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Catisfield Memorial Hall

- The WW2 Dedication

The tablet inside the Hall records that: " This Hall perpetuates the memory of those men and women from Catisfield and District who lost their lives during the period of the Second World War. Geoffrey D Berney, Diana S Biddlecombe, William C Bushell, John W Butt, John P Couzens, Edward Dominey, Moses W Evans, William H Flood, Frederick A Gates, Christina E Gordon, Harold Hargreaves, Frank McLeod, Robert S Milliner, Graham E Mortimer, Edmund C Neville, John W Spanner ,Dennis Streten, Alfred C Stone, John C Young. "

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It would be nice to learn much more about all these valued people - their lives, their connections to Catisfield, their service.
There may be relatives of some of the above still living - perhaps they have knowledge or family tree information that could help us learn more?


This is a  Summary of what has been learned - so far -  about each of the people named on the tablet.        

     Latest update 3/9/2018.                                                                                                                                Doug Glading

Be aware there may be errors…  --   ALL  further  information or leads appreciated.

[data in square brackets is the service number]

Geoffrey D Berney                             

Supply  Assistant Geoffrey David Berney  RNVR [ P/DX 86(V)] served on the Battleship HMS Barham . It was part of the Mediterranean Fleet from Alexandria when it was sunk by 3 torpedoes from German U-331. It turned over and exploded with 861 men lost and 450 survivors. He died age 20 with no known grave. Commemorated on Portsmouth Naval Memorial.  


Catisfield connection:  Son of Maurice Ruphert  Berney and Lily Berney, of  Heathfield Farm . Spouse Tasha.


Diana S Biddlecombe     

Wren Driver Diana Sydney Biddlecombe  [ 476] Joined the Wrens in 1940 and was a driver at  HMS Daedalus Died 21/10/1944 from  illness .She is buried at  Niton, Isle of Wight


Catisfield connection: She was the daughter of Col. and Mrs. Glendower Ottley, who for many years resided in Catisfield  and  niece of Mrs C M Rynney of Catisfield. In 1942 she married Pilot Officer Eric Holman Biddlecombe, RAFVR , elder son of the Rev. S. H. Biddlecombe (Rector of Whippingham, Isle of Wight) and Mrs. Biddlecombe at Holy Trinity. The  service was conducted by the bridegroom s brother, the Rev. P. H. Biddlecombe (Curate at Holy Trinity), and the reception was  at Fairgreen, Catisfield.   Query – lived at New Clements Catisfield


William C Bushell        

Commander William Charles Bushell  died  9 November 1940 from  illness age 40. Buried Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery.   In May 1940 he commanded the Destroyer  HMS Wyvern (also spelled HMS Wivern) , or ‘Tiddly Wiv’ as she was affectionately known by her crew, was involved in Operation Ordnance and assisted in the evacuation of British and Dutch troops from the Hook of Holland. Wivern  sustained damage when she came under attack from German bombers and a 500lb bomb hit the destroyer killing 29.

 So Wivern could not take part in the later  Dunkirk evacuation. However  Lt-Cdr Alers Hankey had to hand over his command of Destroyer  HMS Vanquisher due to illness  to  Lt-Cdr   Bushell and Lt-Cdr   Bushell made several rescue trips on Vanquisher and Tynwald.   He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross in August 1940.


Catisfield connection: Bushells  lived at Aveley Titchfield-road Catisfield near Fareham    ??



John W Butt           

Flying Officer John Weldon  Butt , Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve,  crashed a Spitfire whilest training in 1941. Reports say he never really recovered from this  and  died near Taunton on 18/9/1942 age just  19. Sadly this  was on the morning of his wedding.   He is buried in Fareham Cemetery.


Catisfield connection: Butts lived on the Avenue ?    Father Lt. Colonel A C Butt was involved with St Columba and was  one of the original fundraisers for the first Memorial Hall.



John P Couzens       

Lieutenant John Philip Couzens,  Royal Artillery 3 Lt A Regiment  .[90419] died 05/03/1943     age 22 at Ballale Island, Malaya. .   He died with 517 other gunners, the remains of those found are laid to rest  12 miles north of Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. 


Catisfield connection:   ?? members of the  Couzens family lived at 8 & 10 Fairthorne Cottages in the 1930’s



Edward Dominey         

Lance Bombardier Edward Lionel Dominey,  Royal Artillery  Anti-Tank Regiment [5498904] died in France  22/5/1940 age 20.

Buried Outreau Cemetary , Departement du Pas-de-Calais, France


Catisfield connection:   Domineys lived in Highlands Road.



Moses W Evans        


Warrant Mechanician Moses William Evans, RN, . HMS. "Neptune".. Died 19/12/1941.  Aged 38. No known grave. Commemorated on Plymouth Naval Memorial Panel 45/1

On the afternoon of December 18th the cruiser HMS Nelson’s  squadron was despatched from Malta to intercept an important enemy convoy bound for Tripoli. On the night of 19 December 1941, there occurred one of the most extensive but least known naval disasters of the Second World War. HMS Neptune ran into an uncharted minefield in the Mediterranean off Tripoli, and sank with the loss of 764 officers and men. Just one man was rescued by an Italian torpedo boat, after 5 days in the water.


Catisfield connection:  Husband of Lillian Violet. Evans of Littleholme, Highlands Road ( now 203 - in those days houses just had names). Moses’ daughter Mary still lives in the Blackbrook Road area.


