Parachute Regiment Wedding photo Mystery?

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by KennyIII, Mar 17, 2021.

  1. KennyIII

    KennyIII Member

    Hello, I am trying to find out who the groom is in a mystery wedding photo found in the Ashford, Kent area and dated November 10th 1945 on back. To me it looks like the groom is wearing the DCM ribbon which would yield only one Para candidate as Albert E. Etheridge married to Winifred in 1945 in Northampton, Northamptonshire, UK. Oddly while going off parish church lists county by county when I found this information I broke off my methodical search and started up in Northampton. An initial search yielded nothing similar in door or arch style but when I searched for demolished churches I found what is most likely a hit. It is St. Edmund Church in Northampton demolished in 1980. There is one photo only online of half the door and it has the unique iron hinges that form an inward Ccc. From searching 100's of church photos from this and other wedding church mysteries these hinges are quite unique to each church. If you can find another match I'd love to see it.

    Now the main problem that set my research back to square one was information given to me by a couple of the Parachute Regiment websites and their historians. They told me it is impossible that it could be Albert since he would have been older and they also provide me with a photo they have marked as Albert from a group photo in 1944. Also, his lanyard is not the same used by the 10th Battalion which Albert belonged. The historians were incredibly helpful and told me what they think is a possible unit for the groom in the photo. "The 7th, 8th and 15th used this tubular style lanyard. As the man in your photo does not have tartan patch behind his cap badge, he probably is not a member of the 15th Bn. Therefore I would suggest he was probably a member of either The 7th or 8th Bn".

    So any help from members or ideas on what they think or see in the photo will be greatly appreciated. If I can find the identity of this gentleman maybe the photo can get back into the hands of his family. The church match and from what I see as a DCM ribbon make this a very compelling mystery. Thank you!

    von Poop likes this.
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    The ribbon on the left as we see it is just the ribbon of the 39-45 Star.
    In b&w photos the light blue on the right of it as we look at the photo appears almost white.
    No DCM there .
    KennyIII likes this.
  3. KennyIII

    KennyIII Member

    Thanks !That is helpful. What is the other ribbon in your opinion?
  4. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    A larger image would be helpful but to me it looks to be 39-45 Star, France & Germany Star , Defence Medal.

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  5. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Also worth noting he seems to have a wound stripe so should be included on casualty lists which is something to double check if you get any names
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  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Doing a search on Ancestry for England & Wales marriages on 10th Nov 1945 gives 4 results

    Jean Margaret Bonser 10 Nov 1945 Chellaston, Derbyshire, England George Frederick Edgar

    Richard Smith Armstrong 10 Nov 1945 (shown as Bromyard, Herefordshire) Elsie Anne McLaren

    Donald Wilfred Giles 10 Nov 1945 Cricklade, Wiltshire, England Amy Mary Carter

    Leonard Frank Feltham 10 Nov 1945 Knook, Wiltshire, England Lucy Selina Ella Doughty

    Added to that from this database
    All England, Andrews Newspaper Index Cards, 1790-1976

    John Chinery Marriage 10 Nov 1945 Ladbroke Grove Constance Street

    Oswald Chessum Marriage 10 Nov 1945 Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England Vera Miriam Browne

    John M E Clarkson Marriage 10 Nov 1945 Rhos-on-Sea North Wales Marjorie Brown

    Colin Mackenzie Burn Marriage 10 Nov 1945 Petersham, London, England Dacia Tasker

    Thomas Seaysbrook Marriage 10 Nov 1945 Hatfield, England (corrected to read Scaysbrook)

    H E Wingfield Marriage 10 Nov 1945 Louth, Lincolnshire, England Diana Neave

    Gregory Stapleton Marriage 10 Nov 1945 Brompton, London, England Margarite Chamberlayne

    Francis Knyvett McNamara Marriage 10 Nov 1945 Tarring (corrected to Worthing) Norah Patricia Hatchell

    Alastair Park Forsyth Marriage 10 Nov 1945 Bombay, India Frances Mary Baylis

    William Hamilton (tony) Ellis Marriage 10 Nov 1945 Uccle, Brussels Dorothy Deprost

    Anthony Henry George Dobson Marriage 10 Nov 1945 St Helens, England Nellie Homberger

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  7. KennyIII

    KennyIII Member

    Thanks for that tricky! I didn't do a search just for that date for fear of getting too many results. I can either find out if any of those men were in Parachute Regiments or even a church comparison for those areas. Although I went through most churches in Wiltshire, Essex, and Middlesex. The church part is really needle in a haystack stuff. Brute comparisons. Big Help!
  8. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    I know this maybe a coincidence but as it appears it isnt a DCM and possibly not Northamptonshire theres a notification in the
    Winsford Chronicle - Winsford, Cheshire, England dated 10 November 1945 - regarding the marriage of a Pte Dempsey ,1st Airborne Troops who was wounded and taken prisoner at Arnhem ?

