1921 - 1942

If you ever think of me
Think of all your liberty
All gave some
But some gave all.

William Gray wrote to me asking for information about the 107 South Notts. Hussars but I could not really help him. Should anyone reading this page know anything about them or should by some chance anyone have known George Sidney Gray would they please get in touch with William - - please note - William's email address seems to be offline at the moment. 

There is however another person that you may wish to contact - Brian Oliver, his email address is :

The gist of what Brian sent to me is as follows: My father in law was called William McQuilliam (Mac) and he served with the South Notts. from 1939 to 1945 and he was taken prisoner on the 6th June 1942 and finished the rest of the war in Italian and German POW camps. My interest is that as he lived in Seaham and George Gray lived in Gateshead and I wondered if they knew each other? The 107th was more or less wiped out at the Battle of Knightsbridge, their orders were to fight to the last man and the last round. I would be grateful if you could post my interest to the site as you say a long shot but worth trying.Would be interesting to see what happens! When I rang the museum of the South Notts. they had no record of him as he was from outside the area. I do have photographs, so who knows George Gray could be on one of them. Three years ago Mary (my wife, Bills daughter) after some research went to Italy as guests of the family who cared for Bill. After the Italians surrendered and the POWs were set free. His health wasn't good so he could not get away with the rest of the camp and two women from a nearby village cared for him and hid him in the loft. The house is still with the family, we were staying with the granddaughter of one of the women. Both now deceased and we had some of our meals in the house and had a look in the loft where they hid Bill and over time more than 20 others. They were eventually "shopped" to the Germans and the son of one of the women was taken as hostage until Bill was well enough to be moved. He was then shipped to Germany and finished the rest of the war in Stalag 4B. 

What follows is the information that Bill sent and below that is the Commonwealth War Graves Commission entry.

Gunner George Sidney Gray.  Army No. 898062.

George Sidney Gray served with the R.H.A., a local Territorial Regiment based in Gateshead and
was later transferred to 107 (South Notts Hussars) Regt.  R.H.A. in 1941.

George served with above in the Middle East and was reported Killed in Action on
6th June, 1942.  Knightsbridge.

Commemorated Alamein Memorial, Column 13.

He was born in Gateshead, Co. Durham.  7th January 1921.

I would like to hear from any one who knew him.

William {Bill) GRAY

The War Memorial at El Alamein


In Memory of


107 (The South Notts. Hussars) Regt., Royal Horse Artillery

who died on
Saturday 6 June 1942 . Age 21 .


Additional Information: Son of George and Ethel Gray, of Gateshead, Co. Durham.
Grave or Reference Panel Number: Column 13.
Location: The Alamein Memorial forms the entrance to the El Alamein War Cemetery. Alamein is a village, bypassed by the main coast road, approximately 130 kilometres west of Alexandria on the road to Mersa Matruh. The first Commission road direction sign is located just beyond the Alamein police checkpoint and all cemetery visitors should turn off from the main road onto the parallel old coast road. The cemetery lies off the road beyond the ridge, and road direction signs are in place approximately 25 metres before the low metal gates and stone wing walls which are situated centrally at the road edge at the head of the access path into the cemetery. The Cross of Sacrifice feature may be seen from the road.
Visiting Information: The cemetery is kept open during daylight hours and is manned by our gardeners Saturday to Thursday 07.30 - 14.30.
Historical Information: The campaign in the Western Desert was fought between the Commonwealth forces (with, later, the addition of two brigades of Free French and one each of Polish and Greek troops) all based in Egypt, and the Axis forces (German and Italian) based in Libya. The battlefield, across which the fighting surged back and forth between 1940 and 1942, was the 1,000 kilometres of desert between Alexandria in Egypt and Benghazi in Libya. It was a campaign of manoeuvre and movement, the objectives being the control of the Mediterranean, the link with the east through the Suez Canal, the Middle East oil supplies and the supply route to Russia through Persia. The ALAMEIN MEMORIAL forms the entrance to Alamein War Cemetery. The Land Forces panels commemorate more than 8,500 soldiers of the Commonwealth who died in the campaigns in Egypt and Libya, and in the operations of the Eighth Army in Tunisia up to 19 February 1943, who have no known grave. It also commemorates those who served and died in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Persia. The Air Forces panels commemorate more than 3,000 airmen of the Commonwealth who died in the campaigns in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Greece, Crete and the Aegean, Ethiopia, Eritrea and the Somalilands, the Sudan, East Africa, Aden and Madagascar, who have no known grave. Those who served with the Rhodesian and South African Air Training Scheme and have no known grave are also commemorated here. EL ALAMEIN WAR CEMETERY contains the graves of men who died at all stages of the Western Desert campaigns, brought in from a wide area, but especially those who died in the Battle of El Alamein at the end of October 1942 and in the period immediately before that. The cemetery now contains 7,239 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War, of which 814 are unidentified. There are also 102 war graves of other nationalities. The ALAMEIN CREMATION MEMORIAL, which stands in the south-eastern part of El Alamein War Cemetery, commemorates more than 600 men whose remains were cremated in Egypt and Libya during the war, in accordance with their faith.

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