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Bermuda flag flying

Bermuda's War Veterans

Always honored especially on Remembrance Day at eleventh hour of eleventh day of eleventh month

By Keith Archibald Forbes (see About Us) at e-mail exclusively for Bermuda Online

To refer to this file use "bermuda-online.org/war veterans.htm" as your Subject. 

Introduction

Governor saluting at War MemorialNovember 11, 2013

Governor Mr George Fergusson saluting the fallen at the Bermuda War Memorial, November 11, 2013

On November 11, 2013, wreaths to honour the war Veterans dead of Bermuda were laid at the Memorials above by the Governor, Mr. George Fergusson (see photo above); Premier, Craig Cannonier;  Hamilton Mayor Graeme Outerbridge; Opposition Leader Marc Bean (see photo below) then the president of the War Veterans' Association, the Defence Board chairman, the Bermuda Regiment's commanding officer (the regiment was formed in 1965 from the amalgamation of the former Bermuda Militia Artillery and Bermuda Rifles), the Commissioner of Police and the Chief Fire Officer. Parading along Front Street wearing their war medals were the the ever-fewer remaining living war veterans of World War 2 well enough to attend, or their relatives on their behalf, former members or on behalf of the Bermuda Home Guard and Bermuda Contingent of the Caribbean Regiment. They were accompanied by the Bermuda Regiment Band and Corps of Drums, the Salvation Army, North Village and Somerset Brigade Bands, and the Bermuda Islands Pipe Band. All relatives or descendants of a World War veterans are invited to take part. Participants are welcome to wear the medals or awards of the person they are representing. They wear the decorations on the right arm rather than the left. They are always watched by a large gathering of other residents and visitors. All join in singing hymns, and in participating in a two-minute silence on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month since the end of the First Word War. An additional parade takes place in St. George's. 

Senior Bermuda Government officials

Senior Government officials, including Premier, Leader of the Opposition, Chief of Police, Chief Fire Officer

Background

Here in Bermuda, also in Canada, United Kingdom and elsewhere in the British Commonwealth of Nations, Remembrance Day, November 11, at the National War Memorial and Cenotaph on Front Street  in the city of Hamilton, occurs annually. It is a solemn and sad Bermuda Public Holiday. It honors and pays tribute to those who who fought and fell as Bermudians and British subjects in units of the British Armed Forces during the 1914-1918 Great War (World War 1) conflict. They gave their lives in defence of freedom.  

At 11 am there is a dead silence observed by all present. It marks the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when an Armistice was finally signed by the protagonists, after more than four years of fighting on the battlefields of Europe. Millions of soldiers were dead, dying or mutilated. They included many Bermudians shown below, plus Americans, Australians, Canadians, New Zealanders and more. They died or survived while serving in the British Army or Royal Navy or Royal Flying Corps, later the Royal Air Force, after earlier basic training in the Bermuda Local Forces of the Bermuda Militia Artillery (1894 to 1965) or Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps (1894-1946), later Bermuda Rifles (1946-1965).  On November 11, 1920, the first such Remembrance Day of veterans to honor their fallen comrades occurred at the then-newly-built Cenotaph in London, attended by Britain's King George V. Since then it has been an annual tradition. In Bermuda, a copy of London's Cenotaph was built on Front Street in the City of Hamilton (see photo below, right) and for years annual Remembrance Day parades were held there. More than 90 Bermudians died for Britain in the Great War.

After the end of World War 2, Remembrance Day parades of veterans to honor their fallen comrades were resumed in Bermuda (and all other British Commonwealth Countries), to honor those who fell in both the Great War and World War 2. More than 35 Bermudian men died for Britain in World War 2. Bermuda veterans of World War 2 who died and lived were mostly in the Bermuda Home Guard or serving abroad in the British Army (Mostly Caribbean Regiment or Lincolnshire Regiment), Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Merchant Navy, Royal Air Force, Royal Canadian  Air Force, Royal Canadian Navy and, as was the case of a few, the US Armed Forces.  Also in the Second World War, 29 Bermudian women served overseas. In Bermuda, as at November 11, 2008, there were 183 living registered veterans and 78 widows of veterans (but numbers have shrunk significantly since then). The Home Guard were joined by Bermudians working in Royal Naval Dockyard. The latter helped keep the Atlantic supply lines open, ensuring Bermudians, American, British and Canadian forces then stationed in Bermuda received essential supplies.

