Sunday, November 09, 2008

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day 2008

Bomber Command Memorial

We need to acknowledge the past. The proposed memorial for the 55,000 men of Bomber Command who died is needed because, unless we are informed by the past, we will not be able to make a better future for all mankind.

Many men and women from overseas lands came to aid Britain against the fascists and many chose to join the RAF. We should be proud of the thousands of Australian, New Zealanaders, Canadians, Polish, Czech, Irish, Indian, Zimbabwean, South African, Tanzanian, and Malawians who joined the RAF.

In RAF Bomber Command alone, 6,000 ground crew and 400 air crew were from the Caribbean, of which over 100 were decorated.

RAF tail gunner (photo).


Brendan "Paddy" Éamon FitzPatrick Finucane. born Dublin 16th October 1920. His family moved to Richmond, Surrey. Paddy joined the RAF in later 1938. In January 1942 Finucane was given command of 602 Squadron (Hornchurch), aged just 21, he was the youngest ever Wing Commander. RAF Spitfire Ace. His Spitfire was painted with a shamrock.

Finucane shot down numeous German planes during the Battle of Britain, 32 in his career, however he was finally shot down off the French coast on 15th July 1942 and killed, after an attack upon German shipping in Ostend. Model airplanes of his spitfire with vivid green shamrocks sold in Piccadilly Circus and the Strand in London.


500 British Honduran (Belize) women were employed cutting wood in the Scottish forests

Dr Arundel Moody son of Harold Moody founder of the League of Coloured Peoples 1931 became the first black commissioned officer when he became a lieutenant in the Royal West Kent.

Noor Inayat Khan, British "SOE" Secret Agent operated in Paris 1943, betrayed and shot at Dachau.

Manouchian Group

On the afternoon of February 21, 1944, 23 members of a Communist Resistance movement, the Francs Tireurs et Partisans - Main - d'oeuvre immigrée (FTP-MOI), were executed at Mont Valerian. The one-day trial of these men and women, who were to become known as the Manouchian Group (after the leader of the Parisian section of the organization, the Armenian activist and poet Missak Manouchian),

It is in recognition of this that every year a gathering is held in their memory at the burial place of most of their members, the Parisian Cemetery of Ivry. And on their graves figure the words: “Mort pout la France.” Died for France.

(poster known as the Red poster was printed by the Vichy collaborationists)

The members of the group were:

Celestino Alfonso — Spaniard
Olga Bancic — Roumanian
Joseph Boczov — Romanian
Georges Cloarec — French
Rina Dell Negra — Italian
Thomas Elek — Hungarian
Maurice Fingerczwajg — Polish
Spartaco Fontano — Italian
Imre Glaz — Hungarian
Joans Geduldig — Polish
Leon Goldberg — Polish
Szlama Grzywacz — Polish
Stanislas Kubacki — Polish
Arpen Tavitian — Armenian
Cesare Luccarini — Italian
Missak Manouchian — Armenian
Marcel Rayman — Polish
Roger Rouxel — French
Antonio Salvadori — Italian
Willy Szapiro — Polish
Amadeo Usseglio — Italian
Wolf Wajsbrot — Polish
Robert Wichitz — French

Uxbridge ILP Leader Killed

Leanold W Spencer Uxbridge Independent Labour Party Secretary (Belmont Road, Uxbridge) was also killed, 1st September 1915.

Shot in the head aged just 26. He had been a founder member of
Uxbridge Labour Party, first Labour Councillor in Uxbridge and was the first man to motor cycle up Snowdon, Wales.

L.W Spencer, Regiment took major loses and he underwent terrible ordeal suffer from hunger, thirst, sleepless nights and 7 months on constant bombardment, he slept with his motorcycle by his side doing his Christian socialist duty.

He was in the 13th Kensington Battalion, Cyclist Orderly he is buried at Longuenesse St Omer.


Carl Siebenhuhner, German Prisoner Drowned at Denham, Buckinghamshire. (a village just outside West London)

While bathing in the river Colne at the prisoner of War camp, Denham Lodge, on Saturday 9 August 1919, a German prisoner named Siebenhuhner got out of his depth.

He was unable to swim, and seeing that he was in difficulties, his comrades immediately went to his assistance, but without success and the body disappeared. Dragging operations were at once instituted, and the body was recovered from the water in less than a hour,

At the inquest held at the Lodge on Tuesday evening, by Mr A. E. Charsley coroner for South Buckinghamshire a verdict of accidental death was returned.

The deceased, who was twenty seven years of age was a single man, and had been a prisoner of war since 1916. the accident was particularly unfortunate as he was expecting to return to his home in Germany shortly.

The funeral of private Carl Siebenhuhner took place at Denham on Wednesday,

The coffin covered with a flag, and surmounted with a couple of wreaths of holly and evergreens from his comrades, was placed on one of the motor lorries, and the cortege moved off from the camp at Denham Lodge with a firing party of the Royal Fusiliers leading and the whole of the Prisoners of War numbering about forty, following behind the coffin.

In addition to the two wreaths on the coffin, one of the German prisoners carried a beautiful wreath of white carnations subscribed for by all his comrades.

The first portion of the burial service was conducted by the Rector, the Rev G.C Battiscombe, was taken in the church and afterwards six of his comrades, specially chosen because of their near residence to him in Germany bore the coffin to the grave. Here the rector concluded the burial service, three volleys were fired by soilders from the Royal Fusilers and the last post sounded.

The coffin bore the inscription Siebenhuhner, Carl 133rd Infantry Regiment, died August 9th 1919, aged 27, One of the wreaths was from his friend Erde.

In the 1960's the German War Graves Commission established a permanent site in a pine forest at Cannock Chase, Staffordshire.

Siebenhuhner was reinterred 24th November 1962

Karl Siebenhuhner - German Prisoner of War, World War One.


Kamal Chunchie, born Kandy, Sri Lanka
1886. A policeman from Ceylon joined the Middlesex Regiment in WW1 and was wounded twice. After the war on 9th February 1926 he opened the Coloured Men's Institute in Canning Town, probably the first community organization of its kind.
Died 1953