The Military Farndales








Exploring the Farndales who served in the armed forces





Home Page

The Farndale Directory

Farndale Themes

Farndale History

Particular branches of the family tree

Other Information

General Sir Martin Farndale KCB





Dates are in red.

Hyperlinks to other pages are in dark blue.

Headlines of the history of the Middleham are in brown.

References and citations are in turquoise.

Contextual history is in purple.




Those members of our family who gave their lives in service for their country


The Royal Navy in 1741


Able Seaman Giles Farndale (FAR00137) was a press ganged sailor in the Caribbean, who served on HMS Experiment, and was buried: At Sea, at Port Royal, West Indies on 9 May 1741.


The First World War


3758 & 201065 Private Richard Farndale (FAR00681) died in France either from wounds, enemy shelling or sickness, on Monday 26th February 1917 aged 19 while serving with 150th Infantry Brigade of the 50th Northumbrian Division. He was buried at La Neuville Communal Cemetery, Corbie, Somme. His name is on a War Memorial at Coatham.

15/319 Private (later Lance Corporal) George Farndale (FAR00617) was killed in Action at the Battle of Arras, on Thursday 3rd May 1917.


333852 Private George Farndale (FAR00646) was killed in Action at the Battle of Arras on the 27th May 1917.


  Name                                          Rank                     No                 Unit                            Year          Vol          Page

A computer screen capture

Description automatically generated with low confidence

Index to War Deaths 1914-1921 – Army (Other Ranks)


William Farndale (FAR00647) was wounded in action at Vimy Ridge on 13 December 1916 while serving with the 28th Battalion. He had a gunshot wound in the right forearm and was in hospital in Epsom, England. He was discharged from the Army at Calgary on 18 February 1918. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. After his return to Regina, despite his weakness from his wounds, he used his car to evacuate the sick during the great ‘flu epidemic of 1918. He caught the ‘flu while still weak from his wound and died at Earl Grey, Saskatchewan, Canada, aged 25 years on 23 November 1918.


The Second World War


4460826 Private James Farndale (FAR00833) aged 24 of the West Yorkshire Regiment died of wounds on 16th March 1941 in Keren Eritrea. His memorial is 3.A.3 at Keren War Cemetery in Eritrea.

1824896 Sergeant Bernard Farndale (FAR00783) 115th Squadron RAF, was killed in action over Denmark on 30 August 1944 during a bombing raid.


521789 Corporal Henry Stewart Farndale (FAR00832) died on 11 May 1945 aged 28. He was a pilot under training whose aircraft crashed. His memorial is at section V Grave 265, Leeds (Lawns Wood) Cemetery.



For the Fallen


Poem by Robert Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)


With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.

There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England's foam.


But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.


A statue of a person jumping in the air

Description automatically generated 

The memorial at Great Ayton




I see the lives for which I lay down my life, peaceful, useful, prosperous and happy, in that England which I shall see no more. It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”.


A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens



Medieval Farndale Soldiers


Given the multiplicity of spellings of surnames in medieval times, a table has been compiled to explore possible medieval soldiers who may have been part of the family.


It seems likely that John Farendon was John de Farendale (FAR00035A) of the York Line, who probably served as an archer with expeditionary forces to Scotland in 1383 to 1389, later joined by his probable brothers Henry Farendon (FAR00035B) and William Faryndon (FAR00035C).


Richard Farendale of Sherifhoton (FAR00044) may have served in the Hundred Years War in Brittany in 1380; an expeditionary force to Scotland in 1400; and may have served with Henry V in the Agincourt campaign or afterwards, with records in 1417 and 1421 possibly placing him at Harfleur and the Siege of Mantes. When he died he left an impressive catalogue of military equipment including a horse, saddle and reins, and armour, comprising a bascinet (medieval combat helmet), a breast plate, a pair of vembraces (armoured forearm guards) and a pair of rerebraces (armour designed to protect the upper arms) with leg harness.


Naval service in the Caribbean




Able Seaman Giles Farndale (FAR00137) served with the Royal Navy from 29 June 1740 until he died at sea in the Caribbean on 9 May 1741. It seems very likely that he was press-ganged at Whitby, when he would have been 27 years old. The Muster Book for HMS Experiment, a brig with a compliment of 130, shows Giles Farndell as No 101 Able Seaman, impressed on 29 June 1740. He is present at every muster until 9 May 1741 when he is marked ‘DD’ (“Discharged Dead”). No circumstances are recorded which probably means that he died of sickness on 9 May 1741.


He almost certainly took part in the War of Jenkins’ Ear in the Spanish Main under Admiral Vernon and was probably involved in the Battle of Cartagena de Indias in March 1741.


The ‘Experiment’ was commissioned under Captain Hughes at Deptford between Mar and Jun 1740. On 29 June 1740 the ‘Experiment’ was at The Nore where Giles Farndell (or Farndale; he is listed under both names in different Muster Books), came on complement. From there she sailed for Port Royal, Jamaica where she arrived on 15 Sep 1740. From there until June 1741 the ship was either in Port Royal, at sea, or in Cartagena (Adm 36/1081 & 1082).

Since Giles was not recorded as ‘from…another ship’ he probably had not served on another.

A painting of a ship in the water

Description automatically generated

HMS Experiment taking the Telemaque, 8 July 1757


The Crimean War


Private John George Farndale (FAR00337) saw service between 1853 and 1856 possibly first with the Coldstream Guards and then with the 28th of Foot.


He served in the Crimean War in 1854 and 1855. There is a full record of his service on his webpage.


His letters home included the following records:


We then started for Sebastopol, and reached it after eight or nine days’ march; we had to go a great way round. As soon as we got in front and settled, we commenced throwing up batteries and breast works, under fire of the enemy. We finished them after about five days and nights’ hard working, and opened fire on them on the 17th of last month, and have been battering away ever since, and are likely to continue doing so for some time to come. We have greater opposition than we expected. There was a faint attack made on our rear army a few days ago, which cut up our cavalry fearfully, but were defeated in the end. Our loss is not so great, considering all the circumstances of the case. I have escaped as yet, thank God! I have had a narrow escape: one morning, as we were relieving guard, two privates and a sergeant were shot close by me with one ball.


I have been laid up in my tent with frost bitten feet nearly all this month, but I am better again and fit for duty.


The siege is progressing very slowly but I think we will soon open a new siege. Things begin to look a little better. We have received the winter clothing and are getting provisions a little better. We want the wooden houses next, although I think as we have done so long without, we could manage without them altogether. However I hope that before you get this, Sebastopol will be ours and then we will be thinking about returning to old England again.


If I live to see it over and get back to old England again, which by the blessing of God I hope to do, I will tell you tales that will make your hair stand on end!


The Period of the Franco Prussian War and the British Expedition to Abyssinia


There was a John Farndale, who was discharged from the Grenadier Guards on 25 July 1872. He received £10 compensation. He served for 3 years and 323 days (Chelsea Pensioners Discharge Documents). This was most likely to have been John Farndale of Clerkenwell London (FAR00379).


The Boer War


N Farndale, served during the Second Boer War 1899 to 1902, Regimental Number 4505, Second Battalion The Buffs East Kent.


The Second Battalion, the Buffs. Roll of Individuals entitled to the South Africa Medal and Clasp under Army Order Granting the medal, issued 1st April 1901. … 4805, Pte, Farndale N.


The Mid Sussex Times, 22 August 1899: The local team’s opponents on Thursday were the Buffs, who, batting first, knocked up 151 … The Buffs … Private Farndale, caught Allen, bowled G A Hammond, 6 runs.


The 2nd Battalion, 3rd Battalion, 1st Volunteer (Militia) Battalion and 2nd Volunteer (Weald of Kent) Battalion all saw action during the Second Boer War with Captain Naunton Henry Vertue of the 2nd Battalion serving as brigade major to the 11th Infantry Brigade under Major General Edward Woodgate at the Battle of Spion Kop where he was mortally wounded in January 1900.


The phrase ‘Steady the Buffs!’ was popularised by Rudyard Kipling in his 1888 novel ‘Soldiers Three’.  The origins of this phrase come from Adjutant John Cotter during garrison duties in Malta, who encouraged the men of the 2nd Battalion with ‘Steady the Buffs! The Fusiliers are watching you’ as he did not want to be shown up in front of his former Regiment The 21st Royal Fusiliers.


Following the end of the war in South Africa in June 1902, 540 officers and men of the 2nd battalion returned to the United Kingdom on the SS St. Andrew leaving Cape Town in early October, and the battalion was subsequently stationed at Dover.


Sergeant William Leng Farndale (FAR00539) was a Sergeant in the Northumberland Hussars in 1902. They had served in the Second Boer War, so he may have served there.


There was an F A Farndale-Williams who was a second lieutenant with the Moulmein Volunteer Rifles on 30 March 1907 who appeared under Indian Army Orders (Homeward Mail from India, China and the East, 3 June 1907).


The First World War


If any question why we died,

Tell them, because our fathers lied.


Rudyard Kipling, after the death f his son at the Battle of Loos


Wilfred Owen denounced Horace’s patriotic maxim, “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori,” (“It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country”) as “the old Lie”.


The Great War haunts the British memory. 750,000 lives (one in three of all British males aged 19 to 22 in 1914) were lost and 9M soldiers in Europe died.


It was seen as a struggle for freedom, HG Wells’ the War that would end all wars.


The causes


Tensions between France, Russia, Britain and Germany had been increasing since the turn of the century.


Britain had been most concerned by French rivalry in Africa and Russian rivalry in Persia.


Things grew complicated though when Germany started to increase its navy from 1900. Lord Selbourne, first lord of the Admiralty, saw this as a direct threat to Britain, though in reality it was probably an attempt by Germany to force Britain out of any war by threat.


The ententes with France in 1904 and Russia in 1907 were aimed at curbing German military build ups and in 1909 Britain had pledged to outbuild Germany in its navy, with Lloyd George’s People’s Budget enabling it to build more Dreadnaughts.


From 1908 Germany, France and Russia all started to build up gold reserves in case of war.


