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  • By John Pateman
    Jan 31, 2012
    Orpington War Memorial was unveiled on 28 August 1921 by Colonel A. Wood-Martyn D.S.O. The Roll Call of names was read aloud by Dr A. Tennyson-Smith, and included that of his son, John Allan. The memorial was designed by Charles Heaton Comyn F.R.I.B.A. of Hill Cottage, Station Road, Orpington. Mr Comyn was born in India, became an architect by profession and served in the Army during the Great War. He was attached to the 154 Siege Battery and was stationed near Ypres. He lived with his wife, son and daughter at Hill Cottage from 1915 to 1930. The design is a triangular column of Portland Stone about 6 metres high with the names of the fallen cut into each of the three sides. At this time there were only three roads. Spur Road, as its name suggests, was built to connect to Court Road (the Orpington By-Pass) in 1926. Two sides have a simple cross at the summit and the third side, a Horse Rampant, the symbol of Kent. The cost of £900 was raised by public subscription. The... More > contractors for the works were Messrs Farmer and Brindley of Westminster Bridge Road, London and the three lions were cast by Messrs Thomas Elsley & Co. of Great Titchfield Street, London. Orpington War Memorial originally recorded the names of the 111 local men who died in the Great War. Four names were added later. In 1997/8 a campaign was launched by the Royal British Legion to record the names of the Armed Forces Personnel who died in the Second World War. This resulted in a ceremony on 2 August 1999, when eight separate plaques were unveiled recording 424 men of the old Orpington Urban District Council area who died during the Second World War. Also recorded were the eight local men who died on active service in other conflicts since 1945. This included Rifleman James Brown, killed in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in December 2009 at the age of 18. In 2011 a new plaque showing the names of all 549 local servicemen killed serving their country was unveiled in Orpington town centre. Behind these names there are some very interesting human stories including a hero who won the Victoria Cross, a Great War veteran, a female pilot, two brothers who died within 6 months of each other, and a father and daughter killed in the same incident. Thomas Frank Durrant (VC) was a Serjeant in the Royal Engineers. On 28 March 1942 H.M. Motor Launch 306 was heavily attacked while proceeding up the river Loire in the raid on St Nazaire. Serjeant Durrant in charge of a Lewis gun in a completely exposed position engaged enemy guns and searchlights on shore. He was severely wounded in the arm but refused to leave his gun. Later when the launch was attacked at close range by a German destroyer, Serjeant Durrant fired coolly and continuously at the destroyer's bridge drawing on himself the enemy fire and suffering many further wounds. When so weak that he had to support himself on the gun mounting, he went on firing until his gun was silenced and the enemy boarded the motor launch and took prisoner those still alive. This very gallant and skilful N.C.O. died later of his wounds. He was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. Michael Garvey was a Lieutenant in the Royal Navy who died on 23 February 1942 aged 59. He also served in the 1914-18 War, the ‘war to end all wars’. Karin Hughes was a Section Officer in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force who died on 6 November 1943 aged 24. Stanley and Evelyn Motton of Orpington, Kent lost two sons in the war. Both sons were in the Royal Navy and they died within 6 months of each other in 1942. Douglas Motton was a Stoker 1st Class on H.M.S. Lively who died on 11 May 1942 aged 24. Kenneth Motton was an Able Seaman on S.S. Chulmletgh who died on 9 November 1942 aged 20. Kenneth Olive was a Sergeant in the Royal Airforce who died on 30 June 1940 aged 24. He was the father of Prunella Pamela Olive, aged 22 months, who was killed in the same incident at 115 Otley Drive.< Less
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Product Details

First Edition
The Pateran Press
January 31, 2012
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
1.13 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
8.26 wide x 11.69 tall
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