2013 war veterans on parade

2013 Bermuda War Veterans on parade on Remembrance Day

Bermudians also served in the Korean War of the 1950s (but with US Forces). Only one Bermudian is known to have served in later British military conflicts such as Suez, Kenya, Iraq and Afghanistan (also now part of Remembrance Day in the United Kingdom). Major General Glyn Gilbert, CB, MC, served in the British Army in post war conflicts in Palestine, Malaya and Cyprus. For details of his life and military successes see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glyn_Gilbert

New 2010 Bermuda War MemorialCenotaph in Bermuda

Bermuda's new war memorial (see photo above, left), announced on November 10, 2009, which replaced the older Cenotaph (above, right) as the centerpiece of the remembrance, was completed in November 2010 by the Ministry of Public Works. It sits on the Cabinet Grounds just east of the Cenotaph and contains the names of almost 3,000 Bermudian men and women who served in the two World Wars. Names are inscribed on seven highly polished black granite slabs and a diamond emblem in gold leaf beside a name indicates that the serviceman or servicewoman is on the roll of honour and lost their lives in wartime service. A fountain in front of the memorial is made of a granite base and a highly-polished pink granite ball which is the same stone used in the Anglican Cathedral in Hamilton. Seating is provided at the memorial and it is a serene place where surviving War Veterans, their children or grandchildren other other relatives, members of an appreciative public and visitors may gather to reflect upon and pay respect to those who served our Island so heroically during the Great Wars.

Remembrance Day is the culmination of the annual Bermuda Poppy Appeal conducted by the local branch of the Royal British Legion (RBL). It is a registered charity that works to assist war veterans and their widows. RBL Bermuda belongs to a worldwide organization that can provide a wide range of assistance. Some of the services include assistance with medical bills, assistance with urgent loans and assistance with Christmas presents. RBL Bermuda call also upon the Royal British Legion's head office in London for larger capital funds and grants. It honors all men and women from the Island's armed forces who lost their lives during the two World Wars.  Poppies are available seasonally throughout the Appeal at places including the Cabinet Office, the Corporation of Hamilton and the Bermuda Regiment, as well as churches and participating businesses. Donations are appreciated.

Bermuda War VeteransRemembrance Day public holidayBermuda War Veterans

The town of St. George's also remembers the Island's war heroes, at a Remembrance Day Parade in the Town Square opposite the War Memorial. Those present include the Mayor, The Royal Artillery and Ex-Artillerymen's Association, Bermuda Island Pipe Band, The Bermuda Regiment Band & Corp of Drums, Bermuda Sea Cadets, St. George's Girl Guides, Bermuda Fire Service, Bermuda Regiment Wreath Bearers, Bermuda Regiment Gun Troop, and the Boy Scouts all participate in the ceremony.

At the HMS Jervis Bay memorial at Albouy's Point, The Bermuda Sea Cadets host a Remembrance Day service. It is one of a number of memorial events around the world to honour those who served on the HMS Jervis Bay, a 50,000 ton container ship that visited Bermuda during the war years before it was sunk as it confronted the superior firepower of a German warship in 1940 while escorting a convoy from Canada to the UK.

Bermuda's veterans war medals
If veterans served with a British unit - as most of them did - they also get the HM Armed Forces Veterans Badge, and a War Pension from the United Kingdom. Eligibility to this prestigious badge was widened following Remembrance Day 2005 to include all those who served between the end of the Second World War and December, 1954, thus encompassing the Korean War and military campaigns in Malaya undertaken by British forces. Another local veteran, also honored, served in Korea with the  US Army. Unlike in the UK, USA, Canada, etc. there are no retirement homes or hospitals specifically for World War veterans. Some Bermuda veterans have had to pay more than $100,000 out of their own money if they have it to overseas hospitals for operations, owing to a lack of affordable medical insurance and no social conscience in Bermuda from taxpayers' resources. If they don't have the funds, they don't get treated overseas.

