Private, 5887424, Frederick Arthur ABBOTT 5th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment Killed in Action, 29th November 1942
Frederick Arthur Abbott was born in Raunds on the 9th January 1919, the son of Charles and Minnie Abbott of Lawson Street. Known as Arthur to his family and friends, he was educated at the Raunds Council Primary and Senior Schools until leaving at 14 to begin his working life as a clicker at Tebbutt and Hall Brothers.
In his spare time he was a Sunday School teacher at the Wesleyan Methodist Church. A keen sportsman, he excelled at both football and cricket, playing for Raunds Town’s First XI and being recommended for a trial at Northamptonshire County Cricket Club. In March 1941 he married Audrey Jones and they set up home at 26, Barn Close.
Arthur has no known grave but is commemorated on the Medjez-El-Bab Memorial, Tunisia, face 25. He is also remembered on a plaque in the Memorial Gardens, Raunds which records the contribution of his relatives towards the purchase of trees and shrubs in his memory. Even today he is still remembered as a kind and respectful young man who was very well thought of in the community.
Able Seaman, P/JX 518730, Frederick Cyril BAILEY HMS Swift, Royal Navy Died, 24th June 1944
Frederick Cyril Bailey was born in the winter of 1925, the son of Charles and Edith Bailey of 65, Marshall’s Road. He was educated at the Council School and prior to military service was employed by Mr Webster, butcher, before working on munitions for a brief period.
Music played a big part in Fred’s life and he was a member of both the Raunds Temperance Band and “The Spiders” dance band, the latter foot tappers also included fellow future WW2 casualty Keith Webb.
He has no known grave but is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, panel 82, column 3. In 1950 in his memory, relatives contributed to the purchase of trees and shrubs for the new Memorial Gardens. A bronze plaque in the gardens still records this gesture.
Corporal, QX 10617, George Henry BRAWN Australian Imperial Force, 2/3 Ord Store Coy, Australian Army Ordnance Corps Died, 30th May 1944
George Henry Brawn is not named on the Raunds War Memorial but, like his Great War victim older brother James, was born in the town, in 1901. Known to family and friends as Henry, he was the youngest of the seven children of John and Mary Anne Brawn of Newtown Road and the oldest of the town’s WW2 casualties.
After serving for a number of years between the wars in the Army including 5 years in the 5th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment, he emigrated to Australia. There he settled in Queensland working as a farm labourer until the outbreak of the war.
After his original burial in the POW camp where he had died, George Brawn’s body was exhumed in February 1946 by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and re-buried in Kanchanaburi War Cemetery, Thailand, grave reference 1.G.54.
Corporal, 5886550, Richard William CHARLTON 1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment Died, 4th May 1944
Richard William Charlton’s name does not appear on the Raunds War Memorial, neither was he born in the town but he is included in this publication as at the time of his death his family home was in “Rance”.
He was born in the summer of 1921, possibly in Norfolk, the son of Matthew and Catherine Charlton. However, when the Evening Telegraph of the 26th June 1944 reported his death they commented that “his family came to Raunds some years ago from the distressed areas around Norwich”.
He married Hilda Marshall in Norfolk in the spring of 1942 and prior to his military service he worked in the shoe trade for Messrs Owen Smiths.
Twenty two year old Richard Charlton is buried in Imphal War Cemetery, India, grave reference 6.F.2.
Sergeant, 2623887, Cyril John George CLARKSON 3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards Died, 14th March 1946
Cyril John George Clarkson was born in the spring of 1925, the son of George and Florence Clarkson. The family lived in Bass’s Yard off Brook Street, “in a small cottage behind “Tricky” Clark’s bike shop” to quote a contemporary of Cyril.
He was educated at Raunds Council School and was a keen member of the Temperance Band in which he played the cornet, the same contemporary recalling that he often heard Cyril practising his scales across the yard! In May 1945 he married Jean Furnie and together they had a son who sadly Cyril never saw.
He is buried in Khayat Beach War Cemetery, Israel, grave reference C.A.8. A plaque in the Raunds Memorial Gardens records that his relatives contributed towards the purchase of trees and shrubs for the new gardens in his memory.
