regiment. He was posted to Singapore shortly before the fall of the island to the Japanese. He died of Diphtheria whilst a Prisoner of War, probably as a result of his treatment.

Harry is buried in the Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore. (13.E.17.)

Philip Seager-Berry

Volunteer, 35th County of London (Civil Service) Battalion, Home Guard.

Killed In Action on the 16th September 1940 aged 35.

Phillip was the son of Thomas & Violet Seager-Berry of Crossways, Stevenage. He was educated at Charterhouse and Trinity College, Cambridge and he later became a lawyer. He left the bar on his father's death to become a solicitor in his former firm in the city of London. Phillip joined the ARP service for the Westminster area and on his mother's death he moved to Vincent Square, Westminster. At about this time he joined the Ministry of Economic Warfare. He then joined the Home Guard and was killed whilst on duty in Berkley Square, London.

Phillip is buried in the St.Nicholas churchyard, Stevenage.

Stanley Harold Sheppard

1086577, Private, 8th Field Regiment. Royal Artillery.

Missing In Action on the 1st December 1941 aged 29.

Stanley was the son of Harold & Harriet Sheppard.

It is believed that Stanley was killed in action at Bel Hamid but his body was never found and he has no known grave.

Stanley’s name is recorded on the El Alamein War Memorial, Egypt. (Column 37.)