However, in Bermuda, registered veterans and their widows get a Bermuda War Pensions benefit of $800 a month, plus full coverage on all prescription drugs, medical tests at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital and partial coverage for medical visits to local medical general practitioners and specialists.

In England, on every Sunday before Remembrance Day in London, the Foreign Secretary, on behalf of the Foreign & Commonwealth Office, London, England, which administers Bermuda, lays before the Cenotaph (later copied by Bermuda) in London a wreath to the fallen who died in the wars from the British Overseas Territories. He is accompanied by the UK's Prime Minister, and leaders of the Opposition - those from the main Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties. 

The wreath is supplied to the FCO by the Directors and Staff of, and hand-made at, Kew Gardens, Britain's finest gardens, from flowers and botanicals in its collection from all the Overseas Territories including some prized Bermudiana. It always includes sprigs of two endemic Bermuda species, the Juniperus bermudiana (Bermuda Cedar) tree and Chiococca bermudiana (Bermuda snowberry) shrub.

Organizations involved

Bermuda Contingent, Caribbean Regiment  
Bermuda Home Guard  
Bermuda Legion

Bermuda charity 109. The mission is to assist war veterans and their widows. Looks after Bermuda WW1 and 2 and Korean War, etc. war veterans of past, present and future officers and soldiers in units now part of the Bermuda Regiment. Has its own agenda for welfare and for insurance. Can air-ambulance people, can provide travel costs and cover medical expenses, which the former Royal Bermuda Legion could not. Has helped with air evacuations; has a Christmas appeal, taking food hampers and baskets all over the Island. Assists in individual cases of need, helps with healthcare bills, and helps many people find help with the different Government agencies, such as Financial Assistance. Can provide immediate assistance for people without having to go to London for it. In this way, has aligned itself with the Caribbean nations who have their own Legions — notably Jamaica, which has a very successful Legion. Fund raising remains constant for war veteran widows, whose assistance from Government has had to be cut in recent years. Everything the Legion raises stays in Bermuda. “We don’t speculate; we don’t invest money — every single contribution for welfare is used for welfare here in Bermuda.” In the ten-day run up to November 11, the Bermuda Legion sets out on its campaign with the signature red poppies.

Bermuda Militia Artillery Black soldiers of Bermuda until 1965, with a proud record of combat in two World Wars

Bermuda Militia Artillery flag

Photo: Royal Gazette

Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps Overseas Association (BVRC) Held its 89th annual reunion at Warwick Camp in  May 2007 - always first Saturday in May. Founded in 1919 after World War 1. Commemorates first Saturday of May 1915 when the first contingent of white Bermuda soldiers left Bermuda to join the Royal Lincolnshire Regiment in France.
Bermuda Regiment Did not exist until 1975 when it was formed to include the black Bermuda Militia Artillery and white Bermuda Rifles
Bermuda War Veterans Association (BWVA) P. O. Box HM 2716, Hamilton HM LX, Bermuda. With less than 80 war veterans left in 2008. A local charity founded in 1919 by returning servicemen from the Great War to provide assistance to those who went overseas to serve, originally in the First World War and in other wars subsequently. Assists needy Bermuda War Veterans and their dependants. The Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps (BVRC) were considered to be of such a high standard when they joined the Lincolnshire Regiment in the Great War that they were allowed to fight under their own colours, despite being only a company. The Bermuda Militia Artillery (BMA) was the first black unit to serve in the Great War. It distinguished itself on the front and received several battle honours. World War 2 saw similar sacrifice and dedication from Bermudians, many of whom joined other Commonwealth Units such as the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force, British Army, Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Canadian Navy, etc. In November 2011, just days before 2011 Remembrance Day, Jack Lightbourn of the BWVA reported in the media that difficult financial times will result in less money for the Island’s remaining veterans. Mr Lightbourn served in the Royal Navy near the close of the Second World War. He was on a minesweeper with a convoy when they were attacked by a group of German U-boats. RC 140
Bermuda War Veterans Commissioners The men whose interests they represent are all senior citizens. See Bermuda Government Boards. Registered Charity  140. Established to provide assistance to those who went overseas to serve, originally in the First World War and in other wars subsequently. It cannot support financially those who served on the home front.
Royal Artillery Association Bermuda Branch Functions include having an annual Remembrance Sunday Wreath Laying Ceremony, Parade and Church Service in St. George's on King's Square and St. Peter's Church, led by the Band of the Bermuda Regiment, to commemorate Remembrance Day. Decorations and medals are worn.
War Veterans Pensions Commission (WVPC) Unlike veterans in other countries, Bermuda pays a pension only to those who served overseas