Flight Sergeant, 1436513, Ivan COLES 38 Squadron, Royal Air Force Killed in Action, 6th January 1944
Ivan Coles was just 20 years old when his Vickers Wellington went missing during night flying operations in the Middle East. He was born in the spring of 1923, the son of Ezra and Alma Coles of Titty-Ho. His elder brother Raymond served in the RAF on Barrage Balloons and his sister Betty in the WAAF.
Educated at Raunds Council and Kimbolton Schools, he was employed at Barclay’s Bank in Thrapston prior to his military service.
Ivan Coles has no known grave but is commemorated on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, column 279. He is also remembered on the Kimbolton School WW2 Roll of Honour in the castle chapel and on a plaque in Raunds Memorial Gardens which records the contribution of his relatives towards the purchase of trees and shrubs for the new gardens in his memory.
Trooper, 7939465, Jack CUTHBERT 32nd Army Tank Brigade, Royal Armoured Corps Died, 14th November 1942
Jack Cuthbert was born in Raunds in the spring of 1908. Married to Mabel Ekins, they lived at 29, Midland Road. Jack was employed at the boot works of Tebbutt and Hall Brothers prior to the war. A keen motorcyclist, he is said to have at one time owned a BSA Empire Star.
As he has no known grave, Trooper Cuthbert is remembered on the Alamein Memorial, Egypt, column 13.
Sergeant, 1439747, Cyril George DUDLEY 101 Squadron, Royal Air Force Killed in Action, 4th May 1944
Cyril George Dudley was one of eight Royal Air Force boys from Raunds to die during the Second World War. He was born in the spring of 1923, the son of Mr and Mrs J Dudley of 34, Park Avenue.
He was educated at the Raunds Council School and before joining up worked at Bignell’s boot and shoe factory in Clare Street. During this period he lodged at the home of Mr and Mrs Martin in London Road.
Sergeant Dudley is buried with six of his colleagues in a communal grave in Dravegny Churchyard, France, grave reference coll. grave 3.
Sergeant, 1583091, Edward Colin DUFFY 640 Squadron, Royal Air Force Killed in Action, 23rd April 1944
Little is known of Edward Colin Duffy other than that he was born in Durham in 1924, the son of Edward and Ann Duffy of Great Lumley, Chester-le-Street. We believe that he came to Raunds seeking employment, maybe to stay with relatives, this being the reason that he is named on the Town War Memorial.
Sergeant Duffy is buried in Eindhoven (Woensel) General Cemetery, Netherlands, grave reference plot KK, grave 40 alongside five of his dead colleagues. The sixth, a Canadian, having been exhumed and re-interred in the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery after the end of the war.
Private, 5887040, Dennis EATON 5th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment Killed in Action, 13th May 1940
Dennis Eaton was the first Raunds man to be killed in the Second World War, a victim at Dunkirk. He was born in the summer of 1918, the only son of John and Elizabeth Eaton of 17, Red Row. He joined up in July 1939 previous to which he had been employed as a clicker at the Higham Ferrers Co-Operative Society boot factory.
Twenty one year old Private Eaton is buried in Heverlee War Cemetery, Belgium, grave reference 1.K.2. He is also remembered on a family grave in Raunds Cemetery.
Flying Officer, 163714, Cyril Edward EYLES 619 Squadron, Royal Air Force Killed in Action, 8th March 1945
Cyril Edward Eyles was born in Raunds on the 4th October 1923, the only son of Leslie and Kate Eyles of Park Avenue.
A close friend of “Kenny” Johnson (see below) since childhood, he was educated at Kimbolton School and a noted athlete, winning many prizes for running including a “Raunds Junior Marathon” victory during the pre-war years. Prior to joining up he was a member of the clerical staff at Norton and Lawman, boot and shoe manufacturers of Irthlingborough and was a sergeant in the ATC and also a Raunds scoutmaster.
He married his wife Olive in February 1945, a month later she was living in Irthlingborough as a widow.
