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In Memoriam: Mr. Teunis Schol, the ‘bookfarmer’ of  Terschelling.

‘Skylge’ is mourning his passing.

In his own farmhouse, situated on the ‘Súdkant fon Formerum’ (village), he passed away last Friday afternoon(5th February 2016) Mr. Teunis Schol, aged 73.

He was the historian and 'oracle' of the island.

His death is seen as a great loss for Terschelling. Last Sunday he was mentioned in the church of  Midsland too.

Teunis was born in West-Terschelling (village), 27th July 1942, near the basement of the well known Brandaris lighthouse.

As a boy of only 13, after finishing  primary school, he started working at the dairy factory of the island, in Lies, and with some goats he started there also a small farm, on the ‘Dune Way’.

Later he managed his own dairy cattle farm at nearby Formerum - South (not far from the island windmill and close to the later ‘Wrecks Museum’ of  Mr. Hille van Dieren).

At the end of the1990’s he exchanged his cattle for books, started his own bookshop there (and named himself the’bookfarmer’).

He also was taking a seat in more than one local executive committee, was ‘paymaster’ of the (Protestant) church, and..... shaped poems and published historical articles / items about the island. In that way he was ‘keeping up a mirror’, in front of many Terschellingers, trying not to lose all memories of the beautiful and rich history of the island, the many traditions of the islanders.

Therefore - it was working indeed - he was awarded the ‘Lutine Prize’ in 2005.

Religion, life and death, and history of course, were important items in his poems and other written work. And with a ‘light self-mockery’ and as a ‘forgiving moralist’, he was often showing his opinion about the nowadays island community, in the weekly ‘De


Via his own obituary he says: ‘Take your time, because there is coming a time, when time is taking you also, and then there’s no time anymore' !

At the beginning of January last, he became ‘Honorary Citizen’ of  Terschelling island; then his health was seriously affected already.

In his thank giving speech then he said: ‘Who during dark days is set in the sun by others, can only be honourable thankful for it, while basking the light and warmth’.  

The last day before his death, he arranged that the local historical museum ‘t Behouden Huys’ (in his birth village of  West-Terschelling) was taking and maintaining his archive for the future.

According to the farmer tradition on the island, his remains will be brought to his last resting place in the church yard of  St. Jan at Hoorn village, transported by hors-town farmers wagon.....


(translation, more or less, of the article in the Lwdr. Crt. of  Mo. 8th Febr. 2016, page 20, by Mr. Jan Heuff)

I met him in the 1990's, and he really was a remarkable and wise man, but also a colourful islander. Willem.


A 75 year old veteran!

In our local newspaper the "Leeuwarder Courant" there was an article about Terschelling with some surprising news in connection to the "Tiger-Stellung" on the island. Our well known wreck-diving beachcomber Mr. Hille van Dieren - of the Wrakkenmuseum in Formerum / Terschelling - has, together with some other local volunteer "war-archeologists", found the wreckage of a 1938 Skoda passenger car which was used by the Luftwaffe personnel and staff of that radar-station.

Because parts of  the "Stellung", with some important bunkers in the dunes, are under reconstruction and restoration now – I saw it all with my own eyes when I visited in August last, and was taking photos of these local volunteers "researching and cleaning" the neighbouring site.

With the help of a metal detector etc., they have already found some ammunition, empty perfume bottles (!), idem mustard pots ("Bratwurst"/sausage with mustard!), fragments of  beer bottles, etc. etc.

But this..... a complete car from out of the sand, almost unbelievable !!!!! - It was a Skoda 420P cabrio (convertible), the pride of its owner Mr. Roelof Beetsma, from Metslawier village, in N.E.- Friesland (N.E. of Dokkum city, not far from the Wadden Sea).

