Can anybody oblige with a few Hi-Res photos at Hebburn Cemetery in Durham?

Discussion in 'War Grave Photographs' started by spidge, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. spidge


    This RAAF lad?
    WHIBLEY, LEONARD GARTH Sergeant 407565 83sq 13-02-1942 23 Royal Australian Air Force Australian.

    He is buried in the private plot of Elizabeth Buchanan Culling.
    (Sec. G. Grave 44)

    There is also another person in the grave (Annie May Cullling) however the years of birth and death were covered with weeds on the original photo. (attached)
    Any help appreciated. Whibley_LG.jpg Whibley_LG 2.jpg
  2. spidge


    Bringing this back to the top to try for a confirmation photo on the birth and death years of Annie May Culling in the small "In Memoriam" stone in the bottom photo.

  3. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    If you are stuck I can go and have a look. It's not that far from where I am.
  4. spidge


    That would be great if you could get those dates in a photo or if not just the dates. Still wondering if the grave is better or worse than when the photo above was taken.

    If the grave has been attended to, there are possibilities of relatives, if not, the family line may have ended with Annie May

  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Leonard "Garth" Whibley
    BIRTH 18 FEB 1918 • Henley Beach South, South Australia, Australia
    DEATH 13 FEB 1942 • Newton, Norfolk, England

    Had a look through his tree and cannot find a link to 'Culling'

    There is a possible Annie M Culling
    Name: Annie M Culling
    Birth Date: abt 1907
    Date of Registration: Mar 1951
    Age at Death: 44
    Registration district: Durham North eastern
    Inferred County: Durham
    Volume: 1a
    Page: 712

    But there could be others - be good to see the inscribed date

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  6. m kenny

    m kenny Senior Member

    The grave is exactly the same as in your pic. Nothing has been done to it since. Dates are 1906-1951
    DSC01971.jpg DSC01969.jpg DSC01964.jpg
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  7. spidge


    Thank you very much M. Kenny for taking the time to achieve these photos. It is as you say no different except for the littering of leaves however the dates are definitive.

    A very sad story has come to light here.
    The mother 1878-1907 (29?), her baby son (1907-1908 (1?), her daughter, 1906-1951 (44) and a young Australian Flyer 1918-1942 (23) all died so young with only one a result of war.

    The deaths of family now make me ask who the husband was that saw the birth of his daughter in 1906, the loss of his wife ("possibly in childbirth") and his infant son "possibly" less than a few months later.

    Presumably, the father or Annie May Culling would have given permission for Leonard Whibley to be buried there. Maybe the links in the chain to Australia will be connected.

    Thanks also TD for your Ancestry results.


  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    With the info above and a little more time on my hands the connection is:

    Cyril George Whibley
    BIRTH 19 MAR 1904 • Mile End, Hindmarsh, Australia
    DEATH 23 OCT 1972 • Durham, England

    His first marriage:
    30 Mar 1935 • South Australia, Australia
    Rhoda Culling (1899–1965)

    His second marriage:
    Dec 1965 • Co Durham, England
    Annie Culling (1913–2004)

    Leonards basic details are:
    Leonard "Garth " Whibley
    Birth: 18 Feb 1918 - Australia
    Death: 13 Feb 1942 - Newton, Norfolk, England
    F: Leslie Norman Whibley
    M: Muriel Louise Williams

    Leslie Norman and Cyril George were brothers (Father - Arthur George 1864 - 1947), so Leonard was Cyrils nephew

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  9. spidge


    Thanks TD!
    Still a mystery here. Annie May Culling is the daughter 1906 - 1951 so where does the other Annie Culling 1913-2004 fit into the family tree? Possibly a cousin???

