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Chelsea Pensioner - Killed in air raid?


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#1 dbf

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 10:58 PM

Geoff, wonder if it is possible to identify the man mentioned in the last line of following article:

From The Times, Jun 16, 1941

In the sergeant's mess I found five old Chelsea pensioners, all former members of the regiment, who have been adopted for the duration of the war. There they sat in their scarlet coats, proudly wearing their medals, and many a time, no doubt, fighting their battles over again for another generation of Scots Guards. One of their comrades, 101 years old, was recently killed in a London air raid.


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#2 Owen

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 07:02 AM

Found a 68 year old chap from the Royal Hosptial , Chelsea.
CWGC :: Casualty Details
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#3 geoff501

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 08:18 AM

Geoff, wonder if it is possible to identify the man mentioned in the last line of following article:

From The Times, Jun 16, 1941



Could be this. I wonder what his military service was?

Name: RATTRAY, HENRY AUGUSTUS
Initials: H A
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment: Civilian War Dead
Age: 100
Date of Death: 16/04/1941
Additional Information: of Royal Hospital. Died at Royal Hospital.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Cemetery: CHELSEA, METROPOLITAN BOROUGH

CWGC :: Casualty Details
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#4 geoff501

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 08:21 AM

There were a few casualties at The Royal for 16/17th April. Wonder what happened. Must have been in the same raid.
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#5 geoff501

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 08:39 AM

CWGC :: Casualty Details

Name: McGOVAN, WILLIAM
Initials: W
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment: Civilian War Dead
Age: 85
Date of Death: 16/04/1941
Additional Information: of Royal Hospital. Died at Royal Hospital.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Cemetery: CHELSEA, METROPOLITAN BOROUGH

CWGC :: Casualty Details

Name: POPE, SAMUEL
Initials: S
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment: Civilian War Dead
Age: 81
Date of Death: 16/04/1941
Additional Information: of Royal Hospital at Royal Hospital.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Cemetery: CHELSEA, METROPOLITAN BOROUGH

CWGC :: Casualty Details

Name: SULLIVAN, JOHN
Initials: J
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment: Civilian War Dead
Age: 80
Date of Death: 16/04/1941
Additional Information: of Royal Hospital. Died at Royal Hospital.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Cemetery: CHELSEA, METROPOLITAN BOROUGH

CWGC :: Casualty Details

Name: WEST, WILLIAM
Initials: W
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment: Civilian War Dead
Age: 81
Date of Death: 16/04/1941
Additional Information: of Royal Hospital. Husband of the late Elisabeth West. Died at Royal Hospital.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Cemetery: CHELSEA, METROPOLITAN BOROUGH
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The WW2 Commonwealth Casualty Search Engine:
http://www.hut-six.c.../search39-47.php

"Well, the most important thing that was new was the idea of URI -- or URL. The idea that any piece of information anywhere should have an identifier, which will not only identify it, but allow you to get hold of it. That idea was the basic clue to the universality of the Web. That was the only thing I insisted upon." Tim Berners-Lee.





#6 englandphil

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 08:42 AM

Posted Image

RATTRAY
Henry Augustus
In-pensioner. Late 24th Regiment of Foot. Died 16th April 1941. Aged 100.

another one that will interst you Di

JOHNSTON
Patrick
In-pensioner. Sergeant. Late Irish Guards. Died on 16th April 1941. Aged 67.



