Rodaways of ww1-2

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                          PTE 94371  GEORGE CONKIE,  M.M             KINGS LIVERPOOL REG

Submitted by his Granddaughter Linda Joan  and David Medland
 George Conkie was born in Ayr, Scotland on 10th March 1884 to John and Jean Conkie ( John was a Baker by trade ) On 29th August 1912 he married Joan Thorburn Borthwick at the parish church of Little Budworth, Chester. They went on to have three children George, Robert and Jean.

When war broke out George enlisted with the 1/5th Battalion of the King's Liverpool Regiment as Private 94371.  He joined at St Anne Street, Liverpool in August 1914. On 22nd February 1915 he landed at Le Havre, France. George rose to paid Lance Corporal.  He was later awarded the Military Medal which is a great honour of course.  Unfortunately, the medal vanished and I don't where it went.  It was actually promised to my husband by my Grandfather because he knew my husband would look after it.  Alas, it vanished as the years went by as my Grandfather lived with his son George ( brother to Robert Conkie ) and his wife ( my parents ).  They are now deceased.
 I do not know the date the action took place or where my Grandfather won his Military Medal.  Though it was in France. The story in the family was that, my Grandfather and others were ordered over the top to attack a German machine gun emplacement.  Through heavy fire my Grandfather reached the machine gun emplacement and killed two Germans and captured others.  The odd thing was, he was on his own and was surprised that his chums had hesitated because of heavy gun fire.  This may be only a family tale embellished over the years.  Who knows ?

His son Robert served during WW2 with The King's Liverpool Regiment and The Royal Air Force. Sadly he lost his life in service in 1940. Robert is listed below.

After the war my Grandfather became a horse jockey ( he was only 5 ft 4in's tall ).  Later he became Head Stable Lad for Lord Wavertree.  He was part of the team that took the horse " All White " to the 1921 Grand National at Aintree Racecourse, where the horses finished 3rd in the race.  Grandfather was one of five of Lord Wavertree's staff who received from Lord Wavertree a signed print  from an oil painting of Lord Wavertree on horse called " Buttercup ".  Only the five prints were ever done.  Another print I believe went to my grandfathers sister whose name I have forgot.  She was Head Cook for Lord Wavertree. The Photograph at the start of this story shows George sitting aboard the Grand National horse " All White

Robert was the son of George listed above and Joan Conkie. He was married to Annie Winifred. During WW2 he served with the King's Liverpool Regiment, later being transferred to the Royal Air Force. 

Robert enlisted on 31 August 1937 at the RAF 1 depot in Uxbridge, Hillingdon, North London. On 17 September 1937 he was sent for training at 1 Wing in Henlow near Luton. No.1 Wing trained Fitters 1 and m/c tool operators. He was still at Henlow on 26 March 1938.

On 1 November 1938 he moved to the 13 (M) unit before returning to 1 Wing on 26 January 1939. Then on 30 June 1939 he moved over to 2 Wing ( still at Henlow ) No.2 and No.3 Wings trained Flight Riggers and Flight Mechanics.

He then moved to Eastchurch on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent on 2 September 1939 ( The day before Britain declared War on Germany ) as part of the No.2 Air Armament School. He was back with 2 Wing at Henlow 2 weeks later on 16 September. On 29 September he is at Number 4 BA depot.

Robert is admitted to hospital for 5 days on 11 February 1940. The name of the hospital he was at looks like St Michael's. He is again admitted to hospital for 4 days on 23 February 1940. His RAF movements sheet states " French Hospital "
Sadly Robert  was killed in action at Rennes Railway Yards on June 17th 1940 during a Luftwaffe bombing raid. He was evacuating to the channel ports at the time. He is buried at Rennes Eastern Communal Cemetery, France.
1457778 LAC Smith A. B.


Submitted by  Linda Joan and  David Medland   

 I am enclosing details of my late brother in law.                        Alfred Bernard Smith, R.A.F Regiment.
 Bernard passed away on 14th November 2012 after a long illness.  He was ninety years of age.
 He was born in Butte Street Liverpool, later moving to the Wirral with his family.  After leaving the regiment for a number of years he worked as a van salesman for Scott?s Bakeries in Liverpool.  After marrying, Bernard and his wife Jean Irene Smith ( nee? Medland ) moved to Northwich Cheshire.
 He was a gentleman of the old school and respected by everyone he knew and his family will always remember him.

 War Service RAF Regiment 1939-1943
1943-1946 Wireless Operator
Volunteered to join the  RAF a few weeks prior to my 19th Birthday (Sept 25th) before being Conscripted.
Sept -Dec 1941 Basic training 6 weeks at Whitley Bay & 6 weeks at Skegness.
Jan 1942 Posted to RAF Compton Basset.
1942-1943 Stationed at RAF Regiment, Montrose , Scotland.
Passed aptitude test for Morse Code training.
June- Sept 1943 Blackpool (Morse Code training- eventually reaching 18 words per minute.
Sept 1943-Nov 1944 Stationed at Cark, Lake District.
Nov 1944 Posted to London awaiting overseas posting.
Nov  - Jan Egypt (awaiting posting).
Jan 1945  Destination RAF Eastleigh, Nairobi, East Africa ( Sunderland Flying Boat Cairo to Kartoum, night stop, ).
Then by Dakota aircraft to Nairobi, East Africa. 
June 6th 1946



James Owen       Royal Artillery WW II


Submitted by Linda Joan and David Medland


 James Owen was my favorite uncle he was brother to my mother Emily Owen.  He was born 26th March 1906.  He lived for a long time in Blythswood Street Liverpool.  For a short time he was in the Merchant Navy with my father Christopher Medland.  Later becoming a bricklayer.  On the 30th March 1935 James married my father?s sister Annie Medland.  My mother and father and James and Annie all lived together after the war at 6 Emerald Street, Dingle Liverpool.  My parents left later to live elsewhere in Liverpool.

