Lt Basil Seymour Cohen (3833)

He was the brother of Michael Henry and they both attended EC in 1927 with no leaving year. There is no record in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission of a Basil Seymour Cohen nor Michael Henry Cohen but there is one for surname Cornell. The reason is that a notification in the London Gazette of 16 Dec 1932:

I, BASIL SEYMOUR CORNELL, heretofore 9 called and known by the name of Basil Seymour Cohen, of 41, Aylestone Avenue, in the county of London hereby give public notice that on the 5th day of October, 1932, I formally and absolutely renounced, relinquished and abandoned the use of my said surname of Cohen, and then assumed and adopted and determined thenceforth on all occasions whatsoever to use and subscribe the name of Basil Seymour Cornell, instead of the said name of Basil Seymour Cohen. And I give further notice that by a deed poll, dated the 5th day of October, 1932. duly executed, and attested and enrolled in the Central Office of the Supreme Court on the 30th day of November, 1932, I formally and absolutely renounced, relinquished and abandoned the said surname of Cohen and declared that I had assumed and adopted ana intended thenceforth upon all occasions whatsoever to use and subscribe the name of Basil Seymour Cornell instead of Basil Seymour Cohen, and ‘SO as to be at all times thereafter called, known and described by the name of Basil Seymour Cornell exclusively.

Dated the 7th day of December, 1932. BASIL SEYMOUR CORNELL

Lt Basil Seymour Cornell had service number 220390 and was killed in action in Germany 28th Mar 1945 and is buried at Reischwald Forest War Cemetery, Germany.

The Memorial Headstone for both brothers in Willesden Jewish Cemetery

Sgt Michael Henry Cohen (3832)    He also was known as Cornell

Sgt Michael was a Navigator in the Royal Canadian Air Force, service number R/144951. His air force records have his name as including his mother’s maiden name of Nathan – Michael Henry Nathan Cornell. He was the son of Phillip Arthur Cohen and Elisabeth Kornberg (nee Nathan) Cornell of New York, New York, U.S.A. He was married to Marguaritte Frances Price, of Ventnor, New Jersey, U.S.A on 20 Oct 1942 in Santa Ana, Los Angeles.

He was born in London and sailed from Southampton on 18 Nov 1936 to America, his occupation on the passenger list being ‘Film Reuter’. He was the brother of Basil and Justin, Gillian and Patricia.

Passenger list of SS Berengaria in 1936

On 31st May 1943 he took off in a twin-engined Avro Anson I DJ239 and was involved in a mid-air collision with a Vickers Wellington HZ637 at Ellenborough Road and the nearby railway line at Maryport, Cumbria, 41 km WSW of Carlisle.

Michael Henry Nathan Cornell in RCAF uniform

Six crew from both planes were killed in unknown circumstances, most of whom were buried in Silloth (Causeway) Cemetery. Michael was buried in the Willesden Jewish Cemetery in London.

WO 2 Arthur Robert Dingle (3662)

At school he was a member of the shooting team and shot at Bisley in 1927

He was Warrant Officer 2nd Class and was in the infantry in the 7th Battalion of the Devonshire Regt. He was married to Caroline Elsie of Clapham Common, London and is buried in the Forest Row Cemetery, Sussex, which had a military hospital attached. It is stated that he was killed in action on 19th June 1940 but more likely he was wounded and taken to the military hospital where he died.

Alan James Dowty (3701)

lan James Dowty (son of Edgar John Dowty and Grace Marianne Parsons) was born 26 Jul 1909 in 29 Gartmore St., Goodmayes, Essex, and attended EC from 1923 to 1925.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission records show that he died on Tuesday 4th Feb 1942 age 32 at Singapore. He was in the Observer Corps and was the son of Grace M. Dowty of Tavistock House, Brondesbury, Road Kilburn, Middx.

