FIRST WORLD WAR
THOMAS FREDERICK BEAL was serving as a Private in the 3rd Battalion, The Coldstream Guards when he was killed in action on 13th April 1918, during the Battle of Hazebrouck. He was aged 30 and is commemorated on the Ploegsteert memorial having no known grave.
He was the son of Jesse and Annie Beal of the Post Office, Little Compton but had left home to work as a domestic footman at the Durdans in Epsom. He enlisted into the Coldstream Guards in August 1915, based in Chelsea Barracks. In April that year married Eileen Willson in St Luke's Church in Chelsea.
The Battle of Hazebrouck was an action in the German Spring Offensive, a last attempt to win the war before American Forces arrived in numbers, and supported by German troops released from the Eastern Front by the surrender of Russia. On 23rd August the 3rd Battalion, as part of the 4th Guards Division held the line from Croisilles to the north of Mory. They came under attack from the Germans but held the line. On 12th April 1918 the German forces having captured Messines and Merville moved on the important supply centre of Hazebrouck but were halted by British and Australian forces, including the 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards who were holding the line near the village of Strazeele. Private Beal was one of 17 killed and 259 missing from the Battalion during the defence of Hazebrouck.
FREDRICK CHARLES BRAGINTON was serving as a Leading Seaman aboard HMS Bulwark when he was killed on active service on 26th November 1914 when his ship was sunk. He was aged 29 and is commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial, his body having not been recovered from the sea.
He was the son of Eli and Emma Braginton, having been born in Evenlode, his mother had been born in Little Compton and moved back there after the death of her husband.
Frederick Braginton had been working as a foootman when he signed on at Portsmouth with the Royal Navy on 7th April 1903 training on HMS Northampton and Calliope. In November 1903 he was appointed Ordinary seaman aboard the third class cruiser HMS Bellona, serving in home waters, and been made up to Able Seaman. He joined HMS Fire Queen I, a general depot ship at Portsmouth, between April 1905 and June 1907. He then joined HMS Good Hope an armoured cruiser serving with the Atlantic Fleet. Whilst serving ashore he married Lily White in Portsmouth in 1909. Between November 1911 and June 1912 he was attached to the depot ship HMS Orontes before serving on the stone frigate HMS Egmont in Birgu, Malta where he was made Leading Seaman. Returning to Portsmouth in November 1913 he joined the crew of HMS Bulwark on 31st July 1914.
Following the outbreak of the First World War, HMS Bulwark, attached to the 5th Battle Squadron along with the rest of the squadron, was part to the Channel Fleet, conducting patrols in the English Channel. On 26 November 1914, while anchored at buoy 17 off Sheerness, she was destroyed by a large internal explosion with the loss of 736 men. There were only 14 survivors of the explosion and of these 2 died later in hospital. The explosion was likely to have been caused by the overheating of cordite charges that had been placed adjacent to a boiler room bulkhead. His older brother William was killed aboard HMS Black Prince during the 1916 battle of Jutland.
RUEBEN WILLIAM BRAGINTON, known as William, was serving as a Shipwright Second Class aboard HMS Black Prince when he was killed on active service on 31st May 1916 when his ship was sunk at the Battle of Jutland. He was aged 35 and is commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial, his body having not been recovered from the sea.
He was the son of Eli and Emma Braginton, having been born in Evenlode, his mother had been born in Little Compton and moved back there after the death of her husband.
He joined the Royal Navy at Portsmouth on 14th August 1900, having previously worked as a carpenter. He trained aboard the old sailing vessel HMS Duke of Wellington until October 1900, then joining the armoured cruiser HMS Minotaur (below)
In August 1904 he served aboard the cruiser HMS Naiad and then general depot ship HMS Fire Queen. On 27th December 1905 he joined the cruiser HMS King Alfred serving on the China station. He returned to join the cruiser HMS Hawke in March 1908 serving with the Home Fleet. Spells aboard the battleship HMS Revenge, then a gunnery training ship, the armed cruiser HMS Achilles and the minelayer HMS Latona. In August 1913 he served aboard HMS Hazard, a torpedo gun boat which had been converted into the world's first submarine depot ship (below).
