68644 Captain 'Jimmy' James Alfred Hampton STYLES, 67 Field Regt RA: 17/05/1940, buried Adegem

Discussion in '1940' started by Uncle Target, Feb 11, 2021.

  1. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target All life is precious

    The Dunkirk Veterans met annually in Worcester, each year they remembered their lost comrades but they never as far as I can tell found the grave of Capt Jimmy Styles Commander of A Troop.
    His driver did attend at least one meeting where he mentioned that he last saw him advancing towards the enemy with a revolver in his hand but could not recall exactly where.
    Jimmy Styles was Australian so why he is in the Canadian Cemetery is a little odd.
    Attached is a paragraph mentioning their activities in the chaos between 15th - 18th May the dates given by the Registration of the CWGC.
    His gravestone gives the date of 17th May.
    The 67th Field Regt RA (TA) were part of 1st Infantry Division and apart from this short period withdrew in good order to Bray Dunes with the exception of A Troop who held the canal at Dunkirk.
    The cause of his death appears to be unknown.

    Attached Files:

  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    but many Canadians who lost their lives elsewhere in Belgium were also brought here for burial. A number of isolated graves from various communal cemeteries and churchyards in Belgium have also been brought into this cemetery since the end of the war. The cemetery now contains 1,119 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War and one unidentified burial of the First World War. There are also 33 Polish and two French burials.

    Cemetery Details | CWGC
  3. Rich Payne

    Rich Payne Rivet Counter Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Adegem was used as a concentration cemetery for scattered burials from all over Belgium. He is a hand-written insertion on the 1955 typed register which means that he was moved from another cemetery after that date. Unfortunately, there is no grave concentration note on the on-line records. Maybe worth asking CWGC where he was moved from.

    Casualty Details | CWGC
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  4. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target All life is precious

    Last edited: Feb 11, 2021
  5. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

  6. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    James Alfred Hampton Styles
    BIRTH 20 SEP 1916 • Victoria, Australia.
    DEATH 15 MAY 1940 • Theatre of War France and Belgium Campaign, 1939/40

    He may have been born in Australia but in 1939 and possibly before (to be eligible to be noted on the Electoral Register) he may have been in the UK sometime before that

    Midlands, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1955
    Name: James Hampton Styles
    Residence Year: 1939
    Ward or Division/Constituency: Kings Norton
    Street Address: 57 Alvechurch Road
    Residence Place: Birmingham, West Midlands, England

    His Uncle and Aunt lived in Alvechurch
    England, Andrews Newspaper Index Cards, 1790-1976
    Name: J A H Styles
    Father's Name: Harley Styles
    Death Date: May 1940

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  7. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target All life is precious

    You wouldnt be able to find him in the 1939 Census by any chance. I am wondering if he was a solicitor, many of the officers in the 67th were, others were the sons of Clergymen.
    The Commanding Officer Cyril Hobson MC & Clasp was a solicitor in Redditch. Alvechurch whilst not in Worcestershire is virtually Redditch.
  8. Tony56

    Tony56 Member Patron


    In the Casualty Lists he is reported:
    List No 227 Dated 10 June 1940 - 'Missing' DNR
    List No 597 Dated 22 August 1941 'Presumed KIA' 15/18.5.40
    He also appeared in the lists circulated to POW camps in case he had been captured.

    Category Birth, Marriage, Death & Parish Records
    Record set Victoria Births
    First name(s) James Alfred Hampton
    Last name Styles
    Sex Male
    Birth year 1916
    Birth place Ardale
    Father's name Harley Hampton
    Mother's name Lillian Mary
    Mother's last name Price
    Registration number 26072
    State Victoria
    Country Australia

    Source Gro War Death Army Officers Indices (1939 To 1948)
    Archive reference ARO2
    Volume 3
    War Second World War, 1939-1945
    Record set British Armed Forces And Overseas Deaths And Burials
    First name(s) James A H
    Sex Male
    Last name Styles
    Death year 1940
    Rank Lieutenant
    Unit or regiment Royal Artillery
    Type Armed Forces
    Page 313
    Registration year -
    Branch of service -
    Decoration -
    Records year range 1940
    Line number 5
    Archive General Register Office

