The Second World War 1939 – 1945
AIRCRAFTMAN 2ND CLASS JACK ATKINS.
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Service number; 1185673.
Died on Monday, October 8th 1945,
Aged 25 years.
Castor (St. Kyneburgha) churchyard,
AIRCRAFTMAN 2ND CLASS JACK ATKINS.
Died October 8th 1945, aged 25 years.
Husband of M. K. Atkins, Stocks Hill, Castor, Peterborough.
Father of Ann Mary Atkins.
Aircraftman Atkins contracted dysentery in North Africa. He was invalided out of the Royal Air Force and died after the War. He was married, with one daughter. His wife worked for Major Pelham before her marriage. Jack worked as a driver for Taylor Brothers, starting there in 1937. It is thought that his wife moved to Wiltshire after his death.
Report copied from The Peterborough Standard, dated October 19th 1945.
ATKINS. _ Roehampton, October 8th, Jack Atkins, R.A.F., of Castor, 25.
His gravestone in Castor churchyard has the following inscription:
Aircraftman 2nd Class
Royal Air Force
8th October 1945
In loving memory of my dear husband Jack
Jesu lover of my soul.
GUNNER THOMAS WILLIAM GIBSON.
Service number; 914882.
Died on Wednesday, June 30th 1943.
Aged 29 years.
Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.
Coll. grave 6. B. 70 – 74.
GUNNER THOMAS WILLIAM GIBSON.
Died June 30 1943, aged 29 years.
Son of Thomas and Laura Gibson, husband of Alison B. Gibson, of Branksome, Dorset.
Thomas served as a Gunner in the Royal Artillery and was later attached to the 18th Indian Division. He was posted to Singapore and taken prisoner by the Japanese. Later he was sent to work on the notorious Burma – Siam railway.
He died while in Japanese hands and was buried in Kanchanaburi War Cemetery.
Tom came to live at Castor when his widowed mother, Laura, married Charles Baker who was groom for Major Pelham, of “The Cedars.” Laura was the district nurse in Castor. The family home was in High Street, Castor.
There is a memorial stone in Castor churchyard with the following inscription :
Gunner Thomas William Gibson
Died June 30th 1943
P. O. W. in Japanese hands
Aged 29 years.
PRIVATE MAISIE RACHEL HILL.Auxiliary Territorial Service.
Service number; W/113748.
Died on October 23rd 1943.
Aged 19 years.
Castor (St. Kyneburgha) Churchyard,
PRIVATE MAISIE RACHEL HILL.
Died Saturday, October 23rd 1943, aged 19 years.
Daughter of Cardinal and Hilda Hill, 49, Main Street, Ailsworth, Peterborough.
Sister of Stanley, Reginald and David.
Reports copied from The Peterborough Standard and the Stamford Mercury, dated October 1943.
Killed in a “Jeep”.
Castor Village mourns Miss Maisie Hill.
When the funeral of Maisie Rachel Hill, the 19-years-old A.T.S. girl who was killed in a “jeep” on Saturday, took place at Castor on Wednesday, life-long residents of the village said they had never seen the Church so full. Total strangers wrote the most moving letters of sympathy to the stricken family, and the American Forces were also represented by a Major and a Captain.
Maisie was travelling home from Nottingham; where she was in the pay office, on an unexpected leave. Dark, well-built, with a ready smile, Maisie Hill was popular both with her comrades and in the village. There were no fewer than seventy-four wreaths, and her parents are deeply moved by so widespread an expression of sympathy. Her father, Mr. Cardinal N. Hill, is farm foreman to Captain W. Feeny. A brother, Stanley, was with the cavalry until he was released for farm work; and another brother, Reg, is in the Army and has been home on compassionate leave. Her youngest brother, David, is still at school.
