Since the Warwick Courier has been running a series of our ‘stories from the war memorial’ with appeals for photos and information about those who died in WW2, we have been getting a heartening response.
Local residents have been contacting the Unlocking Warwick researchers or the newspaper to offer information about some of those commemorated on the memorial, and some can remember what it was like living in Warwick during the war; we are following-up to record and share their memories.
On June 26th, the latest full-page feature in the Courier was about Newell ‘Fanny’ Orton, an outstanding fighter ace flying Hurricanes and Spitfires, who shot down 17 enemy aircraft with another 8 ‘probables’. A Wing Commander at the age of 23, he was awarded the DFC and Bar before failing to return from a mission in 1941.
The researchers are hoping to trace members of his family on behalf of a French historian who is writing a book about the 73rd Hurricane Squadron that was based in Eastern France before the German forces overwhelmed the defences there. Already we have been contacted by some Warwick people who might be able to help, so we will follow-up with further research in the coming days.