Denys P. Martin was born circa 1922, I believe his birth was registered in the West Derby District, Lancashire.( Volume 8b, Page 1225), his mother’s maiden name was Phillips.
Denys Phillip was the son of Cyril Ralph Martin and Bertha Phillips, who had married in St. Deniol’s Church in Hawarden on the 8th October 1919, Cyril Ralph Martin was 27, a Bachelor and Engineer, his residence was 15, Barkburn Road, Liverpool, his father John David Martin was deceased. Cyril’s bride, Bertha Phillips, was 20, a spinster and her residence was Hawarden. Her father Benjamin Edward Phillips was a Tailor. They had married by Licence.
Sadly the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995 tells us that Cyril Ralph Martin was to lose his father nearly a year before his marriage, this shows us the Probate :-
Name John David Martin
Death Date 14/12/1918
Death Place Brighton, Sussex, England
Probate Date 17/04/1919
Probate Registry London, England
MARTIN, John David of 1 York-villas, Brighton died 14th December 1918 at the Seaman’s Hospital, Connaught-road, Middlesex. Administration London to Mary Maud MARTIN, Widow. Effects £346 4s 6d. Resworn £507 19s 11d.
This leads us to the story of Denys Phillip’s father’s life for a short while to explain how he had worked so hard to get on in the world. On the UK, Railway Employment Records, 1833-1956 for Cyril R Martin – Week –ending 6th January 1910 – London, Brighton and South Coast 1902-1913 Locomotive, Carriage, Wagon Depts., his date of Birth on these documents gives the 5th September 1892, No. on Pay Sheet – 1128. Fitter’s Apprentice, his appointment was from the 3rd January 1910.
So on the 1911 census, this is confirmed when the Martin family were living at 89, St. Helen’s Road, Hastings, Sussex, with 10 Rooms. Head of the household ‘s name was written at the bottom of the census, bearing in mind that the householder (or his wife, if married as in this case) wrote out for the first time the census form, so Maud Mary Martin had filled it in this time, with her name at the top, and signed it, but with “John David MARTIN, Head age 45 in West Africa,” written at the bottom. Maud Mary Martin continues filling the census form, telling us she is age 40 and had been married 21 years, 5 children had been born to them and 2 had died. She also tells us that she had been born in Clifton, Nr.Bristol. Cyril Ralph Martin, age 18 and an Engineering Student had been born in Mosario De St Fe (British Subject), his brother Jack Donovan Martin, born in Cordoba S A (British Subject) was age 11 and at School, their sister Maud Mary, age 8 had been born in Spain and was a British Subject. There was a servant, Annie Kate Hayles who was single and age 20.
So Cyril Ralph Martin’s success in the Engineering world, and his experience of travelling with his family was to lead to young Denys Phillip Martin being taken abroad quite a few times throughout his young life with his parents as he is seen on the passenger lists going back and to Buenos Aires, South America.
In 1927 he is seen travelling with his mother Bertha on board the “Highland Glen” 1st Class, from London to S. America, Bertha is 27. Occupation – Home Duties, and Denys age 4 years, a Student, their address was Main Street, Hawarden. So Cyril must have already been there and established a job and a home.
On the 15th August 1930 aboard the ship “Alcantara” travelling 2nd Class from Buenos Aires to Southampton was Cyril Ralph Martin, age 37and an Engineer, Bertha Jane Martin age 31 and Denys Phillip Martin, age 8 years. Their address was 34, Hewitson Road, West Derby, Liverpool
Again in 1935 on the “Asturias” travelling 2nd Class, from Buenos Aires to Southampton, Cyril Ralph & Bertha were age 35 and 42 respectively, with Bertha’s address given as “Main St., Hawarden and Cyril Ralph’s address give as 34, Hewitson Road, West Derby, Liverpool, his occupation – Engineer.
