Photos from local residents of Hopton, of their relatives who served in WW2 (click on the photo for more information).
Rudie's parents left Sudetenland (Czechoslovakia) Feb 1939, following Nazi persecution of the population. They travelled via Poland to Belgium where Rudie was born in Brugge, January 1940. When Germany invaded Holland, Belgium and France in May 1940, they fled Belgium 'on foot' towards northern France. With 1100 other refugees they got on a Norwegian cargo ship (Leka). Leaving Calais on 22 May, arriving in Southampton on 24 May. The mass evacuation of the troops from Dunkirk started on 26 May.
1 Rudie Thramer 2. Elizabeth Thramer Both wearing pink satin dresses and bows. 3. Norman Brown's mother 4. Norman Brown's sister Shirley At the Methodist Chapel, Nab Lane, Battyeford
Alice MacDonald nee Taylor. Served in the WAAF and was a driver based at RAF Scampton home of the Dambuster Squadron
Alice MacDonald nee Taylor was in the WAAF and served as a driver at RAF Scampton, home of the Dambuster Squadron.
John Commander age 19 in 1939. He was rescued from Dunkirk, captured in Tobruk and retained in a POW camp.
C. Breare's uncle Gwilyn (army) & aunt Leah (land army).
C. Breare's - uncle Bill Powell -5th Reg't Royal Horse Artillery K Battery.. Served in France Belgium, Germany & UK.
Henry Leedham - Aircraft mechanic HMS Arbiter -Trained in Boston & Chicago USA on Corsair aircraft - Served in the Pacific region (Australia & Papua New Guinea).
Sub Lt's. prang on HMS Arbiter - He smashed the barrier and turned completely round.
Kenneth Raine landed on the Normandy beaches, age18 with the Royal Berkshire Reg't to fight along side the Canadian forces as a "runner" relaying information between the front lines and the follow up teams. He was hospitalised with a shrapnel wound to his face whilst in Nijmagen just down the river from Arnhem, Holland.
Kenneth Raine - Royal Berkshire Regiment.
Albert & Jessie Tolliday. Albert was in the Durham Light Infantry and served at Montecasino.
Ethel & Clem Tilley. Clem was an RAF Armourer
Alfred Plimely - Cheshire Regiment - He is the 5th soldier from the left. Rose to the rank of sergeant.
Alfred Plimley - Cheshire Regiment. - eventually made a sergeant.
Flying Officer Clifford Reeve, 3rd from left next to skipper Drummond Wilson. Clifford did 26 raids as a bomber navigator. They got hit by flak over Essen and nearly made it back home but due to a fuel problem they crashed next to Cow Lane, Godmanchester April 1942. The pilot & a gunner were killed. Others were injured and Clifford broke his back and both ankles but managed to pull several comrades out. Following further action only 3 of the 8 crew survived the war. Clifford was awarded an MBE.
Jeremy's Cousin (Jeremy) at the commemorative Stirling Stone near Godmanchester.
Harry lived with his wife Ivy and their children (Joan, Doreeen & Eric) at 48 Jackroyd Lane. Harry served as a railway worker at Hopton sheds throughout the war & completed 45 years service. He served in the Home Guard based in Croft House. In 1940 Ivy became a member of the voluntary fire fighting party & in 1941 Ivy trained to deliver home nursing and first aid to the injured.
Joan lived with her parents Harry & Ivy Conyers, sister Doreen and brother Eric at 48 Jackroyd Lane. She joined the land army aged 17 working 7 days a week at Thwaites Farm, Wellhouse Lane. Joan is wearing wings on her tie given to her by cousin Jack Sugden, Halifax bomber pilot.
John Sugden (known as Jack) was son of Arthur & Mary (nee Conyers) who lived 'down' Handbank Lane. Following the air cadets, Jack joined the RAF and trained as a pilot in Alabama (USA) obtaining his American & RAF wings. Jack flew Whitley bombers before taking command of the Halifax, flying from bases in Yorkshire and North East. Pictured with his cousin Joan Conyers.
John Sugden and his crew served in North Africa and flew many missions over occupied Europe. John flew a Whitley bomber before taking responsibility for a crew of 7 in a Halifax bomber. Two regular crew members who spent time in Upper Hopton were Alf Hawkins (Canadian) & Johnny Ross (American rear gunner).
Alf Hawkins (on right) was one of John Sugden's crew members. Alf hailed from Canada but often spent leave with John in Upper Hopton. John met his future wife (Freda) when based in North Yorkshire. Alf married a local girl from Huddersfield (Winnie) and they moved to Toronto. Another crew member Johnny Ross returned to the USA and joined the US Air Force & was sadly killed during the Korean war.
Allan Salvage is on the right. - RAF 1942 to 1946
Toni's mum - Halina Wozinczka. Served in the WAAF as a nurse tending wounded airmen from March 1944.(Halina and her family were taken to a Russian labour camp in Feb 1940 achieving freedom in 1942).
The Wozinczka family. L to R - Tadeusz, grandparents Jozefa & Stanislaw & Halina. Stanislaw was awarded the Polish Military Cross. The rest of the family were deported from Poland to a Russian labour camp in Siberia, struggling to freedom in 1942 & eventually joining the WAAF & RAF.
Alfred Percy Dearman's medals from L to R: 1939-45 Star, France & Germany Star, Defence Medal & War Medal 1939-45
Alfred Percy Dearman's 'Royal Air Force Service & Release Book'. Corporal Dearman was in the RAF from May 1940 to January 1946 and served in France & Germany. His service No. was 927396.