West Yorkshire market town of Pontefract
 
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Pontefract Years in Focus 1944

YEARS IN FOCUS
LOCAL NEWS AND EVENTS OF THE 1940s

PONTEFRACT IN 1944

4 August 1944
THE MILITARY MEDAL

The Military Medal has been awarded to Sergeant F. Burniston of the Royal Horse Artillery, who made his home with his sister, Mrs Pritchard, of 168 Willow Park, Pontefract. Sergeant Burniston, who is 36 years old, has 13 years service with the Army. Before joining he was at Glass Houghton Colliery, and he served six years in Palestine and Egypt before the outbreak of war. Sent to France in the early days of the war, he came through evacuation at Dunkirk and in September of the same year was drafted to Egypt again. He took part in the siege of Tobruk and after that his adventures read like a book. On 27th May 1942, he was taken prisoner by the Germans, but escaped from the prison camp three days later and rejoined his unit only three days after escaping. After eleven more days, however, he found himself again a prisoner, and later was taken to a camp north of Bologna, Italy. When Italy capitulated the Germans took over the control of the camp, on September 9th, 1943, and Sergeant Burniston escaped  eleven days afterwards. Making his way south by daily stages he arrived eventually near Cassino, and stayed there with an Italian family. On December 1st he was recaptured by the German Police, but once more escaped, and he repeated the feat still again in the following February. In that attempt he reached British lines, and arrived back in England in March. Before he was taken prisoner Sergeant Burniston attained the rank of Battery Quarter Master Sergeant. He has been on leave in Pontefract during the week.

WOUNDED

Mrs Bevitt, of 6 Argyle Avenue, Pontefract, has been informed that her husband, Sergeant Charles Bevitt, has received leg wounds in Normandy, and is now in a British hospital. Before joining the Army over four years ago, Sergeant Bevitt was employed in the grocery dept of the Pontefract Industrial Co-opertive Society, Ltd.

1944 INDEX


 

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