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).
Fred served with the 5th Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment. After training, the battalion was sent by sea to Singapore, via Canada, the Caribbean and India. They arrived on 29th January 1942 just as the air force was pulling out. Singapore surrendered on Sunday 15th February. The highly trained 5th battalion had travelled 20,000 miles from Liverpool to Singapore and then forced to surrender.
Fred became a prisoner of war in the Far East and treated as slave labour by his Japanese captors on the Burma - Siam railway; the infamous "Railway of Death." They were treated appallingly by their captors and endured unimaginable deprivation and abuse throughout their captivity.
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.
Photograph of Ron & Hazel Dale courtesy of "Hintlesham & Chattisham" by Lorford & Chase
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 served with the 5th Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment. After training, the battalion was sent by sea to Singapore, via Canada, the Caribbean and India. They arrived on 29th January 1942 just as the air force was pulling out. Singapore surrendered on Sunday 15th February. The highly trained 5th battalion had travelled 20,000 miles from Liverpool to Singapore and then forced to surrender.
Sidney became a prisoner of war in the Far East and treated as slave labour by his Japanese captors on the Burma - Siam railway; the infamous "Railway of Death." They were treated appallingly by their captors and endured unimaginable deprivation and abuse throughout their captivity.
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. The picture shows the original grave marker before the CWGC errected standard gravestones.
Information supplied by Sidney and George Mower's niece, Sheila Redden, June 2020 :
"My two uncles are mentioned on the memorial, Sid and George Mower, their sister, my Mum, is the only sibling left, she will be 99 in December and is called Ruby. She had four brothers who served in the war and only two came back, Dick and Stan, both who were involved in the D-Day landings, one was in Military Police and the other was a medic. We lived in Primrose Hill, just up the road from Duke Street, until my Gran moved into Timperley's bungalows. Mum and Dad were married in this church in 1943 and I was christened there. The Ward boys mentioned here lived next door to my family."
Pilot Officer Harold Graham Tipple 4231 264 Sqdn RAF
Died 16 December 1939 aged 19
Harold Graham Tipple was born on 5th August 1920 in St Leonards, grew up in Bishop's Stortford and attended Bishop's Stortford College in Hertfordshire from 1929-1936 where he is remembered as an excellent swimmer. Harold and his mother, who owned a cafe, later moved to Bagshot. Harold was a pupil pilot at Hamble Flying School in Hampshire and on 29th April 1939 he was commissioned as an Acting Pilot Officer. Following the outbreak of war, he gained his wings and became a Pilot Officer in September 1939 . He joined Squardron 264 in Suffolk on 5 November 1939.
On the 13th December 1939, Pilot Officer Harold Graham Tipple and Flight Lieutenant Nicholas Gresham Cooke* of 264 Squadron based at RAF Martlesham Heath, were instructed to collect two planes from RAF Little Rissington in Gloucestershire and fly them back to Suffolk. Pilot Officer Tipple was a new recruit and had no experience of flying a Fairey Battle aircraft. However, after two days of waiting in Gloucestershire due to bad weather, they eventually took off on the morning of the 16th December with Flt Lt Cook leading the way and P O Tipple following directly behind in his Fairey Battle Mk.I (N2159). A witness in Little Rissington noted black smoke emerging from the rear of Tipple's aircraft following take off. (Also see the report on Aviation Safety Network's website.) The weather was fine with visability around 8 miles.
According to witnesses labouring in the Suffolk fields, the planes approached Hintlesham at around 1000 feet between 11:30 and 11:45 and P O Tipple's plane seemed in difficulties with smoke pouring from its tail and losing height. The pilot tried to bale out, but dfailed to clear the aircraft before it hit a tree at Vauxhall Farm in the parish of Great Wenham which adjoins the parish of Hintlesham. A local farmer, Lionel Fenning from Vauxhall Farm, was one of the first on the scene followed by PC W H Shaw. The constable inspected the wreckage and removed PO Tipple's dog tags and later handed them to the crash investigators.
Flt Lt Cooke landed safely at Martlesham Heath at which point he realised P O Tipple was missing.
The pilot's body was taken to a mortuary at RAF Wattisham and he was buried in the Hintlesham churchyard.
A Court of Inquiry was held on the 18th December at Martlesham at which the cause of the accident was given:
"In the opinion of the Court the cause of the accident was an attempted abandoning of the aircraft by the pilot immediately after a probable seizure of the engine, due to the pilot flying from the time of the take off to the time of the crash, in fine pitch, whilst in formation with another aircraft."
