FEBRUARY

Lance Corporal Ian Bramley 24078868 1st Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment

Ian Bramley was serving with the army in North Ireland and was killed by an IRA gunman as he manned a barricade at the corner of Hastings street and the Falls Road, on February 1, 1972, a day on which there were a number of gun battles in the area.

 

Ian Bramley was a young married man with two children, with many friends in Winchcombe. He was brought back for a full military funeral at St Peter’s and buried in Winchcombe Cemetery

Ian Bramley’s grave

in Winchcombe Cemetery

Corporal Ernest Davis 5493475 5th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment 

Ernest Davis joined the Gloucesters in June 1939, and left as part of the British Expeditionary Force in May 1940. During the retreat to Dunkirk., then 5th Gloucesters were ordered to make at stand against the Germans at Ledringhem, in an area where the German army and the SS were very active, to give others a better chance to make it to the coast. After two days, with Germans in the village they were ordered to head for the coast leaving their wounded behind. Ernest Davis made it to Dunkirk and was picked up, only for his boat to be sunk . He was picked up a second time from the sea, but became ill and never recovered. He was discharged from the army and died in Over Hospital on February1, 1942. He was buried in Gretton churchyard.

 

Ernest’s family had moved to Gretton from Birmingham. One brother had died in World War I and another had died at Dunkirk. He married Mary Edmonds in Gretton on New Years Day 1938 and had two sons. He then worked at a local garage.

Ernest Davis grave, commemorating

also both his brothers

Sergeant William Nolan 37666982 Kings (Liverpool) Regiment

Many of the King’s Regiment were based in England at this time, to guard against possible German invasion, and sent to train in Winchcombe, Sgt Nolan was leading a night time exercise with other men on February 11, at a time rife with rumours of 5th columnists. They encountered another group, unsure of each other’s identities, and in the scuffle between the two groups. Sgt Nolan was stabbed in the stomach by a bayonet. He was taken to Winchcombe Hospital and treated, but died the next day. Local inquests were held.He and the man suspected of causing his death were censured allowing fixed bayonets. Sgt Nolan died on February 12, 1941.  He was buried in Winchcombe Cemetery after a Requiem Mass at St Nicholas Church.

 

Sgt Nolan came from Dublin. He was married with a baby daughter.

William Nolan’s grave 

in Winchcombe Cemetery

Private George Aquila Townsend G/ 18584 7th Battalion Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent) Regiment

The battalion landed in France in July 1915, and were in minor actions until July 1916, when they were engaged throughout the Battle of the Somme. They remained in the area throughout the cold and muddy winter of 1916/7. George Townsend was killed in the fighting along the Ancre on February 14, 1917, as they moved towards the capture of Miraumont. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.

His brother Edward was killed two months later.

 

George Townsend was the son of James and Matilda Townsend who lived in Cowl (Chapel) Lane. He had left to work as a gardener in Hounslow, West London, where he married and had two children. He had previously enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers, and so may have been a reservist, when he re-joined at Isleworth.

The Thiepval Memorial 

Winchcombe  Museum, High Street,

Winchcombe, Cheltenham, GL54 5LJ

 

Charity no: 1173052

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