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John Hamblin's Research: Surnames S-V

Scanlon, Michael George Cameron Sergeant 1051680

37 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Killed in action on the 19th of April 1942 aged 21
Michael George Cameron Scanlon was born at Rochbury, Northumberland on the 26th of July 1920 the only child of Michael Alfred Scanlon and Margaret Elizabeth Bremner Scanlon of 14, Crarae Avenue, Ravelston Dykes, Edinburgh. He was educated at George Watson's College from 1933 to 1938. On leaving school he joined the staff of the Bank of Scotland.
Following the outbreak of war, he enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve where he trained as an air gunner and rose to the rank of Sergeant. He flew on many operational flights over Germany before transferring to operations in the Middle East.
Michael Scanlon and his crew took off from Shallufa at 10.36pm on the 18th of April 1942 in Wellington Mk 1 AD642 for an operation against enemy shipping in Benghazi Harbour. At 1.38am the pilot reported that he was abandoning the attack due to bad weather and was turning for home. During its return to base, the aircraft crashed and burst into flames at 5am at Qotaifiya some five kilometres to the south east of Landing Ground 09 and a few miles to the south west of Daba in Libya, with the loss of the entire crew.
The crew was: -
Sergeant Brian Roy Steward (Pilot)
Sergeant Michael George Scanlon (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Raymond Edgar Lloyd RNZAF (Observer)
Flight Sergeant Keith Merton Cochrane RAAF (2nd Pilot)
Sergeant Claude Keith Nurse (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Sergeant Eric Bailey (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
The crew were buried at El Daba Cemetery on the 20th of April 1942 but their bodies were later exhumed and moved to their present location.
He is buried at El Alamein War Cemetery Plot XVIII Row H Grave 6

Scott, Leonard Goldie Coder PJX 199667 RN

HMS Bluebell, Royal Navy
Killed in action on the 17th of February 1945 aged 24
Leonard Goldie Scott was born at Dalkeith on the 3rd of March 1920 the son of James Scott and Florence Hilda Scott of 60, Murrayfield Avenue, Edinburgh. He was educated at George Watson's College from 1928 to 1937 after which he entered the service of the National Bank of Scotland at their Leith Walk Branch in Edinburgh and later at the Slateford Branch.
He joined the Royal Navy in early 1940 and trained at a camp in Skegness before being posted to the corvette HMS Bluebell (K80). He served on escort duties in the Atlantic, the Mediterranean and in northern waters.
On the 2nd of February 1945, the corvette HMS Bluebell, under the command of Lieutenant Geoffrey Herbert Walker DSC RNVR, set sail from Loch Ewe as an escort for Convoy JW-64 bound for the Kola Inlet in northern Russia. The convoy came under aircraft attack on the 7th and 10th of February but no ships were sunk. When she arrived at Kola Inlet HMS Bluebell took the corvette HMS Denbigh Castle under tow on the 16th of February after the latter had been hit by a torpedo which had been fired by the U-Boat U-992. Later that day she rejoined the escort from the convoy to take part in operations against U Boats which were known to be assembling in the area off the inlet to attack the returning convoy RA-64. On the 17th of February 1945, Convoy RA-64 was assembling off the coast of Murmansk for its return journey to Loch Ewe. HMS Bluebell was some eight miles to the north east of Kola inlet searching for U Boats ahead of the convoy when she was struck in the stern at 5.30pm by a Gnat acoustic homing torpedo, which had been fired by the U-Boat U-711 under the command of Kapitänleutnant Hans-Gunther Lange. The torpedo detonated her depth charges and she sank seconds later, with only one survivor from her 91 man crew. The destroyer HMS Zest (R-02) arrived in the area ten minutes later and heard the cries from men in the water but was unable to stop for fear that she too would be attacked. HNS Zest was relieved by the destroyer HMS Opportune (G-80) which lowered a whaleboat at 5.53pm and recovered three unconscious men from the water, only one of which survived.
He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial Panel 89 Column 2

Scott, Robert Findlay Lance Sergeant 1468107

Right Troop, 292 Battery, 94 (City of Edinburgh) Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery
Killed in action on the 25th of December 1941 aged 31
Robert Findlay Scott was born at Edinburgh on the 17th of July 1910 the only son of Robert Findlay Scott and Margaret C. Scott of 39, Lauderdale Street, Edinburgh. He was educated at George Watson's College from 1915 to 1927. On leaving school he was apprenticed to Messrs. Barstow and Millar, chartered accountants of Edinburgh. He was admitted as a member of the Society of Accountants in Edinburgh in 1933 and he worked for Messrs Alex Cowan & Sons Ltd, papermakers of Penicuik, until the outbreak of war.
On the 25th of December 1941, 292 Battery, 94 Heavy Anti-Aircraft Regiment was near Derna in Libya. At 9.50am a German aircraft dropped four bombs on their positions which landed on a group of men from Right Troop, 292 Battery as well as setting fire to an ammunition lorry which caused the ammunition to explode and to destroy another lorry. Robert Scott was one of ten men who were killed during the incident, with another man missing believed killed and a further eight men wounded.
He is buried at Benghazi War Cemetery Plot 8 Row G Grave 29

Scurr, William Henry Lieutenant EC/13539

B Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Queen Alexandra's Own Gurkha Rifles, Indian Army
Killed in action on the 28th of April 1945 aged 21
William Henry Scurr was born at Tynemouth, Northumberland on the 10th of February 1924 the elder son of William Henry Scurr and Frances Elizabeth (nee Kitchen) Scurr of Tynemouth, later of 342, Morningside Road, Edinburgh. He was educated at George Watson's College from 1934 to 1939.
He volunteered for military service, was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Indian Army and was attached to the 1st Battalion, 3rd Queen Alexandra's Own Gurkha Rifles.
At 2.35pm on the 27th of April 1945, D Company, 1st Battalion, 3rd Queen Alexandra's Own Gurkha Rifles began to advance towards the enemy held village of Pyaibangyi in Burma with support from a Battalion of Rajputs on their right as well as from tanks. At 3.30pm the remainder of the Battalion was ordered to mop up any remaining enemy resistance behind them. A Company advanced down the road to the village on the right of it, with B Company on the left. They encountered several enemy bunkers which had been missed by the leading Company, all of which were dealt with by dusk. Forty one Japanese dead were counted with one enemy prisoner had been captured; five Ghurkhas had been wounded during the day's fighting.
At 9am on the morning of the 28th of April 1945, the Battalion left Pyaibangyi and advanced towards the village of Payagale where they would be advancing behind the Rajputs and tanks which would be leading the attack. Very heavy resistance was met, with the Japanese using electronically triggered landmines as well as suicide squads to attack the tanks by using long poles with mines attached to them. At 2.10pm the Ghurkhas took the lead from the Rajputs in the advance, with C Company on the left of the road and with B Company on the right. A Company followed behind D Company while C Company was in support of B Company. As they advanced into the village they encountered heavy resistance from the Japanese, who were well dug in at a small stream which ran from east to west through it. This was cleared by nightfall and the Battalion consolidated their positions around a road and railway bridge where their positions were probed by Japanese troops throughout the night. The day's fighting had seen eighty six Japanese killed with one captured while the Ghurkhas had suffered casualties of ten wounded and five killed, one of which was William Scurr.
He is buried at Rangoon War Cemetery Plot 3 Row B Grave 7