Poppy Poem

Remembrance PoppiesSince the Great War of 1914-1918 poppies have been since World War 1 the national and international symbol for British airmen, soldiers, sailors and marines who perished while serving their country in world wars and the Korean conflict.  When we mourn Bermuda's dead in Remembrance Day ceremonies each November, we think of a flower - a poppy. Why? Because of the following immortal lines from a poem: "If ye break faith with us who die, we will not sleep, though poppies grow in Flander's fields." 

The author of this famous "poppy" poem was Colonel John McCrae, who was a distinguished professor of Medicine at McGill University after he served in the Boer War. On the outbreak of war in 1914, he at once enlisted in the Canadian Army, 1st Brigade Artillery, which was sent to fight in Belgium. 

Soon after landing in Europe, he was made Medical Officer. During the second battle of Ypres in 1915 he was so horrified, appalled and heart-sick over the senseless slaughter of so many hundreds of thousands of men that he penned the following words, used to this day on 11th November. 

These verses were sent anonymously to the British magazine Punch, which published them in December 1915 under the title "In Flanders' Fields." 

Colonel McCrae died from his battle wounds in 1918.

"In Flanders' fields the poppies blow. Take up our quarrel with the foe;
Between the crosses, row on row, To you from failing hands we throw
That mark our place; and in the sky The torch be yours to hold it high
The larks still bravely singing fly, If ye break faith with us who die
Scarce heard amid the guns below. We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
We are the dead. Short days ago In Flanders' fields."
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
in Flanders' fields.

The poem expressed McCrae's grief over the "row on row" of graves of soldiers who had died on Flanders' battlefields, located in a region of western Belgium and northern France. The poem presented a striking image of the bright red flowers blooming among the rows of white crosses and became a rallying cry to all who fought in the First World War. McCrae's poem had a huge impact on two women, Anna E. Guerin of France and Georgia native Moina Michael. Both worked hard to initiate the sale of artificial poppies to help orphans and others left destitute by the war. By the time Guerin established the first sale in the U.S., in 1920 with the help of The American Legion, the poppy was well known in the allied countries — America, Britain, France, Canada, Australia and New Zealand — as the "Flower of Remembrance." Proceeds from that first sale went to the American and French Children's League. Guerin had difficulty with the distribution of the poppies in early 1922 and sought out Michael for help. Michael had started a smaller-scaled Poppy Day during a YMCA conference she was attending in New York and wanted to use the poppies as a symbol of remembrance of the war. Guerin, called the "Poppy Lady of France" in her homeland, and Michael, later dubbed "The Poppy Princess" by the Georgia legislature, went to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) for help. Following its first nationwide distribution of poppies in 1922, the VFW adopted the poppy as its official memorial flower. However, a shortage of poppies from French manufacturers led to the idea of using unemployed and disabled veterans to produce the artificial flowers.

Bermuda's Roll of Honour 

1. Great War of 1914 to 1918

Bermuda lost 80 men in overseas service in the Great War. They served in (a) the Bermuda Militia Artillery, one of the units that served and fought with the gunners of the Royal Garrison Artillery; (b) the Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps. They matched up with foot soldiers of British army regiments, and (c) others who had signed up for the Royal Flying Corps (later, the Royal Air Force) and other units.

Bermudians en route to France in World War 1

Bermudians en route by troopship to France and Belgium in World War 1.

