WAR SERVICE 1939-2000
Identified by the following designations – descendants
of Bartholomew Barcham of Great Yarmouth (BwB); Juler branch of
Second World War
(WmB) Cyril Barcham joined the Royal
Australian Air Force War. He, along with many Commonwealth airmen, was sent to
The war effort directly came to
…. In November 1940, No. 6 Service Flying
Training School, under the Commonwealth Air Training Plan, was opened in
[from History of
Cyril Barcham was on his way to
(Jock) Steele Lewes (1913–1941) DSO, a descendant of
Margaret and Bartholemew
Barcham’s grandson John Last, enlisted with the Welsh Guards in 1940 and was
sent to Egypt in 1941 where he became one of the founding members of the SAS.
He led secret patrols behind enemy lines. Jock was killed in action on
Jock Steele Lewes was
The SAS’s first operations were in the desert, where, fed and
equipped by the secret patrols of the Long Range Desert Group, they sometimes
remained behind enemy lines for two months at a time, operating against
airfields and lines of communication. On
[from the Foreword and Appendix to Joy Street, A Wartime Romance in Letters, edited by Michael T. Wise, published in 1995 by Little, Brown and Co (ISBN 0 31694767 9 ); a review of A History of the SAS, printed in the Guardian and other sources]
(JnB) Gerald Hugh Olley (1896–19??), son of
Minnie Ann (Springall) Ralph Hales Olley, enlisted on
July 10, 1915, and served in the Royal Army Medical Corps in Salonika [Thesalonika] for nearly three years, until he was discharged
on May 3, 1918 at Woking, for ‘no longer being
physically fit for War Service’ because his ‘health has suffered from action
service.’ Subsequently, after operation, the doctor said his recovery would be
better in a warm climate. His uncle, Edward Springall, offered him a job at Springall & Co’s,
store in Mafeking; then became a salesman at the
British Trading Association; finally he owned ‘Olley’s’,
a grocery store in Fort Victoria, Rhodesia. During WWII, Gerald was a lieutenant in the Rhodesian Internment
Camp Corps, guarding Italians who had been captured in
(JnB) Two of Elizabeth (Barcham) and Harry Edrich’s sons fought in WWII, one in the RAF, the other joined the army:
F/O William (Bill) Edrich (1916–1986) DFC, was a bomber pilot in the RAF. On
….. Bill Edrich
never forgot the incongruity of those summer days in 1941 when he was a bomber pilot
Like all bomber pilots, Edrich adopted an attitude of ‘devil-may-care’. It was the gods who decided who lived and who died. One Sunday morning in 1941, Edrich’s squadron bombed a fighter base on a small island off the German coast. The seven Blenheim bombers flew 800 miles to their target at a height of 50 ft to avoid the enemy radar, but when they arrived over the island the sea ‘was crowded with ships firing everything they had at us’. Three Blenheims were shot down, the remaining four dropped their bombs and turned tail. A few minutes later the survivors were attacked by four Messerschmidts. Time and again the German fighters swooped down, with machine guns blazing. After 20 minutes the four Blenheims and three of the Messerschmidts had run out of ammunition. …. But one German had a few more cartridges left. He singled out the plane piloted by Edrich and moved in for the kill. ‘He closed to point blank range – about 30 yard – and then nothing happened.’ As the German roared past cursing the jam in his guns, Edrich caught the pilot’s eye and saw a look of exasperation … [but] with a shrug of his shoulder he turned away.
Outwardly, it seemed that the war in which he won the Distinguished Flying Cross, hadn’t affected Edrich’s jaunty character, but the stress of operational flying had left its mark ….
Geoffrey (Geoff) Arthur Edrich (1918–2004) joined the Army, and a PoW. His obituary, published in
the Daily Telegraph on
February 1942, as a sergeant, [he] was taken prisoner by the Japanese at the
‘Australia’ were captained by their Test wicketkeeper Ben Barnett, but it was ‘England’ who won the ‘series’, largely thanks to Geoff Edrich, who scored a century in each of the matches.
Edrich was one of the prisoners set to work on the
infamous ‘Railroad of Death’ in
(BnB) Two grandsons of Rosina (
Frank Charles Barcham (1913–1986) served in the army before and during WWII. He was a major when he was demobilised. At present, his service record and other details of his life are not known.