Shaw, John James McIntosh Colonel MC, Croix de Guerre with Star

Royal Army Medical Corps
Died on the 10th of September 1940 aged 54
John James McIntosh Shaw was born at Port Glasgow in 1885 the son of John Shaw, a consulting engineer, and Isabella McIntosh Shaw of 6, Jessfield Terrace, Newhaven, Edinburgh. He was educated at George Watson's College from 1894 to 1902. He went on to Edinburgh University to read medicine where he served as President of the Students Union and as President of the University Athletic Club. He served as a Bombardier in the University Battery of the Edinburgh (City) Artillery Volunteer Corps from 1902 to 1908 and with the Artillery Section of the Officer Training Corps from 1908. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Officer Training Corps in 1908 and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1910.
He graduated MA in 1906, and achieved MB and MD in 1909. He was appointed as a Medical Officer at the London County Council Asylum at Bexley in Kent in 1912 and achieved FRCS (Edinburgh) in 1913.
Following the outbreak of the Great War he was mobilised for service with the Royal Army Medical Corps and disembarked in France on the 19th of August 1914 where he was attached to No. 2 Casualty Clearing Station at Bailleul. He was promoted to Captain on the 28th of October 1914 and to Acting Major in January 1918. Later in the war he served as surgical specialist with No. 44 Casualty Clearing Station. He was awarded the Military Cross and the Croix de Guerre with Star in June 1918 and was mentioned in Sir John French's despatches, of the 31st of May 1915. He was Mentioned in Despatches again in December 1917. After the war he worked at Bangor War Hospital before moving to London and later to Edinburgh, where he became a leading surgeon and a pioneer in plastic surgery as well as devoting much attention to the use and development of radium and X-ray therapy for the treatment of malignant disease. He made many contributions to medical literature on these subjects. He also lectured in Clinical Surgery at Edinburgh University and was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1931. He was married to Mina Draper and they lived at "Greenaway", Kinnear Road, Edinburgh; they had eight children.
On the outbreak of the Second World War he was appointed as Consultant Surgeon to the British Army in the Field and, in the early summer of 1940, he was posted overseas as Consulting Surgeon to the Forces in the Middle East.
He died in Cairo from an acute attack of dysentery.
He is buried at Cairo War Memorial Cemetery P Grave 253

Slight, Hugh Templeton Captain 164894

B Company, 2nd Battalion, Gordon Highlanders
Killed in action on the 16th of July 1944 aged 26
Hugh Templeton Slight was born Kuala Lumpur, Malaya on the 26th of September 1917 the youngest son of Edgar William Slight, an engineer and merchant, and Agnes Kate (nee Hodge) Slight of Edinburgh and Singapore, later of 21, Foxley Lane, Purley in Surrey. He was educated at George Watson's College from 1926 to 1936 where he was a member of the 3rd Cricket XI and served as a Sergeant in the Officer Training Corps. On leaving school he travelled for a year in France before entering Downing College Cambridge in October 1936 to study medicine, which he changed to modern languages in January 1937. He had ambitions of entering the civil service, but failed his exams in the summer of 1938 and so left Cambridge and was apprenticed as an articled clerk to a London firm of Chartered Accountants. He lived at 57, Barrowgate Road, Chiswick. While he was in London he enlisted in the Territorial Army in the Queen Victoria Rifles and was mobilised on the outbreak of war. He attended the 168th Officer Cadet Training Unit at Heysham before being commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Gordon Highlanders on the 21st of December 1940. He joined the 2nd Battalion of his Regiment on the 28th of December 1940 and was promoted to Lieutenant on the 23rd of January 1942 and to temporary Captain on the same date.
On the 18th of June 1944, the 2nd Battalion, Gordon Highlanders embarked on board an infantry landing craft at Newhaven and set sail for Normandy that evening. They had an uncomfortable night in heavy seas and were forced to spend the next day lying offshore. They landed on the Mulberry Harbour at Arromanches on the afternoon of the 20th of June and marched the six miles to the village of Vaux-sur-Selle.
By the end of the second week of July 1944, the battalion had suffered a large number of casualties and was forced to reorganise by reducing their number of Companies from four to three. Hugh Slight was placed in command of B Company while the Battalion was at Bretteville where it was resting and reorganising. No sooner had this had been done than a draft of reinforcements arrived which became A Company. On the 14th of July they were given orders to renew the attack around the city of Caen, although the city itself was by now in Allied hands. Their Division was tasked with advancing and securing a line from Bougy to Evrecy. The Battalion marched off that night and reached the village of Verson, two miles to the east of Tourville, where they spent the day resting. On the afternoon of the 15th of July they crossed the River Odon and arrived at the village of Baron that evening. The Battalion was to take the high ground above Evrecy in a silent attack that night. While they waited to advance in the orchards outside and to the north of Baron, they came under artillery and mortar fire with one shell hitting a 3 ton ammunition truck. A short time later, searchlights were directed at the clouds above them to give them a degree of light to advance in.
The Gordons began their advance at 10.45pm with C and D Companies leading and with A and B Companies in support. They advanced through the village and out into the countryside beyond where they met little opposition and gathered a few prisoners before reaching their objective where the two leading Companies dug in. The intention was that A and B Companies would pass through the two leading Companies and take Point 113 above Evrecy before two other units would take the village itself. In the event, they had only covered a short distance from Baron when A and B Companies came under heavy machine gun fire from their left and suffered numerous casualties. They were forced to dig in where they were, while still some 400 to 500 yards behind the leading Companies and received orders not to advance further but to hold the ground where they were. When dawn broke on the morning of the 16th of July 1944 they found themselves in a very exposed position which soon attracted artillery and mortar fire and which lasted most of the day. Enemy aircraft also attacked them but caused no casualties. At 12.10pm the commanding officer of C Company reported that the Germans were attacking from the direction of Le Bon Repos and that there were five German Mark IV tanks heading for the left flank of A and B Companies' positions, with the leading tank only 150 years away from them. The first shots from the German tanks made a direct hit on B Company's position, killing Hugh Slight. The Anti Tank Platoon, which had already lost most of its men, was situated close by and their commanding officer, Captain Parish, and a Sergeant managed to manhandle one of the guns into position before opening fire. They knocked out each of the five enemy tanks in turn and set them all on fire. Those of their crews who escaped the burning hulks were cut down by rifle fire from the men of B Company. The Battalion spent the remainder of the day under further artillery and mortar fire but no more attacks were mounted against them.
Between the 14th and the 18th of July the Battalion suffered casualties of one officer killed, with three wounded and with eleven other ranks killed, one hundred and seven men wounded and seven missing.
He is commemorated on the war memorial at Downing College, Cambridge and on the Roll of Honour of the Members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and Articled Clerks.
He is buried at Banneville-la-Campagne War Cemetery Plot VII Row A Grave 10

Smith, David Campbell Sergeant 1560377 (P)

No. 84 Group Support Unit, Royal Air Force
Killed on active service on the 20th of February 1945 aged 22
David Campbell Smith was born at Edinburgh on the 23rd of December 1922 the only son of Ernest Lincoln Smith, a travelling salesman, and Ethel Marion (nee Soden) Smith of 10, Merchiston Bank Gardens, Edinburgh. He was educated at George Watson’s College from 1927 to 1941 where he was an original member of the school Air Training Corps Squadron. On leaving school he enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
On the 20th of February 1945, David Smith took off from RAF Lasham in Spitfire Mk XVI TB336 for a ferry flight to northern France. While flying in poor visibility the aircraft crashed into a hill at Longevilles-Mont-d'Or near Doubs and he was killed instantly.
He is buried at Longuenesse Souvenir Cemetery Plot 4 Row AA Grave 19

