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Gallery
Market Place Market Place
Note the new building in the photo on the corner.
Regent Street Regent Street
Note the 'Old Red Lion Hotel'
Chapmangate Chapmangate
Note the independent chapel built in 1807 to the left.
WW2 Medals
The following medals were all sold at auction. The background information recorded in the catalogue can be quite useful. Source: Artfact Auction Catalogue
An 'Immediate' 1943 Bomber Command D.F.M. to Halifax Rear GunnerSankey Flight Sergeant J. Sankey, No.10 Squadron, for Courage and Initiative After his Aircraft, en route to Attack Cologne, on the Night of 14th February 1943, was Attacked by Three Ju.88s; One Fighter was Shot Down but the Remaining Two Fatally Damaged the Halifax which Caught Fire and the Crew Bailed Out; Sankey Safely Landed Between Kempen and Crefeld, Evaded Capture, and Eventually Returned to England in July
Distinguished Flying Medal G.VI.R., 1st 'Ind: Imp:' type (1119320. F/Sgt. J. Sankey. R.A.F.), suspension loose, very fine , with Caterpillar Club gold brooch badge, with ruby eyes, reverse engraved 'Sgt J. Sankey'


D.F.M. London Gazette 7.9.1943 1119320 Flight Sergeant Joseph Sankey, R.A.F.V.R. No.10 Squadron, jointly listed with Flying Officer R. Taylor (D.F.C.) and Flying Officer A. Hagan (D.F.C.).
Flight Sergeant Sankey's Recommendation, dated 21.8.1943, states 'Flight Sergeant Sankey was the rear gunner of a crew of a Halifax aircraft of No.10 Squadron which was detailed to attack Cologne on the night of 14th February 1943. On the way to the target, the aircraft was attacked by three Ju.88s. One they shot down but the Halifax was hit and immediately caught fire. The pilot gave the order to bail out. Flight Sergeant Sankey landed between Kempen and Crefeld. After walking some distance, a man was met, and Flight Sergeant Sankey eventually arrived safely back in this country (M.I.9/F/P.G.(-) 1324 refers). For the courage and initiative shown by this N.C.O. in making his escape, I recommend the immediate award of the Distinguished Flying Medal.'

Flight Sergeant Joseph Sankey, D.F.M.
, born 16.10.1920; native of Blackpool, Lancashire; enlisted Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, October 1940; posted 10 Squadron, Melbourne, Yorkshire (Halifaxes), October 1942; flew in eight operational sorties including: Genoa (2); Lorient; Minelaying, 9.1.1943, in Halifax II DG230 V, piloted by Sergeant Illingworth, 'Laid mines in area allotted at 1828 hrs from 900ft weather was heavy.... this aircraft was attacked by a JU88 from astern at 100 yards range. Hits were sustained which caused a hole in the starboard elveator, many holes in the fuselage, the trailing aerial was shot away.... Both gunners replied...... Safe landing at Pocklington' (Operations Record refers); and on an attack to Cologne, 14.2.1943, Sankey took off from Melbourne at 1632 hours in Halifax II DT788 ZA - E, pilotted by Sergeant Illingworth, and was shot down by night fighters at 2020 hours, crashed near Velden (Holland); the crew baled out, one was killed, five were taken prisoner of war and Sankey, 'was the last to leave the plane. I landed in a large garden somewhere between Kempen and Crefeld [Germany]. About a quarter of a mile away I saw our aircraft burning, and I think it was completely wrecked.

