VE Day – 75th Anniversary

End of WW2 in Europe

The 8th May this year marks the 75th anniversary of the end of WW2 in Europe.

On 4 May just east of Hamburg British Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery accepted the unconditional surrender of German forces in the Netherlands, northwest Germany and Denmark. On 7 May, at his headquarters in Reims, France, Supreme Allied Commander General Eisenhower accepted the unconditional surrender of all German forces. 

The act of military surrender by Nazi Germany was first signed at 02:41 on 7 May 1945 in SHAEF HQ at Reims and a slightly modified document was signed on 8 May in Berlin.

Rossett War Memorial

Service men and women from every corner of the UK played their part in the victory. The UK had 450,700 military and civilian fatalities.

Many residents of Rossett took part and some paid the ultimate price.  The War Memorial at the front of Christ Church commemorates those unfortunate few.

The Rossett War Memorial was designated a Grade II listed building by Cadw in 1996.

Names on the Memorial Panels (1939-1945)

Information where available includes: Rank, Name & Service Number, Served With, Date Died, Age, Details of Parents, Cemetery or Memorial, 1939 Register Information

Bennion, Alfred
Private 13050627. Died 12/03/1944 aged 29.
West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own).
Rangoon Memorial, Myanmar (Burma).
1939: Alfred was living at 8 Pultation Cottages with his Widowed Mother Ellen, Brother Thomas and Sister Beryl.
Bolton, Thomas Gilbert Benson
Lieutenant 71457. Died 31/08/1944 aged 27.
Indian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.
Son of Edward John and Florence Maude Bolton.
Buried Gauhati War Cemetery, Assam, India.  
1939: Thomas’ mother Florence was living in Rossett Hall
Brotherton, George
Seaman LT/JX 303176. Died 23/11/1943.
Royal Naval Patrol Service – HMS Santa. 
Lowestoft Naval Memorial.
1939: George was living at Briar Cottage, Vicarage Lane, Gresford with his parents William and May; and his brother John
Chapman, Frank William
Sapper 1895293. Died 21/05/1943 aged 24.
Royal Engineers.
Son of William and Elizabeth Mary Chapman.
Buried Medjez-el-Bab War Cemetery, Tunisia.
1939: Franks parents William and Elizabeth were living in Main Road Cottages, Lavister; together with his 3 brothers Oswald, Wilfred and Clement.
Davies, Reginald A.
No details known.
Finchett, Ernest
Private 4200996. Died 23/09/1944 aged 29
2nd Airbourne Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment.
Groesbeek Memorial, Gelderland, Netherlands
1939: Ernest was living at 38 Waverley Crescent with his widowed mother Sarah and 3 brothers Charles, Thomas and William.
Finchett, Thomas Henry
Private 14657839. Died 12/04/1945 aged 21.
2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment.
Buried Maynamati War Cemetery, Bangladesh.
1939: See above.
Hawkins, Ralph Hamilton
Sergeant 1462088. Died 24/11/1943 aged 23.
Royal Artillery.
Son of James and Charlotte Hawkins.
Buried Christ Church Churchyard, Rossett.
1939: His parents and 2 sisters Muriel and Dorothy and brother William were living at Newhaven, Chester Road.
Jackson, James Henry
Private 3718668. Died 12/07/1944 aged 26.
Devonshire Regiment.
Son of Frederick Charles and Ada May Jackson.
Buried Tilly-sur-Seulles War Cemetery, Calvados, France.
1939: Living at 8 Cromer Crescent with his parents, sister Dorothy and 2 other siblings.
Johnson, Arthur
Gunner 958456. Died 12/06/1944 aged 25.
Royal Artillery.
Son of Frederick and Alice Johnson.
Buried Bayeux War Cemetery, France.
1939: Arthurs parents were living at 5 Waverley Crescent with his siblings Harold, Leonard and Beryl.
Lowe, Ralph Frederick Manley
Major 13132. Died 05/01/1946 aged 48.
Royal Artillery.
Son of Francis Manley and Beatrice Mary Lowe; husband of Margaret Lowe.
Born Freshwater, Isle of Wight.
Buried Christ Church Churchyard, Rossett.
Connection with Rossett unknown.
Lucking, Kenneth Stephen Bamfylde
Captain 42126. Died 19/05/1940.
Cheshire Regiment.
Buried Isieres Communal Cemetery, Hainaut Belgium.
Connection with Rossett unknown.
A Lucking family were living in Darland Hall at this time. 
Phoenix, George Dennis
Sergeant 2215390. Died 11/04/1944.
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Son of George Phoenix and of Annie Phoenix.
Buried Poix-de-Picardie Churchyard.
1939: Georges parents and siblings were living at 12 Cromar Crescent.
Roberts, Ernest Verdun Carnoy
Lance Corporal T/172870. Died 04/04/1941 aged 22.
Royal Army Service Corps.
Alamein Memorial.
1939: Ernest was living with his parents Charles and Elizabeth, and sister Dorothy at 4 Pultation Cottages, Rossett Road.
Samuel, Frank Blelock
Flying Officer 104454. Died 08/01/1943 aged 20.
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Son of Harold and Helen Samuel.
Alamein Memorial.
1939: Frank was living with his widowed father Harold and 2 siblings in Darland Cottages. He was still at school.
Sprent, William Swanson
Sergeant 1133844. Died 13/09/1942 aged 20.
Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Buried Yatesbury (All Saints) Churchyard.
1939: William was probably living with his widowed mother Agnes at Bodalyn on Chester Road.
Suckley, Harry L.
Private 366370. Died 06/06/1944 aged 23.
Parachute Regiment.
Son of Mr and Mrs Arthur Suckley; husband of Beatrice Violet Suckley of Dover, Kent.
Bayeux Memorial.
1939: Harrys parents were living at 18 Harwoods Lane with 4 siblings Nellie, Arthur, Gwendoline and Gladys.


1939 Register:
The 1939 Register was taken on 29 September 1939. The information was used to produce identity cards and, once rationing was introduced in January 1940, to issue ration books. Information in the Register was also used to administer conscription and the direction of labour, and to monitor and control the movement of the population caused by military mobilisation and mass evacuation.

The records of the 1939 Register were subsequently used by the National Health Service at its inception in 1948 and became the NHS Central Register, transferred to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) in 2007, and now called NHS Digital.

The records remained with the NHS up until 1991 – therefore most changes of name between 1939 and 1991 are listed in the records. Although all changes of name or address should have been notified, this did not always happen, and it was no longer a legal requirement after the National Registration Act was repealed in 1952. Changes of address were recorded only at the local level, and so do not appear in the 1939 Register.

TNA – The National Archives
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Clwyd Family History Society
Find My Past
Welsh Newspapers Online