Tom Tunneyís 1939-45 Memories continued

Local Casualties

ĎOh, there was a few got knocked out. Martin Grady, Kevin Boulger--he was a tail gunner. I worked with Kevin, on the aerodrome at Middleton. He got called up into the RAF--or he joined, I think he joined. He was only a small lad. Aye, he was a tail gunner. He went. Oh, there was quite a few. Tommy Lee. Parker, he was a pilot. They're all on the Cenotaph.

'Charlie...Eeeh, what was his name? Charlie Long. They were all Wellfield lads--why, the majority of them.'

Wellfield was the local grammar school, at Wingate.

'Oh, there was quite a few went down. Josie Bonar, he was the Captain of a ship, Josie. He was a canny bit older than us, like. Fred Pugh, he went down when the U-boat got into Scapa Flow.'

The battleship Royal Oak?

'Umm, he was on that. There was a lot of them, as soon as ever the war broke out they joined up. Pugh went into the Navy. See, they got their pick. If you waited till you were called up you could finish up anywhere, but if you joined up straight away you got the pick of your regiments or whatever. That was what Kirky did. He would never have made an infantryman Jack!'

Local teacher Jack Kirk, who in later years, wrote some excellent historical articles about Thornley and Wheatley Hill.

'He just wasn't cut out for that sort of thing. So he joined the RASC as a driver, which he was, and he drove all the time.'

Thornley War Memorial, 1939-45, in Close-Up
Thornley War Memorial (enlargement)

The image above is an enlargement of the 1939-45 part of the Thornley War Memoral. Itís impossible to talk about Thornley war casualties without reference to the neighbouring villages of Whealtey Hill and Ludworth. Martin Grady, who was in my fatherís class at St Godricís RC School was from Wheatley Hill, as was Kevin Boulger, who worked with him as a bricklayer in 1939-40

Click here for a detailed listing of the 1939-45 Thornley Roll of Honour.

Click here for a detailed listing of the 1939-45 Wheatley Hill Roll of Honour.

Click here for a detailed listing of the 1939-45 Ludworth Roll of Honour

Click here for photographs of the War Memorial

CALLED UP AND IN THE COLLIERY INN, FIRST PAGE

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