I took off my parachute and mae west and hid them in a wood. I then opened my aids box, transferred the contents to my pocket, and buried the box. I started walking in a North Westerly direction. About 0100 hrs (15 Feb) I came to a canal. I followed this until I came to a bridge, which I crossed. I then realised that the canal made a circuit, and was about to turn back on my tracks, when I saw a torch flash and a voice in English called out "Are you English? We are friends". I approached the voice, and found a young Dutch boy who had been sent to work on a farm in Germany. He had with him a companion of about the same age. They told me that our engineer, Sgt. King, was in a house nearby. This boy took me to his room at the farm where he worked, which was owned by some Germans. I produced the maps which I had taken from my aids box and he showed me my approximate position. He told me that he had a brother living on the other side of the frontier in a village which I believe to be Velden. He said he could not take me there, but would tell me how to reach the village. However, after I had given him my Irvine coat and 200 of the Dutch guilders which I found in my purse, he said he would take me there himself. We crossed the border at about 0300 hrs (15 Feb) almost due East of Velden. There was no control. He roused his brother and explained to him who I was. The boy seemed very scared and immediately went out to get other help. From this point my journey was arranged for me.' (M.I.9 Debrief refers). Flight Sergeant Sankey returned to England 24.7.1943.
Sold at auction 2006.
No Photo Available of Medal Group

Lot 747 : 1942 RAF Bomber Command Aircrew casualty medal group and document archive. Awarded to 1126073 Sergeant Henry Jones an Observer with 102 Squadron

1942 RAF Bomber Command Aircrew casualty medal group and document archive. Awarded to 1126073 Sergeant Henry Jones an Observer with 102 Squadron who was killed on air operations on the 7th December 1942. Comprising: 1939/45 Star, Air Crew Europe Star, War Medal. The group is accompanied by an extensive selection of original ephemera. Including: Condolence forwarding slip for the medals. ... Typed list of medals issued. ... Large Memorial scroll. ... Letters from 102 Squadron Flight Commander giving details of death. ... large number of photographs, some showing Jones in uniform with Observer's brevet. ... Large number of letters from Red Cross, Air Ministry etc. E400-450 Sergeant Henry Jones volunteered for service with the RAF and passed the aircrew selection board. Trained in South Africa he qualified as an Observer and was posted to 102 Squadron flying Halifax Bombers with 4 Group Bomber Command station at RAF Pocklington in Yorkshire. On the night of the 7th December 1942 he was briefed for ops to Mannheim. His aircraft took off at 17.08 hrs was not heard from again. It was presumed that the aircraft had come down over the sea, as the body of Sergeant Sannholm the Flight Engineer was washed up on the Denmark coast. Sergeant Jones is remembered on the Runnymeade Memorial. Sold at auction 2006.
No Photo Available

Lot 1050 : [ MEDALS ] Three: Flight Sergeant G. S. Roadley, Royal Air Force, a veteran of the famous Peenemunde raid who was killed in action in August 1943,

[ MEDALS ] Three: Flight Sergeant G. S. Roadley, Royal Air Force, a veteran of the famous Peenemunde raid who was killed in action in August 1943, returning from a sortie to Berlin piloting a Halifax of No. 102 Squadron 1939-45 Star; Air Crew Europe Star; War Medal 1939- 45, together with original Air Council condolence slip in the name of 'Flight Sergeant G. S. Roadley', and official telegram from No. 102 Squadron reporting him missing in action, dated 24 August 1943, extremely fine (3) E180-220 George Stephen Roadley, a native of Loughborough, Leicestershire, commenced pilot training at No. 4 E.F.T S. at Brough in October 1941 and, having attended similar establishments in the U.S.A., joined No. 24 O.T.U. back in the U.K. before being posted to No. 102 (Ceylon) Squadron, a Halifax unit based at Pocklington, Yorkshire, in May 1943. Completing his first mission on the night of 23rd-24th, a strike on Essen, he and his crew also attacked targets in Essen and Wuppertal in the same month, while in July, after a month free of operations, they flew against targets in Aachen, Cologne, Essen, Gelsenkirchen and Hamburg thrice, these latter as part of the famous 'firestorm' raids, in addition to a trip to Mont Bielliard, during which latter sortie Roadley was compelled to land at Harwell ('Pilot hatch blew open'). Indeed on his very next operation - against Nuremburg on the night of 10-11 August - he was forced to land at Ford, his Halifax's starboard outer engine having been hit and set on fire. Roadley's penultimate sortie was the famous strike against the enemy rocket research establishment at Peenemunde on the night of 17-18 August 1943, when he piloted Halifax JD-176, but, as stated above, he was killed in action while returning from a raid on Berlin a few nights later. Nothing further was heard from pilot and crew after they took-off from Pocklington at 2026 hours, or not at least until Roadley's body was recovered from the North Sea - the remainder of his crew are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial; sold with a photocopy of his flying log book and other copied documentation, including further telegrams regarding his fate and funeral arrangements. Sold at auction 2006.
No Photo Available

