Research by Den Budden 2007 –
If you wish contact Den he is still researching firstname.lastname@example.org
Den gathered his information from Newspaper articles of the time and from War Graves Commissioners records. Also additional information from those who have seen his information.
The pages are in alphabetical order, but where the same incident killed others, they are also included on that page.
Lance Corporal CHARLES HENRY ALBERT ABBATT, was the son of George and Hilda Abbatt, of Whitworth Road, Gosport, and like his home town, Plymouth, in Devon, was singled out for the attention of the Luftwaffe’s bomber aircraft.
Plymouth is the home to an important Royal Naval base at Devonport as well as the extensive barrack block accommodation for her seamen, and was constantly the target for the enemy bombs. During the months of March and April 1941 the city was to experience the full weight and fury of enemy aircraft. In these two months, the centre of the City was virtually levelled, in fact after the war, the entire city centre was redeveloped the huge fort complex called ‘the Royal Citadel’ and. the equally strong ‘Smeaton’s Tower’ lighthouse were about the only constructions to survive the blitz.
Lance Corporal Abbatt was on duty on the night of Friday 21st March 1941, manning his anti-aircraft battery gun in the Thorn Park area of Plymouth. The gun site received a direct hit from a large calibre bomb, killing or seriously wounding the servicemen manning the site, amongst those killed was Charles Abbatt, who like his comrades in arms, stayed at his post attempting to defend the city against the German raiders.
Lance Corporal Charles Henry Albert Abbatt R.A. was buried at Ann s Hill Cemetery, Gosport on Sunday 23rd March 1941, and is laid to rest in the War Grave Section (See plan on back panes), Row 4, Grave 3, and his final resting place is commemorated by a CWG headstone.
Gunner ERNEST WILLIAM HALLETT R.A. 867203 213/57 Regiment, Royal Artillery Age 24 Son of William Thomas and Susannah Harriett Hallett, of Gosport. Died 11.3.41
Gunner HORACE JAMES HOBSON R.A. 871164 215/57 Regiment, Royal Artillery Age 19 Son of George Henry and Kathleen Agnes Hobson, of Cowes. Died 12.3.41
Gunner CHARLES ALFRED VICTOR THORNTON R.A 1445201 215/57 Regiment, Royal Artillery Age 25 Son of Francis Edward and Mary Jane Kate Thornton, of Gosport. Died 11.3.41
The bombing campaign waged by Germany against both civilian and military targets, showed no sign of abating, the Portsmouth area was continually on the receiving end of the air attacks. During a particularly heavy raid on Tuesday 10th March 1941, two bombs scored a direct hit on the heavy gun site of 215 Battery, 57 Regiment situated on Southsea Common. Killing 11 men and putting one of the guns out of action’. Despite the fact that the command post had been hit, two other guns were kept from firing for a mere five minutes a testimony to the courage of the men manning them. The attack had been so ferocious that one gunnery control officer reported that our concrete command post was rocking like a ship at sea”, on the night following the air-raid the gunnery control was took place under the light of a shielded hurricane lamp over a trestle table.
The anti-aircraft battery, manned by 215/57 Heavy Anti Aircraft Company, Territorial Army, was just one of whom, were former pupils of Portsmouth Grammar School, who were encouraged to volunteer, by one of their former teachers.
1428449, Bombardier Albert George Aldred, R.A., aged 26. 867205, Gunner Ernest William Hallett, R.A., aged 24 and 1445201 Charles Alfred Victor Thornton, R.A., aged 25, were all killed in the bombing. A few hours later, 871164, Gunner Horace James Hobson, R.A., died of his wounds in Queen Alexandria Hospital, just a few miles north of the gun site. All of them were Gosport men.
Bombardier Aldred, (Row 2 Grave 11); Gunner Hallett, (Row 2 Grave 9); Gunner Hobson, (Row 2 Grave 10); and Gunner Thornton, (Row 2 Grave 14); were buried in the War Graves Section, (see plan at back of book), on the 15th of March 1941, and are commemorated by CWG headstones.
Air Mechanic RICHARD ALLEN, having just joined the Royal Flying Corps, was not used to being around aeroplanes. He was serving with 56th Squadron based at Fort Grange Aerodrome. On the 18th of May 1916, he assisting one of the Squadron’s pilots Lieutenant A.G. Brooke, who was preparing to make a flight. Richard Allen was standing by the side of the aeroplane waiting to remove the chocks from the wheels.
The officer noticed a piece of rag the air mechanic had been using, instructed Allen to pocket the rag before he started the engine, apparently Allen threw it to the ground, blown by the prop-wash when the officer started the engine, the rag became trapped in the machine’s cross bracing wires, being inexperienced Allen, instead of walking around the tip of the wing, he walked underneath the aeroplane and was struck on the head by the spinning propeller blade, killing him.
At the following inquest, it was stated that this was Richard Allen’s first introduction to an aircraft, and he had been warned of the dangers of being near rotating propellers, sadly Allen had forgot the warning, medical aid was rushed to him, but he was already dead. The inquest recorded a verdict of accidental death.
Air Mechanic RICHARD ALLEN, R.F.C., was buried on the 22nd of May 1916, and is laid to rest, Plot 48 Space 21, and is commemorated by a CWG headstone.