The family with the car before the invasion and a 1937 Skoda Rapid Cabriolet

He was working via ZPC (Agricultural Trade Centre) as an international trader/merchant in potatoes, cole-seeds, etc. etc., and the first man in the village with a car. He used it to travel all over the province and other parts of Northern Holland, visiting farmers, transporters etc., to do business. And just before the war they used the car also to go on family holidays in Belgium. Later on in the war it wasn't easy anymore to use, because petrol was scarce and rationed, and you needed "paperwork" for travelling via public roads.

Then, in 1943-'44, the Germans suddenly requisitioned his car. (Later they gave him some money as compensation, but he had to travel from that time by cycle and public transport).

At the age of 102 (!) Mr. Beetsma passed away in 2008; and therefore will never know that his car was "exhumed" on Terschelling...... - But how are they certain it is the same car? On the dashboard was fitted a metal badge of the national car club ANWB (Royal Dutch Touring Club) with his name and (old) address inscribed on it and also the original registration plates were still fitted. Via family research and with the help of the newspaper, they traced a daughter of his living in Lemmer/S.- Friesland, Mrs. Geertje Meinema. She came with an old family picture, with the car on it, numbered B24133!

As soon as the reconstruction works are ready, a new wartime museum is opening in the bunker complex and this car will remain in the exhibition of course........

































HMS E34 was a British E class submarine built by John Thornycroft, of Woolston, Hampshire and was commissioned in March 1917. During its short career it sank the German U-Boat UB-16 off Harwich in the North Sea on 10 May 1918.

While being used as a mine-layer HMS E34 itself struck a mine near the Eijerlandse Gronden, the sands between the Frisian islands Texel and Vlieland, on 20 July 1918. There were no survivors.   See youtube film of a diver at the wreck





Inside the control-room of E-34







The museum is situated in an old Terschellinger farmhouse, and at the same time, in the summer, it's the canteen for the local campsite "Appelhof" (Apple orchard). So, you can drink a beer or cola etc. there, eat a ham and cheese sandwich (tosti) or some other food, and...... meanwhile sit or walk, and watch and watch and watch, all over (and look out, you can miss something easily!). It's a sort of "pretty chaos" !!

 I was trying to take more photos there, but it wasn't so easy all the time, because of the light. By the way, most of it is about "navy stuff" (which is better "sea-prepared", and therefore "surviving longer on the seafloor" material, thus not like the thin aluminium frames and plate work of airplanes (most aircraft-engines are a "lump of  rust" on the bottom of  the sea).    Willem

See YouTube Film from Museum







From the Wreck-museum


Five ships of the Royal Navy have borne the name HMS Carysfort. None were wrecked but several were 'broken-up'.

HMS Carysfort was a 28-gun sixth rate launched in 1766 and sold in 1813.

HMS Carysfort was a 26-gun sixth rate launched in 1836 and sold in 1861.

HMS Carysfort was a Comus class screw corvette launched in 1878 and sold in 1899.

HMS Carysfort was a C class light cruiser launched in 1914 and scrapped in 1931.

HMS Carysfort was a C class destroyer launched in 1944 and sold in 1970.






Anchor War Monument 1940-1945 in West village




Longway:  A British name, given to a Dutch road on a Frisian island !  How about that ? It's such a beautiful and perfect name, in fact no better name could be given to this road. But why?  At the time of World War One many people on the Frisian Chain were unemployed. A number were sailors stuck on Terschelling because of the war. Many merchant shipping routes were now dangerous and even closed. It was also the time of the (big) steam ships coming, the modern alternative to the tall ships under full sail, who had in earlier years given work to many sailors. These men, fathers almost, breadwinners for their families, were set to work by the government constructing a new road in that landscape of sand dunes, all the way from the village, directly to the North Sea beach, and into the direction of  Paal / Beachmarker 8.

It was all hard work, in sunshine, wind and rain, and mainly by hand with picks and shovels.

Early every morning, when the men were leaving the village, marching in a long group, with their tools and some bread and drinks in their hands and on their shoulders, they were often heard singing. Sometimes they were old fashioned sailors songs, not always with nice words, and often the newest hits of those days like "It's a long way to Tipperary"   For them it was a ‘Longway’ to their work, and every day a few meters further from West Terschelling. How could they ever have known in those days that several years later, transported along this same road, would be the bodies of sailors and airmen from another World War on their way to a last resting place in the new local cemetery who, when alive, would have happily recognised and added their voices to that song? 