On 21st April 1914 he joined the crew of the cruiser HMS Black Prince as a Leading Carpenter, being made up to Shipwright Second Class in June. Black Prince was one of the four armoured cruisers serving in the 1st Cruiser Squadron of the Mediterranean Fleet. She participated in the pursuit of Goeben and Breslau. Following the escape of the two German ships to neutral Turkey, Black Prince and Duke of Edinburgh were sent into the Red Sea to search for German merchant ships, with Black Prince capturing the German ocean liners Südmark and Istria.
She was sunk during the Battle of Jutland on 31st May 1916, with all hands lost, 37 officers and 820 men. Separated from the rest of the British fleet, the Black Prince approached the German lines at approximately midnight. She turned away from the German battleships, but it was too late. The German battleship Thuringen fixed the Black Prince in her searchlights and opened fire. Up to five other German ships joined in the bombardment, with return fire from Black Prince being ineffective. Most of the German ships were between 750 and 1500 yards of the effectively point blank range for contemporary naval gunnery. She was hit by at least twelve heavy shells and several smaller ones.
ALFRED COLLINS was serving as a Private with the 5th (Service) Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he was killed in action on 25th Speptember 1915, during the second attack on Bellewaarde. He was aged 19 and is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial,Ypres, having no known grave.
He was the son of George and Lily Collins of Little Compton, having been born in Chastleton. He had worked as a ploughboy until joining the 5th Battalion, one of Kitchener's new armies, when he was 18.
He embarked with his Battalion at Folkestone and arrived in Boulogne on 21st May 1915 as part of 42nd Brigade in 14th (Light) Division. They were stationed in the village of Hooge near Ypres and on 30th July 1915 were subject to an attack by the Germans with the first use of flame throwers. On 25th September they were part of an attack on German positions near Bellewaarde, a diversionary action for the Battle of Loos. The 5th Battalion were to seize Bellewaarde Farm and attacked at 0420, quickly capturing the German 1st and 2nd lines. However at 0750 the Germans counter attacked in numbers and recaptured the trenches. Further attacks by the British were repelled by heavy shelling and machine gun fire and the Battalion lost 271 officers and men, missing and killed, including Private Collins.
GEORGE EDEN was serving as a Private with the 14th (Service) Battalion, The Royal Warwickshire regiment when he was killed in action on 30th July 1916, during the Battle of the Somme. He was aged 35 and is buried in Caterpillar Valley Cemetery.
He was the son of Caleb and Eliza Eden, having been born in Chipping Norton. His parents ran the Red Lion Inn in Little Compton, George worked as an agricultural labourer and was assisted running the pub.
Known as the 1st Birmingham Pals Battalion the unit arrived in France as part of the 32nd Division. It was transferred to 13th Brigade, 5th Division, and in March 1916 took over a section of front line between St Laurent Blangy and the southern edge of Vimy Ridge, in front of Arras. This was a lively time, with many trench raids, sniping and mining activities in the front lines. When the Franco-British offensive opened on the Somme on 1 July 1916, the 5th Division was enjoying a period of rest and re-fit and was in GHQ Reserve. They were thrown into the battle on 15th July 1916 when they were involved in operations to clear the Germans from Delville Wood, taking over trenches in the High Wood area. On 30th July the Battalion launched an attack on the enemy's front line positions in High Wood but were cut down by accurate machine gun fire. The Battalion went into the attack with 14 officers and 454 other ranks, by the end of the day 8 officers and 289 other ranks were left. The commanding officer of the Battalion wrote in the war diary "The behaviour of all was beyond all praise"
DICK FORD HAYWARD was serving as a Private in the 5th (Service) Battalion, Princess Charlotte of Wales's (Royal Berkshire) Regiment when he was killed in action on 17th May 1917. He was aged 37 and is buried in Duisans British Cemetery, Étrun.
He was the son of Thomas and Jane Hayward of Little Compton and had worked as a farm labourer, before moving to Small Heath, Birmingham, living in lodgings and working as a bus conductor. He married local girl, Mary Stickley in Little Compton in July 1912, moving back to Small Heath.
