40. Maria Michelina Gerada Vincenza Carmela WHITWORTH  (Giuseppa Lorenza Antonia ETHERIDGE8, William Edwin ETHERIDGE7, Charles Edward ETHERIDGE6, William ETHERIDGE5, Henry ETHERIDGE4, Jane PINNICK3, Robert2, Robert1) was born on 1 Jan 1910 in Senglea Malta and died Jun Q 1967 in Chatham Kent England at age 57. Another name for Maria was Mary WHITWORTH.
General Notes: In an e-Mail from Michael H U Smith in July 2018 he included a "Snip" of Information from "Malta ID", stating the Birth Name of Maria [Mary].
AND, in an e-Mail from Martyn Lycett in September 2018, he related a "snippet" of salacious "Gossip" as follows:
The story goes (From my mother, who spent a lot of time with John Picot when she was a girl, they were very close), that these two got married in 1931, had two sons before WW2, then he went off to war, and when he came back in 1945 he found her at the house in 18 Castle Road, Chatham, in bed with another man. ... Whereupon he walked out of her life forever.
Noted events in her life were:
• Residence: at 5 Sawyers Alley at the Time of her Marriage. She was a Sewing Machinist, 25 Jul 1931, Brompton Kent England.
Maria married John George Joseph PICOT , son of Patrick John Thomas PICOT  and Mary Matilda TUMBER , on 25 Jul 1931 in St Paulinus R C Church Brompton Kent England. John was born on 1 Aug 1911 in Medway Kent England and died in Nov 1972 in Chatham Kent England at age 61. Another name for John was John PICKFORD.
General Notes: Family History has it that John was a Canadian Pilot, but we now believe this to be "Fake News", as we appears to have been born in Medway.
Noted events in his life were:
• Residence: at 64 Charter Street at the Time of his Marriage. He was a Carpenter & Joiner, 25 Jul 1931, Chatham Kent England.
• He was at 18 Castle Road with his Wife, Children are not listed. He is a Carpenter & Joiner at Chatham Kent England for the 1939 Registration.
Children from this marriage were:
+ 43 M i. John Michael PICOT  was born on 5 Jan 1932 in Medway District Kent England and died in Feb 2002 in Medway Kent England at age 70.
John married Betty Maria MOORE  (b. 5 Apr 1935, d. Dec 1981) 4th Qtr 1953 in Chatham [District] Kent England.
+ 44 M ii. Peter R PICOT  was born Jun Q 1938 in Medway District Kent England.
Peter married Delia L BARNES  (b. 1942) 3rd Qtr 1965 in Chatham Kent England.
41. Margherita Giuseppa Carla Maria Joanna WHITWORTH  (Giuseppa Lorenza Antonia ETHERIDGE8, William Edwin ETHERIDGE7, Charles Edward ETHERIDGE6, William ETHERIDGE5, Henry ETHERIDGE4, Jane PINNICK3, Robert2, Robert1) was born on 7 May 1911 in Senglea Malta and died Sep Q 1990 in Swale Kent England at age 79. Another name for Margherita was Margaretta Josephina Carola Mary Joan WHITWORTH.
General Notes: In an e-Mail received from Joyce [Pickering] Trousdale in July 2018, she mentioned:
a Margaret Whitworth was a Resident in a Navy Orphanage. This Margaret was born circa 1904, so is probably not "our" Margaretta.
The "Alternate" Name for Margherita is the Name she used when registering the Birth of her Daughter Margaret Mary Teresa Eileen.
Noted events in her life were:
• Residence: at 5 Sawyer's Place, Old Brompton Road at the time of her Marriage, 12 Sep 1931, Gillingham Kent England.
• Occupation: a Chambermaid at a Hotel at the time of her Marriage, 12 Sep 1931, Gillingham Kent England.
• She was living at 252 Pier Road with her Family [although some Members are redacted from the Record] at Gillingham Kent England at the Time of the 1939 Registration.
Margherita married Robert GREER , son of Robert GREER  and Mary Jane MOORHEAD , on 12 Sep 1931 in St Michael the Archangel RC Church Ordnance Place Chatham Kent England. Robert was born on 12 Dec 1907 in Belfast Co. Antrim Ireland, died on 1 Nov 1944 in Westkapelle Holland at age 36, and was buried in New Community Cemetery Oostende West-Vlaanderen Belgium.
General Notes: While Robert's Death Certificate states he died on January 01, 1944, it does not state where he died, only "On War Service";
but from the UK Forces War Records it states that he died on November 02, 1944.
Furthermore, his Death Certificate states he was a Sgt. (Ty), whereas the Forces War Record says he was a Sergeant, with no Comment about being Temporary.
If he died as per the Death Certificate, it would be prior to the Invasion of Europe in June 1944, as is believed by his Daughter, but in fact he died in November 1944, at the Attack on Westkapelle in Holland.
We now have complete Information provided by Richard Blyth, a Naval Rating who served on the same Vessel as did Sgt. Robert Greer at Operation Infatuate II.