Smith, John Batten Pilot Officer 171042 DFC

101 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Killed in action on the 31st of March 1944 aged 22
John "Jimmy" Batten Smith was born in Ceylon on the 5th of February 1922 the only son of John Batten-Smith and Kathleen Beulah Smith (nee Biddlecombe, later Carter) Batten-Smith of Fernhill, Nilgiris, India and of 1, Addison Place, Arbroath. He was educated at Arbroath High School and at George Watson’s College from 1935 to 1941 where he was awarded colours for the Rugby XV and for the Cricket XI. On leaving school he enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve where he rose to the rank of Flight Sergeant before being commissioned as a Pilot Officer on the 14th of January 1944.
On the night of the 30th/31st of March 1944, Bomber Command dispatched 572 Lancasters, 214 Halifaxes and 9 Mosquitos for an operation on Nuremburg. It was a full moon that night and operations would normally have ceased unless there was cloud cover to offer protection from night fighters. A weather reconnaissance flight reported that there was unlikely to be cloud cover on route but that there could be cloud over the target. The operation was to go ahead. The German controllers correctly determined the route the bombers would take and their night fighters shot down 82 aircraft on the outward journey. A smaller number were lost on the return journey as many of the enemy fighters had landed to refuel and to rearm. Most of the returning crews reported that they had bombed Nuremburg but, in the event, around 120 had dropped their bombs on Schweinfurt, some fifty miles away, as two Pathfinder aircraft had been blown off course and had marked the wrong target. Most of the bombing there fell outside the town and 2 people were killed on the ground. The raid on Nuremberg was a failure. Strong winds and thick cloud spread across the target causing the Pathfinders to mark the target too far to the east with the result that bombs fell in a ten mile swath, mostly across the countryside. 69 people were killed on the ground in the city and in the outlying villages.
He was friendly with a WAAF equipment officer, Assistant Section Officer Patricia Bourne, and before the operation he gave her his writing case containing letters for his parents should he not return and asked her to think of him at 1am, when he would be over the target. When she returned to her quarters, she set her alarm for 1am.
John Batten-Smith and his crew took off from RAF Ludford Magna at 10.05pm on the 30th of March 1944 in Lancaster Mk III DV276 SR-R for the operation. This was to be their twenty second operation together. Also in the crew was Watsonian Allan Ross. The Squadron assembled over their base before climbing to 12,000 feet and routing over Southwold and Selsey Bill. As the crews flew towards the target the moon was so bright they could see the other aircraft in the formation. Just before they reached the target the aircraft was shot down by a night fighter, flown by Oberleutnant Helmuth Schulte of NJG5, and crashed near the "cloverleaf" junction on the autobahn at Rothenbach an der Pegnitz, about ten miles to the east north east of the city centre, at 1.25am with the loss of the entire crew. Theirs was one of an eventual twenty five victories for Helmuth Shulte, who survived the war.
The crew was: -
Pilot Officer John Batten Smith DFC (Pilot)
Pilot Officer Howard Ernest Beer (Pilot)
Sergeant Robert Armstrong (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant Graham Harries Williams (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Allan Henry Ross (Air Bomber)
Sergeant Robert Russell Roberts (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Sergeant Hugh Fleming McClenaghan (Mid Upper Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Arthur Haynes (Rear Gunner)
Theirs was one of seven aircraft from the squadron which failed to return from the raid and one of ninety two aircraft lost overall, nearly 12% of the attacking force. It was the worst night of the war for Bomber Command. Patricia Bourne had awoken at 1am and thought of him before going back to sleep.
He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, which was announced by the Air Ministry on the 21st of December 1945 with effect from the 30th of March 1944.
He is buried at Durnbach War Cemetery Plot 8 Row B Grave 15

Smith, William Munro Ross Signalman 14633993

52 (Lowland) Division, Royal Corps of Signals
Killed in action on the 19th of April 1945 aged 19
William Munro Ross Smith was born at Edinburgh the younger son of George Wright Smith and Marion Alison Smith of 9, Viewforth, Edinburgh. He was educated at George Watson's College from 1930 to 1941 when he left to join the staff of The London Assurance Company, Hope Street, Edinburgh.
He joined the Royal Corps of Signals in 1943 and landed with the 52nd Division during the fighting on Walcheren Island in October 1944 and saw action in Belgium and Germany.
He was killed during the advance on Bremen.
He is buried at Becklingen War Cemetery Plot 3 Row C Grave 7

Smyth, John Scott Pilot Officer 118650

158 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Killed in action on the 17th of September 1942 aged 37
John Scott Smyth was born at Eccles, Berwickshire on the 4th of November 1904 the son of John Smyth, a farmer, and Elizabeth Jane Smyth of Birgham near Coldstream in Berwickshire. He was educated at George Watson's College from 1917 to 1921. On leaving school he went to work on the family farm at Birgham. He was well known in motorcycle racing circles and competed in the Scottish Championships. He was also a well-known swimmer and was a member of the Coldstream Hockey Club. Before the war he lived at "Abbotsford", Main Street, Norham, Northumberland and lived on his own means.
Following the outbreak of war, he enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve where he served as a rear gunner with Coastal Command and later as an observer with Ferry Command. He was commissioned as a Pilot Officer on the 7th of March 1942 and served with 35 Squadron before joining 158 Squadron on the 13th of August 1942.
On the night of the 16th/17th of September 1942 Bomber Command dispatched 369 bombers for an operation on Essen. Although the bombing was reported to have been scattered, it was considered a success with reports of 13 large fires and a further 80 medium sized ones have been started. Six transport targets were hit as well as eight industrial sites, including the Krupps works which was hit by 15 bombs and was struck by a crashing bomber which was loaded with incendiaries. There was much housing damage in Essen with 47 people killed on the ground with a further 92 injured. A number of other towns were also hit with 50 fires being started in Bochum where 4 people were killed on the ground, at Wuppertal with 13 dead and at Herne where a large fire destroyed a lorry garage.
John Smyth and his crew took off from RAF East Moor at 8.48pm on the 16th of September 1942 in Halifax Mk II W1222 NP-S for the operation. The aircraft crashed between the small towns of Bosinghoven and Ossum, some 6 kilometres to the south east of Krefeld, with the loss of the entire crew.
The crew was: -
Flight Sergeant Leslie John William Beckman (Pilot)
Sergeant Fred William Brogden (Flight Engineer)
Pilot Officer John Scott Smyth (Navigator)
Flight Sergeant Stanley Cooper (Air Bomber)
Flight Sergeant John William Murphy RNZAF (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Sergeant Leslie Byrne (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Stanley George Walton (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Thiers was one of thirty nine aircraft lost on the operation.
He is buried at Reichswald Forest War Cemetery Collective Grave 2. H. 10-16

Somerville, Archibald James Lieutenant 174898

A Company, 1st Battalion, Royal Scots (Royal Regiment)
Killed in action on the 9th of June 1944 aged 24
Archibald James Somerville was born in Chile on the 7th of October 1919 the son of William Mann Somerville, Manager of the Anglo-South American Bank, later a farmer, and Alexanderine (nee Learmonth) Somerville of Fundo Edina, Rivadavia (Elqui), Chile. He was educated at George Watson's College from 1925 to 1932 after which he returned to Chile with his parents.
He returned to the UK on the outbreak of war and is believed to have been the first man to come from Chile to enlist. He attended an Officer Cadet Training Unit before being commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Scots (Royal Regiment) on the 1st of March 1941. He was promoted to Lieutenant on the 1st of October 1942.
At 8am on the morning of the 8th of June 1944, the 1st Battalion, Royal Scots arrived at the village of Kigwina and by noon they reported that it had been cleared of the enemy. During the afternoon the Battalion began to advance up the Kohima – Imphal Road where, towards the end of the day, B Company ran into enemy opposition at the village of Viswina and were pinned down until after dark.
The next morning, the 9th of June 1944, A and C Companies advanced down a small stream and then climbed up the wooded slopes towards the village to attack its northern flank. As they ascended the slope, A Company came under heavy fire from a Japanese bunker position on a spur on the north west side of the village and the advance stalled. The two Companies then formed defensive positions on the wooded slopes and across a paddy field where they came under continuous fire throughout the day. The village was later brought under British mortar fire, which set fire to it, but the enemy still held it at the end of the day. Archibald Somerville had been killed during the day's fighting.
The battle for the village lasted until the 13th of June and on the 14th of June a Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment occupied it with no casualties.
He is buried at Kohima War Cemetery Plot 3 Row B Grave 13

Somerville, George John Fourth Engineer Officer

SS Arletta, Merchant Navy
Killed in action on the 5th of August 1942 aged 24
George John Somerville was born at Edinburgh on the 9th of January 1918 the only son of James Somerville and Marion Stewart Somerville of 13, Glengyle Terrace, Edinburgh. He was educated at George Watson's College from 1923 to 1935. On leaving school he was apprenticed to the West End Engineering Company of Edinburgh. He was married to Christina of 22, Roseburn Place, Murrayfield, Edinburgh.
In 1939 he joined the Merchant Navy and sailed between the UK and Holland until the fall of Dunkirk. He was later posted to the 4,870 ton steam tanker SS Arletta.
The SS Arletta, under the command of Master George William Stockton Rogers, set sail from Grangemouth bound for Loch Ewe and Halifax carrying ballast. They joined Convoy ON-115 at Liverpool, which was made up of forty three merchant ships and twelve escorts, and departed with it on the 24th of July 1942. On the 2nd of August the convoy was attacked by seven U-Boats from Wolfpack Pirat and three ships were sunk before contact was lost in misty weather the next day. Following this action the SS Arletta became separated from the convoy. At 4.13pm on the 5th of August 1942 she was to the south- south west of Cape Race when she was hit by a torpedo fired by the U-Boat U-458, under the command of Kapitänleutnant Kurt Diggins. The ship was sunk with the loss of the Master, twenty seven crew and six gunners. After fifteen days adrift, five survivors were rescued from a lifeboat by the US Coast Guard weather ship USS Menemsha (AG-39) and were landed at Boston on the 25th of August 1942
He is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial Panel 10