F/O Leonard John Barcham (1916–2001) DFC served in the RAF during WWII. The citation reads:
BARCHAM F/O Leonard John (RAF 133658) Distinguished Flying Cross - No. 404 Squadron, awarded as per London Gazette dated 5 December 1944.Born 1915, at Bromley, London, home at Dagenham, Essex, enlisted as aircrew 1940, trained in Canada (see Cyril Barcham, above) but it is not known which CFTS base he was stationed, and commissioned in 1942, ref. Air Ministry Bulletin 16529/AC937.
Flying Officer Barcham acted as a navigator on a large number of operational missions and successfully directed his pilot on a large number of anti-shipping operations. His ability, judgment and coolness have been a great value to his pilot, and he has on several occasions secured excellent photographs. He has displayed the greatest determination to engage the enemy at every opportunity.
[from website ‘Non-Canadian Personnel Decorated for Second World War Services - names A-F]
Another website has the history of 404 Squadron RCAF and mentions Len Barcham several times:
404 coastal Fighter Squadron, named
‘Buffalo’ from its squadron emblem, was formed on 15 April 1941 at
RAF Thorney Island in south-east England, flying
Bristol Blenheims, Beaufighters
and later De Havilland Mosquitoes, until it was disbanded on May 1945, was
comprised of British and Canadian flight crews.
Doreen (Stella) Barcham, Frank and Leonard’s younger sister, server in the Women’s Land Army at Little Clacton, Essex, and was an Auxiliary Nurse. After the war she, she married Henry Ransom, a Royal Navy petty officer, Hen.
(BnB) Leslie Benjamin
Barcham (1911–1984), a great-grandson of Eliza (Storey) and Benjamin
Barcham Barcham, enlisted as a driver in the Royal Army Service Corps. He
survived the D-Day landings and spent time in
(BnB) Leonard James
Barcham, grandson of Edith and Edmund James Connor Barcham, emigrated to
(BnB) Tony Barcham, Neal Leslie Barcham's younger brother, served also served in the Australian armed forces.
(JnB) Robert John
Barcham grandson of Caroline (Quantrill) and John
Robert Barcham, joined the Royal Navy in 1942, and rose through the ranks to
become a lieutenant commander. During the war he served on a number of ships
and was posted to
(WmB) Lt-Col Peter
Rivers Hicks jnr, OBE (1909–1994), was one of Edith (Barcham) and Rivers Hicks’
grandsons. Like his two first cousins once removed, Tom and Herbert Barcham,
who fought in WWI, Peter gave up his civilian stockbroker’s job and enlisted in
the army. In 1939, he went to the
The KING has been graciously
pleased to approvee that the following be MENTIONED
in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in
has been graciously pleased on the occasion of the celebration of His Majesty’s
Birthday, to give orders for the following promotions in, and appointments to,
the Most Excellent Order of the
To be additional officers of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order …. Major (temporary Lieutenant-Colonel) Peter Rivers Hicks (126452), The Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment.
Note: In Egypt, Peter Hicks and John Lewis might have fought alongside the famous 28th Maori Battalion , in which were Capt Frederick Tiwha Bennett and his half-brother Lt-Col Charles Mohi Bennett. The latter was the uncle of Joan Mary Rangiore (Bennett) the wife of Stewart Charles Barcham, a descendant of Martha (Smith) and William Edwards Barcham, see Founding Families in New Zealand.
(BnB) Neal Barcham, son of Herbert Edmund Barcham, see above,
a Bathurst Class minesweeper/corvette was built by Williamstown Naval Dockyard,
Victoria, commissioned 1 Feb. 1943 and scrapped in 1958: displacement 1025
tons, complement 80 men. HMAS Norseman,
an N Class destroyer, commissioned
Post Second World War
(JJ) Michael John Allisstone CBE joined the RAF in September 1951. He did not complete pilot training because he stalled the Chipmunk trainer and went into an inverted spin – saved from a serious accident by the flying instructor – and was transferred to the Supply Branch cadetship. Shortly before retiring in 1988 as an Air Commodore, he was Acting Director General of the Supply Branch.
Barcham, son of Neal Barcham, joined the Australian Navy in 1973, on his sixteenth birthday. As a
junior recruit, he was sent to HMAS Leeuwen
Naval Base in
the late 1980s two naval reviews were staged in