Both he, aged 17, and his brother Geoffrey Edgar, aged 15, from Ilford sailed on the Jervis Bay ship, both registered as ‘clerks’, from London to Australia on 29 Mar 1927 on the Big Brother Scheme which was a recruitment drive for youth migration founded by Sir Richard Linton.

Ian James (Jim) Dowty

‘Jim’ as he was affectionately known is recorded in the Malaya Section of the Civilian War Dead register. He went to Australia in 1927 with brother Geoffrey under the Big Brother scheme. He visited Singapore to see brother Murray at Christmas 1941 and got caught up in the Japanese invasion of Singapore.

Major Stephen Thomas Falla (3592), B.A.M.C., M.D. (London), M.R.C.P.

He was born on 3rd April 1910, the youngest of four sons of Lizzie McCann Falla and the late Alfred Falla, of Effards Villa, St. Sampsons, Guernsey. He came to the College in 1921 and left in 1928. He had a very good school record. He passed the School Certificate Examination in 1925, obtained a First Division at the London Matriculation Examination in 1927, and passed the First M.B. Examination in 1928. He was awarded the Dobree Carey Science Prize in 1928 and represented the College at the Duke of York’s Camp in that year. He was a school prefect, a member of the’ CCTC, and took an active interest in swimming. After leaving the College he had a distinguished course at the Medical School of the London Hospital. At the early age of 23, that is in 1933, he gained the diplomas of M.R.C.S. and L.R.C.P., together with the Degrees of M.B. and B.S, (London). He took the M.D. Degree in 1935, and gained the M.R.C.P. in 1937 in which year he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine. After qualifying he held appointments first at London Hospital and after as House Physician at Brompton Hospital.

He paid a visit to USA in 1936 leaving Southampton for New York on board the Queen Mary arriving on 7 Sep. His return journey was on board the Normandie (French Line) arriving back on 5 Oct 1936. On the passenger inventory his address was given as the Royal Masonic Hospital, London.

In 1937 he moved to Norwich where he practised as a specialist on the heart and lungs and was appointed Physician to the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, Consulting Physician to the Norfolk Infirmary, and Assistant Physician to the Jenny Lind Hospital for Sick Children. From time to time he contributed articles to the medical journals. He joined the R.A.M.C. with the rank of Major in 1941 and soon afterwards went out to the Middle East. There he met his death in tragic circumstances. He had been boating on a lake and was afterwards found drowned with terrible head injuries which must have been caused when he was bathing. He was laid to rest in Kantara East Military Cemetery. He had been very happy, during his seventeen months in the Middle East and had become very popular with his fellow officers who held him in great esteem on account of his eminence as a physician and specialist.

Sq Ldr Frederick Charles Gordon Freeman (3591)

He attended EC from 1921 to 1927

On 11 July 1942 he took off from RAF Bourn in a Vickers Wellington MkIII registration Z1751 as part of the 101 squadron RAF for a mine laying mission to Frisian Islands in Netherlands. There were 5 occupants and all were lost without trace.

24252 Sqn Ldr Frederick Charles Gordon Freeman – Runnymede Memorial Panel 65.
108014 Plt Off Leon Reginald Goad – Runnymede Memorial Panel 69.
1071236 Sgt Stanley Howard Hughes – Runnymede Memorial Panel 86.
1325642 Sgt Harold Ralph Hutchinson De Laspee – Runnymede Memorial Panel 81.
115352 Plt Off Robert Michael Lee – Runnymede Memorial Panel 70.

Arnold John Charles Giraud (3979)

He was at EC from 1930 to 1935. In the war he was part of the Merchant Navy and was 3rd radio officer. He died, aged 23 on 3 Dec 1942.

One of his first ships in which he crewed was the British Faith on passage from London to New York on 14 Nov 1941. He had been engaged on 23 May that year in Avonmouth, aged 21 and standing 5’ 4”.