  10. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Cyril married half sisters - Rhoda & Annie

    Annie Culling
    Birth: 02 Jun 1913 (2 Jun 1913) - Co Durham (Durham), England
    Death: Sep 2004 - Tyne and Wear (Durham), England
    Marriage: Dec 1965 - Co Durham (Durham), England
    Spouse: Cyril George Whibley
    F: Arthur Herbert Culling
    M: Maria Ann Laidler

    Rhoda Culling
    Birth: 06 Jul 1899 (6 Jul 1899) - Durham, England
    Death: 3 Mar 1965 - Durham, England
    Marriage: 30 Mar 1935 - South Australia, Australia
    Spouse: Cyril George Whibley
    F: Arthur Herbert Culling
    M: Elizabeth Buchanan Hunter (is the person on the gravestone)

    Arthur - Rhoda & Annies father
    Arthur Herbert Culling
    BIRTH OCTOBER 1877 • South Shields, Hebburn, Durham, United Kingdom
    DEATH MAR 1953 • Co Durham, England

    Marriage No 1
    Jan 1899 • South Shields, Durham, England
    Elizabeth Buchanan Hunter (1878–1907)

    Marriage No 2
    Oct 1909 • South Shields, Durham, England
    Maria Ann Laidler (1885–1968)

    Does that explain it??
  11. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Annie May Culling I believe is a daughter in law

    Annie May Alger
    BIRTH APR 1906 • Wardley, Durham, England
    DEATH MAR 1951 • Durham, England

    She married a son of Elizabeth Buchanan Culling (nee Hunter) and Arthur via his first marria

    Dec 1928 • Gateshead, Durham, England
    William Alfred Herbert Culling (1901–1966)

  12. spidge


    You are a sleuth in the making! (How are the fingers?)

    All fits into place now. One sister in Australia and one in England hence the connection.

    Might put together a family history on Powerpoint so I can explain it to myself;)

    Great work.

    PS: (Ancestry have a deal going this week for 12 months "WORLD" for $269 Australian or $185 EURO). (Trying to get me back)

  13. Southdown

    Southdown Member

    Hello......I am the daughter of the late 904882 Sgt. John Henry Allen, DFM & Bar, Path Finder Force, 83 Squadron, Bomber Command. Both my twin sister - Cherry Evans - and I have been researching Dads war and have paid particular interest to this incident. My sister found a photograph of Len Whibley amongst Dads wartime photographs.
    My father was a crew member with 407565 Sgt. Leonard Garth Whibley on that fateful day of 12th February 1942, when the RAF took part in Operation Fuller - the Channel Dash - and went after the Scharnhorst, the Gneisenau and the Prinz Eugen. Dad and Len were also billeted together at South Carlton, a few miles from Scampton.
    Looking at Dads log book it appears it was his first operation, he was a MU/AG, Leonard was Rear Air Gunner. Taking off from Scampton the weather was appalling with heavy cloud. As they came out of the cloud they were attacked by two M.E.109's from the rear and from below with return of fire from the rear gunner. A second attack by another German fighter who again went below the Manchester was returned by both a/c gunners. The German fighters disappeared because by this time the Manchester was in the middle of a heavy barrage from both battleships and their escorts. The a/c guns were unable to return fire and as they flew over the battle ship (heights vary from 100 to 500 feet) the bomb doors could not be opened as the hydraulics had been shot away. One engine had to be feathered.
    Severe damage had been inflicted on the Manchester between the M.U. turret and the rear turret. It was then realised that Len had been badly injured so Dad pulled him out of his rear turret to give him first aid........
    The Manchester made a "wheels up" landing at Bircham Newton with it's bombs still on board. Thankfully the rest of the crew survived.

    The photographs are of Leonard Whibley (cigarette in hand) and the page from Dads log book......

    scan0001.jpg scan0001.jpg scan0008.jpg
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  14. spidge


    A question initially posed to me on Fb and answered conclusively here by Tricky Dicky.

    Thank you "Southdown" for the logbook page.


  15. Southdown

    Southdown Member

  16. Southdown

    Southdown Member

    Your very welcome......
    I am so pleased that I can now see Leonard Whibleys resting place, which Dad never saw, but sad to see it looks a little neglected. My father didn't speak very often about his war time experiences but did tell my sister and I about Len. Dad mentioned that Len had asked for a cigarette hence the reference to the cigarette in his hand in the photo.
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  17. Molar01

    Molar01 New Member

    Hi, let me introduce myself. I am Gordon Whitehead and am writing on behalf of David McFarlane, my dentist of 33 plus years, now retired, and friend. David isn't on the internet and so I am writing for him.