In 1908, the German general staff developed the Schlieffen Plan in secret. Its strategy was to launch a devastating attack through Belgium to defeat France within a month before turning to Russia before it had time to mobilise. Speed and surprise were of the essence. An attack on the Belgium city of Liege was scheduled for Day 3.


There was still the possibility of war with France and Russia, but Germany continued to increase its battleship programme from 1912. The British ambassador in Vienna predicted the coming crisis with significant accuracy.


The Admiralty responded with a naval treaty with France, so that France would focus on defending the Mediterranean and Britain the North Sea. 


Yet Germany and Britain remained the biggest trading partners. Admiral von Tirpitz, head of the German navy sent his daughters to Cheltenham Ladies College, and German naval officers bought their dress uniforms in Saville Row. By 1913 relations with Germany were improving.


The Balkans had become the arena of tension and a growing antagonism between Austria-Hungary and Russia. Slav nationalism threatened multinational Austria-Hungary.


By 1914, German confidence was ebbing. Helmut von Moltke felt the French and Russians would be too strong by 1917 and it was now or never. If an ultimatum to Serbia could intimidate Russia and France into backing down, all would be fine.


Britain still regarded Germany as leading the way in the arts and sciences. It was more concerned about Ireland. However it was worried about making an enemy of Russia if it failed them now and a desperate French ambassador threatened that if Britain let France down, it would watch the future ruin of the British empire.


The events that led to war


On 28 June 1914 the open topped car carrying Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, took a wrong turning in Sarajevo, Bosnia and reversed, allowing a Bosnian Serb student, trained by the Serbians, to kill him with two bullets.


On 23 July 1914 Austria-Hungary delivered its ultimatum to Serbia to formally and publicly condemn the "dangerous propaganda" against Austria-Hungary; to accept an Austro-Hungarian inquiry into the assassination; and to take steps to root out and eliminate terrorist organisations within its borders including the Black Hand believed to have helped the assassin.


On 24 July 1914, Asquith and Grey mentioned the Serbian crisis in the first discussion of foreign affairs for a month. The Liberals and its Labour allies were overwhelmingly opposed to war. Bankers and businessmen were aghast at the thought. So Grey invited Germany, France and Italy to a conference in London.


On 28 July 1914 Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia and bombarded Belgrade.


On 1 August 1914, George V on foreign office advice urged Russia to stop its mobilisation in a letter addressed to Dear Nicky, from Georgie.


On 2 August 1914 Asquith made a statement to the Commons asserting that to stay neutral would sacrifice Britain’s reputation. This changed public opinion in favour of intervention.


On 4 August 1914 Germany attacked Belgium. The British Empire declared war on Germany at midnight.


Was there any alternative?


The Russians had assumed that Britain would join the war, and war with Britain caused no significant hesitation in Berlin.


There was certainly a misunderstanding of the consequences of decisions in 1914, anticipating a likely duration of 3 to 8 months.


Germany would probably have been victorious if not for British intervention. An optimistic view might have foreseen German victory leading to an European Union eight decades ahead of schedule. Germany did not have war aims when war broke out. However Belgium would likely have become a vassal state and German bases would directly have threatened Britain. Holland might have become dependent and Germany would likely have established a continuous central African colonial empire and the vast territories of Russia would have been thrust back as far as possible, German rulers were likely intending to establish authoritarian rule rather than struggle for democracy, What German soldiers did in massacring over 6,000 civilians in France and Germany might give some indication of the threat.


War was not taken lightly in Britain. The myths of a thrill for the fight was in reality more marked by foreboding and alarm. The New York Times reported that there was no flag waving; once war began civilians rallied to send off their troops, which is often depicted in photographs. A quick and easy victory was not really expected, the all over by Christmas phrase appearing only in 1917.


The Start of the War


On 6 August 1914, the British Expeditionary Force (“BEF”) comprising all UK based regular troops supplemented by reservists, totalling 11,000 men of whom 75,000 were combat troops, was sent to northern France using 1,800 special trains, 240 requisitioned ships and 165,000 horses, even with some London buses.


By then there were 1.7M German and 2.4M French troops on the battlefield.


It was expected that 75% would be killed or wounded, which was to prove an underestimate.


The BEF came in the path of 580,000 Germans advancing through Belgium.


On 23 August 1914, the BEF fought a defensive battle at Mons.


On 26 August 1914, they fought another defensive battle at Le Cateau.


They inflicted heavy casualties on a tightly packed German force.


In October 1914 the first of four bloody battles was fought at Ypres.


These were the deadliest battles of the war. By the end of 1914, the French had lost 528,000; the Germans 800,000 and the BEF were generally wiped out, having lost 90,000. On the Eastern Front the Russian steamroller had also been halted, by a smaller German force.




Kitchener realised this was to be a long haul. He appealed for volunteers. However time was now needed to train them, so there could be no significant reinforcement from volunteers until late spring 1915. Britain would continue to rely on volunteers until 1916 as conscription was unpopular, and there was no system in place for it.


By the end of 1915, 2,466,000 men had volunteered, about a third of those eligible. Industrial workers including miners and railwaymen formed more than half the army. Agricultural workers joined in lesser numbers, partly as the land still had to be tilled, but partly because they tended to be older due to the prewar rundown of agriculture. There was a significant response from the upper and middle classes, from public schools, the peerage, and bankers. Asquith lost a son as did the Irish Nationalist leader John Redmond.


A volunteer force, whilst less efficient at fast mobilisation, provided a force of high morale, motivated and enthusiastic. There was a degree of choice allowing more time to adjust, and giving more control over the nature of service. Their discipline was often founded on friendship. Pals Battalions drew on neighbourhoods, churches and political identities. Scotland provided particularly high numbers and the empire supplies millions more. There was considerable moral pressure to join.


Class distinctions were maintained in the ranks, but officers felt a gentlemanly duty to their subordinates and an obligation of courage and leadership. By the end of the war, a third of officers were from the lower middle and working classes, all expected to emulate traditional standards.


Conscription started in 1916. By then it had popular support, with growing hostility to ‘shirkers’.


The first units of Kitchener’s New Army sailed in summer 1915, and by summer 1916, there were 30 divisions in the field. They included men like Siegfried Sasson, Robert Graves, Rupert Brooke, Wilfred Owen, Harold Macmillan and J R R Tolkien, who found some of the inspiration for Lord of the Rings.


It took time to convert the experience of colonial campaigns to the realities of industrial warfare.


In 1914, the BEF had only 24 heavy guns, by 1918, it had 2,000. By 1916 fifty times the prewar annual output of TNT was used each day.


Few generals believed in a quick breakthrough, the exception being the commander in chief, General Sir Douglas Haig.


Eastern theatres of operation


A group emerged, the ‘Easterners’, hoping to avoid the horrors of France, by opening an alternative front. The biggest idea was pressed for by the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winton Churchill, to send a fleet to Constantinople and force the Turks to surrender.


On 18 March 1915, an Anglo French fleet sailed into the Dardanelles and in the face of mines and shore batteries, British, French Australian and New Zealand (“ANZAC”) troops were forced to land on the Gallipoli peninsula, where they were fought to a standstill. They were finally evacuated in December 1915 and January 1916. Allied casualties were some 390,000. The determination and ability of the Turks had been underestimated.


After Gallipoli the Turks forced the whole British-Indian army in Mesopotamia to surrender. A British and Indian army marched from Basra to Baghdad in 1915, but was forced to surrender after the Siege of Kut in 1916.


In 1916 support was given to an Arab revolt against the Turks, involving the young Oxford archaeologist, T E Lawrence, the only romantic hero of the war.


British, Indian and ANZAC troops eventually took Jerusalem, Damascus and Baghdad in 1917.


The Balfour Declaration in November 1917 committed Britain to a National Home for the Jewish people in Palestine. It seemed a clever plan, and would please a Jewish population influential in America. In time this would lead to an intractable and damaging problem.


The Western Front


The French, Russians, British and Serbians agreed to simultaneous offensives in summer 1916. The biggest effort was a Franco attack along the Somme.


The Germans struck first and aimed to ‘bleed the French army to death’ in the killing ground of Verdun.


The Easter Uprising in Ireland was in April 1916.


On 4 June 1916 the Russians launched a long and costly offensive and the Italians followed on 15 June 1916.


The British prepared for the attack at the Somme. General Charteris worried that the casualty list would be long – Wars cannot be won without casualties. I hope people at home realise this.


On 1 July 1916 the British army began one of the bloodiest battles in its history. At 7.30am after an artillery bombardment of 12,000 tons of shells, 55,000 British and French soldiers advanced out of their trenches, with 100,0000 to follow. In places the advance seemed to go well; Siegfried Sassoon noted that men were cheering as in a football match. However the artillery bombardment had failed to destroy the barbed wire and the attack soon became nightmarish, with soldiers mown down. By the end of the first day, there were 19,240 dead and 37,646 wounded, including 75% of the officers.


The Battle of the Somme continued over a for an a half month campaign. More attacks between 3 and 13 July resulted in a further 25,000 casualties. But, gradually, the British tactics improved.


The Germans soon felt the strain. The Germans lost heavily and their army would never be the same again. Strategically the French army was preserved after the Verdun disaster. Total casualties were 420,000 British, 200,000 French and 465,000 German.


The Russian army and state fell apart in 1916 to 1917.


There were mass surrenders and desertions in the Austrian army.


The British army was largely amateur and there was some resistance to free discussion of ideas, and no system for learning and applying lessons, but similar issues arose in other armies, including the German high command. Some senior officers, including Haig, were ill equipped for the challenge, but there were new younger generals and brigadiers emerging.


The Allies agreed to another offensive in 1917.


In March 1917, the French army launched an offensive in Champagne in which they lost 130,000 casualties.


The Battle of Arras (also known as the Second Battle of Arras) was a British offensive on the Western Front during the First World War. From 9 April to 16 May 1917, British troops attacked German defences near the French city of Arras on the Western Front. The British achieved the longest advance since trench warfare had begun, surpassing the record set by the French Sixth Army on 1 July 1916. The British advance slowed in the next few days and the German defence recovered. The battle became a costly stalemate for both sides and by the end of the battle, the British Third Army and the First Army had suffered about 160,000 casualties and the German 6th Army about 125,000.


