John Jenkinson NUNN died in Normandy this day, 1944. He was with 43 Recce, Royal Armoured Corps, taking part in Operation Bluecoat following the Landings. His Regiment had been late to the action, not arriving at Sword Beach until the last week in June where their transport ship MV Derrycunihy hit a mine and 183 men were killed, 120 wounded. John may have been a survivor or one of the replacements that brought the unit up to strength in the following weeks. At the beginning of August 43 Recce was engaged in “bitter fighting” between Ondefontaine and Mont Pincon and John may have been killed in the successful capture of that “dominating height”. This source say’s “43 Recce’s next action came on 10 August, in the pursuit towards the River Orne and Falaise.”

John was buried in the area where he fell and reburied about two years later at St Charles de Percy British Cemetery. He is also remembered in St Oswald’s churchyard on a small block of stone added to the grave of his parents, John William and Sophia nee Haxby.


The inscription reads “Tpr. J. NUNN RAC, Son killed in action 5.8.44. Memories keep him ever near.”

He is also remembered on the Filey War Memorial in Murray Street. I have opened a page for him on the Looking at Filey Wiki and will add information soon. Anyone who reads this who has memories or photographs of John might consider sending them to the Fallen Heroes site.

John wasn’t represented on FamilySearch Tree so I spent a couple of hours today making a start on linking the few fragments of pedigree that did exist. John’s middle name is a clear indication that he is descended from the Norfolk Jenks who came to Filey near the beginning of the 18th century and Kath has made the connections.

When the 1939 Register was taken  John’s parents were living at Cromwell Villa, 22 Brooklands, a large red brick property that has been a Youth Club for as long as most people I’ve spoken to can remember. At the beginning of the Second World War Mr. and Mrs. Nunn were employed as  “Club Manager and Stewardess”, and probably “living in”. It may well have been John Jenk’s childhood home so I photographed it this morning.


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