Lot 1139 : [ Medals/Orders/Decorations ] Three: Flight Sergeant N. T. Starmer, Royal Air Force, an Air Gunner who completed a tour of operations in Halifaxes

[ Medals/Orders/Decorations ] Three: Flight Sergeant N. T. Starmer, Royal Air Force, an Air Gunner who completed a tour of operations in Halifaxes of No. 102 Squadron: he claimed a confirmed Me. 410 after a raid against Goch in February 1945 1939-45 Star; Air Crew Europe Star War Medal 1939-45, good very fine and better (3) E350-400 Starmer, who was from Kennington, enlisted in the Royal Air Force in July 1943. Having qualified as an Air Gunner in September of the same year, he gained experience in Wellingtons at No. 20 O.T.U. at Lossiemouth, and afterwards attended a conversion course for Halifaxes. Posted to No. 102 Squadron at Pocklington in September 1944, Starmer commenced his operational tour with a strike against Cleve on 7 October. Targets visited in the remainder of his 30-sortie tour included Bochum (twice) Cologne (twice), Duisburg (thrice), Essen (twice), Hamburg, Munich, Saarbrucken and Wilhelmshaven, but it was in a raid against Goch on the night of 7-8 February 1945, that he gained his confirmed victory: 'The Halifax was on its way home when a Me. 410 came up from behind. Before it could open fire, Flight Sergeant Starmer gave it a long burst and saw a red glow in the fuselage as the enemy fighter broke away. The Me. dived vertically and was seen to explode on the ground. "The enemy pilot must have been surprised because he never opened fire at all," said Flight Sergeant Starmer ...' (accompanying wartime newspaper cutting refers). Starmer completed his final sortie, against Wangerooge, in late April 1944 and was demobbed in August 1946. Sold with the recipient's original Flying Log Book, covering the period August 1943 to May 1945, together with three wartime photographs, one featuring his crew and the other two his Halifax's nose-art, "The Naughty Nineties". Sold at auction 2004.
No Photo Available

Lot 1027 : [ Militaria ] Casson, No. 250 Squadron, Royal Air Force whilst serving with No. pilot Officer John his brother, Sergeant W. H. Casson,