In July 1917 the British began the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele), with Haig convinced that this was a critical moment in the war. Unseasonable August rain slowed progress and soon the advancing force found itself bogged down and sinking, with soldiers crawling for shell holes and sinking in the mud. The British lost about 275,000 and the Germans 200,000.


In October 1917 the Italian army collapsed at the Battle of Caporetto.


The German army was starting to show signs of disintegration.


The British army


Soldiers were not permanently in the trenches. They generally spent about 15 months on the Western Front, with perhaps a third of the time, in short periods, on the line. They relieved stress with superstitions, religion, folklore, letters and sport. A black humour developed and satirical newspapers like the Wipers Times. However trench warfare was a drudgery. The British army remained remarkably cohesive. It kept the soldiers busy. On the dark side, the British executed more of its own men, about 400, 75% for desertion, than the Germans. However the junior officers supported by chaplains generally instilled loyalty and strong motivation. There was reasonable food, regular leave and rest, and means to let off steam. There was also a general acceptance of the rightness of the cause.


War at Sea


The War at sea saw early action when the Australian ship HMAS Sydney was sunk by a German cruiser and a German squadron was destroyed near the Falklands.


German cruisers attacked British shipping from the start of the war. Most were caught and sunk.


Britain used its commercial and naval power.


There were two opposing fleets in the North Sea – the German High Seas Fleet and the British Grand Fleet at Scapa Flow and Rosyth, with 28 dreadnaughts and 9 battlecruisers.


The Germans had some success with bombardments on Scarborough and Hartlepool. But German naval commanders were no match for the British fleet, at best ambushing smaller units.


On 31 May 1916 a German fleet stumbled across the whole British fleet commanded by Admiral Sir John Jellicoe. The Battle of Jutland involved 250 ships and was the biggest concentrated naval battle in history. It only lasted about 2 hours. The German fleet escaped and inflicted higher casualties on the British fleet, sinking 3 battlecruisers. However in practice the differences were small, and whilst proving the vulnerability of British battlecruisers, from a strategic perspective, the battered German fleet fled back to port and never risked action again,. An American newspaper explained that the German fleet had attacked its gaoler, but remained in gaol.


Between August 1914 and October 1916, trade with the US quadrupled. Britain subsidised its allies, advancing them £1.6B, mainly to Russia and France, most of which was never repaid.


However Britain’s blockade of Germany was not decisive and as it continued to trade with states like Holland and Scandinavia, it could not significantly degrade German commerce without impacting on its own financial institutions.


An Order of Council on 7 July 1916 procured the buying of neutral goods to deprive Germany. Meat consumption in Germany fell and its economy came under increasing pressure, sinking by 30%, with a spread of disease in the population.


The Germans retaliated with its U boat campaign and to work it required to torpedo shipping without warning, which was seen internationally as a war crime. After the Lustitania sank in Mau 1915, American anger caused a temporary suspension of the attacks, but by January 1917, when US involvement became inevitably, the attacks resumed. By early 1917, the Admiralty and government were alarmed as the scale of large scale sinkings.


One of the motives for Passchendaele was to seize submarine bases on Belgium.


US entry into the war


After uncovering a German plot that Mexico would attack to recover Texas and Arizona if the US entered the war, USA declared war in April 1917, with a series of peace initiatives at first.


The last German offensive


In March 1918 war in the east ended with the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, when the Bolsheviks sought peace.


German troops now concentrated on the western front and aimed at a decisive victory before US troops could swing the balance. Field Marshall von Hindenburg and the Kaiser planned the offensive. The main blow would be against the BEF at a chosen weak point where the British and French armies met.


The German attack, Operation Michael, started on 21 March 1918. After a barrage of 3M shells, 59 German divisions led by storm troopers with flame throwers and machine guns, cloaked by fog, attacked 26 British divisions. The British were outnumbered 8 to 1. Gaps opened in the British lines and between 23 to 26 March 1918, the British were forced to retreat. The Germans advanced about 40 mile4s on a front of 50 miles and the German fleet was ordered to disrupt a likely British evacuation from Dunkirk.


By 28 March 1918, the British reinforced by the French, started to stop the German advance. In the face of air attacks from the British and devasted ground, the Germans grew exhausted. Having committed 90 divisions to the attack, they lost 240,000. They had not taken their key objective, the key railway hub at Amiens. By April 1918, they were bogged down and stuck.


Another German offensive further north also became bogged down.


Still, at this stage, the German idea of an acceptable peace was unrealistic.


The Germans shifted their attacks to the French lines and began a devastating surprise attack at Chemin des Dames, 70 miles north east of Paris on 27 May 1918. Despite local successors, they did not achieve strategic success.


The Allied counter offensives


A French counter offensive on 18 July 1918, involving British, American and Italian troops, showed the German army was out of steam.


On 8 August 1918, the Germans were completely surprised by a counter offensive near Amiens by 552 British tanks leading Canadian, Australian, British and French infantry. The massing of tanks allowed the Allies to push forward 8 miles, one of the longest one day advances of the war.


The most decisive campaign was fought in Autumn 1918. The Germans were dug in to the Hindenburg line, six layers deep. On 29 September 1918 the 46th (North Midland) Division stormed across the deep Saint Quentin canal, where it was assumed to be impossible to cross, and the Germans started to fall back from a continuous British attack.


The end


Few expected the end when it came. The British were anticipating that the war might continue to 1920 by this stage. However the German army, state and society were collapsing.


On 5 October 1918 the Germans asked President Woodrow Wilson for an armistice, based on his ‘Fourteen points’ proposed in January 1918, with a withdrawal from occupied territory, but with continued German self government, and no punishment for Germany. The Allies didn’t relish invading and governing Germany.


On 11 November 1918 at 11 o’clock, the fighting stopped. The BEF, now 1,859,000 men, half of then teenagers, halted just north of Mons, where it had all begun.


The memory


The memory of the Great War is uniquely poignant. It came to occupy a place in the national culture. The war had involved the whole nation, one household in three suffered a casualty, one in nine a death.


The emphasis in commemoration was not on victory but on the deaths. Kipling called the dignified Cenotaph ‘the place of grieving’. The memory was marked by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Westminster, by vast war cemeteries continuously maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and by Armistice Day, a time of collective mourning of sacrifice and incomparable loss, and the two minute silence.


The incomprehension at the memory left no narrative of idealism, as against Fascism in the Second World War.


Disillusion continued to grow after the Treaty of Versailles failed to match the idealised hopes for aftermath.


By the 1920s the League of Nations seemed to have hopes of success. By the 1930s, the population had been left with urgent reasons to reject war, which might have led to wrong choices made then.


The horrors of the war were remembered in R C Sheriff’s Journey’s End (1928), the memoires of Robert Graves, Goodbye to All That (1929) and Siegfried Sassoon, Memoirs of an Infantry Officer (1930) and the German Erich Maria Remarque’s novel All Quiet on the Western Front (1929).


The First World War had not ended war. By the 1960s it was remembered with mockery and pathos as in Joan Littlewood’s Oh what a lovely war.


(Robert Tombs, The English and their History, 2023, 582, 597 to 644).


Perhaps though the situation was very different to opposing Hitler’s threat in 1939, and the First World War arose out of mutual misunderstanding and mistrust, and might have been avoided by dialogue beginning in sufficient time to have unwound the spring. Mediation and dialogue might have had a place in avoiding the catastrophe in 1914, whilst appeasement had no place in retrospect in opposing a maniac in 1939.


Farndales in the First World War


Image result for first world war


The Battle of Arras, where two Farndales gave their lives


There is a Table showing the details of all Farndales who served during World War 1.


Image result for gunner cap badge


104633 Gunner Albert Edward Farndale (FAR00667) served with the Royal Garrison Artillery. He was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal. He died in Northallerton on 17 April 1971.


Image result for machine gun corps cap badge


83795 Private Alfred Farndale (FAR00683) served with the Machine Gun Corps after initially joining the East Yorkshire Regiment. My grandfather, he was born 5th July 1897, joined in 1916 and served in France and Mesopotamia. He was discharged in 1920. He was awarded the Victory Medal, the British War Medal, and the Police Medal WW2. He died in May 1989 and is buried in Wensley, Yorkshire.


A person in a military uniform

Description automatically generated A person in a military uniform holding a sword

Description automatically generated A couple of men posing for a picture

Description automatically generated

Alfred Farndale, East Yorks, 1914                                  Alfred Mesopotamia


See also Pilgrimage to Passchendaele, a killing field haunted by family memories.


2216 Private Alfred Farndale, 9th Lancers (FAR00690) served with the 9th Lancers. He was awarded the British War Medal, Victory Medal and 14 Star.


2483 Private Charles E Farndale (probably FAR00656, born 1893) served with the Hertfordshire Regiment  and was awarded the 15 Star with Clasp.


Charles Farndale served with the 8th/18th Hussars.


3/28913 Private Charles Farndale (FAR00629) served with the Leicestershire Regiment & 19th London Regiment and was awarded the Victory Medal. He was born in Knaresborough in 1888 and died at Ripon on 16 February 1941.


15/319 Private (later Lance Corporal) George Farndale (FAR00617) served with 15th Battalion The West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own) and was awarded the Victory Medal, British war Medal, 15 Star. He was born in Guisborough in 1888; arrived in Egypt on 22 December 1915 but was Killed in Action at Arras on Thursday 3rd May 1917. He is buried and commemorated at the Arras Memorial, Pas de Calais, France.


333852 Private George Farndale (FAR00646) served with the Highland Light Infantry (“HLI”). Born about 1891 in Egton, youngest son of John Farndale (a Deputy in an ironstone mine, born about 1851 in Egton, Yorkshire) and Susannah nee Smith (born 1853 in Cropton, Yorkshire, a resident of Loftus, he enlisted at Whitby probably into the Green Howards and was then transferred to the HLI. He was killed in action on 27th May 1917 aged 26 while serving with the 1st/9th (Territorial Glasgow Highlanders) Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry in 100th Infantry Brigade of 33rd Infantry Division in operations against the Hindenburg Line. George Farndale was killed in action on the 27th of May 1917, during the Battle of Arras, barely one month after arriving in France. He was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.