They died fighting for Bermuda and the UK. For Bermuda soldiers killed in this Great War and buried overseas in a British Commonwealth War Graves-registered plot, they can be researched at http://www.cwgc.org/

Remembrance roses

war grave of gunner Easton

 

Adcock, Cyril Clarence Alick, Richard Thomas Ambrose Anderson, W. F
Arnold, William Henry Baker, Henry Arnold Baker, Howard Junior

Bridges, Arthur Percy. Brother of Harry Francis Bridges. Died of wounds in Bermuda on February 25th 1918.

Bridges, Harry Francis. Killed at Vermelles, France on November 5th 1916. Lance Corporal, Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps attached to 1st Battalion, Lincolnshire Regiment. Service No. 25334. Buried in the British Cemetery in Vermelles. The original wooden cross from his grave hangs on the wall in St. Marks Church, Cherry Orchard, Worcester, England near where he was brought up. His daughter, Eleanor Gibbons-Brown wrote an e-book  "War Baby" about her life in Bermuda in the 20th century. Brown, Ewart Cudmore
Brown, W. Burgesson, Agnel Eugene Burrows, John Philip
Cannon, John Arthur Conder, Wilfred Augustus. Gunner, Bermuda Militia Artillery. Service number 1169. Died 28th June 1917 at age 25. Grave Memorial IV. A. 17. Buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France.  Conyers, Walter Neville. Second Lieutenant, Royal Berkshire Regiment, died 19th August 1916 at age 26, Grave Memorial Reference Pier and Face 11 D, Thiepval Memorial. 
Cooper, John Henry Dean, S. G. Dickinson, Percival Earle. Private, Canadian Army Medical Corps. Service number 2606959. Died 13th October 1918. Grave Memorial Reference 129. Buried at Pembroke Weslyan Cemetery. 
Dill, Charles Wentford Alfred. Doe, Andrew Elliott Easton, William Edward. Buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France
Farrell, Patrick Joseph Fowler, William James Frith, Frederick Hervey, Jr. Served in a Canadian Army unit. Possibly with the BVRC earlier. Understood to have been connected with Frith's Hardware, Front Street, Bermuda.
Godet, Lennock DeGraaff. Lieutenant, Royal Air Force, died 1st June 1918 at age 21. Grave Memorial reference 375. Chambieres French National Cemetery, Metz Gorham, Clive William  Gunn, Archibald D.
Harriott, Nathaniel Benjamin Hollis, Edward Kimball. Private, Lincolnshire Regiment ex BVRC. Service number 25343. Died 21st March 1918. Grave Memorial reference Panel 23 and 24. Pozieres Memorial. Holman, Charles Edward
Jackson, Cyril Healy Joell, Walter. Gunner, Bermuda Garrison Artillery, service number 1035, died 9th December 1918, age 21. Grave Memorial G 27 A. Bois-Gaullaume Communal Cemetery Extension. Kyme, Walter Robert
Lamb, Albert Ernest.  Lightbourn, Robert Marshall, Frederick George
Martin, William George Millett, Henry William Morris, Louis William
Morton, Cyril Motyer, Arthur John Mussenden, J
Noble, Herbert Stafford O'Connor, James Archibald Outerbridge, Benjamin Whitaker
Pawsey, Frank Pitcher, Eldon Liverstone Pitman, Byron McWarren
Place, Charles Wentworth Platten, Andrew Richard Purdue, Edward Colston
Richardson, Whitford Stephen Robertson, Charles Granville Robinson, Cecil Beaumont
Robinson, Charles Bryan Ryder, W. George Sheppard, Arthur Leroy
