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War Memorial
1939 - 1945

Katherine Parkhill Carr

Whilst I was researching the names of our soldiers who died during WW2, I came across
"K.P.Carr" engraved on our War Memorial.
Local enquiries revealed no knowledge of this person, but searching the services records the name was listed by the War Graves Commission. ( see below)
This revealed that "K" stood for Katherine.

However, after 70 years it appears that no-one locally,
had associated this engraving with that of a young lady who died on active service,
The local branch of the British Legion were not aware of its significance.
Even more astonishing, she could be found buried in our local cemetery

Katherine joined the services on 15th February 1940 at the
Eastern Command Reception Depot, Saltdean
1th March 1940 posted to "D" Company Middlesex Reg, ATS
later transferred to the
Office Cadet Training Unit at Alton, Staffs

Katherine Died in Staffordshire on the 28th October 1941



History of the Auxiliary Territorial Service ( ATS)

Prior to the Second World War, the government decided to establish a new Corps for women, and an advisory council, which included members of the Territorial Army (TA), the Women’s Transport Service and the Women’s Legion, was set up. The council decided that the ATS would be attached to the Territorial Army, and the women serving would receive two thirds the pay of male soldiers.

All women in the Army joined the ATS except for nurses, who joined Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMS), and medical and dental officers, who were commissioned directly into the Army and held Army ranks.

The ATS in action

The first recruits to the ATS were employed as cooks, clerks and storekeepers. At the outbreak of the Second World War, 300 ATS members were billeted to France. As the German army advanced through France, the British Expeditionary Force was driven back towards the English Channel. This led to the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk in May 1940, and some ATS telephonists were among the last British personnel to leave the country.

Age and date of death
Casualty Type and Cemetery
Rank and regiment
Service No
Katherine Parkhill Carr 21yrs/28/10/1941

born 6/01/1920 in Mochrum, Wigtownshire, Scotland

Commonwealth War Dead
Bures Cemetery


Private, Auxiliary Territorial Service

Mess Orderly at Alton, Staffs
Officer Training School


Address given as:-

Mace Green Farm, Copdock

Daug of Stephen and Marion Carr, Bures

Link to Katherines service record
Memorial stone inside St Marys Church, Bures

Katherine in her ATS uniform

When they were attached to other army units, ATS girls wore the badge of that unit over the left breast pocket .The wreathed ATS badge was worn on the cap and a small ATS on each shoulder.

The picture of Katherine outside Overhall Farm shows no badge on her uniform, at that time she couldn't have been attached to any regimental unit.
Possibly, just parading her nice shiny new uniform for those at home



Location of Katherine Carr`s gravestone in Bures cemetery
Enter the cemetery and proceed up the driveway.
At the "T" junction at the top, turn left.
The grave is about six rows down on the left

Inscription reads:
Katherine Parkhill Carr died on active service 28 October 41 aged 21 years

Katherine was most probably a driver with the Auxiliary Territorial Service.
Location:- Alton, Staffordshire

Service record

East Anglian Daily Times

Saturday, November 1, 1941
Births, Marriages, Deaths.

Carr - Suddenly on Active Service Katherine Parkhill, A.T.S. fourth daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Carr, Overhall Farm, Bures, aged 21 Years.

Thursday, November 6, 1941

Funeral of Bures ATS Member.

The Local Home Guard headed by Sgt. S. W. Deaves formed a guard of honour at the funeral at St. Mary's Church, Bures of Miss Katherine Parkhill Carr, who died on Service with the A. T. S. aged 21, she was the fourth daughter of Mr. and Mrs Stephen Carr, who went to Overhall Farm, Bures, from Copdock, shortly after the outbreak of war. She joined the ATS shortly after its formation, and was extremely capable and very popular with members of her unit.

The funeral service was conducted by the Rev. N. C. Stephenson (vicar of Bures) and the Rev G. Kirkpatrick (rector of Copdock) read the lesson. Prior to the service, Miss Ethel Hume played "O rest in the Lord" and, as the coffin draped with the Union Jack was borne from the church by four members of the Home Guard she played Choppin's "Funeral March".

Immediate mourners were: The father, Miss M Carr, Mrs I Caskey A. T. S; Miss E Carr
N.A A.F I; (sisters), Mr W Carr, Home Guard, and Mr T Carr (brothers). Mrs Carr (mother) was unable to be present.

Mrs Brunyate, the Commandant of Miss Katherine Carr's unit of the ATS. G. H. Bird who commanded the Home Guard, Mrs. G. H. Bird, Mr. and Mrs. J Burns, Mr. and Mrs. J Leiper, Mrs. L. Cook, Mr G. Leiper, Mr. Hodge, Miss K. L Darley, Miss J Sharpe, Mr R Imrie, Mr. R. Gibson and Mr. C. W. Darley.

Taken from the archives at Ipswich Records Office by Stephen Carr

Notes on the Mourners
(a)No trace can be found for Mrs Brunyate the CO, which would have led to Katherines unit location
(b) G.H.Bird certainly did not command the Home Guard in Bures, it was G. Drake
(c) Miss M Carr was Marion, sister
(d) Mrs I Caskey was Isabella, sister.

(e) Miss E Carr was Elizabeth, sister
(f) W Carr was William, brother
(g) T Carr was Thomas, brother

(h) the remaining sister Agnes was missing.

