Captain Dennis Bembridge Kelland (200721) Army Air Corps

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by High Wood, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    I am trying to locate a photograph of Captain Dennis Bembridge Kelland (200721) of the Army Air Corps who served with the 8th battalion, Parachute Regiment. I have recently acquired some photographs of a Parachute Regiment Captain that came from a house clearance in the Sutton Coldfield area and circumstantial evidence suggests that they may be of Dennis Kelland. He was born in the Aston area of Birmingham in November 1915 and was commissioned into the Royal Warwickshire Regiment before transferring to the A.A.C.

    If any photographs of him are known to exist I would like to compare them with the photographs that I have to either rule him in or out.

    A search of the internet has not revealed any so far.
  2. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

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  3. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Para 001.JPG

    many thanks, I have spent the afternoon and early evening on the internet and have found several references to him including the IWM one that you mentioned. He was in Normandy in June 1944 and seems to have had a distinguished career. However, the only evidence that I have that I am on the right track is the name Kelland written on a packet of photographs.

    A photograph of him from another source would confirm or destroy my theory.

  4. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron


    Capt. Kelland is listed in Carl Rymen's book Gale's Eyes. Not a very good photo however. I'll leave it big for a good view of him.

    Capt. D.B. Kelland .jpg

    Another of him from same book with Officers' group, also poor quality. He's noticeably thin on top.

    Capt. D.B. Kelland -2.jpg

    Regards ...
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
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  5. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    005.JPG Cee,

    thank you for posting. I am not sure when your photographs were taken but, unless some traumatic event such as dropping over Normandy in June 1944 triggered sudden onset male pattern baldness, it is not the same officer as the one in my photographs. Kelland's Sutton Coldfield connections put him right in the frame but I will have to come up with another theory.

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  6. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    I am not sure when Dennis Kelland's military career ended but I can find no reference to him in the London Gazette after 1950.
  7. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron


    The group photo was taken sometime before D-Day as one of the Officers shown was taken POW June 6th. On the possibility Carl may have a clue I'll send you his address by PM. Otherwise it's just a guessing game.

    Regards ...
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2018
  8. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member


    much appreciated, I will send him an email. The bloke that I got the photographs from is a house clearance dealer in the Sutton Coldfield area of the Midlands. Unfortunately, he has a tendency to put all the loose photographs from multiple clearances into one large box and bring it to a local flea market. I sorted out about a dozen photographs that were clearly from the same family having looked at every single photograph in the box. I also wrote down the names and addresses on all the envelopes in the box, one of which was Kelland with a Sutton Coldfield address. You can imagine that I thought that I had cracked it having found a Captain Kelland in the Parachute Regiment.

    I have about another seven surnames to work through, none of which may be the same surname as the officer. The only name that I am sure of is that the young woman was called Joan. I know that her father served in the NFS in Wolverhampton..

    Many thanks,

  9. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    First name(s) DENNIS BEMBRIDGE
    Last name KELLAND
    Gender Male
    Birth day 19
    Birth month 11
    Birth year 1915
    Age -
    Death quarter 1
    Death year 1996
    District Teignbridge
    District number 4131A
    Register number 6DA
    Entry number 001
    Date of registration mm/yy 0396
    County Devon
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  10. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron


    I better attach the 8 Para HQ Group from the Rymen book on the off chance it might be another Officer known to Capt. Kelland. According to the book "A Fierce Quality" by Lt-Col. Alastair Pearson it shows, "Pearson with his HQ, 8th Parachute Battalion, Tilshead, May, 1944."

    8 Para HQ Officers May 44.jpg

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  11. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    003.JPG I have spent the afternoon compiling a list of all the women called Joan who married in Sutton Coldfield between 1943 and 1945 and the names of their husbands.

    Marriages Mar 1943

    Gooch Joan M – Ernest S Fisher Sutton Coldf'd 6d

    Lovett Joan D – Gordon D Smith Sutton Coldf'd 6d 973

    Sharp Joan - John E Fitch Sutton Coldf'd 6d 993

    Marriages Jun 1943

    Cook Joan –John T Smith Sutton Coldfd

    Cowdell Joan – Clifford W Partridge Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1381

    Margetts Joan M – Eric J Todd Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1387

    Matthews Joan O -Thomas G Clark Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1361

    Webb Joan C-Francis W Chambers Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1374

    Marriages Sep 1943

    Foden Joan A - Eugen Beer Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1374

    Postlethwaite Joan E -Cyril V Clement Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1387

    Thorpe Joan - Raymond A Sidwells Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1394

    Wilcox Joan M - Thomas Brassington Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1399

    Williams Joan E _ Leonard E Steel Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1384

    Marriages Dec 1943

    Thompson Joan -Edgar V Adcock Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1131

    Wallwork Joan -Arthur Long Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1117

    Marriages Mar 1944

    BENNETT Joan- Robert Crutchley Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1021

    DAVIS Joan M – Philip K M Williams Sutton Coldf'd 6d 997

    HUGHES Joan B – Harold V Bradbury Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1024