[ Medals - Pairs & Groups ] Group of 6 - A rare C.G.M. (Flying) to Flight Sergeant John Casson, 2250 (Sudan Squadron) who died of wounds receivied during his act of gallantry. Conspicuous Gallantry Medal ( Flying), Geo VI (778890 F/Sgt J. Casson, R.A.F), fixed suspender, naming engraved in the correct style for gallantry medals to the R.A. F; 1939/45 Star; Africa Star; Italy Star; Defence Medal; War Medal; 1939/45 nearly extremely fine. L.G. 23.6.1944 One morning in May 1944 this airman took part in an attack on mechanical transport on the Altari-Frosinone road. Despite intense opposing fire, F/Sgt Casson pressed home his attacks with great determination. Whilst making a second run over the target his aircraft was hit by a shell. F/Sgt. Casson was badly wounded in the thigh. Although faint through the loss of blood and shock, this valiant pilot flew his damaged aircraft to base. He was unable to operate one rudder bar owing to his exhausted condition. Nevertheless he effected a safe landing. As he was lifted from the controls F/Sgt Casson collapsed. This airman displayed courage, fortitude and devotion to duty of the highest order. Extract from "In Action with the Enemy" - Alan Cooper: Fighter-Bomber Pilot These were the only CGM's given for specific actions in the Middle East. It was to be another year before anyone of the Desert Air Force received another by which time it was operating in Italy. On 27th May 1944, Flight Sergeant John Casson, from Salisbury, Rhodesia, was 250 Sudan) Squadron and based at San Angelo, Italy, flying P40 fighter- bombers. On this day he was detailed for an armed reconnaissance mission along the Caprino-Arche-Frosinone road. Near Frosinone, twenty plus enemy motor transport vehicles were spotted and Red Section, led by Casson, in Kittyhawk FX761, went into the attack. He scored four hits on the road and claimed one motor vehicle destroyed when it blew up with flames shooting up to E300 feet. The section then attacked in pairs and obtained further hits. Blue Section also attached and scored further hits; it was believed the transports were carrying vital petrol. The flak was intense from several ground positions. Casson had made his two runs in the face of severe opposition. In his second attack his Kittyhawk was hit by a shell and he was seriously wounded in the thigh and his aircraft holed and a tyre punctured. Although bleeding profusely and almost passing out through pain and loss of blood, he flew his aircraft back to base, a distance of fifty miles. Unable to operate one rudder bar because of his wound and with a shredded tyre, he nevertheless made a good landing. Only when being lifted out of his cockpit did he finally pass out. He was recommended for the CGM the same day by his CO, Major J.R.R. Wells D.F.C., but sadly he succumbed to his wounds. John Casson was buried on 28th May in British Cemetery No 12. His action came at the height of the Battle for Rome and apart from Casson, the squadron got quite a mauling in this operation. Wingman to Casson, Sergeant Barrow, did not get home. Flight Lieutenant McBryde, an Australian, had to force land but luckily, inside Allied lines. Four other aircraft came back with holes shot through them. At the time of his death, Casson had flown ninety- eight sorties and had 496 flying hours in his log book. ALSO INCLUDED: Group of 4 to his Brother Sgt W.H. Casson 1939/45 Star; Aircrew Europe Star; Defence Medal and War Medal - All engraved in the correct style to the RAF 12 December 1942 Sgt W.H. Casson was a wireless operator/air gunner aboard Halifax II, W7915; DY - D on a mission to bomb Torino (Turin), Italy. T/O was at 1654 from Pocklington. They crashed at 0225 and burst into flames at Lowthwaite Farm, Hamby, 9 Miles NE of Sowerby, Yorkshire. Visibility was poor at the time and the Halifax flew into the side of a hill. Sgt.Casson was a Southern Rhodesian from Inyangai. Also included the two original medal slips from the Rhodesian Government. EF
Sold at Auction 2002.
No Photo available

