Monday, February 02, 2009

The Story of a Cumbrian Air Gunner

(1) Hensingham Wesleyan Church, Whitehaven
Ted Causer's funeral took place here on Friday 20 August 1943

(2) Headstone of Sgt Ted Causer, Hensingham, Cumbria
About Sergeant Edward (‘Ted’) Causer:

Sergeant (Air Gunner) Edward Causer (known as 'Ted'), Service No 2209008, served in the RAF during WW2 for about 6 months (February - August 1943). Air Gunners were often in the most vulnerable position in an aircraft and they suffered from a very high 'attrition rate'. So it was to prove with Ted Causer. He was listed as 'killed in action' on Monday 16 August 1943, at 19 years of age. At the time of writing this article (February 2009) I do not have the details of Ted’s final mission.

For additional information click on 'Comments' below


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional Information

(1) Remembering Sergeant Edward ('Ted') Causer, R.A.F.V.R.

Ted Causer is one of those remembered on the 'Roll of Honour' for the WW2 casualties of Cleator Moor, Cumbria. At the time of his death, the Causer family home was at 5 Rose Bank, Hensingham, Whitehaven - approximately 3 miles from Cleator Moor. Ted was well known throughout the district and - as will be seen- his death was deeply regretted by family and friends alike.

Ted Causer's family belonged to the Hensingham Wesleyan congregation (Methodists). The present-day Cleator Moor Methodist Church is also the centre of the Whitehaven Methodist Circuit. Cleator Moor Methodist Church is where those who belonged to the Free Churches during WW1 and WW2 and paid the Ultimate Sacrifice are commemorated.

Hence, as a Wesleyan, Ted Causer's funeral took place at the Hensingham Wesleyan Church (now known as Hensingham Methodist Church) on Friday 20 August 1943. According to the notice in the local newspaper 'The Whitehaven News' in 1943 the funeral cortege left the family home at Rosebank at 3 p.m. It would have taken about 5 minutes to arrive at the church. (A report about Ted's funeral service has been transcribed below).

Ted Causer was the son of Mrs Sarah E. Causer and the late Mr William Causer and in 1943 had other close relatives living in and around Whitehaven and Cleator Moor. Following the funeral service, Ted was interred at the nearby Hensingham Cemetery. He is one of four WW2 casualties who were laid to rest in that cemetery. I contacted the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for the location of the WW2 graves in Hensingham cemetery and later visited these graves.

The citation on Ted Causer's headstone - which would have been chosen by his immediate family - reads as follows:

"A dear face from our home has gone,
But loving memories linger on".

(NB: According to the CWGC, in the summer of 2009 Ted's original headstone was due to be replaced because of weathering).

(2) Report of Ted Causer's funeral
(From 'The Whitehaven News', Thursday August 26th 1943):

Hensingham Sergeant Killed

Formerly a cadet in Whitehaven Squadron A.T.C. and a L.Cpl in Hensingham Home Guard, Sergt (Air Gunner) Edward Causer, only son of Mrs and the late Mr W. Causer, Rose Bank, Hensingham, has been killed on operations. Before joining the R.A.F. in February last he was employed at Pattinson's Mill, Whitehaven.

There was a large attendance at the funeral service in Hensingham Methodist Church on Friday, conducted by Pastor A.J. Fielder, Kells. Miss M. James was the organist. Sergts B. Cowan, J.J. Singleton, W. Whitehead and R.D. Burrow of the Home Guard were bearers, and a guard of honour was provided by a detachment of the A.T.C. under Fl/Lieut A.T. Bennett, commanding Whitehaven Squadron A.T.C. and a detachment of the Home Guard commanded by Lieut J. Banks.

The interment was at Hensingham Cemetery and amongst those present were Mr J. Pattinson and Mr W. Pattinson of Messrs J. Pattinson and Sons; and Capt J. Bragg and Lieut R. Hartley, formerly of the Hensingham Home Guard. The many beautiful floral tributes included those from the Directors and Employees of Messrs J. Pattinson and Sons; Hensingham Liberal Club; Commanding Officer and officers of Whitehaven Squadron A.T.C. and the Commanding Officer and other ranks of Hensingham Home Guard."

(3) A family remembers

The following item remembering Ted Causer appeared in the 'In Memoriam' section of 'The Whitehaven News' a year after his loss (17 August 1944):


Causer - In loving memory of my dear son, Sergt Edward (Ted) Causer, R.A.F., killed in action, August 16, 1943, aged 19 years.

It is only those who have lost can tell
The loss of a loved one without "Farewell".

Deeply mourned by his sorrowing Mam, Uncle Harold, Uncles and Aunts at Cleator Moor, Kells and Hensingham. - 611".


(4) A lasting tribute

"Many years have passed since that fateful day
Yet we remember you once passed our way"

May the sacrifice made by Ted Causer and his family be remembered long into the future!

Monday, 02 February, 2009  

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