A person in a uniform

Description automatically generated  A close-up of a letter

Description automatically generated  


Sunday 8/4/17, Dear Sister

Just a line to tell you that I arrived at Folkestone at 7 o clock this morning and I am in a rest camp now waiting of a ship. It is quiet a fine place here. I think we shall leave here at 10.45 am for the ship which I think will take us to Boulogne where we will stay over night. I got a very descent breakfast here and had an extra tea before we left Catterick. They also gave us 20 packet of cigarettes each. Well tat-ta for the present will write you again as soon as possible. With Love Geo



Dear Sister
Received latter on Tuesday last and parcel today. I must say the parcel was extra. The cake is excellent, also must say that you could not have sent a more suitable parcel. Well I must send you my sincere thanks for your kindness also for writing to the Girl. I am sorry I had to send home for some money, but I only get 5 francs here, and I want to get some of those French cards to send you as I know you would like some of them. I am pleased to hear you are all keeping well. I wrote to the Girl on Sunday so I am expecting to hear from her anytime. Will you send me one of your photos as I would like one with me out here, please put your name on it. Remember me to all and Give them my best respects, also down John St. How is Father keeping hope he isn't worrying about me as I am alright. Well I think this is about all I have to say so I must draw to a close thanking you once again for parcel also hoping to hear from you again soon. Well tud-a-lu
With Love
from Your Loving Bro Geo.

P.S. I am not afraid about the watch and parcel, as I know the young man I left with is honest and straight in every way, and I told him he wasn't to go down special with it, he was to post it anytime when he was going to town.
With Love again


Dear Annie
I am just sending you a line to tell you that I am in a draft and expecting to go out any day. If you haven't wrote and sent the things I asked for don't trouble, as I may be gone before they arrive and I sharn't be able to take them with me. If I should be here over the weekend I will write you again on Sunday if not I will try and send you a line before I leave. I have got all my kit ready for going but I don't think I shall go before Saturday or Monday. Well be sure and don't worry about me and tell Father not to, as I shall be alright, and I must say before I go that you and Father have been very kind to me as I never wanted for anything and I must say you have done more than your duty towards me. Of course it may be weeks before I go into the trenches as am sure to be kept at the base for a week or two. If I should send for anything when I get to France, be sure and register it, as it will make it more sure of me receiving it. Well don't write any more until you hear from me again and don't think anything is wrong if you don't hear from me for a short time, but I promise you to write you as soon as I possibly can. Well this is all I have time to say just now, so I will now close, trusting this finds you all well. Remember me to all. Well be sure and don't worry about me, and look on the bright side of it as I shall soon be back again.
With Love, From Your Loving Bro Geo
PS. If the writing pad comes I will give it to some of the boys as it won't be worth sending it back. I shall very possibly be sending some shirts home.


A letter with handwriting on it

Description automatically generated


France, 2/6/17

Dear Mr Farandale
I deeply regret to inform you of the death in Action of your son 333852 Pte G Farandale on 27th May. He was a good soldier and a popular fellow, beloved by us all and our deepest sympathy goes out to you and yours at this time.
Believe me, Yours truly, D W Greenhulds, 2Lt, 9th HLI.

A letter from a soldier

Description automatically generated with medium confidence A close-up of a letter

Description automatically generated A letter from a person

Description automatically generated with medium confidence



June 2nd/6/17

Dear Friend
It is with deep regret I inform you that your Bro George was killed on the 27th May. He had just gone into the trenches the previous night and before it was properly daylight a German trench mortar came over and struck George death being instantaneous. I have know George for a good long time and he was a fine pal. He was in the Yorks at Hartlepool when I was, and we were transferred to 2/9th HLI together May 1st/16. It was New Years time when I mist him as he was sent to Scotland and I was left with Batt. Eventually I came out to France in Feb and it was there at the base I met him again and we have been together practically all the time. I was next to him on the 20th/5/17 when we went over and took the German front line trench, which we held for 2 days and then were relieved. You have my deepest sympathy in your sad bereavement and hope you will find consolation in knowing that he died faithfully doing his duty. The officer got his pay book and pocket wallet which I expect will be sent on to you.
Yours Sincerely
R Sellars
332854 Pte R Sellars 9th H.L.I. Glasgow Highlanders
C. Company 11 platoon.
B.E.F. France.


Shingle Hall, Sawbridgeworth, Herts. Thursday

Dear Miss Farndale:-
I am deeply grieved on hearing from you yesterday morning that dear George has been killed in action, and all at Shingle Hall including myself wish to express our deepest sympathy with you all in this dark hour of sadness.
It was an awful blow to me dear, and is one that I shall never forget. He was such a nice quiet and gentle boy and was very much liked by all who knew him in Sawbridgeworth, and no fellow could not think so much of a girl as your dear brother did of me, and had he been spared to come back safely we intended getting married. I don't know if he ever spoke about it to you.
It will be awfully kind of you to copy those letters for me and shall be most pleased to receive them.
Yes dear, I will see about another doz. p.cs. being copied and will write and let you know, as I shall be only too pleased to do anything for you, for the sake of the dear one I have just lost.
He sent me the Yorkshire badge (as he said no one else should have it but me) also the cap badge of the H.L.I. and bought me a small regimental brooch of the H.L.I. so I shall always think of the dear boy.
Now dear Miss Farndale I will draw to a close trusting you will all accept our deepest sympathy once more.
With fondest love hoping to hear from you again soon
I remain
Your sincere Friend

P.S. Please excuse pencil.


011374 Corporal George William Farndale (FAR00614) served with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps and awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal. He was born in Middlesbrough in 1897 and died on 21 August 1954.


19318 Private George Farndale (FAR00646A) served with the East Yorkshire Regiment and was awarded the Victory medal, British medal, and 15 Star. He arrived in the Balkans on 12 November 1915. He was born in Whitby in 1891 and died in Lancaster on 15 May 1954.


G/445 Lance Corporal George James Farndale (later Sergeant) (FAR00653) served with the Second Battalion, The Royal Sussex Regiment and went to France on 31 May 1915. He was awarded the Victory medal, British medal, 15 Star and the Military Medal for bravery.


S4/199459 and TR9/16884 and 18216 George William Farndale (FAR00678) served with the Army Service Corps and Army Pay Corps. There are quite extensive military records with his own record.


18981 and 577701 Private Harry Farndale (FAR00688) served with the 7th Battalion, The East Lancashire Regiment. Harry enlisted on 15 February 1915 at Liverpool. He served in France and Belgium from May 1915 to July 1916 and from May 1917 to April 1919. He was awarded the Victory medal, British medal, 15 Star. There are extensive military records on his own page.


204344 Regimental Quarter Master Sergeant Henry Farndale (FAR00681A) served with the Royal Field Artillery and was awarded the Victory Medal, and British War Medal. He was gassed in November 1917. He was then promoted to Regimental Quarter Master Sergeant and was engaged working on a cost accounting scheme after the War ended. There are extensive records about him on his personal page. He was born in Leeds in 1883  and died in Leeds in 1951.


4857 Sergeant Herbert Farndale later 238221 2nd Lieutenant H Farndale (FAR00652) served with the 10th Yorkshire Regiment (The Green Howards) & 2nd West Yorkshire Regiment. He was awarded the Military Medal as well as the Victory Medal, and British War Medal. My grandfather knew him and we have many of his papers. He lived at Brotton. He was born Guisborough 30 March 1892 and died on 23 June 1971 at Cleveland Cottage Hospital, Brotton.


A person in a uniform

Description automatically generated  A person wearing a black hat

Description automatically generated

Herbert Farndale wearing military medal in Green Howards          Herbert Smith at officer training unit in 1918


2898 Private Herbert Arthur Farndale (FAR00664) served with the Norfolk Yeomanry, then as 43302 in the Northern Regiment, then as 37425 in the Royal Berkshire Regiment He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.


19832 Private James Farndale (FAR00669) served with the 1st Devonshire Regiment, then as 35864 in the Wiltshire Regiment. He arrived in Egypt on 9 October 1915. He served in both World Wars. In WW1 he tended the horses. His war service was 31 Aug 1914 to 10 Mar 1919 and from 1939 to 1941. He was awarded the Victory medal, British medal, and 15 Star.


TR/5/211407 and 211407 Private W James Farndale (FAR00704B) served with 53rd Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment. He joined very shortly before the War ended, immediately upon coming of age.


James Farndale (FAR00607) served with the US Army. He joined up in 1917. He went to France. He left the Army in 1919 and eventually became State Senator for Nevada.


A picture containing photo

Description automatically generated


James in Plymouth, Indiana in 1917


S/294809 Private John Farndale (FAR00640) served with the Army Service Corps and was awarded the Victory medal, British medal.


89289 Gunner John Joseph Farndale (FAR00581) served with the Royal Garrison Artillery. He enlisted on 4 December 1915 and was discharged on 14 December 1918.


38005 A/Corporal John W Farndale (FAR00698) served with the Lincolnshire Regiment, then as 29415 in the Labour Corps and was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal. He was born in Guisborough 1899 and died in 1970.


26042 Private John W Farndale (FAR00653A) served with the East Yorkshire Regiment, then as 570018 in the Labour Corps and was awarded the Victory Medal and British War Medal.


L/28839 Driver John W Farndale (FAR00663) served with the Royal Field Artillery and was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal. He was born in Malton in 1894 and died on 29 June 1954.


151907 Gunner John W Farndale (FAR00615) served with the Royal Garrison Artillery and was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal. He was born in 1893 and died on 2 March 1973.

247529 T/Warrant Officer Class I Joseph Farndale (FAR00593) served with the Army Service Corps and was awarded the Victory Medal and British War Medal.


016314 Private Joseph Farndale (FAR00675) served with the Army Ordnance Corps and was awarded the Victory Medal and British War Medal.


