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  • Norman Gorick | St Mark's Graveyard

    Norman Gorick NORMAN GORICK Fg.Off. RAF.VR d. 31 January 1943 aged 21 124505 ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ RAF Dishforth opened in September 1936 and at the start of World War 2 it became part of 4 Group, Bomber Command. The base was primarily used for recruit training. At 0212 hrs. on 31 January 1943, a Vickers Wellington Mark X, serial number HE173, took off from Dishforth on a night training exercise. At that period, Dishforth was home to Royal Canadian Air Force squadrons, a part of RAF Bomber Command. There was a crew of four on the Wellington - pilot F/O Norman Gorick, aged 21; navigator F/O George Wood (26), RCAF, of Canada, Fl/Sgt. William Mossop, aged 24, air gunner who was also the wireless operator; and Sgt. J. Welsh, an air gunner. Within one minute of take-off, the aircraft caught fire and crashed just one mile to the NW of the airfield, near Lingham Lane Farm. The only survivor was Sgt. J. Welsh, who was the rear gunner. This accident was the first loss of an aircraft from 428 squadron since its formation, 428 squadron had been formed on 7 November 1942 and later acquired the nickname the "Ghost" squadron, since none of the original squadron members survived. NORMAN GORICK was the son of William and Edith Rachel Gorick, of 449 Worsley Road, Winton. He had attended Eccles Grammar School as a pupil, and was a keen sportsman, playing football for the school team and cricket at Winton Cricket Club. After leaving school he started work with the Prudential Assurance Co. Ltd. At the outbreak of the war, he joined the Home Guard and was in No.5 Platoon of "A" Company of the 42nd Lancaster Battalion. Soon after, in June 1941, he enlisted in the RAF.VR. He went to California, USA, to train as a pilot. Whilst at the flying school, he was awarded the Gold Star Merit Award and was awarded his wings in April 1942. He received his commission as a Pilot Officer in the RAF.VR on 1 May 1942. He returned to the UK in June 1942 and it is reported that he began operational duties immediately. On 1 November 1942, he was promoted to Flying Officer. Norman Gorick is commemorated on the Worsley Methodist Church War Memorial, a church he had attended. When that church closed in 2011, the memorial board was transferred to the parish Church of St.Mark, Worsley, where it is now affixed to the inside of the south wall. Researched and written by Paul R Speakman Back

  • Norman Jenkins | St Mark's Graveyard

    Norman George Jenkins NORMAN GEORGE JENKINS Sub-Lt. RNR d.4/12/1939 aged 24 NORMAN JENKINS was a Sub-Lieutenant in the RNR, on the auxiliary patrol yacht, Zaza. He was the son of Arthur Henry and Elizabeth Jenkins of Folkestone. In the burial records, his address was 81 Chart Road, Folkestone. His parents may well have been Arthur Henry Jenkins and Lizzie (née Lane) who were married at St.Dionis, Parsons Green, Fulham, in 1909. His father originated from the Folkestone area and by 1911 his parents were living at 80 Chart Road, Folkestone. Norman was born in early 1915, and his birth was registered in Elham District, Kent. It is not known how Norman Jenkins died or even why he came to be buried at St.Mark's. Researched and written by Paul R Speakman Back

  • The McCrea Family | St Mark's Graveyard

    The McCrea Family The story behind the deaths of Dr. Edward D'Arcy McCrea and his family has an importance and a significance on a number of levels. Sadly, the whole family was killed as a result of a bomb falling on their house on the evening of 22 December 1940. His wife, Edith Florence, aged 44, their son, Patrick Philip Willock, aged 12, and their daughter, Marjorie Gillian Willock, were killed outright. The McCrea family lived at The Cottage, Barton Road - a large house with an orchard in its substantial grounds. There was a house party taking place at the time of the explosion. Nobody survived. Numerous other people, including their housemaid, were killed. The site of the house remained derelict for several years, and then in the mid-fifties the land was taken over by North West Water. That ground was later redeveloped in the nineties and a retirement home, Elmwood, was built. The grave of the family is in the churchyard of St.Mark's Church, Worsley. One message posted on the internet says: ‘My father and grandfather were standing outside their house at 43 Barton Road looking at the searchlights when they were both blown off their feet and up towards the Bridgewater Hotel, they ran round the corner and found that the McCrea house had been totally destroyed and was in flames and belongings were hanging from the branches of the trees.’ The bomb which destroyed the house is thought to have been a parachute bomb. Air raids over Manchester had begun in August 1940 but the heaviest raids were on the nights of the 22 and 23 December 1940. On these two nights, commonly referred to as the Christmas Blitz, it is reckoned that over 680 people were killed in the Manchester area. Because of its importance as an industrial area, Trafford Park was extensively bombed. The parachute bomb was probably dropped over Trafford Park, but drifted off course. The parachute bomb (or mine) was very effective at causing widespread damage by exploding at rooftop height to maximise its explosive capacity. It had the potential to destroy buildings within a 100 yard radius. More information on the McCrea Family can be found here. ​ Researche d and written by Paul R Speakman Back

