8 December 2016

Returning WW2 photos to families - can you help?

This is a slightly different post than normal, as it isn't about a book. But I do need some help!

Last year I purchased a group of photos from an auction site. They were all photos of men who served in the Second World War, labelled with their names. This is very unusual, as most photos I've purchased from flea markets and auctions don't have a name, so I was pleased to obtain these as I thought I'd be able to do some research on them.

Once I received them, I started examining them. It became clear to me that they had been labelled together, presumably for an exhibition. It also became clear that these photos should have been returned to their owners once the exhibition was completed, and that didn't happen.

So, I thought that I'd try and return them.

I deduced that the photos all seemed to be from the same area - Fleetwood in Lancashire, England. I did some searches of the names and did find a couple of leads, including a dramatic story relating to one of them men. I sent a few emails to contacts I found. I didn't get any replies.

So I tried another approach, and posted to a couple of Forums - WW2 Talk and Rootschat. From these posts, things started to progress. I was contacted by Diane Everett, an ex-resident of Fleetwood who now lives in Cape Town, South Africa. Diane is a member of the Fleetwoods Past Facebook group, and she posted a request to that group. This elicited a number of responses, and three photos were returned to family members.

At the same time I contacted Fleetwood Weekly News. They kindly put out two stories, which resulted in a number of responses and four more photographs were claimed by families.

An exciting response was received from David Swarbrick. One of the photos was of his father, Fred, and he was still alive. Living in Fleetwood, Mr Swarbrick served with the Army in India during the war. The Fleetwood paper later did a feature which included a photo of Mr Swarbrick with the returned photograph, which was fantastic.

Fred Swarbrick with the returned photo of himself taken during the Second World War, Fleetwood 2015
(photo courtesy of David Swarbrick)

Thanks to a recent post by Diane to Fleetwoods Past, I've recently been able to return another photo to the son of Stephen Ligo. His father served in the Army during the war, and was posted to Egypt at the end of the conflict.

In total, 8 photos have been returned to the families of the men. I would like to particularly thank Diane who has been instrumental in returning many of the photos so far.

So why am I posting this now? 

Because I still have 15 photos which are waiting for family members to claim them, and I am running out of leads. If anyone recognises any of the following men, please do get in contact. I would be very happy to reunite these with the families of the men - and perhaps even return them to the men in the photo themselves.

*** Update 12th January 2017 ***

The photo of Alan Hardern has now been returned to his family!


*** Update 16th February 2017 ***

The photo of Frank Fielding has now now been returned to his family!


*** Update 15th November 2017 ***

The photo of Cedric Spivey has now now been returned to his family! Many thanks to Catherine Mills for her help in contacting the family.
 
******************************




Here are the photos. If any additional information is known about the men I have include it below. 

Bill Parkinson - RAF Dental Corps

Gordon Ward - Army

Charles Thompson - Army
1925 - 2013


Ralph Leadbetter - Army

Alan Hardern - Parachute Regiment

RETURNED TO FAMILY
January 2017

Bill Hudson - Duke of Lancaster's Regiment

Cedric Spivey - Royal Engineers

RETURNED TO FAMILY
November 2017

Cyril Paley - RAF
1915-2011
Shot down and escaped from Switzerland

Frank Fielding - Royal Artillery

RETURNED TO FAMILY

January 2017

Harold Colley - RAF

John Dickinson,
C Troop - 350/137th Field Regiment,

Royal Artillery

Leonard Moon - Merchant Navy

Richard Snape - RAF

Teddy Dickson - Royal Artillery

Ronald Stansfield - Army


If anyone recognises these men as family members, or can provide any information, please either contact me or leave a comment below - thank you!


Thanks to:
Diane Everett
Peter Moran
Fleetwood Weekly News / Blackpool Gazette
David Swarbrick and all the Families who have been in contact
WW2talk
Rootschat
Fleetwoods Past

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sure you've already got this, but - I picked on Cyril Paley because he had a slightly unusual name & you had a year of death!! There is a Cyril Milner Paley on the https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk site showing the following information - Paley, Cyril Milner, Date of death 20 March 2011, Date of Probate 27 June 2011, Registry Liverpool, Grant & Will, Probate No 3573474 - so a will is available which might give information - don't know if this is any help - good luck

francis fielding said...

Hello Sir
I'm Frank Fielding, the grandson of Frank Fielding in the picture there's a pretty wild story behind his life and I'd love to have that picture back as I don't have many pictures of him from that era at all except for one. Please feel free to contact me anytime my email is francisfielding93@gmail.com my cell is 408-500-5872