VE Day – Heroes Gallery

Above is a video tribute from the staff of St Andrew’s C.E. Primary School to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (VE Day).

Eric Whitehead

Eric (1917) enlisted in 1939 for the Royal Regiment of Artillery. During his time with the Royal Artillery he took part in the Evacuation of Dunkirk. He later moved to the Merchant Navy as a gunner. He received the Defence Medal, 1939-1045 Star, Atlantic Star. Italy Star and 1939-1945 medal while serving for his country.

Benedict B’s Mum, Karen, served in the British Army for 23 years (until 2016) during which time she was posted in ‘Germany, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Kenya, Kosovo and Bosnia’. Karen now leads a cadet force.

Ollie Pinder’s grandad was in the Royal Navy and served on the HMS Sheffield which was tragically bombed during the Falklands War (1982). Initially, they could not locate Ollie’s grandad, however, he was eventually air lifted from the sea, suffering with burns.

Ollie’s dad also served in the Infantry of the British Army for 5years during which time he was posted in Northern Ireland and Africa.

Upon leaving, he joined the Royal Navy, serving 10 years as a weapons engineer. While with the Royal Navy travelled the world, fighting in the Iraq war in 2005.

Ollie attends parade with his Dad every year and has his own beret and mini version of his dad’s medals. Ollie’s family is proud of their connection with the Armed forces.

Betty and Walter Sharp

Cameron and Fletcher Sharp great grandparents Betty and Walter Sharp were both in WW2, Walter was in the Navy and Betty was an ambulance driver.

Betty Sharp
Walter Sharp
Betty on leave in 1946

Roy Pickett

Ryan Duncalf produced a wonderful piece of writing about a conversation he had with his grandad, the conversation is about Roy’s experiences in the war.

John Alfred Huckstep

John Alfred Huckstep married Irene just after the war. On the outbreak of war Alf joined the army as a teenager and eventually served with the 6th Airborne Division. On 5th June 1944, at midnight, he dropped behind enemy lines to take ‘ objectives’ before the main  force landed on the morning of 6th June – D Day. He served 17 years in the army and had four brothers, Fred, Joseph,Walter and Arthur. Two served in the army, one in the navy and one became a Bevin Boy (working down the mines). Mr Huckstep’s mother was evacuated at the beginning of war. One grandad who had been at the Somme in the First World War, we believe he became a member of the Home Guard. Mr Huckstep’s other grandad was a firefighter during the blitz of Hull and his grand mum worked in a factory. Sadly, his father’s brother in law (another uncle) was torpedoed the day after Boxing Day, 1942 (click on letter to read clearly).  ‘These family members have always been my heroes’ (G.Huckstep.2020).

 

Miss Mckay’s Great Grandad Stan.

Stan fought in the Army during WW2 as a Desert Rat in Africa. He was a Dunkirk hero and was one of the soldiers who was evacuated. Stan lived to the ripe old age of 100, passing away peacefully last month.

John Porter

A picture of John Porter, his younger brother and his older sister taken in WW2

 

James Alfred Adams

James Alfred Adams, Mrs Parker’s great grandad, was born 10th December 1912 and sadly died on 9th August 1988. James was a chimney sweeper until he joined the army and fought in the war.
Unfortunately, at some point he was a prisoner of war but luckily he survived.

Hilary Woodford

This is a photo of my grandma Hilary Woodford. She was a child during World War II.
When I was young, I remember her telling me that she missed a lot of school as whenever an air raid siren sounded at school she had to run home to the shelter. On her run home she would look into the gardens she
passed for a suitable hiding place in case she didn’t make it to her shelter before the planes flew over.

Eric Ringrose

The first photograph is H Robinson’s Dad, Eric Ringrose, who served in World War II with the 8th Army (The Desert Rats). The photograph is of him with his jeep and a dog he adopted.
 
The second photograph is of the medals he was awarded; as you can see, he served in Africa under Montgomery, Italy, France and Germany as well as the Middle East.  He was in the Royal Corps of Signals, using Morse code and the Africa star is particularly special as it has the 8th Army bar. One of the Desert Rats is from his epaulette and I think the other might  have been his cap badge.

Edward Cox

I’ve been sent some photos from Charlotte’s paternal grandmother of her relatives who fought in both the first and second WWs.
 
The first is a picture of Flight LT Sergeant James Ezra Frudd (Charlotte’s great grandfather). He was born 16/10/1920 and contributed as a pilot flying Spitfires and Hurricanes during the second world war. He was a member of No.41 Squadron (the fighting cocks) and went overseas with the South East Asia Air Force being based at Burma, Calcutta and other countries.
The second picture is one of Charlotte’s father James Tolson wearing his grandfather’s uniform back in the 1980s (the same uniform you see in the first picture).
 
