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Those who served

George Berry

Killed in Action: 29 June 1942

Service number: 2620731

Rank: Guardsman

4 Battalion Grenadier Guards

Grenadier Guards





A stone laid below the gravestone reads







As part of 6th Guards Tank Brigade -

This Brigade became one of the eight Independent Tank Brigades at the disposal of 21st Army Group for use as a flexible reserve when it was re-assigned to 15th Scottish Division in the autumn of 1942



Son of Robert and Ellen Berry

Born in Blackburn


Husband of Ann Berry nee Dixon, of Whittle le Woods.


I think they had a daughter  - Norah Berry in 1942


Grave is at St Leonard Churchyard, Walton le Dale




Gordon Billinge aka Gordon Billing

Born in Farrington

Killed on Active Service: June 9th 1941

Service number :

Rank: Wireless Operator / Air Gunner

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve





Possible he was in the RAFVR and part of the crew flying an Armstrong Whitworth Whitley V no Z6571

Flew from Yorkshire to bomb Dortmund


In the early hours of 9th June 1941, the crew of this 78 Squadron aircraft were returning to Middleton St.George after undertaking an operational flight to bomb Dortmund. The weather over North Yorkshire on this night was poor and 78 Squadron aircraft had initially been sent instructions to divert to land at Prestwick, the weather over Middleton St.George improved slightly and this diversion order was later cancelled but the weather was still poor at dawn when this aircraft was heading towards the base, the aircraft appears to have drifted too far west and at the time of the crash the crew were descending through cloud probably to try and locate their position, the Whitley flew into a hilltop near Ellingstring at around 05.20hrs. Sadly all five airmen were killed but strangely three pilots are listed on the CWGC database and no navigator.


Pilot - Sgt Dennis Russell Simm RAFVR (1150677), aged 27, of Ashbourne, Derbyshire. Buried Ashbourne Cemetery, Derbyshire.

Pilot - Sgt John Staley Tomkinson RAFVR (969697), aged 28, of Hazel Grove, Cheshire. Buried Taxal Churchyard, Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire.

Observer - P/O Alfred Victor Snelling RAFVR (89600), aged? Of Epsom Downs, Surrey. Buried Middleton St George Churchyard, Co.Durham.

Wireless Operator / Air Gunner - Sgt John Bernard Stevens RAFVR (972788), aged 21, of Hornchurch, Essex. Buried Hornchurch Cemetery, Essex.

Wireless Operator / Air Gunner - F/Sgt Gordon Elliot Chiswell Billing RAFVR (967253), aged 24, 




Buried at St Andrews, Leyland




John Noval Burton

Service number:  3861122

Rank: Private

1 Battalion Gordon Highlanders



Killed in Action: 20 August 1944



Married Doris Wren in 1935

Children -

Unice June Burton 1935

William Melvyn Burton 1938

Michael Graham Burton 1940

Hazel Patricia Burton 1944



His wife and family would have these words inscribed on his stone -





(with a cross)


He is buried in Hermanville War Cemetery, Hermanville-sur-Mer


The village of Hermanville lies just beyond Sword beach


Husband of Doris Burton, of Whittle le Woods, Lancashire.




John Coupe

Service Number: 1503488

Rank: Lance Corporal

Royal Engineers

62 Chemical Warfare Coy


Killed in Action: 28 May 1940



Lancashire Evening Post - Thursday 06 June 1940




Mr and Mrs C E Coupe of Swansey fold, Whittle le Woods, near Chorley, have recieved a letter from a company sergeant major now back in England saying that he was with their second son L/cpl John Coupe (21), when he was killed in action.


The letter stated L/cpl Coupe was killed in action by his side in a small wood at Mount Des Cats, north west of the French town of Bailleul.

 "a shell burst by us " and it was added "and he was killed instantly, with five others.  He was well liked in the company and was a good NCO".


