Friday, November 30, 2007

after the ball was over

I could not figure out a way to put a picture in a comment so here is a new post.
I emailed the site author to say how much I enjoyed the clip and he sent this picture with his reply.
Just look at those socks after a long day.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The proud young man

For Tom's benefit, this is a still from the video clip

A Proud young man.

Take a look at this young man .It seems the Dutch have better memories than us Brits.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Database of Jewish Civilian Casualties in WW2

Some of you may remember reading postings by Harold Pollins on the old BBC WW2 People's War site.

Harold has recently established  a database of Jewish Civilian Casualties in WW2 and asked if a link could be posted on this Blog.

The second link takes you to the:
 Jewish Genealogical Society.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Air Raid Precautions and Cigarette Cards

Photograph of a WW2 cigarette card demonstrating Air Raid precautions. This card, number 37 out of a series of 50, shows a 'Supply Depot for Respirators'.

I was recently given a batch of WW2 cigarette cards displaying various aspects of Air Raid Precautions (48 from a series of 50 cards). The individual cards would have been inserted into a packet of cigarettes. Unfortunately, over the years, some of the print has come off the reverse of the cards. The surface of the reverse side of the card was adhesive so it could be stuck into an album. The price of the album was 1d and were obtainable from the tobacconist. The Air Raid Precautions cards being distributed in packs of cigarettes perhaps rather reflects the way things were done in the war years.

Click on 'Comments' for additional information from the reverse of the card Supply Depots for Respirators.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Lieutenant Michael H. Weaver, 1st King's Dragoon Guards

In the Second World War Lieutenant Michael Herron Weaver K.C., B.A. (Cantab), Service No 79237, served with the 1st King's Dragoon Guards (Royal Armoured Corps). He was the son of Frederick William Herron Weaver and Lucy May Louise Weaver. Lieut. Weaver lost his life at the age of 29 on 17 October 1941 during the Desert campaign in the Middle East and is buried in the Tobruk War Cemetery, Libya (Grave No 6.N.12). He had been 'Mentioned in Despatches' and was also a Barrister by profession.

Michael Weaver was an Old Etonian and attended Trinity College, Cambridge where he was Captain of the University Skiing Team. Curiously, this fact is mentioned in the citation given by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. While reading back issues of 'The Whitehaven News' in the Cumbria County Archives I came across an article about Lieutenant Weaver. In 1936 he had been adopted by the Conservative Party as their Prospective Parliamentary Candidate in the Labour-held Workington Constituency. Because of the war he never actually stood for election in the Workington Consituency.

According to 'The Whitehaven News' Lieut. Weaver had - for a short time in 1938 - been engaged to the Hon. Jacquline Vereker, the only daughter of General Viscount Gort, V.C., although the engagement had later been broken off. Lieut. Weaver was evidently well educated and well connected. He fought and died in North Africa against Rommel's forces. May he rest in peace.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Dunkirk Memorial Cemetery

War Graves no matter in what country of the world tend to be respected and usually well tended by the local population. I have visited several War Cemeteries and memorials in different countries, but particularly in France. Therefore it was rather shocking to learn that War Graves at a Dunkirk cemetery (France) had been desecrated.

It had evidently been a much bigger shock and upsetting for relatives of some of those who are buried in the cemetery. There have been complaints to both the local Town Hall and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and as a result the cemetery has been sorted out (see the following article in the North East based 'Evening Chronicle':

Whether the authorities can apprehend those responsible is another matter.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

A National Day of Prayer, September 1940

The High Altar at St Mary's R.C. Church, Cleator
(Photograph by J. Ritson)
This article deals with how the British National Day of Prayer in September 1940 was observed in the area in and around Cleator Moor, West Cumberland (now Cumbria). St Mary's R.C. Church at Cleator was one of the churches where the National Day of Prayer was observed on Sunday 8 September 1940.
Reports about the church services appeared in the local newspaper 'The Whitehaven News'. These indicate that, although West Cumberland was more than 300 miles from southern England where the Battle of Britain was being fought at that time, all the church services were well attended.

For additional information about the 'National Day of Prayer' in West Cumberland click on 'Comments' below.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

A wartime tragedy at H.M.S. Fernieness Range, East Lothian, Scotland

The headstone of A.B. (Royal Navy) Alexander Rudd of Frizington, Cumberland (now Cumbria)
Alexander Rudd is buried in St Paul's Churchyard (C of E) in his home village of Frizington.

The inscription on Alexander's headstone reads:
"Resting where no shadows fall
In perfect peace He awaits us all".

(Photograph by J. Ritson)
One of the casualties whose name has been put forward for inclusion on the 'Roll of Honour' for the Cleator Moor area of Cumbria is Able Seaman (Royal Navy) Alexander Rudd whose home at the time of his accidental death in 1943 was in the village of Frizington, approximately two miles from Cleator Moor. Alexander Rudd, who was 20 years old at the time of his death was the son of Alexander Rudd and Hannah Rudd of Mill Street, Frizington.

Alexander's service number was P/JX 334136 and he was attached to H.M.S President III O/P. He was one of several victims accidentally killed at H.M.S Fernieness Range in East Lothian on 27 April 1943: as the result of a terrible tragedy.

For details about the accident at Ferny Ness on 27 April 1943 click on 'Comments' below.

Friday, November 02, 2007

A wartime German Houdini

Dust cover of the 1956 book 'The one that got away' by Kendal Burt and James Leasor

Recently, whilst reading through wartime editions of the Cumbrian weekly newspaper 'The Whitehaven News' for 1941 I came across an article in the edition dated 6 November about 'Baron' Franz von Werra, the German POW and wartime 'Air Ace'. Franz von Werra was to become known as 'The one that got away'. He had made his first escape attempt from the POW camp at Grizedale Hall in the Lake District in October 1940 and a second attempt later in the year from Camp No 13 (The Hayes) near Swanwick in the English Midlands.

Only after being taken out to Canada in January 1941 did Franz von Werra make his third - and ultimately successful - escape by jumping from a moving train and crossing the border into the U.S.A. which was still a neutral country at that stage of the war. Although he made it back home to Germany, Franz von Werra was to lose life on 25 October 1941 when the plane he was flying crashed into the sea on the Eastern Front. The November article I came across in 'The Whitehaven News' was reporting the statements coming from Berlin about Franz von Werra's disappearance. The newspaper described him as 'A German Houdini'.

In 1956 Kendal Burt and James Leasor wrote a book about Franz von Werra's escape entitled 'The one that got away'. I have a copy of this book and first read it many years ago as a child. The book was subsequently made into a film with the same title.

For additional information, click on 'Comments' below.