'We Will Remember Them' WW2 Heroes John Thomas Forshaw & Stephen Wormald

John's Story


John Thomas Forshaw was born in 1920 to Harold & Beatrice Forshaw in Cheshire. In September 1939, his parents were living at 14 Middlewich Road, Holmes Chapel. John was not married. He was a member of the Parish Church choir, and was a bricklayer by trade.


Sadly his mother received a letter from him dated the same day as he was reported missing.


John Thomas Forshaw volunteered as a Signalman of the Royal Corps of Signals, and served in the 25th Field Regiment (No: 3658487). He died in the Western Europe campaign in the Netherlands on 13th April 1945.


Canon Vale mentions that he had volunteered in June 1940, and in December 1945, he named John Forshaw as having “paid the Supreme Sacrifice”.


He is listed on the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery and Memorial, Panel 2 (see above), and on the Holmes Chapel War Memorial in St Luke’s Churchyard.


Stephen's Story


Stephen Wormald was born on 29th May 1901, in Chorlton, South Manchester. He was the son of Henry & Annie Elizabeth Wormald.


He volunteered for the Royal Navy as a Boy rating on 10th May 1918. In his first naval career he served on a number of ships before he retired from the Navy in the early 1930s. He married Phyllis M Dukes Jul-Sep 1930 in South Manchester. They had two children – Annette (born 1932) and Jennifer (born 1934) both in South Manchester. He was working at Cranage Hospital in 1939. His wife and children were living at 82 Webbs Lane, Middlewich on the

26th September 1939. However, Stephen had already re-joined the Navy, as on that date (the 1939 Register), he is located at Navy House, Clover Street, Chatham, Kent.


Stephen Wormald served as Stoker 1st class in the Royal Navy on HMS Basilisk (No: D/SS 124867). HMS Basilisk was transferred from the Western Approaches Command on 30th May 1940 to support the evacuation from Dunkirk.


The ship made two trips to Dover on 31st May and evacuated a total of 695 men. Basilisk returned to La Panne, Belgium to load more troops on the morning of 1st June and was attacked three times by German Stuka dive-bombers. One bomb from the first wave detonated inside the No 3 boiler room, killing all of her boiler and engine room personnel. A Belgian trawler attempted to tow her, but further attacks left Basilisk sunk in shallow water. HMS Whitehall rescued 8 officers and 123 crewmen, and the wreck was then destroyed by Whitehall with gunfire and torpedoes.


In July 1940 Canon Vale said “Our very real sympathy with a family here whose son is missing”. And in December 1945, Canon Vale named him as having “paid the Supreme Sacrifice”.


He is listed on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, Panel 41, Column 3. He is also listed on Middlewich War memorial.


HMS Basilisk




'They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.'

Extract from 'For the Fallen' by Laurence Binyon

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Holmes Chapel

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