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Our WW2 Dead

Discussion in 'Dulwich Hamlet FC' started by Blitzwalker, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. Blitzwalker

    Blitzwalker Well-Known Member

    Hi Gavin

    Many thanks for doing this and I assume it is you that also passed this photo to Aircrew Remembered?

    With your permission, I'd like to use it in my write up that I'm doing about our war dead from WW2 - would that be OK?

    I'd managed to find his address from the 1939 Register and local information but wasn't aware that he was married. I will be visiting Merton Archives tomorrow to see if his parents made any sort of announcement at the time of his death which may throw some light on his playing career with the Hamlet and will also visit Morden Cemetery to try and get a photo of his grave.

    Thanks again - Steve
     
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  2. GavinH

    GavinH New Member

    Hi Steve,
    Feel free to make use the photograph. I'm glad that it wll now be shared. I did also send it to the Aircrew Remebered site yesterday, and was surprised that they added it to the page so quickly. It appears that Eric was born in Camberwell Registration District, which would help explain his connection with Dulwich Hamlet FC. I'll speak to my Father to see if he knows anything more about him that may be of use.
    Gavin
     
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  3. GavinH

    GavinH New Member

    Steve,
    I have just spoken to my Father on the phone. I was wrong about Eric Pierce being married. The 'Mrs Pierce' who lived next door to my Grandparents for years was his mother, not his wife. I had misremembered that bit. I asked him if he knew anything about Eric being a footballer, and he said straight away that he had played for Dulwich Hamlet. I asked if he was a youth player, but he wasn't sure, saying he always assumed he had played for the main team.
    I can provide you his phone number if you think it might be useful.
    Regards
    Gavin
     
  4. Dulwich Mishi

    Dulwich Mishi Old Skool Terrace Dinosaur-embracing the new-veau!

  5. GavinH

    GavinH New Member

    Yes, see post above. My father, without any prompting, offered the information that Eric played football for Dulwich Hamlet. Although very young when Eric died, he knew his mother and she apparently spoke about it.
    Regards
    Gavin
     
  6. Dulwich Mishi

    Dulwich Mishi Old Skool Terrace Dinosaur-embracing the new-veau!

    Sorry, dunno how I missed that...thank you.
     
  7. GavinH

    GavinH New Member

    Not problem! His mother was obviously proud of the fact, so hopefully it will be mentioned in an obituary if one is found
     
  8. Blitzwalker

    Blitzwalker Well-Known Member

    Kelvin at Aircrew Remembered is incredibly efficient and passionate about his subject so I'm not altogether surprised he acted so quickly.

    I'd picked up Eric's Camberwell birthplace from my researches which as you say, makes the Hamlet connection totally logical.

    To edit this original post, Walter Pierce was an Iron & Metal Warehouseman in 1939 and lived at 150 Aragon Road, with his wife Florence, daughter Vera (a shorthand typist) and of course Eric, whose record in the 1939 is still officially closed. I will have to correct this - it's a common error on the 1939 register in that they think he is still alive as his death occurred whilst on HM Service, rather than a 'normal' death and his records haven't been transferred across to the civilian system. Gavin H's input has been invaluable here, apart from the photograph, he's provided a load of really useful background information.

    Thanks for clarifying the marriage situation as I hadn't seen anything to suggest that he was married. As you say, hopefully his parents might have mentioned about his Hamlet connections in any obituary or announcement in the local press.

    Anything more that your Dad can recollect will be most welcome.

    Thanks again for your help in identifying Eric. I am certain this is our man as the address and everything else so far matches what I've found.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2017 at 9:12 AM
  9. PartisanDulwich

    PartisanDulwich Well-Known Member

    This is one of the most constructive internet exchanges I have been involved in - such a joy to join up the dots - and everyone doing what they can (especially the latest info from Gavin - thank you so much for taking the time to post)

    pleased to hear Blitz walker is writing this up (and the other playesr on the WW2 Roll of honour)

    Looking forward to the full story
     
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  10. DonkeyAssessor

    DonkeyAssessor Well-Known Member

    Thanks for your Father's and your own comments Gavin. Just for re-clarification, I based my own previous comments (regarding his playing career) on having checked the 1937/38 & 1939/40 handbooks, in which I found no mention whatsoever of Eric playing for the first, reserve or youth teams in the preceeding documented seasons. But I have had no access to the 1936/37 or 1938/39 handbooks, and therefore ask anyone who has a copy, to see if there is any mention of Eric within

    I still intend to look through the South London Press archives (as originally promised) , at the earliest opportunity - unless anyone else feels that avenue has already been fully explored.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
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  11. DonkeyAssessor

    DonkeyAssessor Well-Known Member

    Death certificate for Eric attached.
     

    Attached Files:

  12. GavinH

    GavinH New Member

    Thanks very much for posting the certificate. I had been meaning to apply for it myself for years, but had never gotten around to it. I suspect that the service records applied for by Steve will include a copy of Eric Pierce's application for a commission in the RAF. If so, there should be details of his education and sporting achievements included.
    Gavin
     
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  13. Dulwich Mishi

    Dulwich Mishi Old Skool Terrace Dinosaur-embracing the new-veau!

    I'm getting there, I'm getting there... ;) Plan to look again on Tuesday for April to October 1942.
     
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  14. Blitzwalker

    Blitzwalker Well-Known Member

    We'll have to see what information is contained within the service record. Do you know for sure that he was applying for a commission? It was possible that he would have become a Sergeant Pilot upon qualifying from his EFTS. Hopefully it will give insight into his other activities away from flying but don't forget, we're talking wartime with a huge expansion in the size of the service, so given my experience of other people's service records, it could be very basic with no niceties of peacetime. We'll see in about 6 weeks time.
     
