Downham War Memorial

By Jim Devlin

The Downham War Memorial stands outside St. Margaret's Church in Castledon Road, Downham.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Downham War Memorial' page

The front panel on the memorial towards the road side commemorates the fallen in the Great War 1914 - 1918.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Downham War Memorial' page

The panel commemorates the following men:

















The rear panel, away from the road commemorates the fallen of World War Two 1939 - 1945

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Downham War Memorial' page

The following men are commemorated here:

Sgt. Pilot JOHN MAITLAND KEDDIE (915015) of 99Sqn. RAFVR who died on 4th January 1941 aged 19. He was the son of Frederic Wallace Keddie and Annie Emily Keddie of Downham and is buried here in the churchyard. His brothers Richard and Wallace are also commemorated here.

Lieutenant RICHARD GEORGE DAMYON KEDDIE DSC who commanded H.M.S. Cattistock, brother to John and Wallace. He died on 29th August 1944 aged 26 and is buried here in the churchyard. H.M.S. Cattistock was on patrol off Cape D’Antifer with H.M.S. Retalick when they intercepted German craft carrying out evacuation of Le Havre. H.M.S. Cattistock received 26 hits including one on bridge which killed her Captain. Lt. Keddie. See comment at foot of page.

Flight Lieutenant WALLACE ARTHUR ROBERT KEDDIE (87669) of 210 Sqn. RAFVR who died on 16th May 1942 aged 25. He was the brother of John and Richard above. He is commemorated on the Runnymead Memorial.

Lance Corporal ARTHUR EDWARD STANNARD (5834201) of 142nd (7th Bn., The Suffolk Regiment) Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps who died on 27th September 1944 aged 24. He was the son of Arthur Herbert Stannard and Louisa Stannard of Downham. He is buried at the Coriano Ridge War Cemetery near Riccione on the Adriatic coast of Italy. 

S. TOWNSEND There a number of servicemen who this could be. We would be grateful of more information so we can be sure who this is.

Lieutenant ARTHUR BLUNDEL VAN SOMEREN (71030) of 18th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery who died on 20th May 1940 aged 23. He was the son of Leonard William van Someren and Gwendoline van Someren of Camberley, Surrey. He is Buried at the Bruyell War Cemetery, near Tournai in Belgium. He was killed during a battle on the line of the river Scheldt before the final withdrawal to Dunkirk ahead of the German advance.

Leading Stoker ALFRED ARTHUR ANDREWS DSM of H.M. Motor Gun Boat 2002 who died on 12th May 1945 aged 28. HMMGB 2002 was on a special mission from Aberdeen to recover 3 British merchant ships at Gothenburg, Sweden when she hit a mine and was sunk in the Skaggerak, the body of water between Denmark and Norway.



This page was added by Jim Devlin on 14/08/2013.
Comments about this page (Add a comment about this page)

Perhaps a short adjustment to note that Richard Kedddie was in fact the captain of HMS Cattistock when he was killed in action. His coffin was covered with Cattistock's battle Ensign that Richard had ordered flown on D-Day. I have Cattistock's bell and screen badge if you would like a photo. The bell was later repaired as the same shell that killed Richard damaged it too. Kind regards, John in Oz.

For a photo of the bell click here

On 04/10/2013

Does anyone have any more info about those on the Cattistock? My dad was Ernest Hosking, Guns Officer 

Melanie W, Falmouth Cornwall

By Melanie Williams
On 10/01/2014

My father Maurice G Brewster was onboard that day in 1944 as an AB RDF,radar.He remembers that MP's had to be called to stop a riot when the dock workers wanted 'blood money' to clean up ship when it arrived back.He was put on 2 weeks survivors leave and posted to HMS Catterick.He never saw any of the crew again.                       A.G.Brewster,Harlow,Essex

By Alan G Brewster
On 19/01/2014

I wondered where the bell went as I used to see it hanging on the front of the Grange owned by the parents of Richard Keddie. I was a gardener there straight from school and had to answer to the name of Frank, as my name was Robert and it was thought it would bring back bad memories. I have wondered about the bell all this time, that was 1952/55.

By bobcroot
On 01/03/2016

The original heavy English oak bell bracket made by the RN for the Keddie family that Bob Croot saw at the Grange has been refurbished and is on my wall here. The bell also has a separate tripod stand so that the bell can be rung by me on 11/11 and ANZAC Day at our village cenotaph. Kind regards, John Hoey, ex RAAF Vietnam and ret BA 747 crew in Giru, Qld. 

On 09/11/2016