Somerville, Robert Dennis Captain 87400

585 (City of Edinburgh) Corps Field Park Company, Royal Engineers
Killed in action on the 7th of January 1943 aged 31
Robert Dennis Somerville was born in Midlothian on the 14th of March 1911 the son of James Andrew Somerville and Mary Hardie Somerville of "Eskbank", Heriot, Midlothian. He was educated at the Royal High School, Edinburgh and at George Watson's College from 1922 to 1929. He went on to the University of Edinburgh from where he graduated with a B.Sc in Engineering. On leaving university he joined the firm of Messrs. Bruce Peebles & Co Ltd of Edinburgh and later joined the electrical contracting firm of Messrs. James Scott & Co Ltd of Perth.
He enlisted in the Territorial Army in early 1939 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers on the 10th of May 1939. He was mobilised on the outbreak of war and was promoted to Lieutenant on the 1st of January 1941 and to Acting Captain on the 14th of November 1941.
At 8am on the morning of the 12th of December 1942, an advance party of two officers and forty seven men of 585 Corps Field Park Company embarked on board the passenger steam ship SS Cameronia, at Gourock bound for Algeria. On the 23rd of December the main party, under the command of Robert Somerville, embarked at Gourock on board the steamer SS Benalbanach, under the command of Master David Kilpatrick Coutts Macgregor, to join them. The ship set sail from the Clyde the following day as part of Convoy MKS-6 and, in addition to its passengers, it was carrying a cargo of 136 tanks and other motor vehicles, 800 tons of ammunition, 68 tons of petrol and 300 tons of military stores.
At 6.10pm on the 7th of January 1943, the convoy was some 20 miles off Phillipsville when it was attacked by 15 Savoia torpedo aircraft. During the attack SS Benalbanach was hit by a torpedo in her aft section and sank in just 90 seconds. A number of survivors were picked up by the escort destroyer HMS Bicester (L34), which included ten men of 585 Corps Field Park Company, two of whom were wounded and were taken ashore where they were admitted to hospital at Phillipsville. Three hundred and ninety seven passengers, crew and naval gunners had been lost in the sinking with sixty two survivors.
He is commemorated on the war memorial at Heriot.
He is commemorated on the Medjez-el-Bab Memorial Face 10

Stenhouse, William Alan Flying Officer 39904

77 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Killed in action on the 15th of August 1940 aged 26
William Alan Stenhouse was born at Edinburgh on the 7th of June 1913 the younger son of Alexander James Stenhouse, a chartered accountant, and Jessie Lamb (nee Wilkie) Stenhouse of 31, Gilmour Road, Edinburgh. He was educated at George Watson's College from 1919 to 1930. On leaving school he was apprenticed to his father's office but later decided to make a career in the Royal Air Force.
He was commissioned as a Pilot Officer in the Royal Air Force on the 10th of May 1938 and was promoted to Flying Officer on the 10th of December 1939.
William Stenhouse and his crew took off from RAF Driffield at 7.35pm on the 15th of August 1940 in Whitley Mk V P5044 KN-O for an operation against oil refineries near to the city of Bordeaux. There were standing orders in force ordering all returning aircraft to make landfall between Selsey and Beachy Head. The returning aircraft was plotted by members of the Botley Observers Corps near Fareham flying towards Southampton Water. With the crew being unsure of their position, the aircraft had just emerged from cloud when it struck a barrage balloon cable about one mile to the south east of Eastleigh at about 3.30am. Some fifteen feet of one of the wings was smashed and the aircraft crashed about two miles away with the loss of the entire crew.
The crew was: -
Pilot Officer Robert "Bobbie" Butler MacGregor (2nd Pilot)
Flying Officer William Alan Stenhouse (Pilot)
Sergeant Claude Lionel Geoffrey Hood (Observer)
Sergeant John "Jack" Burrow (Wireless Operator)
Sergeant Harold Davies (Rear Gunner)
His aunt received the following telegram dated the 20th of August 1940: -
"Deeply regret to inform you that your nephew Flying Officer William Alan Stenhouse is reported on August 15th 1940 as having lost his life as the result of an aircraft accident. Letter follows. The Air Council express their profound sympathy."
The crew were buried together on the 21st of August 1940.
He is buried at All Saints Churchyard, Fawley, Old Portion, Row 2 Collective Grave 2

Stewart, Duncan McArthur Captain AI/674

3rd Battalion, 5th Mahratta Light Infantry
Killed in action on the 17th of March 1941 aged 24
Duncan McArthur Stewart was born at Karachi on the 27th of September 1916 the only son of Peter McArthur Stewart, Indian Police, and Annie Stein Stewart of Dharwar, India and of 69, Clermiston Road, Corstorphine, Edinburgh. He was educated at Westley House School, Forfar and at George Watson's College from 1924 to 1934. He went on to the Royal Military College Sandhurst from where he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant on the Unattached List for the Indian Army on the 27th of August 1936. He was later attached to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Mahratta Light Infantry.
Following the outbreak of war the 3rd Battalion, 5th Mahratta Light Infantry was deployed to Eritrea where they were engaged in operations against Italian forces.
In early February 1941, Duncan Stewart was taken ill and was admitted to No. 3 Casualty Clearing station where he recovered and returned to his unit later that month.
From February 1941, the Battalion was part of operations to capture the enemy held city of Keren. On the 16th of March they took part in an unsuccessful attack on one of the ridges surrounding the city, specifically against two positions known as the Pinnacle and the Pimple. On the morning of the 17th of March 1941, Duncan Stewart and Major Charles Lyons Mervyn Voules were supervising carrying parties on a road which was overlooked by the enemy positions on the Pinnacle. At 11am, a salvo of Italian mortar bombs fell on the road killing Duncan Stewart and eight Indian other ranks and seriously wounding Charles Voules , who died from his wounds in hospital a few hour later.
The Battalion war diary recorded that: - "Both of these officers were invaluable in this Battalion."
He is buried at Keren War Cemetery Plot 2 Row D Grave 13

Stewart George Ronald Flight Sergeant 1365996

625 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Killed in action on the 16th of March 1944 aged 22
George Ronald Stewart was born at Jedburgh, Roxburghshire on the 8th of May 1921 the younger son of George Stewart of "Valleyview", Jedburgh. He was educated at Jedburgh Grammar School and at George Watson's College from 1937 where he was a member of the School Golf team in 1939 and played that year in the Boys’ Golf Championship at North Berwick. He had planned to take the examinations for the Civil Service, but instead he enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
He was trained in the United States, Canada and South Africa. He finished his training at No. 1662 Heavy Conversion Unit and joined 625 Squadron on the 2nd of February 1944.
On the night of the 15th/16th of March 1944, Bomber Command dispatched 617 Lancasters, 230 Halifaxes and 16 Mosquitos for an operation on Stuttgart. In order to deceive the German night fighter controllers the bomber stream flew across France almost as far at the Swiss border before turning north towards their target. As a result, the enemy controllers were forced to split their night fighters into two groups. One of these groups intercepted the incoming raiders just before they reached the city and a number of fierce combats took place. Adverse headwinds meant that the Pathfinder marking fell well short of the target, despite the clear visibility. While some of the early bombing fell on the centre of the city, most fell on the open countryside to the south. Damage included the Akademie building in the centre of the city and some housing was destroyed in the south western suburbs. Casualties on the ground were 88 people killed with 203 injured.
George Stewart and his crew took off from RAF Kelstern at 6.56pm on the 15th of March 1944 in Lancaster Mk III W4833 CF-J for the operation. Having dropped its bombs, the aircraft was returning to base when it is thought to have crashed into the sea off the coast of France with the loss of the entire crew.
The crew was: -
Pilot Officer Derrick John Gigger (Pilot)
Sergeant Robert Findlay McNeill (Flight Engineer)
Sergeant George Ronald Stewart (Navigator)
Sergeant Sydney Wasson (Air Bomber)
Sergeant Richard Clegg (Wireless Operator)
Sergeant Raymond Eddison (Air Gunner)
Sergeant Peter James Gallacher (Air Gunner)
Thiers was one of three aircraft from the squadron and thirty seven overall which failed to return from the raid. The bodies of Derrick Gigger and Robert McNeill were washed ashore on the coast of France several months later.
He is commemorated on the war memorial at Jedburgh.
He is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial Panel 222