Son of Charles Edward and Catherine Coupe, of Whittle-le-Woods, Lancashire


The Dunkirk Memorial, which is part of the British War Graves Section of Dunkirk Town Cemetery.




Harold Dyke

Killed in Action:13 April 1944

Service Number: 797112

Rank: Warrant Officer Class II

Trade: BSM

Royal Artillery

510 Coast Regt.



510 (Tynemouth) Coast Regiment RA(TA)


Jul 40 part of Tynemouth Hvy Rgt stationed at Blyth
Jul 40, Home forces (UK)


Harold Dyke was killed by an explosion whilst fighting a gorse fire in Northumberland


Worked at Leyland Motors Ltd for two years before being called up as a reservist in June 1939


He originally joined the army after leaving school


He severed 17 years, including 7 years in India


During WW2, this Regiment was based at Blyth as of 1940, serving as a coastal defense.

It was also part of the 64 HAA  Regt RATA, serving in other places.


Born in Rochdale and Residence in Wigan





Norman Grime

Service Number: 2198181

Rank: Lance Serjeant

Royal Artillery, 3/2 Maritime Regt


Killed in Action: 28 August 1942


Born 1919



Served on a ship called the City of Cardiff, a Steam Merchant. As a DEMS Gunner


The Ship was attacked on 28 August 1942 by a U boat - U566



At 19.08 hours on 28 Aug 1942, a U boat called U556 fired a spread of three torpedoes at the convoy SL119 at west-northwest of Lisbon.


They heard three detonations and sinking noises and claimed two steamers sunk. The ships the City of Cardiff, and Zuiderkerk.

Position - 40° 20'N, 16° 02'W

21 killed and 63 wounded\survivors


Son of Charles and Alice Grime, of Clayton Green, Lancashire


Married Annie Holding nee Grime in 1941 at St John the Evangelist, Whittle le Woods


Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Hampshire




Patrick Gregson

Age: 25

Service Number: Lt/JX 277496

Rank: Seaman


Killed in Action: 24 September 1945


He was serving aboard the H.M. Trawler Coverley (ASW) of the Royal Naval Patrol Service



Buried at Udine War Cemetery at Tavagnacco, Italy


H.M. Trawler Coverley




James (Jim) Hall

Killed in Action: 14 October 1944

Service Number: 14254651

Rank: Gunner

Royal Artillery, 240 Bty., 39 Lt. A.A. Regt.


Son of Ralph and Mary Ellen Hall, of Whittle-le-Woods, Lancashire.


Florence War Cemetery, Girone, Itay






Joseph Heald

Air Mechanic 1st class

FAA/FX 75817

HMS Peregrine

Age 21


Killed at a base during a german raid on 18 August 1940 


HMS Peregrine was a Royal Naval Air Base it was used for training pilots at Ford, Sussex.

During the Summer of 1940 a German bomber raid, with Stuka bombers attacked the base killing 28 people and injuring more.





Ernest Holding

Kent Yeomanry

Killed in Action: 23 April 1947

Age 28

143rd Field Regiment, RA..(143 (The Kent Yeomanry) Field Regt.)

Royal Artillery


Son of Ernest and Annie Louise Holding, of Whittle-le-Woods; husband of Emily Holding, of Farington.


Married Emily Beardsworth at St Pauls, Farington in 1942

Children -

Doreen Holding 1942  

Glenys Holding 1944

Ernest Trevor Holding 1947 married Eva Neilson in 1966, Chorley


Buried at St Johns, Whittle le Woods




Vincent Kellett

Rank: Private

Service No:3976558

Date of Death: 23/07/1944

Age: 29

4th Bn Welch Regiment





Operation Clement


At the time, 4 Welch Regiment on a raid on the enemy position at Esquay on the night 23/24th July 1944.

Fighting against the 10 SS Panzer Division


His gravestone has been inscribed with a few words by his family







He is buried at the Brouay War Cemetery, Normandy.


Son of James and Elizabeth Kellett; husband of Margaret Doris Kellett, of Whittle le Woods.

