WW2 Lathom & Burscough, Lathom Hall Lane.




Lathom & Burscough.      

All Photo’s Dawson

  The Memorial ‘upper cross’ showing the names of the WW2 dead

of the villages of Lathom & Burscough.


The ‘set apart’ name right face, is that of Cpl Sarah Bryant Intelligence Corps kia Iraq 2008.  As with all memoria, it can never be fully accepted that we know everyone that has died during WW2 from villages of Lathom & Burscough, it is of regret that some may be missed. If anyone knows of anyone (with provenence) omitted from this Roll of Honour. 

That information would be most welcome. Please do not hesitate to inform the secretary on either email below.

secretarylbmhs@gmail.com or  secretary@lbmhs.co.uk  


The Roll of Honour.   

Abram Robert Hugh.

 Ordinary Coder P/JX 40432.

H. M. S. Birmingham. Royal Navy. Died 28.11.43. Aged 19.

‘Town Class’ Light Cruiser.

Son of Robert & Elizabeth Ellen Abram of Hoscar, Lathom.

In April 1943 Birmingham was again refitted in the UK, a process completed in October. She returned to the Mediterranean and on 28 November was torpedoed by the German submarine U-407 off the coast of Cyrenaica. Seriously damaged, she succeeded in returning to Alexandria where temporary repairs were carried out. In June 1944, she sailed for the U.S.A. where more permanent repairs were carried out. In November 1944, the repairs were completed and she returned to home waters to join the 10th Cruiser Squadron at Scapa Flow.


Atkins James H.

Capt EC / 3823 1stBn 2 King Edwards V11 Own Gurkha Rifles.

‘The Sirmoor Rifles’

Kia 27th May 1944.

Buried Sangro War Cemetery, Italy.

Son of Arthur H & Hilda C Atkins of Lathom.

Baldwin JRS Burscough Killed in action April 43 - Copy


–   Baldwin John Rowland Schofield M.C.

Baldwin JS

 Lieut 182558 Royal Engineers,

Attd 4th Field Coy King George V’s Own Bengal Sappers & Miners.

Died 6th April 1943 Aged 23.

  Buried Sfax War Cemetery, Tunisia

Son of Edwin & Gwladys Baldwin of Burscough.
Father former Lieut WW 1 awarded DCM & MM commissioned form ranks.


Blackledge James.

Blackledge of Burscough KIA Italy - Copy

Pte 1643971 7th Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.

Originally 1643971 Royal Artillery re trained as an Infantry man sent to Ox & Bucks

 Died 20th September 1944. Aged 35.

 Buried Coriano Ridge War Cemetery, Italy.

                             Son of Henry & Elizabeth Blackledge of Burscough.

Commemorated St John The Baptist Church Burscough.

Blackledge Thomas.

Gnr 1300979 148 Heavy Anti Aircraft Battery. RA.

Died 29th December 1944.

Buried St John The Baptist Churchyard, Burscough

Husband of Bridget Lily Blackledge of Burscough,

Son of Henry & Elizabeth Blackledge of Burscough.

Commemorated in St John the Baptist Church Burscough.

Grave of Thomas Blackledge.


Lathom & Burscough Memorial.

Charnock James F.

Stoker 1st Class D/KX 117052 H.M.S. Hermione.

Built by Stephens & Sons ( Clyde) Glasgow.

Light Cruiser ‘Dido Class’

Capt N G Oliver  R.N. Lost with his ship.

In June 1943 was operating  in the Med on convoy duties with her sister ships

HMS  Cleopatra, Euralyus, Dido.

On the 16th June she was topedoed by U 205 Oblt Friedrich Burgel.  North of Sollom with the loss of 87 hands

Died 16th June 1942.

Husband of Gladys Charnock of Burscough.

Son of Mr & Mrs James Charnock.

Has no known grave and is commemorated on Plymouth Naval Memorial.

Commemorated at St John The Baptist Church.

Cheetham Henry.

Gnr 11271157 100th Anti Tank Regt (8th Bn Gordon Highlanders)

Royal Artillery.

Died 21st march 1945. Aged 21.

Buried Taukkyan War Cemetery, Myanmar, Burma.

Commemorated St John The Baptist Church.

Cheetham James.

L’Cpl T/14705901 RASC.

Died 12th Feb 1945. Aged 35.

Husband of Ada Cheetham of Burscough.

Son of Mrs Cheetham stepson of T Fazackerley of Burscough.

Buried St Johns Church Burscough.

Commemorated on St Johns Church Memorial

Grave of James Cheetham

Cliffe James.

Cliffe James Burscough Killed - Copy

Dvr T/14550985 633 Gen Transport Coy RASC

Died 24th Feb 1945.

Aged 20.

Son of John & Isabelle Cliffe of Burscough.

Buried Jonkerbos War Cemetery, Holland.

Commemorated St John The Baptist Church Burscough.

Cliffe James Burscough Killed (2)


 Culshaw Henry James.

Gdsmn 2657876 3Bn Coldstream Guards.

Died 1st Feb 1942.

Son of Ellen Culshaw of Burscough.