    NOCH Joan L – Bernard J Turton Sutton Coldf'd 6d 989

    Marriages Jun 1944

    REECE Joan F-Edwin S Warren Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1329

    STALEY Joan K – Trevor H B Davis Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1316

    WILBRAHAM Joan – Desmond S Ashmore Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1293

    Marriages Sep 1944

    FREEMAN Joan S –Ronald R S Wayman Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1398

    PERRY Joan S - Frank Britain Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1431

    WALKER Joan M - Kenneth H Scott Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1463

    WILLCOX Joan -John W Trotman Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1427

    Marriages Mar 1945

    Johnson Joan D- Edward W Buldock Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1191 Scan available - click to view

    Seal Joan M – Francis M B Roberts Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1184 Scan available - click to view

    Sheerman Joan - Desire J B Cotard Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1185 Scan available - click to view

    Marriages Jun 1945

    Archer Joan – Leonard A Holmes Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1559

    Pearson Joan M – Anthony Stains Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1535

    Talbot Joan – Leonard A Holmes Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1559

    Marriages Sep 1945

    Frewin Joan H - Vernon R Sarsfield Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1814

    Harding Joan – Brian E J Rudge Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1800

    Penzer Joan M- Donald C Morris Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1783

    Woodhouse Joan –Edwin S Bennett Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1819

    Marriages Dec 1945

    Allbrighton Joan M – Sydney R Plant Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1541

    Cleminshaw Joan –Dennis A Quayle Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1558

    Dayman Joan M – Arthur D Lingley Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1560

    Dean Joan W – Francis W Greig Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1537

    Deeming Joan M – William E Nicholls Sutton Coldf'D 6d 1565

    Onions Joan - Alfred Leeson Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1542

    Potts Joan M – Henry W Gobrecht Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1536

    Price Joan Grice Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1539

    Warford Joan W Green Sutton Coldf'd 6d 1552

    Of course all of this is meaningless if a, they didn't get married, b, they married before 1943 and after 1945, c, married somewhere other than Sutton Coldfield, but you have to start somewhere.

    They do look as if they would want to get married.
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  12. Cee

    Cee Senior Member Patron


    They make a lovely couple. In the one of them seated together on the folding lounge chairs he appears to be wearing a boating blazer. The edge of a crest is just visible under his left hand. In your last photo possibly two pips, so a Lieutenant at that point.

    Regards ...
  13. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    I met an 8th battalion veteran in Normandy last week and I know the tour operator he was with. Can maybe try and contact him and see if he recognizes the officer.
    Also maybe worth looking through paradata for and matches?
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  14. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron

    From Dennis’s birth record his mother’s maiden name was Bembridge.

    Marriage Q3 1909 Aston, Warwickshire
    Harry Kelland & Kate Bembridge

    Children, both registered Aston, Warwickshire
    Harry P B Q4 1914
    Dennis B Q1 1916

    1939 Register, 73 Birchfield Road, Birmingham
    Harry Kelland dob 25 June 1878, widower, watch & clock repairer
    Harry P B Kelland dob 14 Sept 1914, single, traffic controller & distribution officer, paint & varnish manufacturer. Service No 2578193, Signalman, discharged physically unfit.

    Harry Patrick B Kelland death registered Truro Q3 1988

    Kate Kelland death registered Q2 1936 Birmingham age 54, (dob 1882 approx).
    Probate. Kate Kelland of 73 Birchfield Road Birmingham (wife of Harry Kelland) died 6 May 1936 at the General Hospital Birmingham Administration Birmingham 20 April 1937 to the said Harry Kelland watchmaker & jeweller and Harry Patrick Bembridge Kelland manufacturers clerk.

    Harry Kelland death registered Q3 1944 Birmingham age 66, (dob 1878 approx).
    Probate. Harry Kelland of 73 Birchfield Road Birmingham 19 died 2 July 1944 Probate Birmingham 7 November 1944 to John Henry Bluck civil servant and Frank Thomas Wiley company secretary.
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  15. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    The watchmaker connection is interesting as there is a photograph of factory work benches amongst the photographs that I bought. Here are a few close ups. The workers appear to be making or repairing pocket watches.

    Attached Files:

  16. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Here is Joan who appears to be the same woman in the other pictures. The back of the photograph clearly gives her name and the date the photograph was taken.
    Hig 2423 may or may not be a telephone number. Spr 1006 possibly the same.

    Attached Files:

  17. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    This is Jean and possibly her father, who served in the National Fire Service. The photograph cannot be any earlier than August 1941. His NFS badge has the district number 24 which indicates Birmingham.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
  18. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    Joan's father later held a higher rank in the NFS in Wolverhampton (NFS 40).

    Attached Files:

  19. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    If the man in the NFS uniform is Joan's father then the man on the right could be the officer's father. The second photograph could be of the officer's mother and father, in which case the officer is not Dennis Kelland. However, if the well dressed couple are Joan's parents then who is the NFS man?

    Attached Files:

  20. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    The man in the suit appears to have a Parachute Regiment lapel badge,

    Attached Files:

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