The records of the incident are held at the National Archives in Kew. Despite the files being classified "closed" until the year 2030, this website made a request under the Freedom of Information Act for them to be opened. The records were duly examined and their status changed to "open" in September 2019.
Pilot Officer Tipple (42031) was just 19 years old when he was killed in the accident. He was the younger son of Mr & Mrs H A Tipple who lived at Queen Ann House, Bagshot.
Harold's mother was next of kin and declined a military gravestone and instead bought a headstone for his grave in Hintlesham. The inscription also commemorates his brother Robert. Harold's elder brother, Gunner Robert Victor Tipple (1451771), died while serving with the Army Catering Corp / Royal Army Ordnance Corps on 15 February 1943, aged 27. He is buried at La Reunion Cemetery in Algeria. Robert also attended Bishop's Stortford College and their names appear next to each other on the Roll of Honour in the College's Memorial Hall.
In 1947 the authorities made a final attempt to contact Harold's mother to give her his outstanding pay. Their letter was addressed to the family home at The Queen Anne House in Bagshot, but was returned "Unknown at this address. "
The grave is below the branches of a large lime tree in the churchyard behind St Nicholas church. Sadly, some of the lettering is missing and the inscription needs repainting. Although listed as a Commonwealth War Grave, it is a private plot and headstone and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission are unable to maintain it.
Harold G Tipple's name and that of his brother appear on the Memorial Hall at Bishop's Stortford College. His name was added to the Hintlesham War Memorial in July 2020 following the agreement of the Parish Council earlier in the year. The addition was meant to be part of a service to mark the centenary of the memorial in June 2020. However, the Covid 19 pandemic cancelled the event. Ray, the stonemason, quietly and without pomp or fuss, added Harold's name on 31st July 2020.
For the video "The Last Man on the Memorial" click HERE.
For the broadcast and press coverage of Harold's story click HERE.
*Flt Lt N G Cooke (37652) known as "Lanky" of the 264 Squadron was killed in action over the Dunkirk evacuation beaches on 31 May 1940, aged 26.
He is named on the Runnymeade Memorial near Windsor which commemorates over 20,000 men and women of the air forces, who were lost in the Second World War during operations from bases in the United Kingdom and North and Western Europe, and who have no known graves.
F/L Cooke was posthumously awarded the DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross) in recognition of shooting down eight enemy aircraft at Dunkirk on 29 May 1940 . He served alongside Corporal Albert Lippett who received the Distinguished Flying Medal
Bishop's Stortford College kindly supplied the photograph of Harold.
Sidney S Ward
Sadly there are no confirmed military details about Sidney S Ward. If you have any information, please contact the website.
Sidney and Victor Ward lived at Primrose Hill on Duke Street, next to George and Sidney Mower (see above) and their family.
In Audrey Lawford & Diane Chase's excellent book, "Hintlesham and Chattisham - The Story of Two Suffolk villages," it is suggested Victor was on board a ship that sunk off Scotland and he subsequently died in hospital. Again, any information gratefully received. Sidney is photographed with Mabel Ward and secondly with his brother Victor.
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's brother, Sidney Samuel Ward, is also commemorated on the Hintlesham memorial.
Pilot Officer Alfred J Welham 165193 RAF Volunteer Reserve
Died 28th August 1944 aged 27
Alfred John Welham was born in Hintlesham in 1917, attended Felixstowe Secondary School in Suffolk and was known as Jack. He was the son of Ruth Welham and married Gladys Alice Welham (nee Speed) in Willesden in Middlesex in 1940.
Pre-war, Jack was a Police Constable serving in the East Suffolk force and lived at 44 Melbourne Road in Ipswich. In 1942 he joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and trained in Canada where he won the Leaven Brothers' trophy for the highest position in his course.
On 26 August 1944, Jack was part of a 5 man crew flying an Anson 1 which crashed into a tree while trying to land at RAF Halfpenny Green in Wolverhampton. Meanwhile, back home Gladys learned she was pregnant with their first child and travelled to tell Jack about his imminent fatherhood. On the way, she learned of Jack's death. Although Gladys's husband had survived the accident, Jack died of his injuries 2 days later at RAF Bridgnorth Station Hospital in Shropshire.
The funeral was held in Hintlesham on 2 September 1944 where the hymns included "God of the living" and "Abide with me". Member of the East Suffolk Police formed a guard of honour.
Jack and Gladys' son was born in 1945 and was named Jack after his father.
Alfred John Welham is also remembered on the war memorials at Rushmere St Andrew and at Ipswich.
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.
As they fell
Harold Graham Tipple 16 December 1939
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