He enlisted with the Royal Berkshires in Birmingham and arrived in France with the 5th Battalion on 25th May 1915. They saw action at the Battle of Loos, attacking German positions in the Quarries at Hulluch on 13th October 1915. In 1916 they were involved in the Somme Offensives from the opening action, The Battle of Albert, from 1st July. The Battalion had been in reserve on 1st July, moving up during the night to relieve the survivors of 8th Division after their costly attack on Ovillers-la-Boisselle. The 5th led an renewed attack on Ovillers-la-Boisselle , some making it as far as the German third line, in Ovilliers, but were forced out again by lack of ammunition and German counter-attacks. Eventually the Battalion was forced back to its starting line due to heavy machine gun fire, suffering heavy casualties. They faced German counter attacks in the Battle of Pozieres Ridge on 28th July. There last action in the Somme Offensive came on 10th October when they took over front line trenches in the Battle of Transloy Ridges.
On 9th April 1917 the Battalion where sent forward to support an attack on German positions in the First Battle of the Scarpe, part of the Arras Offensive. Against stiff opposition they managed to break through the German lines and capture some artillery pieces before withdrawing. On 28th April they saw action in the Battle of Arleux. On 3rd May they were involved in the Third Battle of The Scarpe, capturing the village of Pelves before being forced out by a German counter-attack. they He was killed in action in an attack on the German positions at Devils Trench on 17th May 1917.
EDWARD CHARLES HAZELL was serving as a Private with the 1st Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment when he was killed in action on 8th October 1915 during the Battle of Loos. He was aged 25 and is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, having no known grave.
He was the son of Thomas and Agnes Hazell, having been born in Temple Guiting. He married Amy Mawle in 1910 and they lived at Chalk Hill Cottages in Lower Swell with their two children, he worked as a carter on a farm.
He enlisted into the Glosters in Stratford-on-Avon and joined his Battalion in France on 4th April 1915. The Battalion saw action in the Battle of Aubers Ridge on 9th May 1915, when a combination of poor intelligence, faulty artillery shells and poor planning led to disaster for the British. They then took part in the Battle of Loos from 25th September 1915. Private Hazell was killed in action when a German counter-attack was fought off on 8th October.
WILLIAM FREDERICK MACE was serving as a Private in the 9th (Service) Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment when he was killed in action on 6th November 1916, in Salonika. He was aged 30 and is buried in Karasouli Military Cemetery in Greece.
He was the son of Thomas and Emma Mace of Little Compton, where he worked as a gardener.
He joined the 8th Battalion, one of Kitchener's new armies, in Stratford-on-Avon. He then transferred to the 10th Battalion and arrived in France with them on 4th August 1915. He was then transferred to the 9th Battalion, part of the 26th Division, and in November 1915 embarked at Marseilles for Salonika. They were in action on 9th August 1916 in the Battle for Horseshoe Hill against Bulgarian positions around Lake Doiran. He was killed in action at La Tortue, a hill overlooking the lake on 6th November 1916.
RALPH HENRY NEWMAN was serving as a Private in the 1st Battalion, the Goucestershire Regiment when he died of his wounds on 8th June 1916. He was aged 25 and is buried in Bethune Town Cemetery.
He was the son of Charles and Edith Newman, having born in Long Compton but living in Chastleton and working as a carter on a farm.
He had enlisted into the Gloucesters in Stratford-on-Avon and joined the 1st Battalion in France on 2nd April 1915. he Battalion saw action in the Battle of Aubers Ridge on 9th May 1915, when a combination of poor intelligence, faulty artillery shells and poor planning led to disaster for the British. They then took part in the Battle of Loos from 25th September 1915, fighting off a German counter attack on 8th October. He was attached to the 1st Machine Gun Company when it was formed on 26th January 1916. He was wounded in action and died at the 33rd Casualty Clearing station in Bethune.
WILLIAM ROGERS was serving as a Private with the 1st Battalion, The Worcestershire Regiment when he was killed in action on 10th March 1915 during the Battle of Neuve Chapelle. He was aged 32 and is commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial, his final resting place being unknown.
He was born in Little Compton and brought up by his grandparents Arthur and Eliza Rogers. He worked as a farm labourer until enlisting into the Worcestershire Regiment in Evesham on 6th December 1905.
In December 1906 his Battalion boarded SS Plassy bound for India serving in Jhansi, Ranikhet and Nowgong, being hospitalised twice suffering from malaria. In January 1913 the Battalion moved to Cairo, returning home on 17th October 1914. As part of the 8th Division, formed by units returning from all corners of the Empire, his Battalion arrived in France on 5th November 1914. On 10th December 1914 he was admitted to 25th Field Ambulance suffering from swollen feet, moved on to No 6 Clearing Hospital before being evacuated home on the Hospital Ship St Patrick on 13th December. He returned to France on 7th March 1915 and was in action almost immediately as the British attacked the German positions at Neuve Chapelle. He was killed on the first day of the battle and buried 1 mile NW of Neuve Chapelle, but the location of his grave was lost.
