Mr James (Eric) W E Whitefield
29 November 1923 - 18 July 1944
James ‘Eric’ Whitefield, much loved son of James and Norah and brother of Dorothy, fought bravely and proudly for his country in the Second World War.
Like so many other young men of the time, Eric couldn’t wait to serve his country in the fight against Nazi Germany. Unable to enlist until the age of 18, he served with 2nd Northants Home Guard from September 1940 – June 1942. He enlisted on 22 June 1942 at Grantham and was posted to the Royal Corp of Signals. Eric trained as a Signalman at Catterick, Yorks with No 5 PTC. On 16 February 1943, he was posted to the 1st Airborne Division Signals and undertook parachute training – including night-time jumps – shortly thereafter. He disembarked in North Africa on 26 May 1943 and was posted to 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade on 22 November 1943.
On 2nd December 1943 the Brigade was placed under the command of 2nd New Zealand Division and took part in the advance on Orsogna in Italy. From 04 April 1944 the 2nd Independent Parachute Brigade joined in the crucial Battle of Monte Cassino.
Eric sadly passed away on 18 July 1944 aged 20 and is buried in Naples War Cemetery.
~ Mr Gordon Hosie