Maisie was given a lift in a “jeep” at Wittering, and two minutes later, at Mr. Abbott’s cottages by the Thornhaugh forge, at about 3.45 in the afternoon, the “jeep” struck a stationary lorry. Maisie was terribly injured, and mercifully died instantaneously. The driver of the “jeep” was practically unhurt. It was not until over four hours later that the shocking news was brought by P.C. Maddox to the little thatched cottage where her parents live.
It was a simple funeral service on Wednesday, with only one hymn, “The radiant morn hath passed away”- and the 23rd Psalm. The coffin was draped with the Union Jack, and immediately behind walked the parents and the two elder brothers. Other immediate mourners were Mrs. W. Sismey (grandmother), Mr. and Mrs. Albert Sismey, Longthorpe, Mr. and Mrs. Percy Sismey, Mr. and Mrs. George Hudson, Mr. George Neville, Mr. Arthur Hill, Deeping, Mrs. P. Youngman, Sheringham, Mrs. E. Swift, Luton, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Sismey, Walton, Mr. Frank Sismey (uncles and aunts), Mrs. Margaret Crowson, (cousin). The village schoolmaster (Mr. T. Salmon) was at the organ.
The inquest on Monday was adjourned indefinitely after only formal evidence.
A. T. S. KILLED IN “JEEP”.
Road fatality at Thornhaugh.
A fatal accident occurred on the Great North Road, at Thornhaugh on Saturday afternoon, the victim of which was a 19-year-old member of the A.T.S., Miss Maisie Rachel Hill, of Main Street, Ailsworth.
Miss Hill who was travelling home on leave, was a passenger in a “jeep”, which was involved in a collision with a stationary Army lorry. She was killed outright, but the driver of the “jeep” was only slightly hurt.
Miss Hill was the only daughter of Mr. C. N. Hill, farm foreman to Captain W. B. Feeny, and of Mrs. Hill, for whom and her three brothers, deepest sympathy is felt.
Only evidence of identification was taken at the inquest, which was opened by the Hunts. Coroner (Mr. Lionel Abrahams) on Monday, and the inquiry was then adjourned sine. die.
Report dated October 29th 1943.
AILESWORTH A.T.S. GIRL KILLED.
Thrown Out of Jeep In Collision.
An Ailesworth A.T.S. private, coming home on leave, met her death on the Great North Road, on Saturday afternoon.
The deceased was Pte. Maisie Rachel Hill, aged 19, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal Hill, Main Street, Ailesworth. The accident occurred a quarter-of-a-mile north of Thornhaugh. Miss Hill was walking, and accepted a lift in a jeep, driven by a technical sergeant in the American Army. There was a collision between the jeep and a stationary Army lorry, and Miss Hill was thrown out. She received terrible injuries, and died almost at once. The sergeant was not hurt.
Miss Hill had been in the A.T.S. nearly two years. After leaving Castor school, she worked on a farm, and later went to the London Brick Co. Her father is farm foreman for Captain W. B. Feeny, of Ailesworth, and there are two sons, Gnr. Reginald Hill, R.A. and Mr. Stanley Hill.
Obituaries from local newspapers;
HILL:- Thornhaugh, Oct 23, Maisie Rachel Hill, A.T.S. Ailesworth, 19.
Ailesworth- October 23, Maisie Rachel Hill, 19.
Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal Hill and family, wish to thank all kind friends and relations for the kind sympathy shown to them in their terribly sad and sudden bereavement; also for the beautiful floral tributes.- Please accept this, the only intimation, as it is impossible to answer all letters.
The gravestone in Castor churchyard has the following inscription:
In loving memory of
Dearly loved daughter of
Cardinal and Hilda Hill
Who died 23rd October 1943
Aged 19 years.
Blessed are the pure in heart.
Maisie worked at London Brick Company before joining the A.T.S. at the age of 17. She worked in the Accounts Department at Chilwell Barracks, Nottingham.
Copied from an original newspaper cutting.
AILESWORTH A. T. S. GIRL KILLED.
