Trooper Willam E Smith

Trooper W.E.Smith

2nd/5th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment

Service no: 44636

Died 16th April 1918 aged 19 years.

There is little information to be found regarding Trooper Smith.

Death was registered in Spilsby in 1918.

LAF (E) Ronald Henry (Harry) Dibben

Ronald Henry (Harry) Dibben

Leading Air Fitter      Fleet Air Arm

Service no: FAA/FX 75163

Died 15th November 1942 during the sinking of HMS Avenger, taking part in ‘Operation Torch’ aged 24 years.

Commemorated at Lee on Solent Memorial.

Born in Gosport 4th August 1918, to Harry & Clara Dibben.

Ronald was only 6 years old when his father died.

His mother, Clara, remarried in 1926 to William John Curle in Alverstoke (Gosport).

Ronald’s stepfather was a sergeant in the Portsmouth division of the Metropolitan Police. He retired from the force in 1931.

Records show that at some time subsequent to this, the family moved to Halton Holegate. The ‘Register of 1939’ shows William and Clara living at The Cottage, Northorpe Road. William is recorded as working as a County Court Bailiff, and still with the Met. Police reserve.

Ronald was not living with his mother and stepfather by this time, presumably having enlisted in the R.A.F. as records show that Ronald attended King Edward VI Grammar School in Spilsby, and that he passed the entrance exam to R.A.F. Halton, Aylesbury, (Buckinghamshire) in 1934.

Ronald married Irene May Jesty in 1940. There are no records of any children, or that Irene remarried.  She died in 1984.

HMS Avenger.

Part of a convoy, the HMS Avenger (Royal Navy escort aircraft carrier) came under attack at 03:00 hrs on 15th November 1942. U-Boat 155 fired upon the convoy hitting 3 ships, including the Avenger, which was struck on the port side, midships. The resulting explosion tore through the bomb room and ignited the munitions stored there. A secondary explosion resulted in damage, such that the ship broke her back and sank in under 5 minutes. The Commanding Officer, 67 Officers and 446 ratings were lost. Only 12 crewmen survived.  

Private William Shaw

Pte. William Shaw

8th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment

Service no: 1514

Died of wounds 15th May 1918 age 22 years.

(Listed as ‘wounded’ on 29th August 1917)

Parents: George and Annie Maria Shaw, Halton Holegate.

Excerpt from the Halton Holegate village book:

“It is with great sorrow we have to record the death, in France, of William Shaw age 22 years, son of Mr and Mrs G. Shaw, Northorpe Road. He was a boy of our day school, Sunday school (also a Sunday School teacher) and a member of the choir. He wrote a postcard home saying “I am quite well” but when the official news came, it was found that the next day after sending the above message he had passed away. When he joined the Army he was working as a gardener, near Grimsby where he was greatly respected. He is also remembered with affection at Mavis Enderby and Aswardby, where he worked for some time. We all send our heartfelt sympathy to his mother and father.”


Private Fred Edward Roughton

Pte. Fred Edward Roughton

7th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment.

Service no: 15157

Killed in action in Belgium.

Died 23rd December 1915 aged 20 years.

Commemorated at Menin Road South Military Cemetery,                           

West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

Awarded the Victory medal.

Also commemorated on a plaque at St Andrew’s Church, Little Steeping.

1 of 6 children of Abraham & Minnie Roughton, farmers of 

Rookery Farm, Croft, Wainfleet.

It is possible that Pte. Roughton was *‘concentrated’ to the Menin Road Cemetery.

Private Frank Basker

Private Frank Basker

6th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment Infantry division

Service no: 4808277

Died in North Africa 30th March 1943 age 22 years.

Parents Frank and Gertrude Basker, of The Forge, Spilsby Road, Halton Holegate.

Frank married Grace Edna in March 1941, and a son, Colin, was born in 1942.

In October 1938 Frank’s brother, Harold, was shipped back to the U.K. from Yokahama, and spent time at the Military Hospital Woolwich, before being discharged home ‘incapacitated’. Harold died in 1943 age 28 years.

Frank’s remains were *concentrated from Tamera (Tunisia) to Tabarka Ras Rajel British War Cemetery (Tunisia).