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Private William Parker 15431 1st Battalion Gloucestesrhire Regiement.
The First Gloucesters were among the first to land in France in August 1914. He died in heavy fighting in the face of machine gun fire at Aubers Ridge on May 9, 1915.Commemorated on the Le Touret Memorial.
William Parker was born in Winchcombe His young mother died when he was a child, and he was brought up by other family members.
Corporal Thomas Osborne Springfield. 1927 1st/1st Battalion Royal Gloucestershire Hussars
Wounded at the battle of Katia on Easter Sunday 1916, and taken prisoner,
Died at El Arish Egypt May 14 1916. Buried in Kantara Military Cemetery Egypt near the Suez Canal
Thomas was the son of a Norfolk country gentleman and came to came to live in Winchcombe with his widowed mother before the First World War. He was very active socially, was secretary of the football team, his own cricket team, sang with the opera group and most significantly was a founder member and first secretary of the Working Men’s Club.
Private Henry James Stratford 4919937 Pioneer Corps
Based at the Moascar Garrison near Ismailia and the Suez Canal in Egypt, the Pioneer Corps was formed in 1939, combatant troops who undertook light engineerng tasks. Henry Stratford died of disease on May 29, 1943, aged 27. Buried in the Moascar Cemetery, near Ismailia.
He was born in Winchcombe in 1916, one of the youngest children in a large family. His father had been involved in gardening in this area, but in 1939, they had moved to Coventry. Henry was them living and working with Reginald Mason, a coal merchant.
Lieutenant Frank Graham Soden, Burma Army Reserve of Officers
When the Japanese invaded Burma in 1942, Rangoon was threatened ,and the decision to evacuate the city was made on March 7. Thousands of civilians , and later soldiers struggled without transport north along the Chindwin trails towards the Indian border, with increasing difficulty as the monsoon broke. Graham Soden died of blackwater fever on May 18, the second anniversary of the death of his brother Ian.
Graham Soden is buried in Imphal Cemetery in India, a concentration cemetery with graves from other cemeteries around, so it is not certain where he died.
The oldest son of the Winchcombe doctor, he was a keen sportsman. After school and work in London, in the timber trade, he went to work in Rangoon in Burma (Myanmar), and joined the Reserve of Officers As the war there broke out.
Private John Edward Launchbury 2298102 Gloucestershire Regiment
Early in 1955 the regiment was sent to Kenya, based in the barracks at Gilgil to control and suppress violence by the Maumau fighters . Even though this was towards the end of the insurgence, attacks were still taking place, and it appears that john Launchbury was killed with others when their lorry was blown up.
He died on May 9, 1995 and buried in Kenya. Is body was then exhumed as hismother wished, and returned to be buried in Winchcombe Cemetery on July 17,1956 in the family grave.
John Launchbury seems to have been an only child, born in 1934 after many years of marriage. His father Alfred had worked as a gardener, and was a special constable during the war. He had died shortly before his son, leaving Norah Launchbury alone in Abbotts Leys Road.
Private Edward Cotterell Davis 5434630 Duke of Corrnwall’s Light Infantry.
Sent to France at the beginning of the war, with the British Expeditionary Force anda part of the retreat to Dunkirk in May 1940. Edward Davis was picked up from the East Mole by HMS Grenade, which was then bombed, towed out to sea and sunk. He is recorded as dying at sea., May 29, 1940. Commemorated on the Dunkirk Memorial.
The Davis family moved to Gretton from Birmingham. Their oldest son, James, was killed near Arras in on May 9, 1917, a third son, Ernest, died as a result of illness after Dunkirk in 1942.
Private Alwyn Green 19217 12th Battalion Gloucestershire Regiment.
The 12th Gloucesters had taken part in the fighting for Vimy Ridge led by Canadian troops, and moved towards Arras. They were involved in heavy fighting with heavy shelling, in rain and mud , attacked again by the Bavarian 5th Division. The battalion suffered very heavy losses. Alwyn Green is commemorated on the Arras Memorial.
Alwyn worked as an under carter on the fruit farm. He lived with his widowed mother, Emma in Toddington. The year before, his only brother, Percival had also been killed. Emma placed a small memorial to her sons in Toddington Churchyard, which has now been taken.
Flight Lieutenant Ian Soden DSO 56 Squadron RAF
As the Germans invaded France in May 1940, he was ordered to France leading B Flight on May 16. After a number of sorties on May 17 he was seen attacking a large German formation on May 18, shot down and killed.
Later described as ’an officer of glittering promise’ he was awarded the DSO
Buried in France in the cemetery of Biache-St-Vaast near Arras.
Ian Soden was the second of the three sons of Dr Soden who lived in the Bank House, and who worked to set up Winchcombe Hospital in 1928. Ian had an excellent career at Cranwell and by the outbreak of the war led B Flight of 56 Squadron based at North Weald, at the age of 23.
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