SOURCE : Roll of Honour - London - The Royal Chelsea Hospital
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#7 geoff501

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 08:51 AM

Well done Phil.
Some more records:


Name: CAMERON, WILLIAM
Initials: W
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment: Civilian War Dead
Age: 73
Date of Death: 16/04/1941
Additional Information: of Royal Hospital. Son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Cameron, of Elgin, Scotland; husband of the late L. C. Cameron. Died at Royal Hospital.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Cemetery: CHELSEA, METROPOLITAN BOROUGH


Name: HUTCHINS, JAMES
Initials: J
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment: Civilian War Dead
Age: 51
Date of Death: 16/04/1941
Additional Information: Son of J. Hutchins. Died at Royal Hospital.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Cemetery: CHELSEA, METROPOLITAN BOROUGH


Name: JACKSON, SAMUEL JOHN
Initials: S J
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment: Civilian War Dead
Age: 79
Date of Death: 16/04/1941
Additional Information: of Royal Hospital. Died at Royal Hospital.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Cemetery: CHELSEA, METROPOLITAN BOROUGH


Name: JOHNSTON, PATRICK
Initials: P
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment: Civilian War Dead
Age: 67
Date of Death: 16/04/1941
Additional Information: of Royal Hospital. Died at Royal Hospital.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Cemetery: CHELSEA, METROPOLITAN BOROUGH


Name: JONES, OLIVE EVELYN
Initials: O E
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment: Civilian War Dead
Age: 43
Date of Death: 16/04/1941
Additional Information: Hospital Nurse. Daughter of John Jones, of Bridgehouse, Quakers Yard, Treharris, Glamorgan, and of the late Mary Hannah Jones. Died at Royal Hospital.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Cemetery: CHELSEA, METROPOLITAN BOROUGH


Name: McMULLEN, EDITH
Initials: E
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment: Civilian War Dead
Age: 52
Date of Death: 16/04/1941
Additional Information: Hospital Sister; of 64 Muirhead Avenue, West Derby, Liverpool. Died at Royal Hospital.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Cemetery: CHELSEA, METROPOLITAN BOROUGH


Name: NICHOLSON, ELIZABETH LILIAN FISHER
Initials: E L F
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment: Civilian War Dead
Age: 53
Date of Death: 16/04/1941
Additional Information: Hospital Sister. Died at Royal Hospital.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Cemetery: CHELSEA, METROPOLITAN BOROUGH


Name: TAYLOR, EDITH
Initials: E
Nationality: United Kingdom
Rank: Civilian
Regiment: Civilian War Dead
Age: 55
Date of Death: 16/04/1941
Additional Information: Hospital Sister. Daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. T. Taylor, of Oak Bank, Borough Road, Birkenhead, Cheshire. Died at Royal Hospital.
Casualty Type: Civilian War Dead
Cemetery: CHELSEA, METROPOLITAN BOROUGH
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The WW2 Commonwealth Casualty Search Engine:
http://www.hut-six.c.../search39-47.php

"Well, the most important thing that was new was the idea of URI -- or URL. The idea that any piece of information anywhere should have an identifier, which will not only identify it, but allow you to get hold of it. That idea was the basic clue to the universality of the Web. That was the only thing I insisted upon." Tim Berners-Lee.





#8 arkrite

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 09:12 AM

Enemy Bombing in 1918. Blitz damage destroyed the Infirmary in 1941 and a V2 hit in 1945. ( source : Official Royal Chelsea Hospital site. )
Reading between the lines the Hospital took quite a bit a damage in WW2. Were these deaths really necessary ? Could not a country house or closed hotel have been found for the pensioners ? but its all bye the bye now.

Thank you dbf for bringing this matter to our attention . I wonder how many people know of or remember these events.
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#9 Owen

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 09:58 AM

it was also bombed in 1917.

Posted Image
The damaged facade of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, following a devastating air raid by 20 Gotha GVs on 13 June 1917. This was the first of two daylight Gotha GV raids on London. Piles of timber and brick rubble can be seen in the foreground, and the building has been damaged in such a way that it is possible to see several rooms inside it.
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#10 dbf

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 10:56 AM

Just checking back on this thread now.

Geoff thanks for coming up with a name for me.

Everyone I am really grateful that you followed this up and found so much information.

I really didn't expect that it would be as a result of a raid on the hospital itself: don't know why though...

Regards,
D
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#11 geoff501

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 11:42 AM

I really didn't expect that it would be as a result of a raid on the hospital itself: don't know why though...