William H Flood              

Leading Aircraftsman William Henry Flood. Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.[1268926] . Died 8/1/1943.  Aged 30. Buried in FAREHAM CEMETERY, Hampshire. A-A-3799


Catisfield connection:  Son of John Rawle and Emily Lillian Flood Husband of Elsie Maud Flood of Fareham.  Had 2 sons – one became vicar in Romsey, the other (Bill) may still live in Highlands Road?


Frederick A Gates       

Warrant Officer Class I Frederick Augustus  Gates, Royal Artillery [1056171] died 15/11/1941 age 27. Buried Pembroke Military Cemetery Malta 2


Catisfield connection:  Son of Edward Augustus  and Maud Gates


Christina E Gordon

Mystery. Several possibilities:

Maybe           Christina E Gordon        B  7 Mar 1900,D  24 Apr 1941

Or        Christina Emsie Gordon,  spouse Robin Dill Gordon,  Death  Quetta, Balochistan, Pakistan 01/11/1942

Or       Christina Gordon,  died Quetta, India  1943 age 24   (Army Death Indices)


 Catisfield connection:  ???

Harold Hargreaves                

Temporary Acting Gunner (T) Harold  Hargreaves was mentioned in despatches (posthumous) for gallantry, determination and devotion to duty in HMS Cambeltown in the raid on St Nazaire. He died aged 38 on  28/3/1942, buried  Le Clion-Sur-Mer Communal Cemetery.


Catisfield connection:


Frank McLeod          

Lieutenant (E) Frank McLeod  Royal Navy, H.M.S. Electra, killed in action  27/2/1942 age 42.  HMS Electra was a Destroyer that was sunk in the Battle of the Java Sea, 122 of the 173 men on board died.  Buried Chatham.

Catisfield connection: Son of Frank and Ellen McLeod, husband of Sheila Jane McLeod, of Fareham, Hampshire


Robert S Milliner                   

Petty Officer Robert Savitri Millener  , RN   born 29/06/1918 died 03/08/1944. [P/JX 142252].  Memorial: Portsmouth Naval Memorial.   In June 44 HMS Quorn was an escort for convoys of personnel during Operation Neptune, the naval support of Operation Overlord, the Normandy Landings. On 3 August she was hit and sunk by a German explosive motorboat or manned torpedo off Le Havre. 130 of ship’s company including 4 officers lost their lives.

Catisfield connection:  Son of George Henry and Emma Millener; husband of Gladys Rose Millener, of Highlands Road. Had son David.

Graham E Mortimer             

Lieutenant Edward Graham Mortimer RN,  HMS Heron (ie Yeovilton),  died 22/7/1946 age 39. On the Lee-On-Solent Memorial.    Age 39.   ? flew Seafire ??


Catisfield connection:  Son of Samuel Reginald Mortimer (who donated the Hall land) and Annie,   husband of Leslie Irene M   of Hook.


Edmund C Neville                 

Private Edmund Charles Neville, Infantry, [5829992]   died 15/2/1942 age 26.  Buried Kranji War Cemetery, Singapore


Catisfield connection: Son of John Neville, and of Millie Neville. Born in Co. Cork. His brother John Edward also fell

. ? Edmund Neville's widow lived in Rugby Cottages and had a son?


John W Spanner             

Able Seaman John Woodman Spanner, Royal Navy. H.M.S. "Faulknor" [P/JX129498]. Died 28/11/1939. Aged 28.  HMS "Faulknor" wa a destroyer .   He is remembered on Portsmouth Naval Memorial.


Catisfield connection:, Son of John Woodman and Olive May Spanner.  Husband of Gladys Rose Spanner of Fareham..


Dennis Streten 

WWII Civilian Deaths, 1939-1945:   Alfred Dennis Streten died  in an Air-raid on Cosham  5/12/1940  age 31.  


Catisfield connection: Son of  Alfred Mark (former Chairman Fareham RDC)  and Mary Streten and  wife of: M F Streten.   {Hants Telegraph 5/5/1944:  “Mr. Alfred Mark Streten, aged 67, of Catisfleld House, , died on Sunday after a long illness. He had been in failing health since his elder son. Mr. Dennis Streten, was killed in a Portsmouth air-raid in 1940}.

Alfred C Stone   

Captain Charles Edward Stone Royal Artillery Airlanding Light Regiment died of wounds  30/6/1944 age 25. Buried: Ranville War Cemetery, France.  


Catisfield connection: Son of Engineer Captain Charles Edward (RN) and Charlotte Stone.  Resided at “Ligoniel”, Highlands Road, Fareham,    


John C Young.  

Clement (John) Young    Merchant Navy.  Died 8/5/1941 age 34. . He was Master of the  tug Irishman which was towing a crane barge in Langstone harbour. It suddenly struck a parachute  mine and both vessels 'disappeared in a huge waterspout'. Both vessels were lost with all hands. Commemorated on the Merchant Navy Memorial at Tower Hill in London


Catisfield connection: Husband of Doris Minnie Young, of Fareham. They had 2 daughters, one of whom is still alive in hospital in Gosport.



See : Memorial Hall History - for original page on the history of the Catisfield Memorial Hall.
other links:
Catisfield - Information about Catisfield.
Main Page - Index page for this set.

This Page originally 'on the web' August 2018
Most recent revision: 5 Sep 2018       © Doug Glading ... © 1996-2018
Comments, queries and messages to:
 ...his mark