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Fairford's War Memorial: World War Two

Place your cursor over the War Memorial image below for more infrmation, click a name for further details.

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overlay World War Two Memorial
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Further information on any Fairford residents killed in service would be gratefully received. Please visit our contact page to get in touch.

Benfield, Joseph

Sapper (5392881)
233 Field Company, Royal Engineers
Died 9 August 1944, age 21

Benfield, Joseph
Sapper (5392881)
233 Field Company, Royal Engineers
Died 9 August 1944, age 21
Sapper Benfield was the son of Edward and Margaret Jane Benfield of 25 Mount Pleasant, Fairford. Joseph's father had been a gardener and an attendant at the Retreat Asylum and had served with the Gloucestershire Regiment during the First World War. After leaving Farmor's School Joseph was apprenticed as a carpenter to Messrs Yells Brothers of Fairford. Joseph joined the Home Guard in Fairford in 1940 and enlisted in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry the following year. After serving in Gibraltar for a while he transferred to the Royal Engineers and was sent to France with his unit. He is buried in Banneville-la-Campagne War Cemetery, Normandy. His name is also commemorated on his parent's headstone in the New Ground of St Mary's Church, Fairford.
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Crawford, Jack Simon Gustave

Flight Lieutenant (42197)
Royal Air Force, pilot, 550 Squadron, 1 Group, Bomber Command
Died 15 March 1944, age 23

Crawford, Jack Simon Gustave
Flight Lieutenant (42197)
Royal Air Force, pilot, 550 Squadron, 1 Group, Bomber Command
Died 15 March 1944, age 23
Flight Lieutenant Crawford was the son of John and Aurelie J Crawford and the husband of Pauline May Crawford, of Harrow, Middlesex.
Jack Crawford was the pilot of Lancaster Mk III LM392 of 550 Squadron which took off from RAF North Killingholme in Lincolnshire on a raid on Stuttgart on the night of 15th/16th March 1944. The aircraft was shot down by a night fighter at Artolsheim near Selestat, close to the River Rhine and the Franco-German border. All seven crew members were killed and are buried in Artolsheim Communal Cemetery, France. Thirty-seven of the 863 bombers taking part in the raid were shot down.
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Giles, William Evelyn

Private (D/12159)
8th (Home Defence) Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment
Died 12 Feb 1940, age 54

Giles, William Evelyn
Private (D/12159)
8th (Home Defence) Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment
Died 12 Feb 1940, age 54
Private Giles was the husband of Mrs Caroline Eliza Giles, of Southrop and Fairford and was the son of William Hinton Giles a farm labourer of Eastleach. He joined the Worcestershire Regiment during the First World War and served in France and Salonika. Between the wars he was employed as the head gardener to Dr A C King-Turner of The Retreat (now Coln House School) and was a prominent member of the Fairford Branch of the British Legion. He enlisted in the National Defence Corps on the outbreak of war in 1939. William Giles died in the sick quarters of RAF South Cerney where his unit was charged with guarding the airfield. He was given an impressive military funeral as befits an old soldier when he was buried in St Mary's Churchyard, Fairford.
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Hayward, Albert Edward

Private (14557380)
2nd Battalion, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
Died 25 October 1944, age 19

Hayward, Albert Edward
Private (14557380)
2nd Battalion, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry
Died 25 October 1944, age 19
Private Hayward was the son of Frederick Ernest and Alice Sarah Hayward of Mill Lane Fairford. Bertie Hayward was employed by Mr T Rymer of Waiten Farm after leaving Farmor's School and was also a member of the Fairford Home Guard. He joined the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry and after training he was stationed with the 2nd Battalion on guard duties in Belfast until the Battalion went to Tunisia and then on to Italy in February 1944. As part of the 4th Division, the Battalion fought in Italy almost continuously for the next nine months and played a prominent role in the critical battle for Monte Cassino. On 25 October 1944 the 4th Division commenced an advance towards the Po Valley in an attempt to outflank the Gothic Line of defences. On the first day of this offensive Private Hayward was killed by enemy artillery fire and is buried in Forli War Cemetery.
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Hoddinott, Donald John