Thrown Out of Jeep in Collision
An Ailesworth A. T. S. private coming home on leave met her death on the Great North Road, on Saturday afternoon.
The deceased was Pte. Maisie Rachel Hill, aged 19, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Cardinal Hill, Main – street, Ailesworth. The accident occurred a quarter-of-a-mile north of Thornaugh. Miss Hill was walking, and accepted a lift in a jeep, driven by a technical sergeant in the American Army. There was a collision between the jeep and a stationary Army lorry, and Miss Hill was thrown out. She received terrible injuries, and died almost at once. The sergeant was not hurt.
Miss Hill had been in the A. T. S. nearly two years. After leaving Castor school
she worked on a farm, and later went to the London Brick Co. Her father is farm foreman for Capt. W. B. Feeny, of Ailesworth, and there are two sons, Gnr. Reginald Hill, R. A, and Mr Stanley Hill.
Our Castor and Ailesworth correspondent writes:
In the A. T. S. Pte. Hill bore a high character, and was shortly to receive her first stripe as lance-corpl. Her Commanding Officer speaks highly of her. She was a remarkably fine girl, not only physically, but in her general character. She was of an amiable disposition, possessing many sterling qualities, and she made friends wherever she went. She will be very much missed by her relatives and friends.
ADJOURNED SINE DIE.
An inquest was opened at a Royal Air Force sick bay on Monday afternoon by the Huntingdonshire Coroner, Mr Lionel Abrahams.
Dr. J. C. Hill, R.A.F. medical officer, said that death was due to a fracture of the base of the skull, and other violent injuries.
The American sergeant said he gave the girl a lift, and half-a-mile farther along the road he saw a stationary army lorry parked to his right, by the roadside, the jeep collided with the lorry, and the girl was thrown out and killed instantly.
Junior Commander, Roake, A.T.S. gave evidence of identification, and P.C. Webb also gave evidence. The inquiry was adjourned sine die.
The funeral took place at Castor Church on Wednesday, Canon Carleton officiating. Mr. T. Salmon played “ The Radiant Morn hath passed away,” and the coffin was draped with the Union Jack, and saluted by representatives of the A.T.S.
The mourners were the parents, Mr. Stanley Hill, Gnr. Reginald Hill ( brothers), Mrs . W. Sismey (grandmother), Mr. and Mrs. P. Sismey, Mr. and Mrs. A. Sismey, Mr. and Mrs. Hudson (uncles and aunts), Mrs. Youngman, Mrs. Swift (aunts), and Mrs. Crowson (cousin).
Also at the church were the Hon Mrs. C. Pelham, Mrs. R. P. Winfrey, Col. R. J. C. Crowden (representing Capt W. B. Feeny), Junior Commander Roake (O. C. K Co. A.T.S.), Cpl Wainer, L/Cpl Sykes, L/Cpl Kinch (representing A.T.S.), Major McGovern, Captain Cicero (representing a fighter squadron of the U.S.A.A.F.), Mrs. Gilbert, Mrs. and Miss. Rawlings, Mrs. Gale, Mrs Peppercorn, Peter Peppercorn, Mrs. A. Woodward, Mrs. G. Taylor, Mrs. A. Mason(Sutton), Miss Britten (Sutton), Mrs. Neal, Mrs A. Glover.
Miss. Hill, Mrs. George, Mrs. Ward, Mrs. W. Dudley, Mrs. Warr, Mrs. Ashton, Mrs. Leader, Mrs. White, Mr. and Mrs. A. E. Wyldbore, Mrs. H. Sutton, Mrs. Smith (Glinton), Mrs. Jackson, Mrs. E. W. Taylor, Mr. and Mrs. W. Gibbons, Mrs. W. Taylor, Mrs. Wadd, Mr. A. Taylor, Mrs. B. Ball, Mrs. R. Hill, Mrs. J. Ward, Mrs. Bailey, Miss. Kathleen Bailey, Mrs. A. Cooke, Mrs. A. Pell, Mrs. F. Hornsby, Mrs. C. Ward, Miss. P. Yew.
