Littleborough’s History

THE SECOND WORLD WAR

CASUALTIES OF WHO WERE RESIDENTS OF THE PENNINE TOWNSHIPS

Whose 75 or 80 years Anniversary occurs this month – March 2019


LITTLEBOROUGH, WARDLE & SMALLBRIDGE

Driver Leslie Roberts

Leslie was born in Ulverston during Qtr 2 1917, son of Stephen and Doris Roberts (nee Bogart) who were married in Oldham during autumn 1916. Leslie later moved south and lived at 7 Hall Street, Littleborough. Leslie joined the Royal Army Service Corps and as Driver T/64243, 218 Air Liaison Sec was wounded in Italy and it is likely that he died in the 2nd General Hospital in Caserta on 6th March 1944. Driver Roberts was originally buried Caserta Civilian Cemetery but was re-buried 17th November 1944 in Caserta War Cemetery, Italy, grave No V E 16. Leslie is not remembered on any known local war memorial but as at the time of his death his parents lived in Broughton-in-Furness, Lancashire he may be remembered in that area.


MILNROW and NEW HEY SERVICEMEN

Gunner Peter Jones

Peter was born in Milnrow on 22nd January 1920, the son of Charles and Ada Jones (nee Landamore) who lived at 11 Shaw Road, Newhey. He had two sisters, Sarah J & Lily and 2 brothers William A & Ernest W. Peter joined the Royal Artillery, 174 Field Regiment but he unfortunately he contracted Pulmonary TB from which he died on 1st March 1944. Gunner Peter Jones, aged 24 was buried in St Thomas’s Church, New Hey, South Plot. Row J. Grave 63 and is remembered on their War Memorial.


Lieutenant Harry Horrocks (A) D.S.C

Harry was born in Rochdale on 30th May 1921, the son of Harry and Margaret Hymer Horrocks (nee Braddick) who were married in Rochdale in late 1919. Harry had a younger sister, Kathleen born in Rochdale in 1927. The family subsequently moved to Marton, Blackpool where Harry was employed in Blackpool Borough Surveyors Department. Harry joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and served on HMS Jackdaw. Lieutenant Horrocks was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) for sinking a U-Boat whilst serving on HMS Archer. Harry later died on 25th March 1944 from multiple injuries due to a flying accident and is buried in Blackpool (Carlton) Cemetery, grave B43 and is remembered on St James & Blackpool War Memorial


Flying Officer Anthony Boyer Brentnall

Anthony was born in Rochdale on 23rd April 1920, the son of Dr Sam Boyer and Ellen Brentnall (nee Lowe) 150 Drake Street, Rochdale and had an older sister, Catherine born in 1918 and younger brother, Timothy M who was born in 1923. John was studying at Manchester University at the outbreak of war as an officer of the Lancashire Fusiliers Territorial Battalion he was called up for service. Due to his age he was not old enough to go to France so applied for and was granted a transfer to the RAF. Anthony trained in Canada, gained his “Wings” and returned to the UK late in 1943. Latterly, Flying Officer Brentnall was engaged in instruction duties but was seriously injured in an accident aircraft involving Miles Master II (DL852 of No 5 (P) AFU) which crashed near Condover hitting a tree flying in fog. Anthony was transferred to a northern hospital he didn’t survive an operation and died on 29th March 1944 just a month before his 24th birthday. Flying Officer Brentnall is remembered on St Ann’s and St Chads War Memorials.



ANZIO BEACH HEAD LANDINGS and AFTERMATH – January – June 1944

At the end of 1943 the Allied forces were bogged down at the Gustav Line, a defensive line across Italy south of the strategic objective of Rome. The operation to land on the beach at Anzio was originally conceived December 1943 and was intended to by-pass German forces in central Italy and to take Rome. The Anzio beachhead is at the north-western end of a tract of reclaimed marshland cultivated in the 1930s Canals and pumping stations were built to remove the brackish water from the land. The landings began on January 22, 1944 and were essentially unopposed, with the exception of desultory Luftwaffe attacks. By midnight, 36,000 soldiers and 3,200 vehicles had landed on the beaches. The German response was to create a defence line consisting of three divisions. Further troop movements brought Allied forces total on the beachhead to 69,000 men, 508 guns and 208 tanks by January 29, whilst the total defending Germans had risen to 71,500. Attacks and counter-attacks continued through February leading to near stalemate. Both sides realised that no decisive result could be achieved until the spring and both reverted to a defensive posture involving aggressive patrolling and artillery duels whilst they worked to rebuild their fighting capabilities. The end came with an attack which commenced at 5:45 a.m. May 23, 1944 and 2 days later the allies advanced along the line of Route 6 to Rome. On June 2 the German defensive position collapsed under the mounting on the same day Hitler, fearing another Battle of Stalingrad ordered that there should be "no defence of Rome" such that Rome was entered in the early hours of June 4.


The Anzio Beach Head landings paragraph has been summarised from and extensive article on Wikipedia.