Eric Bakewell was born circa 1916, (Flintshire (Mold) HAW/21A/42), the son of Leonard & Esther Bakewell, (nee Gould) who had married in a Civil Ceremony at Hawarden in 1913 (Flintshire (Mold)HAW/04/61).
Sadly Esther died in 1923 (Flintshire (Mold) HAW/15A/31) and Leonard remarried in 1927 at St. Ethelwold’s Church, Shotton, (Flintshire (Mold) C115/04/E89) to Amelia Elizabeth Budsworth.
I do not know about Eric’s childhood or teenage years, but, I find the family on the 1939 National Register which was taken on the 29th September 1939. They were living at 52 Station Road , Queensferry, Flintshire. Leonard Bakewell’s date of birth was given as the 29th May 1891, Ameilia Elizabeth’s date of birth was the 9th July 1899. Ivor Bakewell, a Cinema Projectionist and single, was born the 25th August 1915, Eric Bakewell, a Milk Roundsman, single, had been born on the 19th Septemver 1916, Alwyn Bakewell, single and a Re-Shears man had been born on the 27th September 1918. I think that Amelia Elizabeth’s mother, Sarah Budsworth, a widow, was doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties” and had been born on the 9th June 1873.
This source gives Eric’s date of birth as the 19th September 1916 and shows that he had brothers, Ivor and Alwyn. It also looks as though Amelia Elizabeth’s mother may have been in the household.
The Royal Welsh Enlistment Register shows that Eric enlisted on the 15th March 1940 and was transferred to the South Staffs. Regt on the 23rd June 1940.
There is a Casualty Form (10), with a list of the 1/6th South Staffordshire Regt. Casualties, as well as other regiments, which shows that Eric was one of 4 men who died on the 18th July 1944 on that Casualty list and from his Regiment.
Eric is named on the website:- http://www.fallenheroesofnormandy.org/Servicemen/Regiment/98 and http://www.fallenheroesofnormandy.org/Servicemen/Detail/12107
To help give an insight to what Eric did on that day: – Taken from http://www.northstaffordshirelha.org/north_staffordshire_regiment_history:-
On 25 June 1944, the 2nd Battalion, along with the rest of the 59th Division, arrived in Normandy via Juno Beach and assembled at Bayeux-Creully. It was quickly thrown into action around Caen as British forces were desperately trying to force a breakout from the Normandy bocage. On 6-7 July, the Division participated in Operation CHARNWOOD. The 6thBattalion formed the left flank of the divisional front with objectives of the villages of La Bijude and Epron. After an overwhelming bombardment from divisional and corps artillery assets, naval gun support off of the Normandy coast, and carpet bombing from Allied medium and heavy bombers, the Division began its assault. The 6th Battalion achieved early gains by capturing the village of La Bijude by 0730. However, both forward company commanders became casualties, and a young junior officer found himself in charge of the Battalion. A strong German counterattack forced the two companies in La Bijude out of the village and into a strip of land between the town and Chateau de la Londe, and the Battalion continued to suffer heavy casualties from German fire. At approximately 0930, the 6th Battalion was ordered to put in a full scale assault against the enemy’s fortifications south west of La Bijude. It took several hours for the Battalion to overcome German resistance, but by 1300 the Battalion was able to occupy Malon.
The 6th Battalion would get little rest after Operation CHARNWOOD for, from 16-18 July 1944, the Battalion participated in Operation POMEGRANETE. The object of this operation was to divert German attention away from 2nd Army’s assault on Caen as part of Operation GOODWOOD. On 16 July, at 2015 hours, the 6th Battalion, now under the control of 177th Brigade, was thrown into an assault against Haul des Forges. Unlike other elements in the Brigade, the Battalion occupied Haul des Forges with relatively light opposition. There the Battalion remained, holding the objective until the end of heavy combat on the 18 July.
The 6th battalion spent the rest of July involved in patrol operations and minor probing actions against the German lines. However, this rest would not last long. From 6-8 August 1944, the Battalion participated in an assault across the Orne River. The battalion, now back under control of 176 Brigade, was given the task of establishing a bridge head over the Orne River. Their efforts were proceeded by an artillery barrage that began at 1840 hours on 6 August. The Battalion crossed the river at night and by 0800 on 7 August, a bridge had been built spanning the Orne River. Two fierce counterattacks were thrown against the Battalion on 7 August. However, the 176th Brigade was able to continually expand the bridgehead throughout the day.
Eric was loved and remembered by his family as his name was put forward to be added to the WW2 War Memorial at Hawarden.