Our Ancestor's

The purpose of this board is to post information and pictures of the family members who served have served in any kind of service to their country. In this way we can honour their memory and service.

Postby ace-rimmer » Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:54 am

Hi all,

This is a little thread on my great uncle Cecil.
Cecil Arthur Lewis was a pilot during the first war, he flew first with the RFC as a spotter and later as a recon pilot, then a fighter pilot in the SE5a, although he always said he preferred the sopwith!. He flew with some of the best british pilots of WW1 and was awarded the DFC,DSO and bar.
After WW1 he went to china to train pilots for the fledgling Chinese air force and commercial fliers on trade routes.He said that the chinese were the worst pilots and was frightened out of his wits every time he handed control of the kite over to one!!!. He then came home and wrote his first memoir, Sagittarius Rising, about his exlpoits during the war and his time in china, He also became good friend with Bernard Shaw and later started the makings of now what is the BBC.

The second world war for him was the last time he would fly, He was first stationed at RAF Uxbridge with my grandfather, and then at RAF Cranwell training pilots for basic flying and later combat flying, aerobatics.He was instructor to some of the top british pilots of WW2 and the battle of Britain.

After WW2 he wrote another book, Sagittarius surviving, and All my yesterdays before concentrating on family life and other pursuits.

He always maintained he was just at the right place at the right time, and never had so much as a scratch during the war, although fliying over the front during the great war he said were some of the saddest and most horrific sights of his life, and preyed that later generations of family and people would never have to witness anything like that again.

We are very proud of him and all he achieved.
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Postby ace-rimmer » Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:30 pm

Hi there,

Just reading your thread on your lot, my uncle was at RAF Scampton as a radar operator and later ground control in the tower. Probably new your father, this was early to late sixties. It's a small world!

Cheers, Mark
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Postby littletankman » Thu Mar 08, 2012 11:55 pm

Hi i had relations in both WW1 and WW2 will come back to that in more detail later . But at my first job there was a guy there he served in the desert rats as an anti tank gunner . And ironically as it may seem my dad has a friend who was in the Affica Korps also an anti tank gunner , he ended up in a penal battalion . Both servived the war .
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Postby Eastern Front » Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:21 am

Hi All,
My Family has generations that have served..
My Uncle, Warren, served in the WW2, he was a Marine Island hopping through the pacific (Iwo Jima, Guadal Canal etc) My Father served in Korea, both have passed. :(
Of the siblings in my family, two sisters tried out the US. Army (I say tried out because they only did one hitch) My Oldest brother did 16 years (Us Army) My youngest brother served in the US Navy, I miss him terribly... Me, well I served in the Navy, Desert Shield/Storm, got out, worked in the Oil industry, yup you guessed it,,,back to the desert I went. went back as a contractor to Operation Iraqi Freedom, My son was in Country serving with the Navy while I was there.. Gee, you would think I would have figured it out and just bought some property there!

Cheers!
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Postby Peter_D » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:56 am

My grandfather was sailing the SS leopoldville, a Belgian liner, when war broke out. He was Chief Engineer. In May 1940 he had just left the Belgian Congo with the ship and couldn't return home. So they sailed to La Palice in France, which wasn't occupied by that time. From there he sailed to LIverpool. During the war the ship saw action in a lot of allied convoys to USA, Canada and even Moermansk.
The ship was transformed as a troop carrier and after D-day it sailed 24 times between England and the Continent, carrying over 120.000 troops. The 25th time proofed to be a disaster. On December 24th 1944, the Leopoldville wa shit midships by a torpedo. It carried American soldiers to the Ardennes to reinforce the troops there.
The real number of victims was never knows but it must be between 768 and 802 death. The irony of it all was that the ship was only 5 miles from Cherbourg and it took almost 2 hours before she sank, but a lot went wrong. The US blames the Belgian crew of giving no instructions, the British navy was blamed not to take immediat rescue action (they searched for the U-Boat instead, can't blame them) and on shore the command post of the harbour wasn't manned because it was Christmas eve. Also the ship drifted to a minefield so the anchor had to be lowered so it was impossible to tow her. It must end as a catastrophy.
My grandfather left as one of the last officers the ship, which went down with its captain that stayed on his ship. Now she lies on the bottom of the Channel, being an official war grave.
After 5 years he finally came home, never told a lot of that day, but had nightmares almost very night of screaming soldiers, trapped in the ship.
So every Christmas is a little special to our family and we think of all those who lost there young lives

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Postby Viking7604 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:42 pm

I think this forum is brilliant! My grandfather was in the REME when it was formed during WW2 he served in North Africa, Italy and Europe with Montgomery's 7th Armoured Corps. He took part in the battle of El Alamein and saw Rommel out of North Africa, his vehicle (an armoured recovery vehicle, probably a Churchill tank) was destroyed during the battle of El Alamein and he was forced to fight on foot during which he helped to destroy several German armoured fighting vehicles. I used to listen carefully as a kid to my grandads stories of WW2.
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Postby Viking7604 » Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:57 pm

Just as an accompanyment to my post above, I am the only member of my family to have served in the forces since my grandad. I joined the British Army in 1989 and have served in some of the roughest parts of the world including: Kosovo (2 tours) and Afghanistan (2 tours). I can never say that I ever had it as tough as gramps but I can relate to his experiences and I hope I'm a better man for mine?
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