Mrs. Roffe (Waternewton), Mrs. Hankins, Mrs. Parker, Miss Afford, Mrs. F. Afford, Mrs. W. Pepper, Mrs. Hopkins, Mrs. A. Gibbins, Miss Tilley, Mrs. Jauncey, Miss. Harker, Miss. Taylor, Mrs. L. Longfoot, Mrs. and Miss. Goodyer, Miss. Griffin, Miss Snart, Mrs. H. Cooper, Mr. and Mrs. F. Taylor, Mrs. and Miss. Fox, Mrs. H. Longfoot, Mrs. C. Sharpe, Miss. B. Sharpe, Mrs. L. Sharpe, Mrs. J. Fox, Mrs. F. Sharpe, Mrs. F. Harris, Mrs. Chitty, Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Story, Mr. S. Smith, and Mr. S. Brown.
Among the many floral tributes were the following:
From the officers of K Co, A.T.S.; In remembrance from the members of K Co, A.T.S.; With deepest sympathy and love from her workmates, A.T.S.; With deepest sympathy from the Ailesworth and district ex-Servicemen; In fondest memory from the colleagues and friends of Wing 8, R.A.P.C.
Others were sent by her broken-hearted Mam, Dad and brothers; Col. and Mrs. R. J. C. Crowden; Capt. W. B. Feeny; the Rector and Mrs. Carleton; the Hon. Mrs. Anderson Pelham; Mrs. H. Sharpe and family; Mr. and Mrs. E. Garfield, Pearl, little Pat and Peter; Mr. and Mrs. Jinks and Mr. and Mrs. Harman; Edith and Tom, Walton; Auntie Alice, Uncle Ernie, cousins Iris, Rupert and Colin; Uncle, Auntie and the girls, Longthorpe; Grandad, Grandma and Frank; Aunt Mabel and Uncle George; Uncle Bill, Ida and Gillian; Mrs. Bouy and family; Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Longfoot; Mr. and Mrs. C. Taylor; Aunt Clara; Mr. and Mrs. A. R. Glover; Mr. and Mrs. J. Ward and Mrs. Manning, Ailesworth.
Mr. and Mrs. C. Sharpe; Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Goodyer, Winnie and Edna; Mr. and Mrs. H. Coulson, Mrs. Smith, and Mrs. C. Oliver; Frank, Grace and the children; Aunt Sarah and Uncle Jack; Pollie, Arthur and Gladys; Mr. and Mrs. R. Cox and Ted (Upton); Mrs. Fox and Hilda; Aunt Sophia, Uncle Jake and Margarette (Helpston); Mrs. M. Chappell; Mr. and Mrs. B. Ball and Sheila; Mrs. Harker, Michael, Johnnie and Eileen; R. and C. Hill; Edna and Melvyn; Mr. and Mrs. Halls and Peg; Aunt Fanny, Alf, and Sarah; Mr. and Mrs. M. Brown and Olive; Aunt Elsie, Uncle Wacky, Joan and Billy; D. Oliver and F. Jackson.
Millie and Harry; Mr. and Mrs. Walter Taylor and children; Mr. and Mrs. T. Neal and family; Dot, Philip and family, Sheringham; Mr. and Mrs. Afford, Charlie and Olive; Mr. and Mrs. Hankins; Mrs. Parker; Mr. and Mrs. A. A. Cooke and family; Mr. and Mrs. W. Gibbons; Gladys and Mrs Stone; Mr. and Mrs. Woodward and family, Beat, and Grace; Mr. and Mrs. Britten (Sutton); Mr. and Mrs. Snart and family; Mr. and Mrs. Wilfred Dudley and family; Victor Howard.
