George Ernest Shone was born on the 5th September 1913 according to his entry in the St. Mathew’s Church Registers and Baptised on the 25th September 1913 his address was 78, Chester Road Buckley. He was the son of George and Edith Olivia Gwladys Shone, who had married after Banns in Emmanuel Parish Church, Bistre on the 12th May 1913. George Shone, 22, was a Bachelor and an Armature Winder and his address was Mold Road, Bistre. His father Samuel Shone was a Collier. Edith Olivia Gwladys Davies, 25, was a Spinster, her address was Lane End, Bistre. Her father was Hugh Ellis Davies, Draper. Their witnesses were Fred Birks & F. Bessie Hughes.
George Shone (Snr.) is seen on the 1901 census living at 63, Spon Green, Buckley, Flintshire, living with his parents and siblings. Head of the household is Samuel Shone, 52, and a Coal Miner, his wife Anne E. Shone was 52. Their son Thomas J. was 27, single and a Boilermaker, Daughter Lily, was 21 and single and a Dressmaker on her own account. They were all born in Buckley. Son Edward, 14, George, 10 and Hannah,8, were all born in Bumfurlong, Lancashire. Emily Shone, 7, had been born in Buckley. Next door at no. 62 Spon Green were, I believe, a brother, Samuel, 24 and a Coal Miner with his wife Sara A., 25 and Sons John S.,3 and Arthur, 1. All born Buckley, Flintshire.
George (Snr.) is seen on the 1911 census living at Bamfurlong, Abram, Lancashire living at 230, Lily Lane as a Boarder , he is 20, single and Collier, born Abram, Lancashire. He was in the household of Sarah Donoughue, 60 and a widow, who had been born in Hawarden, Flintshire. Also in the household were 1 daughter, two sons and a granddaughter, all born in Lancashire.
Edith Olivia Gwladys Davies is seen on the 1901 census living at 42, Lane End, Bistre, Buckley, Flintshire with her family. Head of the household was Hugh Ellis Davies, 45 and a widower, he was a Draper on his own account, at home, he had been born in Llanfair, Monts., and was Bilingual. Gladys (sic), 13, John H. 10, and Carey, 9 had all been also born in Llanfair, Mongomershire. Ernest G. Davies, 7 had been born in Buckley. They all spoke only English.
The 1911 census sees the family living at The Star Shop, Buckley. Still head of the household was High Ellis Davies, 54 and a widower. Gwladys, 23 and single was a servant at home. Carey, 19 and single was a Dental Mechanic (Dentistry) and making up the household was Ernest Garfield,17 and single was a Grocer’s Assistant.
I do not know anything about the very early years of George Shone, except when he entered Hawarden Grammar School:-
Hawarden Grammar School Admissions Register E/GS/1/10 – 1080/1576 SHONE, Geo. Ernest, Date of birth 5th September 1913, 41, Chester Road, Buckley, father – Electrical Contractor, date of entry – 15th September 1925, St. Mathew’s , Buckley, date of leaving – 24th July 1929 – R.A.F.
George Ernest was to have a sister Margaret Olivia, born on the 15th August 1916, her baptism was on the 31st August 1916 at the same address.
The family suffered a grievous loss, when they were to lose his father George Shone (Snr.) who died in the March quarter of 1926, age 35 years, (Chester Vol. 8a Page 472). George Ernest would have been 13 and Margaret Olivia 10 years old.
So we know from the School records that he left to go into the Royal Air Force in 1929. He was to meet Nellie F. Moore at some time and then they married in the September quarter of 1938, they married in West Cheshire.(W.Cheshire Vol. 8a Page 1381).
Nellie is seen on the 1939 National Register (Taken on the 29th September 1939) living at 50 Westminster Road , Hoole, Cheshire, England. It looks as though she is living with her parents and this source gives us the dates of birth for all in the household. Daniel I.Moore’s date of birth was the 10th March 1880 and he was a G W R Locomotive Engine Man, Fanny T, Moore had been born on the 11th October 1876 and as most married women who did not have a job is described as doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.” Doris Mary Moore* had been born on the 16th August 1910, was single and a Clerk at a Fruiterers. Nellie F. Shone, born on the 22nd March 1913 and married was also doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.” I believe that Jeffrey A. Shone, born the 2nd August 1939 was George Ernest’s son and he was a few months old.
*Doris Mary Moore , I believe was to marry James John March in 1942 in a Civil Marriage or Registrar Attended Marriage. (Cheshire West WC/6/46)
This same National Register also shows George Ernest’s mother Edith Olivia Gwladys living at 14 Fairfield Road, Hawarden, Flintshire. Her date of birth was the 18th September 1887 and was a widow and again was doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.” I believe that George had another sibling that I have only found on this Register, he was Graham Shone and was born on the 15th June 1924, was single and an Apprentice Joiner. Any help to clarify this would be appreciated.
George Ernest’s sister, Margaret Olivia, is also seen on these Registers, Margaret is living at N.A.A.F.I. 5F.T.S. Sealand Queensferry, Chester, Queensferry, Hawarden, Flintshire, part of the war effort as well as George. Margaret Olivia’s date of birth was the 15th August 1916 and was an Institute Assistant and single. I believe that she went on to marry Leslie O. Mott in the September quarter of 1943. (Hawarden Vol. 11b Page 401) For the full list please see lower down below George’s story.
