Remembered Today: Squadron Leader Henry E. Maudslay, DFC (1921-1943)

Squadron Leader Henry E. Maudslay, DFC

Remember today is ‘Dam Buster’ Henry Eric Maudslay who lived at Foxhill Manor, Broadway. Henry who was born on 21st July 1921 in Lillington, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire. He was killed in action, aged 21, during a Dam Buster raid on 17th May 1943.

Henry was the son of the Reginald Maudslay, the founder of Standard Motor Company, Coventry, and Susan Gwendoline, née Herbert. Henry had an older brother, John born in 1912, and an older sister, Margaret Kate, born in 1910. During the late 1930s the family moved to Foxhill Manor, Broadway, where they continued to live until 1954. Henry’s father died suddenly in London after a short illness in 1943. His mother lived in Broadway, moving to Barn House, until her death in 1974.

After leaving Prep School in Gloucestershire, Henry attended Eton College (1935-1940) where he is remembered for his athletic and rowing accomplishments. He volunteered for the RAF in 1940 and trained as a pilot in Canada. In May 1941 he was assigned to 44 Squadron as a Hampden pilot. After 29 operations, he was recommended for the Distinguished Flying Cross and assigned to Lancaster training; he apparently did some test flying for Rolls Royce during this period and was later assigned to 44 Squadron’s training flight.

Whilst a member of the training flight he flew all three of the ‘Thousand Bomber Raids’. In January 1943 he started a new operational tour with 50 Squadron, with which he completed 13 operations before being assigned to 617 Squadron as B Flight commander.

Operation Chastise

On the night of 16th/17th May 1943, Henry and his crew took off from RAF Scampton (with Guy Gibson Dam Busters) in Lancaster ED937 Z, part of Operation Chastise to bomb the dams in the Ruhr area of Germany. Following successful bombing of the heavily defended Mohne Dam, they headed east and successfully bombed the Eder dam but the Upkeep (the Barnes Wallis bouncing bomb) seems to have either gone off prematurely or was dropped late and the explosion damaged their Lancaster. The aircraft limped towards home but was shot down by a German flak battery near the Dutch border in the town of Emmerich. All, the crew, including Squadron Leader Henry Maudslay, DFC, were killed.

The crew of Lancaster ED937 Z

Pilot S/L H E Maudslay DFC
Flight engineer Sgt J Marriott DFM
Navigator F/O R A Urquhart DFC RCAF
Wireless Op. W/O A P Cottam RCAF
Bomb-aimer P/O M J D Fuller
Front gunner F/O W J Tytherleigh DFC
Rear gunner Sgt N R Burrows

The crew are all buried in the Reichswald Forrest Cemetery, Germany,  and there is a bronze memorial plaque to Henry E. Maudslay in the church of All Saints’ Sherbourne Park near Warwick. Henry is also commemorated on the Willersey War Memorial, St Peter’s Churchyard, Willersey, Gloucestershire.

A blue plaque was unveiled in his memory on 27th July 2017 at his old home, 1 Vicarage Road, Lillington, in the presence of two of Henry Maudslay’s nieces, his great-niece and his great-great niece and two great-great-nephews.

 

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

 

 

Further reading:

Leamington History Group: http://leamingtonhistory.co.uk/henry-eric-maudslay-dfc-dam-buster-pilot

 

 

Fundraiser for the Worcester Regiment at Symonds’ Picturehouse, Broadway

On 6th May 1915, a fundraiser was held in Broadway at the Symonds’ Picturehouse to raise money for the Worcestershire Regiment. Half of the money raised was used to buy cigarettes to send to the Worcester Regiment in France.

Wounded in Action: Private 14959 Reginald Duncan Folkes, Worcestershire Regiment

Amongst the audience was Private Reginald Folkes who was on sick leave after being wounded in the Battle of Neuve Chappelle. Private Folkes was one of the first men of Broadway to join up to fight following the outbreak of the First World War arriving in France in 1915 with the 3rd Battalion Worcester Regiment. After being wounded in March 1915, and a period of convalescence at home in Broadway, Reginald returned to active duty with the 4th Battalion Worcester Regiment by the end of May 1915. Describing the Battle of Neuve Chappelle, Private Folkes said:

When they had reached the German trenches, they found, to their chagrin, that all the barbed wire was still intact, our artillery not having touched their front just there. That was the time that the men fell fast, but the Worcesters were not done with.