ALBERT STICKLEY was serving as a Private with the 1st Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when he died of wounds received during the Battle of Cestiphon on 8th December 1915. He was aged 25 and is commemorated on the Basra Memorial, having been buried at sea.
He was the son of Robert and Mary Stickley of Little Compton and had worked as a farm labourer. He enlisted into the 1st Battalion in early 1912 in Chipping Norton.
He joined the Battalion in India, under command of 17th Indian Brigade of 6th (Poona) Division, Indian Army. On 5th December 1915 the Battalion landed in Mesopotamia. The Battalion took part in the march towards Kut-al-Amara with the intention of capturing it from the Ottomans. The battle for Kut began on 26th September 1915 and raged for a number of days until the Ottomans went into retreat and Kut was captured on 28th September. The battalion then took part in the Battle of Ctesiphon between 22nd and 24th November, during the pursuit of the Ottoman forces and in the effort to capture the capital Baghdad, which ended in the 6th Poona Division being defeated by the Ottomans. 635 officers and men of the battalion fought in the battle of Ctesiphon and 304 became casualties. The Division subsequently retreated to Kut, reaching it on 3rd December, where it was besieged by the Ottomans, with a garrison of 10,000 Britons and Indians. The casualties were evacuated by river craft to Basra, often in appalling conditions, loaded on barges. Private Stickley was taken on the Hospital Ship Varela which set sail for Bombay, however he sadly died of his wounds at sea.
FRANK STICKLEY was serving in the 8th (Service) Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment when he was killed in action on 23th July 1916, during the Battle of Pozieres Ridge. He was aged 33 and is buried in Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Longueval.
He was the son of Charles and Elizabeth Stickley of Little Compton and had worked as a farm labourer. He enlisted into the 8th Battalion, one of Kitchener's new armies, in Stratford-on-Avon. The Battlion saw action at the Battle of the Somme, taking part in the Battle of Albert, the first day of the Somme, in which they achieved their objective the capture of La Boiselle. They went on to attempt to clear the Germans from High Wood. Private Stickley was killed on the first day of the Battle of Pozieres Wood.
WILLIAM GUY TIDMARSH was serving as a Private with the 2nd Battalion, The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) when he was killed in action on 28th May 1915, during the 2nd Battle of Ypres. He was aged 40 and is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, having no known grave.
He was the son of Lee and Annie Tidmarsh and was born in Bourton on the Hill, but lived in Little Compton where he worked as an agricultural labourer. In 1904 he married Alice Annie Jordan at Chipping Norton Registry Office and they had 3 sons and 2 daughters together, living in Post Office Row, Little Compton. He had also served with the Territorial army, with the 5th Battalion, Leicestershire Volunteers.
He enlisted into the East Kents in Stratford-on-Avon on 6th January 1915. He arrived in France on 21st April 1915 to join the 2nd Battalion, part of the 85th Infantry Brigade. He was soon involved in the Second Battle of Ypres which began on 24th April. This saw the Germans use poison gas including chlorine as they tried to capture the town. On 3rd May, a further German attack put pressure on the front of 85th Infantry Brigade the 2nd The Buffs (East Kent Regiment) being one of the battalions deployed to assist in defending the line. a Private Tidmarsh was reported missing on 3rd May 1915, he was never found and presumed dead on 28th May 1915.
WILLIAM WALKER was serving as a Sergeant with the 8th (Service) Battalion, Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort’s Own)when he died from his wounds on 19th September 1916. He was aged 24 and is buried in Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension.
He was the son of John and Mary Walker of Long Compton. He was working as a motor driver when he enlisted into the Rifle Brigade in London on 2nd September 1914. He was posted to the 9th Battallion and was fined a day's pay on 7th November 1914 for disobeying orders and shaving his upper lip. He arrived in France with his Battalion on 20th May 1915 as part of 41st Brigade in 14th (Light) Division.