Obviously George had been in the Royal Air Force if his school Admissions Register was correct and he would have been thrown into the war straight away, but he was to find himself in 75 Squadron on the 28th July 1942, flying Wellington III X3558 with his crew of five. They took off from Feltwell at about 23.00, the time is missing in the Operational Records Book, and then their aircraft along with 5 others are recorded as Missing.
I looked to see if I could see George Ernest on any earlier flights, could not see his name, however, it may be that the last flight he was on, was his first, at least from that airfield. The other crew members all seem to have had other flights.
All of the crew bar George and Charles Harkness were on a mission on the 2nd July 1942 on an attack on BREMEN, flying Wellington lll X3558,the man who was in George’s place as Navigator was Sgt. H.B.V. Crawford and Sgt. L.W. Kennedy Fr/Gnr. took the place of P/O Charles Harkness.
That same crew took part in an attack on Targets at FRISIAN ISLANDS(GRADENING), on the 7th July 1942 flying Wellington lll X3664.
Again, the same crew were taking part in an attack against targets WILHEMSHAVEN on Wellington lll X3538 on the 8th July 1942.
Again on the 20th July 1942 on a Daylight Sortie against BREMEN, the same crew flying Wellington lll X3714.
On the 21st July 1942 the above crew, bar Sgt. L.W. Kennedy, his place being taken by Sgt. G.A Hutt as 2nd Pilot on Wellington lll X 3558, against targets at DUISBURG.
There was a crew change again on the 27th July 1942 when Sgt. G.A, Hutt was again 2nd Pilot and P/O M.E. Carncross was navigator, flying Wellington 111 BJ599 again against targets at DUISBURG.
The 25th July 1942 shows the crew on an attack against DUISBURG, flying Wellington lll X3558 with the crew of the 28th/29th July and P/O M.E. Carncross as Navigator, the role that George would play on his fateful flight on the 28th/29th July 1942.
The 26th July 1942 sees the exact same crew flying an attack against Targets at HAMBURG, flying Wellington lll X3588.
Read more on http://www.rafcommands.com/database/serials/details.php?uniq=X3558 – ROYAL AIR FORCE COMMANDS
George Is remembered on the International Bomber Command Centre Losses Database.
MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION – One of six Wellingtons and their crews lost by the squadron on this raid.
Harkness C (P/O)
Stewart I G (Sgt)
Sutherland A G (F/S)
Tabor A O (Sgt)
LAST OPERATION INFORMATION
Start Date 28-07-1942
End Date 28-07-1942
Takeoff Station Feltwell
Day/Night Raid Night
Operation – Hamburg. Was to have been a much larger raid but bad weather in the north of England prevented many Squadrons taking part. Further bad weather en route- the 91 Group OTU aircraft were recalled, the rest becoming scattered. Only 68 bombed the target but a hospital was hit. Heavy aircraft losses including 15.2% of 4 Group OTU Wellingtons
Reason for Loss – Crashed at Brackeswalde.
George Ernest Shone was first buried at Cuxhaven (Brockswalde) in Grave 35 according to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Graves Concentration Report Form and on this the date of death is crossed out and the date of the 28th July 1942 written. On the CWGC Graves Concentration Report Form for the other crew members, Harkness C (P/O);Stewart I G (Sgt); Sutherland A G (F/S) and Tabor A O (Sgt), it appears that their bodies were found on the 30th July 1942, then their date of death altered to the 28th July 1942, their bodies were buried alongside George Ernest. Then on Christmas Eve, 1946 all their bodies were then reburied at Becklingen.
George Ernest’s School remembered him and his name is on the Hawarden Grammar School Roll of Honour. The Roll of Honour was dedicated at Hawarden Grammar School on the 3rd February 1951 with a Remembrance Service for the 47* former pupils who died in the 1939 – 1945 World War. As recorded in the Chester Chronicle Saturday 10th February 1951. I hope his family were there to witness the ceremony.
*Author’s note, there are 46 names on the Roll of Honour, clerical error by the newspaper.
George Ernest’s sister, Margaret Olivia, was to pass away in the 4th Quarter of 2001 Flintshire East. Register number 107, Entry number 040.
And his mother Edith Olivia Gwladys passed away in the September quarter of 1977. (DELYN Vol. 24 Page 320). Edith Olivia Gladys Shone in the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995 – SHONE, Edith Olivia (sic) Gladys (sic) of 2, Brunswood Green, Level La. Hawarden, Deeside, Clwyd died 16 September 1977. Administration LLandafff 5 December.771902499?
Commonwealth War Graves Commission – Excerpt from their History Information: – The site of Becklingen War Cemetery was chosen for its position on a hillside overlooking Luneburg Heath. Luneburg Heath was where, on 4 May 1945, Field-Marshal Montgomery accepted the German surrender from Admiral Doenitz.
He was loved and missed by his family and he must be remembered for his sacrifice. He is also remembered on the Buckley WW2 War Memorial.
“LOVE’S LAST GIFT, REMEMBRANCE”