The workers used around 8 km. (5 miles) of  railway equipment (narrow gauge railroad), brought in by ships to West-Terschelling harbour, and assembled there in sections of 5 metres. In total 3200 rails, 8000 sleepers and thousands of bolts were used. As far as is known by me, they had real horse-power to move those drams, in total 24 of them, filled with sand of course, to construct the railway track. The work was finished in 1915.

The tracks were also in use later at some other locations on the island, possibly using a small steam locomotive. In fact the railway equipment never left Terschelling again, because in W.W.2 it was still in use, for more roads to the sea, and for building all those Atlantikwall bunkers, etc.

And it was indeed a long road too, for all people in old Europe, to understand at last, that war and tyranny is no solution whatsoever....... Coincidence or not, the later new road, crossing the Longway now, is named Europalaan (Europe Lane). And near this crossing, there is the entrance of  the War Cemetery. Believe me, it's perfect !   



Longway today






Longway cemetery - Australian military ceremony in 2010






Fanfare Hoorn - maybe last birthday of H.M. Queen Wilhelmina before WW2, Aug. 1939







The 1942-1945 NSB-member burgemeester (mayor) of Terschelling, Johannes Bakker and his wife eating fresh fish on the Minister Kraus ferry boat, the only connection with mainland Netherlands from Terschellingen. The NSB-party (National Socialist), led by Anton Mussert,was the Dutch political party which sympathized with the Nazis. Most of the high ranking positions in public organizations and private companies were taken over by Nazi or NSB-party members during the course of the war. A former Dutch Resistance member, Jac de Vos, was Mayor after the Occupation.





The 'Minister Kraus







Dutch Army reservists from the Dutch island of Terschellingen meet each other during the mobilisation in the vicinity of Wassenaar. The soldier on the left (Piet de Jong) was part of Dr Smit's resistance group after the surrender of the Dutch forces on the 15th of May 1940.












The Badweg (bath way) from Hoorn to the beach and 1st sea bath pavillion near Hoorn village - 1939 (broke down in WW2)









A short story now about the dramatic explosion, on 8 September 1939, with the sinking of H.M. Willem van Ewijck, near Terschelling.


H.M. Willem van Ewijck - minesweeper of the Dutch Royal Navy


This Dutch minesweeper, was laying mines in the shipping lane between Terschelling and Vlieland when a sudden strong local tide caused the ship to collide with one of its own mines.

The vessel was operating with three other sweepers, the "Jan van Gelder", the "Abraham van der Hulst" and the "Pieter Floris" and the "Nautilus", a mine-layer.

After the explosion there was a high column of seawater. The "Ewijck" broke into two parts and sank in about 3 minutes. 25 of the 51 man crew went down with the wreckage. Most of them were killed.

Altogether 30 sailors, including the captain, were lost.The other vessels were immediately trying to help, but it was very dangerous of course, because of all those mines! After the emergency alarm, the navy dispatched seaplanes from station De Mok at Texel flying in hospital personnel and doctors.

The navy aircraft landed close to the area, quickly moving the wounded men to Den Helder - De Buitenhaven. The sailors with only light wounds were picked up by small boats and taken aboard the other navy ships.

The "Willem van Ewijck" was in fact a brand new ship - about 2 years old - but it would now be written off. It was a Dutch minesweeper of the Jan van Amstel class, built by the shipyard P. Smit of Rotterdam, and named after William of Ewijck. These ships of the Jan van Amstel class could easily be converted to a minelayer.

The wreck was recovered a couple of days later with its remaining dead bodies and taken to Den Helder.

The most dramatic result of this event was of course all those dead and wounded navy sailors. It was only the first week after the mobilizing of the Dutch troops and the start of the war between Germany, Poland, France and the UK. Holland was living between hope and danger, trying to be neutral, but in the same time these were its first war deaths.