He was promoted to Corporal in the field on 6th July 1915. The Battalion was stationed in the village of Hooge near Ypres and on 30th July 1915 were subject to an attack by the Germans, with the first use of flame throwers. After this he was promoted to Sergeant on 9th August 1915. On 25th September they were part of an attack on German positions near Bellewaarde, a diversionary action for the Battle of Loos. He was wounded in the right arm during the attack. His commanding officer, Captain Douglas Carmichael was killed by the same burst of machine gun fire that wounded Sergeant Walker. After evacuation to England he wrote to Captain Carmichael's mother whilst recovering in Eastbourne Hospital:
"There was not a man in our battalion who would not have followed him anywhere. To cut a long story short, he was in command of the whole attack on the morning of the 25th, and right well did he lead us until he was hit in the leg. Then we pushed forward alone, as he refused to have any assistance; but just after I saw him hopping on one leg towards the next line of German trenches under a murderous fire. We took three lines in all, but had to retire. Your son was still in command, absolutely refusing to be taken back. On reaching the original German front line he rallied the small handful of men left, and told us to hold it at all costs, which we did against masses of Germans until almost every man was either killed or wounded. Your son was killed with a machine gun, and I was twice wounded at the same time. It was instantaneous, and his last words were: 'For God's sake hold them back!'. He earned the VC 50 times over. No officer could be loved more or held in higher esteem by his men than your gallant son. A more gallant leader or fearless man never led men on the field of battle."
After recovery Sergeant Walker returned to the front, joining the 8th Battalion in the field on 13th November 1915. He saw action at the Battle of the Somme in 1916, being involved in the Battle of Delville Wood from 15th July. He was badly wounded, with gun shot wounds to the arms and legs, during the last day of the battle, 15th September and died in the 14th South African Hospital in Abbeville 4 days later.
GEORGE WEBB was serving as Private with the 8th (Service) Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment when he was killed in action in the fighting on the Ancre Heights on 25 October 1916. He was aged 24, and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, having no known grave.
He was the son of Albert and Henrietta Webb of Little Compton, where he had worked as a farm labourer. He had enlisted into the Gloucestershires in Stratford-on-Avon, joining the 8th Battalion, one of Kitchener's new armies.
He landed with his Battalion in France in August 1915 as part of the 57 Brigade, 19th (Western) Division. They were involved in the action of Pietre on 25th September 1915, a supporting attack during the Battle of Loos. On 1st July 1916 they were in action during the Battle of the Somme, the opening phase of the Somme Offensive, in which the Division achieved it's objective, the capture of La Boisselle. In the offensive they participated in the attacks on High Woods, the Battle of Pozires and the Battle of Ancre Heights, during which Private Webb was killed.
HORACE MARSHALL was serving as a Sergeant in the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Warwickshire Regiment when he died at Kaul Bridge on 21st October 1920. He was aged 20 and is buried in Tank cemetery and commemorated on the India Gate Memorial in Dehli.
He was the son of James and Martha Marshall of Little Compton.
SECOND WORLD WAR
ALBERT VICTOR NEWMAN was serving as a Corporal in the 1st Battalion, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry when killed in action 16th July 1944 aged 28 at Cahier near Caen, during the second Battle of Odon. He is buried in Brouay War cemetery. He was the son of Charles and Edith Newman, was born in Little Compton and educated at Kingham Hill School. He married to Violet Stares in Chipping Norton in 1941.
The 1st Ox and Bucks landed on the Normandy beaches as part of the 71st Infantry Brigade after the 6th June. On 25 June Operation Epsom began, it's intention to take the town of Caen, a vital objective for the British. This proved to be a formidable town to capture and the operation was unsuccessful. However, it did divert significant numbers of Germans away from the Americans. The Germans counter-attacked and the 1st Ox and Bucks moved to positions around the Odon bridgehead where it suffered from heavy German artillery fire. The Allies launched further attempts to capture Caen, the first Allied troops entered the city on 9 July; by then, much of it had been destroyed. After holding the line the 1st Battalion's first major engagement with the enemy during the battle for Caen was the successful attack to capture the village of Cahier and a nearby mill. He is also on Chipping Norton's war memorials.
GEORGE HERBERT NEWMAN was serving as a Sapper in the 7th Field Company of the New Zealand Engineers when he died of disease on 15th April 1943, whilst a prisoner of war. He was aged 34 and is buried in Krakow Rakowicki Cemetery in Poland.
