World War 2

Snodland Historical Society is compiling portfolios about Snodland people who were in the services, particularly during the Boer War, WWI and WWII. We are asking for information about them: service records, photographs, memories, family, work, school, etc. with a view to producing written accounts – which could also be posted on our website where families are happy for this to be done. We have basic information on casualties, but it is much harder to obtain information about survivors.

Any help will be gratefully received by the chairman, Andrew Ashbee at .


27 May 1940

Frank Walter Pitts Taylor

Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment; private; no. 6346450, 4th  Btn.; aged 22

Born 2 December 1917; baptised Christ Church, Lower Birling, 31 March 1918; son of Harry Bruce (a fitter) and Jessey Emma Taylor of Cox’s Cottages, 63 Malling Road

Memorials: Dunkirk Memorial, column 114; Snodland Cenotaph

2 October 1940

Cyril William Thorneycroft [‘Thorneycraft’ on Cenotaph]

Civilian casualty. Born c.1907; buried 5 October 1940, aged 33; papermaker; died at New Hythe

[Fred Stone’s ARP notes]: ‘2 October. Approx 13.65 a large H.E. bomb dropped on Reed’s Mill (East section) smashing machinery, causing one death (Mr Thorndycroft of Holboro’ Road) and 3 casualties.’

Son of Mr and Mrs T, Thorneycroft of West Brook Cottage, Mill Street, East Malling;

husband of Freda Thorneycroft of 4 Malling Road, Snodland

Memorial: Snodland Cenotaph; Westminster Abbey Roll of Honour

28 May 1940

Lewis Chapman

Private, 7347266, Royal Army Medical Corps, 131 Field Ambulance; aged 38

Buried Lille Southern Cemetery, Plot 5, Row C, grave 32

Born c.1902; son of Benjamin and Mary Arabella Chapman of 2 Delamere Road; husband of Margaret

Memorial: Snodland Cenotaph

12 March 1941

Allan Anthony Burtenshaw

Son of Allan Ernest and Lilian Edith Burtenshaw of 14 High Street, Snodland; born Windsor, 23 February 1920; married Muriel Vida, 1940. Played for the local cricket team.  Awarded  a  choral  scholarship  to  Eton  and  after graduating  he  joined  the RAFVR  in  April  1939  as  an  Airman  u/t  Pilot. Called  to  full-time  service  on  1 September 1939; completed his training at 23 EFTS and 5 FTS and was posted to 54 Squadron at Catterick on 29 September 1940.

Sergeant, no. 745616, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve; 54 Squadron; Spitfire II P7689. Shot down by Me109 near Maidstone.

Buried Snodland Cemetery, Section B, grave 1503: In Proud and Loving Memory of SERGT. PILOT ALLAN ANTHONY BURTENSHAW ‘Tony’ Aged 21 years Who gave his life in combat as one of the Immortal Few on March 12th 1941. To his gay and gallant spirit A happiness that once has been is imperishable

Memorial: Snodland Cenotaph

25 March 1941

Albert Harry Nicol

Corporal, no. 62034, Royal Air Force; died aged 43

Born c.1898; son of Helen; husband of Nina Lily of 93 Birling Road, Snodland

Memorials: Snodland Cenotaph; Runnymede Memorial, Panel 55

17 April 1941

Stanley Kingsland

Driver, no. T/232353, Royal Army Service Corps; died at Redhill, aged 33

Son of James Alfred and Louisa Annie of Bramley Road, Snodland. Born c. 1908; buried 24 April 1941, Snodland Cemetery, Section C, grave 1509

Memorial: Snodland Cenotaph

24 April 1941

Raymond Thomas Phillips

Ordinary seaman, no. P/JX 212297, Royal Navy; died aged 28 HMS Hood

Born c.1913; son of Launcelot and Rose; husband of Phyllis M Memorial: Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 51, Column 1

23 June 1941

Arthur Stanley Tugwell (Civilian casualty)

Died at Reed Paper Mills, Ditton; buried Snodland Cemetery, 26-06-1941, aged 47. [Frederick Stone, ARP notes]: ’23 June. Approx 2.35 two H.E.’s were dropped on Reed’s Mills, Aylesford, not doing much material damage to a stock room, but killing one man and injuring another.’