Solon II

He was a member of the crew of the Solon II. The ship had originally been the French ship Solon but it had been seized by the British in 1940 in Swansea and renamed by the Ministry of War Transport. The ship of 4561 tons was carrying a cargo of ore and 2000 tons of copper when they set off from Iskenderun, Turkey to go to Capetown, Pernambuco, Trinidad and Baltimore. At 23.56 hours on 3 December 1942 the unescorted Solon II (Master John Robinson) was hit by one torpedo from U-508 (this U-boat was responsible for sinking 14 ships) and sank within 20 seconds northeast of Georgetown, British Guiana. The U-boat had spotted the ship four hours earlier and missed with a first torpedo at 21.08 hours. Before leaving the area, the Germans questioned the fourth engineer Alexander Macfarlane in the only boat that the crew was able to launch. The survivors made landfall at Weldad, 12 miles west of the River Berbice, British Guiana on 7 December. The master, 68 crew members and six gunners were lost, only 7 surviving. Being lost at sea his memorial is at the Tower Hill Memorial in London. [The U-508 was sunk itself on 12 Nov 1943 in the Bay of Biscay by depth charges from US Liberator aircraft with all 57 of the crew perishing]

Sgt Edmondson Peter Greenhow (4107)

He was the son of Rev Greenhow of Torteval and attended EC from 1934 to 1940.

In 5 December, 14 MC.200s of the 153o and 157o Gruppi, accompanied by 14 G.50s of the 20o Gruppo, provided close escort for 40 Italian and German Stukas, including nine Picchiatelli of the 239a Squadriglia, that were sent to attack targets in the Taieb el Esem-Bir el Gobi area. Top cover was provided by high-flying Bf 109Fs of I. and II./JG 27. Fifteen miles south of El Adem the Axis formation encountered seven Tomahawks of 112 Squadron and 12 more from 250 Squadron, led by Squadron Leader Clive “Killer” Caldwell.
112 Squadron reported taking off at 11:20 led Flight Lieutenant Charles Ambrose (AK475) and including Flying Officer John Soden (AK377), Pilot Officer Neville Duke (AN337/GA-F), Sergeant Rudy Leu (AK354), Pilot Officer “Jack” Bartle (AN372/GA-Q), Pilot Officer Neville Bowker (AK509) and Pilot Officer Joseph Sabourin (AK457). They sighted a formation of 30-40 Ju 87s in vics of three, supported by 20-25 G.50s and MC.200s as close escort. Twelve Bf 109s were flying as high flank cover in two groups of six and there may have been about three MC.202s. On sighting the Tomahawks some of the Ju 87s immediately jettisoned their bombs, but the majority, more daring, started the bombing dive. 250 Squadron started after the Ju 87s and 112 Squadron engaged the fighters. The G.50s and MC.200s stayed up as the Ju 87s went down and in fact started to climb towards the Bf 109s. There was a general mêlée and all the aircraft were mixed up. The Ju 87s got involved with the retiring Italian fighters and, to add the distraction, there was a hail of fire from the ground. Pilot Officer Bowker destroyed three Ju 87s (two of which blew up in the air) and damaged a G.50 south of El Adem. He noted that when a Stuka was knocked out of the formation, the remainder closed up and continued stolidly towards their target. Flight Lieutenant Ambrose claimed a G.50 and a MC.200 as probables in the Tobruk-El Adem area. Flying Officer Soden attacked a Ju 87 and shot its tail off, which fell off by degrees as the stricken aircraft dived. A Bf 109F that he shot at lost its cowling and cockpit hood but was not seen to crash and it was claimed as a probable. Sergeant Leu attacked a MC.200 from out of the sun, which spun in. He also attacked a Bf 109F, which “seemed to falter in the air” and then dive, but he did not see it crash but it was credited as a probable. Pilot Officer Sabourin shot down a Bf 109E, which fell in an uncontrollable spin with smoke coming from it, and a G.50, which also fell burning. He claimed a Ju 87, which crashed near El Adem and also damaged a G.50, a Bf 109E and a Bf 109F. Pilot Officer Bartle shot down one Ju 87 and chased a G.50 over El Adem where it was shot down by its own flak. Bartle claimed it as his victory as the enemy aircraft had been destroyed because of his action!
112 Squadron’s casualties were Pilot Officer Duke, who spun in from 10,000ft down to 2,000ft and belly landed at Tobruk having been hit in the leg by an explosive shell. His radio had failed and his cockpit had sanded up so that he hadn’t seen his attacker until cannon shells started hitting his aircraft.
Known claimers among 250 Squadron were Squadron Leader Caldwell, who was credited with shooting down five Ju 87s, two of which were Italian-flown and damaging a MC.200. Sergeant “Bob” Whittle (AN313) claimed two Ju 87s, with one more initially claimed as probably shot down but this was later upgraded to a “confirmed” after that it had been found crash-landed. Sergeant William Cable claimed two Ju 87s and one damaged while Pilot Officer Francis Albert Creighton claimed one Ju 87 and one damaged Bf 109. Flight Lieutenant Rose claimed a probable Bf 109.
250 Squadron lost four aircraft when Pilot Officer Coles was shot down and wounded as was Sergeant McWilliam, both returning the next day. Sergeant James Ross Gilmour (RAF no. 1365007) and 19-year old Sergeant Edmondson Peter Greenhow (RAF no. 1059800) were both shot down and killed.
The pilots from JG 27 claimed five P-40s without known losses. These were claimed by Hautpmann Wolfgang Redlich of 1./JG 27, who claimed one at 12:05 south of Bir-el-Gobi, Unteroffizier Horst Reuter of 5./JG 27, who claimed one at 11:43 south-east of Bir-el-Gobi, Leutnant Franz Külp of 6./JG 27, who claimed one at 11:45 over Bir-el-Gobi, Oberleutnant Gustav Rödel of 4./JG 27, who claimed one at 11:55 north-west of Bir-el-Gobi and Unteroffizier Josef Grimm of 1./JG 27, who claimed one south of Bir-el-Gobi.
The Italian fighters claimed ten victories, one of them by Tarantola of the 151a Squadriglia, 20o Gruppo. No Italian fighters were actually lost in this combat. However, several G.50s were hit and one pilot slightly wounded, and one MC.200 of the 153o Gruppo was damaged. Having had the radiator of his fighter holed, the unnamed pilot had to make an emergency landing at Ain el Gazala.
At least two Italian Ju 87s seems to have been lost while a third Italian dive-bomber was severely damaged, being forced to land off the runway. Three other Italian Ju 87s were hit by anti-aircraft fire.