He was the son of Cecil and Frances Newman of Little Compton having been born in Sydenham, Christchurch, New Zealand. His family had emigrated to New Zealand from Little Compton but returned to England in 1920. George was working as a foreman stone mason when enlisted into the NZE in London in 1940. He was captured during the Battle of Crete between 20th May and 1st June 1941, when Axis forces overran the island. He was incarcerated in Stalag V11B 344 near the town of Lamsdorf, Upper Silesia, now part of Poland. He died in the prison hospital and was originally buried in it's cemetery but re-interred to Krakow in 1948.
ARTHUR ERNEST REW was serving as a Sergeant, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner, with 466 Squadron, Royal Air Force when he was killed on active service on 30th January 1943. He was aged 23 and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.
He was the son of Ernest Victor and Ada Rew, of Little Compton and had volunteered to join the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves. He was posted to 466 Squadron based at RAF Leconsfield in Yorkshire. At 1106 on 30th January 1943 he was aboard Vickers Wellington Mk X HE397 which took off with 8 other Wellingtons for a daylight raid on Emden. Nothing was heard from the aircraft after take off and post war no signs found. The bombing raid had been made under a low cloud level and accurate flak experienced over the target.
GRANT ALLEN SINGER was serving as a Captain in the 10th Royal Hussars (Prince of Wales's Own), Royal Armoured Corps when he was killed in action on 5th November 1942, during the Second Battle of El Alamein. He was aged 27 and is buried in El Alamein War Cemetery.
He was the adopted son of Washington Merritt Grant Singer, the American born heir to the Singer sowing machine empire, living in a 20,000 acre estate in Wiltshire. As a young man he travelled extensively around the world and after the death of his father, who bequeathed over 1 million pounds, looked after his business interests. In 1937 he married Daphne Helen Travers in St Mark's Church in London.
When war broke out Grant joined the army initially the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry (he may already have been a member before the war) before transferring to the 10th Royal Hussars (10RH), joining them just after they arrived back from France following the Dunkirk evacuation in June 1940.
When war broke out Grant joined the army initially the Royal Wiltshire Yeomanry (he may already have been a member before the war) before transferring to the 10th Royal Hussars, joining them just after they arrived back from France following the Dunkirk evacuation in June 1940. Following a period of training and re-equipping the 10RH were sent out to North Africa to take part in that campaign. Grant Singer, now a Captain was detached from the regiment to take up the post of Aide-de-Camp to Lt General Willoughby Norrie (also a 10th Hussar) at XXX Corps Headquarters. Grant returned to the 10RH whilst they were resting at Khataba in early September 1942 to take up command as the Troop leader of the newly formed Recce Troop.
On 0900 of the 4th of November and after suffering further casualties the 10RH were still advancing in the vanguard of the 2nd Armoured Division with the 9th Lancers close behind to the right and the Bays rear and right. This formation dashed forward 4,000 yards destroying an 88mm gun and some Lorries before being held up by a number of German tanks and anti-tank guns which had to be dealt with. Six enemy tanks were knocked out by the 10RH and the advance continued until again being held up by even more anti-tank guns. At the same time Grant Singer and his Recce Troop were moving in the forward areas collecting prisoners from the destroyed German tanks. During the sharp engagement with these tanks Captain Singer had spotted one of them moving to a flank, he approached one of the C Squadron tanks which was commanded by a friend and fellow 10th Hussar, Captain Richard Keane who was Second in Command of the Squadron, and pointed out the threat. Captain Keane instructed his gunner to engage the target which was hit by an AP round and caught fire. It was on seeing this that Captain Singer went forward to capture any crew that bailed out of the stricken German tank. As he approached the German tank its commander who had got out of the burning vehicle started walking towards Singer with his hands raised, grabbing a Thompson sub-machine gun, Singer dismounted from his Daimler and took the German prisoner. This was no ordinary prisoner though; this was the acting Commander of the German Afrika Korps, General Wilhelm Ritter von Thoma. Von Thoma had decided to go forward to see for himself to what extent the allies had broken through so that he could convince Rommel that the German and Italian forces were in dire trouble. Instead he had met the 10RH, had his tank knocked out and been captured. Captain Singer was ordered to take Von Thoma back to Brigade Headquarters, then to Montgomery‟s HQ where he remained for the night, rejoining his Troop and the regiment at 0700 the following day, the 5th of November. After some hasty orders the regiment moved off again with Singer and his Troop, as usual, leading the way to the first bound which was a raised piece of ground called the Bir Wagda. Grant and his driver Trooper George Hyatt were once again probing forward trying to make contact with the enemy. Their Dingo armoured car was spotted by the Germans and was hit by an 88mm shell which tore their little vehicle apart and killed both Grant and Hyatt.
