B

Bagot, Matthew Entry 1925 PGSA No 1056, 16th December 1947. 5 The Crescent, Ashton. Preston. No details - H7-1944.

Baines, Second Lieut D W won the MC, H12-1940 This may be erroneous - see Second Lieut Denis W D Barnes, MC.

cross Baines, Frederick Memorial Book: Royal Navy Frederick Baines Born December the tenth, 1923, entered the School September the eleventh, 1935 and left February the tenth, 1939. Served in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve on Combined Operations from August 1942. Sub-Lieutenant. Wounded in the attack on Walcheren Island November the first 1944 and died the same day. CWG: Frederick Baines Sub-Lieutenant RNVR HMLCH 98 20 years Died 1st November 1944 Son of Richard and Jane Baines of Preston, Lancashire. Grave: Plot 9 Row 6 Grave 10 Oostende New Communal Cemetery. Walcheren Island dominates the River Scheldt approaches to the huge port of Antwerp, then the second largest port of Continental Europe, which the Allies needed as an entry for supplies as they advanced across northern Europe following the Normandy landings. Walcheren was one of the most heavily defended places on earth. In addition, Hitler had declared it a "fortress", which meant it had to be defended to the very last. The Commanding Generals of "fortresses" were encouraged to do so by the certainty of execution if they didn't! The attack on Walcheren Island itself was essentially on one day, 1st November 1944. The attacking fighting forces were backed up by Support Squadron East Flank, formed for an essential support role in the Normandy invasion. Small Landing Craft (Tank) had their bow ramps welded up, holds plated over, guns and rocket launchers mounted on deck. The rocket launching craft could only be used once in a short operation - there was no time to reload the hundreds of tubes mounted on the deck. Having fired off their rockets they undertook whatever support tasks they could. The SSEF craft could go right up to the beaches with the assault landing craft. Some were deliberately beached to provide stable platforms for their heavy guns. Two were fitted as HQ craft (LCH) and No 98 was carrying the second in command of SSEF responsible for the northern approaches of the attack. There were fourteen coastal Batteries backed up by five more just inland. Someone had worked out by experience elsewhere that the Germans tended not to fire on approaching ships if the ships were not firing at the Batteries! Whilst the battleship Warspite and two monitors fired their 15" guns, one ton shells, at the Batteries, to which the Batteries duly retaliated, the smaller craft were hit but less than if all the Batteries had concentrated their efforts against them. During the afternoon the two HQ craft began evacuating casualties. At some stage during the day No 98 had been hit by shellfire and was put out of action. Later, she took control of a convoy of disabled craft supporting each other as they made their way back to Ostend. The possibility is that Frederick Baines was second in command of LCH 98. If he had been in similar duties for the whole of his time with Combined Operations then he may have been involved in the Dieppe raid August 1942, and then the North Africa landings, Pantelleria, Sicily, Salerno, Anzio, before SSEF brought together all the experience gained into a unit for the Normandy invasion.

Baker, Frank E Gunner Reported wounded

Bamber, Driver E G Driving for the Battery Major. Has met George Bannister, Cliff Sutton, Sydney Rawlinson, Tom Clarkson, H7-1940. May be Prisoner of War in Malaya. 88th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, prisoner in Malaya, H-Midsummer-1943.

Bamber, Sergeant Instructor Tom Volunteered at the end of January and seems to have trained alongside Andy Beattie, Len Hutton and other notable sportsmen, at the Army School of Physical Training, H4-1940. Is now stationed in a well known seaside resort, H7-1940. Staff Sergeant T Bamber married Muriel Booth. Tom Bamber, University Section, is in the Forces, H12-1940.

Banister, A G May be Prisoner of War in Malaya.

Banks, Alan George Sergeant PGSA Secretary, called up, on Searchlights (?88th Brigade RA?), H12-1939. PGSA Secretary obtained leave to attend the Dinner last December. Was a Territorial and called up for service in September, H4-1940. Hon General Secretary, with the Forces, H7-1940. PGSA Secretary, with the Forces, H12-1940. Has left the Forces for the Colonial Service, H-Christmas-1942. PGSA No 367, 8th March 1930. Holme Slack Farm, Preston. PGS September 1923 - July 1929. Membership card adds: The Elms, Rusper Road, Mudigate, Surrey. Ferney Field, Parkgate Road, Newdigate, Dorking, Surrey RH5 5AH. Life Member. On 6th June 1946 at St Andrew's Church married Joyce F T Yates.

Bannister, A G Missing in Malaya, H7-1944.