    Category Birth, Marriage, Death & Parish Records
    Subcategory Wills & Probate
    Collections from Australasia, Australia
    Record set Victoria Wills & Probate
    First name(s) James A H
    Sex Male
    Last name Styles
    Grant year 1942
    Death year 1940
    Occupation Royal Artillery
    State Victoria
    Country Australia
    Nature of grant A
    Country of residence England
    Death date 15 May 1940
    Grant date 17 Nov 1942
    To whom committed -
    File number 337/138
    Order link VPRS 28/P3, unit 3715;
  9. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target All life is precious

    So he wasnt a straightforward casualty case which is why no one knew what had happened to him after the war.
    Major Tom Averill a founder member of the Dunkirk Veterans Association spent a lot of time trying to find his grave on annual visits to Le Panne but appears not to have succeeded. Tom died in 2008.
    He is mentioned in a London Book Review article Belts boots and Spurs by Jonathan Raban when writing about his father Capt Peter Raban as an aunt suggested that Peter Raban join the 67th.
    Peter Raban was a Lieutenant with Capt Styles in A Troop but strangely (to him) makes no mention of his death.
    Peter Raban left Dunkirk on HMS Esk.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 12, 2021
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  10. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target All life is precious

    I was rather hoping for a long shot with him turning up on British Field Graves of the men who were Buried close to where they fell in 1940 but it seems not.
    It appears that he disappeared while the Regiment having reorganised as part of 1st Division at Aspelare then moved on towards Dunkirk, arriving at Bray Dunes where they dug in to defend the beaches until all their ammunition was spent. They must have had to pull out without him.
    Unfortunately no one who was there could locate exactly where they were or who the enemy was that he advanced towards holding a pistol.
    The story of their withdrawal is told in the Regiments Centenary Brochure in 1964 but most of the Belgian place names seem to have been badly guessed or certainly mis-spelt.
    Whether he was shot in a one off incident, falling amongst vegetation, hit by bomb or shell splinters, then found later is a mystery.
    I will try the CWGC as a last resort.
  11. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

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  12. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target All life is precious

    Covid and other matters precluded further investigation.
    A recent posting on thread:
    Its back! RA 1939-45 has arisen which relates to this thread.

    Can we not merge the postings for continuation?
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2022
  13. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target All life is precious

    Posted onto "Its Back" ra 1949-45 by mvdv84
    These are the guy's I like to find more info about (and their Regimental WD) to profile them on commonwealth-adegem.com

    400517 STYLES, JAMES ALFRED HAMPTON (67 Field Regt.)

    My response:
    Having researched Capt Jimmy Styles I have posted the activities that I was engaged in to date.
    I am in touch with families of men from the 67th Field Regt and researched all that I can in Worcester, both the Archives and the Army Reserve Centre 67th Field Regt Archive.
    I have searched both the records in the County Archive at The Hive, the 67th Field Regiment records and Dunkirk Veterans memorabilia in the Army Reserve Centre. I have discussed it with the curator of the Mercian museum (ex Worcester's Museum) which shares the building wth the ARC.
    A colleague has contact with the Administrator of the defunct Dunkirk Veterans Association Branch but has no details of him. They spent time searching for his grave every year when visiting De Panne but never found it. He appears in the book
    Jonathan Raban · Belt, Boots and Spurs: Dunkirk, 1940 · LRB 4 October 2017
    I found his details on line via CWGC when researching for a book which I wrote for the relatives.
    RA Museum Larkhill has no record of the 67th Field Regt.
    I did not find anything on Ancestry. I have also been in touch with Albourne History Group where they were stationed prior to leaving for France.

    Capt Styles' driver attended a reunion many years ago telling them that he was last seen "Advancing towards the enemy armed with a revolver". He could not remember where, as they had driven many miles and in dire need of sleep, so he rested awaiting Capt Styles return. The column had to move on Capt Styles did not come back, so he had to carry on to Dunkirk. They made an orderly return to the coast where they set up the guns to defend the beaches until their Ammunition ran out.
    Perhaps with you being in the locality, you may be able to find out more, I would gladly try to help you if I can.
    We would be interested to find out where and how he died. It appears from CWGC records that that he was possibly found and buried later. I know approximately where the column was during the period that he disappeared and the dates given by CWGC.
    Attached my rather poor sketch of their final location together with an excerpt from a Centenary Brochure telling their story.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 13, 2022
  14. mvdv84

    mvdv84 Well-Known Member

    I'm aware many British passed Brussel, Belgium on the way to Duinkerke, France. Also that several other Brits were temporary buried at Bray-Dunes (150km from Brussels). As well that some drowned during the Dunkirk evacuation and their bodies washed ashore at De Panne (also Canadians from Dieppe 1942). If only the Driver's details could be more accurate... Very much wondering what Capt. Styles service records have to tell.
  15. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target All life is precious