Simmons, Hayford Douglas Smith. A. G Smith, Charles Kennelly
Smith, Donald Gray Smith, Frederick Lea Smith, Kenneth Nesbit
Smith, T. Wardell  Smith, William Edmund. (The first Bermudian to die in the Great War). 1914. September 22. A black man who had joined the royal Navy in Bermuda, likely to have earlier been a member of the local forces. He was listed by the Royal Navy as "SMITH, William Edmund, L/1874, 1st class cook." He was the son of William Felix Smith and his wife Emma Jane, nee Douglas, of Herman’s Hill, Somerset. He was baptized 1893, June 4, at St James Church, Sandys. Mrs Smith received a letter signed by Mr Winston Churchill, conveying the sympathy of the King and Queen. He was drowned when his ship, HMS Aboukir, a Cressy Class cruiser launched in 1900, was torpedoed in the North Sea off the Hook of Holland. Termed the ‘Live Bait Squadron’, HMS Aboukir, HMS Cressy, and HMS Hogue of the Seventh Cruiser Squadron were on patrol in the early morning of that day when U-9, a German submarine commanded by Lt Otto Weddigen fired a torpedo at Aboukir, which sank in 20 minutes with the loss of 527 men, including Smith. His name, with 18,000 other service personnel, is on an obelisk at the Royal Naval Memorial in Chatham, south east England and in Bermuda. Officer’s Cook First Class Smith joined the Royal Navy in 1912 aboard HMS Sirius which formed part of the Royal Navy’s North America and West Indies Squadron. At the end of that tour, he joined HMS Aboukir as conflict commenced. When two other cruisers, HMS Hogue and HMS Cressy, went to the scene  to rescue survivors they too were torpedoed by the same U-boat with a loss of over 1,459 lives. Steele, Eric Gauntlett
W. Gordon Stollard Stowe, Arthur Granville Swan, S. S
Symons, Joseph Henry Fulton. Gunner, BMA (but he was reported to have returned home on July 1, 1919 Tatem, Philip Archibald, Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps (BVRC). Serving with 1st Bn. Lincolnshire Regiment. Born July 30, 1892, Spanish Point, Pembroke Parish. Killed September 25, 1916 in Battle of the Somme and listed on the Thiepval Memorial (Pier & Face 1C). Oldest son of William Thomas Tatem and Emmie Jessie Miles. Thiele, William
Tiller, William A. Rifleman, service number Z/2722. Died 6th March 1916 at the age of 19. Rifle Brigade ex BVRC. Grave Memorial Reference E. 7. Buried at De Cusine Vavine British Cemetery, Basseux. Tite, William James. Private, Lincolnshire Regiment ex BVRC. Service number 17156. Died July 16, 1916 at age 21. Grave Memorial Reference Pier and Face 1 C. Thiepval Memorial. Trimingham, James Joseph Lightbourn, Private, brother of Wentworth Gray. Lincolnshire Regiment ex BVRC. Service number 17160. Died September 15, 1915 at age 21. Grave Memorial Reference I. E. 9. Buried at Brandhoek Military Cemetery.
Trimingham, Wentworth Gray (brother of James Lightbourn Trimingham). 2nd Lieutenant, Lancashire Fusiliers ex BVRC. Died January 4, 1918 at age 27. Grave Memorial Reference VIII. E.16. Buried at Grevillers British Cemetery. A Memorial Death Plaque for him, known as "Dead Man's Penny" was issued by the British Government to salute him and many others.

