They Also Served: A to F

In addition to those who paid the Supreme Sacrifice, the following are short biographies of other men and women of Ruskington who enlisted during World War 2 with surnames beginning ‘A’ to ‘F’.

Remembered on this page are:

scroll down buttonSCROLL DOWN – to read more about these Ruskington men and women. 


Private Arthur BARRITT:   “The Sleaford Gazette” of 28 June 1940 reported: “The wedding took place at the parish church [All Saints’, Ruskington] on Saturday [22 June] of Miss Dorothy Ethel How, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. H. G. How, of Rectory Road, and Private Arthur Barritt. youngest son of Mr and Mrs. Barritt, of Hannington, Northamptonshire. The Rev. S. F. M. Dauncey officiated.

Arthur was born on 20 April 1917 at Walgrave Road, Hannington, the fifth son of Alfred and Mary Elizabeth (née Ward) Barritt, who married on 6 October 1898 at All Saints Church, Pytchley, Northamptonshire. His four elder brothers were William James (born 14 November 1905), Richard Ernest (b. 3 November 1910), John Henry (b. 20 December 1912) and Robert Oliver (b. 6 December 1914). All 5 boys were born in Hannington.

Arthur’s father served as Pte. 122277 Alfred Barritt, 8 Coy., R.A.M.C. in WW1, enlisting aged 41 yrs. 10 mths. on 20 July 1917. He was discharged to the Reserve with a disability pension (hernia) on 20 March 1919.

Alfred died on 31 March 1940, aged 65, and his widow, Mary, on 16 April 1949, aged 71. They are buried together in Hannington Churchyard (right).

The Sleaford Gazette” report above added: “The presents included the wedding cake, which was given by Mr. and Mrs. Caswell, of Kettering, where the bride is employed“. Up to her wedding, Dorothy (b. 18 May 1918) was working as a ‘Maid‘ in the home of Herbert (Shoe Manufacturer) and Florence Caswell at Piper’s Hill Road, Kettering.

The couple returned to live in Northampton, where they had 4 children (not named here for privacy). Dorothy died on 16 August 2001, aged 83, and was cremated 6 days later, and Arthur died on 16 December 2006, aged 89. His address at the time was 73 Ruskin Road, Northampton.

Private Barritt had little connection to Ruskington, except through his marriage. Nothing else has been found about his Military Service.

Arthur uncle, his father’s younger brother, Pte. 9303 Arthur Barritt, 1st Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment, was killed in action at Aubers Ridge on 9 May 1915 and is commemorated on Le Touret Memorial.


Sergeant 561465 George Douglas BEAGARIE:  The 1939 Register shows George and his wife, Betty, living with Edwin (Woodworker) and Jane Hanwell, on Manor Street, Ruskington. George was in the R.A.F. in the The Electrical and Wireless School which had moved from Flowerdown to Cranwell in 1929. (Just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War the name of the School was changed from The Electrical and Wireless School to No. 1 Signal School.)

George was born on 11 June 1911 in Portsmouth, Hampshire, the son of James and Helen (née Foxwell) Beagarie.  His wife, Betty (née Budd), was born on 10 April 1916 at 30 Addison, Road, Guildford. She was the daughter of Charles and Constance (née Gibson) Budd.

She married George on 30 June 1939 and they had one son, David, born 2 April 1943. 

With effect from 23 October 1943 George was promoted to Pilot Officer (53328) [London Gazette – 28 December 1943] The 1945 Service Register shows George (and Betty) living at 7 Lindsay Road, New Haw, Weybridge, Surrey. In 1952 they had been serving in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe or Zambia) and returned to live at 70 Addison Road, Guildford, Surrey, on board RMS Edinburgh Castle, arriving in Southampton on 26 September.

Betty died in the June quarter 1994, aged 78, probably in Guildford. George died, aged 87, in the December quarter 1998.


Aircraftman (?) Richard Keith BEST:  was born in the December quarter 1913 at Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire, the son of William and Ellen (née Penny) Best. He had an older Sister, Doris May, and two younger siblings, Phyllis Irene and Delbert George. Both parents died in the 1920s.

Richard married Winifred Mabel Pickford (born 24 November 1915) in the September quarter 1939, probably at All Saints’ Church, Ruskington. They had two children, not named here for privacy. The 1939 Register shows Richard based at R.A.F. Calshot.

Richard was living at 25 Jubilee Street, Ruskington, when he died on 4 July 1959. His widow, Winifred Mabel, died in June 1971, aged 55. They are buried together in Grave D.283, Ruskington Cemetery.


Aircraftman William P. BIRD: In 1939 William was serving as a Batman in the RAF, living on High Street, Ruskington, with his wife, Ethel, and children, Florence, Edward and Monica. William was born on 21 June 1896, Ethel on 30 December 1897, Florence on 3 May 1919, Edward on 21 December 1924 and Monica on 27 December 1926.

William had married Ethel Fanny Leuty in Holbeach, Lincolnshire, in the June quarter 1921, they had one daughter, Monica, . Her parents were Henry Thomas (Engine Driver) and Jane (née Guy) Leuty. William was the 5th, of 8, children of Henry and Margaret Emma (née Thwaite) Bird.

Ethel died in the March quarter 1961, aged 62, at East Elloe, Lincolnshire. William died in the December quarter 1971, aged 72, also at East Elloe. (East Elloe was a rural district in Holland, Lincolnshire from 1894 to 1974.)