At the end of the war Reginald Folkes returned to Broadway. He married Alice Taylor in Stroud in 1920 and died,aged 64,in 1956.

Other Broadway Men Serving with the Worcesters

Other Broadway men fighting with the Worcesters included Privates Gordon Russell, Leonard F. Green1, Edgar Turner, Arthur Berry. Another Broadway man, Private Malcolm John Denton<sup2, had also been wounded having been shot through the jaw. He was an old reservist having served with the Royal Berkshire Regiment before enlisting with the 8th Battalion Worcester Regiment after the outbreak of the WW1.

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

Notes:
1. Private Leonard Frank Green, Corporal 240841, 1/8th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment (1896-1917). Len enlisted in September 1914 and was killed in action at during the Battle of Passchedaele and is commemorated on Tyne Cot Memorial and the Broadway War Memorial.
2. Private Malcolm John Denton was born c1879 in Drayton, Berkshire. He married Rosina Collins in Broadway in 1902.

 

 

Remembered Today: Sergeant-Pilot 562657 Maurice Cotterell

Maurice Charles Cotterell was the eldest son of Charles Cotterell and Dorothy Cotterell (née Hensley) of Leamington Road, Broadway. He was born in Broadway on 16 March 1912, the brother of Winifred and Michael.

After leaving Prince Henry’s School, Maurice worked at Russell’s, for the furniture designer Sir Gordon Russell, in the village before joining the RAF. He served at RAF Halton, Buckinghamshire, with 90 Squadron as a Sergeant-Pilot.

Maurice was killed, aged 27, in an air crash in 23rd March 1940. He was piloting a Bristol Blenheim Mk. IV L4873 when it flew into Foel Wen in the Berwyn Mountains, Wales, after breaking formation from two other aircraft after entering cloud. All three members of the crew, Maurice, Sergeant Observer Ronald J. Harbour and Aircraftman 2nd Class Kenneth C. Winterton (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) were killed instantly.

Maurice and his crew, were buried in the churchyard at St Mary the Virgin Church, Shawbury, on Shropshire, on 28th March 1940. Canon Burns conducted the funeral which was attended by Maurice’s widow and family. His coffin was draped in the Union Flag and borne by members of the RAF.

Maurice was the first man from Broadway to be killed in the Second World War and had only been married Marjory Patricia Ingram, of Abingdon, for 7 weeks. He is commemorated on the Broadway War Memorial and on the Roll of Honour inside St Michael and All Angels Church.

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

 

 

 

Sources:

Peak District Air Accident Research

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remembering General Sir Andrew Skeen, KCB, KCIE, CMG (1873-1935)

On the wall inside St Michael and All Angels Church, Church Street, Broadway is a wooden memorial plaque in remembrance of General Sir Andrew Skeen, KCB, KCIE, CMG, who died, aged 61, in Broadway in 1935. General Sir Andrew Skeen was one of Britain’s most experienced frontier warfare officers.

Andrew was born in Meerut, India, on 20th January 1873, the fifth son of Scottish parents, Deputy Surgeon-General William and Janet Keane Skeen. He was educated and Aberdeen Grammar School and first commissioned on 5th December 1891 to the British Indian Army. In 1897 he served on the North West Front with the Malakand Force and was lated posted to China (in 1900) during the Boxer Rebellion before being posted to Somaliland from 1901 to 1904.

On 22nd December 1905 he married Margaret Jane Farquharson in Bombay, India.

Following the outbreak of the First World War he served in Gallipoli as staff officer to General Sir William Birdwood, Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. In 1915 he was mentioned in dispatches for reinforcing Anzac Cove in full view of the enemy prior to the Battle of Sari Bair. For his service at Gallipoli he was awarded the CMG and the French Croix de Guerre. Andrew’s brother, Major Oliver St John Skeen DSO, whilst serving with the 62nd Punjabis was killed in action, aged 41, in Mesopotamia on 21st January 1916 and he is buried in Amara War Cemetery, Iraq. At the time of his death, Oliver’s wife, Mabel, was living in Cheltenham.

Andrew went on to be Director of Military Operations at the Indian Army Headquarters in 1916 and in 1917 was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff, Indian Army.