Operation Infatuate II:
The Support Squadron Eastern Flank (SSEF) Force sailed from England on the 27th October 1944 to Ostend. SSEF consisted of 6 LCG(L)s and 2 LCG(M)s, 6 LCFs, 6 LCSs and five rocket craft, a force of 25 craft, there was also a small fleet of other landing craft including LCIs and LCTs that would take the commandos, second wave troops and amphibious vehicles, SSEF sailed from Ostend at 3.25am. In the early hours of November 1st 1944 Royal Marine commandos attacked at Westhopple [Westkapelle] in Holland as part of the Operation Infatuate to secure the Port of Antwerp to supply the Allies, the port was required as so rapidly was the Army advancing through Northern France and Belgium that supplying them was a problem.The assault by the SSEF had to be made in broad daylight at 9.15am, the weather was terrible, the planes were grounded that were going to support us. Warspite, Erebus and Roberts with their big guns were firing at the gun emplacements ashore but could not see the results. The spotter plane for them was also grounded owing to the bad weather. The SSEF plan was to split in two equal escort groups, one going south of the gap and one going north. The LCG(L)s were ordered to engage the Westkapelle Battery and went in firing.
As they passed a certain point some of the German guns opened fire to be joined later by the big guns at the Westkapelle main Fort. The enemy firing was heavy and very close, big shells being hurtled back in reply to our 4-7" Guns. Four LCT(R)S fired their 6" rockets at the beach head in batches. Each craft carried on its deck 1080 6" rockets, four craft like that could and did a lot of damage. Now it was crisis time in one of the most bitter and gallant battles of the war, as the first landing craft carrying the commandos headed for the gap in the Dyke the enemy batteries put up a devastating hail of fire. The two groups of SSEF craft were ordered closer in to draw away this fire by engaging the enemy guns at point blank range. LCG(M)102 beached down on the south side of the gap and engaged her target pillbox with her 3" guns and was immediately caught in a rain of shells at close range. Soon she had been hit several times and was on fire. Her crew got the fire under control but she was hit again and again, she was broken and burning on the beach. There were no survivors.
In the northern group LCG(L)1 (NOTE: Robert Greer served on LCG(L)1, as did the Author, Richard Blyth, R.N.) went in with her guns blazing independently and closed to 600 yards in spite of being hit three times by shells. Now she got hit several more times and then came the big one, a shell hit the bridge - there was a tremendous explosion. Our skipper, Lieutenant Ballard RNR, was wounded. The shell took the compass from his hand before it exploded then another shell blasted away the compass pedestal and voicepipe. All the officers were now wounded and the craft came to a stop with two dead and twenty wounded.
The survivors were rescued by LCS510. LCG(L)17 tried to take LCG(L)1 in tow, but the stricken craft sank. The skipper of LCG(L)17 Lt. Scammell received wounds coming to the assistance of LCG(L)1 of which he died. Out of the twenty-five craft in the SSEF a total of nine craft were lost and nine others badly damaged. Of the crews, 172 officers and men killed and 200 wounded.
Medals awarded:1 OBE, 1 DSO, 18 DSCs, 4 DSC (BAR)s, 1 DSC (2nd BAR), 2 CGMs, 27 DSMs and many others mentioned in dispatches.
This item is just a very small part of a gallant action by all who took part in this operation. If only it could do justice to all of the personnel involved but it seems such a puny effort on my part. There is so much that should have been written about Walcheren but as you say to anyone, how can you describe a craft that doesn't have a name, is flat bottomed, chugs along at about 10 knots, the regular navy regards them as kipper boxes.
One RN officer went so far as to say, "I would not take one outside the harbour." But the officers and men were second to none, we upheld the Royal Navy tradition for guts and tenacity. More should be written about Walcheren before the last of us cross the Bar. R Blyth LCG(L)1
CASUALTIES ON BOARD LCG(L)1 were:
1. CLARK, ROBERT, Royal Marines, posted Missing, believed killed, and
2. GREER, ROBERT, Sergeant (No. CH/X 3121), Royal Marines, buried at the New Community Cemetery at Oostende, Belgium.
Noted events in his life were:
• birth: Registration Number is U/1908/48/1007/102/22, born at 15 Dagmar Street, 12 Dec 1907, Belfast Co. Antrim Ireland.
• Military Service: a Member of the Royal Marines, 1931-1944.
• Residence: at Navy House, Clover Street at the Time of his Marriage, 12 Sep 1931, Chatham Kent England.
• He was at 252 Pier Road with his Wife and 3 Children during the 1939 Registration at Gillingham Kent England.
• Military Service: a Royal Marine Corporal, aboard the HMS Suffolk, Aug 1942.
• Death: aboard an LCC [Landing Craft, Command], otherwise known as an Aphibious Command Ship, probably somewhere in the English Channel, 1 Jan 1944, Belgium.
Children from this marriage were:
45 M i. Robert J GREER  was born 3 Qtr 1932 in Tendring Essex England.
+ 46 F ii. Margaret Mary Theresa Eileen GREER  was born on 24 Aug 1934 in Chatham Kent England.
Margaret married Howard Ulph SMITH  (b. 19 Jan 1932) on 29 Oct 1953 in Tenant Creek Northern Territory of Australia.
47 F iii. Patricia M GREER  was born 3 Qtr 1937 in Medway Kent England.
Patricia married John SCOTT .
+ 48 F iv. Mary M GREER  was born 4 Qtr 1941 in Chatham Kent England.
Mary married Thomas BEARD .
Margherita next married William IRELAND , son of William IRELAND  and Joan , 4 Qtr 1946 in Chatham Kent England. William was born about 1914.