Our extended family have been called to serve their country all over the world and we have suffered heavy casualties both during wars and later as a consequence of those wars, since before the 20th century.
Those of us who are fortunate enough to have never experienced the horrors of war, have a duty to keep alive the memories of these young men and to remember the ultimate sacrifice that they made for our freedoms and their extraordinary bravery.
My aim here is to tell their story – to serve as that memorial. They are shown in date order.
George Prescott Simonds, in 1913
Killed in action on 26th September 1914 at the battle of the Aisne near Vendresse in France.
For his story: CLICK HERE
Charles Francis Simonds, in 1915
Killed near Arras in France on 29th June 1916 CLICK HERE
John de Luze Simonds, in 1916
Known as Jack, he was killed at Mazingarbe on 22nd April 1917 aged 32. For a full biography, CLICK HERE
Edward Hayes (Guy) Simonds in 1942 (1918 – 20/5/1943)
Flying Officer, RAF, is commemorated on the War Memorial in Binfield, Berkshire and at the Air Forces Memorial at Runnymede, Surrey, which commemorates over 20,000 airmen who have no known graves. RAF Command records show that Guy was shot down by Lt W Gutermann of 14/KG40 at midday on May 20th 1943, whilst on a ferry flight between RAF Portreath and the North Front, Gibraltar. Aged 25.
Malachy James Simonds, in 1944
Was killed flying over Droupt-Ste-Marie, France on the night of 18/19th July 1944 aged 23. For his story CLICK HERE
My mother’s family lost two brothers, my uncles Raymond & Edwin Stevens, just 3 weeks apart in September 1944. Here are their stories;
Edwin Stevens, in Cairo, 1943
Was killed near Rimini, Italy on 5th September 1944 aged 25. For his story CLICK HERE
Raymond Stevens, in September 1944
Was killed in Oosterbeek, close to Arnhem, Holland on 24th September 1944, aged 26.
On September 15th 2022, Capt. Raymond was honoured to be remembered during the annual weekend of Remebrance in Arnhem, by having his story told and a wreath layed at the place where he was 1st buried in the garden of 13 De La Rejweg. I Produced a pictorial record of his life and death for the occasion. To view or download, CLICK HERE:
There are two versions of his last days from landing by parachute up to his death, from slightly different sources. By Lieutenant Colonel (Retd) G. Pijpers OBE RNLAF. Who lives in Arnhem, is much involved in local activities of remembrance and has written detailed stories about the last days of many of the Arnhem casualties. CLICK HERE
By Raymond Simonds, based on the book ‘Men at Arnhem’ by Geoffrey Powell, Raymond’s Commanding Officer. CLICK HERE:
There is also a video memorial to the Stevens brothers and compiled from family archive material by Caroline Simonds CLICK HERE:
My father Duncan Simonds lost 3 1st cousins, twin brothers John Simonds, killed at Arnhem on 23rd September 1944, and Gavin Simonds who died after the war from illness.
John Mellor Simonds, in 1944.
John Mellor Simonds was the son of Lord Simonds and Mary Simonds and the husband of Barbara Simonds of St Helens, Lancaster.
His twin brother Gavin Alexander Simonds died in 1951 as a result of illness contracted on active service during the Second World War. Because their elder brother Robert Francis Simonds had died in infancy, the Viscounty became extinct when Lord Simonds died in 1971. See his story HERE;
John Simonds took his BA at Cambridge in 1938 and was called to the Bar in the Inner Temple in 1939. On the outbreak of war he was commissioned in the North Staffordshire Regiment and became a Captain in July 1942. He volunteered for airborne forces and was part of 1st Airborne Division from its formation, being attached to 2nd (Airborne) Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment. He then took part in operation Husky, the invasion of Sicily, in July 1943 and was rescued from the sea when his glider was released short of the land.
Major Simonds next took part in operation Market Garden, Arnhem, as Second-in-Command of the Battalion and OC HQ Company. He was wounded on 19 September 1944 and died of his wounds on 25 September, aged 29. His grave has never been found and he is commemorated on the Groesbeek Memorial to the Missing.
He never knew Raymond Stevens, but they are both commmemorated on the ParaData Memorial HERE;
Just before he died, John wrote an extraordinary letter to his stepson HERE: later published by his wife.
And his twin brother;-
Gavin Simonds, we have no picture
For their story CLICK HERE
James Malcolm Simonds, in 1952
Born May 1932, London. Died 5th January 1953, Korea, aged 20. He was the third cousin of Duncan Simonds to be killed.
Anthony Charles (Tony) Simonds, in 1939
Born November 1909, Arborfield, Berkshire. Died 1999. For his story CLICK HERE.
If you know of any familky we can honour here, or have any information to add to these stories – please contact us using the link below.