IN MEMORy by Pierre Vandervelden

The visit of Commonwealth graves in Communals Cemeteries & Churchyards in Belgium & France

HEVERLEE War Cemetery (Leuven) (Vlaams Brabant Belgium)

Page 1 The Pictures

Page 2 List of Casualties

Photo courtesy Jean-Michel Dominique (Bel)
W/O Class II, William Benzie Forbes Climie, 23/08/1943
Here with his mother, Mary Climie, taken on his last leave home to Staten Island in the USA.
His aircraft was shot down by Ltn. Hans Witzke 4./NJG 1 whilst on a bombing raid on the IG Farben Works in Leverkusen. Though Bill was serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force he was in fact born in Scotland in 1921 and emigrated to America with his mother and father in 1923. When the war broke out Bill had wanted to come back to the UK to "do his bit" but as this was against American law at the time he was prevented from doing so. To overcome the law Bill simply crossed the border to Canada and joined the RCAF where he underwent his initial training before being posted to the UK.
His cousin, Staff Nurse Agnes Murdoch Climie, was killed during an air raid 30/09/1917, she is buried at Longuenesse (St Omer) Souvenir Cemetery.
For his cousin, Tony Climie
Ltn. Hans Witzke 31/08/1943
Hans is buried in Lommel German Cemetery
for his brother Rudi Witzke (Stockelsdorf Germany)
Sq/Ldr Ronald Hugh Laud 12/06/1943 aged 27
Ronald was of the 75th (New Zealand) Sqn, he took off at 23:48 from Newmarket, Suffolk on board a Stirling III (BK817/B) for a raid on Dusseldorf, Germany. This raid involved 783 aircraft of which 42 were lost. The plane was shot down by a night fighter over Belgium, crashing at Frodthier, 10km north of Verviers at 01:35.
At this time he had completed 2,400 flying hours.
for his granddaughter Leigh Ross
Sgt Oscar Frederick Newton 26/12/1944 aged 26
Here with his wife Myrtle and daughter Darelene.
for his daughter Darelene Cooper (Ontario, Can.)
Crew of the Halifax III MZ740 MP-R of 76 Sqn RAF Bomber, hit by flak and crashed into woods near Nassogne, 19 km SW of La Roche-en-Ardenne (Belgian Ardennes).
From L. to R.:
- F/O Devoe Woolf buried in Hotton War Cem.;
- F/S Oscar Frederick Newton buried here;
- F/S Ken M. Mason taken Pow and survived the war;
- F/O Ralph Hay Emerson buried here;
- F/O George Floyd buried in Nassogne Com. Cem.;
- W/O Thomas Richard William Smith buried here;
- P/O AB Clark posted missing and commemorated on Runnymede Memorial, Surrey, UK.
Missing on this photo, Sgt John Shirra Gray, buried here.
W/O Class II Gordon Henderson 12/09/1943 aged 26
Gordon was Myrtle's youngest brother.
He was the son of Alen and Sadie Henderson, also brother of Jessie, Mary, Hazel and Walter.
Gordon was born in Russell County, Ottawa. He enlisted in 07/1941. After training in Nova Scotia, he was sent in the Mediteranean War Zone to serve as Air Gunner in the R.C.A.F.
He is buried in El Alia Cemetery, Algeria.
Sgt Armand Emile Confait 17/09/1942 aged 27
Armand was born in Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles 28/02/1915.
His brothers were Clement Confait, Charles Confait Jr. and his sisters Therese Oliver born Confait, Yvonne and Emmanuelle Dingwall born Confait.
For his nephew, Clement's son, Guy Confait
P/O Irvine Frank Hoidas 20/05/1942
Irvine was member of Stirling W-7520 who crashed at Brustem St-Truiden.
for his great niece Angela Terry
and for Alain Rosseels (St-Truiden Bel.)
Fus Glyn Saunders 17/05/1940 aged 21
for his great nephew Anthony Jones
F/O Richard (Dick) Arthur Whitaker 1914 - 31/03/1944
He was born in London, married in 08/1939 to Iris (nee Fletcher), they had two daughters,Cherry and Christine, and lived in Bromley, Kent. (Dick and Iris on their wedding day on the left photo).