On the 8th January 1938 Denys Phillip is seen travelling aboard the “Almelda Star,” 1st Class, to Argentina, which was to be his ”Country of Intended Residence,” on his own, age 15 years and a Scholar, his address then was Main Street, Hawarden.
Sadly Cyril Ralph Martin, a Mechanical Engineer, & Bertha, his wife, travelled back from Monte Video, Buenos Aires, as 1st Class passengers on the “Rippington Grange” and arrived in Liverpool on the 30th March 1944, I am presuming at receiving the report of their son’s death.
As said earlier perhaps Denys’s parents, Cyril & Bertha were in Argentina when he was killed, perhaps they couldn’t get an earlier ship, and in any case it would be in danger of being hit by U-Boats on the way over, it must have been a sad and terrifying journey.
Denys Philip Martin in the England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966, 1973-1995 does give his place of death wrong as Flintshire on Ancestry, but on the entry in the National Probate Calendar it is clarified:-
MARTIN, Denys Philip of 82, The Highway, Hawarden, Flintshire died 24 August 1943 on War Service. Administration (with Will) Bangor 22 March 1945 to Bertha Jane MARTIN (wife of Cyril Ralph MARTIN).
According to the FORCES WAR RECORDS Denys Phillip, Service Number: 1382408 enlisted at Euston after August 1940 and he would have been entitles to Campaign Medals: War Medal 1939-1945
I have no information about Denys Phillip’s training etc., but young Denys was to find himself aboard HALIFAX 11 (J.D. 248) on the night of 23/24th August 1943. I purchased and downloaded the Operational Records for 78 Squadron and on that flight, (Page 27 of 42 pages on the Operational Records in the National Archives) tells us that the aircraft (Halifax 11 J.D. 248) on a bombing mission of Berlin was “Missing” and the crew were:-
W/O LOWERY J. (Capt.)*
Sgt. AVIS, R. (Nav.)*
Sgt. EGAN, J. (Bomb)*
Sgt. MARTIN, D. (W/O)*
Sgt. MOORE, C. (F/Eng.)*
Sgt. WILLIAMS, J. (R.G.)
Sgt. LAMB, E. (M.U.)
Also on Page 4 of 42, same aircraft and crew (above) bombing Hamburg 2nd August 1943. Again, on page 9 of 42 on the 9th August 1943 bombing Mannheim. Again on the 10th August 1943 (page 11 of 42), bombing Nurnberg. Then on the 12th August 1943, this time Lamb’s initials are E.?) bombing Milan (Page 14 of 42). On the 17th August 1943 JD248 had a different crew, bombing Peenemunde (Page 20 of 42), were they “on leave?” Back in the saddle on the 22nd August 1943, (Lamb’s initial is again “E”) the crew were bombing Leverkusen (Page 23 of 42), taking off at 20.48 and landing at 02.31. Then of course they were in the air again on the 23rd/24th August 1943 when they were reported “Missing,” no take off time noted, but other aircraft took off between 20.10 hours and 20.59 hours.
Also missing on the 23/24th August was Halifax 11 J.D. 310 Bombing Berlin, with 7 crew, taking off at 20.23 and reported missing. (Page 31 of 42.)
Here is the Crew as they were listed on the Operational Report for 78 Squadron on the night of the 23/34th August 1943 (all died on the 24th August 1943, except Sgt Lamb and all were with 78 Squadron.) :-
Pilot Officer (Pilot) – LOWERY, JAMES HAROLD – Service Number 155010
Sergeant (Navigator) – AVIS, ROY FREDERICK – Service Number 1323894 – Aged 22 – Son of Herbert George and Sarah Ann Avis, of Battersea, London.
Sergeant (Bomb Aimer) – EGAN, JOHN FRANCIS – Service Number 658234 – Aged 32 – Son of Frank Egan, J.P., and Agnes Egan, of Heaton, Bradford, Yorkshire.