 In two parts  - Willem's own map of the Terschelling Wartime Defences












West harbour -  1945-1950 (in red Hafenüberwachung)









In the last months of the war, during the periods there was no electrical power in the villages of Terschelling, or to the Brandaris lighthouse in West village/habour, the Germans were giving an "air raid alarm" with the help of the signal flag "D".

The vessels and boats in the habour were sounding their horns and bells, after this D-signal, and the German troops in their Atlantikwall bunkers were using their own signal-bells etc. (They had E-power even to the last days of the war, because they were using diesel-generators for their search lights etc)
















A sea mine washed up on the North Sea beach






Germans around remains of a washed up torpedo (or mine) on the beach










Germans pictured near a dead dolphin or porpoise (often war casualties)






Party outside Tiger-manschaft - Luftnachrichten-Regiment (coll. Mus. Beh. Huys)






Seeburgtisch Tiger etc. ( color + outline correction)






NZHRM-station Paal 8 - msrb. Nicolaas Marius (1939) and NZHRM-station Paal 8 - msrb. Nicolaas Marius (after 1945)


NZHRM  (Lifeboat Company of North & South Holland) operating in the coastal area from Hook-of-Holland to Rottumeroog/Delfzijl (and in the Province of  Zeeland, to the Belgium border, operating another lifeboat company) later on  KNZHRM = Koninklijke Noord- & Zuid-Hollandse Redding Mij. today KNRM = Koninklijke Nederlandse Redding Mij. Operating in the whole of Holland’s coastal waters, and also beach watching in summertime) msrb. = motor strand redding boot (motorised beach life boat)

This boat is the same (museum) lifeboat which is now in use on Ameland at Hollum village and renamed "Abraham Fock", giving demonstrations 1 or 2 times a month for tourists, and brought by real horsepower to the beach and into the sea etc.

And also, this same boat, painted white during the war and with red crosses on it, together with the Dutch + International Red Cross flags on top, saved the lives of at least 9 US-crew, from B-17 Fortress 41-24589 "Texas Bronco"


In West-Terschelling village, near the "Brandaris" lighthouse, is the local old general cemetery, in which are many sailors graves with old and beautiful tombstones. Terschelling, like all the islands, has a lot of traditions; one of them is "paintings/story strips" on tombstones (in particular 1800 - 1900).   You see 4 samples of this tradition here.   

(1) Traditional sailor’s tombstone (inland cargo ship + steamer) and (2) Pilot ship

(1) Sailing coaster.  (2) About lifeboat accident


In the period around 1965 the Tigerstellung / the large radar-bunker, was in use as a helicopter platform, for ambulance flights to the mainland, mostly to Leeuwarden, by Aloutte "choppers" of  the Dutch Air Force (KLu). It was a modern and quick solution, better than via Beaver-planes on the beach.




Radarbunker Tigerstellung o.h. Grootduin (1964)



Public transport on the island was not always easy in the wartime. There was only one small bus company, of the Cupido family, and they were not using bus-stops on certain places, like mostly on the mainland: they simply stopped where passengers stood on the way to the ferry or where a white flag, or something like that, was hanging along side the road. (A dish towel on a pole, a pillowcase on a stick, things like that). It had always worked perfectly before and also during the pre-war time, while the first tourists came.

Cupido bus company near the lighthouse and Germans using the public transport of West Terschelling


But then, the Germans came and they wanted, like from the beginning, priority number one! The islander passengers, if the bus was filled totally, had to leave and wait for the next one. And soon, many workers came to Terschelling, constructors of bunkers etc., all workers via Organisation Todt. Hundreds of them! It became chaotic..... no islander could travel anymore by bus in this way. Therefore the company was striking for a time! The Germans were furious of course - till a better and fair agreement was made for both islanders and occupiers. With all their "help" the Todt-workers were transported separately mostly, from that moment. And, of course, there came "petrol troubles" later on, because fuel was more and more scarce..... but that was all over occupied Holland, even in Germany itself. Then Army vehicles had 1st priority!