James Farndale (FAR00521) probably signed up immediately at the start of World War 1 and joined the Royal Field Artillery, though I have not found records afterwards of his military service.


3758 & 201065 Private Richard Farndale (FAR00681) aged 20 joined the 1/4th Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, the Princess of Wales’ Own Yorkshire Regiment, also known as the Green Howards. He died at 21st CCS in France of broncho-pneumonia on 25th February 1917. He enlisted at Redcar, resident at Coatham. The battalion served with the York and Durham Brigade of the Northumbrian Division, renamed in 1915, the 150th Infantry brigade of the 50th Division. At the time of his death the battalion was not in the line but in reserve at Proyart. On 31 December 1916 it was at Bazentin le Petit and in reserve at Flers on 7 January 1917. On 11 January the battalion moved to the front line at ‘Hexham Road.’ It was again in the front line from 30 Jan to 11 Feb at Genercourt. The battalion moved to Proyart on 19 Feb 1917. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal posthumously on 21 Jan 1921. He was presumably badly wounded at Hexham Road or Genercourt or Proyart and evacuated to No 21 Casualty Clearing Station at La Neuville, where he later died of pneumonia. He was the son of George and Mary Farndale of 6, High Street, Coatham, Redcar Yorkshire. His name is on a War Memorial at Coatham. He is buried at La Neuville Communal Cemetery, Corbie, Somme .


44768 Private Robert Farndale (FAR00552) served with the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, then as 426393 in the Labour Corps, then as G/30179 in the Royal Sussex Regiment. He was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.


Z/6840 Thomas Henry Farndale (FAR00699) served in the Royal Navy Reserve in London in the first World War. He was a telegraphist.


William Farndale (FAR00647) served with the Canadian Army, 28th Saskatchuan Regiment. He served in France where he was wounded from bayonet wounds. In 1918 he was back in Regina taking people to hospital when he contracted ‘flu from which he died. William Farndale, joined the Canadian Army on 19 April 1916 at Regina, Saskatchewan and went to France. He was wounded in action at Vimy Ridge on 13 December 1916 while serving with the 28th Battalion; he had a gunshot wound in the right forearm and was in hospital in Epsom, England. He was discharged from the Army at Calgary on 18 Feb 1918. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. After his return to Regina, he used his car to evacuate the sick during the great ‘flu epidemic of 1918. He caught the ‘flu while still weak from his wound and died at Earl Grey, Saskatchewan, Canada, aged 25 years on 23 Nov 1918. He was buried in Earl Grey, Saskatchewan. See also the For King and Country website.

A person in a military uniform

Description automatically generated  A person in a hat

Description automatically generated 

William Farndale of Tidkinhow

131820 Lance Corporal William Farndale (FAR00639), 25, from Great Ayton, served in 235th Army Troops Company, Royal Engineers. He achieved the rank of Lance Corporal, Royal Engineers Class ‘P’ AR. He enlisted on 17 November 1915 and was discharged on 30 December 1918. The cause of discharge was Para 392 (xvia)(Gas psng). He was awarded the Victory Medal, British Medal and Silver Badge Roll 11 November 1919. The Silver War Badge was awarded to most servicemen and women who were discharged from military service during the First World War, whether or not they had served overseas. Expiry of a normal term of engagement did not count and the most common reason for award of the badge was King’s Regulations Paragraph 392 (xvi), meaning they had been released on account of being permanently physically unfit. This was as often a result of sickness, disease or uncovered physical weakness and war wounds. Soldiers discharged during the war because of disabilities they sustained after they had served overseas in a theatre of operations (an area where there was active fighting) could also receive a King’s Certificate. Entitlement to the Silver War Badge did not necessarily entitle a man to the award of a King’s Certificate, but those awarded a Certificate would have been entitled to the Badge. The main purpose of the badge was to prevent men not in uniform and without apparent disability being thought of as shirkers – it was evidence of having presented for military service, if not necessarily serving for long.


27364 Private William Farndale served with the East Yorkshire Regiment and was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.


15271 Private (later Corporal) William Farndale (FAR00651) served with the Yorkshire Regiment (Green Howards). He arrived in France on 27 August 1915. He was awarded the Victory Medal, British Medal, and 15 Star.


1813 and 475088 Private William Claude Farndale (FAR00682) served with the 1/2 East Anglian Area Field Ambulance Company, Royal Army Medical Corps. He was attested on 16 September 1913 at Norwich, aged 17 years and 2 months (in fact he was 16, so perhaps gave an older age in order to enlist), a tinsmith at Barrow Works. He lived at 19 Onley Street. There is a record on 7 May 1919 of his bounty of £15, with £5 for present use and £10 to be issued subsequently as laid down in the Army Order. His Medal Records show he served in the Balkans and was awarded the Victory Medal and British War Medal and 15 Star. He was demobilised on 3 August 1919.


12035 Private William H Farndale (FAR00655) served with the Royal Army Medical Corps, then as 53270 in the Lancashire Fusiliers. He arrived in France on 12 September 1915 and was awarded the Victory Medal, British Medal, and 15 Star.


436 and 403261 Private William Jameson Farndale (FAR00677) served with the Royal Army Medical Corps and was awarded the Victory Medal and British War Medal.


Lieutenant Graham Price was the brother in law of the Rev W E Farndale (FAR00576). He went to Flanders in 1914 as a despatch rider. Towards the end of 1915 he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps. He held the record in his squadron for the number of air duels (fifteen) he had fought. He was also an artillery observer over enemy lines. He was killed in action on 21 March 1916 when he received a bullet in the heart in an air battle. See Lieutenant Graham Price.


A screenshot of a computer

Description automatically generated



The Inter War Years


543695 Charles Farndale (FAR00738) was born at Huttons Ambro and became a groom. He enlisted into the Royal Tanks Corps on 9 May 1924. He attested at Winchester. He served with the 13/18th and 15th/19th Hussars in 1924 and 1925.


The West Sussex County Times, 23 November 1934: ROYAL SUSSEX REGIMENT WIN REPLAY. 4TH BATTALION QUEEN’S ROYAL REGIMENT 0; 4TH BATTALION ROYAL SUSSEX REGIMENT 5 (Pte Farndale 4, Pte Burchell). The side representing the 4th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment was in splendid form on Saturday when it defeated the 4th Battalion Queens Royal Regiment at Mitcham by five goals to nil. It was a replayed match in the first round of the Territorial Army Cup Competition. Play was fairly even at the start but gradually the Royal Sussex began to assert themselves and they showed a marked superiority. After 10 minutes, Birchell on the visitors left wing, centred for Farndale to score. The Royal Sussex kept up the pressure and again from Burchell’s centre Farndale headed in a lovely goal shortly after the resumption. Standing started a movement which resulted in Burchall racing forward and driving home number three. Farndale scored his third when he gathered a nice centre from Fenner, and shot well out of Salter’s reach. The Royal Sussex were well on top during the closing stages and the home side's defence underwent a severe gruelling. Five minutes from time Farndale beat Salter for possession and had no difficulty in putting in the fifth goal. 4th battalion the Royal Sussex Regiment: Private Stanford, Private Kent, Private Boxall, Private Lawrence, Corporal Ansell, Lance Corporal Linfield, Sergeant Fencer, Lieutenant Woolcock, Private Farndale, Private Standing and Private Burchall.


The Second World War


Image result for second world war


The outbreak of War


At 11am on 3 September 1939, Chamberlain, in a 5 minute broadcast on the Home Service, announced that as Hitler had failed to respond to British demands to leave Poland, "this country is at war with Germany". Chamberlain added that the failure to avert war was a bitter personal blow, and that he didn't think he could have done any more.

There was an anticipation of air attack. Following the Prime Minister's speech there were a series of announcements. All places of entertainment were to close with immediate effect, and people were discouraged from crowding together, unless it was to attend church. Details of the air raid warning were also given and it was emphasised that tube stations were not to be used as shelters. In London the air raid sirens sounded only 8 minutes later, and many of those remaining, including commentator John Snagge, donned tin helmets and rushed to the roof of Broadcasting House to watch the bombs falling. Sandbags appeared everywhere. Cities were blacked out. The paintings in the National Gallery were moved to a mine in North Wales.


The Official evacuation plan, Operation Pied Piper, was part of widespread evacuations totally 3.5M people.


Poland was lost. However an immediate threat to Britain was a false alarm. Nazi bombers were still out of range. The Allies had 3:1 superiority in manpower and 5:1 in artillery. The Royal Navy was dominant at sea. The FAR were capable of precision bomining. Italy and Japan had not yet joined the war. In time the US might join. The British and French population was 90M and GDP $470M, the German-Austrian 76M and GDP £375M.


There was a perception that the French Army and the BEF could repulse a westward attack on the Continent.


However Russia’s pact with Germany had upset the calculations. Scandinavia was also an important strategic consideration, particularly as a source of iron ore.


Phoney War


The early months were a period of stalemate. The Phoney War was an eight-month period at the start of World War 2 during which there was only one limited military land operation on the Western Front, when French troops invaded Germany's Saar district.


On 9 April 1940, the Germans invaded Norway.


The Battle for France


On 10 May 1940 a sudden German attack began on Holland, Belgium and France at 5.35am.


After criticism of Chamberlain for the disastrous Norwegian campaign, Churchill became Prime Minister that afternoon. Chamberlain remained Deputy Prime Minister and Lord Halifax remained Foreign Secretary.


On 13 May 1940 Winston Churchill, in his first address as Prime Minister, told the House of Commons of the United Kingdom, "I have nothing to offer you but blood, toil, tears, and sweat." He felt “that all my past life had been but a preparation for this hour and for this trial.”

The German attack on France was in desperation, Hitler fearing that he would lose a long war. The German army thrust through the woods of the Ardennes, and used surprise and speed, gained by tanks and aircraft, crossing the River Meuse on 13 May 1940.