Flight Sergeant (1322701)
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, air gunner, 644 Squadron, 38 Group, Allied Expeditionary Air Force
Died 6 April 1944, age 31

Hoddinott, Donald John
Flight Sergeant (1322701)
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, air gunner, 644 Squadron, 38 Group, Allied Expeditionary Air Force
Died 6 April 1944, age 31
Flight Sergeant Hoddinott was the son of Donald Hoddinott, a farmer of Swindon and Fairford, and his wife Kathleen Muriel of Yanworth.
Donald was the rear gunner on board Halifax Mk V LL228 of 644 Squadron which took off from RAF Tarrant Rushton during the night of 5th/6th April 1944 on a special operations mission to drop supplies to the French resistance 50 miles north of Bordeaux. The aircraft was shot down by flak from a German airfield near the drop zone and Flt Sgt Hoddinott baled out too late and was badly injured and died of his wounds in hospital the following day. Four of the crew of the Halifax evaded capture and were helped to return to Britain by the French underground movement. Donald Hoddinott was originally buried in a small cemetery at Champigneul but after the end of the war his body was removed to the Choloy War Cemetery, France.
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Indge, Charles

Private (5784148)
2nd/5th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment
Died 21 Mar 1943, age 20

Indge, Charles
Private (5784148)
2nd/5th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment
Died 21 Mar 1943, age 20
Private Indge, son of Edward and Lizzie, was the husband of Hilda Mary Indge, of Dunfield near Kempsford. He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Medjez-el-Bab Memorial in Tunisia. The 2nd/5th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment arrived in Algiers from the UK on 3 January 1943 as part of the 139th Infantry Brigade of the 46th Division. The Battalion took up its position in the Sedjenane area of Tunisia to take part in the final offensive against Rommel's Afrika Korps. The Battalion took part in fierce fighting at the Kasserine Pass in February in which it lost almost 300 men. On 19 March the Battalion dug in near Nefza station and held a small hill known as 'Leicester Pimple'. Over the next two days the Battalion was under constant attack from German mortars and infantry and it is likely that Private Indge was killed in this action, although the regimental history also mentions that a British artillery barrage accidentally caused several casualties when the shells dropped short. The Battalion continued to fight with distinction until the surrender of German forces in Tunisia on 12 May.
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Jefferies, Eric Hubert

Ordinary Signalman (LT/JX 331105)
Royal Navy Patrol Service
HM Trawler Ellesmere (FY 204)
Died 24 Feb 1945, age 22

Jefferies, Eric Hubert
Ordinary Signalman (LT/JX 331105)
Royal Navy Patrol Service
HM Trawler Ellesmere (FY 204)
Died 24 Feb 1945, age 22
Ordinary Signalman Eric Jefferies was the son of Hubert and Betty Jefferies of The Crofts, Fairford and the husband of Frances Edna May Jefferies of Park Street, Fairford. He was educated at Farmor's School, as was his wife, and he was a member of the school football team. After leaving school he was employed by Messrs Woodward Brothers, butchers of London Street, and served with the local Home Guard before joining the Royal Navy in June 1942. He was lost on board HM Trawler Ellesmere and has no known grave but is commemorated on the Lowestoft Naval Memorial, Suffolk.
HMS Ellesmere was a 560-ton Lake-class armed trawler that was built on Teeside in 1939 as a whaler but converted for Admiralty use. It was torpedoed and sunk by the U-boat U-1203 north west of Brest, France on 24 February 1945.
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Loveday, William J

Corporal (B/76089)
Saskatoon Light Infantry (Machine Gun), Royal Canadian Infantry Corp Died 5 Dec 1944, age 31