    We already know that he joined 265Worcester Battery and attended Larkhill School of Gunnery on 16th October 1939 as a Lieutenant when the Regiment was in Ramsbury and Aldbourne training for war. He was subsequently promoted to Captain for his posting to the BEF where the Regiment joined 1st Infantry Division.
    I doubt the Service Record will tell us much more.
    The War Diaries would be more informative but as no one knew where he went to be killed it is doubtful that he would be mentioned in detail.
    It seems that he was posted missing and remained so for some time. Opinions seem to be that he was possibly buried in a local graveyard in Belgium then exhumed to be placed in the CWGC Cemetery. I was hoping that someone might be researching the local cemeteries in Belgium.
    Your enquiry has awakened my curiosity but life has taken a different turn regards WW2. I drop by in the hope of assisting others rather than carry out serious research.
    Very sorry that I cant do much more.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2022
  16. mvdv84

    mvdv84 Well-Known Member

    This is a reply from CWGC.

    Capt Styles was relocated in 1956 from a privately marked grave in Vlezenbeek Curchyard by the CWGC after the graveyard became overgrown and was abandoned by the local community. The headstone had originally be installed by the family. The advice was that a commission headstone would be installed at Adegem Canadian War Cemetery – the inscription was approved by the family. The old family headstone was to be broken up having already deteriorated. It is not clear if this last action took place.

    A letter from Capt Styles’ father states that Capt Styles’ body was found by the village priest on 19 May 1940 and he arranged for the original burial.
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  17. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target All life is precious

    Thank you for your valued response. I will forward this information to the son of Major Tom Averill who as a founder member of The Dunkirk Veterans Association in Worcester, looked for his grave repeatedly when they paraded in
    De Panne. Tom died in 2008. There are nine families in our group, which due to Covid, has been less active but the knowledge will be welcomed.
    Many thanks.
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  18. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target All life is precious

    The nearest recorded stop in the retreat was when they went into action at Zobbroek behind the Charleroi Canal.
    Captain Styles would have been a Forward Observation Officer directing fire from the infantry lines or a vantage point with a view of the enemy. The Regiment may have withdrawn before he got back or he was caught in enemy artillery fire.

    Edit: The Germans took the high ground firing a lot of airburst to achieve maximum shrapnel effect on the retreating troops.
    Follow the link: BBC - WW2 People's War - Dunkirk 1940
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2022
  19. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target All life is precious

    Excerpt from a letter letter by Lt David Shepherd (later Major DCL Shepherd MC)
    Taken from my book "Too Close for Comfort" compiled from Documents, letters and photographs from family collections, for the families of the men who were there.

    Lt David Shepherd France 1940
    I hope that you can read this scrawl due to the train……….
    It is hard to realise that there is a war on as one passes through the French countryside.
    I wont write more now, I cannot pretend that this is a happy day.
    I can only hope that it will prove a worthwhile one and meanwhile we can only trust in God and Pray.
    I cannot believe that its hardly a week ago that I said goodbye to you all, It has seemed like months.
    Nor can I tell you where I am but say that you need not worry about me at present .
    I have not re-joined my Regiment and do not think I will for some time but hope that it will be possible eventually.
    Until today we have been with people of the French Aristocracy who have been most kind and have entertained us well.
    I have had to do a lot of marching but my feet have stood it well.
    Luckily, I have just enough kit with me to suffice.
    I heard the king speak tonight on Empire Day, I stood with a group of officers in the courtyard of a French farm.
    I met some refugees, mostly children, who had cycled miles.
    They had been machine gunned for a few miles coming here and were still terrified at the sound of an aeroplane.
    Posted 25th May 1940 The Day that Boulogne fell
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2022
  20. Uncle Target

    Uncle Target All life is precious

    Attached a short clip from Peter Mennell's A History of the 67th Field Regiment referring to Dunkirk.

    Attached Files:

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