Stewart, Ian Adam Squadron Leader 78534 DFC

44 (Rhodesia) Squadron, Royal Air Force
Killed in action on the 6th of October 1942 aged 24
Ian Adam Stewart was born at Edinburgh on the 27th of February 1918 the only son of Norman Stewart and Isabella P. Stewart of 85, Ashley Terrace, Edinburgh. He was educated at Gillsland Park School and at George Watson’s College from 1927 to 1936. On leaving school he joined the firm of Messrs. Fairbairn, Lightbody & Cownie, quantity surveyors and valuers of Edinburgh. He was a member of the North British Rowing Club and of the East Scotland Skating Rink.
He enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in May 1939 and rose to the rank of Sergeant before being commissioned as a Pilot Officer on the 17th of April 1940. He was serving with 61 Squadron when he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross which was announced by the Air Ministry on the 18th of April 1941. He was promoted to Flight Lieutenant on the 20th of January 1942.
On the night of the 6th/7th of October 1942, Bomber Command dispatched 101 Wellingtons, 68 Lancasters 18 Stirlings and 30 Halifaxes for an operation on Osnabruck. The Pathfinders firstly dropped flares at Makkum and at the Dummer See, a large lake to the north of the target area which was to be used as a navigation point, before marking the target itself. 4/10th cloud covered the target at 8,000 feet making accuracy more challenging. The majority of the bombs fell on the centre and southern parts of the city destroying 149 houses, seriously damaging another 530 and damaging a further 2,784 more. 6 industrial buildings were destroyed with 14 more damaged. 45 civilians, 16 policemen or servicemen and 4 foreign workers were killed on the ground with a further 151 people being injured.
Ian Stewart and his crew took off from RAF Waddington at between 7.15pm and 7.28pm on the 6th of October 1942 in Lancaster Mk 1 W4188 KM-G for the operation.
The Squadron aircraft passed over the city at a height of between 11,000 feet and 16,000 feet and dropped their bombs at between 9.30pm and 9.38pm. The aircraft was hit by anti aircraft fire while over the target and crashed at Quakenbruck, some 30 miles to the north of the city with the loss of the entire crew.
The crew was: -
Squadron Leader Ian Adam Stewart DFC (Pilot)
Sergeant Charles Duncan Shepherd (Flight engineer)
Flying Officer Patrick Hugh Ryan RNZAF (Navigator)
Pilot Officer Charles Hanbury Williams (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Pilot Officer John Edward Corrie (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Claude Henry Rufus Leyshon (Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Lewis Henry Mutter DFM (Air Gunner)
Theirs was one of six aircraft which failed to return from the raid.
The crew was buried at the Evangelical Friedhof but were later exhumed and re-interred at their present location.
He is buried at Rheinberg War Cemetery Plot 17 Row B Grave 1

Stewart, John Cranston Signalman 2585910

Royal Corps of Signals
Killed on active service on the 30th of May 1946 aged 25
John Cranston Stewart was born on the 17th of February 1924 the elder son of Cranston Hope Stewart and Wilhelmina Stewart of 79, Findhorn Place, Edinburgh. He was educated at George Watson's College from 1927 to 1937. On leaving school he joined the firm of Messrs. Waddie & Co Ltd, stationers of Stockbridge, Edinburgh. He later moved to join Messrs. Macniven & Cameron Ltd, printers and stationers of Edinburgh.
He enlisted in the Territorial Army in February 1939 and was called up on the outbreak of war. He served as a dispatch rider in Burma. After the war he was involved in an accident and he died of his injuries at the British Military Hospital at Bangalore.
He is buried at Madras War Cemetery Plot 1 Row D Grave 14

Stewart, John Rattray Chalmers Captain 92023

R Company, 1st Battalion Parachute Regiment, Army Air Corps
Killed in action on the 24th of November 1942 aged 23
John Rattray Chalmers Stewart was born at Wallasey, Cheshire on the 30th of June 1919 the elder son of Captain Colin Hewitt Stewart MC, a cotton salesman, and Janet Greig Sneddon (nee Isles) Stewart of 5, Mount Road, Wallasey. He was educated at Somerville Preparatory School, Bromborough, Cheshire and at George Watson's College from 1931 to 1935 where he was a member of the Officer Cadet Training Corps. On leaving school he joined the firm of Messrs. H.A. Lane & Co Ltd, provision merchants of Liverpool. He was married at Southport, Lancashire in 1941 to Elaine Violet (nee Eve later Betteridge) of Hillside, Southport.
He enlisted as a Trooper in the Cheshire Yeomanry, part of the Territorial Army, and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 8th Battalion, King's (Liverpool Regiment) on the 12th of July 1939. He was promoted to Lieutenant on the 12th of January 1941. He transferred to the Army Air Corps on the 1st of August 1942 and by late 1942 he was serving as second in command of R Company in the 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment.
On the morning of the 24th of November 1942, R Company, 1st Battalion, Parachute Regiment was based at Oued Zarga, near Majaz-al-Bab from where they organised a joint patrol with a Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers to locate nearby enemy positions. The patrol, which consisted of ten members of the Parachute Regiment and a section of Lancashire Fusiliers, was led by John Stewart and was mounted on a lorry and two Bren gun carriers. At around noon, they had travelled about five miles and were negotiating a narrow cutting, when they were ambushed. The first burst of fire was aimed at the Bren gun carriers and had come from 20mm anti-tank guns but these were joined by machine guns, mortars and a four gun artillery battery, one of whose shells hit the leading truck. The patrol abandoned their vehicles to take cover around a farmhouse. John Stewart and Private David Agar Watton jumped into a ditch where Watton returned fire on the anti tank guns with a Bren gun. Meanwhile, the rest of the patrol fired at the enemy machine gun positions further up a hill. As their position was completely overlooked, the defenders began to move to alternative positions while David Watton covered them with his Bren gun until he was killed by a direct hit on his position from a 20mm shell. With Watton dead, John Stewart took over the Bren gun and continued to give covering fire to his men before he too was killed when a mortar round dropped into the ditch. With their leader having been killed Company Quartermaster Sergeant Cooke took command. The Germans then commenced a mortar barrage followed by an infantry attack which was driven off by grenades and small arms fire. With most of the group now dead or wounded the enemy attacked again and the fighting became hand to hand before Cooke ordered his men to lay down their arms and surrender. John Stewart, David Watton and three of the Lancashire Fusiliers who had been killed were buried at Oued Zarga but their bodies were later exhumed and reinterred at their present location.
He was mentioned in despatches by the King: - "In recognition of and distinguished services in North Africa" which was announced by the War Office on the 23rd of September 1943.
He is commemorated on the Medjez-el-Bab Memorial Face 33