Bannister, E J Pilot in RFC in the Great War. RAF

Bannister, George in same Unit as Driver E G Bamber, H7-1940.

Barker, Aircraftsman M F In between periods of hard work manages to do a bit of playing - was in a local dance band and is stationed in a well-known resort, H7-1940.

Barker, S Ord Tel / RMC Ordinary Telegraphist Radio Mechanic Candidate. Began as a Sick Berth Attendant.

Barnes, Denis W D Second Lieutenant, MC, the first Old Boy in this war to receive an Army decoration, H7-1940. "From May 23-27 Second Lieut Barnes displayed outstanding coolness, resolution and devotion to duty in the defence of Hazebrouck. He was in command of the Eastern sector of the defences, held on to the last, covering the withdrawal of other troops, and successfully withdrew his small force." H7-1940

Barnes At Wasdale Whitsun Camp, H7-1940 (From the report, which is placed within the Forces section, there is no way of knowing which Barnes was involved but by age it is unlikely to be James Arthur.)

Barnes, G G Royal Corps of Signals, H-Christmas-1942.

cross Barnes, James Arthur Memorial Book: Royal Air Force James Arthur Barnes Born March the twenty-third, 1921, entered the School September the thirteenth 1932 and left July the twenty-fourth, 1937. Served in the Royal Air Force, Fighter Command, from June 1941. Leading Aircraftsman. Killed in a flying accident whilst on Active Service during training in the United States of America June the thirteenth, 1942. CWG: James Arthur Barnes Leading Aircraftsman RAFVR. 21 years. Died 13th June 1942. Service Number 1478620. Son of James Leslie and Jennie Barnes of Preston, Lancashire, England. Grave Reference: Section N Lot 114 Grave 3 Montgomery (Oakwood) Cemetery Annexe, USA. Died in training in Alabama.

Barr, J A Captain

Barton, H Staff Sergeant In West Africa, H-Midsummer-1943.

Beardwood, G Trooper. Landed at Normandy shortly after D-Day, met L Astley, Third Wireless Officer of the troop transport. Royal Armoured Corps, tank crew, possibly driver,

Beesley, T May be Prisoner of War in Malaya. Had volunteered in September 1939, sent to the Far East and captured in Hong Kong Christmas 1941, H-Christmas-1942.

Beetham, Kenneth Lieutenant Married. RAMC.

Birket, H J RCOS - presumably Royal Corps of Signals but the abbreviation is usually RCS.

Blackhurst, Bernard Reported to be in the Forces, if he is like many of his family he is in the Army, H12-1939.

Blackhurst, Kenneth R Sergeant Pilot In the Mediterranean Theatre. Seaplane or flying boat crew, North Africa, H-Christmas-1942. Flight Lieutenant, RAFVR, aged 26. Awarded the DFC. Based in Malta, shot down twice and once taken prisoner by the Italians, from whom he escaped and brought his guards with him. Enlisted in 1940, became an air gunner and was commissioned in January 1943. He completed 70 operational flights under Bomber Command and has been for some time a member of the Pathfinder Force. In June 1944 he was Mentioned in Despatches.

Blackhurst, William, was in TA Reserve but just before outbreak of war transferred back to his former Unit, H12-1939. Major, Preston District County Coroner, in Africa and the Middle East, member of the staff of the Judge Advocate-General. Lieutenant Colonel W Blackhurst, Royal Artillery, OBE, "in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in the Middle East during the period May, 1942 to October, 1942." He had a commission before the was in the 4th Battalion, The Loyal Regiment, now a Royal Artillery AA unit. Whilst in the Middle East he went on a mission to Addis Ababa, Abyssinia, and met the Emperor, Haile Selassie, H-Midsummer-1943.

Blackwell, James Allenby PGSA No 499, 29th November 1935, Junior till 1937; 11th September 1929 - 13th April 1935; Date of Birth 22nd November 1918. 13 Edward Street, Walton-le-Dale, Preston. HM Forces. Membership Register. Lance Sergeant. No chance to practise his French and not appreciative of the army habit of rising early, H7-1940. Membership Card: James Allenby Blackwell, 73 Collins Lane, Bamber Bridge. 348 Brindle Road, Bamber Bridge, Nr Preston PR5 6YN. There is a red square on the card.

Blezard, N In the Guards, on his way to Trieste, H7-1947. (Not clear whether this is still WW2 or on National Service.)

