WW2's oldest private?

So today after work I've been looking for both my grandad(WW2 Gnr) and his dad who are both buried in Sandymount cemetery in the east end of Glasgow with no headstone and in the same section of the cemetery I find this guy,

Wondering what the story is with him given his age even as TA surely too old?

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Chef

LE
Fifty four, kept on in stores to give him something to do? Long term hospital then died?

Is that a CWGC headstone? Do they sometimes use local material?

If not maybe a proud relative had his service mentioned on a lookalike headstone. I guess the family would know, maybe an article in the local rag.
 

bestri10

Old-Salt
So today after work I've been looking for both my grandad(WW2 Gnr) and his dad who are both buried in Sandymount cemetery in the east end of Glasgow with no headstone and in the same section of the cemetery I find this guy,

Wondering what the story is with him given his age even as TA surely too old?

View attachment 582639
Could they have given him a CWGC headstone when he died but for service in WW1?
 
So today after work I've been looking for both my grandad(WW2 Gnr) and his dad who are both buried in Sandymount cemetery in the east end of Glasgow with no headstone and in the same section of the cemetery I find this guy,

Wondering what the story is with him given his age even as TA surely too old?

View attachment 582639
Possibly wounded in 1940 and died one month within the eligibilty period. Still seems a little old though.
 
Fifty four, kept on in stores to give him something to do? Long term hospital then died?

Is that a CWGC headstone? Do they sometimes use local material?

If not maybe a proud relative had his service mentioned on a lookalike headstone. I guess the family would know, maybe an article in the local rag.

He is listed on the CWGC register.

Could they have given him a CWGC headstone when he died but for service in WW1?

I'm sure someone here will be able to tell whether he has a WWI service number.
 
Noteworthy, but not that unusual for regiments or depots to have elderly soldiers, often doing the same job like batman or groom that they had done for many years. For these guys, the regiment had become family and they had become 'characters' within the regiment, sometimes refusing or being unsuitable for promotion yet filling a useful role.
It's quite possible that he had simply died of natural causes while serving in UK and had a connection with his place of burial and, as mentioned in an earlier posting, fallen within the time criteria for a WW2 CWGC headstone.
 
An even older private in he same cemetery wondering if he's home guard? Right age for WW1 service
 

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bestri10

Old-Salt
Cheers for that, very interesting. Can't be too many Scots with the MoH?
I think theres a medal of honour winner buried in Brighton and one in the cambridge american war cemetery. In my local cemetery there is a bloke who fought in the Spanish American war and another who fought in the US civil war.
 
Cheers for that, very interesting. Can't be too many Scots with the MoH?
There are lots of MoH winners who were Scottish born, the majority of whom won the medal during the Civil War.
More recently, Ssgt Archibald Matthies, born Stonehouse, South Lanark, was awarded the medal for an action on 20th February 1944. He was Flight Engineer/Top Turret Gunner of B-17 Ten Horsepower of the 351st Heavy Bombardment Group out of Polebrook on his second combat mission. Over Leipzig fighter attack killed the co- pilot Ronald Bartley and severely wounded the pilot, 2/Lt Clarence Nelson. Matthies, and the navigator 2/Lt Walter Truemper managed to take control of the plane and returned to Polebrook. The Group CO took to the air to observe Ten Horsepower and ordered the crew by radio to bail out. Six crew members did so successfully, but Matthies and Truemper refused to leave Nelson who was too badly wounded to be moved. They crashed on their third landing attempt, killing Mathies, Truemper (also awarded MoH) and Nelson.

Edit. Joe Martin, the bombardier bailed out over Leipzig in the aftermath of the fighter attack.
Make of that what you will.

So only five men parachuted at Polebrook.
 
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Serpico

War Hero
There are lots of MoH winners who were Scottish born, the majority of whom won the medal during the Civil War.
More recently, Ssgt Archibald Matthies, born Stonehouse, South Lanark, was awarded the medal for an action on 20th February 1944. He was Flight Engineer/Top Turret Gunner of B-17 Ten Horsepower of the 351st Heavy Bombardment Group out of Polebrook on his second combat mission. Over Leipzig fighter attack killed the co- pilot Ronald Bartley and severely wounded the pilot, 2/Lt Clarence Nelson. Matthies, and the navigator 2/Lt Walter Truemper managed to take control of the plane and returned to Polebrook. The Group CO took to the air to observe Ten Horsepower and ordered the crew by radio to bail out. Six crew members did so successfully, but Matthies and Truemper refused to leave Nelson who was too badly wounded to be moved. They crashed on their third landing attempt, killing Mathies, Truemper (also awarded MoH) and Nelson.