    Sorry subscription lapsed so cannot tell you more

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  9. AB64

    AB64 Senior Member

    Potentially Pte H Dempsey 4478583 of 156 Battalion wounded and POW at Arnhem, he joined from the Cheshires so looks like this is the newspaper man (not necessarily photo one though) - there look like there may be 2 Border POWs but neither seem to have been wounded
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  10. KennyIII

    KennyIII Member

    Thanks Kyle. This is exactly what I had hoped for when I posted this thread. I have multiple new lines of research. I can at least do a quick check in Winsford area Cheshire for a possible church match and research more into Pte Dempsey. Thank you!
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  11. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    Yes ,Pte Harold Dempsey (4478583 is an enlistment, originally, into The Durham Light Infantry) married Doris Kettle . If someone has the cutting the Church may be named or there may be a photo of the pair?

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2021
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  12. KennyIII

    KennyIII Member

    Pte Harold Dempsey doesn't appear on the ParaData website unless maybe I am looking incorrectly. They have some group photos of units usually. I could try and contact the local library the newspaper clipping came in and see if they could find the wedding announcement for me. Worth a small fee considering the hours I spent on this.
  13. Mr Jinks

    Mr Jinks Bit of a Cad

    The clipping is on Findmypast ,theres quite a few members have subscriptions, Sadly let mine lapse a month or two ago. Sorry :(

  14. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1916-2005
    Name: Harold Dempsey
    Registration Date: Oct 1945
    [Nov 1945]
    [Dec 1945]
    Registration Quarter: Oct-Nov-Dec
    Registration District: Northwich
    Inferred County: Cheshire
    Spouse: Doris Kettle
    Volume Number: 8a
    Page Number: 836


    Doris in 1939 Register
    Name: Doris Kettle
    [Doris Dempsey]
    Gender: Female
    Marital Status: Single
    Birth Date: 7 Apr 1923
    Residence Year: 1939
    Address: 3 Alfred Street
    Residence Place: Northwich, Cheshire, England

    Harold was born in the Northwich district so I would guess that they would have married at a church within Northwich
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2021
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  15. High Wood

    High Wood Well-Known Member

    A picture paints a thousand words, or to put it another way, close but no cigar.

    Various 004.JPG

    Various 005.JPG
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  16. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    UK, British Prisoners of War, 1939-1945
    Name: H Dempsey
    Rank: Private
    Army Number: 4128583
    Regiment: Army Air Corps
    POW Number: 118661
    Camp Type: Stalag
    Camp Number: XI-B
    Camp Location: Fallingbostel, Lower Saxony

  17. Alex1975uk

    Alex1975uk Well-Known Member

    Not the 7th Battalion as they had their green lanyard on the right shoulder.
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  18. KennyIII

    KennyIII Member

    I can now confirm the church is indeed the demolished St. Edmunds, Northampton, Northamptonshire. Now the only reason I searched for a church in Northampton was because of Albert E. Etheridge's marriage index entry that stated Northampton and 1945. And the only reason I looked at Albert was because the National Army Museum historian said in the wedding photo the groom was wearing the DCM. This seems a highly improbable set of circumstances to lead me to a demolished church if the groom is not Albert E. Etheridge. Any thoughts? church.jpeg
  19. KennyIII

    KennyIII Member

    Also, I know many think it is not the DCM but the 39-45- star ribbon bar but can you tell me why it is not the DCM? It looks like the DCM to me without having to make up the excuse that it's lighting or black and white photography making the light blue look dark? The National Army Museum historian observes it as the DCM.
  20. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Why do you say "make up the excuse"?
    The light blue looks white in b&w photos not dark.
    There have been a few photos posted on the forum of chaps with the 39-45 Star .
    Can't find any at the mo.

    Edit. See photo here.
    Albert Whatton, 1st Duke's



    It's not a DCM as the ribbon on a DCM is as you show. Dark, very dark, dark.
    In the photo in post #1 if you ignore the very light bit there is only two grey bits dark & very dark ,to the ribbon. If it was the DCM there would be 3 dark grey bits to it as explained above.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2021
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