Bolton, T Porteous Captain Royal Engineers, at GHQ Paiforce. Dined with Emir Mohammed at Kut-al-Amarah and the following day with the Emir's nephew Sheik Nuri, H7-1945.

cross Booth, Fred Memorial Book: Royal Air Force Fred Booth Born July the ninth, 1920, entered the School September the fourteenth, 1931 and left June the tenth, 1937. Served in the Royal Air Force, Bomber Command, from November 1939. Flight Sergeant. Missing presumed lost in the sea after operations over Germany June the third, 1942. CWG: Fred Booth Flight Sergeant RAFVR 102 Squadron. 21 years. Died 3rd June 1942. Service Number 971036. Croix de Guerre. Son of Joseph and Elizabeth Booth of Preston, Lancashire. Memorial Reference: Panel 73 Runnymede Memorial. Taking off from Dalton on the 2nd June 1942, due back on the 3rd, 195 aircraft raided Essen, two Halifax II were lost, this one, R9491 DY-N probably crashed off UK on its return. One body was recovered. No 102 'Ceylon' Squadron at one period was Commanded by Leonard Cheshire, VC. The Squadron flew Halifax heavy bombers. The Handley Page Halifax was a 4-engined heavy bomber, very close in performance to the Lancaster, built in several Marks and Series, able to carry out a variety of tasks. English Electric at the Dick, Kerr Works on Strand Road, Preston, built more Halifaxes than did Handley Page; at its peak around two a day. Large sections were completed at Strand Road before going to Samlesbury on "Queen Mary" low loaders for final assembly, flight testing, and delivery to the RAF. The EE Company had to evolve a different method of construction than that used elsewhere where a complete aircraft was built up and then rolled out onto an airfield. The EE construction method was said to have produced a markedly superior aircraft to those made elsewhere. No doubt in other factories in other towns similar claims were made for their products!

cross Brandwood, Frank Bertram Memorial Book Sergeant Pilot reported missing on 12th September 1941 in flying operations in the Mediterranean area is safe, having been picked up by a naval unit. Previously, when over Norway, the fuel tank of his plane caught fire, which was controlled and he returned safely to base, H12-1841. Memorial Book: Royal Air Force Frank Bertram Brandwood Born February the twenty-eighth, 1919, entered the School September the tenth 1928 and left December the twenty-second 1936. School Prefect. Served in the Royal Air Force, Bomber Command, from June 1940. Flying Officer. Missing presumed killed in operations over Germany June the sixteenth, 1944 CWG: Frank Bertram Brandwood Flying Officer (Pilot) RAFVR 571 Squadron 26 years. Died 16th June 1944. Service Number 133217. Son of Frank and Hilda Mary Brandwood of Preston, Lancashire; husband of Beatrice Brandwood, of Penwortham, Preston. Grave Reference: 21. D .12 Reichswald Forest War Cemetery. Date of Birth 28th February 1919. PGSA No 535, 13th January 1937, Junior till year ending 1937. 46 Broadgate, Preston. PGS September 1928 - December 1936. Formed on 7th April 1944 at Downham Market, from 22nd April 1944 571 Squadron was based at Oakington, near Cambridge, and was in No 8 (Pathfinder) Group. 571 Squadron did not have a motto or a badge. It was mainly engaged in dropping 4,000lb 'cookies' on industrial centres, most frequently Berlin. It flew the twin-engined "Wooden Wonder" de Havilland Mosquito, B.XVI. "Cookie" was a specific type of blast bomb, like a 5-feet long non-aerodynamic oil drum with a protruding rim to stop it penetrating too deeply into the ground. On one occasion, a 4,000 lb cookie blast damaged over 200 properties. Heavy bombers dropped 8,000lb cookies. 571 was one of the Squadrons which formed the Fast Night-Striking Force (FNSF). The Mosquito was faster than most fighters, flew higher, and could reach Berlin from UK Bases whilst carrying a 4,000lb bomb load. The FNSF raided Berlin 170 times. They also carried out Pathfinder target marking and very low - roof top level - daylight bombing raids. 571 Squadron flew 2,681 sorties in one minelaying and 259 bombing operations and lost eight aircraft. Taking off from Oakington just before midnight on 15th June, 31 Mosquitoes raided Gelsenkirchen (synthetic oil production) and one was lost. NL975 8K-F was hit by flak and crashed two miles or so from Borken. The bomb load exploded.

Breakall, B Returned from war service. Since demobilisation in December 1946 has played regularly at left back for PGSOB.

Breakell, Captain A C Second time round for him, H7-1940. Major, Mentioned in Despatches for "Gallant and distinguished services in the Mediterranean Theatre". Joined RASC in August 1939, demobbed in 1945, served in North Africa and Italy. Now a consulting motor engineer, H7-1947.