  • Contact | St Mark's Graveyard

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  • James Howell | St Mark's Graveyard

    James Howell JAMES HOWELL Gunner RA 19 Dec. 1940 d.15/12/1940 aged 30 1465093 ​ JAMES HOWELL was attached to 80 Battery, 21 Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment. He was the husband of Edna (née Williams) Howell of Worsley. They married in the fourth quarter of 1931 in Barton district. He was the father of Peter (who was aged 1 at his death) and Glenys (aged 5 at his death). At his death, his address was 206 Leigh Road, Boothstown. His parents might have been John and Ellen (née Worthington), who were married on 26 July1909 at St.Paul's, Walkden. In 1911, they were living at 20 Mayfield Avenue, Walkden, and James was 10 months old. Researched and written by Paul R Speakman Back

  • WW2 | St Mark's Graveyard

    World War Two Graves The below are casualties of World War Two buried at St Mark's. James Eric Allen Albert Edward Frost James Howell John Paul McDougall John Busby Patrick William Gordon Dale Thomas Faulkner Keith Barnet Files Norman Gorick N G Jenkins J W R Griffiths James Kee Leonard Hardman Norman Arthur Lingard John Rowson Kenneth Rushton Hickling Geoffrey Topham Reginald West The McCrea Family (Civilian) Brian Ainsbury (Civilian) Home

  • Albert Frost | St Mark's Graveyard

    Albert Edward Frost ALBERT EDWARD FROST Off.Cdt. RASC d.14/5/1943 aged 26 S/151416 ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ The son of Elijah and Isabella (née Phillips) Frost, ALBERT EDWARD FROST was the husband of Irene (née Maddison) Frost of Worsley. They were married in the Barton district in the last quarter of 1939. His parents, Elijah and Isabella, had been married on 15 September 1915 at the Irwell Street Wesleyan Chapel, Salford. The role of the RASC in the field fell into two main parts, supply and transport. Supply embraced the provision of food, petrol and lubricants, fuel and light, hospital supplies and disinfectants. Transport was concerned with the conveyance of the above supplies, together with ammunition, engineer stores, ordnance stores and post, from railhead, or from base if no railhead exists, to all units of a field force. Researched and written by Paul R Speakman Back

  • A to D | St Mark's Graveyard


  • Brian Ainsbury | St Mark's Graveyard

    Brian Ainsbury There is a second civilian burial recorded at the church, of a young boy who was also tragically killed by enemy action during World War II. A V1 'doodlebug' attack on Christmas Eve 1944, hit and destroyed two houses and damaged several others about a third of the way up the right hand side of Woodstock Drive in Worsley. This was not very far from the site of 'The Cottage', where the McCrea family had been killed four years earlier. Number 20 Woodstock Drive was the home of Brian Walter Ainsbury, who died on 24 December 1944, aged 5 according to official records. He was buried in the churchyard on 28 December 1944, where his age was recorded as 4½ years, a more accurate record. Brian was the son of Joseph Hearnshaw and Hilda (née Shaw) Ainsbury. The Ainsburys had two other children: David A., born in the second quarter of 1942 and Carole B., born in the first quarter of 1948. Joseph and Hilda were married locally in the third quarter of 1937. ​ More information of the attack on 24th December 1944 can be found here ​ Researched and written by Paul R Speakman Back

