Our extended family suffered heavy casualties both during wars, or later as a consequence of those wars, during the 20th century and before.
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 their extraordinary bravery.
My aim here is to tell the story of each one 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
Malachy James Simonds, in 1944
Was killed flying over Droupt-Ste-Marie, France on 19th July 1944 aged 23. For his story CLICK HERE
My mother’s Stevens family lost two brothers, my uncles Raymond & Edwin Stevens, just 3 weeks apart in September 1944. Here are their stories;
Edwin Stevens, in about 1940
Was killed near Rimini, Italy on 5th September 1944 aged 25. For his story CLICK HERE for a draft
Raymond Stevens, in September 1944
Was killed in Oosterbeek, close to Arnhem, Holland on 24th September 1944, aged 26.
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 cousins, twin brothers Gavin Simonds, killed at Arnhem on 23rd September 1943, and John Simonds who died after the war from illness.
John Mellor Simonds, in 1943.
Was killed in Arnhem, Holland on September 23rd 1943 aged 29. He never knew Raymond Stevens.
Gavin Simonds, we have no picture
For their story CLICK HERE
Just before he died, John wrote an extraordinary letter to his stepson HERE: later published by his wife Barbara.
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.
If you have any information to add to these stories – please contact us using the link below