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This page has been compiled for the most part from a great book called "Chippy World War 2" by Peter Tyrrell on behalf of the Chipping Norton Family History Group published in 2006. It is part of our project to create an online record of the men who served in both World Wars and is a work in progress. It is by no means a complete list of the men and women who served their country and we would like to add to the stories below with more details or record new names. If anyone has further information please contact me at stevekingsford@gmail.com or on 01295 780558.

Complied with the kind assistance of Chipping Norton Museum http://www.chippingnortonmuseum.org.uk/ 


LAURENCE ABBOTT served as a Sick Bay Attendant in the Royal Navy. He spent time in Iceland and Sierra Leone as a crew member of a corvette carrying out convoy duty in the South Atlantic. He later served on a minesweeper operating in the English Channel and along the East Coast.

He was born in Chipping Norton in 1924 to parents Horace and Albert Abbott, and brother of Ronald (below). His father Horace had served in the Navy in World War One, see soldiers-of-the-first-world-war.php 


RONALD THOMAS ABBOTT served in the Royal Engineers in bomb disposal  based in London during the height of the blitz, He was later posted to the Far East.

He was born in Chipping Norton in 1922 to parents Horace and Albert Abbott, and brother of Laurence (above). Before enlisting he had worked as a lorry driver for a haulage contractor. In 1957 he married Margaret Lodge in Chipping Norton. He died in December 1997 aged 75.



GEORGE ARIES served as a Gunner in the Royal Artillery. He was called up for service in 1944, did his basic 6 weeks training at Gosforth Park in Newcastle before being posted to the Royal Artillery Training Centre in Rhyl. There he qualified as a driver and a wireless operator, which included the use of Morse code. As he achieved a high grade in driving he went on to the Mechanical Traction School at Colwyn Bay for a further driving course and looking after a 20 ton American tank. After D-Day George embarked at Liverpool docks bound for India. After various transit camps he joined the 178th Field Regiment of the Royal Artillery. As he had training on tracked vehicles, George became a bren gun carrier driver. When news of the victory in Europe came the Regiment were preparing for operations in the Far East. This was an amphibious landing at Port Swettenham in Malaya and went ahead on 9th September 1945, even though the Japanese had surrendered on 15th August. He was then involved in rounding up the Japanese for repatriation until the Regiment was sent to Java, where they undertook dockyard security duties and escorted Japanese prisoners to Glodok prison for war crime trials. The climate in Jave caused George heath problems and he suffered from foot rot, jungle sores and continual mosquito bites. The Regiment returned to Malaya via Singapore and were disbanded. George then joined the 25th Field Regiment in Hong Kong, carrying out Regimental Police duties. Three months later he went into a coma for two weeks having contracted malaria. These attacks continued after his demobilisation in 1948.

He had been born in Chipping Norton in 1926 and married Joan Mittel in the town in 1950.

GODFREY BALFOUR served as Sergeant in the East African Pioneer Corps. He had volunteered for the Royal Engineers at the outbreak of war in 1939, but was not accepted until October 1940, and then into the Pioneers. Following spells in the Midlands and North Wales he was posted to the Middle East and joined a company of East Africans. As few of the soldiers under his command could speak English, he learnt Swahili. They were engaged in building aerodromes in Palestine. Later in the war he served with another corps in Egypt on guard duties. After the war he joined the Royal Observer Corps, based at Rollright Stones.

Godfrey Balfour was born in Chipping Norton in July 1920 and married Barbara Duffy in Wrexham in 1947. He died in 2000 aged 80.

WILFRED CHARLIE BARNES served as a Leading Aircraftman in the Royal Air Force, joining in August 1940 aged 26. Trained as a cook he served at RAF Waddington in Linolnshire until mid 1945. From June 1945 until February 1946 he served in India.


VICTOR LIONEL BATTS was born in Chipping Norton in June 1925. He had joined the Air Training Corps before the outbreak of war, rising to Corporal, and as soon as he was old enough enlisted into the Royal Air Force. He trained as a pilot and attained the rank of Flight Sergeant before transferring to the Fleet Air Arm. He was commissioned as a temporary acting Sub-Lieutenant on 21st November 1944. He served as a personal pilot to an Admiral and once flew a Fairey Barracuda into Chipping Norton relief airfield but unfortunately due to ignition problems it had to be taken away by a transporter.