Has no known grave commemorated on the  El Alamein Memorial.

Commemorated on St John The Baptist Church Memorial.

Dean Eric Alfred.

Sgt ( Air Crew) 2211152 RAFVR

Died 29th December 1943.

Son of Joseph & Minnie Constance Dean.

Buried in Stafford Cemetery.

Dean Eric Burscough - Copy

Dean Eric Burscough (3)


Below left the grave of Sgt Eric Dean with William Dawson, right grave of Sgt T B Joyce both of Vickers Wellington MK 111 no X3883 of 20 Operational Training Unit,

RAF Seighford, Staffordshire.

Who died 29th December 1943 on active service whilst on operational training over Staffordshire.

The following is printed with kind permission of Michael Dawson.

In memory of William Dawson    1929 – 2012.

Prior to 2008 the name of Sgt Eric Alfred Dean RAF did not figure on the Lathom & Burscough War Memorial in Liverpool Road, Burscough. The reason it appears now is due to William Dawson. Late in 2007 William Dawson contacted the writer to ask had i heard of the above RAF Sgt, whom i had not.  As CWWG is not searchable by residence or birthplace then unless a name is proposed there is no way of knowing that anyone is missing from any memorial with a WW2 association.  I was asked did i think it “would be possible to have his name commemorated at Burscough”  I was intrigued by this request, we discussed the said Sgt in detail, sure enough he was from Lathom and ‘missing’  I recall asking William as one would how did he know of this serviceman… his reply was “because he was my pal” 

This is the story (related from father to son) of a young man, later Sgt. E. A. Dean and a younger boy named William Dawson.

Eric Dean lived near the railway crossing adjacent to Daisy Lane & Meadow Lane in Lathom, as a young boy William knew him. He recollects him being from a very poor family, cardboard in his shoes to make soles and well used clothes. Eric worked at Burscough Hall Farm in Chapel Lane near to St John’s Roman Catholic Church. It was from this employment that Eric enlisted in 1943 to serve his country, joining the RAF, attaining the rank of Sgt ( Air Gunner) This was in 1943, at this time William aged about 13 /14 took over Eric’s job on the farm. William recalled the day when Eric returned home on leave and visited his old employer, not the ragtag with holes in shoes, but as a smart serviceman in the RAF.

 Wellington X 3883 took of on December 29th 1943 on a ‘Bullseye Operation’  navigational and bomb aiming training over England. Attached to 30 Operational Training Squadron based at RAF Seighford Staffordshire. ‘Control tower RAF Seighford’

This was a ‘co-operational’ excercise between the RAF OTU and ground force defences. The aircrraft on this excercise would have been given a target on a given course, the  object was to locate and photograph (or in esscence to bomb) the ground forces task was to search and destroy by searchlight. Common muliti operational force excercise to help develop skills for for attack and defence on enemy operations. During the course of the flight the starboard engine failed, this left the pilot with two options, land at one of two locations either RAF Tattenhill  or RAF Hoar Cross both relief landing grounds or bale out. The pilot chose to re start the engine, which ignited ( a fatal error) which caused the aircraft to go out of control and subsequently crash near Hoar Cross, Staffordshire.

The crew.

P/Off. J. W. Lorrimore.(Pilot) son of William R. J. & Violet Lorrimore,

Waltham Cross, Herts.

Sgt T. B. Joyce. ( A G) son of Wm B & Margaret Joyce of New Southgate, Middlesex.

Sgt J Whitehead.( Navigator) husband of Ellen Whitehead of Woodthorpe Sheffield.

Sgt H.W. Miller. (W/Op A G) Husband Naomi Miller.

Sgt E. A. Dean. (A G) Son of Mr & Mrs Dean of Lathom.

Sgt F. Collett. ( survived the crash) looks like he survived the war.

William Dawson would have heard of the tragic events surrounding his older boyhood friend. One can imagine young William seeing the transformation from a poor poverty ridden young man into the smart RAF Sgt, the likely impact of his death would have been saddening to say the least. Nor did he ever forget his boyhood pal.

On the last Saturday in March 2012 William Dawson visited his friends grave at Stafford Cemetery ( for the very first time) on returning home that evening William fell ill, sadly he died the following morning.  William Dawson never forgot his boyhood pal indeed it is a simple fact that the name Eric Dean ‘will liveth for evermore’ and that is due to William Dawson.

The amemded Lathom & Burscough War Memorial 2008.

Showing additional names from WW2; 

Dean, Charnock, Culshaw, Melling,Yates added that year.

William Dawson right.

Thank you to

Michael Dawson for allowing this to be written.

Alan Barrow for his research work on Wellington X 3883.


Edgley Eric.

Gdsmn 2619767 2Bn Grenadier Guards.

Died 3rd September 1944. Aged 28.

Buried Lille Southern Cemetery.

Commemorated St Johns Parish Church Burscough. 

Newburgh Memorial.


Fairhurst John

AB P / X 564327 R N H M Trawler Lord Wakefield ( Hull Trawler)
Sunk by aircraft of Normandy.
Kia 29th July 1944. whilst on Submarine Patrol
Royal Naval Patrol Service.

