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2nd Lt. Jozef JEZIENICKI Polish Army, aged 39; died 17 December 1941

A polish army in exile contributed to the Allied effort throughout the war. Sadly Jozef Jezienicki, aged 39 died in an accident at Deeping St Nicholas when the army vehicle in which he was a passenger, skidded, went in to a dyke and turned over. He was trapped underneath the vehicle with head injuries. He died on December 17th 1941.

Local lady, War historian Cheryl Arnold noticed his headstone had been tended, and decorated with floral tributes and a candle. It would have been nice to know whoever was tending Jozef’s grave.


Leslie Thomas MacSWAYNE, aged 22. . Died 20 October 1943. 

Sergeant (Flight Engineer) Service No. 1394138,  RAF Volunteers Reserve 90 Squadron



In a Stirling III EF497 WP-L on an air test, it collided with trees and crashed killing all the crew at 16.30 at Woodhouse Farm, Ipsden near Benson airfield, Oxfordshire.   


News was received by Mrs MacSwayne, 64, St. Thomas's Road, Spalding, that her elder son was killed on active service. His father was also in the RAF and was a L.A.C. serving in Iraq. The MacSwayne family came to Spalding three years ago, after being twice bombed out in Kensington. Sergt. MacSwayne formerly belonged to the N.F.S. in London, and right through the blitz was a dispatch rider. He was transferred to the RAF two years ago.

The funeral took place at the cemetery, prior to which a service was held in the Salvation Army Hall.


Sergt. Observer Lloyd Albert Winston MATTHEWS,Service No. 581518

RAF 101 Sqdn, killed  12 June 1940 on active service.


The sad  news was received by his widowed mother, Mrs. G. Matthews of Park Road, Spalding. The death of this young man, he was only 26, cut short a promising career. Fourth son of Mrs. Matthews and the late Mr. G. Matthews, he was educated at Spalding Grammar School, where he attained great success, both scholastically and on the sports field. He took his Cambridge Higher Certificate, and was head prefect and captain of the Rugby XV.      


Practically the whole of the time since he left school he had been associated with the family's boot and shoe business in Hall Place. He joined the RAF a week before the outbreak of war, and his scholastic attainments, together with marked ability, enabled him to make rapid progress.


Whilst at Spalding he played for the Town Rugby Club, but he made walking his chief recreation. And walked many miles a day It was only on the Friday evening before his tragic death that he paid a brief visit home. He has five brothers, the youngest of whom, Raymond, had just joined the RAF.


The funeral of the young airman took place at Spalding cemetery when he was accorded full military honours.


Gunner Reuben Alfred MODD, Service Number:1526973  Royal Artillery,

1 (Airborne) Light Anti-Tank Bty., Age At Death:25 Date of Death:06/05/1945


The death was reported as the result of an air accident of Gunner R. A. Modd, of the Royal Artillery, son of Mr. and Mrs. W. Modd, of Peartree House, Spalding Common.


It appeared that Gunner Modd, who had been a prisoner of war for about two years, was one of the 32 Service personnel who lost their lives on May 6th at Hindhead, Surrey, when an American transport plane, returning from the Continent, passed over what is known as the Punch Bowl. It flew low, and collided with one of the 6 tall pylons at an RAF radio location station The machine burst into flames. The passengers were understood to have included American as well as British personnel. It was raining at the time and there was a mist over the district.


Gunner Modd had been in the Forces almost from the beginning of the war. He was 26 years of age and unmarried. Before joining up he was an agricultural worker for Mr. Noble, of Spalding. Much sympathy was felt for Mr. and Mrs. Modd, who had two other sons in the Forces, in the distressing occurrence just on the eve of VE-Day, when their son had been looking forward to reaching home again after his long absence.



Sergeant Sapper Stuart MURRAY , service no 2088109,

Royal Engineers, Leicestershire Regt ,Died 27 May 1940; age 36.


Stuart Murray originally from Loughborough was staying with his wife, at Mrs Tucker 23 Havelock Street, with 2 of their four children.


He was riding a motorbike with his wife on the back and collided with an army lorry at Spalding Common, Lucks Bridge.


Gunner W A PARKER Service no 127338 Royal Garrison Artillery,

33rd Anti Aircraft Company aged 22   died 26 Nov 1918


William Arthur Parker was born 1897, the son of of Mr J H and E Parker. In 1911 census, his father was manager of a shoe shop in Mablethorpe.  Later his father became manager of Freeman, Hardy and Willis shop shop in High Street, Holbeach.


He served with 33rd Anti Aircraft Company, and died of his injuries in Belton Hospital Grantham. He was buried with full military honours in Spalding Cemetery. 


Sgt JOHN SAMUEL REYNOLDS Age 23; service no. 36932

Royal Berkshire Regiment; Died 10 December 1919


John Samuel Reynolds and family lived at 55 Commercial Road, Spalding. He enlisted as a private in the Lincolnshire Regiment but later moved to 8th Bn, Royal Berkshire Regiment.


He was wounded at Hooghe, Ypres and taken to the 23 general hospital, Etaples. Then he was moved to Leicester 9/2/16 to 9/4/16. . He returned to his unit 4/9/16 and received a gunshot wound to his head. He was then brought back to the UK where he died.


