UP date on blow back and lack of drill rounds.Unknown RHA Gunner killed 1940 Chelmsford.

Discussion in 'War Cemeteries & War Memorial Research' started by redtop, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. redtop

    redtop Well-Known Member

    I am trying to trace name and grave of a G Battery 5 RHA Gunner accidently killed in Chelmsford Area 10th July 1940.
    He was killed by a blowback in the breech .
    There would not be many deaths reported on that date and area, is it possible to trace him by date of death alone.
    I imagine as it was due to a malfunction on the Gun there would have been an inquiry is ther any where I can look?
    Any help appreciated
  2. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

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  3. ramacal

    ramacal 336/102 LAA Regiment (7 Lincolns), RA Patron

    This guy is the only one on my list of RHA died UK for that date. Details as posted by DBF. Headstone photo from Findagrave.

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  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    He is also recorded in the Civil system:

    England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007
    Name Wyndham L Williams
    Birth Date abt 1917
    Date of Registration Sep 1940
    Age at Death 23
    Registration district Chelmsford
    Inferred County Essex
    Volume 4a
    Page 1229

    Might be interesting to see a copy and find out the 'official' cause of death ??

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  5. Guy Hudson

    Guy Hudson Looker-upper

    Evening Despatch 13th July 1940.
    Wiliams Evening Despatch.png

    Williams had enlisted in the RA in 1935.
    WILLIAMS 1935.png
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  6. redtop

    redtop Well-Known Member

    dbf,ranacal ,Tricky Dicky
    Thanks for your prompt replies.
    Guy Hudson thanks for the info especially the newspaper cutting.
  7. bamboo43

    bamboo43 Very Senior Member


    There is another small detail from Gunner Williams CWGC docs on line. It seems that he was buried with his father at Aberdare Cemetery. Just in case you missed it.

  8. redtop

    redtop Well-Known Member

    Thanks Steve
  9. redtop

    redtop Well-Known Member

    Just out of interest.
    The accident happened in Little Waltham Essex (Near Chelmsford)
    Villager who was there at time passed on this information.
    The Gun was sited covering a road block and bridge on the main road through the village.
    Whilst carrying out Gun Drills the firing mechanism was engaged before the breech was properly closed, the
    charge came back out of the breech striking
    Gunner Williams in the stomach, and burned and blinded two others , the shell at low trajectory went through the village and amazingly struck the house that Gunner Williams was billeted in.

    I would think that using live ammo for Gun drills in that situation was questionable will need official report to find out why drill rounds not used.
    Might be that drill rounds not available and with invasion thought imminent and 6 pounders only just taken on strength it was essential to carry out drills.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
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  10. redtop

    redtop Well-Known Member

    Found this item in CC Battery 5 RHA War Diaries for Oct 1940 which goes a long way to explain why drill rounds not used ,there were none! CC were just up the road in Dunmow.

    The training throughout the week was devoted as last week, to Marching Drill, Rifle Drill, etc. Skeleton Gun Drill with forms Tins and Beer bottles was started on Thursday.
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