Stracey, Ian Captain 124701

Anti Tank Platoon, 7/9th Battalion, Royal Scots (Royal Regiment)
Killed on active service on the 27th of June 1945 aged 27
Ian Stracey was born in Renfrewshire on the 12th of June 1918 the only son of Herbert James Stracey, civil engineer and senior deputy agent, Indian State Railways, and Jean Cochrane (later Highet) Stracey of 15, Leven Terrace, Edinburgh. He was educated at Edinburgh Academy from 1926 to 1929 and at George Watson's College from 1929 to 1936. He held the Royal Life Saving Society's Bronze and Silver Medals. On leaving school he joined the firm of Messrs. James Findlay, general merchants of Glasgow. In July 1939, he enlisted as a Private in the Seaforth Highlanders and attended an Officer Cadet Training Unit before being commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Scots on the 9th of March 1940. He was posted to the 7/9th Battalion of his Regiment and joined them on the 4th of June 1940. He was promoted to temporary Captain on the 30th of July 1943 and was appointed as Senior Liaison Officer for the 155th Infantry Brigade. He embarked with his Battalion at Southampton on board TSS "Isles of Guernsey '' at noon on the 16th of October 1944 and landed at Ostend at noon the following day from where they marched to a transit camp on the edge of the city. A few days later they took part in the Battle of the Scheldt where he commanded the Anti Tank Platoon.
On the 22nd of February 1945 the 7/9th Battalion, Royal Scots was near Kasteel when they came under fire from Nebelwerfer rockets; this was immediately followed by retaliation from British artillery and rocket firing Typhoon aircraft. Ian Stracey was wounded by shrapnel during the exchange of fire. He was evacuated to the rear but did not return to his Battalion on his recovery.
He was killed in a motor accident near Ghent after the end of hostilities in Europe.
He is commemorated on the war memorial at Edinburgh Academy.
He is buried at Gent City Cemetery Plot 18 Row A Grave 2

Strachan, Donald Balfour Colonel OBE

10th Field Ambulance, South African Medical Corps
Killed on active service on the 19th of November 1941 aged 42
Donald Balfour Strachan was born at Germiston, Transvaal on the 11th of December 1898 the eldest son of Dr Robert Strachan MBE, JP, Mayor of Germiston, and Margaret S. Strachan of Germiston, Transvaal, South Africa, later of 88, Grange Green, Edinburgh . He was educated at George Watson's College from 1910 to 1916, where he was a member of the Officer Training Corps from November 1914 to the 26th of July 1916. He went on to the University of Edinburgh to study medicine from the 10th of October 1916 to 1917. He served as a Cadet in the Artillery Section of the University of Edinburgh Officer Training Corps from the 2nd of April 1917 and attended their annual camp from the 14th of July to the 14th of August 1917. He applied for a commission in the Royal Garrison Artillery (Special Reserve of Officers) on the 12th of September 1917, in an application which was supported by John Alison, the Headmaster of George Watson’s College.
He attested at Trowbridge as Cadet Gunner 225397 in the Royal Field Artillery on the 14th of December 1917. At a medical examination, which took place in Edinburgh on the 17th of December, it was recorded that he was five feet four and half inches tall and that he weighed 133lbs. He was attached to No. 1 Royal Garrison Artillery Officer Cadet Battalion on the 18th of December and joined them to commence his training on the 2nd of January 1918. On completion of his training he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Garrison Artillery on the 13th of May 1918. He was demobilised at Duddingston on the 22nd of December 1918.
At the end of the war he resumed his studies and graduated MB, ChB in 1924. On the 26th of January 1926 he boarded the TSS Nestor at Liverpool to return to South Africa and took up practice at 59, President Street, Germiston. In 1932 he joined the South African Medical Corps and was later appointed as Assistant Director of Medical Services based at Command Headquarters at Bloemfontein.
He was married at Johannesburg on the 24th of February 1940 to Flora Isabella (nee Mathey).
Following the outbreak of war, he saw service in Abyssinia and North Africa for which he was awarded the Order of the British Empire, which was announced in the London Gazette of the 30th of December 1941. The recommendation for the award read: - "For prolonged and meritorious services. Lt. Col. Strachan, Commanding 10 Field Ambulance, had carried out exceptionally good work from the time the Brigade first proceeded on active service. In the El Wak operations his medical arrangements were most efficient and this was the case again in the Moyale reconnaissance. During the Giuba River operations Col. Strachan's handling and disposition of his unit enabled that unit to deal with casualties quickly and efficiently, not only from the Brigade itself but from East and West African Brigades. This organisation also treated and evacuated heavy enemy casualties. The speed and organisation can best be gauged by the fact that no patients handled by ADS of the 10th Field Ambulance remained there for more than 24 hours. Col. Strachan had three widely separated ADS operating and on one occasion two theatres were operating without break for over 48 hours. Col. Strachan's personal courage and bearing were most marked, and on a number of occasions, notably at Margherita, he moved forward before the area had been cleared of the enemy and took control of the enemy hospital in that place, and directed the bringing in, treatment and evacuation of enemy wounded. Col. Strachan's attitude and bearing were deserving of the highest praise. I recommend that Col Strachan should be awarded the OBE" Signed by D. H. Pienaar, Brigade Commander, 1st South African Brigade.
He was also awarded the Order of St John of Jerusalem.
He was killed in an accident at Sidi Rezegh.
He is buried at Knightsbridge War Cemetery Plot 13 Row B Grace 21

Strachan, William James Flying Officer 167877

159 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Killed on active service on the 28th of March 1946 aged 20
William James Strachan was born at Edinburgh on the 29th of June 1925 the son of Francis Yates Strachan, an executive with the Register House Departments, and Isabella Wilson Moncrieff (nee Dunn) Strachan of 7, Strathfillan Road, Edinburgh. He was educated at George Watson’s College from 1930 to 1943, after which he enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He underwent training at St Andrews and in Canada and was commissioned as a Pilot Officer on the 2nd of March 1945. He was posted to India in August 1945 and was promoted to Flying Officer on the 2nd of September 1945.
On the 28th of March 1946, William Strachan and his crew took off from Pegu in Burma in Liberator C. Mk VIII KN760 "H" carrying twenty one passengers and crew. During the flight briefing the Captain of the aircraft failed to turn up and so was replaced by a less experienced pilot. During the initial climb out, the aircraft suffered from an engine failure in engine No. 1, and the pilot reduced his altitude in order to attempt an emergency landing. During this manoeuvre the aircraft crashed, killing or injuring all of the passengers and crew.
The crew was: -
Flying Officer James Hubert Craig (Pilot)
Flying Officer John Stanley Wood (Pilot)
Flying Officer William James Strachan (Air Bomber)
Flying Officer Richard Henry Regan (Pilot)
Flying Officer Henry George McClure (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Flight Sergeant Billie Charles Acton (Navigator)
Warrant Officer Leslie Walter John Evans (Flight Engineer)
Flight Sergeant Frederick Charles Horn (Wireless Operator/Air Gunner)
Warrant Officer Cyril Albert Payne (Navigator)
Sergeant Jack Hewitt (Navigator)
The passengers were: -
Leading Aircraftman Allen George Jell
Leading Aircraftman William John Payne Cunliffe (No. 7159 Servicing Echelon)
Leading Aircraftman Archibald Charles Milne
Major James Hord Whitaker (526 Artisan Works Company, Indian Engineers)
Lieutenant Robert James Durham (Indian Engineers)
Lance Naik Abdul Razaq (526 Artisan Works Company, Indian Engineers)
Injured: -
Flight Sergeant E. O. Holloway
Flight Sergeant C. A. Ellis
Flight Sergeant J. Watson
Leading Aircraftman J. V. McNair
The injured were taken to the Royal Air Force Hospital Mingaladon.
He is buried at Rangoon Cemetery Collective Grave 1 D 4-19

Sumpton, Alan Reginald Leading Aircraftman (Cadet) 998732

No. 8 Service Flying School, Royal Air Force
Killed on active service on the 2nd of March 1941 aged 19
Alan Reginald Sumpton was born at Edinburgh on the 16th of September 1921 the only son of Reginald Sumpton and Ada Sumpton of 11, Morton Street, Edinburgh. He was educated at George Watson’s College from 1926 to 1939 where he was a noted all round cricketer and was a member of the 1st Cricket XI from 1937 to 1939. On leaving school he went to work as a quantity surveyor before enlisting in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in May 1940. He trained as a pilot at Montrose and was awarded his "Wings''.
Alan Sumpton took off from RAF Montrose at 2.50pm on the 2nd of March 1941 with his instructor, Pilot Officer Franciszek Bernatowicz, in Miles Master Mk 1 N8002 for a check flight to assess his ability in aerobatics. The weather was described as mainly fair with moderate to good visibility. Sometime later, the aircraft was flying at 6,000 feet when it was seen to be executing "rather severe aerobatics at high speed." While performing a half-roll the aircraft was seen to pull out at about 2,000 feet when one of the main planes appeared to disintegrate, causing the aircraft to spin erratically before plunging into the ground and killing both men instantly.
He is commemorated at Warriston Crematorium Panel 4