Breakell, James C Captain, Royal Artillery. Left PGS 1927. About eight years ago went to India to take up an appointment with a Calcutta cotton and jute firm. Joined the Calcutta Scottish as a Private, commissioned, and on being transferred to the British Army received the rank of Captain. Fought in the Middle East and for a time was posted as missing but now confirmed as a Prisoner of War in Italy. On a diet of potato and turnip peelings in an Oflag at Brunswick, released on 12th April 1945, H7-1945.

Breakell, W B Athletic Section, Soccer First XI, now in the Forces, H-Midsummer-1942. Is this Brian Breakell?

Briggs, Aircraftsman J M Athletic Section, since the close of last season has joined the RAF, finds the routine irksome but is playing football, H12-1940. Sergeant, in Berkshire, H-Christmas-1942.

Brindle, Private E Army, H12-1940.

cross Brindle, Eric Memorial Book Reported missing in February 1942. He joined the RAF two years ago and took part in about twenty operations including Kiel, Cologne, Hamburg, Duisburg, Turin, Genoa, H-Midsummer-1943. Memorial Book: Royal Air Force Eric Brindle Born November the twenty-sixth, 1919, entered the School September the tenth, 1930 and left July the twenty-fourth, 1936. Served in the Royal Air Force, Bomber Command, from December 1940. Sergeant Observer. Killed in operations over Lorient in Brittany February the seventh, 1943. CWG: Eric Brindle Sergeant (Navigator) RAFVR 158 Squadron. Service Number 657693. Died 7th February 1943. 23 years. Son of Daniel and Elizabeth Brindle of Ashton-on-Ribble, Preston, Lancashire. Grave Reference: Row 4 Grave 9 Guidel Communal Cemetery. 158 Squadron was based at Rufforth in Yorkshire until 28th February 1943. It flew Halifax B Mk II heavy bombers as part of No 4 Bomber Group. Its motto was Strength in Unity and its badge a seven link chain, to represent the inter-dependence one upon the other of the crew members. On the evening of 7th February 1943 DT701 NP-T took off from Rufforth, Yorkshire. Crashed at Manebos-en-Lanester, near Guidel, eight miles from Lorient. On 7th February 323 aircraft made a devastating attack on Lorient; seven aircraft including two Halifaxes were lost. The Cemetery is WNW of Vannes, NW of Lorient, France. Lorient is the French arsenal and naval base on the Brest peninsula. There were German submarine pens reputed to have 18-foot thick concrete roofs, bombing them was a waste of time until the very large bombs became available. The Halifax could carry bomb loads up to 14,000 lbs. Lorient was laid to waste and, apart from forced labour, its indigenous population and, according to its German Admiral Commanding, even its cats abandoned it. See Jack Drury for details of the changeover of Observers to Navigators.

Brindle, Corporal F Whilst in the 5th Form, pondering on the possibilities of another war, he had practised a phrase which he thought might come in useful for inviting a French mademoiselle to go for a walk with him. Didn't work! H7-1940.

Brook, L F C Royal Marines. On a course of naval gunnery, H-Midsummer-1943.

Bromley, A D Royal Armoured Corps

Brown, G E Private. Aged 35 years. Mentioned in Despatches for gallantry and devotion to duty while serving in Italy. Prior to joining up Private Brown served in the Penwortham Home Guard, H7-1945.

Brown, James Acting Flight Lieutenant. Attached to the Royal Canadian Air Force. DFC. Militia July 1939. Royal Engineers, at Dunkirk. June 1941 transferred to RAF.

Brown, Norman M PGS September 1931 - 15th September 1935. PGSA No 589, Junior. The Nook, Chapman Road, Fulwood. 348 Garstang Road, Fulwood. Card: 16 Hall Road, Fulwood. 31 Woodplumpton Road, Broughton, Preston. Red square on card. Life Member. HM Forces. Corporal Norman M Brown married Margaret Gill on 1st April 1943 at Fulwood Methodist Church; stationed in a French town south of the Mediterranean, H-Midsummer-1943. On 7th January 19044 to Mr and Mrs Norman M Brown, a daughter, H7-1944.

cross Brown, Roland Henry Memorial Book: Royal Tank Regiment Roland Henry Brown Born October the sixth 1923, entered the School September the eleventh, 1935 and left December the twentieth, 1940. Served in the Royal Tank Regiment, 11th Battalion. Trooper. Killed in action at the crossing of the Elbe in Germany April the twenty-ninth, 1945. CWG: Roland Henry Brown Trooper Royal Tank Regiment 11th Battalion. 21 years. Died 29th April 1945. Service Number 14290014. Son of Fred and Mary Brown of Heywood, Lancashire. Grave Reference: 17 . E . 4 Becklingen War Cemetery.