Husband of Lilian Tugwell of 1 Springvale Place, May Street, Snodland

Memorial: Snodland Cenotaph; Westminster Abbey Roll of Honour

26 June 1941

Harold Stanley Wooding

Stoker, 1st  Class, no. C/KX 107681, Royal Navy; died aged 20: HMS Burnham: Atlantic Convoy duties. Fleet Air Arm

Born c.1921; buried: St. John’s General Protestant Cemetery, St John’s City, West, Section 14, Grave 1

Memorial: Snodland Cenotaph

7 August 1941

Ronald Louvain Burton

Flight Sergeant, no. 812221, Royal Air Force (Auxiliary Air Force), 500 Squadron; missing in action in patrol over North Sea; died aged 26

Born c.1915; only son of William and Bessie Heaver Burton of 207 Holborough Road

Memorial: Snodland Cenotaph; Runnymede Memorial, Panel 35

28 November 1941

Frank Edward Chambers

Private, no. 6097106, The Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey), 2nd Battalion.; died aged 28

Born 16 Nov 1912; son of Harold Frederick and Agnes Matilda of 3 Gorham’s Cottages, High Street, Snodland; bapt. All Saints 23 January 1914 (twin with Robin Frederick); attended Brook St School from 8 Apr 1918.

Memorials: Snodland Cenotaph; Alamein Memorial, Column 54

11 February 1942

Herbert Ivo Johnson

Warrant Officer, Class II (C S M), no. 1867685, Royal Engineers, Regiment 2, Royal Bombay Sappers and Miners

Born 29 June 1914, Sandhole farm cottages; son of John and Caroline of 51 High Street [4 Hope Terrace], Snodland; husband of Elsie Florence of Chepstow, Monmouthshire; attended Brook St School from 4 Mar 1918.

Memorial: Snodland Cenotaph; Singapore Memorial, column 38

16 April 1942

 Alexander Charles Frederick Digby

Sergeant, no. 1181845, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve 156 Squadron. Buried at Vlissegem churchyard, Belgium, grave 2.

Born 7 July 1921 at 4 Oxford Street, Snodland, son of George Joseph and Mary Digby. Attended Brook Street School.

11 August 1942

Arthur W. G. Boakes

Private, no. 5630463, The Queen’s Royal Regiment (West Surrey), 1st/5th Battalion; buried El Alamein War Cemetery, grave XX.B.1

Born 16 Aug 1912; son of Arthur of 2 Medway Place, Church Fields; attended Brook St School from 4 April 1917

Memorial: Snodland Cenotaph

3 September 1942

Wilfred Ernest Williams

Guardsman,  no.  2611694,  Grenadier  Guards; died  Leybourne,  aged  37;  buried  7 September 1942, Snodland Cemetery, Section C, grave 1538

Born c.1906; husband of Florence May Williams of Bedford Park, Middlesex

Memorial: Snodland Cenotaph

5 January 1943

Albert William Baker

Private, no. 5346857, Royal Berkshire Regiment, 1st Battalion; Born c.1915; son of William and Louisa.

Buried Bangladesh, Chittagong War Cemetery, grave 6.B.9

Memorial: Snodland Cenotaph;

January 1943: 1st Battalion took up position on seashore, North of Chittagong

27 March 1943

Edward Walter Shirley

Leading Air Fitter, no. FAA/FX. 75535, Royal Navy; HMS Dasher: torpedoed at sea

Born c.1924; son of Walter Edward Shirley (1890-63) and Caroline Ellen (c.1884-1969)

Memorials: Snodland Cenotaph; Lee-on-Solent Memorial, Bay 4, Panel 4; Christ Church, Snodland, South Side, [23 P], headstone on parents’ grave.

