Extracts from the Hungerford Virtual Museum on Remembrance Sunday 2013

on 18 November 2013.

"Wings for Victory" parade, 2 May 1943

wings for victory

The photograph shows WAAFs from Ramsbury taking part in the Grand Procession on Sunday 2nd May 1943, during Hungerford's 'Wings for Victory' week. Air Marshall Sir Arthur S Barret KCB CMG MC is seen here taking the Salute. The Marlborough Times reported the order of procession to be: Bren Gun Carrier; Banner (RAF); Chief Marshall; Band of Bomber Command; Contingent of RAF; Contingent of RAF Regiment; Contingent of WAAFS; Royal Observer Corp; Band of ATC; Contingent of ATC; Contingent of Royal Marine Engineers; Band of Border Regiment; Contingent of Royal Ulster Rifles; New Zealand Forces; Pioneer Corps; Band of Home Guard; Contingent of Home Guard; British Legion. The banner on the bridge reads "OUR SPITS TO BEAT FRITZ. £50,000 FOR TEN SPITFIRES".

Captain Maurice Henry Hissey

2nd Battalion (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) Royal Berkshire Regiment

cpt hissey

Local Information:

Captain Hissey was the son of A. Hissey and Mary D. Hissey, of North Standen, Hungerford.

On the outbreak of the First World War he joined the 4th Battalion Lincolnshire Regiment a territorial unit as a Private Soldier (No 2479). At that time his address was shown as 55 St Martins, Stanford and his trade was shown as a clerk, age 30. He signed on for the duration of the war and agreed to Foreign Service on the 28th August 1914 at Luton.

He was promoted to the rank of Corporal on the 23rd February 1915 and on the 1st March 1915 he went to France with the Lincolnshire Regiment remaining until the 24th July 1915. He was then discharged to a commission and after officer training posted to the 2nd Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment, a regular unit. He was promoted to the rank of captain on the 2nd July 1916. (This was to replace the losses sustained by the battalion the day before on the 'First day of the Somme').

He was killed in action on the 26th October 1916. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing.

The following day a letter was sent by Captain Astley another Hungerford Soldier serving in the 1st Battalion Royal Berkshire Regiment to his Aunt Mary (Mary Hissey) about the death of Maurice Hissey he wrote...... "I heard that Maurice had been killed in action last night in a letter from one of his fellow captains in our 2nd battalion".........." I know very little of how Maurice was killed but I do know that it was leading his company in the attack across the open in which the 2nd battalion took part just lately somewhere south of the river Ancre"

[Captain Edward Dugdale D'Oyley Astley was another Hungerford soldier who was killed in France on the 1st June 1918 – He is also commemorated on the war memorial]

After the death of Captain Hissey his effects were returned to his father who enquired as to the whereabouts of his field glasses. He returned a cheque book sent in error but accepted an automatic pistol.

Captain Hissey is also commemorated in St Lawrence's Church, Hungerford.

Hungerford's Victory Parade

In accordance with the wish of the King that the Sunday following VE Day (8 May 1945) should be observed as a day of thanksgiving and prayer, and the Government thinking that it was appropriate that victory parades should be organised, such parades to include as many aspects as possible of the national effort and members of the various youth organisations, at the very short notice that was available, the Hungerford Parish Council organised a parade that literally and effectively showed how the town had played its part on the Home front.

At the twelfth hour, the Hungerford Town Band, which had been dormant all the war years, got out its uniforms and after a practice or two were able to rise to the auspicious occasion and lead the longest procession that had ever been held. Invitations had been issued to the following organisations to attend a United Service of Thanksgiving at the Parish Church: Hungerford Town Band, British legion and Standard, Returned Prisoners of War, Serving Members of HM Forces home on leave, and Discharged Service men of this war, Home Guard, Army Cadet Force, National Fire Service, Royal Observer Corps, Civil Defence, Women's Land Army, Women's Voluntary Services, British Red Cross, Boy Scouts, Rangers and Girl Guides, ATC Band, Personnel, Chairman of Parish Council and the Constable (headed by Town Crier with staff), members of Parish Council and Trustees, Justices of the Peace, Blood Donors, Fire Guard, National Savings Workers, Rest Centre Services, Public Utility Companies, War Factory Workers, Women's Institute, Co-operative Guild, Hungerford Knitting Guild, Hungerford Youth Centre, and practically every unit and organisation was represented.

The assembly was in the Market-place and here Mr H S Sharps, who was Marshall, created order out of chaos in a very comendable manner, which was no easy task seeing there were 600 or 700 on parade. The procession made a fine show with the uniformed units colours flying in the breeze, but the difficulty was in getting them into church, which was not possible, although its accommodation is normally 600 or more, and when the building had been packed, with many standing in all the aisles, a large number had to remain outside.

The service was in the form prescribed by the Archbishop, the officiating ministers being the Rev H Wardley King (vicar), the Rev RWA Dowds (curate), the Rev Irene Robbins (Congregationalist) and the Rev F Marlow (United Methodist).

On the arrival back at the Market-place, a unique ceremony of saluting the Colours took place. The procession having halted, all the colour-bearers with their escorts stepped forward and marched away up the street. Then, headed by the ATC Band, they marched down again and as they reached and passed the parade, each officer in turn down the line took the salute, which was held until the last colour had passed. It was a fine sight as the colours of the United Nations, the RAF Flag, and of the British Legion, Boy Scouts, and Rangers and Girl Guides fluttered in the wind, and was a fitting conclusion to a most memorable occasion.

Reproduced by kind permission of the Hungerford Virtual Museum

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