Ranked as AB both on CWWG & Hull Trawlers Website not as stated in edit.


Fairhurst Navy telegraphist Missing assumed killed Burscough Lad (2)


Fairhurst W.

Foster W.

Original enlisted South Lancashire Regt  (Prince of Wales Vols)

Serjeant. Service No:3652768. Date of Death:07/07/1944

1st Bn Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regt.


Kia at battle of Monte Casino. Enlisted in 1934 served India before the war, during the war saw action North Africa, Salerno during the Italian campaign.

William is the ‘step’ brother of Robert Caunce ex Royal Navy of Burscough refer to King & Country for The Caunce Brothers.

Gaskell John.

L/Bmbdr 1094103 62 Anti Tank Regt RA.

Died 8th July 1944.

Buried Ryes War Cemetery, Bazenville, France.

245 btty Gaskell

The CWWG cemetery grave register showing Gaskell & Chatfield buried side by side, very probable that the account above refers to Gaskell’s death.

Gaskell Chatfield Lt 62 Anti tank

Gaskell July 1944 Caen

Above four members of 245 Battery buried in Ryes War Cemetery,

Bazenville, Normandy

Son of John & Elizabeth Ann Gaskell of Burscough Bridge.

Commemorated St John The Baptist Church.

Above the Gaskell family grave at St John The Baptist Burscough.

Clearly indicating the inscription of Gnr Gaskell’s death in in Normandy 1944.


Grant Cyril Ernest. W.O. Class 1 (RSM)

7581851 Sub Conductor RAOC.

Died 20th September 1943.

Buried Ancona War Cemetery.

Commemorated St John The Baptist Church Burscough.

Gregory R.

Green Noel.

Sgt 985487 Noel William Green Rear Gunner RAFVR.

Kia 25th May  1944.

green Wm Sgt Air Gnr Lathom Killed - Copy - Copy


CCF04112015_00001 (2)

CCF04112015_00000 (2)


Lathom Hall Lane War Memorial


                                                          ‘Harry’  Henry Hornby  

Private  3858553 Date of Death:02/10/1943

Age:23.2nd Bn The Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire)


Authors qualification; this came to light after Robert Caunce made reference.

Family confirmation has corroborated that this is indeed the right man, nephew of  37026 James Hormby 18 /(Lancashire Hussars) Kings Liverpool Regt. Kia 31st July  1917. Commemorated Menin Gate Ypres.

See WW1 pages James Hornby. 

Casualty Record Detail


Howard William James.

Original enlistment The Loyal Regt converted to 18th (RECCE) RAC

Sjt 3857309 18th (The Loyal Regt) Recce Royal Armoured Corps.

Died 29th December 1943. Aged 22.

Buried Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery, Myanmar.

Commemorated on St John Parish Church

Kerton John.

Original enlistment was Manchester Regt not Lancashire Fusiliers as news edit.

Pte 3453495 1st Bn Worcestershire Regt ( Air Landing Brigade)

He volunteered for Glider troops of own will. Worcestershire Regt was not regimental component of the Air Landing Brigade.  Sources  Martin Middlebrook & John Frost

Kerton Cpl Killed Burscough - Copy

Kerton Cpl Burscough Killed in action

Died 25th September 1944. Aged 27.

Buried Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery.

Commemorated on St John The Baptist Church.

Kirby Stanley Edward.

Original enlistment was Royal Norfolk Regt

L’Cpl 5771198 1st Bn The Kings Regt.

Died 24th May 1944. Aged 25.

Kirby of school lane Killed and kirby of top locks wounded Burscough lathom lads

Has no known grave commemorated on the  Rangoon Memorial, Myanmar.

Son of Edward & Margaret Kirby of South Burscough  (as written CWWG)

Commemorated on St John The Baptist Church.



Langton William.

Pte 3976463 1st Bn York & Lancaster Regt.

Died 12th October 1943. Aged 21.

Buried Sangro River War Cemetery, Italy.

Son of William & Alice Langton of Burscough.

Commemorated on St John The Baptist Church Memorial.


Lawson George.

Stoker 1st Class H.M. Submarine Narwhal. R.N.

Porpoise Class built by Vickers Armstrong Ltd. (Barrow in Furness)

Lost in the North Sea or off Norway. HMS Narwhal (Lt.Cdr. Ronald James Burch, DSO, RN) sailed from Blyth on 22 July to lay mines off Kristiansund, Norway. A German aircraft (Do-17, Lt. Karl Müller, 1/KF1Gr 606) reported attacking a submarine on the afternoon of 23rd July 1940 about 125 nautical miles east of Aberdeen, Scotland in position 56º50’N, 01º40’E, it was most likely this attack that is responible for the loss off Narwhal as she failed to return to base and was reported overdue on 1 August 1940.

Died 1st August 1940. Aged 26.

Son of Henry & Mary Lawson of Burscough Bridge.

Has no known grave commemorated on Plymouth Memorial.

Commemorated at St John The Baptist Church Memorial.



Lyon Edward.

Sjt 1433734 RAFVR.

