Hintlesham War Memorial - The Second World War
1939 - 1945
In alphabetical order
Pte Frederick Charles Baalham 5826748 5 Bn Suffolk
Died 13 October 1943 aged 24
Frederick Charles Baalham was the son of Walter and Emily Beatrice Baalham and married to Evelyn Grace Baalham of Witton Bridge, Norfolk. Frederick is buried at Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery (see photograph) B6. P.8. in Myanmar (Burma). Frederick was a prisoner of war forced to work on the notorious Burma-Siam railway. He was the second man with Hintlesham connections to die while working on the "Railway of Death." (see also George F Mower below and Sidney Wright from Chattisham). Thanbyuzayat was the terminus for the railway and during its construction, approximately 13,000 POWs died and were buried along the length of the railway ... including Frederick, George and Sidney from Hintlesham and Chattisham.
Pte Frederick G Coe 5827871 2 Bn Northamptonshire
Died 3 April 1944 aged 24
At the outbreak of war, Frederick was 19 and living with his parents and siblings at Ixworth Thorpe near Bury St Edmunds. He was born on 3 August 1919 and was a farm labourer.
Frederick is buried at Beach Head War Cemetery, Anzio, Italy. Beach Head War Cemetery contains 2,316 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, 295 of them unidentified.
Flt Sgt Ronald C Dale 1335762 175 Squadron Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Killed in action 9 July 1944 aged 22
Ronald Charles Dale was the son of Charles and Ivy Dale from Hintlesham. In December 1943 he married Hazel Jean Talbot. Ronald served with 175 Squadron which, following D-Day, was based at Fresne-Camilly in Normandy. On Sunday 9th July 1944 Ronald took off on an armed reconnaissance mission in a Hawker Typhoon MK 1B (Serial no: JR502) and was shot down by enemy aircraft south of the heavily defended town of St Lo in Normandy. He is buried at the Bayeux War Cemetery.
2nd Class Stoker Ronald Gant P/KX603120 HMS Rockingham
Died 27 September 1944 aged 19
Ronald William Gant was born on 21 March 1926 and christened four months later in Hintlesham. He was the son of Annie May Gant* who was unmarried. He is commemorated on Panel 86 of the Portsmouth Naval Memorial.
In late November 1940, the USS Swasey bashed through the rough winter seas on her way to Halifax, Nova Scotia, where she would be boarded by British crews and recommissioned HMS Rockingham. One of the United States destroyers to be transferred to Great Britain, HMS Rockingham was used for training in December 1943.
After a career of fighting the enemy and helping to train the armed forces of Great Britain, the HMS Rockingham struck a mine and sank off Aberdeen, Scotland, on September 27, 1944. Photograph from the Imperial War Museum collection.
* Annie Mary Gant was the daughter of George Arthur Gant who was the brother of Horace Josiah Gant killed in WW1 and commemorated in Hintlesham.
Gunner George F Mower 953041 67 Medium Regt Royal Artillery
Died 14 November 1942 aged 25
George was the son of John Isaac and Nellie Louise Mower, of Hintlesham, Suffolk. He was a prisoner of war (POW) in North Africa when, along with many hundreds of others, he was put on an Italian POW ship to be transported to Italy. The ship, SS Scillin, was torpedoed by HMS Sahib. George is named on the Alamein Memorial. (Thanks to members of George's family for this information)
The S.S. Scillin (pictured) was an Italian cargo/passenger ship en route from Tripoli to Sicily with 814 Commonwealth POWs on board when she was torpedoed by the British submarine H.M.S Sahib, captained by Lt. John Bromage. The Sahib rescued 27 POWs from the water along with the Scillin's Captain and 45 Italian crew members. It was only at this stage that Bromage realised that he had sunk a POW transport. In the subsequent inquiry it was confirmed that the ship was unmarked and that Bromage firmly believed he was attacking a troopship. He was cleared of wrongdoing. However, the following year HMS Sahib, under the command of Brommage , was attacked and the submarine was abandoned and scuttled. Bromage and all but one of the crew survived and became prisoners of war. The sinking was kept a secret until 1996, the Ministry of Defence had maintained the POWs died in camps or 'at sea'. (Based on Wikipedia document)
George and his brother Sidney (see below) were both POWs and neither of them survived to return to Hintlesham.