    If you follow this link and the link within it The Scharnhorst, the Gneisenau and the gannets | Dover Forum on you will find out how David and I have an interest in Sgt Whibley and his grave (and a successful little campaign to get an historical omission on the Dover Channel Dash memorial rectified).

    David's father was P/O McFarlane who was piloting the plane Sgt. Whibley was in that day and, having rectified the omission on the Dover Channel Dash Memorial, David has turned his attention to Sgt Whibley's grave.

    Some years ago, David and some volunteers from the Ripon RAFA branch went up to Hebburn and tidied up Sgt Whibley's grave, although since then it has deteriorated again. David has been in touch with the RAAF liaison officer at the Australian Embassy about the grave and it's maintenance. However, there are some thousands of WW2 graves around the world of Australian service personnel, far more than the Australian Government can afford to maintain. The liaison officer at the Embassy also checked with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, but because the grave is a shared family grave, the Commission cannot replace the headstone.

    In the light of the above, David intends to have some basic maintenance carried out to restore the grave to its original condition, so far as possible. Because it is a privately owned plot, he needs to get the permission of either the owner of the plot (possibly deceased) or a relative of Sgt Whibley. The latter is not a problem as David is already in touch with his niece and, indeed, she did intend to come to the UK last September for the service in Dover for the 75th Anniversary of the Channel Dash and to see the corrected memorial but was unable to do so for family reasons.

    Between late 2014/2015 and now, I have done quite a few searches on 83 Squadron (Sgt Whibley's), the Channel Dash and (in the last six months) Sgt. Whibley and have only recently come across this site and Southdown's post on the World War Two Memories (hope I've got that right, I'm working from memory). It's a pity as it would have been good if Southdown had been able to attend the service last September in Dover with us.
  18. Southdown

    Southdown Member

    Hello Gordon.......
    How lovely to hear from you and to know you are the good friend of P/O McFarlane's son.
    I am also very happy to learn that David McFarlane has visited Leonard Whibleys resting place and has carried out maintenance work on a sadly neglected grave.
    Dad spoke very rarely of his wartime experiences but when he was in a reflective mood he did speak of Leonard on several occasions and his tragic death. I was also in contact with John Eely Partridge until his death in 2010 he was second pilot to David’s father on board the Manchester. John (a.k.a Jack) went on to be Dads Skipper for the rest of Dads 48 operations.
    Dad was MU/AG on Operation Fuller, he became a bomb aimer and eventually a bombing leader. He went to Canada to gain his pilot wings and was demobbed in 1945 with the rank of Flt. Ltn.
    I understand that Davids father was awarded an immediate DFC for his participation in Operation Fuller. Without P/O McFarlane’s skill as a pilot, I wouldn't be replying to your message. From what Dad told me the Manchester was shot up like a “pepper pot” with the hydraulics shot away which rendered the guns u/s, the bomb doors unable to be opened and the landing gear unable to be lowered. P/O McFarlane flew to Bircham Newton on one engine to do a wheels up landing with the aircrafts bombs still on board and a rear gunner mortally wounded by flak. Dad said that a hedge helped to slow their progress at the edge of the airfield.
    I can only guess that both you and David McFarlane have had Leonard Whibley’s name added to the memorial for those who lost their lives on that particular operation - if that is the case I can only say a very big thank you for making Leonards memory live on.
    Both my sister and I would have have liked to attend the service to remember the courage of those who survived and the sacrifice of those who died and to show our gratitude to those amazing young men for the bravery they displayed on the 12th February 1942.
    With my kindest regards - Corinne Mitchell a.k.a Southdown
  19. Southdown

    Southdown Member

    Hello again Gordon.......have just read the article on Dover Forum......thrilled to bits to learn 83 Squadron has been added to the memorial. My sister and I will definately make time to pay our respects and gratitude at the memorial......
    I would also like to add that I do have a copy of the Operation Fuller battle report. It is totally emotional free and for what the crew went through it says very little. If you can give me your e mail address I will gladly send it to you.....I am sure P/O McFarlanes son would like to see it. Kind regards - Southdown
  20. Molar01

    Molar01 New Member

    I've started a conversation about my email address.

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