Today, we remember
On this day, the club remembers those who served and those from our rugby family who made the ultimate sacrifice in World War II :
Desmond Biggleston was a cricketer as well as a rugby player. An engineer, he was a lieutenant with 385th Battery of 97th (Kent Yeomanry) Brigade, Royal Artillery that went to France in September 1939. He died on July 1st 1942 at the 1st battle of El Alamein and is buried in the El Alamein cemetery.
Nathan Cohen from Deal was an enthusiastic rower as well as scrum half and captain of the midweek side. In June 1940, Nat was towed in rowing boat, Golden Spray II, across the Channel to assist with the evacuation of soldiers from the Dunkirk beaches. He was a flying officer with the 464 (RAAF) Squadron and was killed on the operation against the Philips radio valve factory at Eindhoven. He is buried in Eindhoven cemetery, aged 33.
Arnold Anthony Egerton-Jones was educated at King’s, he went on to Sandhurst and was commissioned in the Dorsetshire Regiment. He also played cricket for St Lawrence. Evacuated at Dunkirk, he served with the Durham Light Infantry and the Green Howards through the Middle East and North Africa. He rejoined the Dorsetshires in Sicily where he was given command of A Company, 1st Battalion. The company landed at Gold Beach during the Normandy Landings. By now promoted to major, he was wounded but soon returned to his company. He was killed by the explosion of a mortar shell during the advance on Caen. He is buried at Hottot Les Bagues cemetery.
Clifford Hingston Rundle was a Cornishman from St Ives. He did not play for the club but was groundsman, equipment manager and committee member. He was a private in the Buffs, probably the 5th Battalion that fought at Dunkirk, in North Africa, Sicily and Monte Cassino. Clifford was killed near Ravenna Italy on 25th February 1945. He was buried in Ravenna War cemetery.
Leslie Charles Rundle was one of the players in the first team of October 12th 1929 and appeared regularly as a winger. He was a lieutenant and pilot in the RNVR, in the 755/756 Squadron, Fleet Air Arm, based at HMS Kestrel, Worthy Down, near Winchester. He was killed on war service along with his gunner, flying a Proctor, on 11th May 1942, in Gloucestershire.
Brian Taylor from Wingham, was educated at King’s, and was a good cricketer. He worked the East Kent Road Car Company as depot manager at Dover. The depot formed a Home Guard unit and he was appointed a lieutenant in the Dover Platoon. On 23rd March, he was killed in an air raid on Dover that killed 16 people. A Junkers 88 dropped an armour-piercing bomb on the East Kent Garage, killing those inside.
George Palmer West from Bridge was a civil engineer. He was a 2nd lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion Leicestershire Regiment. He was killed on 26th May 1941 when the Battalion was involved in bitter fighting near Heraklion during the Battle of Crete against the German paratroop invasion. He was buried in the Suda Bay War cemetery and his name is inscribed on Bridge War Memorial.
Gregory Dillon Wood (1912-1943) ‘Rory” Wood was a well-known Canterbury player who turned out regularly through the 1930s. On outbreak of war, he joined 5th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment. The battalion was part of the British Expeditionary Force and was evacuated from Dunkirk. After a period in Cyprus and Palestine, the battalion fought at the battles of Mersa Mutra and El Alamein. He was killed at Wadi Akarit on 6th April 1943.
Those who also served included:
- Ernest Graham Amies RAF, squadron leader
- Ivan Castle Sandwich Company, The Buffs; prisoner of war of the Germans
- George E Drought 137th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery; prisoner of war of the Japanese
- Frederick Sutherland Farquharson Army sergeant
- Jack Fendick (Royal Engineers)
- George Barnet (Doc) Forbes RAMC
- Anthony Geering (Royal Artillery)
- Francis Gilder (RAF)
- George Graham (Tochi Scouts medical officer)
- Maurice Spencer Iveson (RAF pilot)
- Ian Michael Godfrey Kennedy (RAF pilot)
- Montague Kingsford The Buffs; prisoner of war of the Germans
- Arthur Klein (RAF pilot)
- Eric John Macey
- Howard Meadows captain, Kings Shropshire Light Infantry at Anzio and in Palestine
- Frederick Nason (2nd Dragoon Guards) 8th Army North Africa
- George Charles Phillips (Royal Artillery)
- Reginald Pobjoy (RAF)
- Philip Sandercock (RAF pilot)
- Frank William Simpson (Royal Engineers)
- Clifford Harcourt Summers (Royal Artillery)
- Felix Wetherall (Royal Artillery/Borders Regiment)
- John Basil Wetjen Royal Marines – wounded (1944) Grande Ferme du Buisson near Sallenelles
- John William Patrick Yates Royal Navy)