By 15 May 1940, 7 armoured Panzer divisions were thrusting forward into France. The Allies, trained for static warfare, could not stop the advance. The allied defensive force ran out of ammunition and fuel. Most of the British army comprised raw territorials. In the European theatre, Britain only had 14 hastily assembled divisions, to 141 German, 104 French and 22 Belgian. A minor success by the British at Arras on 21 May 1940, was not enough. The French Prime Minister rang Churchill to tell him they were defeated.


On 19 May 1940, only a week in to the German offensive, the British began a fighting withdrawal to Dunkirk. Churchill declared in his radio broadcast: Today is Trinity Sunday. Centuries ago words were written to be a call and a spur to the faithful servants of truth and justice: Arm yourselves, and be ye men of valour, and be in readiness for the conflict; for it is better for us to perish in battle than to look upon the outrage of our nation and our altars. As the will of God is in Heaven, even so let it be.


Hitler was also losing confidence, worried about counter offensive and a pincer movement. Alarmed at the risks, Hitler ordered a halt on 24 May 1940.


On 26 May 1940 the Dunkirk evacuation, Operation Dynamo, began. It was organised by Admiral Bertram Ramsay and his staff in Dover between 26 May and 3 June 1940. A broadcast appeal was responded to by fishing boats, weekend sailors, lifeboats and by barges and tugs from, the Port of London. The RAF lost 177 planes and shot down 244 Luftwaffe planes. Some 300,000 British and Allied troops were evacuated and another 130,000 escaped later from ports still in French hands. However 54,000 vehicles, 2,500 artillery pieces and 68,0000 soldiers were lost.


On 4 June 1940, Churchill gave his defiant response, We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.


On 7 June 1940, German panzer divisions pierced the French defensive line.


On 10 June 1940, Mussolini declared war.


On 12 June 1940, the French army began a general retreat.


On 14 June 1940 the Germans reached Paris.


Churchill suggested to France that Britain and France become a single Franco-British nation. The Anglophobic deputy Prime Minister, Marshall Philippe Petain rejected the proposal as an invitation to marry a corpse.


Talk of negotiations had ended in Britain. On 16 June 1940 Churchill told the cabinet that Britain was fighting for her life, and no chink should appear in her armour.


On 17 June 1940 Petain became Prime Minister and ordered fighting to stop.


On 18 June 1940 Churchill made his Finest Hour speech. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'


Britain was left without European allies.


Facing the threat


The British population soon grew used to the new state of things. Evacuees drifted back home. People stopped carrying their gas masks.


There were still those who called for peace through appeasement. The problem however was that any such ambition rested on assumptions that Hitler’s intentions were limited, whilst his central aim remained racial conquest and the winning of vast living space. It was not Hitler’s primary aim to destroy Britian, but he had a hatred of London and New York as centres of ‘Jewish’ capitalism.


The polls showed that 75% of the population wished to fight on.


People sought strong leadership. At this point in the war in particular, Churchill’s leadership was an important factor. He was a master of words, making 2,000 speeches during his lifetime. Attlee later said Churchill’s main contribution to the war was talking about it. He was satirised as Winstonocerous. The Chief of the Imperial General Staff, General Brooke found working with him to be unbearable; he didn’t know the detail and only got half the picture in his mind. He led Britain into total war, without much thought, but with a single purpose, to destroy Hitler’s ambitions.


Amongst the general population there was a rush of marriages and 300,000 men and women volunteered for the reserve and 1.5M for the Auxiliary Fire Service, Air Raid Precautions (“ARP”) and the Special Constabulary.


The Military Training Act 1939 had required young men to undergo 6 months training.


The National Service (Armed Forces) Act 1939 extended the obligation to all men between 18 and 41, with universal registration of men and their occupations.


The threat to Britain was still very real. The Germans were starting to plan an invasion of Britian, Operation Sealion, scheduled for late September 1940. A Black Book had been prepared of targets for arrest, the Germans having shown themselves capable of murdering the elite in order to reduce the nation to slavery.


The already weak German navy had suffered badly in the Norwegian invasion. The Luftwaffe had heavy losses in France, but still had 750 long range bombers, 250 dive bombers and 750 fighters to Britain’s circa 750 fighters. Britain had developed a system of control stations integrating radars and spotters. However the limited range of radar meant only a few minutes warning, which then took 4 minutes to reach RAF fighter stations, so fighters had to scramble into action and start fighting even before the whole squadron was airborne.


The Battle of Britain


The Battle of Britain, the only decisive battle fought entirely in the air, began in August 1940, which was a month of intense daytime aerial combats.


On 20 August 1940 Churchill gave his famous speech, echoing Shakespeare’s Henry V: The gratitude of every home in our Island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the World War by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.


On 5 September 1940 the German attack switched to cities, especially London, Birmingham and Liverpool in the Blitz. On 7 September a large raid started fires across the East End.


On 15 September 1940 German attacks on London were met by massed fighters in Battle of Britain Day. It started to become clear that German air strength was not sufficient to gain air superiority.


Between July and October 1940 the RAF lost 790 planes to the Luftwaffe 1,300.


The Germans switched to night attacks on cities. By mid November the Luftwaffe had dropped 13,000 tons of high explosives and a million incendiaries on London.


What ended the Blitz was the diversion of the Luftwaffe to Russia. Its effect on Britian’s economy had been limited, and its attempted impact on morale was counter productive.


Across Europe resistance against German aggression saw in Britain what had been seen in the Spanish Republicans – a sense of cheerfully stoical defiance, a ‘mustn’t grumble’ attitude.


During the war 6,000 civilians were killed, half in London. Only 4% of the population used the tube and most didn’t use shelters. ARP wardens, policemen and firemen worke3d tirelessly. There were very few psychological breakdowns, and involvement in important work was the therapy. Suicides fell.


The global war


Britain was at war with Germany and Italy and Japan was threatening on the other side of the world. Britain had the resources and manpower of its empire, 2.5M in India, 500,000 in Africa, 1M in Canada, 1M in Australia and 3000,000 in New Zealand.


Leaders across the world started to judge and make calculations as to who might win. Vichy France and Franco’s Spain contemplated joining the war on Germany’s side. Many disliked Jewish settlement in Palestine and anti semitism attracted some Arab support. King Farouk in Egypt faltered in June 1940 and the pro Nazi nationalist Rashid Ali seized power in Iraq. There were moves towards self government in India. However Britain’s continued fight denied the claim that Germany had won. Goebbels concluded from a Commons debate in June 1941 that there was no sign of weakness.


The Italian army was defeated in Abyssinia and eastern Libya by smaller British forces between October 1940 and April 1941.


The Italian army invaded Greece unsuccessfully in October 1940 but again in April 1941 with German assistance.


Crete fell in May 1941.


The Germans came to the aid of their Italian allies in north Africa by the dispatch of General Erwin Rommel (“the Desert Fox”)’s Afrika Corps in February 1941.


However with no obvious way to defeat Britain, Germany started to contemplate its Plan Z, to build a huge battle fleet and long range bomber force by 1948, to attack US.


The War at Sea


The Atlantic routes to Canada and US were the principal lifeline. The Mediterranean was the embattled route to north Africa, the Suez canal, and the Arab oilfields. The south Atlantic was important for imports of meat and grain from South America. Meantime the Royal Navy attempted a blockade on Germany.


Germany was much weaker at sea than in 1914. In December 1939 the pocket battleship the Graf Spee was tricked into scuttling itself in Montevideo harbour. The Bismark managed a six day sortie in May 1941 and Sank the Hood, but was damaged by the Prince of Wales. The German navy largely lurked away in Norwegian fjords. It was also constrained by a lack of fuel. It could still wreak havoc though – in July 1942 the codebreakers revealed that the Tirpitz was about to go to sea, and the targeted convoy was ordered to scatter, but was then picked off by aircraft and submarines.


In the Mediterranean, Italy’s most effective military force was its navy. It suffered significant losses in the Battle of Taranto on 11 to 12 November 1940. The Mediterranean was bitterly contested at sea and in the air until 1943. The exposed Royal Navy outpost of Malta was constantly attacked, with 75% damage to the houses of Valetta, uniquely awarded the George Cross for he whole island in April 1942.


The peak of losses in the Atlantic was between June 1940 to March 1941, when over a million tons of British shipping was sunk. Perhaps 9,000 convoys were escorted using the global convoy system. Wolf packs of several dozen U boats attacked them. However Germany struggled to maintain its submarine campaign. The biggest difficulty for Britain was protection in the 600 mile Atlantic Gap, the mid ocean area which was beyond air cover.


On 19 August 1942 a largely Canadian raid on Dieppe brought the Allies briefly onto French soil.


By summer 1943 the Battle of the Atlantic had ben won. The mastermind was Admiral Sir Max Horton who trained support groups of anti submarine ships and aircraft carriers coordinated by long range shore based patrol aircraft.


Breaking codes


The Germans used the encoding machine Enigma developed in Germany in 1923. The Polish intelligence service had begun to succeed n breaking its code in the early 1930s and shared its work with France and Britain. The British continued the work at Bletchley Park and began to decipher messages by April to May 1940. The Bletchley staff, often academics and students, increased its staff from 150 in 1939 to 3,500 in 1942 and 9,000 in 1945. Prominent members of the team were Max Newman and Alan Turing.


The deciphering system was codenamed Ultra, and used new computer technology and native cunning. Great care was taken to conceal its successes from the enemy. An important driver of the work was the use of regular phrases, such as Heil Hitler. Daring actions allowed the recovery if lists of Enigma key settings, including a daring recovery from a sinking submarine on 30 October 1942.


War in the East up to 1943


By July 1940 Hitler started to consider an attack on his accomplice, Russia, a target for living space, lebenstraum, and conceived to be strategically advantageous as the elimination of Russia would free up Japan’s power in the Far East, then America would be diverted to war with Japan.


Stalin had taken advantage of his pact with Hitler to invade Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Finland and Romania.


On 22 June 1941, Germany attacked Russia, Operation Barbarossa, who were taken by surprise and quickly defeated, but recovered to temporarily stop the German advance in December 1941.


On 7 December 1941 Japan launched simultaneous strikes on the American naval base at Pearl Harbour in Hawaii and against British colonies.


