Mine Clearance in Alderney 1945...

Discussion in 'Sappers' started by Gundulph, Jun 11, 2007.

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  1. Thanks to Very_Old_Git who tends the Grave Site of a Spr George Onions, killed whilst clearing land mines on the Island of Alderney in June, 1945. To all Sappers out there who wouldn't mind paying their respects , in particular, those who have been involved in BD and Mine Clearance (former and serving) there is a current programme set up by P*** M*****m at the 33 msn Website which is attempting to locate and to tidy up and look after every grave site of fallen BD Sappers...

    Follow the Link

    Thanks in advance for anyone who will consider helping out.


    P.S. For anyone interested, an excellent book on clearing the mines in the Channel Islands with the help of the Germans who laid them and with British Sappers helping them clear the mines I would suggest reading - Achtung Minen - by Henry Beckingham - It shows illustrated drawings of the minefield records etc. from back then and even with the records proves clearing them was still an extremely dangerous task and several lost their lives doing so.
  2. Interesting post Gundulph,

    Question, Is Spr Onions buried in Alderney?

    Just curious as I'm from Alderney... :D
  3. Yes V_O_G tends lays a wreath every year, I'm very glad he pm'd me about this as I can't find his details in our lists.

  4. Spr George Onions is in fact listed in the book - 'Bomb Disposal and the British casualties of WW2' by Chris Ransted - which I've just checked so I'll let P*** know about this as he isn't listed in the 33 msn site.

    The book has also been recently updated with RN and RAF BD Casualties.

    You might be able to find it in an online search as I was sent a copy by the author a while back. PM me if you want to contact Chris.
  5. I'm hoping to get back to Alderney, to visit my folks later on this year.
    And i will endeaver to pay my respects to this fallen soldier.

    Is Spr Onions buried at the St.Annes cemetery?
    If so can you PM me the details and i will pay my respects on my visit.

    I too have family buried at St,Annes Cemetery, My Grandfather who served
    during the second World War is buried there.

    Many Thanks


    PS..Just as a note, Another good book to read is Alderney Fortress Island,
    The author is T.X.H. "Bunny" Pantcheff.
  6. Thanks D_W_T_D you need to PM Very_Old_Git for details as to location etc. the book just says he was with 259 FD COY and is buried in Alderney.
  7. Many thanks..Will Pm him to get the info... :D
  8. Sapper George Onions has a memorial plaque in the Memorial Garden (opposite the Georgian House Hotel), Victoria Street Alderney.
    His grave (Sadly in need of more attention than I can now give) is in St. Annes churchyard, on the west side of the path to/from QE II street.

    The grave has had concrete kerbing to its edges, and as a result of settlement is now cracked and has sunk at the sides. A small amount of engineering work is now needed.

  9. Just wandering about the upkeep Etc.

    Is there a British Legion on the Island?
    And if so, can they not help in the maintenance etc.

    Also is Colonel Walters still actively involved with the Army Cadets?
    I believe he is on the Alderney Council.

    Again maybe they could get drafted in to help clear away any scrub and give
    the grave a bit of an uplift!
  10. Heard the other day that he's now got a 36yo wife. Go go go boy !!
  11. He He,
    It doesn't surprise me, always seems a shifty old bugger. :wink:

    I seem to remember he use to be part of the "Them" Bde from Hereford.
    I might be wrong though, but i do recall he has a somewhat interesting
    past.. :wink:

  12. Very interesting. It includes a near-death experience with a demented trooper while with my gang.
  13. A bit of a tangent but...................
    Very recently, the death was announced of Surgeon Commander Ronald Srewart Mcdonald [yes that was his real name].

    Surgeon commander McDonald was the first allied officer to set foot on the island of Jersey when the only part of the British Isles to be occupied during WWII, was finally liberated in 1945.

    RIP, sir.
  14. The problem is it needs more than a bit of uplift.
    Generaly the grave is quite tidy, but some serious concrete work is now needed.
    Col Walters is now takeing a well earned rest from public life (he was an active member of the States of Alderney for many years). His charming wife (Annie) told him to cut down on his public activities 'or else!'.
    Or else what I'm not quite certain but ..........
  15. That's our Col Walters that we all know and ?????????? welllll we all know.