EDWARD BEALE served as a Sergeant in the 6th Field Regiment, The Royal Artillery landing on Juno Beach during the Normandy Landings on 6th June 1944. The Regiment supported the 6th Airborne Division as they took Pegasus Bridge and then supported the Canadian Division moving onto the Falaise Gap. They fought their way through Belgium, Holland then Germany until the enemy surrendered. They then began training for an invasion of mainland Japan, but fortunately Japan surrendered. and they were sent to Egypt and Palestine instead.


JAMES BECK served as a Lance Corporal in 35 E & M Platoon of the Royal Engineers. He was born in Chipping Norton in 1923. He served in France and suffered severe burns whilst trying to remove an obstruction being invalided back home for treatment in a hospital in the West Country. He married Muriel Coleman in the town in 1949 and died in 2009. he was the brother of John Beck (below).

JOHN BECK served as a Corporal physical training instructor with the Royal Air Force. He was born in Chipping Norton in 1922. He travelled to Blackpool with a friend Bertie Tippling on 18th March 1941 to enlist in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He was demobilized on 16th July 1946 and married Florence Goodman in Chipping Norton 1948. He died in the town in 1986.

JOHN ARTHUR BENFIELD served as a Signalman in the Royal Signals Regiment between 17th September 1942 and 16th March 1947. Whilst serving under Lieutenant General Arthur Smith GOC Persia and Iraq Command he was awarded a special certificate for outstanding services. He was born in Chipping Norton in 1920 to parents Arthur and Charlotte Benfield. His father had been a professional ssoldier and served in France from 1915 during the First World War as a Sapper with the Royal Engineers. He married Nadine Huckey in the town in 1950 and died in September 2002 aged 82. 




JOSEPH WILLIAM BENFIELD served in the Royal Air Force driving Queen Mary road transporters used for the delivery and recovery of aircraft. He left the RAF in 1944 on health grounds. He was born in 1910 to parents Howard and Annie Benfield of Rock Hill, his father was a baker and served with the Army Service Corps in that role in the First World War see: http://www.chippingnortonbritishlegion.com/soldiers-of-the-first-world-war.php

He married Elsie Chamberlain in the town in 1931 and died in 1992 aged 82.


MAURICE DONALD BRAIN served as an acting Corporal in the Royal Engineers. Always known as Don, he was called up in 1943 aged 18 and served in Egypt, Belgium, France and Germany. He was born in September 1925 and married Alice Knapp in Chipping Norton in September 1945. He died in 2002 aged 76.

DENIS ANDERTON BRIGG served as a Major in the Royal Army Medical Corps, having entered the service as a Lieutenant. He had been born in Luton in 1901 and had trained as a doctor in St Barts Hospital in London. In 1930 he married Eva Jackson in Abingdon before moving to Yew Dell in Church Street, Chipping Norton. He practised as a GP in the partnership Russell and Brigg as well as working as a Medical Officer in Chipping Norton Memorial Hospital. He also served as MO in the Territorials attached to the 4th Battalion The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. He went on to Great Barr near Birmingham, the Shetland Islands and in 1944 commanded the Military Hospital in the Isle of Man. In 1945 he arrived in India to command a hospital there but the war ended shortly after. He returned to being a GP in Chipping Norton before retiring to Broadstone in Dorsetwhere he died in 1988 aged 82.

JACK BROOKS joined the 4th Territorial Battalion Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in 1939. He was fortunate to be on leave when the Battalion was sent to France in January 1940 (only 4 soldiers from the unit made it back To Britain). He was then posted to Singapore but the colony had surrendered to the Japanese before his ship set sail. He was sent to Northern Ireland for training and stayed there until 1944. On 7th June 1944 he landed on the Normandy beaches and half an hour after landing he and his colleagues where pinned down in a trench by heavy German mortar fire. He was then attached to the Royal Scots Fusiliers and worked along the Normandy ports clearing out the Germans. After Normandy he fought through the Low Countries and was involved in the Battle of the Bulge, a last gasp German offensive in the Ardennes. He was demobbed in 1946.

