THE FALLEN OF 7th LOYALS / 92nd LAA
FROM the formation of 7th Loyals on July 4, 1940, to D-Day, at least six men died while on duty in England, although new information suggests this figure could have been substantially larger – and I am still researching this aspect.
The unit’s first recorded fatal casualty was Private Albert Stones, killed by German bombing during the Blitz in Liverpool in December 1940. Three more men were killed by mines during training. A further two died in traffic accidents.
A total of 21 officers and men from the regiment, or attached to it, are officially listed as having been killed during the 11 months from D-Day to VE-Day, a casualty rate of around six per cent. Again, this figure may have been larger and is still being researched.
The official casualty list is not comprehensive, especially in respect of men who were wounded. For instance, the wounding of Leo McCarthy a few days after D-Day is unrecorded and I was told by the late Jack Prior that other wounded casualties were also not recorded.
The largest death toll for any one incident was on D-Day, when seven men were killed in the shelling of the liberty ship Sambut in the Channel. An eighth man died three days later of wounds. On July 18, four men were killed in the Orne bridgehead by German bombing, and on July 27 two men died in another bombing attack. Other deaths came singly. Details of casualties listed here are supplied by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Those who have no known grave are honoured on the appropriate war memorial. Names are given in chronological order of death. Where several men died on the same day, the list is in alphabetical order. Numbers refer to positions on memorials or to grave plot numbers.
3863483 Private Albert Edward Stones, no age recorded (C Company, 7th Loyals). Died December 21, 1940. No further personal information. St Pancras Cemetery, Middlesex, Joint Grave 69
3863734 Private William Hewitt, aged 28 (7th Loyals, Company unknown). Died April 6, 1941. Son of William and Sarah Ellen Hewitt, of Wavertree, Liverpool. Scarborough (Manor Road) Cemetery, Section U, Row 4, Grave 18
3863796 Private Edward Stephen McGreavy, aged 28 (7th Loyals, Company unknown). Died April 6, 1941. No further personal information. Liverpool (Ford) Roman Catholic Cemetery, Section A.F, Grave 638
3862219 Private Sydney Taylor, aged 28 (A Company, 7th Loyals). Died September 15, 1941. Son of George and Annie Taylor, of Openshaw, Manchester. Droylsden Cemetery, Lancashire, Section S, Grave 299
1836235 Gunner George Harry Albert Dansey, aged 20 (Battery unknown). Died May 20, 1942. Son of Victor George and Florance Lavinia Dansey, of Clacton-on-Sea, Essex. Hertford Corporation Cemetery, Hertfordshire, Section D, Row D, Grave 45
3853592 Gunner Frederick Wilson, no age recorded (318 Battery). Died June 21, 1942. No further personal information. North Sheen Cemetery, Surrey, Section CC, Grave 463
1506637 Serjeant Frederick Blaker, aged 25 (318 Battery) Died June 6, 1944. Son of Edwin A and Beatrice M Blaker, of Worthing, Sussex. Bayeux Memorial, Panel 11, Column 1
2343775 Corporal George Challinor, aged 28 (Royal Corps of Signals attached RHQ). Died June 6, 1944. Son of Arthur and Emma Barlow Challinor, of Nantwich, Cheshire. Dover (St James’s) Cemetery, Kent
3863436 Bombardier Sidney William Crane, aged 30 (RHQ). Died June 6, 1944. Son of William George Crane and Hannah Crane (nee Marshall); husband of Ivy Winnifred Crane, of Fulham, London. Bayeux Memorial, Panel 11, Column 1
3863578 Gunner Herbert Alexander Davies, aged 32 (RHQ). Died June 6, 1944. Son of George and Maud Davies, of Liverpool; husband of Grace Elizabeth Davies, of Liverpool. Bayeux Memorial, Panel 11, Column 2
3862770 Gunner Wilfred Stanley Lever, aged 35 (318 Battery). Died June 6, 1944. Son of James Albert and Alice Lever, of Northwich, Cheshire. Bayeux Memorial, Panel 11, Column 2
3862773 Serjeant Percy David Ring, aged 32 (318 Battery). Died June 6, 1944. Son of Mr and Mrs John Ring; husband of of Jessie Ring, of Redhill, Surrey. Bayeux Memorial, Panel 11, Column 1
