William (Bill) Speakman, VC

Bill Speakman, VC, died on 20 June 2018 aged 90 in London.

William Speakman was one of four recipients of the Victoria Cross medal awarded for valour during the Korean War 1950-53: James Power Carne, Philip Kenneth Edward Curtis*, Kenneth Muir* and William Speakman.

The George Cross was award three time during the Korean War: Derek Godfrey Kinne, Horace William Madden* and Terrance Edward Waters*.

Those names marked * indicate a posthumous award.

Information about the Victoria Cross awards can be found at https://www.stephen-stratford.com/korea_gcs.htm

Information about the George Cross awards can be found at https://www.stephen-stratford.com/korea_gcs.htm

Harpenden’s Dambuster.

The featured article for May concerns Pilot Officer (Wireless Op/Air Gunner) Leonard George Weller who is one of the World War Two names listed on Harpenden war memorial.

Pilot Officer Weller was the radio operator in the Avro Lancaster piloted by Pilot Officer Burpee, which took part in Operation Chastise (16-17 May 1943). One of the aircraft in the third of three groups, the plane was hit by anti-aircraft fire shortly after crossing the Dutch coast and crashed killing all the crew; who are now buried in Bergen-op-Zoom War Cemetery.

My article is located at https://www.stephen-stratford.com/harpenden.htm

Updated Tower Hill Memorial Article.

I visited the Tower Hill Memorial for some photographs to update my Merchant Navy article: https://www.stephen-stratford.com/merchant_navy.htm

Some people fail to understand how you behave and treat a war memorial!

There is a notice by the memorial asking people to respect the memorial and keep it ship-shape and tidy, out of respect for the thousands commemorated.

There were crosses and poppies stuck to various points on the name panels. If you are commemorating a person listed on the memorial, you place your cross or poppy at the base of the appropriate panel. You do not stick the item to the panel!

Tower Hill Memorial.

Across the road from the Tower of London, there is the Tower Hill Memorial. The memorial commemorates Mercantile Marine sailors from World War One and the Merchant Navy sailors from World War Two who have no grave but the sea.

From its unveiling in 1919, the Cenotaph (the UK’s national war memorial) has carried the Red Ensign. In 1928 King George V announced that, in recognition of its service and sacrifice, the Mercantile Marine would henceforth be known as the Merchant Navy.

The First World War section commemorates one Victoria Cross recipient: Lieutenant Archibald Bissett Smith, VC, RNR.

The Second World War section commemorates one George Cross recipient: Apprentice Donald Owen Clarke, GC.

My article: https://www.stephen-stratford.com/merchant_navy.htm

Harpenden War Memorial.

I have completed my article about Harpenden War Memorial. The memorial commemorates men and women from the town who died during the two world wars.

Commemorated on the World War Two panels are two sets of brothers and sisters who died during World War Two, one airman who was killed while taking part in Operation Chastise, and sailors who died during the sinking of HMS Royal Oak, HMS Glorious, HMS Hood and HMS Barham.

You can read my article on Harpenden War Memorial here.