Relations between the citizens of Terschellingen and the Nazi occupation forces was generally quite friendlly. In this picture farmers Klaas Pals en Mart Pals-Rijkeboer are in conversation with a member of the Wehrmacht occupation forces.




'Windsculpture' of the Brandaris lighthouse





Lancasters from 83 Squadron queue for take-off from RAF Scampton, on the 'Thousand-Bomber' raid on Bremen, Germany.


The RAF 1000 Bomber Raid on Bremen 25/26th June 1942

Using every available aircraft in RAF Bomber Command and some of other commands, a thousand bomber raid was mounted against Bremen. 1,067 aircraft (472 Wellingtons, 124 Halifaxes, 96 Lancasters, 69 Stirlings, 51 Blenheims, 50 Hampdens, 50 Whitleys, 24 Bostons, 20 Manchesters and 4 Mosquitos), 102 Hudsons and Wellingtons of RAF Coastal Command, and 5 RAF Army Cooperation Command. The Operational Training Units, as well as obviously having mainly inexperienced crews, were usually equipped with aircraft retired from front-line squadrons and not always in a condition to survive a round trip that was 200 miles longer than the Cologne and Essen raids.

Those of No. 5 Group RAF - 142 aircraft – bombed the Focke-Wulf factory; 20 Blenheims were allocated to the AG Weser shipyard; the RAF Coastal Command aircraft were to bomb the DeSchiMAG shipyard; all other aircraft were to carry out an area attack on the "town and docks". The limited success was entirely due to the use of GEE, which enabled the leading crews to start marker fires through the cloud cover. 696 Bomber Command aircraft were able to claim attacks on Bremen.

572 houses were completely destroyed and 6,108 damaged. 85 people were killed, 497 injured and 2,378 bombed out. At the Focke-Wulf factory, an assembly shop was completely flattened, 6 buildings were seriously damaged and 11 buildings lightly so. The Atlas Werke, the Bremer Vulkan shipyard, the Norddeutsche Hütte, the Korff refinery, and two large dockside warehouses were also damaged.

48 Bomber Command aircraft were lost ( 5% of those dispatched), including 4 that came down in the sea near England from which all but 2 crew members were rescued.

This time, the heaviest casualties were suffered by the OTUs of No. 91 Group RAF having mainly inexperienced crews. It lost 23 of the 198 Whitleys and Wellingtons provided by that group, a loss of 11.6 per cent. Four of 12 OTU Wellingtons did not return that night.


Wellington IC R1410/M from 12 Operational Training Unit, took off from RAF Chipping Warden, Northamptonshire - 91 Group) 25th June 1942 - captained by Sgt John Tudor Shapcott, RAF. The Wellington bomber was brought down into the North Sea, killing the five crew. It had been intercepted and shot down by Major Kurt Holler and his crew from II./NJG.2, in a Me.Bf-110E nightfighter.The bodies of two RAF members were later washed ashore onto the Dutch islands of Ameland and Texel, respectively. Their three comrades are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.


The body of the 30 year old navigator, Pilot Officer Philip Morris from Wakefield, Yorkshire, (believed to be the only married man in the crew) was recovered at Texel on the 12th of July 1942 and he was buried at Den Burg, Texel. Wireless operater/gunner, 21 year old Sergeant Ronald Hayward Smith from Rothwell, Yorkshire, was buried at Nes on Ameland.

The pilot, 18 year old Sergeant John Tudor Shapcott from Putney, London was one of the youngest pilots to die in 1942.

His wireless operator/gunner was 26 year old Sergeant Frederick Robert West from Matamata, New Zealand, who has no known grave, and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial which is situated at Coopers Hill, four miles from Windsor Castle. His crewmates, 19 year old Sergeant Leonard Roy Elvin from Battersea, London and 18 year old pilot Sergeant John Tudor Shapcott are also remembered there.