The third picture is of Enoch John Frudd who fought during the first world war. He survived but later died in a colliery accident.
Charlotte also has a great grandfather’s on my side, Edward Cox who also fought and survived the second world war but is sadly no longer with us.

 

Bethany Edwards

Here is a picture of Bethany’s great grandad in his uniform.
 
During the war he served in the navy having to work on food convoys. He also helped during the Dunkirk evacuation.
One convoy he saw a ship get bombed and all the passengers, women and children ended up in the sea. They’re were not allowed to stop and pick them up and had to carry on. This really got to him and he was deeply upset by it all.
 
Her other great grandad was also in the Navy but we don’t know much about him. He is pictured in civilian clothing.
Bethany’s  great grandma was in the land army. We unfortunately don’t have a photo of her. Apparently she hated mice so the other land army girls used to find mice and put them in her pockets.
 
 

Emily Crawforth

Emily’s  Great Grandad George is 95 years old and he fought in World War 2. During World War 2 he was  based in Germany and  helped to free the prisoners from Belson Concentration Camp. He’s amazing, very  funny and we think he is a hero xxxx.

Dylan W, Y4 CB

A photograph of Great Uncle George serving in India.

Pictured second on the left in this photograph is my nana. My nana, who recently died, was a member of the The Women’s Land Army (WLA).

   

George Fearn and Beatrice Fearn

Here is a picture of Miss Fearn’s Grandad George Fearn and Nana Beatrice Fearn on their wedding day at the start of WW2.

George was 19 and Beatrice was 17 when the war started. George was stationed in Dover protecting our border and  later was involved in a rescue mission to Normandy. Beatrice worked in a tin factory in Hull making bullets for the war effort.

 
Although, George didn’t like to talk about the war, one story told by Beatrice involved an incredible experience during one of the bombing raid’s of Hull. A German plane was flying low over Spring Bank West, shooting down the road when Beatrice, who hadn’t reached the fallout shelter in time, was thrown over a garden fence by George’s sister, Doris. Doris then jumped on top of Beatrice to protect her from the plane’s bullets. However, in the process of this heroic act of courage and selflessness, Doris herself was grazed by a bullet to her leg.
 
 

William Stoneman

Squadron Leader William Stoneman served in the RAF during WW2 and was also a D-Day veteran. He flew behind enemy lines, as a rear gunner, where the crew’s mission was to drop decoy parachutists to confuse the enemy!! To confuse the Germans even more the decoy parachutists were designed to explode on impact with the ground.
 
‘We were terrified but we weren’t going to let that stop us. We knew the future of everything depended on Victory’ (William Stoneman).
 

Olivia Wallace

Olivia’s great grandad Reg was in WW2 as a RAF medic. He left Olivia’s great grandma Alice in 1939 to fight for the RAF and came back in 1945. Reg served in Italy, Greece and was also involved in the Normandy Landings. Alice was also in the RAF where she operated a radar which could see other aircraft. Alice lied about her date of birth and she still has two dates of birth on her hospital card which doctors still find very funny. Sadly Reg has passed away but Alice is still here.

 

Ivy Callinan

Ivy Callinan whose brother, Percy was sadly killed in an air raid. However, on VE Day she danced throughout the night and never wanted that day to end as was so happy and relieved.

Maurice

Bertie’s (Year 1) adopted Great Grandfather Maurice sadly passed away last year aged 93. Maurice was a D-Day (June 6 1944, Navy Landing veteran.

George Buckle

George who is Ashton’s Grandad, is on the left in this photograph.

 

Charles Gudgin and Mary Gidgin

During the war Charles served in the RAF while Mary had the important job of working on the farm supplying vital food to the country.

The Horton family have been learning all about their family members during the war. They have looked on the forces war records website, talked to other family members and looked through old photos before making their WW2 project board. Both girls were so interested in their family history and  have loved doing project. Their mum just wish her dad was still alive as he was in the military and was a massive history buff so would have been able to share so much with them.

           

 

Olive

This is Mrs Wilson grandma Olive’s rent book from back in 1945 (£6 per week!!!). Olive used to serve sandwiches to the soldiers in the war. Olive passed away 2 years ago. She would have loved to be part of the celebrations this week.

Harold Frederick Bryan

John Frederick Bryan

Mrs Bowness shared some pictures of her dad(Harold Frederick Bryan) and  grandad(John Frederick Bryan).

For his services in the war John received an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) and the group photograph shows John, his wife and two sisters receiving his MBE in front of the gates at Buckingham Palace .