  • John Griffiths | St Mark's Graveyard

    John Walter Ronald Griffiths JOHN WALTER RONALD GRIFFITHS F/Sgt.RAF d.11 September 1941 aged 20 650725 JOHN WALTER RONALD GRIFFITHS was the son of George Griffiths and of Eva Griffiths (née Upton), of Boothstown. His parents were married at Leigh in 1916 and John was born towards the end of 1920, the eldest of four children. At the start of World War II, he was posted to 102 squadron which was based at RAF Topcliffe in North Yorkshire, near to RAF Linton-on-Ouse. Topcliffe was opened in September 1940 as a bomber station within Bomber Command. From there, 102 Sqn flew the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley heavy bomber, a twin-engined aircraft which was at the forefront of the early bombing raids over Germany. On 15th August 1941, one of the Whitley bombers (serial number Z6746) overshot the runway at Topcliffe on return from operational duties to Hanover at 05.01hrs while landing in poor visibility. The undercarriage collapsed when the aircraft swung out of control and it sustained damage considered serious enough that it had to be written off. All five members of the crew escaped serious injury. It included Sgt. Griffiths who was a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner. A month later, on 11th September 1941, another Whitley bomber Mark V (serial number Z6870) crashed at 22.50hrs within Topcliffe airfield boundary while the crew were practicing overshooting during a dual-instruction part of a night flying exercise. Three of the crew were killed and two others injured. Whitley Z6870 was taken by 102 Squadron at Topcliffe in July 1941 and remained with them until the accident on 11th September 1941. The aircraft was written off by the Air Ministry as suitable only for scrap as a result of a flying accident (officially Cat.E2/FA). The names of the crew were: Pilot - S/Ldr. Joseph Damien Reardon DFC RAF (43042), aged 26, of Prince Edward Island, Canada. Pilot - Sgt. Harold Edwin Moore RCAF (R/70734), aged 23, of Lawson, Saskatchewan, Canada. Wireless Operator / Air Gunner - F/Sgt. John Walter Ronald Griffiths RAF (650725), aged 20, of Boothstown. Two other crew members, whose names are unknown, were injured. Researched and written by Paul R Speakman Back

  • James Kee | St Mark's Graveyard

    James Kee JAMES KEE Fg.Off. RAF d. 28 October 1941 aged 24 42713 Robert Kee was Vicar of St.John's, Mosley Common, from 1936 to 1962, and he officiated at several events at St.Mark's during the war years. JAMES KEE was his only son and was born to Janet on 21 July 1917 in Belfast, Co. Antrim, Ireland. After school, he went to Cambridge University where he was admitted as Pensioner at Trinity College on 1 October. There he gained his B.A. Hons. in 1939. Robert (born 1885) died in 1962 and his wife Janet died in 1968. Both are buried in the graveyard at St. Mark's, together with their son, James, in whose memory a special Commonwealth Graves headstone stands before the family monument. On 18 September 1939, he received his commission into the RAF (General Duties Branch) and joined 101 Squadron on a short service commission as a pilot. On 20 April 1941, he was promoted to Flying Officer. 101 sqn., (originally disbanded in 1919), was reformed in 1938 at RAF Bircham Newton (Norfolk) as a bomber squadron, flying the Bristol Blenheim. In 1941, the squadron was equipped with the Vickers Wellington, and the following year with the Avro Lancaste219 Squadron was reformed at RAF Catterick in October 1939 and soon became a night fighter unit when it became fully operational. By October 1940, it relocated to RAF Redhill (Surrey), and from there to RAF Tangmere, and converted to the Bristol Beaufighter. By this time James Kee had been redeployed to the squadron and the Beaufighter, which was used initially as a night fighter and in a ground attack role. It had a crew of two - pilot, and a navigator/radio operator.On 28 October 1941, James Kee and T. G. F. Dixon took off in their Beaufighter, possibly from Tangmere, on a dusk patrol. Soon after take-off, the plane crashed about four miles west of Merston (Sussex) in the evening. Both F/O J. Kee and Sgt. T.G.F. Dixon were killed. Researched and written by Paul R Speakman Back

  • Reginald West | St Mark's Graveyard

    Reginald West REGINALD WEST Fg.Off. RAF.VR d. 23 June 1944 aged 23 151264 REGINALD WEST was the son of William West and Blanche (née Holdsworth), of Worsley. His parents were married in the Bucklow area in the third quarter of 1919, possibly at St.Mary's, Ashton upon Mersey. Reginald was born on 28 December 1920. On 19 February 1943, he was commissioned into the RAFVR (General Duties Branch) on an emergency commission. On 23 June 1944, he was posted as a navigator/wireless operator to 236 Squadron, RAF. According to his will, proven on 1 November, his estate was granted to William West, commercial traveller, presumably his father. He lived at 147 Old Clough Lane and the burial records show that he died at Minster, near Manston, Kent. Reginald joined the Metro-Vickers Company as a Clerk in March 1939 and was employed in the Cost Department. He joined the RAF in October 1940 and was commissioned as a Pilot Officer and later promoted to the rank of Flying Officer (19 August 1943). He was killed whilst on air operations in June 1944. This may have been near Thanet, Kent. 236 Squadron had originally been formed in the First World War as an anti-submarine force, but was disbanded in May 1919. It reformed in October 1939 as a fighter squadron and moved to various bases until it relocated to RAF North Coates (Lincolnshire), six miles south-east of Cleethorpes, in September 1942. From there, it carried out anti-shipping patrols over the North Sea in the Bristol Beaufighter Mk.X. Researched and written by Paul R Speakman Back

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