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Missing In action WW2 Arnhem-UPDATED

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Luckylainey Report 9 Jan 2015 17:07

I wonder if any GR Members have come across this before? I was searching the local Newspaper archives and came across an article about a young man who was reported MIA in WW2. His name was Pte Walter Sankey. I have also found him listed on the War Memorial at the local church. I am particularly interested in him, because he lived in the same close as me with his parents, He was MIA in Arnhem a place I have visited and he is related to some of my relatives. I have searched the CWGC site but there is no record of him. I realise there is probably no known grave but does that normally mean that the soldier is recognised on a War memorial somewhere in the region? If so how would I find out where he is commemorated? He was with the South Staffordshire Regiment, Airborne forces. It would seem such a shame that he is not recognised anywhere other than the local church.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 9 Jan 2015 22:59

Sometimes the deceased is listed by their first intial and surname rather than their full names. Event those with no known grave tend to be listed on a Memorial. Might there have be a spelling error somewhere along the line?

If you wanted to follow it up, there is the option to contact the CWGC who could probably tell you what documentation would be needed for his name to be added.

You could also contact the Staffordshire Regimental Museum who could point you in the right direction

The majority of Allied casulties of Operation Market Garden were buried or commemorated at the following cemeteries

Cemetery or Memorial Country Locality Number of casualties
ARNHEM JEWISH CEMETERY Netherlands Gelderland 1
ARNHEM OOSTERBEEK WAR CEMETERY Netherlands Gelderland 1436


Denis Report 10 Jan 2015 11:42

If you could provide some more details that might help us. Where and when was he born? Which church memorial does he appear on? And how do you know he was MIA? Any additional details might help.


Luckylainey Report 18 Jan 2015 01:02

Thank you +++DetEcTive+++ for all the suggestions and help. I will investigate these leads further.



Luckylainey Report 18 Jan 2015 01:09

Hello Denis, thank you for your question. I know he was MIA from the newspaper article headed Winchester Airborne Man reported missing. The article goes on to state: Pte Walter Sankey was the son of Mr and Mrs A J Sankey. He attended St Thomas Senior Boys School and on leaving school at 15 he was employed at the Royal Hampshire County hospital in Winchester as a Porter until he was called up in October 1943. I cannot find a record of his birth.

Many thanks Lorraine


Potty Report 19 Jan 2015 12:38

This is a possible for his birth:

Births Dec 1918 (>99%)
Sankey Walter H Flux Winchester 2c 226a

and this would appear to be the marriage of the above's parents, but the father's name is William:

Marriages Mar 1915 (>99%)

Flux Florence _ankey Winchester 2c 236a Scan available - click to view
Sankey William Flux Winchester 2c 236a Scan available - click to view


Denis Report 22 Jan 2015 17:31

Looks like Potty has the right chap. He died in Winchester in 2004. Probably reported missing in the confusion after Arnhem. Perhaps he was a POW? Local war memorials quite frequently commemorate the living.



Luckylainey Report 23 Jan 2015 22:42

Thank you Denis and Potty,

But here's the problem. The Walter Henry Sankey you have listed above is my relative. I have spoken to his daughter in Law and another close relative of his and they both tell me he was not in the Parachute regiment and was not in Arnhem, although he was a POW. His father was William Sankey.

Alfred James Sankey is buried in the cemetary just along the road from me, which fits as he lived in the same road as me. So I believe they are a different family from mine but probably related. I cannot find any record of the elusive Walter Sankey's birth. There have been other issues in my Sankey family as there was a time when my Walter Henry Sankey's parents were known as Smith. However the name reverted back to Sankey a few years after his marriage as there is an amendment in the GRO records. It is believed this name change was due to enlisting in the army. So I checked to see if there was a possibility of The MIA Walter Sankey being known or recorded as a Smith but no luck. the mystery continues.

Thank you for taking the time to help me though, it is very much appreciated.