Lyon Edward RAF Buried St Johns (2)

Died 11th November 1943. Aged 20.

Son of Elizabeth Lyon of Burscough.

Buried St Johns Churchyard burscough.

Brother to Robert below.

Commemorated on St John The Baptist Church Memorial.

Lyon Edward RAF Buried St Johns (5)



Lyon Robert.

71st County of Lancaster (Ormskirk) Bn Home Guard.

Died 21st November 1940. Aged 17.

Brother of Edward above.

Son of Elizabeth Lyon of Burscough

Bured Burscough St John Churchyard.

Commemorated st John The Baptist Church Memorial.

Robert & his brother Edward & family lived adjacent the Leeds Liverpool Canal in a cottage upon the canal bank. He frequently cycled to Home Guard duties along the canal bank. On 21st November 1940 on a cold foggy night he was riding down the canal to report for duty, when he fell into the canal and drowned.

Source Eric Postles then Pte HG (Burscough)

Grave of the Lyon Brothers. 


 Lathom & Burscough War Memorial.


Martland John.

Sjt 1028891 102 Sqdrn RAFVR. Bomber Command.

Motto…..’Attempt & Achieve’

Flying Handley Page Halifax’s

Flying from Pocklington East Yorkshire.

Died 30th May 1943. Aged 23.

Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Germany.

Husband of Margaret Martland.

Son of James & Dorothy Martland.

Commemorated on St John The Baptist Church Memorial.


Sergeant 1028891 John Martland (RAFVR) 

102 Squadron (4 Group/Bomber Command) Royal Air Force

Squadron crest depicts a rampant lion stood on top of the globe holding a bomb.

Motto “Attempt and Achieve”

Wireless Operator, Handley Page Halifax MkII  W7934 (DY-J)

On the night of Saturday 29/05/43 Halifax W7934, piloted by Sergeant Ronald Aslin Ward took off from its base at RAF Pocklington, East Yorkshire at 2258 as part of a total force of 719 heavy bombers detailed to attack the town ofWuppertalin heart of the industrialRuhrValleyarea. During the spring/summer of 1943, the sustained program of attacks on this centre of Nazi industry became known as “The Battle of theRuhr.” By this stage of the war theRuhrValleyarea and its approaches were heavily defended by flak and searchlight batteries, as well as a determined and organized nachtjaeger (night fighter) force. This combination of ground and air defences frequently inflicted heavy losses on the attacking allied bomber streams, whose crews knew exactly what to expect when, at briefing the “target for tonight” was revealed as one of the towns in “happy valley”

W7934 was brought down nearMonchengladbach, to the west of the industrialisedRuhrzone with none of the crew surviving. The bodies of the crew were recovered on 31/05/43 and interred locally, after the end of hostilities they were re-interred side by side at theRheinbergWarCemetery, Nordrhein-Westfalen to the west ofOberhausen.

Despite the loss of 33 aircraft, (10 of which were Halifax’s) This raid was considered one of the most effective of the Battle of the Ruhr campaign, with all returning crews reporting clear marking of the target and concentrated bombing being achieved. Much of the old town and industry of the Barmen area ofWuppertalwas completely destroyed by a “firestorm” effect being created amongst the tightly packed wooden buildings. Five of the six largest factories in the town were also totally destroyed.

Note; Further research required re; exact cause of loss, have identified numerous non-specific claims from German NJG crews for air combats  within the relevant area, but speculatively, a hit from flak would be equally likely to have been the cause of what appears to be a sudden and catastrophic loss of the aircraft. Routing information from 102 Sqdn operational records and a locally confirmed time of crash would indicate if W7934 had made the target and was on return when hit, or was brought down on approach to the target still carrying a full bomb load, bearing in mind that on such a large raid against heavy defences it may only be possible to establish a most likely cause of loss.

We could also speculate (on grounds of rank and his CWGC listing as an air bomber) as to wether or not the navigator, F/O Allen (below) was a replacement for a regular crew member, access to 102 squadron operational records book would clarify.

Crew List;

Pilot Sergeant 1388250 Ronald Aslin Ward RAFVR (age 21)

South Woodford, Essex.  Unmarried

Son of James and Elsie Ellen Ward

Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery,Nordrhein Westfalen,Germany.

Navigator  Flying Officer 129579 Reginald Edward Charles Allen RAFVR (age 23)

Bitterne, Southampton.  Unmarried

Son of Mrs M A Bruton

Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery, Nordrhein Westfalen,Germany.

(Listed in CWGC as “air bomber” but records indicate F/O Allen was navigator on W7934)

Flight Engineer  Sergeant 1538261 Robert Leslie Hoddle RAFVR (age 22)Northampton. Unmarried.

Son of Henry George andFlorenceSarah Hoddle

Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery,Nordrhein Westfalen,Germany.

 Bomb Aimer.  Sergeant 1334923 Philip Hudd Sheerman RAFVR (age 21)

Snelsmore, Berkshire. Unmarried

Son of Lawrence Miles and Ellen Sheerman

Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery,Nordrhein Westfalen,Germany.