Loveday, William J
Corporal (B/76089)
Saskatoon Light Infantry (Machine Gun), Royal Canadian Infantry Corp
Died 5 Dec 1944, age 31
Corporal Loveday was the husband of Luella Grace Loveday of Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. He had probably emigrated to Canada from Fairford sometime before the war. The Saskatoon Light Infantry was a machine gun battalion that was also equipped with mortars and anti-aircraft guns and its role was to support the infantry of the 1st Canadian Division. The Division took part in Operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily, in July 1943 before crossing to the mainland and fighting its way north through Italy over the next two years. On 5 December 1944 the 1st Division was engaged in a costly and unsuccessful attempt to cross the Lamone River near Russi in which a large number of Canadian soldiers were killed during a fierce German counterattack. Corporal Loveday is buried in the nearby Ravenna War Cemetery.
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Mutlow, Harold William

Died 11 August 1945, age 32

Mutlow, Harold William
Died 11 August 1945, age 32
Harold Mutlow of Horcott died at Gloucester City General Hospital from wounds he had received at Normandy in June 1944. He had probably been discharged from the armed forces before he died as his name is not recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
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Nash, William Charles

Lance Corporal (T/5189615)
39 General Transport Company, Royal Army Service Corps
Died 26 Feb 1944, age 30

Nash, William Charles
Lance Corporal (T/5189615)
39 General Transport Company, Royal Army Service Corps
Died 26 Feb 1944, age 30
Lance Corporal Nash was the son of Charles Nash and of Ellen Nash (nee Cutmore), of the Fairford gas works and the husband of Doris Ruby May Nash of Stanford Hall. William was riding a motor cycle on duty in Edinburgh when he was knocked down by a Corporation bus. He was taken to Leith Hospital but died of a fractured skull without regaining consciousness. He is buried in St Mary's Churchyard, Fairford. William's father, Charles, was a chauffeur who served with the RASC Motor Transport during the First World War.
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Thompson, Robert Oliver Vere

DSO, Lieutenant Colonel (30951)
1st/6th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment
Died 7 June 44, age 40

Thompson, Robert Oliver Vere, DSO
Lieutenant Colonel (30951)
1st/6th Battalion, East Surrey Regiment
Died 7 June 44, age 40
Robert Thompson was the son of Robert Oliver and Frances Thompson and the husband of Teresa Katherine Thompson of Fairford. Robert was born in Dublin in 1904 and spent his childhood at Ventnor on the Isle of Wight.
Lt Col R O V Thompson took command of the 1st/6th Battalion of the East Surrey Regiment in Tunisia on 21st April 1943 following the death in action of Lt Col H A B Bruno. The Battalion was assigned to the 10th Infantry Brigade, 4th Division and took part in the final defeat of the German Afrika Korps in Tunisia in April and May 1943. Following the German surrender in Tunisia the 1st/6th Battalion spent 10 months in Tunisia and Egypt guarding prisoners, training, resting and re-equipping.
The 1st/6th Battalion arrived in Naples from Egypt on 21st Feb 1944. Three days later the Battalion went into the front line in the hills around Monte Cassino. The 1st/6th played a major role in the fierce fighting during the Battle of Monte Cassino during which the Battalion led the 10th Brigade in the crossing of the River Rapido on the night of 11th/12th May. The river was successfully crossed in assault craft and the Battalion repulsed a fierce counter attack until Bailey bridges could be built to bring tanks, artillery and reinforcements across. The 1st/6th Battalion reached the ruins of Monte Cassino itself on 18th May. The following day the Division was withdrawn from the line for a well-earned period of rest. On 5th June the 4th Division left their rest camp and travelled up Highway 6 towards Rome. On 7th June the 10th Brigade went into action at Ceprano, to the east of Rome, advancing behind reconnaissance patrols. Although there was no opposition, the retreating Germans had mined the roads and paths and at Sant' Angelo Romano the Battalion's command jeep was blown up. Lt Col Thompson was killed along with two of his men, only the driver surviving with serious wounds. Robert Thompson is buried in Rome War Cemetery.

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