Saturday, December 22, 2012

Presumed killed during the evacuation from Greece


1. Headstone remembering the Simpson family 
Whitehaven Cemetery, Cumberland (now Cumbria)
[Grave Ref: 5/Q/60]
Courtesy of Mrs Joan Little, Cumbria County Archives volunteer

2. Cleator Moor War Memorial
[Remembrance Sunday, 11 November 2012]

Private William Edward Simpson, R.A.S.C. from Cleator Moor, Cumberland (now Cumbria) was presumed killed in action during the military evacuation from Greece in 1941.
For additional information click on 'Comments' below. 


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information

Some biographical information

Private William Edward Simpson, R.A.S.C. from Cleator Moor, Cumberland (now Cumbria) was the son of John Joseph ('Jack') Simpson and Agnes Simpson. Initially he was posted as 'missing' following the Allied military evacuation from Greece in 1941. He was finally presumed to have been killed by the War Office only in July 1945 - over four years later.

Before enlisting to the Army, Private had been employed at Heathcotes' Foundry, Cleator Moor. He is commemorated on the Athens Memorial, Greece and by the Cleator Moor 'Roll of Honour'. Additionally, he is remembered on the headstone of his parents in Whitehaven Cemetery. His parents moved from their Cleator Moor home, Stirling House, to the neighbouring town of Whitehaven after the war.

The inscription on the family headstone in Whitehaven Cemetery reads as follows:

"In loving memory of JACK, beloved husband of AGNES SIMPSON, died 8th Nov. 1963, aged 76 years.
Also, AGNES, his wife, died 22nd May 1983, aged 95 years
and William, their son, died 1941.
At Rest.

Also their daughter MABEL, died 31st March 1987.
At Rest".

Missing and finally presumed killed

In July 1945, Mr and Mrs Simpson received the following letter from the War Office regarding the fate of their son, Private William E. Simpson:

"With reference to enquiries which have been made regarding your son, Pte. W.E. Simpson, R.A.S.C., I am directed to state that the Department has, reluctantly and with deep regret, reached the conclusion that your son must have lost his life in the during the in Greece or during the evacuation.

The circumstances of his death cannot be stated with certainty as it appears he was detached from his unit on a special mission, but it is probable that he was lost when a ship evacuating troops from Greece was torpedoed. It is, therefore, being recorded that Pte. Simpson is presumed to have been killed in action between 19th and 30th April, 1941, the date on which he was last seen and the date of the termination of the evacuation of Greece".

CWGC citation

This is the Commonwealth War Graves Commission citation for Private William Edward Simpson, R.A.S.C.:

Rank: Private
Service No: T/164261
Date of Death: Between 19/04/1941 and 30/04/1941
Age: 21
Regiment/Service: Royal Army Service Corps, 1 Res. M.T. Coy.
Panel Reference: Face 9.
Memorial: ATHENS MEMORIAL (Greece)

Additional Information:
Son of John Joseph and Agnes Elizabeth Simpson, of Cleator Moor, Cumberland.


Cumbria County Archives & Local Studies Centre
(Whitehaven Records Office)

Mrs Joan Little, County Archives volunteer

'The Whitehaven News'

Saturday, 22 December, 2012  

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