 James was a very good boxer and often fought at the Liverpool Stadium.  Later in his army service he would become a championship boxer for his regiment.

 James joined up for the Army, Royal Artillery, at the beginning of World War Two.  Alas, his service record has not been found at this time though is under research.  He was sent to India in the beginning and later to Burma to fight the Japanese. The Japanese invaded Burma in 1942.  He took part in the battles fought at Rangoon and Mandalay.  His last battle was at Kohima in India on the border with Burma in 1944.   He was returned home with malaria and discharged from the Army as medically unfit for service.  For some years he suffered the effects of malaria.

After the war James worked for the Gas Board in Liverpool until his retirement.  He and his wife eventually moved to Frodsham in Cheshire.  He passed away peacefully in 1990 and is survived by his daughter Valerie and son Kenneth.

 He will be remembered always as a gentleman and a loving family man




Christopher Medland
Merchant Navy Service ( 1922 to 1966 )


Submitted by  Linda Joan and  David Medland  

Christopher Medland was born on the 8th August 1905 in Liverpool.
Married 24 May 1933
Emily Greenwood (Widow) Age 29 
51 Gwendoline Street


 Christopher Medland first served in The Merchant Navy in 1922.
In 1929 during the Great Depression Christopher found himself berthed in North America. He was unable to   sign on a ship to get home to the United Kingdom due to the fact that there were very few positions vacant because of the depression. He worked for the Ford Motor Company for two years during which time he sent money home to his family.
Emily Greenwood's first husband was Arthur (James) Greenwood.He was a rigger at Cammell Lairds, Ship Builders, Birkenhead. He fell to his death. (date not known) They had one son Arthur James Greenwood -
step brother to Christopher and Emily's four children. Emily's maiden name was Owen.
Christopher and Emily first lived in Gwendoline Street. Their first child Jean Irene was born there. They then moved to 6, Emerald Street, The Dingle, Liverpool. Christopher's sister Annie also lived here.
At a later date Christopher,Emily, Jean Irene and Arthur James moved to 12, Violet Street, Toxteth, Liverpool 8. (Just off Windsor Street and Warwick Street) 
Christopher, David and Carol were all born in Violet Street.
During this period Christopher was at sea  and the children were conceived when he was on shore leave
between voyages. He signed on with many different Shipping Lines during his service with the Merchant Navy and went all over the world including South America, the West Indies and all points of the compass.
When Christopher was sailing on the Chagres it collided with a Swedish barque named the C.B.Peterson which sank. (see photo)
Then came World War 11 in 1939. Christopher was still in the Mercahant Navy and because of the threat of marauding u-boats the convoy system was organised in the hope that this would mean less merchant ships would be sunk - safety in numbers! At this time Christopher was a fireman/donkeyman in the engine rooms of the ships he sailed in.
While Christopher was sailing with the convoys the Luftwaffe were bombing Liverpool on a regular basis as it was the the main port on the West Coast for the convoys to berth when they returned from Canada and America.Emily and the family at home had to cope with these conditions as well as the added worry of whether Christopher was safe. During this time Windsor Street about 200 yards from Violet Street was bombed. The Luftwaffe had missed the docks and jettisoned the bombs killing and injuring many people. The  Medland family were lucky!!
Christopher was torpedoed three times and was lucky to escape from the engine room on all three occasions.
At the time when the German U-boat wolf packs were at their height the convoy was returning from 
America when the convoy Commodore ordered them to scatter. The ship Christopher was on thought they  
had been torpedoed after a loud crashing sound. The ship though damaged at the bow was not sinking as she was still seaworthy. They carried on to Liverpool. When she arrived in the Mersey Bay waiting to dock a small ship arrived and she was escorted to the dock. On the dockside stood an Admiral of the Royal Navy waiting to meet the Captain and crew. After the order to scatter had been given the ship had actually
run over a U-boat and sunk it.
Christopher was declared unfit for further service on 19th December 1942.
During his sevice as a Merchant seaman he led an interesting life and experienced many happy and sad episodes over the years.
After leaving the  Merchant Navy he worked on a dredger at Garston docks Liverpool.
In 1953 he applied for a job at ICI in Northwich Cheshire.  At that time ICI had an agreement with the local council to allocate council houses to new ICI employees. He was allocated a house in Barnton. (a small village on the outskirts of Northwich) Consequently the family moved to Northwich. He first worked in the boiler rooms which generated the power for the ICI factories at Winnington and Wallerscote. At a later date a vacancy occured for deck hand and  cook on the MV Polythene - a  coaster belonging to ICI. The Polythene travelled up the River Weaver to Runcorn then through the River Mersey to Glasgow and then returned to Northwich. This journey was undertaken on a weekly basis. Christopher continued in this occupation for a few years until he had a bad heart attack. When he was fully recovered ICI gave him a job in the mail room of their Northwich office.
Christopher retired from ICI and then went to work at the Westminster Bank in Northwich as a customer usher.
This is the story of the life of a man who sailed the world from 1922 until 1942 when he was no longer considered fit enough to be sailing the seven seas. He served his country during World War 11 by sailing in the Atlantic  convoys. He was awarded the following medals The 1939 - 1945 Star,The Atlantic Star and the World War 11 medal.
He worked hard all his life and cared for his family. All his children are very proud of him.