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Penhale Camp Bombing – Photos and Memorabilia

Gunner Andrew Gray and wife Joan Grey

Andrew survived the bombing.  His son, Stuart Gray, first learned about the annual Perranporth Remembrance Service in 2009 while on holiday in Cornwall.  Since then, he has searched high and low for the relatives and any living survivors. He wanted to ensure that as many as possible were able to attend the 70th and last service and memorial parade on 17th – 18th July 2010.

58th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, 1939, Stiffkey, Norfolk

This photograph of the 58th. Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment was taken at the first Annual Training Camp of the Regiment, held from 15th. – 29th. July, 1939, at Stiffkey, Norfolk, England. It is probable that all 185 men in the photo are Scots, mainly from Dunbartonshire where the Regiment originally recruited.

During the early part of 1940, large numbers of English, Welsh, and some Irish Militiamen were drafted into the 58th. to increase numbers. This transformed the Regiment from a purely Scottish one to a British one.

There are only two known photographs of the Regiment – both taken at the same time at Stiffkey. Only 5 people are so far identified in the Stiffkey photograph.

(Open it up and view at 200%. Each individual face can be very clearly seen. If you need a higher-resolution copy, please send a message via Comments on the blog Home page.)

Gunner George Davies

Gunner Henry Smith at Penhale Camp – second from right

Gunner Henry Smith’s letter from Penhale Camp to his brother on 9th March 1940

Gunner Jimmy Litster

July 19th 1940 Letter from matron of Royal Cornwall Infirmary to Jimmy Litster’s wife and children

“. . . May your little boys grow to be a great help to you to comfort you in your sad loss, and I hope that they will bespared the horrors of war.  One thing I thing I know and that is that they must be proud of their Daddy who geve his life to secure the Freedom of all Nations.”   

July 26th 1940 Letter of apology to Jimmy Litster’s wife, that she did not receive information about her husband’s death soon enough to request that his body be sent home for burial

July 8th 2010 Oban Times:

“Four generations of mid-Argyll family to travel to Cornwall for war memorial service”: 


Private Stanley Tyrer

January 15th 1955 – Letter from Imperial War Graves Commission inviting a contribution of £1 to cover the cost of engraving his name on gravestone.

Private Howard Panton

Covering letter sent with photos to Stuart Gray by a relative of Private Howard Panton

Please note: Howard Panton was not related to me and I am therefore unable to help directly with any enquiries about Howard or his family. However, Stuart Gray has been in contact with Howard’s relatives, might be able to help,  and I can pass on any enquiries to Stuart.  Liz Panton.

Memories . . .  “If only they had come to tea that day”

One Comment leave one →
  1. March 14, 2012 2:50 pm

    This site was moved from Posterous on 13-14 March 2012. This page was viewed 250 times on Posterous.

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