Sutherland, Stuart Robertson Lieutenant 117664

Wiltshire Regiment (Duke of Edinburgh's Own)
Killed on active service on the 13th of November 1942 aged 22
Stuart Robertson Sutherland was born in Sutherland on the 16th of June 1920 the son of J.W.R. Sutherland, Burma Forestry Service, and Jean Sutherland. He was educated at George Watson's College from 1926 where he gained both his 1st Rugby XV and Athletics colours. He was due to be appointed as Captain of School but instead, he enlisted in the Seaforth Highlanders and attended the 166th Officer Cadet Unit at Douglas on the Isle of Man before being commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Wiltshire Regiment on the 10th of February 1940. He was promoted to Lieutenant on the 10th of August 1941.
He was killed in an accident in Nigeria.
He received the King's Commendation for Brave Conduct posthumously, which was announced by the War Office on the 20th of April 1943.
He is buried at Sokoto Cemetery Grave 5

Thomson, Alastair Drummond Lieutenant EC/9381

3rd Battalion, 5th Mahratta Light Infantry
Killed in action on the 6th of August 1944 aged 21
Alastair Drummond Thomson was born at Aberdeen on the 15th of October 1922 the second son of the Reverend James Kyd Thomson and Joan (née Drummond) Thomson of Mayfield North Manse, 18, West Mayfield, Edinburgh. He was educated in the infant department of Aberdeen Grammar School from 1927 to 1929 and at George Watson's College until 1939. He went on to Aberdeen University on a Harkness Scholarship and graduated MA. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Indian Army on the 26th of November 1942 and served on the staff of Major General Reid. He was later attached to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Mahratta Light Infantry.
At 2pm on the 4th of August 1944, the 3rd Battalion, 5th Mahratta Light Infantry made an attack on enemy positions on Monte Altuccia near Castello. As they reached a wooded area at the top of the hill they came under heavy fire and were forced to withdraw to the reverse slope. They held their new line throughout the following day where they were under continuous shell fire and suffered casualties of one other rank killed and seven wounded. During the day the Battalion Headquarter was moved to an area known as Death Valley.
At 5.30am on the morning of the 6th of August 1944, the Germans attacked the ridge between Castello and Monte Altuccia with B and C Companies being sent forward to reinforce the defenders. The attack was driven off by 10am with the retreating enemy leaving many dead and wounded behind them as well as a considerable number of their troops being taken prisoner. At 10.30am, Battalion Headquarters came under heavy shell fire which killed Alastair Thomson and one other rank and slightly wounded Captain CL Pratt and twelve other ranks.
He is commemorated on the war memorial at Aberdeen Grammar School.
He is buried at Arezzo War Cemetery, Plot II, Row C Grave 22

Thomson, George Stanley Anderson Sergeant 1365463

No. 1 Overseas Aircraft Delivery Unit, Royal Air Force
Killed on active service on the 6th of October 1942 aged 20
George Stanley Thomson was born at Edinburgh on the 26th of October 1920 the son of Dr Robert H. Thomson MC LCRP LDS RCS (Edin) of "The Lindens", Uphall, West Lothian. He was educated at Uphall Public School and at George Watson’s College from 1931 to 1937. He was a King’s Scout. On leaving school he studied medicine before enlisting in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve on the outbreak of war. He was married to Marion Blaine Hunter.
He was posted to 1 Overseas Air Delivery Flight, and he and his crew were tasked with the delivery of Wellington Mk IC HE105 to Bathhurst in the Gambia. The aircraft landed at Gibraltar on the 5th of October 1942 where the crew spent the night. In the early morning of the following day they took off again and when the aircraft was at five hundred feet it commenced a climbing turn before flying into cliffs, killing the entire crew.
The crew was: -
Sergeant George Stanley Anderson Thomson
Sergeant Scott Henney
Sergeant Robert Samuel Manktelow
Flying Officer James Osborn Barker Wraith (Observer)
Flying Officer James Johnstone Wright
He is commemorated on the war memorial at Uphall.
He is commemorated on the Gibraltar Memorial

Thomson, William Gilmour Sub Lieutenant (A) RNVR

HMS Hermes, Fleet Air Arm
Killed in action on the 9th of April 1942 aged 25
William Gilmour Thomson was born on the 17th of June 1917 the son of Sir William Johnston Thomson, an engineer and Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh and Lady Joan (nee Duncan) Thomson of 11, Learmouth Terrace, Edinburgh. He was educated at George Watson's College until 1931 when he went on to Fettes College, where he was in Carrington House from 1931 to April 1936. He was appointed as a House Prefect, was a member of the Debating Society and served as a Sergeant in the Officer Training Corps. On leaving school he joined the firm of Messrs. Leyland Motors as a student apprentice.
At the outbreak of war he was called up for service with the Fleet Air Arm but had to wait to begin his training, during which time he worked for Hawker Siddeley in their aircraft department to gain experience in aircraft engines and construction. He was called up for service in April 1940 and trained as a pilot. He was commissioned as a Sub Lieutenant (A) in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve on the 18th of November 1940 and passed out in January 1941. He served initially on the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal in the Mediterranean before later transferring to the light aircraft carrier HMS Hermes.
On the 9th of April 1942 the Japanese launched an attack on the British naval port of Trincomalee. HMS Hermes was in the port at the time undergoing repairs but an intercepted Japanese communication gave the ship enough time to put to sea.
When the attack was over she was returning to port when she was spotted by a Japanese reconnaissance aircraft off Batticaloa. At 10.30am the tannoy sounded to announce an imminent air attack. For half an hour she was attacked by an estimated seventy enemy aircraft from the Japanese carriers Akagai, Hiryu, and Soryu, part of the Japanese First Air Fleet. Fifteen minutes into the attack the rear magazine was hit and the ship began to list to port with fires raging in the hangar areas as well as elsewhere on the ship. Japanese planes continued to drop bombs on her until she sunk just to the southeast of Trincomalee at 11am. Also attacked and sunk from the same convoy were the destroyer HMAS Vampire, the corvette HMS Hollyhock and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary tankers, Athelstane and British Sergeant.
Casualties among the crew of HMS Hermes were 307 men killed, with 590 of the crew being picked up and delivered to Colombo by the Hospital Ship Vita. William Thomson was among the dead.
The Fettes College School magazine, The Fettesian, wrote of him: -
"William Gilmour Thomson came to Fettes (Carrington) in 1931 and left in 1936, where he was a House Prefect and a Sergeant in the O.T.C. To have risen to these two posts of responsibility, and to have given full satisfaction in both of them, reflected more than the usual credit on one who was not of the type which readily comes to the forefront in School life: for he was neither a great scholar nor very good at games. To a boy who, though of a friendly disposition, was naturally shy and retiring, these experiences of responsibility must have been as exacting as they were valuable: that he put them to good use is clearly shown by the great happiness which he found in his all too brief service as a Commissioned Officer in the Royal Navy."
He is commemorated on the war memorial at Fettes College.
He is commemorated on the Lee-on-Solent Memorial Bay 4 Panel 2