Cheers pal, @bestri10 too, very interesting. A Jock in a B-17, ngl I've got a semi at the thought

Brave laddies. Lest we forget
 
Cheers pal, @bestri10 too, very interesting. A Jock in a B-17, ngl I've got a semi at the thought

Brave laddies. Lest we forget
Indeed.

This first photo was taken of Ten Horsepower over Polebrook, minutes before the fatal landing attempt, as the CO's plane following was trying to talk her down.
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Must be a unique image - two Medals of Honor in the process of being won.

This next shows the crew. A few days after this was taken four of the men would be dead.

1624109697120.png


Archie Mathies is back row left. Killed when the plane crashed.

Clarence Nelson is front row left. Severely wounded over Leipzig, killed in the crash at Polebrook.
Ronald Martley is second left. Killed on board in the fighter attack.
Third from left is Walter Truemper, killed in the crash.
Front row right is Joe Martin, Bombardier. After the fighter attack he jumped over Leipzig and became PoW.
As a matter of interest, the 351st was the Group with which Clark Gable flew most of his missions.
 
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I think theres a medal of honour winner buried in Brighton and one in the cambridge american war cemetery. In my local cemetery there is a bloke who fought in the Spanish American war and another who fought in the US civil war.
I think that there is only one MoH commemoration (not a burial) at Madingley, Lt Col Leon Vance who was awarded the medal for an action over France and in the Channel on the day before D Day.
He survived the action, but died when the C-54 taking him back to the States for further medical treatment and fitting of a prosthetic foot crashed in the Atlantic.
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I think theres a medal of honour winner buried in Brighton and one in the cambridge american war cemetery. In my local cemetery there is a bloke who fought in the Spanish American war and another who fought in the US civil war.

A man called Philip Baybutt from Manchester won the MoH during the Civil War, and is buried in Manchester Southern Cemetery. He was visiting his brother in Massachussetts and stayed to enlist in the Massachusetts Volunteer Cavalry.
Manchester was strongly anti-slavery, despite the hardships caused by interruption to the flow of raw cotton. The Mayor and other city worthies exchanged letters with Abe Lincoln on the occasion of the emancipation declaration, and US Grant spoke in warm terms when he visited the city after he had completed his own Presidential term. There is a statue of Lincoln in central Manc.
 
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So today after work I've been looking for both my grandad(WW2 Gnr) and his dad who are both buried in Sandymount cemetery in the east end of Glasgow with no headstone and in the same section of the cemetery I find this guy,

Wondering what the story is with him given his age even as TA surely too old?

View attachment 582639
I wonder if his NOK received an RSM widow's pension?

When I did Longlook in NZ almost 30 years ago, the RNZAF employed Aircraftsmen General Service Hand, ie Airmen (= Privates). They were retired SP brought back as Full Time territorials and were on rolling two week contracts and were the base runners, batmen, barrier/gate duties or retained in very specific technical roles (eg electroplating and planewrights if I recal correctly). Jock, my batman (a privilege unknown during my RAF career), had joined the RAF in about 1949, served in Korea and Suez, transferred to the RNZAF and retired as a Flt Sgt surface finisher (including a stint in Vietnam) and then rejoined as a Territorial GSH, retaining his pension. He died in Service shortly after I met him and apparently his family objected to his headstone listing him as an Aircraftsman, disguising a very interesting career. I can't recall what was sorted out, but I suspect there are hundreds of similar stories of the old and bold being buried with headstones failing to adequately describe their service.

ETA: He was from the Gorbels and was largely unintelligible to most people on NZ. His father was a WWI veteran - I can't recall which regiment, but I recall him saying the first time he had worn proper shoes was for his RAF interview, when he wore his dad's very worn brogues.
 
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