12 OTU received Wellington R1410 from 311 (Polish) Squadron on the 19th September 1941 but it is believed that its old markings were still on the aircraft when it crashed.


see YouTube film of the raid

On the same raid...

Wellington T2612/XW-H, with its crew of Polish trainees out of 18 OTU, took off from RAF Bramcote in Warwickshire at 10.50pm on 25th June 1942. At 2.35am, and on its return journey, the Wellington was shot down by Luftwaffe ace Helmut Lent at Andijk north-west of Enkhuisen, Holland. All the crew were killed. They were Pilot Officer Maksymilian Niemczyk, age 22, from Bydogoszcz, Poland. Flying Officer Zygmunt Wieczorek, age 34, from Herne, Germany. Sergeant Stanislaw Wolski, age 27, from Warsaw. Sergeant Aleksander Rozdzynski, age 23, fromNiegowonice, Poland. And Sergeant Wlozimierz Jerzy Mikos, age 30, of Tuliglowi in former Galacia (now Ukraine).

The crash site

There is a memorial at the site between the streets 'Hoekweg' and 'Kleingouw' at Andijk. An engine from this aircraft was recovered by the Dutch Air Force in August 1974.

The plaque behind the memorial reads '

On the night of june 25th-26th 1942 a British bomber crashed in the grassland behind this memorial. All 5 crew members were killed during this crash.

It was a Wellington MK 1C Bomber with 5 crew members, all Poles. The aircraft was the N 18 OTU 300 R.A.F. The OTU means that it was a crew of an operating training unit. They were part of the 300 Masovian squadron of the Polish Air Force P.A.F.

The aircraft was on it's way back to Bramcote (England) after a bomb raid to Bremen. During this return flight, it was shot down by a German nightfighter that was based at Leeuwarden.

F/O Zygmunt WIECZOREK P/O Maksymilian NIEMCZYK Sgt Stanislaw WOLSKI Sgt Aleksander ROZDZYNSKI Sgt Wlozimierz Jerzy MIKOS



The graves at Bergen

Also at Andijk

Buried in the Western Cemetery at Andijk are four pilots from the Commonwealth. One of them is believed to have died on September 12, 1944, but his identity is not known. The other three men were part of the crew of Lancaster W4272 GI-C (622 Squadron) which on the night of 15th February 16, 1944 took off from RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk, at 1740 hours detailed to bomb Berlin.



When homebound, the aircraft was shot down by an enemy night fighter, crashing at 2333 hours in the Ijsselmeet off Andijk, (Noord-Brabant), 8kms north west of Enkheizen. All the crew were killed. The bodies of Flt Lt Griffiths, Flt Sgt Morral and Sgt Chapman, were washed ashore two days later. They are buried in the Andijk General Cemetery. Sgt Clifford Brown was found in May 1944 and is buried in the Groessbeek Canadian War Cemetery, Netherlands. The other three crew members have no known grave, and their names are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial near Windsor, UK.


This Lancaster bomber was shot down at 23.35 by radar equipped Messerschmitt Bf-110G-4 (G9#EF) piloted by Oblt.Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer of unit 12./NJG.1 of "Fliegerhorst Leeuwarden. It was his 47th victory. This was his 3rd 'Abschuss' that night and also his birthday so their would be a glass of champagne waiting for him after touchdown. Unfortunately a few hours later he was confined at the local hospital requiring an operation on his appendix.

The crew consisted of: Flight Lieutenant Trevor Llewellyn Griffiths (21, Australian) Pilot from Epping, NSW, Sergeant Harold Morral (21, British) 2nd Pilot from Sheffield, UK, Sergeant Frank Chapman (19, British) Flight Engineer from Shaw, Berkshire, Flying Officer Robert Clifton Taylor (24, Canadian) Navigator from Woodstock, Ontario, Sergeant Basil John Allen (21, British) Bomb Aimer, Sergeant John William Griffiths (23, British) Wireless Operator of Murton, Co. Durham, Sergeant Philip William Wright (23, British) Mid Upper Gunner of Heald Green, Cheshire, Sergeant Clifford A Brown (British) Rear Gunner.