JoonieCloonie Report 24 Jan 2015 00:29

Births Jun 1899
Sankey Alfred James Winchester 2c 132
Deaths Jun 1963

he never married, under that name

1911 in Winchester:

George Sankey 39
Elizabeth Sankey 39 (Collins, married 1891 Winchester)
Arthur Sankey 19
Gertrude Sankey 17
William Sankey 14 (William father of the other Walter?)
> Alfred Sankey 12
Percy Sankey 8
Jesse Sankey 6
Elsie Sankey 2
Leonard Sankey 4/12
Fanny Collins 75

there is no marriage for that Alfred J Sankey

possibly Walter was his son but his birth was not registered as Sankey

or possibly Alfred like your Walter Henry's parents used another surname (just not Smith) too!

Walters born 1921-1925 in Winchester which would seem to be about the right era ... one with same surname and mother's surname ... Crick 1921

but I guess if he was called up in 1943 he would have been 18 that year

... oh well, interesting ... in 1891, George Sankey 1872, born in Winchester - Alfred J's father - is in the household of William Sankey 1842 born in Ashford Kent ... but he is shown as lodger rather than son. Perhaps just because he was self-supporting.

Births Jun 1871
Sankey George Winchester 2c 100

and looky here at the William and Mary Sankey family in 1881

>> Name: Wm. Smith [William Sankey]
Age: 39
Estimated birth year: abt 1842
Relationship to Head: Head
Spouse: Mary Ann Smith
Mother: Mary Browing
Where born: Ashford, Kent, England
Civil Parish: Easton
County/Island: Hampshire
Registration district: Winchester
Wm. Smith 39
Mary Ann Smith 29
> Geo. Smith 9 (father of Alfred James Sankey)
Wm. Smith 2
Mary Browing 69

now I suspect you didn't know that since you thought the name switch was a couple of generations later

the person who corrected the name to Sankey only did it 2 weeks ago - but with no explanation

aha, that person has commented re George:
'Why is he a Step Son and not just a SON?"
... well actually he is a ditto to 'wife' and in the condition as to marriage column it says 'son'
Ancestry has transcribed it as 'step son' for no reason at all, it's 'do son'
(I can't tell from that person's tree what the connection is, no Sankeys in it, or Brownings)

Marriages Sep 1870
BROWNING Mary Ann Winchester 2c 163
Sankey William Winchester 2c 163

Births Dec 1839
SANKEY William E Ashford 5 3


Name: William Sankey
Age: 11
Estimated birth year: abt 1840
Relation: Son
Father's name: Edward Sankey
Mother's name: Margret Sankey
Where born: Brabourne, Kent, England
Civil Parish: Brabourne
Registration district: East Ashford
Edward Sankey 59 c1792 Brabourne
Margret Sankey 55
Elizabeth Sankey 17
Edward Sankey 13
William Sankey 11
Charlotte Sankey 9

so guess what ...

I'm just butting in because I always take a peek when I see one of my own surnames, even though the odds are generally bad ... and Sankey is one of them

I am of a line of Sankeys thought to be a branch of the original Sankey family (not those who took their surname from their location) that went to Ireland, and then mine came back to England ... and settled in Kent :-)

Edward Sankey's parents were John and Mary, what luck
... but I don't doubt that he is closely related to my Sankeys

and yes ... my distant cousin in this line and I share a grx4 grandparent Sankey from the late 1700s, born almost the same time as Edward above, not the same parents of course)

... and her 60-page Sankey tree magnum opus shows William 1839 Brabourne and George 1871 and Alfred James 1899 as part of our tree, I just have to figure out how they relate to me ...

'Edward Sankey chr 6 Apr 1792 Brabourne, bd 8 Feb 1861 Brook, Kent, an Ag Lab, m Margaret Revell (the widow Hayward), b 1796 Smeeth, bd 23 Feb 1870 Smeeth, at Brook, Kent on 26 Aug 1826 and had the following children: ...'

... and at that point I'm lost, I can't trace the generation numbers back, but I would be happy to check with my cousin to make sure she doesn't mind and to pass the opus to you, or put you in touch with her


if your Sankeys trace back in that direction,

we're cousins!

and I will tell you about our famous cousin.

... but you too seem to come from one of the branches that did not inherit the treasure trove :-)

haven't found Walter yet but we won't give up ... because now he's my cousin too.


JoonieCloonie Report 24 Jan 2015 01:53

do you know who this is?