3862777 Bombardier John Thomas Wolfe, aged 32 (318 Battery). Died June 6, 1944. Son of John and Elizabeth Wolfe; husband of Amy Wolfe, of Liverpool. Bayeux Memorial, panel 11, Column 1
3862870 Gunner Walter Hartley, aged 31 (318 Battery). Died June 9, 1944. Son of Joseph and Hannah Hartley, of Bootle. Bootle Cemetery, Lancashire
1567317 Serjeant John Hesford, aged 30 (317 Battery). Died June 24, 1944. Son of Albert Thomas and Maud Hesford, of Astley Bridge, Bolton, Lancashire. La Delivrande War Cemetery, Douvres, VI.J.4
14305642 Gunner Gordon Raymond Bone, aged 21 (318 Battery). Died July 18, 1944. Son of Mr and Mrs C Bone, of Botley, Hampshire. Hermanville War Cemetery, 5.D.6
3862752 Lance Bombardier Cyril Griffiths Guest, aged 31 (318 Battery). Died July 18, 1944. Son of Martha Guest, of Chester. Hermanville War Cemetery, 5.D.11
3862678 Gunner Frederick Kemp, aged 32 (318 Battery). Died July 18, 1944. No further personal information. Hermanville War Cemetery, 5.D.7
3862765 Serjeant Alfred Ernest Penrose, aged 33 (318 Battery). Died July 18, 1944. Son of Alfred Ernest and Isabella Penrose, of Liverpool; husband of Elsie Penrose, of Liverpool. Hermanville War Cemetery, 5.D.13
4123325 Warrant Officer Class II Francis Joseph Connor, aged 32 (318 Battery). Died July 25, 1944. No further personal information. Ranville War Cemetery, II.B.23
11403127 Gunner Arthur Greaves, aged 34 (318 Battery). Died July 25, 1944. Son of Mr and Mrs Arthur Greaves, of Nottingham; husband of Louisa Mary Greaves, of Nottingham. Ranville War Cemetery, II.A.33
14233428 Signalman John Lewis Henderson, aged 23 (Royal Corps of Signals, attached 317 Battery). Died July 27, 1944. No further personal information. Ranville War Cemetery, I.E.14
134363 Major George Leslie Williams, aged 32 (Commanding 318 Battery). Died August 3, 1944. Son of Jesse and Victoria Evelyn Williams; husband of Constance Mary Williams, of Meols, Hoylake, Cheshire. Bayeux War Cemetery, III.J.2
233023 Lieutenant Richard George Forbes, no age recorded (319 Battery). Died August 6, 1944. No further personal information. Bayeux War Cemetery XX.F.27
3858941 Gunner James Goodman, aged 25 (317 Battery). Died September 4, 1944. Son of Lawrence and Edith Goodman; husband of Mary Goodman, of Horwich, Lancashire. St Desir War Cemetery, II.C.1
3858979 Bombardier John Nicholson, aged 26 (Counter– Mortar Unit). Died October 27, 1944. Son of John William and Eliza Nicholson; husband of Ada Nicholson, of Little Hulton, Lancashire. Overloon War Cemetery, Netherlands, II.E.12
3863592 Gunner John Lockett Rowland, aged 32 (319 Battery). Died October 31, 1944. Son of Thomas and Mary Rowland, of Runcorn, Cheshire; husband of Monica Rowland, of Runcorn. Overloon War Cemetery, Netherlands, I.E.13
In Memoriam: Peter James Connelly
3863697 Lance Corporal Peter James Connelly, aged 34 (Ist Battalion, The East Lancashire Regiment). Died January 7, 1945. Son of William and Mary Connelly, of Liverpool; husband of Catherine Connelly, of Liverpool. Hotton War Cemetery, Belgium, II. B. 12.
(Lance Corporal Connelly, one of the original 7th Loyals, was transferred to the East Lancashire Regiment from 92nd LAA in August 1944. His memory is honoured here alongside his fallen comrades of his old regiment).
Their Name Liveth For Evermore
THE ‘UNKNOWN’ CASUALTIES
In 2009, a further 12 fatalities from 7th Loyals / 92nd LAA were made known to me – and they they have thrown up many questions. I had found no record of them during my original research, which included extensive study of the war diaries, so I am at a loss to explain the circumstances of the men’s deaths. Of the 12 dead, all of whom are buried in Britain, 11 were almost certainly part of the original contingent which was called up at Caernarvon in 1940 to form 7th Loyals. This is because their Army number is prefixed with 38, indicating the Loyal Regiment.
Only one of the soldiers, Bombardier John Leslie Knight, appears definitely to have died of wounds, more than two years after the end of the war. He is named on the official casualty list, issued in May 1945.