Wentworth Gray Trimingham of Bermuda, killed in action WW1

Tucker, Alexander Ewing Tucker, Edmund Ernest
Tucker, George Frederick S Tucker, George Samuel Tucker, St. George Streuli Murray
Turini, Basil Louis Vallis, Alfred Hoare Wadson, Stanley Parker
Ward, Errol Stephen Remsen Watlington, Henry Joseph Wears, Rudolph George
White, Walter Adrastus Whitecross, Harold Collins Wingood, Allan Charles

Officers and NCOs of Bermuda Contingent, Royal Garrison Artillery sent to France in World War 1

Officers and NCOs of Bermuda Contingent, Royal Garrison Artillery, who served in France and Belgium in World War 1. Photographed in England prior to their departure to the front. One of those was William (Lanky) Furbert. British Army photo.

BVRC members off to Europe 1914

Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps (BVRC) members who served in France and Belgium with the Lincolnshire Regiment in World War 1. British Army photo. One who enlisted with the BVRC (and lived long enough to write about it) was Allan Livingstone Cooper, one of 16 Bermudians in that unit promoted as an officer during the course of that war. He and his fellow-Bermudians served on the 450-mile long Western Front in France which extended from the Swiss frontier to the English Channel and claimed the lives of an estimated 10 million military personnel and about seven million civilians. He recorded the reaction of troops on the Western Front when the Armistice between the Allies and Germany came into effect at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 in accordance with the Armistice signed by representatives of Germany and the Allied powers between 5.12 and 5.20 that morning.

Philip Tatem

Philip Tatem, BVRC, 1st Bn. Lincolnshire Regiment, killed September 25, 1916 at Battle of the Somme. One of those who went by sea to France on the ship above.  He was the great-uncle of Sherri Panchaud Onorati who kindly sent this photo. 

2. World War 2 1939-1945

They died fighting for Bermuda and the Allies. For Bermuda airmen, soldiers, sailors and marines  killed in World War 2 and Korean War and buried overseas in a British Commonwealth War Graves-registered plot, they can be researched at http://www.cwgc.org/

grave of James Outerbridge

1943 grave of James Outerbridge

Sgt  Granville Williams, US Army photo

Lieut. Cecil John Greenway Wright, RNVR. Died in action on November 24, 1941. He served in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve on HMS Dunedin when it was torpedoed on November 24, 1941, by U-124, halfway between Sierre Leone and Brazil. He was one of the 419 men lost, only 67 of the crew surviving. In 1940, Dunedin had been posted to the America and West Indies Station at Bermuda and thereafter was on the South Atlantic Station, pursuing enemy surface ships in those waters. Wright was a veteran of two World Wars, having served in the Great War in the Canadian Field Artillery and thus was one of the oldest men from Bermuda killed when fighting for the Allies.

Bermuda Militia Artillery in World War 2

Members of Bermuda Militia Artillery (BMA) sent to Europe in World War 2. The author will welcome receiving their names, for inclusion here.

Bermuda War Vets 03

Members of BMA celebrating after the war. They included Sinclair Furbert, with the BMA in Bermuda from 1943 to 1945.

Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps in World War 2

Members of Bermuda Volunteer Rifle Corps sent to Europe in World War 2. They included Herbert Tatem.

Other units included

Some indication of who they were will be welcomed so they can be mentioned here.

World War 2 Bermudians in the British Army, Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Navy and US Army

This list, not complete by any means - the author would love to get some more to go with the photographs displayed earlier - of those not mentioned by name elsewhere to date - included Tommy Aitchison (who moved to USA in 2004; Major Appleby; Robert Ascento; Captain J. Carlton Astwood; Barnes; Wyndham Barnes; Geoffrey Bird (Royal Navy, Fleet Air Arm, later a realtor and a founder member of the Royal Navy Association of Bermuda); Albert Benjamin (electronic service engineer at HM Dockyard); Captain N. T. Campbell; Card; John Card; Captain Fred Clipper (US Army); Henry Dallas; Owen Darrell; Lieutenant Colonel Michael Darling; DeFontes; Eugene Doughty; Jack Exell; Frank Farmer (HMS Ulster); Benny Ferguson; Ronald Firth; George Fisher; Franklin; Major General Glyn Gilbert; Malcolm Gosling; Sir Richard Gorham; Sergeant Grange; Hooper; Virginia Hooper; John Keefe (Canadian Army); Cyril J. Kempe; Commander Anthony Law RCN, Corporal Mary Leighton; David Lindsay; Sergeant John MacDonald; Graham Madeiros; Herbie Marshall; Louis Panchaud; Major Patrick L. Purcell (March 16, 1918-February 21, 2002); Mello; Sandy Powell; William Riker; Anthony Russell; Alfred Simmons, MBE; Slater; A. E. Toby Smith; Lieutenant J. Brownlow Tucker; Stan Walenciak; Bill Westerfield. 

World War 2 Bermudians of Royal Air Force (RAF)

A number of black Bermudian airmen served with the Royal Air Force. They had previously joined the Bermuda Militia Artillery at the age of 17 or 18 or a little older in 1940. After three years of service on the Island, they were selected by the RAF sent to the UK and trained to become a member of a ground crew team. 