Cyril is buried with 6 fellow crew members in Hamburg Cemetery, Germany, in a communal grave, reference coll.grave 10A.K.9-15. He is also remembered on the Kimbolton School WW2 Roll of Honour in the castle chapel. In his memory, relatives also contributed in 1950 to the purchase of trees and shrubs for the new Raunds Memorial Gardens. A bronze plaque on the perimeter wall of the gardens records this gesture.
Gunner, 11424110, Bertram Groom HALL Royal Artillery Died, 28th December 1944
One of the oldest of the town’s World War Two casualties, Bertram Groom Hall was born in Raunds on the 7th September 1901, the son of Frederick and Mary Hall.
He was educated at the Raunds C of E School and as a young man was a keen athlete, playing football for Ringstead. He worked in the boot and shoe trade at Bignell’s and lived with his wife Phyllis and their two children in Butts Road.
Bertram Hall is buried in Tienen Communal Cemetery, Belgium, grave reference 204.
Ordinary Seaman, D/JX 247475, Walter Edward HALL HMS Barham, Royal Navy Died, 25th November 1941
Walter Edward Hall was the first sailor from Raunds to perish in the Second World War. He was born in early 1916, the eldest of the three sons of Frederick and Rose Hall of Marshall’s Road. His younger brother Sidney, Northamptonshire Regiment, was a Dunkirk survivor.
He attended Raunds Council School and served in the Boys Brigade for several years during which he often played in goal for their football team. Prior to joining up he worked as a laster for John White of Higham Ferrers and at the time of his death he was engaged to Miss Ethel Head, also of Higham Ferrers.
Ordinary Seaman Hall is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, panel 49, column 2. His memory is also marked by a plaque in the Raunds Memorial Gardens recording the contribution of relatives in 1950 to the plantings in the new gardens.
Sapper, Q136669, Edward Randolph HODSON ACMF HQ Engineers Training Centre, Royal Australian Engineers Died, 15th September 1942
Edward Randolph Hodson had probably the shortest military career of any of the men featured on our website, just 35 days.
Although he is not named on the Raunds War Memorial he was born in the town, on the 5th July 1904, the son of Herbert Percy and Ada Hodson of Midland Road.
At some time between the two world wars he emigrated to Australia, setting up home in Queensland and adopting the antipodean nationality.
Edward Hodson died in Melbourne on the 15th September 1942 aged 38, he is buried in Wagga Wagga General Cemetery, New South Wales, Australia, grave reference: C of E plot, section J, grave 41. He is also remembered on a memorial tablet on the family grave in Raunds Cemetery.
Leading Motor Mechanic, C/MX 506841, Kenneth Roy JOHNSON HMLCT 574, Royal Navy Died, 6th June 1944
Kenneth Roy Johnson was born in the summer of 1924, the son of Alfred and Ethel Johnson of Chelveston Road. He was educated at the Raunds Council School and prior to joining up worked for the Higham Ferrers Co-Operative Society.
A close boyhood friend of Cyril Eyles (see above), it is also said that “Kenny” was refused entry into the Raunds ATC because of his reputation for mischief making!
His elder brother Cyril was a career soldier who served in the Army for many years including a period in India.
Leading Motor Mechanic Johnson has no known grave but is commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial, reference 78.2. He is also remembered on the Roll of Honour in Stanwick’s Church of St. Lawrence.
Gunner, 1119200, Walter William KITCHENER 27 Field Regiment, Royal Artillery Died, 17th April 1945
Walter William Kitchener shared more than just a surname with his more famous World War One counterpart, for they were also both soldiers who drowned serving their country.
Walter Kitchener was born in early 1911 in Northampton, the son of Walter T and Kay Kitchener who, by the time of his death, had moved to Butts Road.
He grew up in Northampton, being educated at Campbell Square Intermediate School and then Northampton Technical College where he obtained a City and Guilds Certificate for boot and shoe manufacture. In his leisure time he was a member of Primrose Hill Boys Brigade and the Northampton YMCA. He was also well known in local table tennis circles. Prior to his military service he was first employed as a clicker at Green’s of Northampton and then as clicking room foreman by E C Gravestock when the family moved to Raunds.
Walter Kitchener is buried in Taukkyan War Cemetery, Myanmar (Burma), grave reference 10.D.19.