Does anyone still remember Bill?

Photograph courtesy of Winchester City Council: Hampshire Record Office: W/C35/5/18

I found this archive photo of Hambone Junior’s grave in Alresford. It’s tucked away in a manilla folder in the Hampshire Record Office. I believe it may show two of Hambone Junior’s comrades who returned to the town in June 1994 to commemorate the 50th Annivesary of D-Day.

The clues I have about their story are:

  • Alex Hankin recorded the following in the Wessex Film and Sound Archive in 1999:

‘The dog was run over by a military truck and died. It was buried where the memorial stands, and flowers were always left. When the wooden cross rotted away, the Alresford community decided to erect a small memorial stone. On the 50th Anniversary of D-Day a bunch of flowers arrived with a note: “I still remember you, Bill.”. Alex does not know who left the flowers and message.’

  • Hambone’s headstone was unveiled by the American Vice Consul in Southampton in 1962, and so the photograph must have been taken later than that.
  • Photographs of the D-Day commemoration event in Broad Street, 5th June 1994, which was organised by the Alresford Chamber of Commerce. Local people have told me that they remember some of the original GIs returning to the town to participate.

Does anyone recognise either of the men in this photograph? Anyone remember a GI called Bill coming back to Alresford? It would be great to identify Hambone Junior’s comrades in time for Veterans Day next Friday – great to be able to say, ‘We still remember you Bill!’

Iris Crowfoot

Sources

Memories of Mr Alex Hankin recorded 22/09/1999, Wessex Film and Sound Archive

Alresford Museum Photograph Gallery, D-Day Commemoration 1994

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