 

Liliana and Sophia

Liliana and Sophia, have put together a brief summary of the roles their Grandparents and Great Grandparents played in WWII. Their Russian Great Grandparents bore the brunt of the most vicious fighting of the war, and some of the tales of the Siege of Leningrad are certainly not for their delicate years, so Liliana and Sophia have made the whole thing sound more heroic and romantic when explaining what happened. Their Great Grandfather Ivan, actually followed the retreating Wehrmacht through Poland and all the way back to Berlin as part of Zhukov’s 1st Belorussian Front, the name given to his Red Army Group. Liliana and Sophia’s dad explains ‘Obviously my parents were involved in the war – my Grandfather having done his bit in the first lot from 14-18 – and we have described their participation as well. Just as an aside, my Grandfather was in his late forties when Hitler made his grab for world domination, and was considered too old in 1939 when he volunteered for active service, so he became an air raid warden, which as you well know, was fraught with more than enough danger. In fact, his sister-in-law was killed one night when the Luftwaffe bombed Maytree Avenue on Garden Village, so grief and deprivation was no stranger to our family at that time.’ In Russia their celebrate Victory Day on the 9th May and not the 8th May.

Ernest Winston Asbrey

Jacob’s Great Grandad was called Ernest Winston Asbrey and was a Sergeant serving with ‘C’ Squadron in the 1st East Riding Yeomanry.

He finished his service in the Royal Armored Corps. He was one of the many lucky soldiers to be rescued from Dunkirk Beach

 

George Arthur Carter

George Carter served in the Highland Light Infantry. He was wounded on the 10th July 1943.

Brian Dixon

 

 

 

 

 

Brian Dixon served in the war in Normandy in 1944/45, and further served in Nigeria after the war between 1945/47. Sadly, he passed away on September 11th, 2015. Brian’s full name was John Brian Dixon. He had various photographs which he passed onto Julia Catherall (née Dixon). In 2010,  with a great deal of help from Julia, he wrote his memoirs which are deposited in the Imperial War Museum.

 
Brain signed up on 20th May 1943 and was attached to the Durham Light Infantryuntil he transferred to the Wiltshire regiment in 1944,
prior to the Normandy landings. He was involved in various battles in Normandy, Belgium and the Netherlands, as part of the Northern Europe campaign. Specifically with regard to the Normandy landings, “on 11th July 1944 we embarked on a landing craft at Newhaven (East Sussex) and after a very uncomfortable trip waded ashore on to Sword beach on 12th July” (extract from Brian’s memoirs). After V.E day, on 15th June 1945 Brian transferred to No 163 OCTU (Officer Cadet training Unit, Artists Rifles) located at Heysham Towers (formerly a holiday camp) near Morecambe.
 

Bill Cooper

Bill Cooper is Alexa (y3) and Zara (y2) Colton’s Great-Grandad .
 
During World War 2 Bill was posted in Germany.
 
VE Day 1945: In their excitement, everyone seemed to be doing something crazy as part of the celebrations!

Joe Marsden

Joe Marsden was born on 5th August 1924 and sadly past away 22nd November 2016.
In 1942, at 18 Joe joined the army however, he was blind in the right eye so was enlisted into RASC ( Army Service Corps).
Joe trained in England and then was put on a ship with no idea if its destination. After a 6 week voyage he landed in India where he became the rank of Sergeant. In India his role was to help provide the troops with everything they needed from guns, ammo, food, transport, clothes, boots, and anything else required in the fight against the Japanese.
 
On V.E day the War was over, however it was still raging in the Far East, it lasted until August 1945. Eventually Joe sailed home, another 6  week journey, he left the army in 1946.
 

Winston and Victor Hodgrinson

How the Manchester Evening News told the world of Victor And Winston”s births.

MEET THE V.TWINS

MR and MRS GEORGE HODGRINSON of Avenham-street, Hulme, with Winston (right) and Victor, the names to be given to these fine twins born on V(E) Day, Winston weights 5½lb. and Victor 6lb. and both are doing well.

They have four other children, three girls and a boy, so the twins now make it three of each.

Gladys Prince

Another VE Day  baby (Jennifer) with mum Gladys Prince

 

George Parker, Kathleen Williamson, Gordon Clubley.

My Mums Granparents
Our Great Grandfather, George Parker was born in 1925 and was posted to India at 18 years of age.
He served in the Parachute Regiment.
 

Our Great Grandmother Kathleen Williamson was born in 1927. During the war she sewed the uniforms and tape for parachutes that the soldiers used in the war.

They met just before Grandad was posted to India. My Nana missed him and worried that they may never meet again, however, after not hearing from him for 4 months she received an airmail from him saying he wanted to marry her once he returned home.

On V.E Day my Great Grandmother celebrated singing and dancing with her sisters and thousands of others in the town (Derby).

My Dad’s Grandparent
Our Great Grandfather Gordon Clubley was born in 1919.
He was a tank engineer, based predominantly in the Benelux area and then Germany. He was involved in the D-Day landings and then he stayed behind for a year afterwards for peace keeping duties and the rebuilding of Germany.

 

Poem and drawing by Nikki Womack (Lydia & Joshua mum).