Lest We Forget
Hebden and World War 2
World War 2 Role of Honour
There are two identical hand-written framed Roles of Honour recording the names of those associated with Hebden who served in World War 2. One is on the north wall of St. Peter's Church and the other is on the wall in the Ibbotson Institute - the village hall. The three men who died are listed above the others. The names below are transcribed in the order they appear on the Role of Honour.
|Name (with links to CWGC)||Rank||Regiment||Date Died||Notes|
|Harker, John Hammond||Sergeant||Royal Air Force||10/02/1942||Son of Richard & Elizabeth Harker, husband of Muriel Harker (née Whitehead).|
|Longthorne, Fred||Driver||Royal Army Service Corps||26/08/1943||Son of Sam & Maud Annie Longthorne of Ferndene; husband of Sarah Maud Longthorne (née Kayley )|
|Sturgeon, John Brian (DSC)||Lieutenant||Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve||03/04/1944||Son of Robert & Dorothy Sturgeon of Hole Bottom; husband of Esme V M Sturgeon (née Byas).|
Bowdin, Richard D
Hargreaves, R Adrian
Herd, John H
Pickles, David J
Richards, Gordon S
Simpson, Richard N
Sturgeon, E Lawrence H
Whyte, George D
Hebden's fallen in the First World War are well commemorated in the Craven's Part in the Great War website. This section commemorates those from Hebden who died in the Second World War.
Sergeant John Hammond Harker (1914-1942)
Sergeant John Hammond Harker lost his life whilst serving the Royal Auxiliary Air Force in 1942.
John Hammond Harker was born on May 12th 1914 in Grassington, to Richard Watson and Elizabeth Harker. His father was the local sub-postmaster - a role that John was to eventually take over. John married Muriel Whitehead from Hebden in April 1938, and their daughter Janet was born in 1941.
John enlisted in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force in August 1939, a month after the start of the Following his training, he served at Thornaby-onTees, and then Silloth. In October 1941 he was then posted to a Ferry Training Unit based in Honeybourne, near Stratford-upon-Avon. On the 10th February 1942, whilst on a fuel consumption testing flight over Cardiganshire in which he was the radio operator, the Hudson III aircraft crashed in bad weather, killing all four crew members. He was 25 years old.
He was buried at St.Peter's in Hebden on the 14th February, and a Commonwealth war grave headstone now marks the interment. His wife Muriel, who died in 1998, is commemorated on the stone below.
Sergeant Harker is also commemorated on the Wall of Names at the International Bomber Command Centre near Lincoln, and on the war memorial in Linton.
Driver Fred Longthorne (1917-1943)
Driver Fred Longthorne died aged 25 of tuberculosis contacted as a direct result of his service with the Royal Army Service Corps.
Fred Longthorne was born on October 16th 1917 in Hebden, the son of Sam Longthorne and Maud Annie Longthorne (née Ellis). In 1939 the family were living at Ferndene on Green Terrace, and Sam worked in the boiler house at Grassington Sanatorium.
Fred left school at the age of 14 and initially worked in Hebden Mill. He then worked for T. &s A. Stockdale of Bridge House as a driver. At the end of 1939 he married Sarah Maude Kayley. When war broke out he joined the Hebden Home Guard, before being called up. He served as a driver in the Royal Army Corps. He was eventually posted to Northern Ireland, where he contracted TB as a result of the poor living conditions. He was invalided out of the army, and died on August 26th 1943, aged 25. He is interred in a Commonwealth War Grave in Linton. Sarah married Richard Tennant in 1947.
Lieutenant John Brian Sturgeon (1912-1944)
Lieutenant John Brian Sturgeon lost his life whilst serving in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1943.
John Brian Sturgeon (Brian)was born on 8th January 1912 in Llangollen, Denbighshire to Robert Alexander and Dorothy Sturgeon, his father being a civil engineer. The family were fairly peripatetic, and from 1924 until 1928 John was boarding at Ermysted's Grammar School in Skipton, when his parents were living in Brighouse. The photograph above is taken from an Ermysted's rugby team photo. He left school at sixteen to train as an engineer in the wool trade.
His parents moved into Jerry and Ben cottage in Hebden at the beginning of 1933, where they rapidly built a thriving holiday business. The cottage was more than doubled in size with a verandah built; the derelict Scar Top House was converted to a hostel; and Bracken Hall and The Hut, two timber and asbestos structures, were built to the south. Robert Sturgeon also played an active role on the Parish Council.
Brian moved south to London, where he excelled at tennis, playing at Wimbledon for five successive years, reaching the men's doubles quarter finals in 1938. He married Esme V M Byass in the July of the same year. In the 1939 Register he put down his occupation as "Director, West Bromwich Flock Co Ltd". Brian joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve at the beginning of the war, and was made a Temporary Lieutenant at the beginning of 1941. He served on convoy duty in the North Sea at the beginning of his naval career, and in 1943 was given command of MTB 77 in the Mediterranean. He served with distinction, being awarde a Distinguished Service Cross "for gallantry and distinguished services in the operations which led to the surrender of the islands of Pantellaria and Lambedusa".
MTB 77 was sunk by enemy action on the 8th September, 1943 with no loss of life, although Brian spent some time in hospital as a result of the incident. Following his recovery, he was given command of MTB 242. He was killed by a single bullet whilst engaging an I-boat in the Adriatic in April 1944, when he was 32 years old. He was originally buried on the island of Vis, but his body was later re-interred in the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery in Belgrade.
He left a widow, Esme, and a daughter, Carolyn, who had been born in 1942. Esme remarried in 1947, and his parents and brother moved to Southern Rhodesia to become tobacco farmers.