Sunday, 26 April 2015

McWade, Francis - Civilian War Worker

(No soldier photo available)
Died 21 March 1945
Age 39

Mr. Francis McWade worked at Messrs. Packard Ltd. on the Great West Road, Isleworth, Middlesex. He was engaged in the overhaul of Motor Gun Boat and Torpedo Boat engines. At 9.39am, a German Long Range Rocket (known as a V2) fell on the works without warning and exploded. A severe fire followed and the whole building was completely destroyed. Damage was also caused to many nearby factories and to 662 houses in the area. Rescue operations by the police, Civil Defence and the Army, went on for over three days and nights in an attempt to find persons still missing. The total casualties were later numbered as 33 killed, 102 seriously injured and 390 slightly injures Francis' bony was never found.

Francis was the son of Mrs. E. McWade and the husband of Nancy, of Park Royal, London. He was 39. He attended St.Mary's R.C. Church and School. As a young man he was an enthusiastic follower of Haslingden Cricket Club first eleven team. He cared for the playing equipment for both home and away matches. In 1936 he went to live and work in London and there met his wife.

Francis was one of 293 civilians who died in air-raids on the Borough of Heston and Isleworth. His name is perpetuated on the Roll of Honour for the 60,000 civilians killed in the United Kingdom during the 1939-1945 War, which is kept in Westminster Abbey.