The Western Cemetery and the old Buurtjes church at Andijk

Stirling Mk. III  BF579, of 15 Squadron, from RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, and piloted by Sgt John Hall, took off an a mine-laying mission on the 3rd of July 1943 at 22.35hrs. It was shot down by Oblt. Paul Szameitat and his  crew around 1.30 am on 4 July 1943. The aircraft ditched into the North Sea, ± 20 km. N.W. of  Terschelling. None of the seven crew survived and have no known graves. All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial a few miles from Windsor Castle.

The crew were

1432645 Sgt JOHN HALL, aged 21. Son of John and Elizabeth Hall, of Leeds, Yorkshire.

1459710  Sgt JAMES JOSEPH CLOSE,   aged 21.  Son of Francis and Margaret Close, of Birkenhead, Cheshire.

1295229 Sgt FRANK ALBERT DALTON,   aged 21.  Son of Mr. and Mrs. E. W. Dalton, of Anerley, Kent.

1331953 Sgt WILLIAM HENRY DICKINSON,  aged 33.  Son of Mrs. M. Dickinson, of Southwick, Sussex.

1042163 Sgt JOSEPH ECCLES, address and age unknown.

R180070 RCAF F/Sgt JAMES ANDERSON DAVIE aged 28. Son of James Anderson Davie and Margaret Burnett Davie of 181 Luxton Ave,Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.

R99460 RCAF F/Sgt VICTOR HARRISON SHEA, aged 20.  Son of John J. and Eva K. Shea, of Moncton, New Brunswick. Canada.


Back row left to right:  Sgt Frank Albert Dalton -  Sgt Victor Harrison Shea  - Sgt Joseph Eccles  - Sgt William Henry Dickinson

Front Row Left to Right:  Sgt James Joseph Close - Sgt John Hall - Sgt James Anderson Davie

The pilot of the aircraft responsible for shooting down the Stirling bomber wasHptm Paul Szameitat (19 December 1919 – 2 January 1944). He was a German Luftwaffe night fighter ace and recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross during World War II. The Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross was awarded to recognise extreme battlefield bravery or successful military leadership. Paul Szameitat claimed 29 victories, 28 at night. He was killed when making a forced landing at the Bückeberg near Berggasthaus in January 1944.


Spitfire pilot Sergeant Ken Parker and the Battle of Britain.

25 year old British Spitfire pilot Ken Parker was washed ashore on the Northern Beach at Terschelling where he was buried on the 29th of November 1940. His body had been carried by the tides all the way from England where his aircraft had crashed on the mudflats off All Hallows in Essex on Britain's east coast after being shot down by an Me.Bf-109 of the Luftwaffe on the morning of 15th of October 1940.

 Ken was a 92 Squadron pilot operating from RAF Biggin Hill in Kent. He had married Stella Williams a year earlier and they were expecting their first child. (Their daughter Adrienne was born in 1941, several months after his death)

That morning, some 30 Me109s had hit London, including Waterloo Station. The station was subjected to further attacks that night, wrecking a train and two platforms. A second force of enemy aircraft attacked the capital in the middle of the morning while further enemy aircraft hit the suburbs. There were also raids on Kent, Biggin Hill, Kenley and Southampton. The RAF flew 743 sorties that day. It lost 15 aircraft and shot down 14 enemy planes.


A flight of Supermarine Spitfire Mk VBs of 92 Squadron RAF in line with engines running at Biggin Hill.    IWM 1943 photo

His aircraft, Spitfire R6838, was scrambled at 9 am and he and his colleagues soon became involved in a 'dog-fight' over the Thames estuary area with several Bf -109s. Ken was shot down into the mudflats but unhappily no escape by parachute was seen.