George Hiatt and Grant Singer
Daphne Singer remarried Lieutenant Colonel Noel Wall of the 7th Hussars in Westminster in 1944, but the marriage only lasted a few years. In 1949 she married Major Dermot Ralph Daly in Chipping Norton living in Little Compton Manor until her death in 1968, aged only 51.
WORLD WAR TWO PLANE CRASH
On 26th June 1943 Consolidated B24 Liberator 42-63762 "Hells Express" of 409 Bomb Squadron, 93rd Bomb Group crashed at Little Compton. The aircraft suffered a double engine failure when flying from Hardwick to Portreath. The pilot attempted to force-land amongst the hills. It was joining the remaining B-24s in England to fly to North Africa for the famous Ploesti raid, having been delayed for a day. 9 aircrew and groundcrew travelling on the aircraft were killed in the crash;
Pilot 1st Lieutenant John Watts Pryor, aged 21, son of Albert and Minerva Pryor of Texarkana, Texas. He was buried in Cambridge American Cemetery before being repatriated and re-interred in Rose Hill Cemetery in Texarkana in 1948.
Co-Pilot 2nd Lieutenant Charles Luther Porterfield, aged 23, the son of David and Jennie Porterfield of Los Angeles. He was buried in Brookwood American Cemetery before being repatriated and re-interred in the Golden Gate Cemetery in San Bruno California in 1948.
Navigator 2nd Lieutenant Harley C Shively, aged 24, he was the son of Harvey and Clementine Shively of Hamilton, Missouri. He is buried in Cambridge American Cemetery.
Bombardier 2nd Lieutenant Jack F Wardell, aged 24, of Alexandria, Minnesot, he had worked as a truck driver before enlisting. He is buried in Cambridge American Cemetery.
Engineer Technical Sergeant Raymond P Cathcart, aged 26, he was the son of Alfred and Clara Cathcart of Westville, Indiana, he enlisted into the USAAF on 23rd December 1941. He was initially buried in Cambridge American Cemetery, but repatriated after the war and re-interred in Westville Cemetery in Indiana.
Assistant Radio Operator Sergeant Edward Herschel Dick, aged 23, He was the son of Smith and Emily Dick of Ferdale, Pennsylvania. He had worked as a salesman before enlisting into the USAAF on 1st July 1941. He served in England between December 1941 and May 1942, completing his tour of duty and returning home. He arrived back in England on 30th March 1943 to join the 409 Bomb Squadron. He was buried in Cambridge American Cemetery but repatriated in 1948 and re-interred in Richland Cemetery, Geistown Pennsylvania.
Master Sergeant John Lotito, (below), aged 23, the son of John and Mary Lotito of Hazleton, Pennsylvania. He had enlisted in the USAAF in December 1941 and joined the 409th Bomb Squadron on 15th June 1942. He was buried in Cambridge American Cemetery but repatriated in 1948 and re-interred in Mother of Grace Cemetery, Hazleton, Pennsylvania.
Staff Sergeant George L Parsons.
Staff Sergeant Harold Mason Lane, aged 22, the son of Luke and Faith Lane of Los Angeles. He was working in an aircraft factory when he enlisted into the USAAF on 18th June 1942. He was buried in Cambridge American Cemetery but repatriated in 1948 and re-interred in Forest Lane Memorial Park, Glendale, Los Angeles.
Tail Gunner Master Sergeant Farlan D Glover was seriously injured and died of his injuries in hospital the following day. He was aged 25 and the son of Noble and Lillie Glover of Walker, Alabama and had married Evelyn Green. He was buried in Cambridge American Cemetery but repatriated in 1948 and re-interred in McCormack Cemetery, Dora, Alabama.
The following were injured;
Radio Operator Technical Sergeant George H Bassette,
Assistant Engineer Technical Sergeant Arthur Wesley Prouty, aged 24.
Tail gunner Sergeant Frank H Wolfe aged 19.
Sergeant Sterling E Carper, aged 21