Mr. and Mrs. Story; Doris and Bill; Minnie and Fred; Mrs. Bailey; Mr. and Mrs. W. T. Cooke; Mrs. F. Taylor, Bettie and Mrs F. Thompson; Mr. and Mrs. Burton and Mr. and Mrs. T. Gibbons; Eva, Harry and Rex; Reg; Vi and Bob, Mr. and Mrs. G. Griffin and Mrs. A. Griffin; Mr. and Mrs. Lunn, Gladys and Harold; Eileen and Bill, and Mr. Bass; Elsie and Phyllis and Bob, and Eva Gibbons.
PRIVATE WILLIAM CYRIL KINGSTON.
2nd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
Service number; 14601247.
Died on August 14th 1944.
Aged 36 years.
Bayeux War Cemetery,
PRIVATE WILLIAM CYRIL KINGSTON.
Died August 14th 1944, aged 36 years.
Son of William and Ethel Kingston, of Castor, Northamptonshire.
Report copied from The Peterborough Standard, dated August 25th 1944:
Pte. William Cyril Kingston, Royal Warwickshire Regt., second son of Mrs. and the late Mr. W. Kingston, Prince of Wales Inn, Castor: Died of wounds on August 14th in North West Europe. Aged 36, he was educated at Peterborough Technical School, later working as a carpenter for Bagley and Cooper of Peterborough. He was a member of Milton Cricket Club and played football for Castor. His younger brother, L/Cpl John Kingston, is serving in France.
Report copied from The Peterborough Standard, dated September 1st 1944:
SOLDIER’S DEATH. – Much sympathy is felt for Mrs. W. Kingston and family in their bereavement through the death of Private William Cyril Kingston, on active service. He was the second son of Mrs. and the late Mr. W. Kingston of the Prince of Wales Inn.
There is a memorial stone in Castor churchyard with the following inscription:
William Cyril Kingston
Died of wounds 14th August 1944.
Interred in France.
Aged 36 years.
Further information about William Kingston on following pages.
WILLIAM CYRIL KINGSTON
BORN 10TH SEPTEMBER 1907
DIED 14TH AUGUST 1944
William Cyril Kingston was interred at the English Cemetery at Bayeux following his death from wounds sustained during fighting to close the Falaise Gap near Caen, Normandy. This battle was judged by many to be the turning point of the second world war, within the European theatre.
Around five thousand headstones mark the graves of soldiers, mostly under the age of twenty-five, many of them teenagers, some of them brothers. Cyril received only the basic training for the D-Day landings. This particular campaign lasted only two days after Cyril’s death.
William Cyril was born in the house next to the Congregational Chapel, Church Hill, Castor. He was the second son of William and Ethel Kingston, whose family consisted of three sons and five daughters. He sang as a boy soprano for many years in the church choir. After leaving Castor Fitzwilliam School he attended the Technical College on Broadway, Peterborough, learning the trade of carpenter/joiner, and was indentured to Mr. R. S. Jellings as an apprentice for four years. His wages were sixteen shillings (80p) per week for the first year, rising two shillings a week per year, until he was earning twenty-two shillings (£1.10) a week when his apprenticeship ended. He continued to work for R. S. Jellings until the outbreak of the Second World War, when he was called by the government to help with repairing damage to airfield, etc. He was called up for service in the army and enlisted at Norwich on 6th May 1943, in his thirty-sixth year.
Cyril was a talented sportsman, playing football for Castor and Ailsworth, also the Post Office Engineers, Peterborough. He was vice captain of the Milton Park Cricket Club, which was formed soon after the family moved to live at Milton Ferry when his father was promoted to Clerk of Works by Mr. G. Fitzwilliam. He was also quite proficient at the game of darts and made many friends in the villages.
Every year the village lads would hire a lorry plus camping equipment and off they would go for their annual holiday at Heacham. Everyone had a most enjoyable time.
For a short while Cyril served with the Anglian Regiment, which then merged with the Royal Hertfordshire Regiment. He joined D Company where he remained until being assimilated into the Second Royal Warwickshire Regiment during the course of the battles subsequent to the Normandy landings.