 Wireless Operator Sergeant  1028891 John Martland RAFVR (age 23)


Husband of Margaret Martland

Son of James and Dorothy Martland

Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery,Nordrhein Westfalen,Germany

Also remembered on Burscough War Memorial.

Mid-Upper Gunner Sergeant 1460283 Peter Smith RAFVR (age21)

Enfield, Middlesex. Unmarried

Son of Arthur William and Eileen Joan Smith

Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery,Nordrhein Westfalen,Germany.

Rear Gunner Sergeant 1391507 John Alastair Stewart RAFVR (age 20)

Ipswich,Suffolk. Unmarried

Son of Hazel Ivy Stewart, Stepson of Sidney Walter Webb

Buried Rheinberg War Cemetery,Nordrhein Westfalen,Germany.


Melling Richard.

Able Seaman P/ JX 219784. H.M.S Puckeridge, Royal Navy.

Died 13th December 1941. Aged 23.

Melling Newburgh KIa 1941 - Copy

Has no known grave commemorated on Plymouth War Memorial

Son of Richard & Eileen Melling of Newburgh.

Commemorated on Newburgh War Memorial.

Please refer to Newburgh Memorial for additional information on HMS Puckeridge

 Parr Harry.

Tpr 10602406 59th Regt Recce Corps.

Died 28th July 1943. Aged 20.

Son of John & Eileen Parr of Burscough.

Buried St John Parish Churchyard Burscough.

Harry was born in Bursough and attended St John The Baptist Primary School. He worked for The London Midland Scottish Railway Co (Ormskirk)


 He volunteered for the Home Guard upon formation aged 17 in 1940, (71st Bn Kings Liverpool Regt) based at Ormskirk and served with the Burscough village platoon. On 15th June 1942 he reported to Carlisle to enlist in the newly formed Reconaissonce Corps being a very early volunteer of that illustrious unit (confirmation of that is determined by his service number given to all volunteers ‘1060’)


He was posted 59th Recce in Northern Ireland. In late 1942 59th Recce moved to Kent for coastal patrol duties and training in preperation for the potential ‘second front’

It was during such a training excercise that Trooper Parr was accidentaly killed on the 29th July 1943 when the Humber heavy armoured car in which he was turret gunner overturned and he  was crushed to death.


He was buried in ful military honours on August Monday 1943 at St John The Baptist Churchyard, Burscough, the coffin draped in the Union Flag the bearers drawn from 8 Coy RAOC based in Burscough, the firing party from his regiment 59th Recce, and a detachment of the 71st Bn Home Guard ( Burscough)

Together with a large continget from his unit 59th Recce in which he proudly served his King alongside his many friends and relatives from the area

Source Eric Postles ( ex Sjt 59th Recce) At the time of this incident Eric was serving as Trooper with 59th Recce and attended the funeral.

The Ormskirk Advertiser ran a biography of the death on active service of

Harry Parr above left & right. The photo below shows his recently appointed grave with wreaths and flowers from his comrades and friends.

                  Images by kind permission of Eric Postles.


              Private  19004214.       Date of Death: 05/11/1946.    Aged 18
                        Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

Adopted son and nephew of William and Elizabeth Laird, of Burscough Bridge.

Postelthwaite David.

Cpl 1022686 RAFVR.

Died 7th November 1944. Aged 36.

Buried St John The Baptist Churchyard, Burscough.

Husband of Jane Postelthwaite of Birkdale.

Son of Thomas & Alice Postelthwaite of Burscough.



Postelthwaite Frederick Wallace.

Pte 3858594 2nd Loyal Regt  (North Lancashire)

Died 17th February 1942, Aged 23.

Has no known grave commemorated on 

Singapore Hopsital Grave Memorial, Singapore.

Son of Joseph & Margaret Postelthwaite of Burscough.

Commemorated on St John The Baptist Church Memorial Burscough.

Fred attended Burscough Methodist School upon leaving school he worked for Mahoods as a Nurseryman in Burscough before being called up. He was a victim of the Japanese invasion of Singapore, whilst hospitalised he was brutally executed. The poignant memorial to those who suffered atrocity of a similar fate at the hands of the Japanese whislt confined in the same hospital is shown below. 

Kind permission of Eric Postles



Robinson Henry.

Able Seaman D/SSX 31808. H.M.M.L 1017 Royal Navy.

Died 12th April 1942. Aged 20.

Has no known grave commemorated on Alexandria War Memorial ( Hadra)

Son Of William & Ellen Robinson of Burscough.

Commemorated on St John The Baptist Church Memorial.



Rockliffe Arthur.

Pilot Officer 165626 RAFVR Died 4th October 1944.

Buried Victoria (Royal Oak) Burial Park, B C Canada.

Son of Arthur & Alice Rockcliffe of Southport.

Commemorated on St John The Baptist Church Memorial.



Rockcliffe Charles Beresford.

Gnr 3385671 3rd H A A Regt RA.

Died 8th December 1943. Aged 25.

Buried Chungkai War Cemetery, Thailand.

Son of Edward Mary Jane Rockliffe of Burscough.

 Commemorated on St John The Baptist Memorial.