Dick and the crew were shot down by a night fighter at 04.16 on 31/3/1944,
returning from the notorious Nuremberg raid. Their Lancaster (R.5734) of 61
sqdn QR-V was the 91st aircraft lost that night, the eventual total was 96
shot down, 10 others crash landed having limped back to UK.
for his nephew Peter Whitaker
F/O John Milton McLay 28/04/1944
Son of John and Katherine McIver McLay, he enlisted in 1939 and was promoted F/O after training.
for David McLay and family
L/Sjt Harry George Lightley 19/09/1944 aged 24
21/08/1943, the Wedding Day of Harry and Lilian nee Bellas.
Harry had spent three years training troops at Richmond in Yorkshire and told his best friend Tommy Hall that it would be just his luck to 'catch one' when he got to Normandy because he'd stayed out of the action for so long and he'd seen all the lads he'd trained going out to North Africa and being killed. Harry was killed in the Escaut Canal action, in the woods clearing the Germans out of it. In the words of Tommy Hall, who was at Harry's side at the time "He (Harry) was stood next to me and this fella chucks one of these stick grenades. It was like a handle with a round thing on the end and it was like shrapnel that hits you, just one, like a round ball. This round ball went through Harry's equipment, his ammunition pouches, through his heart, and it killed him before he hit the floor."
He was killed by a stick grenade in the Escaut Canal action, in the woods clearing the Germans out of it.
for Lilian and Yvonne Durell
Sgt James Sidney Clenton 31/08/1943 aged 19
for Graeme Clarke and the people of Walsall
Pte James Cater 18/11/1944 aged 23
As a boy James attended Wolverhampton Road School and was later employed at the Talbot Stead Tube Company Limited, Green Lane, Birchills.
His mother resided in Blakenall but, prior to his marriage he lived with an aunt at 48, Newland Street, Walsall.
He was married to Margaret Mary Yates at Walsall in 05/1944 and then resided with her parents, John Henry and Elsie Ann Yates, at 34, Cairns Street, Walsall.
James enlisted in the West Yorkshire Rgt in 09/1941 and was drafted on garrison duty to the Falklands Islands returning to England in 04/1944.
He took part in the Normandy invasion and transferred to the East Yorkshire Rgt shortly afterwards.
He was mortally wounded in action.
for Graeme Clarke and the people of Walsall
Crew of Hudson T9445 (21/03/1945)
F/Lt Allan Frayne Penhale aged 24
W/O Class I Robert Gerald Hutton
F/Lt Richard Nicholas Ferris aged 23
F/O James Edward Trail
for Bob Body
F/O Charles Trevor Pidcock 15/10/1944
for Jean Marc Trehiou
The A. T. S. Tragedy
On 13/01/1945, twenty female troops took place in a truck on their way to a dance evening.
South of Leuven, the truck was hit by a train.
Six of the girls died immediately or some days after, they are all buried here.
C. Carter - I. Goodfellow - E. M. Smith - M. Rose - E. K. Norris - D. J. Liddell
L/Cpl Marie Rose 13/01/1945 aged 24
She was from Willenhall.
Pte Eileen May "Vicky" Smith 13/01/1945 aged 21
Pte Clara Carter 07/05/1945 aged 26
for Graeme Clarke
Sgt Geoffrey Charles Willis 15/10/1942
for his granddaughter Samantha Anderson (nee Willis)
Crew of Lancaster NN 775 (03/05/1945)
F/Sgt Sidney Smith aged 21
F/O Holman Gordon Stanley Kerr aged 23
F/Sgt Allan olsen aged 21
Sgt William Marsden aged 20
for Andre Bruyninckx

969 casualties

IF You have a casualty picture, please send me a copy, I'll be glad to show it on this page.

IF You want a king size copy of this picture (300/900 ko - 2592/1944 pixels) please e-mail me.

IF You want picture of a particular grave, in this cemetery, please e-mail me.

Casualties informations come usualy from Commonwealth War Graves Commission, see links for more informations © Pierre Vandervelden - Belgium