On my tour, I will be making special additional visits to pay my respects for some of Dad’s wartime friends who died.
On this week of remembrance, I would like to list them (in no particular order):
Stanley Wheatley ‘Ack’ Greenwood
Killed during a training exercise off Lytham St Annes in February 1942. He is buried at Hessle Cemetery, Hull.
Flight Lieutenant James ‘Jimmy’ Ward
Died in a flying accident in a Gloster Meteor for the RAF in 1952. His remains are interred at Landican Cemetery, Birkenhead.
Squadron Leader Joe Berry DFC**
Killed in October 1944, shot down in Holland by small-arms fire. Joe is buried in Holland, but Eden Camp Museum in Yorkshire has an exhibition featuring him, and the V1 bombers he combatted: Joe Berry had the highest number of successes in shooting them down.
Pilot Officer Kurt Kenneth Keston Pelmore
Killed with his Wellington bomber crew on a mission to Dusseldorf on 27 December 1941. Keston founded the Bentley Owners Club, and I will be visiting their museum near Banbury.
Sergeant Pilot Tommy Hunter, who died on returning from an intruder operation over the continent in September 1941. His plane, a Whirlwind fighter, ditched in the sea and no trace of him was ever found. He has no grave, but is commemorated at the Monk Hesleden (Blackhall Colliery) cemetery in County Durham. I will also visit Predannack, from where took off on his final mission. A moving memorial at Predannack has these words, so very apt for Dad’s friend Tommy Hunter:
This memorial honours all ranks and nationalities
that served here during World War II.
While casting your eyes on this memorial
spare a thought for those who flew from here
and failed to return, many have no known grave.
“Like a breath of wind, gone in a fleeting second,
only the memories now remain.”