Lathom & Burscough Memorial


Stack Ronald Desmond.

Sgt 2206324 101 Sqdrn RAFVR.

Died 1st July 1944.

Buried Chateaudun Eastern Communal Cemetery, Eure et Loire, France.

Commemorated on St John The Baptist Church Memorial

Sergeant 2206324 Ronald Desmond Stack (RAFVR)  101 Squadron (1 Group/Bomber Command) Royal Air Force

Squadron crest depicts a demi-rampant lion on castle battlements

Motto “Mind over matter”

Mid-Upper Gunner, Avro Lancaster MkI ME616 (SR-B)

On the night of Friday 30/06/44, Avro Lancaster ME616 piloted by Pilot Officer Dan Carrigan Rippon (a local Lincolnshire man, from Grimsby) took off from its base at RAF Ludford Magna, North Lincolnshire at 2215 along with nine other 101 Squadron Lancasters assigned to “ABC” duties (see below) as part of a total force of 118 heavy bombers detailed to attack the Railway marshalling yards at the town of Vierzon to the south of Orleans. Vierzon was a key strategic waypoint for German troops and armour being moved forward to counter allied forces establishing a foothold inNormandyafter the D-Day landings just over three weeks earlier.


ME616 crashed at Chateaudun in the early hours of 01/07/44, approximately 100km to the north westof the target killing all eight crew, whose remains are buried side by side in the local cemetery. Cause of crash to be confirmed but Oberleutnant Franz Brinkhaus of 6/NJG/2 flying a Junkers JU88G claimed to have brought down a four engined aircraft at 0136 over Chateaudun, several other claims from NJG crews exist for the area but this one is the closest to the crash site. Further research into timings required to establish weather or not ME616 was on approach to the target with a full bomb load or was on the return leg having made the target.


 P/O Rippon and his crew were on their 17th op’ together having been operational at 101 Squadron since 18/04/44, Although this crew had been together for all 17 of their op’s they had been completed on a total of seven different Lancasters, this was the first time they had flown in ME616 which was the regular aircraft of another crew.


 This operation was solely a 1 Group effort using their own target markers and master bomber, rather than assistance from the 8 Group pathfinder force (PFF). Visibility was good and target marking was accurate, making for a highly successful raid, all of the through rail lines were cut, much of the rolling stock present was destroyed and two-thirds of the locomotive sheds were rendered inoperable, damage was also sustained to other commercial premises in the vicinity. Returning crews reported heavy opposition from both flak and night-fighters on approach to the target, over the target and on the return leg. A total of fourteen aircraft were lost on this operation (mostly around the target area), three of which came from Ludford Magna.


 The Lancasters of 101 Squadron carried an extra crew member (eight rather than the usual seven) as they were fitted with top secret equipment that required a specialist operator (SO). ABC or “airborne cigar” as it was known was basically the infancy stages of modern airborne electronic counter measures. An ABC equipped Lanc’ was only distinguishable by the prominent (usually two) antennae mounted on the top of the fuselage. Inside the aircraft the ABC operator would sit facing a radio frequency scanner on which he would search for the variable channels that were being used by the German ground controllers to guide the night fighters into an attack position. The ABC operator would scan the airwaves using his knowledge of the German language to locate and lock on to the frequency operative that night, he would then, using the powerful onboard transmitters broadcast a strong jamming signal to block communications between the “nachtjaeger” (NJG) squadrons and their ground controllers, a method which did indeed help to delay and confound the enemy to a great extent. The ABC system remained “Top Secret” for many years after the end of the war


Several methods of jamming were experimented with, one of the most successful was to mount a microphone under the cowling of each engine and jam the voice of the controller with the roar of all four Merlins at once! At one stage, when it became apparent to the enemy that some sort of organized jamming was taking place it was reported that the German controllers were using Wagnerian operatic society members to sing instructions to the night fighter pilots in the hope that such broadcasts would be mistaken for music channels.


 By this stage in the conflict, the Germans were also using radio based counter- intelligence techniques involving English speaking controllers, from the memoirs of Flying Officer Bob Bennett of 626 Squadron who also flew on the Vierzon raid “At 01.19hrs a broadcast was heard on the RT, not the Master Bombers voice but using his call sign, instructing the main force to cease bombing and go home. No code word for “Stop Bombing” was used so the broadcast was ignored. A Canadian voice interjected over the broadcast telling the German what to do in a most ungentlemanly fashion.


Crew List;


Pilot;  Pilot Officer 172870 Dan Carrigan Rippon RAFVR (age 21)

Grimsby,Lincolnshire Unmarried

Son of Charles Edward and Ethel Rippon

Buried Chateaudun Eastern Communal Cemetery, Eure etLoir,France.


Navigator;  Flight Sergeant 1321695 Richard William Snell RAFVR (age N/K)

Catherington, Hampshire Unmarried

Son of William Henry and Alice May Snell

Buried Chateaudun Eastern Communal Cemetery, Eure etLoir,France.


