Military connections and wartime experiences

Currently no Upton Park residents are military; or ex-miliary who still use their ranks as titles. However The Minute book records many military titles particularly stretching between the two post-war periods.

This is largely influenced by the fact that the Chester area has been termed a garrison town until recent times. Around WW2 it was the HQ of Western Command and had many army and RAF bases. Upton Park's former neighbour Government House (formerly Dorrin Court) - demolished in 1973 - was purchased by Western Command in 1920 and used for a succession of G O C's. Stories suggest that Government House accommodated Haile Selassie during WW2 and was visited by Field Marshall Montgomery.
The following list records some of the ex-military people who have lived in the Park -

  • Brigadier Stewart in Carden Bank (15) - served as UPPA Vice Chairman Believed to have served with REME and/or Royal Ulster Rifles. He apparently got married while in Constantinople.

  • Brigadier B L Rigby CBE in Holly Bank (17) mid 1960's to mid 1970's
    Served with the Cheshire Regiment and subsequently the author of the regiment's history 'Ever Glorious' and other histories incl. the Malta Railway.

  • Colonel Taylor in The Limes (25)-Chaired in 1962
  • A Colonel reputedly billeted in (no:7) with Parkers during WW2
  • Group Captain Evans in Belmont (33)
  • Wing Commander Ron Lloyd DFC AFC in Garden House (no:28). Trained at Cranwell; Ron was a bomber pilot with 50 squadron and also served as CO of 110 squadron in Ceylon.
  • Lt Colonel Flavelle Royal Army Dental Corp in Millside(84)
  • Lt Colonel E A French in Roade Villa (no:74) with the Royal Army Dental Corp served in India during WW2 and also in Japan during the Korean war.
  • Major J S Smith in Millside (84)
  • Major WT Whitley in Belmont (33)
  • Major Hyde in Holly Bank (17) after WW2
  • Major (later Lt Col) Frederick Matthews (no:14)
  • Major Brown in Westview (80)
  • Major Brunton in Norland House (no:21) - Park secretary in 1965
  • Squadron Leader Davies of Holly Bank (17) served in the RAF as an Intelligence Officer during WW2.
  • Captain Arthur Garrod in Elm House (64) - a Royal Engineer in Queen Victoria's Own Madras Sappers & Miners
    also Jean Garrod a Junior Commander in the ATS
  • Captain Wilson in Hawthornes (21 & 62)- UPPA chairman
    Captain Wilson trained at 170 (MG) OCTU, was commissioned in the Cheshire Regiment during WW2 and posted to 24 MGTU at the Dale.
  • Lt. Tom Griffiths (no:104)who served during WW2 in the Fleet Air Arm having been in the Navy as a rating before the war. He flew Swordfish protecting the Atlantic crossings.
  • Mr. & Mrs Lees (no:10) both served during WW2 in the RAF.
  • Jim Irvin is believed to have been RAF.
  • Mary Trant (no:11) is believed to have been an officer during WW2.
  • Harold Sumption (no:4) WW2 service in RAF.
  • need to check out Ken Starkie WW2 service ?

    And finally 'lest we forget' those who lost their lives in the two world wars.

    Named on the Upton War Memorial and believed to possibly be Park residents

    Archibald Buck
    2nd Lt Arch Charles Watson Buck of 10th Battalion Liverpool Scottish (Territorial) King's Liverpool Regiment killed in action 9/08/1916.
    believed to be 'Pa' Buck of Upton Park who was a scout leader pre-WW1.

    Donald Cowie
    L/Cpl Donald Cowie of 10th Battalion King's Liverpool Regiment died in France/Flanders from wounds 31/11/1916.
    may have been a son to George & Margaret Cowie who resided at no:1 before and post WW1.

    other names on the Upton memorial that may have had Upton Park connections..
    these names have not been found on the CD record held in the CRO.
    Reginald Hughes
    a reginald Gilbert Hughes was resident at no:25 pre-WW1.

    George Crosby
    John Crosby lived at no:40 post WW1.

    Meanwhile on the homefront -
    Cecil Parker was a motorcyclist in the Homeguard as was Ron Ross who later lived at Oaklea (no:68) during the 1960s. Albert Warner of Heatherlea (no:8) became the local chief of the ARP Warden service.

    There is no record of the Park suffering any bomb damage although the following incident occured at the Mill.

    On 1 July 1941 a 2-seater Miles Master N7833 crashed into the outbuildings of The Mill killing the trainer and student. Both were French Canadians - Pilot Officer J M Milmine and Sargeant H A Womack both from 57 OTU at Harwarden

    There are no Proprietors Association records between February 1915 and October 1918. When they restart the issue of widening the mill entrance; as raised in 1915; is taken up again and seems to be quickly actioned. Also the road workman's wages were increased to 5/-d presumably reflecting the shortage of post-war labour.

    There are no Proprietor Association records between the committee meeting of December 1940 and the AGM of July 1945. At the committee meeting Mr Furley brought to the notice of Proprietors that stirrup pumps could be bought from the Rural District Council at 1 each. The 1945 electoral roll records many Park residents as serving away on military service.

    Post WW2 communal air raid shelters remained on the mill orchard plot opposite nos: 8 & 10.

    The Cheshire Records Office holds the Committee Minute Book of the Upton & District unit of the Cheshire Volunteer Regiment (Chester & Eddisbury Battalion).

    inaugurated 29/4/1915 with the following Upton Park (believed to be) members - RJohnson; ACWBuck; LJGowings (sec). Other names with possibly Park connections - Trelfa; SOldham

    Also the committee minutes of the Upton War (WW1) Memorial -

    - Chair- Sir John Frost. Committee members (believed to be Upton Park residents) -
    Jas. Haselden; T.Hinde; W.Pearson; E.Dean(Treasurer); R.Johnson Geo.Cowie; L.J.Gowings(Hon.Sec.).
    -unveiled 13Feb1921 on site at the cross (land donated by Sir Philip Egerton) - Meeting of subscribers included Edward Dean & Charles Dean of Upton Park.

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