Thorburn, James Gordon 2nd Lieutenant 151717

A Troop, F (Sphinx) Battery, 4th Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery
Killed in action on the 9th of May 1941 aged 23
James Gordon Thorburn was born at Edinburgh on the 10th of April 1917 the only son of Captain James Thorburn, Royal Garrison Artillery and Royal Flying Corps, and Jean Thorburn of 46, Strathearn Road, Edinburgh. He was educated at St Trinnean's School and at George Watson's College from 1925 to 1929. He went on to Dalhousie Castle School before entering Glenalmond College from September 1931 to December 1934, where he was a member of the 1st Rugby XV. On leaving school he went on to Edinburgh University to read law, from where he graduated BL. He joined the firm of Messrs. Thomson, Dickson & Shaw, solicitors of Edinburgh and played for Watsonians at both cricket and rugby.
Following the outbreak of war he attended the 121st Officer Cadet Training Unit (HAC) at Alton Towers before being commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery on the 28th of September 1940.
At 1.30am on the 8th of May 1941, the 4th Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery was at Milik in Egypt when A Troop was dispatched to Gharbiya in order to bombard an enemy position known as Point 207. The Troop arrived there at 5.30am where it established a forward observation post before opening fire with its six 25 pounder guns. It soon became clear that the area was strongly held with the presence of a considerable amount of enemy motorised transport. Later in the day a further reconnaissance revealed that the enemy forces had withdrawn to the area of Hagfet Wair. The next morning, the 9th of May 1941, it was decided to try to occupy the area vacated by the enemy withdrawal and members of A Troop went forward to establish an observation post at Point 203. By 8.30am a sandstorm had blown up and visibility soon became very poor. The members of the observation post party moved forward to occupy the Italian Camp at Point 207 but when they got there they discovered that the Italians had reoccupied it. The Troop opened fire on the Italians while their anti-tank gun engaged their supporting tanks.
At 9.15am enemy tanks were reported at Sidi Omar heading east and the observation post was moved to occupy higher ground to the west. As they moved they spotted more enemy tanks at Qaret Suweida. At 9.45am visibility had dropped to fifty yards and four of the guns were ordered to fall back to a new position six miles to the south. While they were limbering up they were suddenly attacked by seven tanks and seven armoured carriers. Due to the suddenness of the attack there was no time to bring the guns into action and each vehicle and gun was to make its own escape. James Thorburn jumped into one of the M4 vehicles but it was hit by an incendiary shell and he was burned to death in the vehicle before it could get away. Gunner Frank Victor Luckett, who was also in the vehicle, was badly burned and was rescued but died of his wounds three days later.
Three of the four guns were got away but the Troop had suffered casualties of one officer killed with one missing and one other rank killed with thirty three missing.
His father, Captain James Thorburn 13 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps, was killed in action on the 11th of February 1917.
He is commemorated on the war memorial at Glenalmond College.
He is commemorated on the Alamein Memorial, Column 3

Tweedie, David Foulis Guardsman 2699568

2nd Battalion, Scots Guards
Died of wounds on the 21st of October 1943 aged 33
David Foulis Tweedie was born at Edinburgh on the 18th of March 1911 the son of Richard Tweedie, a tea and coffee merchant, and Margaret Tweedie of 49, Polwarth Gardens, Edinburgh. He was educated at George Watson's College from 1916 to 1926 where he was a keen rugby player and a fine rifle shot. On leaving school he joined the firm of Messrs. Melrose Ltd, tea merchants of Edinburgh, and later joined his father's firm of tea merchants.
He enlisted in the Scots Guards where his proficiency as a shot was soon recognised and he shot for his regiment, where he took first place for accuracy with a Bren gun and placed seventh with a rifle.
On the night of the 19th of October 1943, the 2nd Battalion, Scots Guards marched for five miles before beginning a steep climb to the crest of a ridge overlooking San Secondino where they laid up in preparation for an attack on a neighbouring ridge at first light. When they advanced on the ridge the next morning they found it to be unoccupied but it was overlooked by enemy positions to their right which opened fire on them. The nature of the ground made it impossible to dig in and they suffered casualties of three men killed and fifteen wounded before they moved down the slope to Fontanelle that night. David Tweedie was among the wounded and died of his wounds the following day.
He is buried at Minturno War Cemetery Plot IV Row C Grave 23

Urmson, William Alexander Thom Sub Lieutenant RNVR

Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
Died on the 2nd of June 1943 aged 25
William Alexander Thom Urmson was born on the 26th of August 1917 the younger son of William Bennett Urmson, a shipping agent, and his second wife, Isabella Walker Gibb (nee Thom) Urmson of Tezpur, Assam in India, later of 17A, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh. He was educated at Grange Home School, Edinburgh and at George Watson's College from 1924 to 1935 where he was a member of the 1st Rugby XV and of the 2nd Cricket XI. On leaving school he entered the service of the architect, Mr. T. Aikman Swan ARIBA.
On the outbreak of war he joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and was commissioned as a Sub Lieutenant on the 9th of February 1940. He was posted to minesweepers in the Channel and around the coast of Britain. In March 1943 he was sent home from the USA and was discharged from the navy as he was suffering from a sarcoma, contracted during his war service. The tumour was in his right wrist with a secondary tumour in his chest. His hand was amputated on the 25th of April 1943 but he died at a nursing home at 25 Belgrave Crescent, Edinburgh. His funeral and cremation took place in Edinburgh on the 4th of June 1943.
His death is not recognised by the Commonwealth War graves Commission as he had left the service before his death.

Valvona, Raymond Nisbet Apprentice

MV Pecten, Merchant Navy
Killed in action on the 25th of August 1940 aged 16
Raymond Nisbet Valvona was born at Edinburgh on the 8th of February 1924 the only son of Raphael "Ralph" Valvona, owner of a delicatessen and confectionary business, and Christina Valvona of 12, Churchill Place, Edinburgh. He was educated at George Watson's College from 1928 to 1939 after which he entered Leith Nautical College, gaining a First Class Certificate of Merit in June 1940. Shortly afterwards he joined the crew of the 7,468 ton tanker MV Pecten.
MV Pecten, under the command of Master Herbert Edward Dale, set sail from Halifax, Canada on the 12th of August 1940 as part of Convoy HX-65 bound for Liverpool. She was carrying 9,546 tons of fuel destined for the Admiralty. On the evening of the 24th of August the convoy split into two, becoming HX-65A and HX 65B with the former, consisting of twenty ships heading for Methil and the latter, formed of twenty five ships, heading for Liverpool. On the evening of the 25th of August 1940, MV Pecten was about seventy five miles to the north of Tory Island and was straggling about a mile behind Convoy HX-65B. Only a few minutes after she had been urged to rejoin the main convoy by one of the escort destroyers, she was hit by a torpedo at 7.48pm which had been fired by the U Boat U-57, under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Eric Topp. She was struck in the engine room on the starboard side and disappeared in a cloud of smoke before sinking by the stern in just 90 seconds. Forty nine men from her crew of fifty seven died in the attack, including the ship’s Master and Raymond Valvona. The survivors were landed at Belfast.
He is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial Panel 80

Veitch, Ian Donald Cruickshank Major 246179

Royal Army Medical Corps
Died on the 4th of March 1946 aged 38
Ian Donald Cruickshank Veitch was born in Midlothian on the 21st of August 1907 the son of John Veitch and Jessie (nee Cruickshank) Veitch of "Dunnbrae", Lanark Road, Edinburgh. He was educated at George Watson's College from 1915 to 1925 where he was a member of the Dramatic Club and of the Officer Training Corps. He gained the Scott Club Prize, the India Prize for Mathematics and the Lowe Memorial Prize for Science. He was appointed as a School Prefect. He went on to Edinburgh University to read medicine from the 13th of October 1925, and graduated MB ChB in 1930. During his student days he was a keen runner and was a winner of the annual race to the top of Arthur's Seat. He served as House Surgeon at Leith Hospital and later at the Royal Infirmary, Edinburgh. He later joined a practice at 12, Sime Place, Galashiels and was appointed as President of the Gala Harriers Club and as President of the Royal Medical Society of Edinburgh. He was married to Elizabeth of Edinburgh.
He joined the Royal Army Medical Corps and was commissioned as a Lieutenant on the 26th of September 1942. He was posted to India where he was based at 9th Indian British Headquarters at Poona. Having taken part in the Burma campaign in 1944, he returned to Bangalore where he was appointed as Deputy Assistant Director of Medical Services. He was invalided home in December 1945 and died at Edinburgh Castle the following year.
He is commemorated on the war memorial at Juniper Green Parish Church, Edinburgh.
He is buried at Currie Parish Churchyard, Section 7B Grave 62