He was promoted to Major General in 1918 and, during the 3rd Afghan War in 1919, he commanded the 3rd Indian Infantry Brigade and the Kohat Kurram Force. During the subsequent revolt in Waziristan (1919-1920) he successfully led the Tochi and Derajat Columns. Andrew served as commander of the Kohat District from 1921 to 1922 and of the Peshawar District from 1922 to 1923. He was promoted to Lieutenant-General then appointed Commander of Southern Command (1923-1924) before serving as Chief of the General Staff, Indian Army from 1924 to 1928.

Due to poor health he retired in 1929 and his book, published in 1932, entitled Passing it on: short talks on tribal fighting on the North-West Frontier of India was issued to all officers’ and sergeants’ messes in India and remains a classic on the subject to this day.

Andrew Skeen and his wife, Margaret Jane (née Farquharson), lived at Trinafour in Broadway. He died, aged 61 on 18th February 1935. He was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium in London and his ashes were scattered in Scotland. Lady Margaret Jane Skeen died in 1965.

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

 

Sources:
Ancestry.co.uk
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
National Army Museum

 

 

 

 

Remembered Today: Flight Sergeant (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner) 1583124 Sydney Joseph James

Sydney ‘Sidney’ Joseph James of Broadway (1924-1945)

Sydney J. James (1924-1945)

Sydney1 Joseph James was born in Broadway in 1924, the son of Joseph Charles James and Annie Elizabeth James (née Turner) of Mill Avenue, Broadway.

As a boy, Sidney was educated at Broadway Council School and a member of Broadway Scout Group. Sidney was a keen footballer and played for Broadway Football Club’s junior teams before later becoming Secretary of the Club. After leaving school Sidney went to work on the clerical staff at the corn merchants Titchmarsh and Hunt in the village.

Following the outbreak of the Second World War, Broadway set up a Pig Club and Sidney was appointed the first Secretary of the Club2. Sidney was interested in flying and was a member of Broadway’s Air Training Corps, playing football for Broadway’s ATC at weekends.

Aged 18, he joined the Royal Air Force in 1942 and he served with the 61 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner on Lancaster Bombers.

Operation Leuna and the Loss of the Crew of Lancaster B3, LM720 QR-D

Sidney was killed whilst on operations during the early hours of 15th January 1945. On 14th January, He was one of the crew3 in Lancaster B3, LM720 QR-D, piloted by Flight Officer William George Corewyn,  that took off at 8.51pm from RAF Skellingthorpe, Lincoln, on a night time raid to bomb the synthetic oil refinery near Mersberg, Eastern Germany (Operation Leuna). The Lancaster successfully carried out the raid but crashed during the return flight over Norfolk. Poor weather conditions and possibly a garbled message advising the destination of Carnaby Airfield near Bridlington, Yorkshire, are thought to have contributed to the crash. However, the Lancaster headed towards Langham Airfield, Norfolk, and in the fog struck the 200ft RAF radar mast on Bard Hill, Salthouse. The Lancaster came down at 1.21am on Salthouse Heath near Langham Airfield. Six of the crew including Sidney died instantly and Air Bomber Flight Sergeant Edward ‘Teddy’ Boakes died in hospital later the same morning.

Remembering Sydney Joseph James

Sydney’s Headstone, St Eadburgha’s Churchyard, Broadway, Worcestershire

Sidney’s body was recovered from the crash site and brought back to Broadway. He was buried in St Eadburgha’s Churchyard the following week. His funeral service, attended by his family, friends and representatives from Broadway Parish Council, Titchmarsh and Hunt and Broadway’s ATC, was conducted by the Vicar of Broadway, Rev. V.H. Patrick. Sidney’s coffin was draped in the Union Flag and borne by Sergeant Sunley, Flight Sergeant Phillips and ATC Cadets Agg, Beard, Dyde and Print.

Sydney Joseph James is commemorated on the Broadway War Memorial and on the Roll of Honour inside St Michael and All Angels Church in the village.

 

We will remember them.

