George Ernest Fardoe was born circa 1920, (Flintshire (Mold) HAW/26A/57) the son of Richard Ernest and May Fardoe (nee Washington) who had married in St. Francis’s Church, Sandycroft in 1919 (Flintshire (Mold) C108/01/E17).
I believe that Richard Ernest Fardoe and May Washington may have met circa 1911 in Connah’s Quay, as they were living one street away from each other on the 1911 census, Ernest at 8, Fron Road as a Lodger and May at 35, Mold Road, as a Domestic Servant.
Richard and May married in the year that Richard was demobbed after serving in the First World War as 11617, Richard E. Fardoe, a L/Cpl and A/Cpl with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, where his war service took him to the War Theatre of the Balkans, which he entered on the 28th June 1915. He was demobbed on the 4th June 1919.
They married by Licence on the 27th September 1919. Richard Ernest Fardoe was 30, a bachelor and Ironworker, living at 13, Cable Street, Connah’s Quay, his father Robert Fardoe, was deceased. May Washington was 29 a Spinster, living at 3, Queens Avenue, Sandycroft, her father, George Washington was a Cooper. The Witnesses were George Alfred Noakes, & Ada Washington.
I have no information on George Ernest’s childhood, but the 1939 National Register, which was taken on the 29th September 1939, shows father & mother, Richard E. & May Fardoe living at 12, Church View, Hawarden. This also tells us the date of birth of Richard as the 18th October 1889 and he was an Iron Packer in the Steel Works, May’s date of birth was the 2nd May 1891 and as most married women on this Register who did not have a job was doing “Unpaid Domestic Duties.”
The Register shows 2 redacted records, also one for an Evelyn Fardoe, born 7th October 1927, at School, with a name change, and I believe that this was George’s sister Evelyn, who married a William Pierce in 1947 in the same church her parents had married a in 1919, St. Francis’s Church, Sandycroft. (Flintshire (Mold)C108/03/E44).
I have no documents as to when George Ernest enlisted or was conscripted, but there is a Casualty List, 1579, Page 11 which lists George’s name as being Killed in Action on the 6th September 1944, being the only one killed that day according to this list, he was with the 2 Armed Recce Bn.
The websites and extracts below may help in telling George Ernest’s story of his part in the war.
Knocked-out Cromwell tank of 2nd Welsh Guards, Hechtel, 10 September 1944.
Object description: A knocked-out Cromwell tank of 2nd Welsh Guards, 10 September 1944. After the capture of Brussels and Antwerp, British Second Army’s headlong advance was halted as German resistance stiffened. In early September XXX Corps, with Guards Armoured Division in the lead, battled to cross the Albert and the Meuse-Escaut canals and reach the Belgian-Dutch border. This Cromwell was knocked out during fierce fighting to take the village of Hechtel. Unusually for an official photograph, it records one of the crew lying dead on the turret.
Catalogue number: BU 848 Part of: WAR OFFICE SECOND WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION Production date 1944-09-10 Subject period: Second World War Alternative Names: object category: Black and white Creator: Laws (Sgt), No 5 Army Film & Photographic Unit Category: photographs
https://collection.nam.ac.uk/detail.php?acc=2001-02-351-11 (Copy & Paste)
Members of 2nd Battalion, The Welsh Guards, gathered around a Cromwell soon after arriving in Normandy, 1944. (Photograph below)
Photograph by Lieutenant Anthony Upfill-Brown, 2nd Battalion, The Welsh Guards, World War Two, North West Europe (1944-1945), 1944.
2nd Battalion was originally an infantry unit but later converted to an armoured role, becoming the divisional scouting and reconnaissance unit of the Guards Armoured Division. This division landed in France on 29 June 1944 and fought its way across North West Europe. It participated in many of the Normandy breakout battles, Operation MARKET GARDEN, the advance on and subsequent crossing of the Rhine, and the drive into Germany itself.
From a collection of 47 copy photographs from originals taken by Lieutenant Anthony Upfill-Brown, 2nd Battalion, Welsh Guards, during the campaign in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, 1944-1945.
NAM Accession Number – NAM. 2001-02-351-11
Copyright/Ownership – National Army Museum, Out of Copyright
Location – National Army Museum, Study collection
Second World War
The Welsh Guards were increased to three battalions during the Second World War. The 1st Battalion fought valiantly in all the campaigns of the North-West European Theatre. The 2nd Battalion, part of the 20th Independent Infantry Brigade (Guards), fought briefly in Boulogne, France, in late May 1940 whilst the 1st fought in the battles of Belgium and France as part of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) GHQ Troops. In May 1940 at the Battle of Arras, the Welsh Guards gained their second Victoria Cross by Lieutenant Christopher Furness, who was subsequently killed in action. The 1st Battalion was subsequently part of the retreat to Dunkirk, where they were involved in the legendary Dunkirk evacuation that saw nearly 340,000 Allied troops return to the United Kingdom, against all odds.
Men of 1st Battalion, Welsh Guards in Arras, France, 14 February 1940.
The 3rd Battalion, Welsh Guards, which was formed at Beavers Lane Camp in 1941, fought throughout the arduous North African Campaign, in the Tunisia Campaign and the Italian campaigns in 1943.
While they battled on in those theatres the 1st and 2nd joined the Guards Armoured Division, with the 1st Battalion being infantry, assigned to the 32nd Guards Brigade, and the 2nd Battalion being armoured, part of the 6th Guards Armoured Brigade. The two battalions worked closely, being the first troops to re-enter Brussels on 3 September 1944 after an advance of 100 miles in one day in what was described as ‘an armoured lash unequalled for speed in this or any other war’ led by Major-General Sir Allan Henry Adair, the divisional commander.
ISBN-10: 0723227462 and ISBN-13: 978-0723227465
Page 99 of the book “The Welsh Guards,” by John Retallack (Foreword by the H.R.H.Prince of Wales.) mentions the events from 4th September 1944 at Wavre when the Belgium Resistance sent message that a large body of German’s wanted to surrender but only to the British.
George was well loved as his name was put forward to be remembered forever for his sacrifice, on the Hawarden WW2 War Memorial and also on the Sandycroft WW2 War Memorial. Any help to tell his story would be gratefully received.
“REST ETERNAL GRANT UNTO HIM, O LORD”