Six weeks earlier RAF Biggin Hill had become a prime target for attack by the Luftwaffe. On August 30th 1940 a squadron of Luftwaffe Ju88 Bombers attacked at low level with 1,000lb bombs, destroying a hangar, stores, accommodation blocks and repair shops, resulting in the death of 39 people and several aircraft destroyed. Serious raids continued for the next two days. As a result of their bravery 3 WAAFs operating the teleprinters were awarded the Military Medal for continuing with their duties until the last moment before their ops room was destroyed by a 500lb bomb.

The Battle of Britain Memorial is sited on the White Cliffs at Capel-le-Ferne, near Folkestone, on the coast of Kent


What happened to London on October15th 1940?

RAF Fighter Command flew 643 sorties during that day and the Luftwaffe penetrated to London targets and targets in Kent and the Thames Estuary making five fighter sweeps over Kent and Sussex, some aircraft penetrating to Hornchurch and Central London. One formation of fighters flew over the Portsmouth-Southampton area. It is estimated that about 550 enemy aircraft were employed on these sweeps. For once, RAF fighters bounced high-flying Bf 109s out of the sun, shooting down 4.

At 0815 hrs three raids totalling about 50 aircraft flew in over Dover and Dungeness and penetrated to the Biggin Hill and Kenley areas and then retired. This attack was quickly followed by another of about 30 bomb carrying fighters, which attacked targets in East and South London. At 1130 hrs two raids, totalling about 60 aircraft, flew northwest from Maidstone and reached the Hornchurch area. At the same time two formations of 50 aircraft flew up the Estuary from North Foreland but turned south at Sheppey. Shortly afterwards about 120 enemy aircraft crossed the Kentish coast and some of these reached Hornchurch and Gravesend districts before turning back. At about 1550 hrs two formations, each of about 60 aircraft flew in, one up the East of Kent to the Estuary and the other West of Maidstone to East London; between these several smaller raids followed and attacked the railways radiating from Ashford. Shortly after raids had flown in over Kent, a formation of Bf110s heavily escorted by 109s approached the Isle of Wight at about 1215 hrs, and passing over the Western suburbs of Southampton returned to Cherbourg without dropping any bombs.





Evening Activity began at 1830 hrs when raids were plotted leaving Holland, the Somme/Fecamp area, Le Havre and Cherbourg. The main attack was delivered on London, but a steady stream of raids was plotted over the Bristol Channel up to the Midlands, where Birmingham appeared to be the principal target. Raids from Holland and the Dutch Islands approached between Harwich and the Thames Estuary. Many of these appeared to be engaged in mine laying off Clacton and Walton. The remainder crossed the Coast and approached London from the North. Raids from Cherbourg area to the Midlands crossed the Swanage and Lyme Bay and flew over the Bristol Channel and Western counties to Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Stoke-on-Trent areas. Isolated raids were plotted over Glasgow and Aberdeen. A Blenheim of No 23 Sqn shot down a He111 near Cuckfield and a Defiant of 264 Sqn destroyed a Ju88 near North Weald, Essex.

Damage to Buckingham Palace and dog-fights over 'Big Ben'

The Queen was famously heard to say “I’m glad we have been bombed. Now I can look the people of the East End of London in the face”

At 2100 hrs, 30 enemy aircraft headed for Hornchurch and central London and hit Waterloo Station and blocked all but 2 of the rail lines. At 2145 hrs, another 50 aircraft attacked the city and at 2320 hrs, attacks began in Kent and the Thames Estuary. In London, the train service was stopped at the 5 main stations and traffic for other stations was cut by more than two-thirds. The Underground was severed at 5 places and roads blocked throughout the city. A reservoir, 3 gasworks, 2 power stations and 3 important docks were hit. There were 900 fires in London during the night and over 1,200 casualties including 400 killed.

The BBC lost 7 people who were killed when a bomb hit Broadcasting House during the BBC's 2100 hrs news program. Bombs destroy the main artery of London's water supply, the 46 million imperial gallon/day (209 million litres) pipeline at Enfield.

By mid October there were around 250,000 people that had been made homeless by the Blitz.







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