His last letter to his mother was written on August 13th 1944, and he died of wounds on August 14th 1944.
On the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of World War Two, an article appeared in the Peterborough Evening Telegraph and the Citizen which caught the eye of Cyril’s youngest sister. Mr. Ces Lunn of Longthorpe had given an interview to the Citizen about his time in France and mentioned the death of his friend Billy Kingston. She contacted him and asked him to describe how it had happened. He was only too glad to speak about his friend as follows:
“We were unable to remove the Germans from Caen and had been forced to retreat and reorganise ourselves three times. We finished up in the Warwickshire Regiment. After we had dug ourselves in we had a field of high grass in front of us, and behind that was a large dense wood. We weren’t sure whether there were Germans there so
a patrol was sent to find out. Cyril was one of these and he called out and waved as they passed us. It was a lovely day, blue sky and not a cloud to be seen. Everything went suddenly very quiet and still. Then we heard two gunshots – only two – and the order to advance was given. We had to flush the Germans out of the wood. I saw two stretchers being rushed back to base and I called out to the bearers to ask who had been wounded. One of them was Cyril, so I shouted, “how bad?” and one of the bearers waved his hand across his chest and I knew that he had probably gone. The other chap had a leg wound and I think that he recovered. I still have nightmares, and those of us who survived were very lucky.”
Ces Lunn was a very sprightly eighty-one year old, although he had had much personal sorrow in his life. Cyril had been a close friend for years. Ces also knew Eric, the eldest brother, very well, and although he had never met John the youngest, he knew of him.
Cyril died the day after he was wounded but so great was the carnage that his family knew nothing about this until fourteen days later. His army career was a mere sixteen months.
Some time later a memorial service was held one evening in St. Kyneburgha’s Church, Castor, and a pair of standard oak candlesticks for the altar, given by his mother, were consecrated. the church was filled to capacity and the Rev. Tom Adler, an army chaplain during the war, arranged the service, which included the hymns, Onward Christian Soldiers and Sunset and Evening Star, the words of which were written as a poem by Lord Alfred Tennnyson. Sometime later, a pair of
processional candlesticks, now in the Lady Chapel, were presented to the church, commemorating the early deaths of Eric and John Kingston, by Mrs. Gladys Kingston and the sisters of Eric, John and Cyril.
Thus the old Castor family’s history is now complete.
CORPORAL FREDERICK WILLIAM THOMPSON.5th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment.
Service number; 5889128.
Died on Thursday, April 29th 1943.
Aged 27 years.
Thibar Seminary War Cemetery,
CORPORAL FREDERICK WILLIAM THOMPSON.
Died April 29th 1943, aged 27 years.
Son of George and Isabella Thompson, East Jarrow. Husband of Elizabeth Thompson, of Maffit Road, Ailsworth, Northamptonshire.
Report copied from a local newspaper.
NEWS OF LOCAL MEN IN FORCES.
Died of wounds.
Corporal Frederick W. Thompson, son of Mrs. and the late Mr. G. Thompson, of East Jarrow, has died of wounds in North Africa. This news was received by his wife, who is now living in Ailsworth, Peterborough.
Before leaving Jarrow, Corporal Thompson was employed by Bilton Nurseries, Ltd. He was 27 years of age, and joined the Army at the outbreak of war.
Copies of :-
Letter from the Record Office, dated May 11th 1943
Letter from Buckingham Palace.
Letter from the War Office,
Also a newspaper report about the Tunisian Campaign.
Copy of a newspaper article “Drumhead service at Castor,” during which, Raymond Thompson, who was now 16 years old, was presented with a cheque for £15. Money which should have been given to his father at the village “Welcome Home” celebrations at the end of the war.
Frederick Thompson was born in East Jarrow on January 7th 1916. He moved to Castor to work at Goodyer’s Nursery. His son Raymond, was one year and two days old when his father was killed.