7 April 1943

William Charles Tassell

Flight Sergeant, no. 1378543, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, 159 squadron

Born c.1908; son of George Thomas and Ada Harriet of 8 Chapel Road; husband of M. Tassell of Dartford

Memorials: Snodland Cenotaph; Singapore memorial, Column 425

4 May 1943

Duncan George Fowler

Private, no. 6097132, Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment, 6th Battalion; buried Tunisia, Medjez-el-Bab War Cemetery, grave 11.B.10

Born c.1916; son of Duncan George and Evelyn Gertrude; husband of Agnes Irene of Headcorn

Memorial: Snodland Cenotaph

1 August 1943

Peter Jackson

Private,  no.  5508497,  Hampshire  Regiment,  1st   Battalion;  buried Catania  War Cemetery, Sicily, grave I.J.25

Born c.1910; son of Mr and Mrs Thomas John Jackson of Snodland

Memorial: Snodland Cenotaph

17 October 1943

George Richard Stevenson

Corporal, no. 909839, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Buried Shropshire, Donnington Wood (St. Matthew), New Ground Row 13

Born c.1918; son of John and Mary; husband of Barbara May Stevenson of New Donnington

26 November 1943

Henry Garnsey Veitch

Born c.1913

Craftsman, no. 7639085, Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

Buried Myanmar, Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery, grave C2.C.1

Born c.1913; son of Henry John [killed on 28 May 1915 during WWI] and Cecilia of Snodland; husband of Lily Louise of Snodland

Memorial: Snodland Cenotaph

12 December 1943

Herbert William Saul

Able Seaman, no. P/SSX 16138, Royal Navy HMS Holcombe. Hit by homing torpedo from U593; sank

Born c.1914; son of Nelson and Rose; husband of Joyce, of 45 High Street, Snodland

Memorials: Snodland Cenotaph; Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Panel 75, Column 3

‘Convoy under attack by U593 during which HM Escort Destroyer TYNEDALE torpedoed by U593 off Bougie and sank in position 37.10N 06.05E. Took part in search for U593 with other escorts from KMS34 and three WELLINGTON aircraft from 36 and 458 Squadrons RAF without success. During the search operation, hit aft by T5 Homing Torpedo from U593-Oil fuel from after tanks ignited and ship settled rapidly by the stem. Ship sank rapidly in less than 5 minutes in position 37-20N 05.50E. Only 80 of ships company survived with 84 others missing or died later of wounds. (Note: U593 was forced to surface on 13th December after sighting by aircraft and depth charge attacks by USS WAINWRIGHT and HMS CALPE. This submarine was scuttled by crew in position 37-58N 05.58E and all the crew survived.’

30 January 1944

Frederick Arthur Day

Lance Corporal, no. 2721560, Irish Guards, 1st Battalion

Buried Italy, Anzio War Cemetery, grave IV.J.6

Born 16 April 1916; baptised Christ Church, Lower Birling 28 May 1916; son of William Arthur and Gladys of 6 Wells Terrace, Malling Road; husband of Irene Maud, of Whitstable

Memorial: Snodland Cenotaph

24 February 1944

Alfred Owen Burrluck

Sergeant,  no.  511787,  Royal  Air  Force,  84  Squadron;  buried  Yokohama War Cemetery, grave N.C.12 British Section

Son of Owen Allan and Minnie of 1 Dover Terrace, Holborough Road

Memorial: Snodland Cenotaph

10 April 1944

Donald Wilfrid Oliver

Private, no. 6348925, Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment; 4th Btn. Born c.1916; son of Albert and Mary Ann of 42 Bramley Road, Snodland Buried India, Kohima War Cemetery, grave no. 8.E.17

Memorial: Snodland Cenotaph

‘The enemy had established artillery to the north of Kohima, and at the GPT firing over open sights. Point-blank fire had destroyed the trenches round the DC’s Bungalow and enemy troops had occupied the area. A counter-attack by the Assam Rifles failed, so A Company was   moved   to   Summer   House   Hill   to   hold   the   enemy   from   further   advance. From the morning of 10th April battle raged around the Bungalow and across the width of the tennis court. Ammunition and food was got to the forward positions by crawling across open ground under cover of darkness. Constant mortaring and sniping interspersed with vicious little close quarter fights took a steady toll on both sides, and A Company was relieved by B Company from Kuku Piquet on 11th. And so it went on until B Company was relieved by the Assam Rifles on 14th April.’