JOSEPHINE "MADGE" BUNTING was born in December 1918 to parents Lionel and Bessie Bunting of Churchill Road Chipping Norton. Her father had served in France with the 1/4th Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry in the First World War. Madge also served in the Ox and Bucks and in 1939 was with an Anti- Aircraft Battery. She was the first girl from the town to serve abroad when in January 1945 she was part of an AA battery in Brussels. After VE Day she volunteered for service with the Red Cross in Germany and was one of the first at the opening of Belsen concentration camp. In 1954 she married Alfred Byford in Chipping Norton. In the early 1990s she researched and created the Chipping Norton Book of Remembrance, now in the museum which forms the basis for a lot of the information on this site regarding the town's war dead. Her brother Thomas also served in the Army in World war Two.

THOMAS BUNTING was born in 1915 in Chipping Norton and married Winifred Collins in 1938. He served in the Army during the war. He died in 1986.

FREDERICK NORMAN BURBIDGE was born in Chipping Norton in 1908. In 1938 he married Sylvia raft in the town. He joined the Royal Air Force in 1941 and trained as a flight mechanic with the rank of Leading Aircraftman. He was posted to 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron which flew the Supermarine Spitfire V, in February 1942. At this time they were based at RAF Redhill and Kenley, flying offensive missions over France. The squadron returned to Scotland in September 1942. In February 1943 he was transferred to 115 Squadron based at RAF East Wretham in Norfolk. The squadron had just converted from the Vickers Wellington to the Avro Lancaster Mk II. The squadron moved to Eat Snoring then Witchford in Cambridgeshire receiving the Merlin engined Mk111 Lancaster. He remained with Bomber Command until released on 10th December 1945.

Frederick Burden died in Wotton Bassett in March 1991 aged 83.

AUBREY BURDEN served with the Royal Navy. After the war he married Peggy George in Chipping Norton in the summer of 1948.

LAURENCE EDGAR BURDEN was born in Chipping Norton in February 1921. He served in the Royal Air Force as a fitter and had worked on the Vickers Wellington bomber. He married Stella gardner in the town in early 1942 and died in August 2006 aged 85.

RAYMOND GEORGE BURDEN was born in Chipping Norton in the summer of 1918 an was the elder brother of Laurence, above. He served as a Gunner with the Royal Artillery and served on anti-aircraft guns and searchlight units on coastal defence. He married Ivy Slatter in Chipping Norton in 1943 and died July 1972, aged 54.

ALBERT BURMAN was born in Chipping Norton in December 1920. He served with the 8th King's Royal Irish Hussars, rising to Corporal. As part of the 7th Armoured Brigade Royal Armoured Corps they took part in the British offensive in late 1940 which re-captured Sidi Barrani and Bardia from the Italians and then in February 1941 the decisive Battle of Beda Fomm, which lead to the capture of most of the Italian forces in North Africa at the time.

In March 1941, 8th Hussars saw brief service in Greece before returning to North Africa as part of 1st Armoured Division. July 1941 found 8th Hussars back as part of 4th Armoured Brigade with which they then fought during Operation Crusader, suffering heavy casualties when attacked in the rear by 15th Panzer Division, which left them with just eight Stuart Tanks fit for battle, with 35 having been captured in this engagement. 

After a re-fit 8th Hussars were once again part of 4th Armoured Brigade with which it served during the Gazala battles of May and June 1942, suffering heavy losses at Bir Hacheim, where once again they were almost annihilated showing amazing bravery, before withdrawing with the rest of the 8th Army to El Alamein. In June one squadron reorganised they were temporary amalgamated with 4th Hussars as the 4th/8th Hussars, and faced the massive enemy onslaught at Alam Haifa. During the battle of El Alamein, the combined regiment forced their way through the German minefields. 

On 10th August 1942 he was reported missing, believed to be a Prisoner of War and this was confirmed in December that year, having been captured in Benghazi. He was held in POW camps in Italy and Germany, being liberated by American troops on 18th May 1945. 

He married Eileen Harris in Chipping Norton in the summer of 1946 and died in Banbury in 1995 aged 74.

VICTOR BUTLER was born in Chipping Norton in December 1918. He served with the Royal Signals, repairing and laying telephone cables to the battlefront. He was married to Dorothy Robbins and died in 1986 aged 67.


OWEN JOHN CALCUTT was born in Chipping Norton in January 1919, older brother of Percy, below. He served in the Royal Navy and died in Yeovil in December 1991 aged 72.

PERCY JAMES CALCUTT was born in Chipping Norton in February 1922, younger brother of Owen, above. He served as an Able Seaman in the Royal Navy. He died in September 1989 whist living at 62, The Leys aged 67.

NORMAN STANLEY CASWELL was born in Chipping Norton