Remembering The Men & Women Who Gave Their Lives In Two World Wars.REMEMBER THEM. Ask me anything? Submit
Remember. Wing Commander Raymond Arthur HOLMWOOD. No.615 Squadron (R.A.F.) Royal Australian Air Force. Killed in Action on the 26th February 1941 aged 29.
Raymond Arthur Holmwood was born on 7th December 1911 at Newcastle, New South Wales, second child of native-born parents Arthur Percy Holmwood, public schoolteacher, and his wife Mabel Alice, née Burgmann. After gaining his Intermediate certificate, on 15th February 1928 Raymond entered the Royal Military College, Duntroon, Federal Capital Territory, as a staff cadet nominated by the Royal Australian Air Force. He undertook the ‘A’ course at No.1 Flying Training School, Point Cook, Victoria, graduated with his ‘wings’ in December 1931 and was commissioned in the following month. Having been posted to No.1 Squadron, Laverton, in February 1932 Holmwood joined No.3 Squadron at Richmond, New South Wales, where he quickly demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities. He earned respect for his professional competence, possessed a highly developed sense of duty and was a first-class athlete. On 21st September 1934 at St Mark’s Anglican Church, Darling Point, Sydney, he married Margaret Alice, daughter of (Sir) Thomas Gordon. Holmwood’s appointments began to reflect his potential for high command. From December 1935 to February 1936 he was adjutant of No.3 Squadron; in 1936-37 he commanded the Cadet Squadron at No.1 F.T.S.; and he performed staff duties at Air Force Headquarters, Melbourne, in 1937-39. Promoted acting squadron leader, he took over the Intermediate Training Squadron at No.1 F.T.S. in July 1939 and became the squadron’s chief flying instructor in April next year when it was expanded and transferred to No.1 Service Flying Training School. In July 1940 Holmwood was sent to England to serve on exchange with the Royal Air Force. Disembarking in October, he completed an operational conversion course on fighter aircraft, then flew with No.64 Squadron. On 18th December he was appointed commanding officer of No.615 Squadron, based at Kenley, Surrey, and was thus the first R.A.A.F. officer to lead a British squadron in World War II. His appointment was the more meritorious because No.615 had distinguished itself in earlier fighting and its honorary air commodore was Prime Minister (Sir) Winston Churchill. Holmwood was promoted temporary wing commander in January 1941. On 26 February 1941, during an engagement with enemy aircraft over Waddenhall, a rural district near Petham, Kent, Holmwood’s Hurricane was shot down. He baled out of his aircraft but his parachute caught fire. He was survived by his wife and four-year-old son, and is buried in Whyteleafe (St Luke’s) churchyard, near Caterham, Surrey.
Remember. Private George William WORSLEY. 1st Cambridgeshire Regiment. Killed in Action on the 15th February 1942 aged 28.
George was the son of George and Emma Worsley, of Hitchin, Hertfordshire.His Battalion sailed from Liverpool in the “Reina Del Pacifico” on the 27th October 1941, its original destiantion being the Middle East. On route orders were received diverting the Battalion to the Far East. After a long an arduous journey which had taken them via Halifax, Cape Town & Bombay the Battalion arrived in Ahmednagar on the 31st December 1941. After three weeks of intensive acclimatisation and training the Battalion embarked on the “USS West Point” for Singapore where they arrived at dawn on the 29th January 1942, just two weeks before the island fortress would captitulate to the forces of the Japanese Imperial Army. George was killed in action during the invasion but, due to the confusion taking place at the time, his original grave has been lost and his grave is maked by a CWGC Special Memorial type “C” in the Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore stating “Buried near this spot”.
Remember. Aircraftwoman 2nd Class Hilda Irene HARRISON. Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. Killed in a Ground Accident on the 4th February 1944 aged 25.
Hilda was the daughter of Charles Henry and Lily Harrison, of Derby. Before joining the Womens Auxiliary Air Force she worked as a clerk with the LMS Railway. She joined the WAAF in 1943 and was serving as a Wireless Operator. On the 4th February 1944 she was travelling with some others in a vehicle at an operational airfield. An aircraft was about to take off but swerved off of the runway and struck the vehicle she was travelling in, killing her and injuring several other occupants. Hilda is buried in the Nottingham Road Cemetery, Derby.
Remember. Aircraftwoman 1st Class Marguerite Beatrice BURGE. Women’s Auxillary Air Force. Murdered on the 31st January 1943 aged 22.
Marguerite was born on the 21st January 1921. Her mother’s name was Le Roux and it is not known at this stage why she gave up her daughter. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists Marguerite as the foster-daughter of Thomas Wellman, and of Ada Mary Ann Wellman, of Bedhampton, Hampshire. Whilst serving with the WAAF Marguerite met 24 year-old Private Charles Arthur Raymond, who was a French Canadian soldier serving with the 5th Divisonal Troop Company of the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps. Raymond spoke no English and it has to be assumed that Marguerite spoke some French, possibly as a result of her background.
On the afternoon of the 30th January 1943, a few days after her 22nd birthday, Marguerite was making her way to Chichester, West Sussex, to visit a girlfriend. She accepted a lift from Raymond in his Army truck and, he suggests in his statement, she borrowed money from him. He had known her for six months and, he claimed, he had asked her not to see any other servicemen. During the journey he stopped by a field near Boxgrove, West Sussex, and, it appears, the couple got out and sat by a haystack where they talked. An argument ensued and Marguerite is alleged to have slapped Raymond across the face. He punched her and knocked her to the ground and, he claimed, she struck her head on a plough. A post mortem and a subsequent investigation established that Raymond had, in fact, stabbed her in the head, face and chest with an 8” screw driver which he had taken from his vehicles tool kit. Evidence given by Sir Bernard Spilsbury indicated that Raymond had inflicted some of the injuries on the girl whilst kneeling on her when she was on the ground. Raymond then left the injured WAAF in the field, where she lay all night in a heavy thunderstorm. A Home Guard patrol found her in the early hours of the 31st January, she was still alive but had suffered terrible injuries and immense blood loss. Marguerite was taken to a hospital in Chichester but died later that day as a result of her injuries.
An intensive police enquiry led them to Raymond, who had been seen parked in his vehicle at the spot where Marguerite had been found, with a WAAF in his cab. When questioned, Raymond tried to put the blame on another Canadian soldier, Arthur Patry, who had been in trouble with the police in Canada before he joined the Army. Raymond’s trial took place at the Old Bailey and the jury, convinced by the forensic evidence, found him guilty, despite his continued protestations that he was innocent. Raymond was condemned to Death and Hung at Wandsworth Prison on the 10th July 1943. Marguerite Burge is buried in the Havant And Waterloo Cemetery, Hampshire. Rightly or wrongly, Charles Raymond has his name recorded on the Brookwood Memorial, along with a number of other Murderers.