Pte Sidney J Mower 5833063 5 Bn Suffolk
Died 4th August 1943 aged 30
Sidney was the son of John Isaac and Nellie Louise Mower, of Hintlesham, Suffolk. He was a victim of the notorious Burma-Siam railway, built by Commonwealth, Dutch and American prisoners of war. During its construction, approximately 13,000 prisoners of war died and were buried along the railway. Sidney is buried at Thanbyuzayat War Cemetery B4. E.16 in Myanmar (Burma) where Frederick Charles Baalham (see above) and Sidney Wright (commemorated in Chattisham) were also laid to rest. The three local men all served in the 5th Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment.
Pilot Officer Alfred J Welham 165193 RAF Volunteer Reserve
Died 28th August 1944 aged 27
Alfred John Welham, son of Ruth Welham, of Hintlesham; husband of Gladys Alice Welham, of Ipswich was a navigator. Known as Jack, he is buried in Hintlesham churchyard.
Benjamin Welham Driver T/14707104 223 Air Despatch Coy. Royal Army Service Corps
Died 21st September 1944 aged 38
Listed as Ben by CWGC, the son of Frederick John and Mary Ann Welham, of Hintlesham, Suffolk. Ben was married to Florence Deborah Welham, of Hintlesham and had a daughter named Evelyn.
Ben took part in Operation Market Garden which saw the Allies land in the Netherlands in September 1944 and he is buried at Arnhem Oosterbreek War Cemetery. He was part of an aircrew which, a few days after the main landings, was tasked with supplying the allied forces on the ground.
On 17 September 1944, the 1st Airborne Division began landing west of Arnhem, but German resistance, bad weather and problems with supplies and reinforcements led to heavy losses, and their objectives were not taken. They were forced to form a perimeter at Oosterbeek which they held stubbornly until 25 September, when it was decided to withdraw the remnants of the division across the lower Rhine.
On 21st September 1944, four squadrons set off, at roughly the same time, to drop supplies to the soldiers at the Arnhem bridge. 233 and 437 squadrons were flying higher, and ahead of 48 and 271 squadron. Ben was part of a crew of 8 (4 aircrew and 4 dispatch) flying in 48 Squadron in a Dakota numbered KG417. It was hit by an aluminium supply container dropped from a higher plane. A wing broke off, and KG417 dived into the south bank of Neder Rijn, near the village of Driel. Locals said the plane crashed between the summer bank and the winter bank and was left waterlogged for two successive winters before the plane and the remains of the crew could be recovered. The plane and crew were identified only when a watch, engraved with the name J W Erickson, was discovered amongst the wreckage. 23 year old Flying Officer James William Erickson (J/40284) of the Royal Canadian Air Force was co-pilot of KG417. *
Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery contains the graves of most of those killed during the September landings, and many of those killed in later fighting in the area. There are now 1,680 Commonwealth servicemen of the Second World War buried or commemorated in the cemetery.
*My thanks to Carol Henwood and her husband for their research and information.
Sidney S Ward
Sadly there are no confirmed details about Sidney S Ward. If you have any information please contact the website.
One Hintlesham resident believed Sidney may have served in the Far East, possibly with the Norfolk Regiment, and was killed by a sniper. This anecdote sounds more like it might relate to his brother, Victor.
In Audrey Lawford & Diane Chase's excellent book, "Hintlesham and Chattisham - The Story of Two Suffolk villages," it is suggested Sidney was Victor's brother and was on board a ship that sunk off Scotland and he subsequently died in hospital. Again, any information gratefully received.
Corporal Victor Norman Ward 5771270 5 Bn Norfolk
Died 23 January 1942 aged 28
Victor was the son of Samuel and Mary Ward who lived at Primrose Hill, Duke Street in Hintlesham. He married Lillian Cathleen and served in the Royal Norfolk Regiment. In 1942 he was a corporal serving in what was then known as Malaya. In January 1942 the British army were trying to prevent the Japanese advance down the peninsula towards Singapore and endured heavy losses. The Fall of Singapore was just 3 weeks after Victor's death. He is commemorated on the Singapore Memorial which lists 24,000 names of Commonwealth soldiers and airmen who have no known grave.
Victor, it is believed, was the brother of Sidney Samuel Ward who is also commemorated on the Hintlesham memorial.
As they fell
Victor Norman Ward 23 January 1942
George F Mower 14 November 1942
Sidney J Mower 4 August 1943
Frederick C Baalham 13 October 1943
Frederick G Coe 3 April 1944
Ronald C Dale 9 July 1944
Alfred J Welham 28 August 1944
Benjamin Welham 21 September 1944
Ronald Gant 27 September 1944
Sidney S Ward Unknown