On 8 December 1941 the Japanese attacked the Philippines, Malaya and Hong Kong.


The battleship Prince of Wales and Battlecruiser Repulse were sent to disrupt Japanese landings on the cost of Malaya but were sunk on 10 December 1941. The Japanese marched into Malaya with ruthless efficiency.


The Japanese occupied Hong Kong on 25 December 1941, in a spree of rape and killing.


Churchill survived a vote of no confidence in the Commons in January 1942.


The Japanese Empire captured the British stronghold of Singapore, with fighting lasting from 8 to 15 February 1942. At the outset, the headmaster of Raffles school asked what his boys saw and Lee Kuan Yew, later first president of an independent Singapore replied, “the end of the British Empire”. Singapore was the foremost British military base and economic port in South–East Asia and had been of great importance to British interwar defence strategy. The capture of Singapore resulted in the largest British surrender in its history.


The Japanese had taken Hong Kong, Malaya, Singapore, Burma, and North Borneo for the loss of 5,000 soldiers.


However on 4 June 1942 the Americans caught a Japanese fleet at Midway and sank four aircraft carriers.


In summer 1942, Gandhi and the Congress Party called for a huge campaign of civil disobedience in its Quit India movement.


Famine in Bengal in the summer of 1943 was exacerbated by world food shortages and later mitigated by an improved harvest and a drive by the new viceroy, Field Marshall Viscount Wavell.


In January 1943, the Germans faced their first disaster on the eastern front when the survivors of the German 6th Army surrendered at Stalingrad.


War in North Africa and Italy


In Libya, Rommel’s forces tipped the balance when they took the key port of Tobruk in June 1942.


However the Axis forces in North Africa were hampered buy shortages of food, fuel and ammunition where British naval power and air superiority was a problem for them.


In September 1942, a plan by Rommel to attack Egypt having been intercepted and decoded by the Ultra project, Montgomery’s 8th Army blocked Rommel at Alam Halfa.


The Second Battle of El Alamein (23 October to 11 November 1942) took place near the Egyptian railway halt of El Alamein. The First Battle of El Alamein and the Battle of Alam el Halfa had prevented the Axis from advancing further into Egypt. It was the first major defeat of the Germans and Churchill ordered the ringing of church bells.


In November 1942 65,000 British and American troops landed in Morocco and Algeria.


In January 1943, at a conference in Casablanca, the British Chiefs of Staff led by General Alan Brooke, Chief of the Imperial General Staff, proposed that military and political efforts were focused on the early conquest of North Africa, to reopen the Mediterranean and open the soft belly of the Axis in southern Europe. Although the strategy has been criticised, it was hard to see a realistic alternative – the British and Americamns lacked the military force including ships for the risky strategy of a cross channel invasion, but were already in north Africa, including Tunisia, within easy reach of Sicily and Italy.


In July and August 1943 the Germans were fooled by a corpse carrying bogus papers and Sicily was successfully invaded.


In September 1943 an Anglo-American landing at Salerno, almost repulsed, began the Italian campaign.


Italy collapsed in summer 1943.


The Strategic Bombing Campaign


Despite allied success at sea, in North Africa and a turning of the tide in the east, Hitler retained a strong hold in Germany.


In the crisis of May 1940, Churchill had ordered air attacks on Germany. In daylight, bombers were very vulnerable. However bombing was Britain’s only serious weapon to strike Germany.


In February 1942, Air Chief Marshall Arthur (“Bomber”) Harris took over Bomber Command.


He launched fire raids on Luebeck and Rostock. The Germans retaliated with ‘Baedecker raids’ on historic English towns, including York, Norwich and Canterbury.


A new generation of four engine bombers had been ordered in 1936 and the Lancaster was operational from March 1942, able to carry 10 tons of bombs.


On 30 May 1942 in an escalation, Harris launched a ‘1,000 bomber raid’ against Cologne which inflicted massive damage. Harris planned to de house industrial workers. There were concerns about breaches of international law and the devastation of cities as threatening the roots of civilisation. The German industry continued despite the bombings.


From 1942, a systematic campaign was pursued.


In March 1943 the Battle of the Ruhr was launched.


In May 1943 the Dambuster operations, Operation Chastise, attacked the Ruhr water supply with bouncing bombs.


Between 24 July and 3 August 1943, the port city of Hamburg was devastated.


In November 1943 the Battle of Berlin began.


Bomber command’s losses approached the unsustainable. In the 1943 Ruhr campaign it lost 640 bombers. There was moral pressure to carry on. Downed airmen sometimes evaded capture and intelligence believed that every airman who escaped cost the life of one helper.


The bombing campaign did have an important strategic impact on Germany’s fighting ability. Bombing forced a large part of German industry to switch to air defence. Germany was forced to deploy 850,000 workers to the aircraft industry. This meant it could not build so many tanks and artillery for its eastern front, as it was forced to protect its homeland. By July 1943 at the crucial battle of Kursk, the Wehrmacht could only muster half the tanks of the Red Army. There were 55,000 anti aircraft guns defending Germany. Life in Germany was increasingly disrupted and demoralised workers became absentees, By 1943 the Nazi party was losing grip on its control and members were no longer wearing badges. There were looters in bombed cities. The German home front was falling apart.


War in the East after 1944


In January 1944 the 900 day German siege of Leningrad was lifted.


Between 8 March and 18 July 1944 on the border with India, Japan suffered its biggest defeat at the Battle of Imphal at the hands of General William Slim’s Indian, British and African 14th Army. The Battles of Imphal and Kohima were the turning point of one of the most gruelling campaigns war. The decisive Japanese defeat in north-east India became the springboard for the Fourteenth Army’s subsequent re-conquest of Burma. Jaspan’s defeat at Imphal became a rout in which they lost 60,000 soldiers, two thirds of their total force.


Land invasion of western Europe


The Channel has rarely been successfully crossed by an invading force. William of Orange had managed it in 1688 when faced with no opposing force and William the Conqueror in 1066 when Harold’s force was fighting the Danes in the north. Napoleon, the Kaiser, and Hitler had been forced to abandon their plans to invade Britian. Modern armies would require far greater resources in ammunition, food and fuel. Churchill did not want to rush the inevitable opening of a second front across the Channel.


Normandy was chosen for the site for Operation Overlord, with wide beaches and a harbour at Cherbourg once secured. Phantom armies were assembled in Scotland, Essex and Kent and a disinformation campaign to suggest the main landing would be across the Straits of Dover. The French Resistance were set to disrupt German movement.


D Day was delayed from 5 June to 6 June 1944 due to storms. The invasion was under the supreme command of General Dwight D Eisenhower and the local command of Montgomery, Air Chief Marshall Sir Trafford Leigh Mallory and Admiral Bertram Ramsay. Airbourne troops landed in advance of the mass seaborne landings.


On 13 June 1944 Germany began its V1 flying bomb campaign, launching 10,0000 rockets, a third of which crashed, many landing in London killing over 6,000 people.


The fight inland in the narrow hedgerow bocage country of Normandy, was bitter and difficult. The country was perfect for defence by a determined German defensive force. Advance was made field by field. There followed a ten week battle of attrition. Survival was often down to luck.


From 18 to 21 July 1944, the British army lost 6,000 men and a third of its tanks.


On 15 August 1944 a mainly Franco American force supported by British naval and air assets, landed in Provence and marched up the Rhone valley.


On 8 September 1944 the first V2 rocket carrying nearly a ton of explosive was launched from the Netherlands.


Operation Market Garden was an Allied military operation fought in the German-occupied Netherlands from 17 to 25 September 1944. Its objective was to create a 64 mile salient into German territory with a bridgehead over the Nederrijn (Lower Rhine River), creating an Allied invasion route into northern Germany. This was to be achieved by two sub-operations: seizing nine bridges with combined US and British airborne forces ("Market") followed by British land forces swiftly following over the bridges ("Garden"). Its failure ended hopes of an end to the war that year.


The approach of winter slowed the Allied advance.


Hitler’s last gasp offensive through the Ardennes against the Americans in the Battle of the Bulge from 16 December 1944 to 25 January 1945 was a surprise, but failed to meet its objectives.


The end of war in the West


From 4 to 11 February 1945 the Big Three Allied leaders, Winston Churchill, Franklin D Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin, met at Yalta in the Crimea, to strike a deal on the division of postwar Europe.


On 13 to 14 February 1945 Dresden was attacked, targeted as a transport hub by 800 Lancasters.


In March 1945 the allied armies crossed the Rhine into western Germany.


In April 1945 British troops liberated Bergen Belsen concentration camp and the young BBC reporter, Richard Dimbleby reported.


The Red Army ‘liberated’ Poland, Hungary, Romania, Czechoslovakia and Austria and the eastern part of Germany.


On 30 April 1945 Hitler shot himself.


On 2 May 1945 Berlin fell.


On 3 May 1945 German forces in Italy surrendered.


On 4 May 1945 German forces in northern Germany surrendered in Lüneburg, at Montgomery's control centre. Admiral von Friedeburg signed the partial surrender of German forces operating in the Northwest of Germany.


On 7 May 1945 German delegates signed an unconditional surrender at Eisenhower’s headquarters in Reims and on 8 May 1945 did the same for Stalin in Berlin.


The end of the war in the east


A large part of Britian’s fleet was sent to the Pacific and there were plans for a British army to join the invasion of Japan.


In August 1945 two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan. The idea of an atomic weapon had originated as early as 1904 when Frederick Soddy had told the Royal Engineers about the possibility. Work began in Britain in the 1940s and the research was transferred to US.


A new age had begun.


(Robert Tombs, The English and their History, 2023, Chapter 17, 687 to 756).


