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Messages - RoyW46

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« on: Thursday 13 August 20 11:35 BST (UK)  »
I was born in May 1946 in Robertsbridge, just 50 yards from the White Horse!
Memories coming back.
Thank you
Roy Willard

« on: Thursday 13 August 20 11:13 BST (UK)  »
Thank you for your help.
After all this time searching records I never thought to spell the name: SPILSTEAD differently, I can only blame the heat or another mental block.
I have looked at each of the 'sources' you suggested-thank you.
I will have to delve deeper for: NEVILLE SKINNER.
Roy Willard

Sussex / 1939 Army camp at Wilmington, Sussex
« on: Wednesday 12 August 20 18:58 BST (UK)  »
Can somebody help please.
I have carried out a lot of research into my Father's History: GEORGE ALFRED WILLARD b.1911-d.1997.  He was born in Robertsbridge, Sussex.

In one of my photos my Father in 1939 is at an Army Camp, probably Wilmington, East Sussex.  I can identify some of the men from the photo because I knew them in Robertsbridge after WW2, but a friend has also identified two others as: NEVILLE SKINNER and TOM SPILSTEAD. 
Their names 'ring a bell' but trying to establish where they lived in Salehurst or Robertsbridge has been difficult, also their Army service.

My Father was in C Company, 5th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment and from the photo I think the other men in the photo are as well.  I can display the photo if it helps.  My Father is back row at left, NEVILLE SKINNER and TOM SPILSTEAD are in front at right kneeling.

Grateful for any help.
Thank you
Roy Willard

« on: Saturday 25 July 20 17:01 BST (UK)  »
Milliepede, CaroleW and Kiltaglassan

Thank you for your help, I will look more closer at Newspaper archives. 
With regard to his birth, his daughter has carried out research into his mother and father. 
Not sure if he was illegitimate, but was certainly abandoned after birth. 
He was brought up by the Humphrey family in Ticehurst.
He did not remarry after his wife died, I believe he passed away in 1975.

I did find it confusing at first with regard to his surname, I think Charlie changed the spelling of his surname from Wilmer to Willmer in the years after World War 2.

I had a similar problem with my Family Name: Willard.  In some Census Records it was shown as Williard and not a transcription error.

But again Thank you for your assistance, much appreciated.

« on: Saturday 25 July 20 10:49 BST (UK)  »
I have been researching my Family History and in doing so I have also 'looked' at people my late Father: GEORGE ALFRED WILLARD [b.1911 Robertsbridge] grew up with.  As a result I have been in contact with a friend whose late Father: EDWARD CHARLES WILMER (known as Charlie Wilmer) [b.1908 Gillingham] was close to my Father.

I have learned that Charlie Wilmer had been a 'Physical Training Instructor' as part of or assigned to: 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars some time before WW2. 
He started a Gymnastics Club with the assistance of: S. CRITTENDEN Late Royal Navy in Robertsbridge in the early 1930's

Before World War 2 my Father had been in the village Boxing Club as had Charlie Wilmer, they worked together at the Gypsum Mines of Robertsbridge and Mountfield, Sussex.  In April 1939 they both joined Royal Sussex Regiment TA, in September they became 'Regular Soldiers' in C Company, 5th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment.

In 1940 they went to France with their Regiment as part of the B.E.F, My Father as a Private, Charlie as a Corporal.  With the Army in withdrawal towards Dunkirk, my father on 29 May 1940 was captured near Arras and became a POW until Liberation in 1945.  Charlie Wilmer was captured at a different location but at about the same time and became a POW until June 1944 when he was repatriated back to England.

My friend (daughter of Charlie Wilmer) has applied to the MOD for her Father's Army Service Record, but with the Covid 19 pandemic there is a delay in the processing of all applications.

I would like to know if any members of this Forum have any knowledge of Charlie Wilmer in the 1920s and 1930s, especially his involvement with: Gymnastics, Boxing, St John's Ambulance Brigade and involvement with 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars.  The activities listed were predominantly at Robertsbridge, Sussex, but part of his childhood and teens was at Ticehurst, Sussex.

I have two photos of Charlie Wilmer alongside my Father which I can display if requested.

I would appreciate any help.
Thank you


Armed Forces / Re: 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars
« on: Saturday 11 July 20 15:25 BST (UK)  »
Thank you for the advice, 'brought me back down to earth'.  I will do as you suggest.
Roy Willard

Armed Forces / Re: 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars
« on: Friday 10 July 20 21:07 BST (UK)  »
Further to my previous request I have 'updated' my information about: EDWARD CHARLES WILMER.

Can somebody help me or point me in the right direction please.
I am helping a friend looking into her father's history with: 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars.

Born 28 April 1908 Gillingham, Kent
Married Salehurst Parish Church, Sussex: 10th November 1928
Enlisted in TA: 17.04.1939
Corporal in C Company 5th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment.
Service No: 6400904
POW June 1940
Imprisoned in Stalag 383
Repatriated June 1944
Lived in Roberstbridge, Sussex
Died 1975

He may have been known as: Charles Edward Wilmer or Willmer, when he lived in Robertsbridge he was always known as: Charlie Willmer.

I have 'searched' Newspapers and in the Hastings and St Leonards Observer April 8 1933 there is an article about a Gymnastic Display, whereby local boys have been trained by: Mr. C. Wilmer formerly physical instructor, 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars.

Another Newspaper article provides details of his repatriation in 1944 and mentions that he had been a member of the Rhine Army of Occupation from 1920-24.  This date is suspect because Charlie Wilmer was born in 1908, however other records re the 8th Kings Royal Irish Hussars show that this unit was in Germany for 3 years from 1926.

I knew Charlie Wilmer, he worked with my father before the war at The Gypsum Mines, Mountfield/Robertsbridge, Sussex and they both served in the same company of 5th Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment.  They both became POWs, but were in different Stalags.

Any help would be appreciated.
Thank you
Roy Willard

Armed Forces / Re: 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars
« on: Thursday 09 July 20 18:25 BST (UK)  »
MaxD and ShaunJ

Very good of both of you to reply to me.  We know a fair bit about Charlie Wilmer's service in the Royal Sussex Regiment, but not so much about his time as a POW before he was repatriated.

His daughter told me that he had been 'bayoneted' either during an escape attempt or when he was recaptured.  Because of his NCO rank of Corporal he was held at Stalag 383.  I do not know the circumstances of his repatriation in June 1944, but remarkable considering that period of the war.

I have photographs of Charlie with my father when they both worked pre-war at the Gypsum Mines at Robertsbridge/Mountfield and when they were both at an Army Camp c.1940.  In this photo Charlie is wearing his Corporal Stripes.  Interestingly, before WW2 he was in the: St John's Ambulance Brigade at Robertsbridge and photos of him in the Brigade's uniform also show 'stripes' on his sleeve.

We will be applying shortly to see if he completed the POW Liberation Report on his return to England, also to see if there was a Red Cross Report.

Thank you for your help
Roy Willard

Armed Forces / Re: 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars
« on: Thursday 09 July 20 16:33 BST (UK)  »
Thank you.
Thinking about this it is more than probable that Edward Charles Wilmer was not in the 8th king's Royal Irish Hussars, but more likely in the Royal Army Physical Training Corps.  Clutching at straws here, I have not done any research into this aspect yet
Bit I do appreciate your help.
Roy Willard

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