Boy killed in Second World War finally honored

Discussion in 'WW2 General' started by syscom3, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    #1 syscom3, Jun 24, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2009
    24 June 2009 10:52
    Commonwealth War Graves Commission (National)
    One of the youngest British casualties of the Second World War is to finally receive a headstone, exactly 68 years after he was killed aboard a merchant ship. Records show Reginald Earnshaw was aged “about 15” when he died aboard the SS North Devon, but it’s believed he may have lied about his age in order to serve his country, perhaps being as young as just 14.
    On Monday 6th July 2009 Reginald Earnshaw’s grave at Comely Bank Cemetery in Edinburgh will have a headstone erected by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, thanks in large part to the efforts of a small group of individuals, one of whom served alongside Reginald on the SS North Devon. 86 year old Alf Tubbs was an 18 year old machine gunner on the SS North Devon, when it was bombed by German aircraft en route for Tyneside. As some of the crew abandoned ship, Alf stayed at his post and continued firing at the attacking planes. His thoughts then turned to his young friend Reggie. Alf rushed to the engine room to try and locate Reggie, but was beaten back by the steam. Reggie was one of 6 men who died that night.
    Decades later, Alf decided to find out what happened to Reggie. An appeal on a naval history website put him in touch with various people, and details about Reggie began to emerge. Born in Dewsbury in West Yorkshire, his last known address was in Edinburgh – a major port during the Second World. His final resting place is at Comely Bank Cemetery is not far from where he lived in the Granton area of the Scottish Capital. There are no known living next of kin, but the Commission is appealing for any family to contact them.
    For reasons unknown, the location of Reginald Earnshaw’s grave was never reported to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission or marked with a headstone until recently, when a simple wooden cross was erected as a temporary marker, though his name is listed on the Tower Hill naval memorial in London. Now, the Commission is preparing to mark his grave with a granite Commission headstone - a fitting and lasting memorial for a boy who died fighting for his country. As he prepares for the headstone to be put in place, Alf Tubbs is simply glad that Reggie’s grave will be properly marked: “The most important thing to me is that he gets a fitting headstone. I’m glad that after all these years, the sacrifice of such a young man - my pal – will be properly marked.”
     
  2. Shinpachi

    Shinpachi Well-Known Member

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    A good story of friendship.
    Thanks for sharing, syscom3:)
     
  3. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Glad he finally gets the recognition he deserves.
     
  4. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    What a cool way to honor a friend.
     
  5. Wildcat

    Wildcat Well-Known Member

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  6. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Glad to see he gets the recognition he deserves. :salute:
     
  7. BikerBabe

    BikerBabe Active Member

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    Better late than never. ;)
     
  8. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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  9. Soundbreaker Welch?

    Soundbreaker Welch? Active Member

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    How true Bikerbabe. :salute:
     
  10. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    :salute:

    A person who lies about his age to serve his country is a true patriot. And to pay the ultimate sacrifice makes that patriotism almost altruistic.
     
  11. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    I was thinkin the exact same thing as both BikerBabe and Evanglider. This seems to have been a case of mis-filing, not intentionally ignoring. Sounds like they're working to rectify the situation, though! :salute: to young Mr. Earnshaw
     
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