He is on the Alamein Memorial. This would seem to suggest that no “identifiable” remains were ever found, the crash occurring at high speed on to the limestone plateau around El Adem. El Adem is 20 miles from the Mediterranean (shot down into the sea quite often results in “No Known Grave”). The plateau rises steeply from the fairly sandy coastal plain at the turn-off on the Tobruk-El Adem road near the French Cemetery (32.007N 23.969E). And at that stage of the North African War the Allies were advancing past the El Adem/Tobruk area. Thus, one would have expected the airframe/pilot remains to have been found so it may be suggested that “nr El Adem” and his being on the Alamein Memorial may not be accurate.

Capt Victor George Guillemette (4050)

V G Guillemette was only at school for one year in 1932.

He joined the Royal Armoured Corps of the East Lancs Regt 144th (8 battalion). He was killed in action and is on the Bayeux memorial.

F/O Clement Louis Houedard (4124)

At EC from 1934 to1939 he left school and joined the Volunteer Reserves of the RAF.

He took off from RAF Pembroke Dock at 1400 on 24 May 1943 in Sunderland III EJ139, part of the 228 squadron, coastal command. They were on a patrol over the Bay of Biscay but were posted missing. It is thought that they were shot down by either U-441 or U-594 (or both). He is commemorated at Runnymede Memorial.