22 April 1944

Herbert William Wright

Leading aircraftman, no. 1443870, Royal Air Force Volunteer Service; died Queen Mary Hospital, Roehampton, aged 33; buried 27 April 1944, Snodland Cemetery, Section C, grave 1585

Born c. 1911; son of Edgar Brooks Wright and Minnie; husband of Nina Gladys of Snodland

Memorial: Snodland Cenotaph

21 July 1944

Robert Gerald Sloman

No. 914220; Sergeant, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Born 30 June 1920; son of Frederick George and Edith Emily Sloman of Bank House, High Street, Snodland (father was the bank clerk/manager). Baptised at All Saints, Snodland, on 17 September, 1920; attended Brook St School from 4 May 1926; to Maidstone Grammar School on 24 Aug 1928

Memorials: Runnymede Memorial, Panel 237; Snodland Cenotaph; Kessel, Netherlands

‘Avro B.1.Lancaster Bomber (code name AA-Q). of 75 (N.Z.) Squadron took off from RAF Mepal, in Cambridgeshire, England on 21st July 1944 (presumably during the late evening) with a full load of bombs intended for a bombing raid on the Fischer Tropsch oil refinery/aviation fuel producer in Homberg, Germany.  It was attacked by a German night fighter over Heilbloem, Limburg, The Netherlands, on its way to the target. The pilot, a 21 year old New Zealander, Flt.Sgt. Neil Douglas Davidson, RNZAF, flew his badly damaged and blazing aircraft on over the River Maas towards Ruever (in the Beesel Council district) but then turned and tried to land in the river.  Although he succeeded in this the aircraft hit the bank and exploded.  The bomb aimer Sgt. T.G. Little RAF, thought to be Canadian, had managed to bale out but his parachute failed to open fully and he was badly wounded when he fell into the garden of a house in the village of Kessel.  He was taken to hospital by the Germans and subsequently became a prisoner of war surviving World War Two. The tail of the aircraft fell away from the fuselage just before impact in the river.  Flt. Sgt. Henry Hiscox was in his tail machine gun turret and fell with it into a cornfield. It is said that, as the Germans searched for Flt. Sgt. Hiscox, local people had the awful experience of hearing the whistle that aircrew carried to locate each other.  It sounded on and off for a couple of days and then fell silent.  Although the Dutch were brave and determined when it came to the rescue of downed airmen they knew they risked death if they were seen to be searching.  After about two weeks two farmer’s boys found Sgt. Hiscox’ body and he was buried by the Germans in the local Bessel Cemetery.  No remains of the pilot and the rest of the crew were ever found so they were presumed to have died in the explosion.  The Maas is a wide and fast flowing river. After the war the local people of Beesel erected a wooden cross and cared for Sgt. Hiscox’s grave until later it was taken over by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission who erected the usual headstone.  Every year on 4th May, which is Dutch Remembrance Day, there is a special parade and local school children take part in visiting Sgt. Hiscox’ grave and laying flowers on it. A memorial plaque to the 6 crew members who died has been put up close to the scene of the crash in the town of Kessel. That took place with many notables attending on 21st July 2011, exactly 67 years to the day and unveiled by the brother and sister of the Pilot. They came all the way from New Zealand specially for that. Family members of Sgt Goddard and Sgt Sloman also came to the unveiling from England.’

The crew of Lancaster AA-Q were The Pilot, Flt/Sgt. Neil Douglas Davidson aged 21 years. The Flight Engineer, Sgt. Robert Gerald SLOMAN, aged 24 years. Navigator, Sgt. Arthur Ernest John Goddard aged 22 years W.Op/Air Gnr., Sgt. Raymond Stanley Lang, aged 32 years. Air Bomber Sgt. T.G. Little, aged 25 years; Tail Gunner, Flt/Sgt. Henry John Hiscox, aged 35 years.