 

 

 

 

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

 

1. Also spelt ‘Sidney’. His first name was registered at birth as ‘Sydney’ but his RAF records have his name recorded as ‘Sidney’.
2. Broadway Pig Club, to supplement meat rations during the War years, was started in March 1941 following a meeting at the Lifford Memorial Hall attended by Worcestershire’s Agricultural Organiser, C. Culpin. The first officers of the Club were: A.B. Williams (Chairman), Charles Steward (Vice-Chairman), Sydney James (Honorary Secretary) and A.F. Lomas (Hon. Treasurer). A year later the Club had insured 130 pigs and there were over 160 members.
2. The crew of the Lancaster LM720 QR-D were: Flight Sergeant R.C. Battersby (Navigator), Flight Sergeant E.J. ‘Teddy’ Boakes (Air Bomber), Flight Officer W.G. Corewyn (Pilot), Sergeant J. Douglas (Air Gunner), Sergeant P.R. Earl (Flight Engineer) and Sergeant R. Richardson (Air Gunner). They were all in their 20s. The oldest was 24.

 

Further reading:
Air Crewed Remembered

Sources:
http://www.ancestry.co.uk
The records of International Bomber Command Centre, Lincoln.

Remembered Today: Sergeant Air Gunner 1815603 Peter Samuel Cotterell (1923 – 1945)

Peter Samuel Cotterell was born in Broadway, in 1923, the son Mildred Agnes Cotterell. Peter was a member of Broadway Air Training Corps and joined the RAF Voluntary Reserve in the summer of 1944.

Headstone of Sergeant Peter Samuel Cotterell

Headstone Sgt. Peter S. Cotterell,
Dürnbach War Cemetery
(Dom Howard from http://www.158squadron.co.uk)

Peter trained as an Air Gunner with training unit 1664 HCU before being posted to 158 Squadron, on 9th November 1944, at RAF Lissett, Yorkshire.

The following year, Peter was killed whilst on a bombing mission, Operation Hanau1, in a Halifax Mk. III NR195 NP-I. At 3.44pm, on 6th January 1944, the Halifax took off from RAF Lissett. After bombing its target the Halifax was involved in a mid-air collision with a Lancaster (PB288) from 635 Squadron. Shortly after 7pm, 17,000 feet above Grossauheim, near Hanau on the east bank of the River Main, the Halifax strayed into the path of the Lancaster and the Halifax disintegrated in mid-air2. All 7 members of the Halifax crew lost their lives: Flight Officer John J. Krefter (Pilot), Sergeant Alexander T. Clyde (Flight Engineer), Flight Sergeant Leslie G. Morgan (Navigator), Sergeant James Gore (Air Bomber), Flight Officer K. Nerney (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner), Sergeant Ernest H.M. Barr (Air Gunner) and Sergeant Peter S. Cotterell (Air Gunner). The pilot of the Lancaster PB288, Flight Lieutenant Rowland RAAF, was the sole survivor of his crew and he was captured by the Germans the following day 25 miles from the crash scene.

Peter and the rest of the crew of the Halifax and those of the Lancaster were all initially buried in the cemetery at Grossauheim before being moved to Dürnbach War Cemetery in 1947.

Sergeant Peter Cotterell is also commemorated on the Broadway War Memorial and on the Roll of Honour inside St Michael and All Angels Church, Broadway.

We will remember them.

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

 
Notes:
1. Hanau, east of Frankfurt, was an important junction on the German railway system.
2. The Germans tried to take credit for the two aircraft claiming their Flak battery had taken down the aeroplanes.

 

Sources:
http://www.158squadron.co.uk
Air Crew Remembered

1916: Broadway Man Sergeant William Hopkins Awarded Military Medal

In December 1916, Sergeant William Hopkins, who was serving with the Notts and Derby (Sherwood Foresters) Regiment was awarded the Military Medal.

William, born in Stanton, Gloucestershire, in 1871, was the son of Mrs Mary Wallace (née Barnett) of Bury End, Broadway, by her first husband, the late John Hopkins1 who died in 1891. At the time of his father’s death, William was living with relatives in Bakewell, Derbyshire. William initially joined K Company of the 2nd Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment and was awarded the Military Medal whilst serving with the Sherwood Foresters:

Sergeant Hopkins has been Transport Sergeant since the Battalion came on active service, has constantly conducted transport to the trenches when exposed to rifle or shell fire, notably in the Ypres salient and has consistently displayed courage and good judgement.

Debbie Williamson
Broadway Remembers

Notes:
1. John Hopkins, a member of the Patriots Benefit Society, Broadway, worked as a loader for Mr Burrows of Broadway and was killed in an accident whilst loading corn in Stanway. His funeral took place in October 1891 at St Eadburgha’s Church, Snowshill Road, Broadway, where he was a bellringer. John is buried in the churchyard at St Eadburgha’s.