Flight Engineer ; Sergeant 1585911 Ronald Alfred Smith RAFVR (age 22)

Enfield, Middlese Unmarried

Son of Herbert and Dorothy Smith

Buried Chateaudun Eastern Communal Cemetery, Eure etLoir,France.


Bomb Aimer; Flying Officer 152007 Francis John Lynam RAFVR (age N/K)

No additional information

Buried Chateaudun Eastern Communal Cemetery, Eure etLoir,France.


Wireless Operator;  Sergeant 1515878 Barry Whitehead RAFVR (age N/K)

No additional information

Buried Chateaudun Eastern Communal Cemetery, Eure etLoir,France.


Mid-Upper Gunner; Sergeant 2206324 Ronald Desmond Stack RAFVR (age N/K)

Square Lane, Burscough,Lancashire  Unmarried

Buried Chateaudun Eastern Communal Cemetery, Eure etLoir,France

Also remembered on Burscough village war memorial.


Rear Gunner; Sergeant 633310 William Thomas Robert Hunter RAF (age 25)

Lowestoft,Suffolk Unmarried

Son of William James and Margaret Hunter

Buried Chateaudun Eastern Communal Cemetery, Eure etLoir,France.


Specialist ABC Operator; Flying Officer J/35114 Harold Robert King RCAF

(age 24)

Newdale,Manitoba,Canada. Unmarried

Son of The Reverand William James and Edith Lola King

Buried Chateaudun Eastern Communal Cemetery, Eure etLoir,France.



Stringfellow Richard.

P/Off /Obs 113486 104 Sqdn. RAFVR

Dod 28th June 1942.

Buried Fayid War Cemetery, Egypt.

Son of Thomas & Alice Stringfellow of Lathom.

Stringfellow Richard July 42 - Copy

Pilot Officer 113486 Richard Stringfellow (RAFVR) 

104 Squadron (North African desert detachment) Royal Air Force

Squadron crest depicts a winged thunderbolt  Motto “Strike Hard”

Observer, Vickers Wellington MkII Z8646 (-B)

On the night of Saturday 28/06/42 Wellington Z8646, piloted by Flt /Lt Desmond John Haydon RNZAF took off from RAF Kabrit, North of Suez in Egypt at 2320 detailed for one of a sustained series of night attacks on concentrations of Rommel’s Afrika Corps who were in the process of forcing the 8th Army under General Auchinleck back towards El Alamein. Shortly after take off at a height of only 200-250m the starboard engine cut, unable to restart it the crew jettisoned the full bomb load to try and regain height, but contrary to normal procedures the bombs had been fused and therefore armed prior to take off. The resulting explosion brought Z8646 down, crashing into theGreatBitterLake just to the Northwest of Kabrit. Five of the crew were killed but the rear gunner, Sgt Price is listed as surviving (no further information).

Pilot Officer Stringfellow’s crew position is listed as that of “Observer”, the origins of this rank date back to the Royal Flying Corps days of WWI, his brevet would have consisted of a single wing plus the “O” and he would have been responsible for both navigation and bomb aiming. Up until the end of 1942 the two engined aircraft then used by bomber command such as Hampdens and Wellingtons had less defined crew positions than the more complex four engined heavies that were soon to come into service. It was also usual practice to have a second pilot who would also be responsible for the flight engineer’s duties along with any other skills in which he was trained. As aircraft and training evolved the more defined aircrew specializations; bomb aimer, navigator, flight engineer etc would become more apparent later on in the war.

For the same reasons as above, the three wireless operator/air gunners on board could conceivably have occupied each other’s position as listed below, but the order of crew listings in the records appear to indicate that these were their respective positions for this operation.

Crew List;

Pilot   Flight Lieutenant 402137 Desmond John Haydon RNZAF (age 21)Penrose,Auckland, New Zealand.  Unmarried.

Son of Albert Leonard and Norina Gladys Haydon

 Buried Fayid War Cemetery,Egypt.


2nd Pilot  Sergeant 411416 Ronald Frank Lander RNZAF (age 21)

Taranaki,New Zealand.  Unmarried.

Son of Arthur & Ada Mildred Lander

Buried Fayid War Cemetery,Egypt.


Observer  Pilot Officer 113486 Richard Stringfellow RAFVR (age 29)

Lathom, Ormskirk,Lancashire.  Unmarried /  M.A (Sheffield)

Son of Thomas and Alice Stringfellow

Buried  Fayid War Cemetery,Egypt.


Wireless Operator / Air Gunner (in w/op position?)

Sergeant 917121 Gordon Eric Scales RAFVR (age 22)

Chichester,Sussex.  Unmarried

Son of Reginald Bertram and Olive May Scales

Buried Fayid War Cemetery,Egypt.


Wireless Operator / Air Gunner (in front gunner position?)

Sergeant  997100 Peter Henry Benson RAFVR (age 24)

Wigan,Lancashire.  Unmarried

Son of Thomas and Martha Benson

Buried Fayid War Cemetery,Egypt.


Wireless Operator / Air Gunner (in rear gunner position?) Sergeant Price

Listed as survivor (no further information).

Timewell Robert Short.

Sgt Pilot 656496 RAF.

Died 4th October 1942.