Farndales in the Second World War


Raymond Farndale (FAR00804) served with the Royal Newfoundland Artillery. Raymond W S Farndale, served in 59th (Newfoundland) Heavy Regiment Royal Artillery as 970929 Gunner RWS Farndale in England. He left Halifax on 6 Jun 1940 and went to 23 OCTU at Catterick in March 1943 and was commissioned into the Royal Artillery in September 1943. He was posted to 23rd Heavy Battery, 59th (Newfoundland) Heavy Regiment RA at Ashford Kent. 20th and 23rd Heavy Batteries were given 155mm guns and 21st and 22nd Heavy Batteries were given 7.2-inch guns. The Regiment trained in Northumberland but by July1944 it was at Worthing in Sussex. It went to France and took part in the battles for Caen. By VE-Day it was at Hamburg. Lieutenant RWS Farndale RA went back to Canada in September 1945 with the Defence Medal, the 1939-45 Star and War Medal with a Mention in Dispatches. He joined 166th (Newfoundland) Field Regiment RCA (Reserve) and was with them until 1954, retiring as a Major, earning the Canadian Forces decoration (CD). He became an accountant and lived at St Johns, Corner Brook, Toronto and Halifax


A person in a military uniform

Description automatically generated 

Raymond Farndale, RCA, 1943

4272378 Cyril Ernest Farndale (FAR00872) enlisted into the Royal Artillery on 30 August 1939 and was discharged on 12 July 1942. He served in 100 Anti Tank Regiment Royal Artillery.       

Gordon Farndale (FAR00819) served with the Royal Canadian Air Force. Wilfred Gordon Farndale, served as a Flight Lieutenant in the RCAF in World War 2 in Europe and then became an accountant.


A person in a uniform

Description automatically generated 

Gordon Farndale, 1944


Clarence Edward Farndale (FAR00850) served with the Royal Canadian Navy.


A person in a uniform

Description automatically generated A couple of men in military uniforms

Description automatically generated

Clarence Farndale, 1960            Clarence and Gordon Farndale


Brigadier Cecil Farndale Phillips (PHI0001 – see also and Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips was commanding 47 (Royal Marine) Commando during the assault in the Le Hamel area on 6th June 1944. The task of this Commando was to land behind the right assault brigade (231st Brigade) of the Division and after passing through it advance and capture Port En Bessin, a distance of some eight miles. Owing to the high wind and tempestuous seas several of the assault landing craft were swamped and the occupants had to swim for it - much equipment and many arms were lost. Undismayed by this fortune Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips soon had his men assembled and re-organised, those without weapon and equipment being made up from captured enemy material, and the advance began. Soon after passing through the leading elements of 231st Brigade the Commando ran up against stiff resistance and from then on until the port fell to them the next day they had to fight the whole way. Never once did they falter or hesitate and by the skill and leadership and determination of Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips each successive point of resistance was methodically and relentlessly overpowered - some 250 prisoners were captured as well as a large number of enemy killed. The defence of the port was stronger than had been anticipated, and included some well armed flak ships. It was defended stubbornly and with great tenacity, but the commando was not to be denied and by great feat of arms and endurance finally triumphed. This outstanding achievement was largely due to Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips' gallant conduct and resolution, the inspiring example he set and his exceptional qualities as a leader and commander. After the conclusion of the Normandy campaign, Lieutenant-Colonel Phillips continued to lead No.47 Commando until January 1945. He was subsequently promoted to Brigadier and given command of the 116th Infantry Brigade RM. For his service with both of these units in the Netherlands, he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of Oranje Nassau with Swords. His citation reads: The above named officer commanded 47 (Royal Marine) Commando during the assault landing on Walcheren and later, until January 1945, on River Maas North of Ousterhout, when he returned to the United Kingdom on promotion. He returned the following month in command of 116th Infantry Brigade RM which was deployed on the River Maas between Tilburg and 's-Hertogenbosch. During the months of March and April the Royal Netherlands Brigade served under command and took part in many highly successful raids in strength across the river, notably at Hedel. In 1945 he was Commanding Officer 116th Brigade Royal Marines, North-West Europe. Joined Royal Marines 1923; Adjutant, Plymouth Div Royal Marines 1931-1934; HMS SUSSEX 1934-1937; battleship HMS RODNEY 1937; HMS ACHILLES (New Zealand) 1937-1939; World War II 1939-1945; aircraft carrier HMS COURAGEOUS 1939; Staff College, Camberley 1940; General Staff Officer Grade 2, 1 Div 1941; General Staff Officer Grade 1, Royal Marine Div 1942; 47 Commando, Royal Marines 1943-1944; Commander, 116 Infantry Bde, Royal Marines 1945; Fleet Royal Marine Officer, British Pacific Fleet 1945-1946; Joint Sevices Staff College 1947-1948; School of Amphibious Warfare 1949-1950; Commander, 3 Commando Bde, Royal Marines, Malaya 1951-1952; Commander, Portsmouth Group Royal Marines 1952-1954; Chief of Amphibious Warfare 1954-1957


4460826 Private James Farndale (FAR00833) served with the 2nd Battalion The West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own). He died of wounds on 16 March 1941 at Keren, Eritrea, aged 25, and his memorial is at Memorial 3.A.3, Keren War Cemetery.


1824896 Sergeant Bernard Farndale (FAR00783) served with 115th Squadron RAF, and was killed in action over Denmark on 30 August 1944. On the night before 30 August 1944 nearly 600 RAF bombers flew over Denmark on bombing raids to Königsberg and Stettin. Particularly the planes for Stettin were attacked by German night fighters, when they were passing the northern part of Jutland and the Kattegat. LAN ME718 was hit and flew for a moment through the air before it crashed like a burning torch at Oue (about 400 m west of Rinddalsvej in Denmark). All of the bomb load exploded on impact. All of the crew were killed.ME718 was attacked by a German night fighter and caught fire. At approx. 00:10 hours it crashed near Ove northeast of Hobro killing all onboard. The bomb load exploded when the Lancaster hit the ground spreading wreckage and human remains over a wide area. The Germans did not want to collect the human parts and left them in the field. The locals were abused by this behaviour and collected the remains in wickerwork baskets. The Wehrmacht ordered the Danes to hand the baskets over, and these were thrown in the crater at the crash site and covered it. When the Germans had left the area, the locals together with members of the Civil Air Defence opened the crater and placed the remains in a coffin which was driven to Ove church. On 4/9 1944 the flyers were laid to rest in Ove cemetery unknown to the Wehrmacht, Vicar A. Bundgård officiating at the graveside ceremony. The crew was: Pilot F/Lt Edward Chatterton RCAF, Flt. Engr. Sgt Bernard Farndale, Air bomber Anthony Michael Kovacich RCAF, Navigator P/O William George Sankey, W/Op Sgt Leslie Taylor, Air Gnr. P/O John Couzens Reeb, Air Gnr. Sgt Donald Bullock. The German Wehrmacht took no steps to bury the mortal remains of the 7 airmen in a decent manner. This caused heart felt disagreements between the Danish bomb expert, other Danes and the Germans. Later a coffin was procured. It was secretly brought to the chapel of rest by the civil defence. On 4 November, 1944 the vicar A. Bundgård carried out the funeral. The coffin was decorated with flowers, but there were only a few mourners. Apparently the German Wehrmacht knew nothing of this funeral. (Source: FAF). As the German did not want to pick up the many parts of bodies of the airmen, Danes picked them up into baskets. The Wehrmacht ordered the Danes to hand over the baskets which then were buried at the crash site. Danes later disinterred the bodies when the Germans had left the area, procured a coffin and took it to the chapel of rest at Oue Churchyard. (Source: Hjemmeværnets Historiske Samling i Himmerland about this plane and its crew.) One of those killed was Sergeant (Flight Engineer) Bernard Farndale, 25, was the son of Arthur Edwin and Mary Annie Farndale, of Robin Hood's Bay, Yorkshire, United Kingdom. (Source: CWGC).

519912 Corporal Albert Farndale, Royal Air Force (FAR00820).

Ronald M Farndale (FAR00852) served with the 6th  Field Ambulance RAMC in Greece and Crete. He was captured at Sidi Rezegh in 1941 and was a prisoner of war in Italy for the rest of the war.


Sergeant William Derrick Farndale (FAR00811) was patrol leader of the Withensea patrol on the east Yorkshire coast.


521789 Corporal Henry Stuart Farndale (FAR00832) served with the Royal Air Force. He was a pilot under training and his aircraft crashed and he was killed on 11 May 1945. His grave is at Section V Grave 265, Leeds (Lawns Wood) cemetery..


185589, Private (later Lieutenant) William Arthur James Farndale (FAR00829) served with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps.


Bertram George Farndale (FAR00855) served as a sergeant in the RAOC 1940 -45.


19199623 James Noel Farndale (FAR00889) served with the US Army Air Corps in World War 2 in USA and in Europe. He enlisted at Las Vegas into the Air Corps on 15 December 1942 as a Private.


36014559 Private Richard W Farndale (FAR00851C) attested into the army on 28 March 1941 at Chicago, Illinois. He was a Mechanic with the 43rd Division for 32 months in the Pacific.


The Cold War years


General Sir Martin Farndale KCB (FAR00911) joined Indian Army 1946 and was commissioned into Royal Artillery October 1948 from the first intakes at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. He served Egypt, Germany, Malaya, N Ireland, South Arabia. He retired January 1988 as Commander in Chief of the British Army of the Rhine and commander of the Northern Army Group of NATO. He was awarded the General Service Medal, Malaya and for Northern Ireland and for South Arabia; the Coronation Medal; CB; KCB; and the Canadian Medal. Martin Farndale was the inventor of the Farndale Cocktail. He died on 10 May 2000.


A person in a military uniform

Description automatically generated 


Keith Alan Farndale (FAR00976) was from New Zealand, but served as a Petty Officer in the Royal Navy.



A group of people posing for a photo

Description automatically generated



James Henry Farndale (FAR01064) served with 1st Battalion Kings Own Scottish Borderers.


Gary R Farndale (FAR01121) served with the British Army on The Rhine.


Gulf War 1


522843 Major Richard Farndale (FAR01122) was commissioned into Royal Artillery in 1987 from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and served in Germany, UN Forces Cyprus 1990, and as an artillery forward observation officer during the First Gulf War 1991,  Adjutant First Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, 105 Regiment TA Scotland. He was awarded the UN Medal (UN Forces Cyprus), and the Gulf War Medal.



A person in a military uniform

Description automatically generated