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McManus, John Arthur

John Arthur McManus was born circa 1914,( Flintshire (Mold) FLNT/51/64) the son of Patrick & Mary Elizabeth McManus (nee Dalton) who had, I believe, married in a Civil Ceremony in 1909 in Holywell, (Flintshire (Mold) HOL/34/61).

On the 1911 census, the family are seen living at 76, Shotton Lane, Shotton, Flintshire, the head of the household was Patrick McManus, 36 a Packer,( Gal. Sheet) in the  Ironworks, his wife Mary Elizabeth, 32, tell us that 1 child had been born to them and was still living and they had been married 1 year.   Both Patrick and Mary Elizabeth had been born in Mold, but the child Catherine, 9 months old had been born in Shotton, Flintshire.

Hawarden Grammar School Admissions Register E/GS/1/10

1173/1814 McMANUS, John Arthur, date of birth 4th January 1914, Grove House, Mold Road, Connah’s Quay, Father – Foreman, date of entry – 12th September 1927, Connah’ Quay Cl., date of leaving – 24th July 1929 – Clerk.

The Hawarden Grammar Admissions Register shows a John Arthur McManus and his address then in the 1927 was in Connah’s Quay, so we have a little insight into where the family moved.   However, there has been no censuses published since 1911, such as the 1921, I have no idea about John Arthur’s life other than that, or how or when he enlisted into the services, but a National Register was taken on the 29th September 1939 and on this there is a John A. MacManus (sic) living at 3, Cestrian Street, Connah;s Quay, who was born on the 4th January 1914 and was a General Clerk in the Steelworks presumably at Shotton, he was probably in Lodgings.     There is another entry that I do believe shows John Arthur’s parents, Patrick & Elizabeth with, I think, his sister, living indeed at Vilvorde, Saith-Aelwyd Park , Holywell.  From this it seems that Elizabeth Patricia may have married twice, once in 1959 to John W. Pickup and the again in 1984 to Harold T. Moffat.

As an addendum to the fact that John Arthur was living with the family in Connah’s Quay, – head of the Williams family was Jane Williams, a Widow, presumably, her daughter Laura, born 29th June 1918 (the Register doesn’t give relationships) and a John Williams born 29th May 1933, at school. – Laura went on to marry William Parry, who is also named on the WW2 War Memorial, as he also sadly died.   (Please click on the link to read his story.)

I do not know when John Arthur either enlisted or was conscripted into the Royal Air Force, any help would be appreciated.

Excerpt from the CWGC website:- In the East while American, Australian and New Zealand forces battled to drive the Japanese from the islands of the South Pacific and Southeast Asia, British and Indian Army troops fought to defend India from a Japanese invasion.   After the victories at Imphal and Kohima, British and Indian Army forces went on the offensive, driving Japanese forces from Burma by the end of July 1945.

John Arthur was to die after the war had ended in the July of 1945, but while he was still in Madras, India, so had he been captured by the Japanese?    Was he in a Prisoner of War camp and died of his bad treatment by the Japanese or disease?

I wrote to the WW2 Talk Forum on the May 23, 2018 :-

http://www.ww2talk.com/index.php?threads/same-man-and-where-is-waltair.73480/#post-789026  to ask about Waltair and how John Arthur died and as usual they were more than helpful.  Bamboo43  tells me :- It seems Waltair was another name for Visakhapatnam city in Andhra Pradesh, with Harry Ree adding:-  Waltair was the old colonial name.  The coastal military establishment designated as RAF Vizagapatam, about 250 miles north of Madras hosted a RAF station and a RN Fleet Air Arm element.  Harry Ree, May 23, 2018 

See Visakhapatnam  – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Visakhapatnam

There is a War Death – All Ranks List (see below) that tells us that he was an L/AC, Regtimental  No. 1522972, in 7055 SE and he died in 1945, Vol. 10 Page 127.   There is another, Army Returns  – Deaths,  also below, that  gives his age as 32 years, Station – Waltair,  and the year of his death as 1946 Page 47.   As the CWGC gives his date of death as 2nd December 1945, this might not have been reported or received by the people who compile these lists until the following year, 1946.

As I said I was helped by the WW2 Talk Forum who added :-

KevinBattle

Hi Mavis, Others more learned than I will be able to help with RAF casualties, but I believe “general” ground crew were more often attached to the airfield and “just” serviced the aircraft operated by various Squadrons as and when they were based there.

It’s just possible he was a freed PoW but most of them were fed to regain health before being taken back to the UK for demob – they’d suffered enough.

My best guess would be a tropical disease, there isn’t a grouping of deaths in early December and perhaps there was a hospital nearby.

The CWGC information says

MADRAS WAR CEMETERY was created to receive Second World War graves from many civil and cantonment cemeteries in the south and east of India where their permanent maintenance could not be assured. The cemetery contains 856 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War.   So he may have been brought from elsewhere, the graves around him are from 1943 onwards, no chronology.  KevinBattle

dp_burke tells us that his name was published as a Died on Active Service (DOAS) in this Flight magazine, this is PDF and I cannot reproduce this on the website, so if you would like a copy please get in touch.   If he were a recuperating POW I think (probably) he would most likely appear with unit identity such as FE, simply for Far East.   My best guess would be a tropical disease, there isn’t a grouping of deaths in early December and perhaps there was a hospital nearby.  So he may have been brought from elsewhere, the graves around him are from 1943 onwards, no chronology. KevinBattle,

dp_burke tells us his name was published as a Died on Active Service (DOAS) in this Flight magazine:-  Unfortunately, I cannot download it onto this website,  I have a copy of this, so if you would like to see it please get in touch with the website.

a/c | sgt | fit | 1946 | 1606 | Flight Archive.   If he were a recuperating POW I think (probably) he would most likely appear with unit identity such as FE, simply for Far East.   I cannot see a surviving ORB in the discovery database.

So many thanks again to all on the WW2 Talk Forum.

John Arthur was obviously loved as his name was also added to the Hawarden County School Roll of Honour.


Learn more about the other soldiers on the Connahs Quay and Shotton War Memorial

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