Same here, thought The Times would have mentioned it. But I suppose to them it was just another air raid, must have been many like this. Sad to get to 100 and be killed by a mad lance corporal though.
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The WW2 Commonwealth Casualty Search Engine:
http://www.hut-six.c.../search39-47.php

"Well, the most important thing that was new was the idea of URI -- or URL. The idea that any piece of information anywhere should have an identifier, which will not only identify it, but allow you to get hold of it. That idea was the basic clue to the universality of the Web. That was the only thing I insisted upon." Tim Berners-Lee.





#12 von Poop

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 12:11 PM

Some scattered Newspaper refs to bombings of the Royal Hospital.
(All Aussie papers - another digitising area the antipodeans are well ahead of the UK on)
The Age April 21st 1941- Google News Archive Search

The Sydney Morning Herald. Nov 15th 1940 - Google News Archive Search

NLA Australian Newspapers - Canberra Times - May 31, 1941 - article display
Posted Image
"Four old warriors from Chelsea are now living happily as guests in a country house They have
been bombed out at Chelsea and are enjoying their change in the country The picture shows them
comfortably,settled in their new home"

~A
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#13 Peter Clare

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 12:15 PM

The London blitz 1940-1941

16th April 1941
- a 685 bomber raid caused more than 2000 fires and killed well over 1000 people. This raid also damaged or destroyed irreplaceable historic churches and other buildings.
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#14 dbf

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Posted 22 October 2009 - 12:23 PM

Same here, thought The Times would have mentioned it. But I suppose to them it was just another air raid, must have been many like this. Sad to get to 100 and be killed by a mad lance corporal though.


Well having got a name, I did a search for Rattray and found this very small reference, but nothing else...

From Times, April 19. 1941

It may now be revealed that the following places were also damaged in recent raids on London:-The City Temple, Chelsea Old Church, St. Andrew's, Holborn, Guy's Hospital, Chelsea Royal Hospital, Maples, Christie's and Selridges.

...

The oldest inmate, a man named Rattray, aged 101, was killed when the infirmary of the Chelsea Royal Hospital was bombed and severely damaged. Among those killed were eight penioners, four women nurses, and one male nurse.


VP good to see that they were accomodated elsewhere immediately afterwards. The in-pensioners must have moved back again at some stage later for there to be further casualties in 1945.

Many thanks,
D
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#15 CL1

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 01:35 PM

Hello assume this could be the gentleman
from 1901 census

Henry A Rattrayaged 60 born Dublin Ireland , admin county: Middlesex parish: Paddington occupation: School Board Officer.

Edited by CL1, 18 November 2009 - 05:24 PM.

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#16 dbf

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Posted 18 November 2009 - 04:57 PM

Thanks Clive.

Regards,
D
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#17 dbf

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Posted 23 June 2010 - 10:16 AM

From The War Illustrated, Dec 13, 1940

Includes a photo of Henry Rattray.
Posted Image
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#18 dbf

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 04:57 PM

The Times, Friday, September 20, 1940

CHELSEA PENSIONERS IN AIR RAIDS

HIGHEST TRADITIONS UPHELD

Lord Croft, Under-Secretary of State for War, addressing a meeting of the Commissioners of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, yesterday, spoke in the warmest terms of the steady conduct of the Chelsea pensioners during recent air raids. He paid tribute to the staff and pensioners for the manner in which they dealt with a large number of incendiary bombs which fell upon the Royal Hospital and which were successfully extinguished.

On one occasion a heavy high explosive burst at the gateway, but fortunately there were no casualties. Lord Croft said that he had heard of cases of pensioners of over 80 who were with difficulty restrained from attempting to assist in putting out fires and had to be ordered by to shelter. The conduct of the aged pensioners subjected to this bombardment, he said, had been worthy of the highest traditions of the army and was an inspiration to all their young comrades of the army to-day and all their civilian neighbours in London.


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