Lived with his mum at Spring Gardens.


Son called Dennis Kellett


Grew up with Derek Winter




Robert Leigh

Killed in Action: 24 September 1944

Service Number: 2210791

Rank: Serjeant

166 Sqn Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Rear Gunner


Son of Henry and Mary Leigh, of Whittle-le-Woods, Lancashire.


Runnymede Air Forces Memorial, Surrey


Found this information for him-


Leigh R



166 Sqd

Lancaster III

LM722.. AS-D

Left Kirmington at 1840

Target was Neuss



In W. R. Chorley's Bomber Command Losses 1944 Lancaster LM722 of 166 Squadron is listed as being lost without a trace. Is it possible that this aircraft crashed and exploded? Possibly killing a German officer as a result of the explosion, being hit by a house door... This is not confirmed


Another version -


LM722 code AS_D failed to return from a raid on Neuss 23/09/44 - 24/09/44. No German anti-aircraft gun or fighter claims were made and no wreckage ever found, so assumed crashed into the North Sea due to mechanical failure either going out or returning from the mission.



Serial Range LM301 - LM756 This aircraft was one of 350 Lancasters ordered from A.V.Roe (Yeadon) as Mk.111s except for the first 10 as Mk.1s (LM301-LM310), delivered from Oct42 to Oct44. Mk.1s had Merlin 20 engines, Mk.111s Merlin 38 engines initially installed. LM722 was delivered to 166 Sqdn 2Sep44. It is believed that this aircraft was lost on its first Raid. When lost this aircraft had a total of 46 hours. LM722 was one of two 166 Sqdn Lancasters lost on this operation. See PB242 Airborne 1840 23Sep44 from Kirmington. Lost without trace. all are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. F/O Cameron of Portsoy, Banffshire. Also F/O J.G.Davies KIA, Sgt C.L.Caston KIA, Sgt A.Rollinson KIA,

F/O F.Cameron KIA, F/S J.McK Dillon RAAF KIA, Sgt R.B.Ward KIA, Sgt R.Leigh KIA.




Clarence Lowe

Service number: 7907189

Rank: Trooper

Nottinghamshire Yeomanry, Royal Armoured Corps


Killed in Action on 23 September 1944





Son of Richard Edward and Elizabeth Ellen Lowe, of Whittle-le-Woods, Lancashire


Buried at Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Nijmegen, Netherlands


It is located in a Wooded area that is called Jonkers Bosch.

And that is the name also given to the Cemetery.


He was killed in the Allied advance into the Netherlands in September 1944.


The Germans had overtaken the Netherlands on the 10th May of 1940 Blitzkrieg and remained in their hands until 1944.





Robert Magill

Born in Antrim, Ireland

Royal Artillery, 7/4 Maritime Regt.
Death - 15/10/1941

Age - 22
Service No - 1535753
Rank - Gunner

Robert Magill married Margaret Blogg

St John the Evangelist, Whittle le Woods on 7\3\1941

They had a one boy as far as I know called Alfred Magill born 1941, who married Olwin Davies
I think they lived at 2 Oak Cottages, Clayton le Woods

His son Alfred had two boys Paul Owen Magill (1963) and Leslie James Magill (1965)






Victor McIvor


No information yet










Denis McMamnon

Age: 32

Rank: Private

Service No: 2390858

9th Bn Durham Light Infantry


Killed in Action: 4 October 1944


Grave Reference: 12. A. 6.


Son of Denis and Alice McMamnon; husband of Ann McMamnon nee Clayton, of Whittle-le-Woods, Lancashire.


Married in 1938 to Ann Clayton at Chorley Reg Office.


