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Messages - IMBER

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World War Two / Re: WW2 Service Record Ship Name Help
« on: Thursday 11 November 21 18:37 GMT (UK)  »

Armed Forces / Re: WAAF photo Leighton Buzzard
« on: Sunday 04 July 21 19:57 BST (UK)  »
RAF Leighton Buzzard had nothing to do with RAF Wing, that's a completely different location near Aylesbury. Leighton Buzzard was a huge, highly secret establishment and operated as the RAF's Central Exchange and Wireless Telegraph Station for the whole of the UK and beyond. It was later known as RAF Stanbridge. Thousands were based there.

The clothing worn in the photo is very similar to that worn by my WAAF mother in WW2, and she was a cook.

Armed Forces / Re: Death certificate
« on: Saturday 31 October 20 14:24 GMT (UK)  »
If you recall, you found him on the CWGC Brookwood Memorial in Surrey. He qualified for inclusion there because he had died in service in 1940. Unfortunately, George Russell Bell (1930) died in 1931. As far as I can see Harold Bell (1928) had two children. One died last year; I have written to the other. George Harold Russell Bell (1896) also had a daughter Frances, born in 1925 and registered under the Calder surname as Frances Bell. As you can imagine that wasn’t easy to find, particularly because the records showed her as a boy named Francis! I asked them to correct that and I assume they have done so. As far as I can see Frances had two children and I have also written to them. I hope I’ve got that right but if not then no doubt they will tell me. Of course, they may have no interest in any of this, but the options are there if they wish to make contact with the CWGC.
If I can provide you with any further information just let me know. If it starts to get sensitive then perhaps use the private message option. We could always exchange email addresses if needs be.

Armed Forces / Re: Death certificate
« on: Friday 30 October 20 16:05 GMT (UK)  »
After your last post on this subject and having given it further thought I became convinced that a married man who lived locally must be buried in Aberdeen or thereby. I was encouraged by the fact that myself and a pal had just managed to identify the grave of a war casualty in Moray and put a case to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) to have it marked with a CWGC headstone. This detailed submission was successful and in due course the headstone was erected. That was in 2017.

To cut a very long story short by June 2019 I was in a position where I was able to submit Bell’s case to the CWGC. I heard nothing back until earlier this week when the CWGC informed me that they had accepted my claim that Bell was buried in Aberdeen Trinity Cemetery. He was in a lair owned by the local branch of the Royal British Legion, Scotland but when I had approached them about this they responded that knowledge of their involvement had been lost over the years. The CWGC have now amended Bell’s record on their website and have ordered up a headstone. This is always a lengthy process given the hundreds they have to produce each year and is made worse by the fact that unlike the Commission’s standard Botticino limestone headstones, which are made in France, all Scottish headstones are made from granite. They anticipate the headstone will be in place by the middle of next year.

In such cases CWGC will always try to make contact with surviving family and they do so by placing a notice on their website:

Obviously very few relatives see such an appeal unless perhaps the story is picked up and featured by a local newspaper. Given the amount of time I had spent on this case I had a pretty good feel for the structure of the Bell family and the CWGC were happy for me to approach possible candidates to make them aware of this development and give them an opportunity to get in touch with their Enquiries Team. I have now written to three people who I suspect are grandchildren. They may or may not be interested in any of this but at least they will have the option of pursuing matters further.

I think I recall correctly it is your husband who has Bell links and so I hope that this satisfactory outcome pleases him and enables you to focus your energies in another direction!


World War Two / Re: 526616 H Cowling. (RAF)
« on: Saturday 25 April 20 11:30 BST (UK)  »
Just to offer my sincere apologies for getting my contribution to this query disastrously wrong. Well done rafcommands for riding to the rescue. I've always taken pride in my accuracy but just recently I seem to have lost my sharpness and judgement. Perhaps it's an age thing. Whatever, this is a bit of a wake-up call. I've enjoyed Rootschat immensely and made some good friends. All good things must come to end of course and I think now’s the time for Rootschat. My wife has a huge list of things to fill the gap and more so I'll be kept busy!


World War Two / Re: 526616 H Cowling. (RAF)
« on: Friday 24 April 20 19:56 BST (UK)  »
Plenty of examples of those of AC and LAC rank flying operationally during 1940. During the disastrous RAF raid on the Sedan bridges Fairey Battles made suicidal attacks. One aircraft pressed home but was shot down. Flying Officer Garland and Sgt Gray were awarded posthumous Victoria Crosses. Air Gunner, LAC Reynolds, got nothing.

Sgt Cowling died on operations in Blenheim N3630 of 53 Squadron 26 November 1940. He had flown ops over France in a Blenheim as an AC in May 1940.


Warwickshire / Re: Birmingham to London 1840
« on: Sunday 19 April 20 16:04 BST (UK)  »
An express "Fly Boat" canal passenger service operated between Birmingham and London into the 1850s.


Lanarkshire / Re: Wire Rope Works, where was it?
« on: Thursday 16 April 20 18:16 BST (UK)  »
This must be a possibility:,_Black_and_Co

There's more about this company if you Google.


Lanarkshire / Re: Old Country Houses of the Old Glasgow Gentry
« on: Wednesday 15 April 20 16:03 BST (UK)  »
Fascinating - Possil had changed a little by the time I went to school there.


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