The WW2 Roll of Honour:
Surnames E - F

 

Sergeant 1575713 John Bernard Eastman

 

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Died on 1st October 1943, Aged 22.

Buried Birmingham (Handsworth) Cemetery, 20B 13663. 

 

 
 

Warrant Officer 1425499, Joseph Edmund Edwards

 

525 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Died on 30th January 1946, Aged 23.

Buried Le Grand-Luce War Cemetery, France, Row C. Grave 7. 

 

 

 

Pilot Officer 133051 Reginald Staynes Elsom D.F.M

 

Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Died on 13th October 1942, Aged 32.

Buried Loughborough Cemetery, 379/7

 

The posthumous award of the Distinguished Flying Medal for gallantry and devotion to duty has been awarded to Sergeant Pilot Reginald Staynes Elsom.  Sergeant Pilot Elsom was killed on active service last October.  He was the son of Mr. and Mrs., Tom Elsom, of Ashby Road, Loughborough.  We understand that two promotions have come through since his death that to Flight Sergeant, on September 1st, and his commission as pilot officer to date from September 3rd. 

The official citation reads: - Sergeant Reginald Staynes

Elsom, No 218, Squadron (since deceased) was born at Loughborough in 1910.  Sergeant Elsom was a most tenacious and level headed pilot.  In July 1942, his aircraft was caught in a cone of searchlight and subjected to heavy fire from ground defenses. Despite extensive damage caused to the bombers tail plane he flew it safely back.  In August, 1942, he was detailed for mine laying operations, and although he ran into a magnetic storm, he successfully laid his mines.  Again in September 1942, his aircraft was hit and seriously damaged while over the French coast.  Completely unruffled, Sergeant Elsom proceeded to his objective, and successfully evading strong ground defenses on his return journey, flew his battered aircraft home.  On all occasions this airman displayed remarkable courage and determination.

 

The funeral took place with full Military honours on Saturday of the late

Sergt-Pilot Reg. Elmson, who was killed on active service. There was a large attendance at the service in the Loughborough parish Church, and crowds of the townspeople watched the cortege with which marched a party of officers and non-commissioned officers of the Royal Air |Force, six R.A.F. Sergeants acting as bearers.


The remains had rested overnight in the Parish Church. The coffin was covered with a Union Jack. The service was conducted by Archdeacon W.J Lyon, who gave an appropriate address. The choir was in attendance. Mr. Barton Hart, at the organ played Andante for flute, Violin and Viola (Beethoven). Minuet, 'La Reine' (Haydn) with the 'Nune Dimittis' was sung at the close of service. The Hymns sung were 'Jesus Lover of my soul' and 'Lead kindly light'.

 

 

 

Private 5380725 Arthur Laban Evans

 

1st, Bn., Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry

Died on 21st May 1940, Aged 29.

Buried Bruyelle War Cemetery Belgium II, A. 10 

 

 

Gunner 4455861 G. G. Fail

 

Royal Artillery

Died on 20th November 1940, Aged 18.

Buried Loughborough Cemetery, ? 

 

Private 14037185 Leslie Flowers

 

Royal Army Ordnance Corps, 21 Vehicle Repair Depot.

Died on 14th September 1947, Aged 23.

Commemorated Bradford Crematorium, Panel 1.

 

E.R.A.3rd Class C/MX51214 Charles Henry Foster M.I.D.

 

H.M. Submarine Umpire, Royal Navy

Died on 20th July 1941, Aged 28.

Buried Loughborough Cemetery, 346/4.

 

Charles Henry Foster, known as 'Charlie', was born in Markfield, Leicestershire, in 1913. He was the elder son of Charles Henry Foster, a stone quarry worker, and his wife Ada (née Hill) who were married in 1912 in Loughborough. A second son, John W. Foster was born to Charles Senior and Ada in 1917 in Loughborough.

Charlie joined the Royal Navy in 1934, aged 21, and became an Engine Room Artificer. In May 1937 he was stationed at Wei-Hai-Wei, N. E. China, on H.M.S. Medway, a purpose-built submarine depot ship which served on the China Station before the Second World War.


H.M.S. Medway 


In a letter from China to his fiancé Yvonne Van de Velde, a 21 year-old hosiery machinist of Loughborough, he wrote "In the event of my being 'unlucky'…no amount of scheming will deflect God's Will, my cherie, for He knows best". On 28th May 1938 Charlie and Yvonne were married at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Loughborough. While her husband was away with the Navy Yvonne lived with her father, a basket worker, at 100 Station Street, Loughborough.

In 1940 Charlie had a lucky escape from HMS Unity which sank off Scotland on 29th April, having been in collision with the Norwegian ship Atle Jarl in thick fog.

In 18th July 1941 Charlie was on the brand-new H.M.Submarine Umpire which had only been commissioned nine days previously. The submarine was en route from Chatham to join the 3rd Submarine Flotilla at Dunoon, under the command of Lieutenant M. Wingfield. From Dunoon she was to carry out a single working-up patrol in the North Sea before heading to the Mediterranean. She had stopped overnight at Sheerness before joining a convoy heading north.


H.M.S. Umpire 


The submarine unfortunately suffered engine failure with one of the two diesel engines and as a result fell behind the convoy. The convoy passed a southbound convoy around midnight while about 12 nautical miles (22 km) off Blakeney, Norfolk, with the two convoys passing starboard to starboard; this was unusual since ships and convoys should pass port to port. No ships showed any lights because of the risk from German E-boats. In the early hours of 20th July 1941 an armed escort trawler, Peter Hendriks in the southbound convoy accidentally struck Umpire sinking her in 18 metres of water, with the loss of 22 men. Charlie and three other men escaped by the conning tower, but the rescue boats did not find him.

Charlie's body washed up on the beach at Sea Palling, Norfolk, on 2nd August 1941. His funeral took place from the home of his parents 29 Valley Road, Loughborough, and a special service was conducted at Emmanuel Church by the Rev. Harold Marley, who was assisted by the Rev. H. B. Holderness, Vicar of Holy Trinity Church. According to a press report "At the funeral there was a guard of honour from the 5th Leicestershire Regiment, a contingent of local Sea Cadets under the command of Lt. Morley, and Loughborough Association of ex-Naval Men. The coffin was draped with the Union Jack. Six sergeants of the 5th Leicesters…acted as bearers and a firing party was under the command of Lt. L. A. Smith". Charlie was buried at Loughborough Cemetery. He had been twice Mentioned in Despatches, once posthumously.

Two years later Charlie's young widow was remarried in Loughborough to James R. Saunders, and the couple went on to have two sons, Richard and James.

Corporal C7047746 Sydney Herbert George Francis

 

1st Bn., Royal Irish Fusiliers

Died on 25th May 1944, Aged 22.                                                                                          

Buried Cassino War Cemetery, Italy, VIII. A. 13. 

 

News was received that Cpl. Sydney H. G. Francis, died of wounds in Italy on May 25th. He was the only son of Mrs. and the late Mr., Arthur Francis, of Burton on Trent. His mother is living at 9, Orchard Street, Loughborough. Before joining the Forces, Corporal Francis was a clerk at the Brush Company Ltd. He was engaged to Miss Lorna Boot, the only daughter of Mr. and Mrs., Boot, 99, Park Road Coalville.

Gunner 1558174 Richard John Fry

 

Royal Artillery

Died on 24th December 1942, Aged 27.

Buried Loughborough Cemetery, 381/42.