Lot 220 : A Particularly Fine Second World War D.F.C., D.F.M. Group

Flight Lieutenant G.A. Witherick, No. 617 'Dambusters' Squadron, late Nos. 405 and 70 Squadrons, R.A.F., who, as a Rear Gunner, was reckoned 'unkillable', returning sooner or later from 106 Operations Seven: Distinguished Flying Cross, George VI, rev. officially dated 1945 (unnamed as issued), Distinguished Flying Medal, George VI (534756 F/Sgt.), 1939-45 Star, Air Crew Europe Star, with Atlantic bar, Africa Star, War Medal, Coronation Medal, 1937 (these unnamed as issued), mounted for wearing (7) good very fine and better D.F.C.: London Gazette: 20 February, 1945 (General Citation); Flying Officer, No. 617 Squadron; the following was taken from an official source: ''After completing a tour of operations in the Middle East, Flying Officer Witherick has been employed in Bomber Command and he has taken part in attacks against the most heavily defended targets in Germany including Cologne, Essen, Bremen, and Duisburg. In December, 1943, he volunteered for a third tour of operations in a Special Duties Squadron and since that date he has completed thirty-eight sorties. His Squadron has operated independently against small targets of great importance to the enemy's war effort and over the last few months has attacked many objectives in daylight such as Flying Bomb Sites and Submarine Pens. Many of these have been strongly defended and Flying Officer Witherick's aircraft has frequently been hit by shrapnel. He has recently taken part in operations against the German Battleship 'tirpitz', and the Kembs Barrage. For the attack against the Kembs Barrage this officer volunteered to fly as Front Gunner in one of a very small force which took part. Flying Officer Witherick has an unquenchable fighting spirit. His keenness and determination to operate over such a long period of time has set a high example to all air gunners serving with the Royal Air Force. This gallant officer has an outstanding war record.'' D.F.M.: London Gazette: 29 December, 1942 (General Citation); Flight Sergeant, No. 405 Squadron, R.C.A.F.; the following was taken from an official source: ''This N.C.O. has a long record of enthusiastic operational service. While with this Squadron he has been imbued with that cheerful forceful offensive spirit which sustains and strengthens morale. Vigilant and courageous, reliable and efficient he brings to his task that sound appreciation and quick decision which makes a gunner so often a 'lifesaver'. It is not possible to praise his work and ability too highly.'' Flight Lieutenant Gerald Augustine Witherick, D.F.C., D.F.M., was born in Ilford, Essex, in 1915, and joined the R.A.F. in 1936. When war broke out he volunteered as an air gunner, attracted by a higher wage, and flew on his first sortie on 31 July, 1940, on a Wellesley of No. 70 Squadron operating out of Erkowit, Sudan. He flew a total of 36 operations with the squadron, in the processing laying the foundations for his 'unkillable' reputation. In his first and third operations he was attacked by Italian fighters, and in his second and fourth his aircraft suffered mechanical trouble. On 28 May, 1941, now on Wellingtons, he was 100 miles from his target of Scarpento when his port engine failed. They only got back to Egypt after jettisoning the bombs and all loose material. He flew his final operation with the squadron on 30 September, 1941 (Benghazi). During April 1942 Witherick had a 'rest' period as an instructor before joining No. 405 Squadron, R.C.A.F., at Pocklington. His remarkable knack of always returning from operations was immediately put to the test. His first operation with his new unit was to Cologne on 30 May, 1942, when severe icing forced the Halifax back with two unserviceable engines - his pilot that day was Flight Sergeant Blizzard. A week later, on the way back from bombing Emden two engines cut out and he was forced to bale out over Bindbrooke, Lincolnshire. He proved his ability to survive once more on 7 August when his aircraft crash-landed on return from Duisburg and on 5 October, on a trip to Aachen his Halifax was coned by searchlights and holed by flak - a sortie described in his log-book as a 'shaky do'. His twenty-second, and final, operation with No. 405 Squadron was to Bordeaux on 8 November, 1942. Nearly a year later, towards the end of 1943, Witherick joined No. 617 Squadron during their search for new crews in the wake of the disastrous Dortmund-Ems canal raid of that September. According to Paul Brickhill's The Dam Busters ''Willsher [aged only nineteen and Witherick's pilot for most of his time at the squadron] had trouble finding a crew until a red-faced, broken-nosed, tough-looking Londoner called Gerry Witherick insisted