Forgotten War Dead.

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Currie
Posts: 3924
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:20 am
Location: Australia

Forgotten War Dead.

Post by Currie » Wed May 25, 2011 2:58 am

Forgotten War Dead.

A while back, while looking for something else, I came across a page in the Glasgow Herald, September 19, 1940, and noticed that there were two reports there, almost side by side, about persons being shot by sentries. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=7T ... ntry&hl=en

In one case the sentry, in the north of Scotland, while under the influence of drink, fired at a car load of lumberjacks, presumably for failure to stop. One of the lumberjacks, Maxwell Hawkins, was severely wounded and died at the roadside.

Maxwell Hawkins doesn’t appear on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site or the Scottish National War Memorial. He may not have been Scottish but does that matter if he was killed in Scotland.

The other case was that of a sentry, again in Scotland, and again under the influence of drink, who shot and killed Assistant Chief Constable Robert C. Thomson who was driving a police car during an air-raid warning. The car had failed to stop when challenged.

Robert Thomson appears on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site under Civilian Deaths and also on the Scottish National War Memorial.

On July 1, 1940, the Glasgow Herald had reported another case, of a David Beveridge Calder, a quarry manager, who was shot dead by a sentry in Scotland when he failed to stop his car when challenged. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=qD ... ntry&hl=en

David Beveridge Calder appears on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site under Civilian deaths and also on the Scottish National War Memorial.

The Glasgow Herald, February 9, 1945, reported a compensation claim in respect of the death of Thomas Macdonald, a 16 year old telegraph messenger boy, son of Alexander Macdonald of Campbelltown who, while making a delivery in Scotland, was shot dead by a sentry. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=M0 ... ntry&hl=en This incident had occurred in December, 1943, as reported here http://www.kintyreonrecord.co.uk/articl ... icle_id=60

Thomas Macdonald doesn’t appear to be on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site or the Scottish National War Memorial.

But not just in Scotland. In The Glasgow Herald, June 3, 1940, there’s a report of two separate sentry shootings in England. Joseph Henry Vaughan, 20, of Bethnal Green, fails to stop his car when challenged and is shot dead by a sentry. John Henry Macdonald, a passenger on a motorcycle is similarly shot dead. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=t3 ... ntry&hl=en

Neither of these two men appears on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site.

On June 10, 1940, the Glasgow Herald reported a shooting by a sentry in England. Elizabeth Smith, 19, of Hibbert Road, Mansfield, Notts, was shot in the back and killed when the car in which she was a passenger failed to stop when challenged. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=vX ... rist&hl=en

Elizabeth Smith doesn’t appear to be on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site.

In The Glasgow Herald, October 6, 1943, there’s mention of a sentry shooting, in March 1942, in England, of Lieut. William Greville Worthington, RNVR who failed to stop his car when challenged. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Xj ... ntry&hl=en

Lieutenant William Greville Worthington appears on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission site.

There are probably dozens of similar cases. It seems to have been a very popular sport, especially during 1940.

As I understand it if you’re a member of the military and you die during wartime, wherever and of whatever cause, you’re automatically included on the war memorials. For civilians it clearly has to be for war related deaths, but are not all these deaths war related. If you were shot by a supposedly friendly sentry, drunk or otherwise, whether you get your name on a war memorial seems to be just the luck of the draw.

Hope that’s interesting,
Alan

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