Private John Hogan, of Warrington, died in hospital of peritonitis just six weeks after joining up at Caernarvon in 1940 – he was due to marry his fiancee on his first leave. According to the newspaper report of his funeral, he had been ill for most of the time he was in the Army.
Gunner Dennis Rattigan died of tuberculosis two years after being invalided out of the Army.
However, as of May 2012 – when this edition was updated – I have still not managed to determine how the rest of the casualties died. But I think it is probable they were victims of illness or possibly accidents.
The addition of the 12 ‘unknown’ casualties means that a total of 38 men from the battalion / regiment died from the formation of 7th Loyals in 1940 to the end of the war. I have listed the 12 men here, with notes on the regiment’s location at the time of their deaths.
3862209 Private John Hogan, 7th Battalion, The Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire), aged 28. Died September 1, 1940 (Battalion in Caernarvon). Son of Private John Hogan, South Lancashire Regt. (Died on active service, 17th February, 1919), and Beatrice Hogan, of Warrington. Sec. W. Grave 66, Warrington Cemetery
3863712 Private Walter Lea, 7th Battalion, The Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) aged 29. Died April 3, 1941 (Battalion on Yorkshire coast). Son of Thomas Palentine Lea and Caroline Lea, of Kirkdale, Liverpool. Sec. 1, C of E. Coll, grave 366, Liverpool (Kirkdale) Cemetery
3862090 Private Joseph Hilton, 7th Battalion, The Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) aged 27 Died April 30, 1941 (Battalion on Yorkshire coast). Son of John and Alice Hilton, of St. Helens; husband of Freda Hilton, of Sutton, St. Helens. Sec. 48, Grave 460, St Helens Cemetery
3862768 Private John Colin Lomax Ramsdale Johnson, 7th Battalion, The Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire), aged 30. Died May 21, 1941 (Battalion on Yorkshire coast). Son of Samuel and Florence Edith Johnson, of Higher Tranmere, Birkenhead. West Extn, Sec. 12, Row 6, Grave 4, Heswall (St Peter) Churchyard
3863794 Private William Edward Lovett, 7th Battalion, The Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire), aged 33. Died September 23, 1941 (Battalion in Redcar). Son of James and Harriet Lovett, of Seaforth, Liverpool. Sec. 6. C. of E. Grave 595, Bootle Cemetery
3862057 Gunner Joseph Hobson, 317 Battery 92nd LAA, aged 22. Died April 10, 1943 (Regiment in Castle Douglas). Son of Ernest and Betty Hobson, of Little Lever; husband of Elsie Hobson, of Little Lever.Grave E, 203, Little Lever (St Matthew) Churchyard
3856779 Private William Greenhalgh, aged 20, The Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) attd 7th Battalion. Secondary Regiment: Border Regiment. Died May 22, 1943 (Regiment in Castle Douglas). Son of Harry and Beatrice Greenhalgh, of Bolton. Div. 2, Sec. X, Nonconformist, Grave 41, Bolton (Heaton) Cemetery
14618137 Private Richard Edward Pugh, attached 7th Battalion The Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire). Died March 9, 1944 (Regiment in Castle Douglas). Secondary Regiment, Border Regiment. West of Church, Llanfihangel-y-Pennant (St Michael) Churchyard, Merionethshire (Private Pugh was possibly in the General Service Corps, attached to the regiment)
3862793 Serjeant Alfred Cyril Phillips, 317 Battery, 92nd LAA, aged 29. Died May 20, 1944 (Regiment in Horndean, Hampshire). Son of William A Phillips and Louise Phillips, of Liverpool; husband of Marianne Cynthia Phillips, of Liverpool. Sec. C, Gen. Grave 223, Liverpool (Toxteth Park) Cemetery
3863657 Gunner Dennis Rattigan, 317 Battery, 92nd LAA, aged 32. Died March 6, 1945 (Regiment in Kervenheim, Germany). Son of Thomas and Sarah Rattigan; husband of Irene Rattigan, of Widnes. Farnworth (St Luke) Churchyard
3863738 Gunner Frank Lysaght, 92nd LAA, aged 34. Died April 16, 1945 (Regiment in Apelstadt, Germany). Son of William James Lysaght and Agnes Lysaght, of Liverpool. Sec. 11, Nonconformist, Grave 410, Liverpool (Anfield) Cemetery
3863710 Bombardier John Leslie Knight, 92nd LAA, aged 37. Died November 7, 1947 (Post-war). Son of Samuel and Elizabeth Ann Knight, of Runcorn. Sec. 12. Grave 1209. Runcorn Cemetery
Their Name Liveth For Evermore