cross Bunce, Colin Birkett Memorial Book Reported to be missing at sea, H12-1941. Memorial Book: Royal Navy Colin Birkett Bunce Born December the ninth, 1920, entered the School September the thirteenth, 1932 and left July the twenty-fourth, 1937. Served in the Royal Navy from September 1940. His Majesty's Ship Gloucester. Able Seaman. Missing presumed lost with his ship off Crete May the twenty-second, 1941. CWG: Colin Birket Bunce Supply Assistant Royal Navy HMS Gloucester 20 years Died 22nd May 1941 Service Number D/MX 69532 Son of William and Grace Mary Bunce, of Kirkham, Lancashire. Memorial: Panel 55 Column 1 Plymouth Naval Memorial. (CWG = Birket.) HMS Gloucester, pennant number 32, was the last of the Second Group Southampton-Class Cruisers. 9,400 tons standard displacement; 82,500shp for 32.5 knots; four triple 6" turrets, four 2-gun 4" dual purpose (surface to surface and AA) turrets, two 4 barrelled 2-pounder AA guns, eight 0.5" machine guns; built by Devonport Dockyard, engined by Scotts, Greenock, launched 19th October 1937. Served in the East Indies 1939-1940 and in the Mediterranean 1940 onwards. (British warships did not make a hurried dash at their lightest displacement down a calm water quarter kilometre to meet their design speed. They steamed at standard displacement for several hours in the prevailing conditions in the Atlantic and measured the nautical miles travelled to calculate the average speed. The cruisers would have little difficulty in the Mediterranean in running at their speed of approximately 39mph.) HMS Gloucester seems to have been in action throughout her career and earned the Navy's approving name of "The Fighting G". On 20th May 1941 German airborne troops parachuted into Crete and were rapidly air-reinforced. The Royal Navy supported Empire forces ashore but faced overwhelming air superiority. Their first objective was to prevent seaborne German reinforcements landing on Crete. On 21st a RN Force was south of Crete and was bombed continuously for 4 hours around mid-day, the destroyer Juno being hit and sinking in two minutes. That evening a large convoy of caiques heavily laden with German troops and weapons was met by Force D - three cruisers and four destroyers. Only a few German troops managed to scramble ashore onto Crete. On 22nd, two cruisers, Gloucester, Fiji, and two destroyers formed Force B. Force D and Force C were under continuous air attack and running short of ammunition, Force D was withdrawn. Force A, the battleships Warspite and Valiant with destroyers, met Force B and together had seven destroyers. There followed a great battle with the German air force. Warspite lost her starboard (right) 4" and 6" batteries. The destroyer Greyhound was sunk in the Kithira Channel by overwhelming numbers of Ju 87 Stuka dive-bombers and Ju 88 twin-engined bombers. Two destroyers were detached to pick up survivors with the cruisers Fiji and Gloucester to give anti-aircraft support although short of ammunition. In mid-afternoon as the cruisers returned to the Fleet at high speed under heavy air attack, Gloucester was hit by several bombs and lay stopped with uncontrollable fires. Fiji, running out of ammunition, had to leave her. There were reports that Gloucester had been reduced to firing practice ammunition - solid iron shot, not shells bursting into shrapnel. Fiji was caught and with her gun barrels red hot and out of heavy A-A ammunition she was sunk after two hours of attacks. That night destroyers picked up 523 of her 780 crew. Gloucester is reputed to have had a wartime complement of 807 of which there were 83 survivors but a breakdown of officers and men lost plus 83 adds up to 777.

Burgess, Frank Leading Seaman Won his ship's feather-weight boxing competition whilst the ship was somewhere hot, H-Christmas-1942.

Busfield, Alfred Telegraphist (S O) Royal Navy, or at least somewhere which made him seasick. Proves to be Ceylon. May be at Britannia Naval College, H-Midsummer-1943.

Busfield, Fred W Brother of Bill, is in Egypt. Went somewhere hot by troopship, H-Christmas-1942. Returned from war service

Busfield, Bill Signalman PGSOB right half, played for "Singles", H4-1940. Signalman, now a veteran of six months, H4-1940. Played in PGSOB football 1st XI 1939-1940. Football "Single" team. Says he is now tremendously fit, H7-1940. Has played football and cricket for his Unit, fracturing his right hand in a cricket match, H12-1940.

Busfield, G Gunner