on being his rear gunner. Witherick was unkillable. He had flown nearly a hundred missions and was a hard case with a soft heart and a riotous wit.'' Witherick's first operation with No. 617 Squadron was to a special target on 22 December 1943 and over the course of the next sixteen months he flew on virtually all their major operations: Gnome-Rhone aero-engine factory, Limoges, 8 February, 1944: when Cheshire and Martin used the latter's dive-bombing technique for marking the target with devastating success. La Ricamerie needle-bearing factory, St. Etienne, 10 March, 1944: when all that remained of the 40 by 70 yard target, surrounded by civilian dwellings in a narrow valley, was the outer wall, with no damage outside it. Woippy aero-engine factory, near Metz, 15 March, 1944: when snow and ice had to be cleared from the runways and aircraft, only for the op. to be called off because of cloud cover over the target - ''It was so cold in the rear turrets that the oxygen mask studs on Gerry Withericks helmet had stuck to his face. He did not know it till he dragged his helmet off and a couple of square inches of skin came away with the studs.'' (The Dam Busters, Brickhill). Michelin rubber factory, Clermont Ferrand, 16 March, 1944: when, of the four buildings in the complex, the three workshops received direct hits from the squadrons 12000lb 'blockbusters', leaving the canteen building untouched. Special operation, English Channel, 6 June, 1944: when 'window' dropped from the squadron's aircraft in waves with great precision convinced German radar operators that the D-Day landings were taking place at Cap d'Antifer. Saumur railway tunnel, 8 June, 1944: the first operation with the 6-ton 'tallboy' earthquake bombs, which blocked the railway and stopped a Panzer Division advancing to Normandy. In June, July, and August Witherick flew on most of the operations against V-rocket sites and U-boat pens, and flew his last sortie with Willsher on 14 August. Two days later he had one trip to La Pallice as Wing Commander Tait's rear gunner and then teamed up with Flying Officer Carey. The latter's plane was hit badly by flak on the way to Russia on 11 September for the first raid on the Tirpitz, at Alten Fjord, but Witherick further enhanced his reputation by shooting up one of the guns. The following month, on the 29th, a second sortie against the Tirpitz was ordered. By now the battleship had been towed to Tromso Fjord, in range of Lossiemouth. Witherick's Lancaster was hit by flak on the first run on the target, putting out of action the starboard outer engine and holing the petrol tank. His 'tallboy' was finally dropped on the sixth run but as Carey headed home a second engine was hit, another petrol tank burst and the hydraulics were put out of action. They crash-landed in a bog near Porjus, Sweden, and, true to Witherick tradition, flew home over a week later. The Lancaster has since been 'rescued' and is currently on display in Sweden. Witherick returned to operations in February 1945 for operations against the Bielefeld Viaduct and the Dortmund-Ems canal. His final operation was against the Farge U-boat pens on 27 March, 1945. After the war he became a publican before retiring to Sussex. He died in 1988. At his funeral one of his old flight commanders said, ''among many courageous, skilful and dedicated airmen on 617 Squadron, he was one of the greatest''. The lot is sold with the following: (a) Original Flying Log Book, covering the period July 1940 to March 1945, including all his operations, O.C.'s signatures include Munro, Martin, McCarthy, Iveson, and Fauquier. (b) 'Caterpillar Club' badge, in gold, with 'ruby' eyes, rev. eng. sgt. g.a. witherick, pres. by irving co. (c) The Dam Busters, by Paul Brickhill, Evans, September 1955 reprint, extensively signed by approx. 55 squadron members etc. including Witherick, Shannon, Rice, Cheshire, Cochrane, Tait, Barnes Wallis, Iveson, and McCarthy. (d) A 25th Anniversary Dam Raids Reunion Dinner Menu, extensively signed by McCarthy, Tait, 'Bomber' Harris, Martin, Cochrane etc. (e) 617 Squadron blazer badge, together with 617 Squadron and Caterpillar Club ties. (f) D.F.C. case of issue, D.F.C. accompanying slip, Coronation Medal accompanying slip, and Service and Release Book. (g) First 617 Squadron Reunion Dinner Menu, 1951, signed by Townsend, Goodale, Tait, Cheshire, Cochrane, Barnes Wallis, etc. (h) Further documentation including The Dam Busters film Repeat World Premier programme, a postcard of the Tirpitz sent to Witherick from one of the ship's crew, and two further signed menus. (i) A quantity of photographs, including a portrait photograph of Witherick in uniform, wartime and reunion photographs. Sold at auction in the USA in 1999.