5 August 1944

Flying Bomb hit Malling Road: civilian casualties:

Leonard Henry Brooker, Malling Road, aged 55, buried Christ Church, Snodland, 11 August 1944; son of late Henry and Alice Ada Brooker; died at Maida Vale, Malling Road, Snodland

Mary Brooker, Malling Road, aged 56, buried Christ Church, Snodland, 11 August

1944; wife of Leonard Henry Brooker and daughter of late Alfred and Alice Slingsby of Whorne’s Place, Cuxton; died at Maida Vale, Malling Road, Snodland

Alice Maude Mary Brooker, Malling Road, aged 28, buried Christ Church, Snodland,

11 August 1944; daughter of Leonard Henry and Mary Brooker; died at Maida Vale, Malling Road, Snodland

Rayden  Saunders,  Upton  Villa,  Malling  Road;  died  at  Preston  Hall Emergency Hospital, aged 79, on 7 August 1944; buried Christ Church, Snodland, 12 August 1944; grave South side: 3J with widow Ellen Phoebe, died 23 November 1946, aged 79.

Horace Wells; retired chief stoker; 99 Malling Road [1 Elmfield Villas]; died aged 70

Police-sergeant William G. Braddick, aged 38, and wife Alice Olive, aged 37; both died  at  2  Elmfield  Villas,  Malling  Road,  Snodland.  William  was son  of  W.  S. Braddick of 5 Cecil Road, Gravesend.

Narcissa Gladdish, aged 9; bur. Snodland Cemetery 10 Aug 1944; daughter of Walter Alfred and Phyllis L. J. Gladdish of Pelham House, Holborough Road; injured when leaving  the  Malling  Road  surgery  and  died  later  the  same day  at  Preston  Hall Emergency Hospital

Memorial: Westminster Abbey Roll of Honour

25 October 1944

Cyril Percival/George Roots

Private, no. 14706895, Dorsetshire Regiment, 5th battalion

Born 16 Aug 1925; son of Mr and Mrs Arthur William Roots of Snodland; attended Brook St School from 21 May 1930

Memorials: Snodland Cenotaph; Groesbeek Memorial, Panel 5

19 March 1945

Gordon Leonard Barnes

Lance Corporal, no. 6348213, Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment, 1st Battalion. Buried Phaleron War Cemetery, grave no. 18.C.13

Born c.1920; son of Leonard Ralph and Beatrice Ethel of 41 Malling Road, Snodland

Memorial: Snodland Cenotaph

10 October 1945

Gordon Spencer Ashbee

Leading Aircraftman, no. 1651610, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve; 1941-2 at Ossington, nr Newark; travelled via Cape, S.Africa; in Cairo by 25 May 1943. Died in hospital of a gastric haemorrhage.

Buried Heliopolis War Cemetery, grave 4.B.22

Born 11 May 1907, son of Sidney Frederick and Edith Mary Ashbee of 2 Roman Villas, Church Fields, later 31 Queen’s Avenue; husband of Mildred of 44 High Street, Snodland; attended Brook St School from 7 Sep 1912 to ?; Associate of the Incorporated Society  of  Auctioneers  and  Landed  Property  Agents;  auctioneer  for Ambrose and Foster, 3 Market Buildings, Maidstone.

Memorial: Snodland Cenotaph; Headquarters of I.S.A.L.P.A. at 34, Queen’s Gate, London [now a hotel; whereabouts of the memorial unknown]

5 October 1946

Albert Edward Hall

Private, no. 1492229, Pioneer Corps; died in Wales, aged 28; buried 11-10-1946, Snodland Cemetery, Section C, grave 1637

Born c.1918; son of Alfred George and Fanny; husband of Nancy of Westerham

Memorial: Snodland Cenotaph

5 July 1947

Harry Sargeant

Private,  no.  14402384,  The  Parachute  Regiment,  A.A.C,  2nd   Battalion. Died  2 Victoria Terrace, aged 23

Born c.1924; son of Albert Henry and Alice Maud of 17 Constitution Hill, Snodland

Buried Snodland Cemetery, 10 July 1947, Section C, grave 1664

13 May 1949

Alfred John Robinson

Private,  Royal  West  Kent;  captured  at  Dunkirk  and  imprisoned  in Germany [newspaper 20 Aug 1943]

Born 18 Feb 1916; son of Nicholas and Mrs Robinson of 2 Oxford Street, aged 33; buried Christ Church, Snodland, 13 May 1949; attended Brook St School from 27 July 1920