Name: Margaret Eileen Sankey 1901-1989 died Winchester

- edit -

deleted info and query, she married George R Sankey 1932 Bridgenorth
(George Ronald 1900 Wolverhampton, died 1987 Winchester)

I had thought she might be the spouse of AJ but ruled out


Kay???? Report 24 Jan 2015 11:30

First name(s) W.
Last name Sankey
Service number 14680882.00
Prisoner of war number 91180
Rank Private
Regiment The South Staffordshire Regiment>>>>>>>>>>.
Camp type STALAG
Camp number 4B
Camp location Muhlberg (Elbe)
Country Great Britain
Record type Records
Record office Infantry Record Office, Shrewsbury, Salop
Record set Prisoners of War 1939-1945 - British Army held in German Territories
Category Military, armed forces & conflict
Record collection Second World War



Luckylainey Report 24 Jan 2015 14:22

Oh my Goodness!

Jooniecloonie and Kay???? so much information for me to digest. Fascinating Jooniecloonie that we may be distantly related. One of my family married into the Sankey family but I am in contact with other local Sankey's who are interested in this family and more directly related.

Kay???? Your information looks like Water was MIA having served in Arnhem with the South Staffordshire Regiment and then taken POW and so probably returned home to Winchester. How interesting! Imagine what a relief it must have been for his parents. This needs investigating further. I will try and find a future marriage or death for him.

Thank you both so much,



JoonieCloonie Report 24 Jan 2015 17:31

Lorraine - do you want to let the Sankeys you know have a look at this thread ?

They may be familiar with the Sankey history already, there is other stuff on line about the family and the treasure chest tale and so on.

If not, you can put us together by email if you like and I can put them in touch with the other cousin who is the Sankey expert too, since their family is in her big tree !

and well done Kay, proof of life :-)


Kay???? Report 24 Jan 2015 19:07

worth a look at.

also this site to get a real feel about Muhlberg.


JoonieCloonie Report 24 Jan 2015 19:25

7 Feb 15

deleted this post as the person I have now accounted for the person was considering who is not 'our' Walter.


Luckylainey Report 25 Jan 2015 10:41


Jooniecloonie I have sent an e-mail to a gentleman who is researching the Sankey's too. I have sent him the link to this thread so he may be in contact with you.

I have been trying to find Margaret Eileen Sankey in my records and could not find her so thank you for the update.

Kay??? Thank you for those links. My own Grandfather was in Stalag 9 so I will be investigating these sites further.

I now know that Walter's Mother was Clara Sankey as she is buried with Alfred James at the local cemetary. However I cannot find a marriage for her and Alfred James Sankey.

I also think I may have made a mistake regarding the local Church War memorial, and the soldier mentioned is probably not him, which adds to the theory that although missing in Action he did return home.


James Report 25 Jan 2015 11:29

Hi - I've started to watch this thread, thanks to an email message from Lorraine. I'll need to digest all of the above before commenting further. But it all looks very interesting. I'd prefer to eventually communicate via email. Jim


James Report 25 Jan 2015 11:36

Walter Henry SANKEY was in the Army. I have a picture of him in his Army uniform as Best Man at his Brothers wedding on 6 Sept. 1941
Prisoner of War:
UK, British Army Prisoners of War, 1939-1945 about W. H. Sankey
Name: W. H. Sankey
Rank: Corporal
Army Number: 5253083
Regiment: Worcestershire Regiment
POW Number: 12671
Camp Type: Stalag
Camp Number: VIII-A
Camp Location: Görlitz, Saxony
Record Office: Infantry Record Office, Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Record Office Number: 19. Get a copy?
See also:


James Report 25 Jan 2015 11:50

Captured 1942:


PatinCyprus Report 25 Jan 2015 16:54

Walter Henry Sankey who was a POW couldn't have been the man missing at Arnhem.

The raid Market Garden started 17th September 1944. The men at Arnhem were over run by the Germans on the 21st, last rescued 25th September 1944.

Luckylainey states on 18th Jan 01.09 Her missing Sankey didn't get called up until 1943. He couldn't be a 1942 POW.

I've been following this and doing some searches but not come up with anything you haven't found. :-(

Interesting the fact there is also someone from the South Staffs as POW, need a date as Arnhem is famous and you can do a rough date for capture.

The South Staffs may also indicate the Wolverhampton Sankeys.