Author Topic: 26th May 1940, William Ernest HOPE, aged 28, 2nd Bn, Gloucestershire Regiment  (Read 4607 times)

Offline Victor Harvey

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5179899 Private William Ernest HOPE was the son of Walter HOPE & Lily HOPE (nee RICHARDS) of 98 Brunswick Street, Cheltenham. He was a regular soldier of the 2nd Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment but no details of his early life have come to light. He probably served throughout the period of the "phoney war" in France - he was certainly a survivor of the aerial attack on the convoy at Leuze on the 19th May 1940 and was with the battalion when it crossed the Belgian border back into France on the 24th. The destination of the unit was Cassel which was reached in the early morning of the 25th May. The town was part of the outer perimeter around Dunkirk which had to be held to enable the British Army to embark for England. Four miles to the north-west, the 5th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment took up positions at Ledringhem. Cassel was an important point in the defence line, commanding a vital road junction leading to Dunkirk from Lille. It stands on a hill four hundred feet in height, affording excellent visibility in all directions and the battalon set about turning it into a tank-proof fortress. This work was still in progress when the first enemy patrols tested the defences of the town on 26th May. Several enemy armoured units approached and were repelled. Later in the day, mortar and artillery shells fell on the Glosters' positions. William HOPE was listed as killed in action on this day. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Dunkirk Memorial.
Memorials: Borough of Cheltenham War Memorial and the Roll of Honour at the church of St Paul, Cheltenham.

L'est we forget
HARVEY, Guiting Power, Glos                     
PORTER, Gunmakers of Whitechapel
ALLEN - Blockley, BOWLES - Notgrove, BURROWS - Sevenhampton, COOK - Notgrove, DRINKWATER-LUNN - Aston Cross, FARDON - Temple Guiting, FAULKNER - Cheltenham, GADEN, GAYDEN, GAYDON, GRINHAM - Cheltenham, HART - Stow-on-the-Wold, LANE - Staverton, MOABY - Coln St Aldwyns, STAITE - Temple Guiting, TIMBRELL - Winchcombe, TYSOE - Warks & Glos, WHITFORD - Stanway, WINTLE - Forest of Dean, WYNNIATT - Stanway