Flight Lieutenant Sidney Charles BLACK, M.M.: The 1939 Register shows Sidney lodging at ‘Chalonders’, Station Road, Ruskington, the home of Edward and Mary Frisby, and serving as a Flight Lieutenant in the RAF.

He was born on 4 October 1892 at King William’s Town, Amatole, Eastern Cape, South Africa. He was the son of George Henry and Mary Anne (née Stratford) Black and had an elder sister, Charlotte, an elder brother, Harry Lewis, and three younger siblings, John George, Bella Jane, and Percival William.

Sidney’s brother, Private 14902 Percival William Black, was killed in action on 23 March 1918. He is buried in Roye New British Cemetery.

Living next door to Sidney in Ruskington in 1939, with the family of William and Annie Baldock, was Gladys Clarke, who was volunteering for A.R.P. duties as well as being employed as a “Corsetiere”. 

Gladys and Sidney were married in Paddington, London, on 4 May 1945. Sidney died, aged 84, in Brighton, Sussex, in the September quarter 1977. It is likely that Gladys died in the Exeter area in the September quarter 1961, aged 63

Sidney joined 24 Squadron on 23 March 1920 and transferred to No. 45 Squadron, Middle East Area, Egyptian Group, on 22 June 1921. He became “Non-Effective (Leave)” on 27 April 1922, and was placed on the Retired List from the RAF at his own request on 18 November 1928, after being awarded the Military Medal, so, presumably, was recalled at the beginning of WW2 (London Gazette, 11 December 1928, p.8173).


Captain Denis Frederick BROWN, M.C., MiD.: Denis was born on 24 February 1917, the eldest son of the son of Frederick William and Violet (née Spence) Brown, living at ‘The Chestnuts’, Station Road, Ruskington, in 1939. William was an “Agricultural Merchant”. Denis had an younger brother, Philip William Spence, born 13 April 1918 (see below) and a younger sister, Audrey Spencer, born 22 December 1920.

Denis attended Trent College (Cadet Lance Corporal, O.T.C.) and enlisted in the 60th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, at Lincoln, on 28 April 1939, the same day as his brother, Philip.

He was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant on 24 June 1939. [London Gazette, 23 June 1939, p. 4247]  He was promoted to Major (Temp.) in June 1945. [London Gazette, 28 June 1945, p. 3376]

Denis was awarded the Military Cross and Mentioned in Despatches when serving with the Royal Artillery in the Italian Campaign.

Denis married Margaret “Peggy”, Shutler in Hendon, Middlesex, in the March quarter 1945.  (Letters and aerographs written to her, during the War 1941-1945 are held in The National Archive. (Documents 26778) Their daughter, Rosemary, was born in the March quarter 1950, and a son, Peter, in the June quarter 1951.

Denis died at The Close, Dorrington, Lincolnshire, on 5th September 1995 and was cremated a week later. His ashes were buried in St James and St John Churchyard, Dorrington.  His widow, Peggy, was buried with him after her death in 2017         


Bombardier (later Captain) 906166 Philip William Spence BROWN, M.M.: Philip was born on 13 April 1918, the youngest son of the son of Frederick William and Violet (née Spence) Brown, living at ‘The Chestnuts’, Station Road, Ruskington, in 1939. William was an “Agricultural Merchant”. Philip had an elder brother, Denis Frederick, born 24 February 1917 (see above) and a younger sister, Audrey Spencer, born 22 December 1920.

Philip enlisted into the 60th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, at Lincoln, on 28 April 1939, the same day as his brother, Denis. The Sleaford Gazette‘ of 8 October 1939 reported that he had been promoted to ‘Bombardier’. and was awarded the Military Medal at Houthem, Belgium, whilst serving as a Lance Sergeant in 60th Anti-Tank Field Regiment, Royal Artillery on 27 May 1940 (London Gazette, 28 August1940).

Philip was later commissioned in the Royal Artillery and served as a Lieutenant and Captain in the Support Platoon, 71 Column, of 2nd Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment, in the Chindits in Burma in 1944.

He left the Army in 1946 and married Norma Primrose Wilkinson in the December quarter 1948. When she died on 15 June 1966 they were living at Westcliffe House, Ruskington. Philip died in Grantham Hospital on 9 April 1999, three weeks before his 81st birthday.

Sergeant Brown received a shrapnel wound in the left shoulder early in the action which won him his decoration, and he was evacuated through Dunkirk to a hospital in the Midlands, where he underwent an operation and remained for eight weeks. He returned home for a period of sick leave before rejoining his unit.

He was later commissioned in the Royal Artillery and served as a Lieutenant and Captain in the Support Platoon, 71 Column, of 2nd Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment, in the Chindits in Burma in 1944.

After the War, in the December quarter 1948, Philip married Norma Primrose Wilkinson and they lived at Westcliffe House, Ruskington. They had a son, born the following year. Norma died on 15 June 1966, aged 36, and was buried in Grave E.80, Ruskington Cemetery. The adjoining grave was bought, presumably for Philip, but after his death in Grantham Hospital, aged 80, on 9 April 1999, the option was not taken up. 


Warrant Officer 363520 George BONE:        (R.A.F. – E. & W. Sch.)