Sunderland III flying boat

An account from ‘Deep Sea Hunters’ by Marin Bowman turned up the following:

On 24th May 1943 Donitz suspended attacks on convoys in the North Atlantic. So successful had the campaign against U-boats become in 1943 that U-boats had to seek new counter moves against air attack. More Junkers 88s came out to protect the submarines and the German crews themselves began to show a preference for remaining fully surfaced to fight it out with AA guns, where previously they had quickly submerged on the approach of aircraft. Type VII ‘Flak boats’ or ‘flak traps’ were introduced to lure and destroy anti-submarine aircraft. Their first success came on 24 May when west of Gibraltar the veteran U-441, the first of eight such boats, which was armed with two quad 20mms on bandstands fore and aft of the conning tower and a rapid fir 37mm flak gun on a second, lower bandstand aft, plus nests of machine guns on the bridge and a team of highly trained gunners, shot down Sunderland EJ139 on 228 squadron flown by F/O H J Debden, who also damaged the U-boat’s bow area by depth charges. None of the flying boat crew survived. U-594 also laid claim to the same Sunderland. But mainly the only result of the new German tactic was the sinking of more U-boats.

F/O George Derek Osmond Le Marchant Hutchesson (3844)

He joined the school in 1927 for 2 years after which he joined the RAF. His aircraft, a Lockheed Hudson I registration N4700 was on a night mission to Hamburg having taken off at 2300 from Bircham Newton on 18 May 1940. The coastal command carried out night bombing raids on oil installations at Bremen and Hamburg. The aircraft was part of 206 squadron and all four crewmen failed to return and were presumed killed. As such they are commemorated at the Runnymeed Memorial.

Flying Officer [Pilot] George D.O.L. Hutchesson, RAf 39283, 206 Sqdn., age 26
Pilot Officer Adrian Bouwens, RAF 33420, 206 Sqdn., age unknown
Corporal Royston E. Gumbrill, RAF 520854, 206 Sqdn., age 32
Aircraftman 1st Class John L. Durant, RAF 627040 (Canada), 206 Sqdn., age 19

Col Edward Orlando Kellett (3257)

He was at EC for two years from 1911

Colonel Edward Orlando Kellett DSO (19 May 1902 – 22 March 1943) was an English Member of Parliament and British Army officer who was killed in action during fighting in Tunisia during the Second World War.

The son of Major-General Richard Orlando Kellett, Kellett graduated from the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the Irish Guards on 1 February 1923. In 1928 he was confirmed as a lieutenant in the reserves. On 1 March 1930 he transferred to the Territorial Army as a lieutenant in the Sherwood Rangers Yeomanry. By 1939 he was a major and in May 1939 was elected as Member of Parliament for Birmingham Aston. He was also a big game hunter. The Second World War saw Kellett fighting in Tunisia as a colonel of the Royal Armoured Corps, part of the British 8th army in Africa.

In May 1943, the war in North Africa came to an end in Tunisia with the defeat of the Axis powers by a combined Allied force. In the south, the Axis forces defeated in Egypt at El Alamein withdrew into Tunisia along the coast through Libya, pursued by the Allied Eighth Army. Most of those buried in Sfax War Cemetery died in attacks on successive Axis positions at Medenine, the Marith Line and Wadi Akarit, in March and April 1943. He was killed in March 1943, aged 40, during the fighting in North Africa and is buried in Sfax War Cemetery.

Col E O Kellett at Sfax War Cemetery

Sgt John Eric Le Cheminant (3475)

He attended EC from 1919 to 1922.

He joined the RAFVR but there is no record of how he died on 23rd Nov 1945. The only reference was that he served aboard HMS Daedalus (Lee-on-Solent) but HMS Daedalus was an on-shore training establishment. The EC record has him as dying of an illness on passage but no details.  His memorial is in Cobo (St Matthew’s) Church.