Cornwell is a village and civil parish about 2 1/2 miles west of Chipping Norton in West Oxfordshire. A Vickers Wellington crashed during the Second World War about 1 mile west of the village.
FIRST WORLD WAR
ARTHUR WILLIAM BOWLES was serving as a Private in the 9th (Service) Battalion, The Devonshire Regiment when he was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, on 1st July 1916. He was aged 23 and is buried in the Devonshire Cemetery, Mametz on the Somme.
He was born to parents Albert and Elizabeth Bowles of Cornwell, having been born in Fairford. In 1911 he was living in Bratton Clovelly, Devon where he worked as a gamekeeper, and enlisted into the Devonshires in Okehampton.
The 9th Battalion, the Devonshire Regiment was one of Kitchener's New Armies, formed in August 1914 in Exeter. It landed at Le Havre on 28th July 1915 and was pitched, almost immediately on 25th September, into the Battle of Loos, taking 476 casualties. After a spell near Givenchy both Battalions moved to the Somme area. The Somme remained a relatively quiet sector until the offensive began on 1st July 1916. On that morning the 9th led the attack towards Mansel Copse, where well-placed machine guns, whose crews had survived the preliminary bombardment, cut down hundreds of advancing men.
Arthur Bowles, along with 160 officers and men from the 8th and 9th Devonshires were buried on 4th July in the trench from which they had launched the attack. Their units were among the few that achieved their objectives on that fateful day.
He is also remembered on the Bratton Clovelly War Memorial.
FREDERICK HENRY GEORGE HILL was serving as a Private with the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion, The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light infantry when he died on 2nd June 1916. He was aged 17 and is buried in Cornwell St Peter's Churchyard.
He was born in Salford to parents George and Elizabeth Hill, at the time of his death he was living at Park Farm cottage, Cornwell, where his father worked as a waggoner. He joined the 3rd Ox and Bucks, a depot and training unit and died whilst training on Salisbury Plain, probably of natural causes.
CHARLES BURNETT PARTRIDGE was serving as a Captain with the Royal Marines Light Infantry when he was killed in action when HMS Good Hope was sunk on 1st November 1914, during the Battle of Coronel. He was aged 34, his body was never recovered and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
He was the son of Lieutenant-Colonel and Mary Partridge of Fleet, Hampshire and a relative of the Reverend Richard Parry Burnett, Vicar of Cornwell Parish Church. He joined the Royal Marines in 1899, being made Lieutenant in January 1900 and Captain in January 1910. He was well regarded by his superiors and a first class sportsmen and marksman. He had served as an instructor of musketry in Malta and a swimming instructor at Deal depot. He served on HM ships Mars, Gladiator, Ergmont, Melpomene , Hermione and Drake before joining the Drake class armoured cruiser HMS Good Hope (below) on 1st August 1914.
When war was declared in August 1914, Good Hope was ordered to reinforce the 4th Cruiser Squadron and became the flagship of Rear Admiral Christopher Cradock. Cradock moved the available ships of his squadron later that month to the coast of South America to search for German commerce raiders. He was then ordered further south to to block any attempt of the German East Asia Squadron to penetrate into the South Atlantic. He found the German squadron on 1st November off the coast of Chile. The German squadron outnumbered Cradock's force and were individually more powerful and they sank Cradock's two armoured cruisers in the Battle of Coronel. HMS Good Hope was lost with all hands.
The officers of HMS Good Hope, Captain Partridge is fifth from the left in the back row and below. His parents lost two others sons to the war, both serving in the Army.
THE VICKERS WELLINGTON CRASH
On 14th October 1941 Vickers Wellington XC Mk 1C R1654 of 22 Operational Training Unit took off from Wellesbourne for a navigation exercise. Encountered poor weather conditions and while flying in cloud lost control and dived into the ground at 1044 not far from the Gloucestershire-Oxfordshire border about 1 mile west of Cornwell, 3 miles west of Chipping Norton. Five aircrew were killed;
Sergeant William Leslie Falardeau, aged 19, pilot, Royal Canadian Air Force. He is buried in Little Rissington churchyard and was the son of Earl and Hilda Falardeau of Winnipeg, Canada.
William Leslie Falardeau was a camera grip on the 1940 Powell and Pressburger film "49th Parallel" and also played an aviator on the rescue float plane as it arrives at Cape Wolstenholme . In the film, he was shot and apparently killed by the Nazis before they commandeered the aircraft. A second role for him was as a double for Raymond Massey in a few scenes. He died before the film was released. He had been a keen aircraft enthusiast and won cups for his model planes. He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in November 1940 and left for England in August 1941.
Sergeant Bill Ingalls Hoese, aged 26, Royal Canadian Air Force. He is buried in Little Rissington churchyard and was from Worthington, Indiana, USA.
Sergeant Leslie Bernard Woodfield aged 20. He is buried in Birmingham Lodge Hill Cemetery and was the son of Arthur and Ellen Woodfield of Birmingham.
Sergeant Ronald Mcnamara, aged 24, wireless operator/air gunner, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve . He is buried in Cranston St Dunstan's Cemetery in Middlesex.
Sergeant Alfred Hildebrandt, aged 28, air gunner, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He is buried Wallsall Bloxwich Cemetery and was the husband of Daisy.