They included:

World War 2 Bermudians who joined the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) included 

Bermudian women who served in World War 1

Cassie B. White. Her wartime actions were so remarkable they prompted General John J. Pershing, Commander-in-Chief of the United States Forces in France, to cite her in 1919 for conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty at great risk under fire.

Bermudian women served overseas in World War 2 in these units

They included

Lillian Bell, Lucy Benevides, Betty Mary Cousland Leighton, Daisy Vallis (killed in action), Royal Canadian Air Force (Women's Division) with Bermuda shoulder badge. There were 17 other Bermudian women with the unit.

 

Bermudian Women in the Royal Canadian Air Force in World War 2

Bermudian women in the Royal Canadian Air Force in World War 2. They included, from left, Lillian Bell,  Daisy Vallis, Kathleen Bromby, Iris Jackson, Betty Cousland (later, Leighton), Lucy Benevides, Frida Rigby, Joan Lee and Mary Adams (not shown but present on right). Lucy Benevides stayed in the Royal Canadian Air Force until 1968, eventually as a Captain.

Lobelia Curtis (later Bubenzer),  Margaret Ferrar and Eva Robinson, British Army Auxiliary Territorial Services.  They endured convoys across the North Atlantic and bombings of cities and towns in England. In May 1945, when World War 2 in Europe ended, Miss Curtis was the only enlisted Bermudian woman to march in the June 1945 Victory Parade in London. Later, she married a German prisoner of war in England.

Altogether there were 29 Bermudian women who served overseas in the Second World War. 

Many Bermudian women served in Bermuda during World War 2. Members of the Bermuda Militia Artillery included June Reid Smith and Betty Ingemann. 

Civilian women were also employed by local forces. They gave refugee and medical assistance, and supported or operated a host of wartime charity efforts including the Bermuda Women's Auxiliary Force, St. John's Ambulance Brigade, Bermuda Catering Corps and the Bermuda Services Overseas Association.

Bermuda Catering Corps war ladies

Bermuda Catering Corps war ladies who volunteered their services at the Hamilton Hotel canteen in World War 2. They included, from left to right, Charlotte Ellen Hobbs, Jocelyn Motyer, Mrs Norman Parker, Mrs. Nellie Creelman (seated), Jean Hill Qua and Mrs. William Frith.

Korean War

Bermudian Corporal Henry Eric Dowling, US Army. Killed in action in Korea on December 19, 1950. In US Army records he is listed wrongly as from the US Virgin Islands.

Vietnam War

Elverton A. Mapp, US Army, is a Bermudian who served in and survived that war. He is the son of Mr and Mrs Elverton Mapp of Friswell's Hill. Mr Mapp Jr. lives in Huntsville, Alabama as a police officer for a state university. He left Bermuda in 1966 to attend college in Alabama and later decided to enlist in the US Army in 1971, retiring in 1994. To date he is the only known Bermudian who is a Vietnam veteran. His cousin Lawson Mapp was a Mayor of Hamilton.

War Veterans Memories Sealed

On May 9, 2013 a time capsule filled with soldiers’ memories was laid in place at Bermuda’s War Memorial. The burial of the safe containing books, documents and DVDs, marked the completion of the monument on the grounds of Cabinet. The Memorial commemorates Bermudians who served in the First and Second World Wars. The Bermuda Archives assisted in acquiring diaries from the First World War, details of campaigns that Bermudian solders were involved in, and service records. Veteran Herbert Tatem, who penned the war memoir ‘As You Were’, stood by as the hole was dug beside the stone slabs bearing the names of Bermudians who served. Other works included Jennifer Hind’s ‘Defence not Defiance’, a history of the BVRC, and the military documentaries of Lieutenant Colonel Brendan Hollis. The safe was buried beneath a concrete plinth and a granite inscription. It will be opened in November 2062 — 50 years after the Memorial’s dedication.

The author also writes other military files relating to Bermuda, namely 

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Last Updated: October 28, 2014.
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