Walter SCOTNEY, aged 21, aircraftsman second class,

service number 1026704 RAF Volunteer Reserve died 7 August 1941.


Son of Cecil Stanley and Lilian May Scotney, of 5 Alexander Road. They received the sad tidings that their eldest son Walter Scotney aged 21, had been killed on active service, Aug 7, 1941. He had returned to duty only a fortnight previously after spending his leave at Spalding during which time he celebrated his 21st birthday on July 22


A very likeable young man, he has been in the Air Force six months, joining up on February 1st. In civil life he was employed as fitter at the Spalding Urban Council Gas works. He was educated at the Parish Church Day School. The young airman's chief pastime was fishing and during his recent seven days leave spent some time in that sport with his father.  The funeral took place at Spalding Cemetery.


Harold SMERDON, Corporal RAF, service no 286075, died 8 May 1944



As the result of injuries received when involved in a collision with a lorry whilst cycling in Worcestershire.  Cpl. Smerdon was having a day off duty when the accident occurred, He was speedily taken to hospital, but despite every attention he succumbed. At the inquest a verdict of "accidental death was returned.  


Corpl. Harold Smedon, RAF, husband of Mrs. Winifred Alice Smerdon, of Goodfellows Road, Spalding Common, was 43 years of age, a Devonshire man, but had lived at Spalding for upwards of 25 years, he being well-known in the town. He joined the RAF at the outbreak of the war. Twice married, Corporal Smerdon leaves a widow, five children by his first wife and two step children, with whom much sympathy is felt.


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Bombardier John Robert (Jack) SPRIGGS, aged 23.  Died 7 Sept 1941

Service Number:1497082; Royal Artillery



Bombardier Jack Spriggs, elder son of Mrs. L. Coates, 8, Chapel Lane, Spalding, died in a military hospital at the age of 23. Bombardier Spriggs was taken ill with appendicitis, and complications set in following an operation. A second operation was performed, and two blood transfusions were given, but the young soldier had a sudden relapse after appearing to be progressing, His mother was at his bedside when he died. A native of Weston Hills, where he attended school.


Bombardier Spriggs joined the R.A, at the outbreak of war, his unit 244 Bty, Heavy Anti Aircraft Regiment. Formerly he was in the building trade with Mr Barnett. Only three weeks ago he appeared to be in the best of health when he gave away his sister Joan Mary Coates, when she married L/Cpl. Clarence Cecil Hargraves at Spalding Parish Church. The funeral took place at Spalding Congregational church.


Cecil Bernard George STANHOPE, aged 30, died 25 Jan 1941.



Trooper Cecil Stanhope was the second son of Mrs. and late Mr H Stanhope, of 32 Spring Street, Spalding. He was killed in a road accident whilst on military duty near Bletchley. He was a pupil at the Spalding Willesby School, and on leaving school, worked for Mr Alfred W White.


He was a member of the Baptist Church Sunday school as a boy; and the Bible class. He joined the Army in 1928, and was a private with the Light Tank Corps for several years.In the summer of 1935, he had been in India four years, and was there and survived the Quetta earthquake, serving as an ambulance driver rescuing survivors. He returned to civilian life at the end of 1935, but was on the Army Reserve. When war was declared he was called up and served in France  and spent Christmas there in 1939. At the time of the collapse of France and evacuation at Dunkirk he was in hospital in England.


Raymond Henry THOMPSON, aged 23, flying officer pilot, S/NO 119076,

RAF Volunteer Reserve, 101 Squadron, died 20 March 1943



Mr. and Mrs A. J. Thompson, of Cowbit Road, Spalding, were informed that their only son, Raymond Henry Thompson has been killed on active service. Aged 23. He first joined the army in June 1940, and later transferred to the R.A.F., gaining a commission. He was promoted Flying Officer, and at the time of his death was an instructor.                                            


Raymond Henry Thompson was killed on air operations. On the 20th March 1943, Lancaster I, ED446SR-N, 101 Squadron, during an air test crashed at 2230 on the beach at Atwick, 3 miles north-north-west of Hornsea, Yorkshire, with the loss of the entire crew.                                          


An Old Boy of Spalding Grammar School, he was on the staff of Messrs. Lloyds Bank at Grantham before joining up. His father was manager at Messrs. Soames &Co.,Spalding,Lincolnshire                                                                                                                                                                                                     


Sergeant Pilot GEORGE THORNHILL aged 32 date of death 1 September 1942

Service No. 1222586 Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Sergt. Pilot George Thornhill, of 36, Havelock Street, Spalding, was killed in an accident. He had made rapid strides since he joined the R.A.F. in December 1940. He had six months training in Canada, where he gained his wings, and had latterly taken up duties as an instructor.


He was born on 7th April 1910 at Holbeach St Marks. His parents were Arthur and Thirza Jane (nee Marshall) Thornhill, Arthur was a farm labourer , of 63, Queen's Road. He married Dorothy May Young of Holbeach Hurn in 1934 and they had two children, Geoffrey in 1938 and Ann in 1942.  Sergt. Pilot Thornhill had returned from leave in Spalding the previous week. They lived at 36 Havelock Street.


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