Arthur Papworth (1920-1944) – Private 5885217, 2nd Bn. - The Lincolnshire Regiment,
Son of Walter & Louisa Papworth, of Ramsey Mereside; husband of Joyce Papworth.
mort au combat le 7 août 1944 lors de la libération de Vaudry (14)
La tombe dans le cimetière municipal
Arthur Papworth est un des 51 soldats britanniques tués à Vaudry le 7 août 1944
lors de la libération de la commune. Il a été enterré dans le cimetière communal,
pas dans le cimetière militaire britannoique de Saint-Charles-de-Percy.
Après guerre, le couple Fouquet a noué des contacts avec la famille.
En 1994, le conseil a donné son nom à la nouvelle école maternelle.
La famille vient régulièrement honorer sa mémoire.
Athur Papworth and his mother Louise Papworth
20 Council Houses, Ramsey Mereside
(with permission of Peterborough Evening Telegraph).
Corner of a foreign field that is forever Arthur’s
Médailles, déposées à la mairie de Vaudry en 1994
His Life, a Beautiful Memory
His Death, a Silent Grief
Vaudry, vue en direction de Montisenger (Nord)
L'Ecole maternelle Arthur Papworth
de g à dr : le couple Fouquet + Don, Brian, Mavis, Brian, Glenys, Ron, George, Sylvia ...
2004 - On the Schoolhistory Forum , March 24th, 2004 : « This morning, at my home, there was 2 english couples, coming from the Fens. One of their uncles, Arthur Papworth, was killed in Vaudry on August 1944 ; he is buried in the village cemetery (no in a war cemetery), and the local authority pays a gardener to flower the tomb. At this moment, it is all in yellow, with daffodils, one of the colours of his regiment. The local school is named after him ».
2013 : Louise, la fille de Brian and Sylvia
Christine et Brian Fountain
voir aussi :
Vaudry 1944 :
Athur Papworth (1920-1944)
(Peterborough Evening Telegraph 1994).
Arthur Papworth will never forgotten in Vaudry, even though few might remember him in his birthplace of Ramsey Mereside. He was one of 51 British soldiers who died there on August 8, 1944 two month after the D-Day in the fight to free a little village in northern France. He was only 24. He hadn’t had time to do much with his short life except give it for freedom, and the French have never forgotten his sacrifice. Neither will future generations, because Vaudry,s new school will be named the Arthur Papworth.
The ceremony will be held at the end of May, and a strong contingent of the Papworth family will be there to pay their own homage.It will include his sister, Mavis Marriott, who lives with her husband Donald in Glebe Road Peterborough, Mavis will speak on behalf of the family. « Arthur’s picture is in the Vaudry town hall, and there is another in the church. His medals we gave them are paraded on the cusion at the annual liberation service », said Mavis.
Why Arthur was selected out of the 51 British soldiers who were killed (14 of them from the Lincolnshire Regiment) is an intriguing story. Exactly how he died is not clear, but Donald hopes to sort that out when they are over there. As far as he and Mavis know, Arthur was bayoneted in hand-to-hand fighting at a spot villagers still identify. « He didn’t die straight away.’’ Said Mavis. « ’A man named Maurice, still alive, looked after him by the roadside. He knew he was going to die, and he asked to be buried in the village cemetery. « They are not sure if Arthur lived for hours or days, but it was long enough to form a bond with the villagers. They remembered his request and buried him in the cemetery ».
The others, and 40 Germans who also died in what was obviously a grim fight, were laid to rest in a military cemetery. « They seem to treat Arthur’s grave as a memorial to all the fallen », said Mavis. Arthur’s brother, George, of Chatteris (he will be at the school naming ceremony) went over there a few years ago with some Fenland soil to put on the grave.The villagers said there was no need – Arthur was already in Little England. And that is 300 miles from Ramsey Mereside, were Arthur was born at 29 Council Houses. It was one of a pair demolished a few years ago. His mother was Louise and his father was Walter, whose service in World War 1 left him with a useless arm.
Five brothers and five sisters made the Papworth family a big one.
The survivors now are George at Chatteris, Ron, Iris and Glenys at Whittlesey, and Walter at Coates. Mavis remembers Arthur as her big brother. She was 13 when he died, 10 years younger than the lad who went to the village school, became a regular soldier and escaped through Dunkirk in 1940.
Mavis well recalls him coming home to recover from his wounds. « We redesigned the front garden for mum. White and pink saxifrages, and long-stemmed violas. He told me to keep them watered or they would die. He didn’t talk about Dunkirk, but when he took his shirt off in the garden I saw the shrapnel wounds on his neck and shoulders ». « When Arthur went back, brother George, also on leave from the army, saw him off from the station. He had the impression that Arthur knew that he wouldn’t survive, and that how it turned out. By that time, he had married a girl from Northampton, but it didn’t work out. A few days after she had written to Arthur’s mother saying she wanted a divorce, the news of his death arrived.That is another day imprinted on Mavis. She said : « We were working in an onion field when my sister went home on her bike. She came back with the telegram ».’
At school I said it must be a mistake. Looked at the garden and thought that if he was dead, he’d never see what I’d done.« All that was 50 years ago.Arthur’s death brought him greater recognition than anybody else in the family achieved, even though it is in France. Mavis is left with if and buts which can never be answered ». What would father have thought, for instance, if they’d said to him « ’Look here, dad, they’re naming a school after Arthur ».
1944-2004 - La Libération de Vaudry : souvenirs britanniques
A la suite des cérémonies du 50ème anniversaire de la Libération,
Mme Fouquet a obtenu du major Wright un exemplaire du livre-souvenir de la division britannique qui a libéré Vaudry en août 1944.
Débarquée à Hermanville le 6 juin, cette division d’infanterie motorisée a combattu jusqu’au nord de l’Allemagne, atteignant Langerich en mai 1945.
En ce qui concerne Vaudry, 6 pages témoignent de l’intensité des combats où 50 Britanniques et 45 Allemands trouvèrent la mort.
Venant du secteur de Troam, cette division a pour mission d’appuyer l’offensive américaine sur Vire, de couper la route Vire-Condé et de bloquer la retraite des Allemands.Le Lieutenant-Colonel Wilson, à la tête de cette opération, installe son QG à Montisenger. Le pont de Vaudry est pris sans difficulté militaire majeure le 6 août, mais il est détruit.
Le franchissement de la voie ferrée a été beaucoup plus coûteux en hommes.
Du 7 au 8 août, les quatre compagnies anglaises sont bloquées dans leur offensive par les mortiers et les mitrailleuses allemands. De plus, le terrain en surplomb est favorable aux Allemands. Dans cette terrible opération, le Lieutenant-Colonel Wilson, blessé par un éclat de mortier, doit être remplacé. Comme beaucoup d’autres, Arthur Papworth est tué le long de la voie ferrée. De nombreux actes d’héroïsme, dont celui du soldat Allison, ont cependant permis aux Britanniques de l’emporter.
Le portrait d’Arthur Papworth, offert par sa famille à la commune, rappellera aux jeunes l’importance de son sacrifice pour la libération de la commune et pour le triomphe de la liberté
La liste des 705 soldats identifiés inhumés à Saint-Charles-de-Percy,
par date du décès
Saint-Charles-de-Percy, 7 août 1944 (extrait)
20 mars 2018 : des Britanniques à Vaudry en souvenir d'Arthur Papworth