Had a son called John McManmon in 1939


In his probate information of 20 March 1945. The address he lived at was 18 Swansey Fold

His probate went to James Clayton, a Machinist

Effects £144 2s 2d


On his stone his family would have these words inscribed -








(with a cross)


He is buried at Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery


COMING SOON  - More information coming soon on this soldier from a relative




Albert Nicholson

Age: 22

Service no: 3450794

Rank: Rifleman

Died: 13/12/1944


East Meditteranean

2nd Bn. Rifle Brigade


Son of Harry and Annie Nicholson


Brother of Clifford Nicholson









Picture kindly provided by Stuart Clewlow








Frank Riley

Killed in Action: 20 February 1944 

Age 20

Rank: Guardsman

Service number: 2701287

2 Battalion Scots Guards





Lancashire Evening Post - Tuesday 14 March 1944




Mrs Peter Riley, of 3 Halls Terrace, Whittle le Woods, has received news that her son, Guardsman Frank Riley (20) has been killed in action in the Middle East.

At the age of 13, he was awarded the Boys Brigade Cross for saving a boy at Whittle le Woods.

Guardsman Frank Riley enlisted 17 months ago, and in August last there was a surprise meeting with his brother, Lance Bombardier Fred Riley, RA.

When the latter unexpectedly walking into his tent.





Son of Peter and Martha Riley, of Whittle-le-Woods, Lancashire.


Frank Riley was part of the operations in Italy


In October 1943 through to May 1944 and beyond, the allies were involved in operations against the Germans winter defensive position known as the Gustav Line.


Buried at Minturno War Cemetery, Marina di Minturno (Garigliano).





Frank Rothwell

Killed in Action: 15 June 1942

Rank: Corporal

Service Number: S/3857975

Royal Army Service Corps






Beirut War Cemetery, Jalloul, near Assas which is to the west of the Forest of Pines.


Son of Herbert James Rothwell and Alice Rothwell, of Whittle-le-Woods, Lancashire.





Robert Snape

Killed in Action:  20 March 1944

Service Number: 974967

Rank: Bombardier

149 (The Lancashire Yeomanry) Anti-Tank Regt.



His Probate says


Robert Snape of Lukes Row, Whittle le Woods, near Chorley, Lancashire. 


Died 20 March 1944 on war service.


New Information sent to me as of 14/2/2019-


Page 231 of ‘Shabash-149’ says of Cassino on 20 March 1944, ‘In one murderous ‘stonk’ two men in Bob Foden’s gun pit went up with all the ammunition’. From the information available, I would guess these were Bombardiers Snape and Ashman.



Administration Llandudno 20 October to Peter Snape retired weaver.

Effects £181 13s 9d



Son of Peter and Cecily Snape, of Whittle le Woods, Lancashire


He is buried at the Cassino War Cemetery, Cassino, Italy




Arnold Tuson

Born 30 July 1914

Reg no:

Rank: Warrant Officer Class III (sergeant major)

Royal Artillery


France and Belgium Campaign, 1939/40


Killed in Action: 27 May 1940


Arnold was presumed Killed or Missing in Action at Dunkirk


Arnold's rank of Warrant Officer Class III was established in 1938 but by 1940 was put in suspension and never formally abolished.

The rank was only held by a platoon, troop, and section sergeant major.


His parents are William Tuson b: 25 Jul 1882 d: 5 Sep 1957 and Gertrude Melling

m: Jun 1912 in St. Johns, Whittle le Woods d: 5 Aug 1957

 Arnold Tuson b: 30 Jul 1914 d: 27 May 1940 in Dunkirk

  Hilary Tuson b: 31 Mar 1920

  ? Tuson who married John Anderton


His Gravestone is in St Bedes Churchyard





Robert Smith


No information yet













Thomas Warbrick

Born: 1917

Age: 27

Reg no: 14246216


Sapper, Royal Engineers.




Killed in Action: June 1944


Property Repair as Trade


Son of John J Warbrick and Ann.


Brownley Terrace as of 1939


Beach Head War Cemetery, Italy



New Information -


Thomas Warbrick's Great Uncle (Thomas Warbrick c1889) served during WW1 with the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

He was a POW. 




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