Sergeant (Wireless Op./Air Gunner) – MARTIN, DENYS PHILIP – Service Number 1382408
Sergeant (Flight Engineer) – MOORE, CHARLES WILLIAM – Service Number 937174 – Aged 23 – Son of Fred and Elizabeth Moore of Duckmanton, Derbyshire.
I could not find on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website Sgt. WILLIAMS, J. (R.G.) and Sgt. LAMB, E. (M.U.) – Thanks to DAZ from the RAF Forum, (see email at bottom of the page) I now know what happened to them.
Pilot Officer (Air Gunner) – WILLIAMS, TRACY ARTHUR THOMAS – Service Number J/18908 – Died 24/08/1943 – Aged 21 – 78 (R.A.F.) Sqdn. Royal Canadian Air Force
Son of Arthur Dougal Williams and Topsy Phyllis Williams, of Stonewall, Manitoba, Canada.
I was curious of course about what had happened to Denys Phillip and his crew, so I contacted the R.A.F. Commands Forum on http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/index.ph and Daz Sheerin replied on the 7th March 2019:-
Good afternoon, I have just noticed your message on my profile (78 Sqn History) as you posted it against my profile the forum doesn’t tell me that it is there, hence why I have only just noticed.
With regards to your query with the loss of JD248 I can tell you the following:-
Halifax JD248 was coded EY-J and was shot down by a night fighter. The reason that you have been unable to find Sgt Williams grave is because you are looking for the wrong man. The man in question is Sergeant Tracey Arthur Thomas Williams RCAF. He was commissioned as a pilot officer after his death and is registered with the CWGC as an officer. He was 21 and came from Stonewell, Manitoba, Canada and is buried in Berlin.
With regards to Sgt Lamb, he does not have a grave as he survived and was taken prisoner and held at StalagLuft 4B.
Hope this is of help – Daz
On 27 Mar 2019, at 18:04, Mavis Williams wrote:
Thank you so much Daz,
I very much appreciate your reply, as I am researching the men from the Hawarden (Flintshire) WW2 War Memorial and the Connah’s Quay & Shotton WW2 War Memorial and have only just found the Forum, which is so helpful especially when I get a reply!!!
I am trying to add the crews of the aircraft in which our local men died, so as to add for the relatives a better picture of who they were with and I have found it fascinating, it makes you feel so much closer to these men and boys. (They were all so young, when I say boys, please don’t take offence!)
I had a feeling that Sgt. LAMB had survived as I couldn’t find him at all. I will have to look up StalagLuft 4B, to add to the story. Bless them all.
Thanks so much again, I do want the story to be correct, now with your help, I will,— I hope!!
From: Daz Sheerin
Sent: 27 March 2019 19:03
To: Mavis Williams
Subject: Re: Your question on the RAF Commands Forum
No problem, Stalag 4B was one of the largest POW camps in Germany. It was located near Muhlberg east of the River Elbe in Eastern Germany, the nearest city was most likely Dresden. The main camp had a number of satellite camps dotted around it. The camp was liberated by the Russian Army on 23 April 1945.
Regards – Daz
Sent: 27 March 2019 21:29
Subject: Re: Your question on the RAF Commands Forum
Here is a link to a picture and some information on Sgt Williams. (Please cut and Paste)
So many, many thanks to Daz as his information brings the story of the whole crew together and let us hope that these young men are resting in peace after giving so much so we can live in freedom.
According to the Graves Concentration Report Forms, it looks as though some of the crew, including Denys Phillip of course, was buried as “Unknown,” at Prenslau, Germany, where he and Sgt.T. Smale,1812351, who had been killed the day before on the 23rd of August 1944, shared the same grave, (1) then reburied when they were identified on the 4th October 1947. Please see the Graves Registration and Concentration Report Forms, of which there are 2.
Denys Phillip’s name was on the Hawarden Welcome Home List as a sergeant.
Denys Phillip was obviously loved very much and his family made sure he was to be remembered for perpetuity by having his name added to the memorial.