© Helvellyn Consulting 2019
This information has been expertly researched by Norman Jackson. More information can be found in the History Section of the Patterdale Today website.
Guardsman Thomas William Wynn
4th Coy., 5th. Bn., Coldstream Guards
Born March 1920, Glenridding
Died 31 July 1944, St Martin des Besaces, France (Age 24)
Son of John William and Elizabeth Jane (nee Richardson) Wynn
Thomas William Wynn was born in Glenridding around March 1920 and was baptised at St Patrick's Church on the 11th April 1920. He was the eldest son of John William Wynn, a miner, and his wife Elizabeth Jane (nee Richardson). The Wynn family had been in Glenridding since at least 1856 and some descendants still live here. Thomas would have attended Patterdale School. After leaving school he took up farm work in the Melmerby and Ullswater areas before moving back to Glenridding where he worked at the Greenside mine for a short time.
At the outbreak of war, Thomas enlisted in the 5th Battalion of the Coldstream Guards. Unlike some other Coldstream Battalions, who had converted to Armour, the 5th remained an Infantry Battalion. They did not see active service until June 1944 and the Battalion's war diaries show a life of continuous training and exercises in many parts of Britain -
On the 30th April 1944, the 5th Battalion finally moved from Scarborough to Eastbourne as a part of the build up for the 'D' Day offensive. Much of May was spent on waterproofing equipment and the, surprisingly, last minute task of teaching non-
During the next month, the Battalion slowly fought it's way South West and took part in 'Operation Goodwood' on the 18th July 1944, an action that was preceded by a 2,000 bomber airstrike. By the 31st July 1944 the 5th Battalion were in a position just North East of Caumont L'Evente. During that day they began to move southwards but after passing through Saint Martin des Besaces they encountered a hill that was strongly held by the Germans. The Commanding Officer decided that a Battalion attack would be necessary -
Guardsman Wynn was held in high esteem by the officers and men of his company and this expressed in a touching letter sent to his parents by his platoon officer:
'Tommy was one of my friends -
Guardsman Thomas Wynn is remembered and commemorated on The Patterdale War Memorial and The St Charles de Percy War Cemetery, Calvados, France (Plot I, Row C, Grave 14).
An Extract from Thomas’ Obituary in The Herald
Thomas’ father John William Wynn was born at Rake, Glenridding around February 1888, the son of Samuel, a Carter, and his wife Mary (nee Milburn). He was baptised at St Patrick's Church on the 11th March 1888. John William married Elizabeth Jane Richardson in Penrith around November 1918. He died at the age of 67 in November 1955 at the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle. The family were living at High Rake, Glenridding at that time.
His mother Elizabeth Jane (nee Richardson) was born in Whitehaven on the 13th January 1898 and died, aged 73, in March 1971 at The Headlands, Glenridding. Both John and Elizabeth are buried in St Patrick's churchyard.
William had two younger brothers and a sister, all born in Glenridding. Frederick was born on the 18th May 1921 and baptised at St Patrick's Church on the 24th July 1921. Fred, as he was known, also joined the forces and served in India. He married Margaret Otway around November 1947, initially living at Middle Rake, Glenridding but had moved to The Headlands by 1971. They had three children, John Frederick, Jean Patricia and Sheena Mary. Frederick worked as a miner before becoming a Foreman with Northern Rock Drillers. Frederick died at the age of 51 in the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle on the 16th July 1972 and is buried in St Patrick's churchyard.
John Henry was born on the 15th February 1923 and baptised at St Patrick's Church on the 15th April 1923. Harry, as he was known, also joined the forces and served in France. He died aged 54 around November 1977 in the Penrith area.
Jean Mary was born on the 29th March 1925 and baptised at St Patrick's Church on the 10th May 1925. She did not marry and lived at The Headlands, Glenridding until she died at the age of 55 on the 14th May 1980. She is buried in St Patrick's churchyard.