Link to obituary in the Suffolk Free Press, 6th November 1941

Genealogy of the Carr family

Katherines father was "Stephen Carr" was born on September 20, 1890, in Liverpool, Lancashire, Parents Agnes Jane Aitken, age 26, and Thomas Stephen Carr

Katherines mother was Marion Parkhill, born 03 October 1891 Garlieston/Wigtownshire , Parents William Parkhill and Marion McLean

Stephen and Marion married on 6th June 1913 in Philgown,Barrachan

Marion, born 23rd June 1913 in Mochrum
Elizabeth Hammond Born 1915 Ingersoll Canada, Died Birmingham 1993
Isabella Aitken Born 1916 Mochrum Wigtownshire, Died Blackburn 1995
Katherine Parkhill Born 06 January 1920 Mochrum Wigtownshire, Died 1941 ( Parkhill taken from her Mother)
William Born 1922 Mochrum Wigtownshire, Death 1991 Ipswich
Thomas James Born 1924 Mochrum Wigtownshire, Died 2000 Ipswich
Agnes Aitken Born 1926 Mochrum Wigtownshire Living (widowed)

Mona Carr Born 1930, died 1930
, Lt Bentley, Essex
Cameron Carr Born 1933, Lt Bentley, Essex

Marion Carr died 5th August 1962 Bures. aged 81
Stephen James Carr died on 3rd March 1976, in Assington, Suffolk, aged 85

The Families Journey

Stephen and Marion decided to seek a new future in Canada with their daughter Marion

Subsequently departed Glasgow on 20th Sept 1913, aboard passenger ship "Cassandra" bound for Montreal
However, their stay was very short lived as the weather was deemed to be too cold for Marion and so they decided to return home two years later.

Recorded on the Passenger List of the ship "Pretoria" bound for Glasgow
All three arrived back in the UK on 13th Oct 1915 and returned to Mochrum,


Sometime around 1926, Stephen Carr was approached by Dick Gibson a farmer from St Osyth (Essex) who was in the local area looking for farmhands.
It beggers the question, why was a farmer from Essex looking for workers in Scotland ?
Stephen took up the offer of work and the family subsequently moved down South.

Stephen Carr took up the post of foreman at Frow Wick Farm at St Osyth, circa 1926
Moved away from the farm sometime before 1930, see birthdate of Mona below


Stephen and his family then moved to Byers Farm, in Little Bentley to assist a farmer who was in difficulty.

Mona Taylor Born 1930 Great Bentley died aged 9 months
Cameron S Born 1933 Great Bentley (now at 2015 living in Sudbury)

Copdock war memorial1

Copdock War memorial2

In 1934/5, we now have the family living at
Mace Green Farm, Copdock

Katherine appears on the Copdock War Memorial as well as the one at Bures

Katherine worked for Mr Hempson of Spurling and Hempson, Auctioneers at Ipswich after leaving school.
These Auctioneers later became Fenn Wright.

Mr Hempson was so upset to hear of Katherines death, he persuaded Copdock to insert her name on their memorial.

It must be unique for a "soldier on active service" to be mentioned on two different memorials ?


In 1939 the Carr family moved to OverHall Farm Bures
Katherine in 1939, without hesitation volunteered to help out with the war effort and joined the ATS.

Stephen Carr (father) was the Tenant Farmer, as the farm itself was owned by the Bristol Estate at Bury

The family members consisted of Stephen and Marion Carr with their children Cameron, William, Thomas and presumably Katherine before she joined-up.

The two other sisters also enlisted to help the was effort

Isabella in the ATS, served in the UK and abroad.
Elizabeth in the NAAFI.

Memories from Cameron Carr

Cameron attended the Bures Primary School under the headship of Mr Creek

Cameron who was aged 9 at the time recalls walking to Wormingford with this sister Katherine to catch the bus to Colchester.
On their arrival, Katherine treated him to a cup of tea and then took him to the Cinema.
They both retuned home later in the day.
That is the last time Cameron ever saw his sister.

He also recalls when war was declared in 1939, Katherine was eager to enlist in the forces to protect her country.

Local information reveals:-

(1) A sale catalogue for the farm equipment, was held on Monday 23 September 1957.
Presumably the Carr family moved out during this time. (Ref:- Stephen Carr)

(2) Mr Stephen J Carr (outgoing tenant) To: The Trustees of the Estate of George Wythes deceased or their incoming tenant Mr Stanley Fincham
Michaelmas 1957 (Ref:- Diana Ineson)


There next move in 1957 was to the adjacent village of Assington
Katherines mother Marion Parkhill Carr died 1962 at Black Notley Hospital. The address given at Probate was "Hill House, Assington"

Katherines father Stephen, died in 1976 listed as farmer and living at Assington

Stephen and Marion Carr buried in Assington Churchyard.


Cameron Carr (b1933) who lives in Sudbury, makes a point of visiting the graves at Bures and Assington at least three times a year to keep them tidy.

Remembrance Day 2014

Remembrance Day 2015

1st Ed:- 24/07/2014
Updated 30/10/2014
Major update 11/11/2014
Updated with wreath 12/11/2015
Updated 18/12/2015
Research by Alan Beales

Acknowledgment to Bill Snelling, Katherine King and Jenny Wright
Stephen James Carr son of Thomas Carr at Ipswich
John and Diane Ineson on the OverHall Farm information

Cameron Carr son of Stephen and Marion
Ipswich RO
Stoke (Staffs) RO