Friday, January 27, 2012

April 12-18, 1940

Swindon men serving in the Armed Forces were both celebrated and commemorated in this week's editions of the Advertiser.

Details of one serving family were submitted by Mr A. Jordan of 22 Eastern Avenue. Brothers Frank and Wally Jordan, former Swindon Corporation bus drivers were in the Royal Army Service Corps and the Royal Engineers while another brother Harry was with the RAF. Eldest brother Albert had joined the Flying Corps during the Great War. But this wasn't the complete extent of this Swindon family's patriotic contribution.

The men's two sisters had also responded to the country's call during two world wars. An elder sister had served in France with the Voluntary Aid Detachment during the First World War and both women had joined the NAAFI in the second.

A service of commemoration was held at St. Paul's Church, Swindon for Flying Officer D.C. Maybury, (pictured below right) second son of Mr and Mrs A.P. Maybury of 240 Marlborough Road, whose aircraft was brought down in the sea during the night of Friday, April 12.

Described as making brilliant progress in his career, D.C. Maybury had joined the RAF in 1933 and was awarded a King's cadetship while training at the RAF College at Cranwell.

And former Grand National winning jockey, Tommy Cullinan, (pictured below left) son of Mrs Cullian of the Lawn Lodge, Swindon, died as a result of an accident while serving as a gunner in the Anti Aircraft Section of the RAF.

But one relieved local family welcomed back their serving son. Able Seaman Ralph Briganshaw, a member of the HMS Hardy crew, returned to his home at Green Road, Upper Stratton, to recover from wounds received during the battle of Narvik.

Vandals caused 30 worth of damage to a council rest hut on the Pinehurst allotments. Every window was smashed, sashes taken out and locks and doors removed along with tables, forms and seats. The Allotment Committee announced that the damage to the hut, built with £100 raised by Marlborough College boys, meant they may have to move it to a different site.

And sandbags proved a life saver when a lorry carrying 15 tons of potatoes ploughed into the GWR Medical Fund building in Faringdon Road. Having skidded across the road to avoid another vehicle, the lorry finished up on its side, trapping the driver in his cab.

"There is little doubt that had the sandbags not been there to take the first shock of the impact, the whole place would have been brought down," reported the Advertiser.

A large crowd gathered to watch the rescue operations as men from the Swindon Fire Brigade arrived on the scene following fears that a fire might break out. Police, firemen and others assisted in clearing the road of potatoes, which for a time held up all traffic.

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