  15. Blitzwalker

    Blitzwalker Well-Known Member

    Mish, sorry it's 12 October 1941 he died -I was going from memory on Saturday and getting mixed up with the other three who were all 1942.
     
  16. Dulwich Mishi

    Dulwich Mishi Old Skool Terrace Dinosaur-embracing the new-veau!

    Ah, well that explains why there's no mentins in 1942... ;)
     
  17. GavinH

    GavinH New Member

    Ah. Good point. I had it in my mind that a trainee pilot would be commissioned on the successful completion of his training. I hadn't considered flight sergeants.
     
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  18. GavinH

    GavinH New Member

    I made my Dad aware of this thread and he has sent me this message regarding Eric Pierce:

    "His mums name was Florrie, dad Walter. Sister Vera married Bob Josh. They had a son Stephen. I did not know he had died until I was possibly seven when the lad next door [At 146] told me. I was told he played for Dulwich Hamlet football. This stuck with me as Dulwich Hamlet were as well known as Wimbledon Tooting & Mitcham etc as a top amatuer team. I think I was told he had been killed when I said he should be home soon. His mum gave me Eric's cigarette card collection [ worth a few bob now] I find it interesting to hear people are still making certain he is not forgotten.
    Nigel Heaton"

    Gavin
     
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  19. Blitzwalker

    Blitzwalker Well-Known Member

    He would automatically be commissioned today as all pilots are officers but in those days the Sgt Pilots scheme had been introduced in an attempt to widen recruitment from differing social strata as it was recognised that not everyone could afford to become an officer but that there were many capable and intelligent young men educated at grammar schools (for example) who would make excellent air crew.
     
  20. Blitzwalker

    Blitzwalker Well-Known Member

    Thanks, I had obtained Eric's parental information during my research but the other information provided by your Dad is priceless and really helps to give background to Eric's life. I think all of us involved in this thread feel a sort of duty to make sure that Eric's memory as well as the other three lads is kept fresh and that they will never be forgotten by the Hamlet fans.
     
  21. Al Crane

    Al Crane Well-Known Member

    Can't see any mention of Eric in the missing handbooks you mention.
     
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  22. DonkeyAssessor

    DonkeyAssessor Well-Known Member

    Thanks for checking that out Al, lest I had jumped to another incorrect conclusion (as on the armistice thread)
     
  23. PartisanDulwich

    PartisanDulwich Well-Known Member

    Eric not showing up in the team handbook is really baffling ????

    maybe he only played a few games when war was declared circa 1939 ?

    Could he have been involved with the club in another capacity, junior groundsman, kit man or some junior position ?

    Why would his neighbours think he played football for Dulwich hamlet ?

    I am sure from the geography and details we have the right Eric Pierce (the other Pierce does not hit any details)

    and at the end of the day he is on the Roll of Honour (and as far as I am aware all the others on the Roll are football players ???)

    We will get to the bottom of this
     
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  24. Blitzwalker

    Blitzwalker Well-Known Member

    Off to Merton Archives shortly and hopefully to Morden Cemetery too, so will report back later as to how I got on.

    As PartisanDulwich says above, we have definitely got the right man - birthplace, home address, photo all corroborated by Gavin H (who supplied the photo), so we will surely get to the bottom of this. I think Eric wants us to know as well.
     
  25. Blitzwalker

    Blitzwalker Well-Known Member

    Frustrating day at Merton Archives. Nothing so far in any of the local papers but haven't finished yet-a second visit will be needed. Checked the Electoral Registers whilst I was there and can confirm Eric's Mum & Dad at the 150 Aragon Road address in 1939 but by the 1945 Election, they have gone from that address and someone else has appeared there. I did visit Eric's grave and have attached the photo as promised. The inscription at the bottom of the gravestone reads "TO LIVE IN THE HEARTS OF THOSE WE LOVE IS NOT TO DIE."
     

    Attached Files:

  26. GavinH

    GavinH New Member

    That's for posting the photo. Hopefully something more will turn up. My Dad says his parents were still at the address well after 1945. His father, Walter Pierce, died there in the late 1950s, and his mother later still. I have looked his father up on the Ancestry Website, and found details of his probate. Walter Herbert Pierce died at 150 Aragon Road, Morden, on 5th Oct 1958. I suspect the new people shown on the electoral register are their daughter and her husband (Vera and Leslie [Bob] Josh) who lived with them after marrying in 1944.
     
  27. Blitzwalker

    Blitzwalker Well-Known Member

    No it wasn't Vera Josh, as I deliberately checked her name. It was a random single female name, neither Pierce or Josh. I will double check again next week but maybe they didn't bother to register in 1945?
     
  28. DonkeyAssessor

    DonkeyAssessor Well-Known Member

    Yes indeed, but records for the 1939/40 & 40/41 seasons are obviously sparse.

    I have already asked people I know who have programmes etc from that era to check for Eric's inclusion, but nothing has come to light (as yet)

    Bearing in mind the number of established players who enlisted in the forces, it is not surprising others needed to be called upon, and it would be a prudent guess to suggest Eric may well have been one such addition. Whether it is or was in a game reported, is another matter. But we can but try and find out.
     
  29. DonkeyAssessor

    DonkeyAssessor Well-Known Member

    Keep your chin up. A most appropriate inscription.
     
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  30. DonkeyAssessor

    DonkeyAssessor Well-Known Member

    Does anybody know if players had to be registered with London or Surrey FAs to play in the South Eastern Combination in 1939/40 & 1940/41 seasons? But I guess anybody on leave could just turn up and play in friendlies.
     

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