Porlock Roll of Honour
Lieutenant Commander John Joseph Arkwright was serving on the escort aircraft carrier, HMS Avenger, in November 1942, protecting a convoy heading home from Gibraltar, when she was sunk by a German U-boat. He was 41 years old. Two years earlier he had been awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for his part in the evacuation of Allied forces from Dunkirk and Western France.
Corporal Gordon Henry Bryant served with the 15th/19th Kings’ Royal Hussars, an armoured reconnaissance unit. He was killed in May 1944, whilst training with his regiment in Northumberland. No details of his death were disclosed. He was 27.
Gunner Jack Thompson Comer was serving with the 70th Field Artillery in March 1943, as they gave support to Allied troops in North Africa moving east from Algeria towards Tunis. He was killed on 3rd March 1943, aged 28.
Private John Davis was the eldest of three brothers who all died in the war. In June 1945, he was serving with the 2nd Battalion, The Welch Regiment, in bitter jungle fighting against Japanese troops in Burma. He was killed, aged 35, on 15th June 1945, the day British forces in Rangoon celebrated the defeat of Japanese forces in Burma. (See Philip Davis and Walter Davis, Selworthy.)
Sergeant William Arthur Ivor Glanville (known as Ivor) was a wireless operator and gunner with 10 Squadron, RAF Volunteer Reserve. In February 1942, he flew in a Halifax bomber on a mass raid of Germany’s floating dock at Kiel. The raid was a success but Glanville’s Halifax, and two other aircraft, were lost without trace. He was just 20.
Stoker George Gould served on HMS Kite, defending convoys of merchant ships in the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. In August 1944, the Kite was sunk by a German U-boat in the Barents Sea; Gould was among 218 men killed. He was 21. Earlier that summer, Gould had been Mentioned in Despatches for his part in the famous ‘six in one’ naval operation that sank six U-boats.
Flight-Lieutenant Henry Hollingdrake served with the RAF Volunteer Reserve. Little is known of his wartime experience. He died in May 1942, aged 36, and was buried at Little Orchard, south of Tewkesbury, in Gloucestershire. His sister Margaret was married to Lieutenant-Commander Godfrey Arkwright, the twin brother of Lieutenant-Commander John Arkwright (above).
Private William Gordon McGowan enlisted with the Somerset Light Infantry in early 1940 but within five months, still in England, he was killed when a pile of sandbags he was stacking with colleagues collapsed upon him. He was just 20. (Also named on Selworthy War Memorial.)
Private Owen George Passmore served with the Royal Army Service Corps, delivering essential supplies to the frontline. His unit crossed to France after D-Day in 1944 but early the next year he was taken ill with diphtheria. He was brought back to England but died in hospital in Wolverhampton in March 1945, aged 28. Less than a year before, his wife’s brother, Gordon Bryant, had been killed (see above).
Major Gilbert Weston Peck fought with the 3rd King’s Hussars, an armoured regiment, thrown into one of the turning points of the war, the second battle for El Alamein in western Egypt in November 1942. Major Peck was among heavy Allied casualties sustained attempting to break the German defences. He was 38.
Lance Corporal Ivor Roy Pollard (known as Roy) was despatched with the 10th Battalion, The Gloucestershire Regiment, to northern Burma in February 1944, fighting Japanese forces in intense jungle warfare. In November, the Glosters were pitched into days of fighting for Pinwe, in torrential rain and deep mud. Lance Corporal Pollard died there, aged 24.
Trooper Lionel John Priscott was training in Herefordshire with the 45th Regiment of the Reconnaissance Corps during the summer of 1942. After a spell of home leave, he rejoined his unit but drowned one month later in an unspecified incident. He was 21.
Guardsman William Charles Ricketts served with the Welsh Guards. Nothing is known of his military service. He died in the British General Hospital in Bridgwater in May 1946, aged just 19. He was buried in St Bueno’s Churchyard at Culbone.
Captain Arthur Penn Browne Roberts (known as Penn) served with the 2nd Battalion, The Royal Scots Fusiliers. In January 1944, after the landings at Anzio, south of Rome, Allied forces were again thwarted by German defences in sodden conditions. Captain Browne was killed there in April 1944, aged 23. Two years earlier, he had married the sister of Second Lieutenant Richard Howard, who had been killed in the Blitz in 1940 (see Luccombe file).
Flight Sergeant James Eric Williams had been awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal in July 1942 for skilfully piloting his damaged Wellington bomber home to safety after a raid over Bremen. Three months later, he was killed on a night navigation training flight in northern Scotland, when lightning caused his plane to crash near Dalcross. He was just 21.
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