University of Oxford
3 files

Mentioned in dispatches

online resource
posted on 2024-06-05, 17:32 authored by Their Finest Hour Project Team

Chris wanted to talk about 3 of his relatives,

Firstly, his paternal grandfather Willie Dewhirst, who came from Undercliff and got shellshocked while training in Scarborough after being shelled from German boats. He therefore got invalided out before seeing active service. It was never talked about in the family probably because it was felt to be shameful.

The second person was his maternal grandfather, Eric Wright, who came from Idle and before the war worked for a wool company in Bradford called Fawcetts. The owner made all his employees join the territorial army and so when war was declared he was one of the first to be called up as a member of the Royal Artillery. Chris had brought in a group photo, the badge of the Royal Artillery and a letter saying Eric had been mentioned in despatches while he was in Antwerp (Chris thinks this might have been for rescuing people in a cinema which had been hit by a V2 rocket but would love to have further information). Before going to Antwerp he had been stationed in York as a sergeant major. Along with another sergeant major and two teams under them, they had been responsible for searchlights and shooting down enemy planes. He had also been involved in logistics for the D Day landings. After the end of the war he ended up in Hamelin.

The third person Chris talked about was his paternal grandmother's brother, Daniel Woodward, who served in the ROM division of the Royal Engineers in WW1, and was involved in running the light railways transporting munitions and troops to the front. He died on 12th or 13th November 1918 just after the Armistice, and is recorded on the war memorial in Retford, Nottinghamshire. Chris would love to find out more about him.


Item list and details

1. Group photo with Eric Wright 2. Badge of Royal Artillery 3. Letter mentioning Eric in dispatches

Person the story/items relate to

Eric Wright (maternal grandfather) Daniel Woodward (paternal grandmother's brother) Willie Dewhirst (paternal grandfather)

Person who shared the story/items

Chris Dewhirst

Relationship between the subject of the story and its contributor

They were grandfathers and great uncle.

Type of submission

Shared at Kirklands Community Centre, West Yorkshire on 4 November 2023. Organised by Menston Heritage Group/Menston Parish Council.

Record ID

119514 | KIR008