Buried St John The Baptist Churchyard Burscough.

Commemorated St John The Baptist Church Memorial. 

Timewell RAF Burscough - Copy

Timewell Ochurch list oct 42

Grave of Robert Timewell, the wooden cross was the original grave marker.

Robert was the son of MR & Mrs Timewell who ran The Royal Hotel (Royal  Coaching House) now (The Hop Vine) in Burscough. He was a Spitfire pilot, during a training flight he was involved in a flying accident when his aircraft crashed in fields adjacent to Burscough Football ground.

He formerly played rugby for Ormskirk RUFC, was a pre war territorial soldier who had survived Dunkirk and had volunteeered for the newly formed Commandos only to be rejected. He enlisted for the RAF in 1941 RAF Acklington flying with 539 Sqdn.

Source Eric Postles

For details of an eye witness

Ple ase see Nov 10 2011 by Michael Byrne, Ormskirk Advertiser

Turner Sidney / Sydney.

Pte  3715213 8th Bn Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders.

Kia 28th November 1942. Aged 27.

Has no known grave Commemorated on Medej el Bab Memorial, Tunisia.

Son of David & Ruth Turner deceased 1936 & 1928 respectively.

Formerly of 21 Square Lane, Lathom.

Enlisted number confirms originally Kings Own Royal Lancaster Regt.

Above research Richard Houghton ‘Longstop Hill’ which became the iconic name of this feature post November 194, becoming one of the foremost engagements of the whole The  North African campaign. The resulting capture of ‘The Longstop’ was to fall to the 8th Argyll’s / North Irish Horse ( Tanks) resulting In The Victoria Cross for the Commanding Officer of the Argylls.

” Sans Peur”

              St John the Baptist Church Burscough Bridge, commemoration service on the day of his death. Research has concluded that the ‘timing of the end of service’ equated with the approximate timing with the ongoing action on that very day 1942.

Rev Ian Jones Curate whos suggestion to Richard Houghton RBL / LBMHS brought about the service, along with Mayor of West Lancashire District Council Cllr Elizabeth Savage. Chairman Ted Dickinson & Secretary Denise Bridge Royal British Legion ( Burscough)Who have submitted presentation to have his name added to Lathom & Burscough War Memorial (Researched by R Houghton) Members of the British Legion and local Councillors Julia Peggs Lathom Chair Parish Council & Dave Smith WLDC ( Burscough)

Richard Houghton pub and collage of Turner grave St John The Baptist Church Burscough Bridge, Lancashire.

Tyrer Thomas.

Sgt 1130639 106th Anti Tank Regt R A.

Died 8th August 1943. Aged 32.

Buried Heliopolis War Cemetery, Egypt.

Son of John & Mary Tyler. Husband of Annie Tyrer of Ormskirk.

Commemorated on St John The Baptist Church Memorial.



Vickers Arthur.

Driver T/10662504 64 th Gen Transport Coy RASC.

Died 8th September 1942.

Buried St John The Baptist Churchyard  Burscough.

Son of John & Mary Vickers of Burscough.

 Grave of Arthur Vickers.


Webster Francis W.

Sgt 1685818 138 Sqdrn RAFVR.

Multi task squadron until spring of 1945 flying Short Stirling Bombers

utilised in supply drops for resistance fighters as far afield as Poland or Yugoslavia.

Died 23rd February 1945. Aged 22.

Bureid Horre Havrig Churchyard Denmark.

Son of Thomas & Mary Elizabeth Webster of Lathom.

Commemorated on Lathom Hall Lane War Memorial.

 Known as ‘Frank’ to everyone, he lived at Wainwrights Farm near the Ring ‘O’ Bells Inn, He attended Lathom Park School then in 1934 onto Ormskirk Grammer School. Upon leaving school he went to work at Ormskirk Library before enlisting in the RAF.

Source Eric Postles.

Sjt 1685818 Francis William Webster (RAFVR)

138 Sqdn (Special Duties) RAF.


Wells Oliver.

Wells Oliver Burscough Officer Killed


Lieut 269394 6th Duke of Wellingtons Regt ( The West Riding)

Died 17th June 1944. Aged 22.

Buired Hottot Les Bagues War Cemetery, Calvados.

Son of Horace Thomas & Elsie May Wells of Burscough.

Wells Oliver Burscough Officer Killed (2)

Commemorated St John The Baptist Church Memorial.


Yates Robert.

Yates robt Burscough Killed (2) - Copy

Stoker 1st class C/KX 142672 H.M.L.C Gun, 764.

Died 27th June 1944.

Given the information below it has to be assumed Robert Yates was Killed in Action lost at sea 27th June. Further evidence reveals HMLC (G) 764 was in operation 3rd August 1944.

LCG(L) No.764, 831, 1062 (total 3 at 30 tons each) lost in Operation Neptune, Normandy Landings, N France, July-August 1944.


Yates robt Burscough Killed


Has no known grave commemorated on Chatham Memeorial.

Son of Robert William & Cecily Yates of Burscough.

Commemorated on St John The Baptist Church Memorial

    Lathom Hall Lane Memorial