Stories of our war heroes... and how the world remembers them today
LEADING Aircraftsman (LAC) Frank Woosnam joined the RAF as a civilian in 1938 as an aircraft hand and he also joined the RAF reserve as a Class F reservist.
This meant he was available for mobilisation on the outbreak of war.
Frank’s parents Joseph and Ada lived at 212 Southport Road at the start of WW2.
Having become engaged to Jesse shortly before being sent overseas, Frank was part of the maintenance crew stationed at RAF Basal, Punjab.
Frank died in hospital on October 5, 1943, possibly of disease rather than combat injury.
Frank is remembered on the Delhi Memorial, the Ormskirk Parish Church memorial and the Comrades Memorial.
Private William Wilding of the Sherwood Foresters (Notts and Derby Regiment) 14th Bn. was the son of the late Michael and the late Mary Wilding of Bird ‘ith Hand Cottages, Southport Road, born March 20 1917. At the outbreak of war, he was an oven attendant at a cake factory.
William’s father, Michael, a plasterer by trade, had enlisted at age 37 in WW1 but he had a debilitating heart condition and so joined the NW Coast Defences in 1915. Michael died in 1942.
The 14th Battalion Sherwood Foresters was raised in 1940 at Markeaton Park in Derby.
William Wilding may well have enlisted at Derby with the 14th Battalion.
In January 1944 the Battle of Anzio continued and the 14th Battalion were on the beach waiting to push for Rome.
William was killed during the fighting on March 12, 1944, aged 26.
He is remembered on the Beachhead Memorial at Anzio, on the Comrades Roll and Memorial Plinth and on the Parish Church Memorial.
Lieutenant Geoffrey Berkeley Turnock died on October 6, 1942, aged 30, at the Pump House Hotel, Llandrindod Wells, Radnorshire, Wales, whilst he was on active service, and he is buried in the family grave in the Duke Street Cemetery, Southport.
Geoffrey served with the Royal Artillery from the start of the War.
He married Dorothy Blanche Baker in 1937 and lived with his wife at 5 Church Street, where Blanche was the manageress of the Drapery shop there.
Geoffrey is remembered on the Comrades Roll and Memorial Plinth and on the
Parish Church memorial.
He was a member of the Ormskirk Rugby Club prior to the War.
Sergeant Cyril Seddon, wireless operator gunner of 460 (RAAF) Squadron, died on December 29, 1943.
Cyril was the son of Charles and Lily Seddon, of 22 Latham Avenue. Both Cyril and his father worked as Railway Clerks.
It was 10 months before the family were officially informed of Cyril’s loss, previously he was listed as missing.
Lancaster III bomber JB-607 (AR-N) ‘Leader’, of 460 Squadron RAAF, left Binbrook Airfield, Lincolnshire, at 17.03hrs to bomb Berlin.
They were part of a group of 712 bombers that day (22 were RAAF aircraft). 1200 4-pounder firebombs, 56 30-pounder firebombs and a cookie of 4,000-pound were to be delivered.
They flew in the first wave of five aircraft over the target.
The Lancaster was shot down at 22.30hrs by a German night fighter on its return flight, on December 29, 1943.
Six of the seven crew members were killed. The Bomb Aimer, F/Sgt. Frank J. Seery, bailed out and survived the remainder of the war as a POW in Stalag IVD near Torgau on the Elbe.
Those killed were as follows: P/O Stan J. Ireland; P/O Ambrose. E. Blight; F/Sgt Max H. Squires;Sgt William A.H. Squire; Sgt Cyril Seddon; Sgt Reg J. Poulter.
They were at first buried in the Friars cemetery in Kerkrade.
After the war, they were all reburied in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery at ‘Reichswald’ in Kleve (Germany). Stan Ireland, Ambrose Blight, Cyril Seddon, Reg Poulter and Billy Squire are buried at Coll. Grave 27. C. 1-12 at the CWGC-cemetery ‘Reichswald’ in Kleve (Germany).
Max Squires is buried at Grave 15. A. 12. at the CWGC-cemetery ‘Reichswald’ in Kleve (Germany).
If anyone has any information on other local men lost in WW2, please make contact at ormskirkinww2@ btinternet.com
Cyril Seddon (far left) with his fellow Crew members and their Lancaster Bomber
Anzio Beachhead Cemetery before the CWGC took over – William Wilding is remembered here
Georffrey Tunnock’s grave in Southport
The War Cemetery in Delhi